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ambking "Do you realize your present situation, Mr. Passford?" asked the captain, apparently disappointed at the unwillingness of the young man to attempt an explanation. 89 "I do not see how you can escape that conclusion," replied the first lieutenant. "That is a bad name for this child," said the octoroon, shaking his head. "Are you the son of Colonel Passford?" ambking "Nothing more, captain," said the first lieutenant; and the stock of the other claimant mounted a little. "Your views, if you please, Dr. Connelly." "But Bonnydale is not an incorporated town. In what city or town is your father's place situated?" Ensign McLinn, who had served on board of the little steamer, but had recently been on sick leave, was appointed second lieutenant of the Bronx, while Mr. Camden, outranked by the other officers, remained as third lieutenant. Christy and Mr. Pennant were transferred to the Sphinx, with a prize crew; and that same evening the Bronx sailed under her new commander, with sealed orders, to the eastward. naza99 "Of course I shall not raise an issue as to your veracity, Mr. Passford, but after the statement you have made to me, I must change the form of my phraseology," continued the commander, using a smile to cover any possible doubts or suspicions in his mind. "When I called at the stateroom of the officer who reported on board last evening as Lieutenant Christopher Passford, he told me that I was expected to get under way and proceed to my destination as soon as the officer and the seamen were on board." "I don't like to contradict my cousin, but I was brought up in the North," said Christy, hoping Captain Battleton would notice the difference in the phraseology. "Bless the Lord that I am here at last!" exclaimed the skipper, as he looked furtively about him. 222 "That shows that he at least was a non-combatant," added Christy, pleased to hear this report of his uncle. lucac4 This result was followed by emphatic cheers from the forty-five men on deck. "My master was the captain of the Floridian, and we came out here to see if there was any blockader near, that had come up in the fog. The steamer was to be brought out by the 229 pilot, who has been on board of her for three days." He had not been mistaken in his estimate of the man, so far as he could judge from his answers. Pennant had taken a steamer home to New York from Havana after the captain had died there of yellow fever. He had expected to be given the command of the vessel; and when he failed to obtain the position he resigned his place as mate, but secured the same position in another and larger steamer. "Certainly not; for as soon as it was seen on board of the flag-ship that the commander of the Bronx was disobeying his orders, we should be chased by the two ships on the station and fired upon." "Only twenty, sar; all gone ober to New Orleans, sar." "He said he believed you were bony fido commander of the Bronx, and he is ready to obey your orders. Mr. Flint had a talk with him while the first lieutenant was below; he talked to Boxie, and three more of the men, and he did it mighty sly, too, for the third lieutenant was on the deck all the time. There's eight bells, Massa Christy, and the second lieutenant will have the deck." "It won't take a six-mule team to draw that one," added the privateersman, rather sourly for the first time. "Of course I understood that it would not be advisable for the commodore to let it be known exactly where the steamer is bound, and that you have sealed orders. I shall have to trouble you, Captain Passford, to produce the envelope." "Oh, I am the officer whom Corny personated," replied the commander with a quiet smile. "The story is not a second-handed one, uncle Homer."

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ambking CHAPTER XXIX A PROFESSIONAL VISIT TO THE FORT Christy's curiosity was excited: he thought the order would throw some further light on the plan of the pirate; and he seated himself. Captain Flanger proceeded to dictate to him an order to 278 the officer of the deck, to the effect that his sealed orders directed him to cut out a rebel privateer under the guns of Fort McRae; ordering him to head the Bronx to the north-west for this purpose, and instructing him to call him as soon as he made out the shore, Christy wrote it, and the pirate told him to sign it. After breakfast Christy packed his valise, where he placed the new uniform in which he intended to present himself on the quarter-deck of the Bronx. The carriage was at the door to convey him to the railroad station. The parting was not less tender than it had been on former similar occasions, and Mrs. Passford preferred that it should be in the house rather than at the railroad station, in the presence of curious observers. Many tears were shed after the carriage drove off, 33 for the patriotic young man might find a grave in southern soil, or beneath southern waters. "Of course we are not bound to obey the orders of the union flag-officer," added Corny. "But now you know the situation thoroughly, Mr. Galvinne, and I suppose you are ready to arrange your plans for the future." "Where did she come from?" asked the lieutenant, who had more confidence in the honesty than in the intelligence of Job. "Of course Corny asked for his appointment, for Mr. Galvinne was the real leader of the enterprise. I think you and some of the rest of us have narrowly escaped a Confederate prison." "All ready, Mr. Flint," reported the third lieutenant, when he had completed the repairs on the steering gear. With even an ordinary revolver in his hip pocket, he would not have been helpless, and he might have saved himself without requiring this service of the steward. Opening his valise, he took from it a smaller revolver, and put it in his hip pocket, which he had never used for any other purpose; and he resolved not to be caught again in an unarmed condition, even when no danger was apparent. In action he carried a navy revolver in each of his hip pockets. mangathailand "The other men in the sloop, with the exception of the skipper, fired upon my boat, and wounded an officer and a seaman." "That is all I have to say about him. I studied the skipper of the sloop and watched him. I am sure he did not fire a musket, and he seemed to take no part in the affairs of the men on board. Captain Flanger is the active man of the party; but I have no idea who or what he is. If you look at the skipper, you will see that he is an octoroon, or something between a mulatto and a white man, and in my opinion he is not a cheerful worker on that side of the house. Perhaps the skipper will be willing to tell you who and what the party are. They claimed to be private citizens, and that the sloop was bound to Appalachicola; perhaps the gentleman in black can explain the mission of the party." Christy went to his room and completed his toilet. The house was warm, and he was soon comfortable enough after the out-door chill. By this time Miss Florry Passford had put in an appearance in the upper hall, with Bertha Pembroke. The alarm was again briefly explained, and the invalid gentleman was assured that nothing alarming had occurred. Then the young lieutenant and his mother proceeded to ascertain what the burglar had accomplished in the house. The traditions of the navy, and of all navies, forbade him to leave his ship to engage in any enterprise connected with his mission. He had to take all the responsibility of failure, while he could not take an active part on such occasions as the present. He had the glory of being a commander, and of whatever his ship accomplished; but it began to look like a life of inactivity to 234 him, for he was not greedy of glory, and all his devotion was for the union. "On board the ferry-boat!" replied the man, resting on his oars. "Then you had better turn in, Captain Passford," said the executive officer. "We can do nothing more to-night except to keep a sharp lookout." "All right in every respect," replied the young officer cheerfully. "I am sorry that you feel constrained to act in this indelicate manner; but I cannot, on my honor and conscience, violate my orders, and I must respectfully decline to produce the envelope," replied Christy, feeling that he had come to a crisis in the affair. lava444 Christy was satisfied that all was going well in regard to the capture of the Bronx, and he went to sleep after he had disposed of his dinner, and arranged the final details of the enterprise with the second lieutenant. Mr. Flint was somewhat impatient to carry out his plan; but Christy insisted that nothing should be done till the orders of the flag-officer had been actually disobeyed. It was decided that coming about, and heading the Bronx to the westward would constitute disobedience. Christy did not go near him, but he watched him very closely. He had not long to wait before Mr. Galvinne, who was then the officer of the deck, spoke to him, and they had quite a long conversation. He could not hear a word of it; but the fact that they were intimate enough to 112 hold what appeared to be a confidential interview was enough to satisfy the prisoner that the second lieutenant was the principle confederate of his cousin. How many of the crew were "packed" for the enterprise he could form no idea. Before the Vernon reached The Narrows, everything on her deck had been put in order by the large crew, and less activity prevailed on board. Christy thought it was time for him to report to the commander, and he moved aft for this purpose. He did not even know the name of this gentleman, and he saw no one to introduce him formally; but the ensign in command had doubtless received an order to take him as a passenger to the Gulf. "Well, what is there over there?" ambking "But I am all right, mother, and there is not the least reason to worry about anything, for the 22 ship is not going to the bottom just yet," replied Christy, indulging in a forced laugh to assist in quieting his mother's fears. "Gentlemen, I have come to a decision in this matter," said the captain, when the two claimants had placed themselves before him in a standing position. "I cannot go behind the commission presented by the officer who came on board last evening, and I consider it my duty to regard him as the real Lieutenant Passford, recently promoted to his present rank. There is nothing more to be said." "I said one of the officers; and you know as well as I do which one." "Probably Captain Battleton did not think of that, taking it for granted that you were both sailors; but the other Mr. Passford is not in condition to undergo such an examination at present." "But Christy has disappeared all the same; and where do you suppose he is?" "Mullygumps!" exclaimed Dave, as he suspended his labors on the trunk. At the principal entrance of the fort they were challenged by the sentinel. Mr. Pennant was somewhat afraid his northern dialect would betray him, for he was not a highly educated man, though he was exceedingly well informed in all matters pertaining to the duties of a shipmaster.

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ambking "Not improbable," added Christy. "You propose that I shall go on deck, and give your orders, acting as your proxy." Probably it was the shock quite as much as the force of the blow that brought down the steward's victim. But it was a heavy stroke, for the wood of the feather duster was split into many pieces, and the stumps of the feathers were scattered all over the table. The onslaught could not fail to be very confusing to the ideas of the intruder, and he seemed to be tangled up in the arm-chair in which he had been seated. "Byron!" called a boatswain's mate from the forecastle. "The Bronx is taking in provisions, stores, and ammunition. They say the captain has his orders, but I don't know about that." "I supposed the official envelope contained my commission and orders." The negro hurried the officer and Mike into one of the cabins, and shoved them into a sort of closet, while he went to the door himself. He passed out into the lane, as the man came into it from the middle of the field, for he had not been near enough to the shore to discover the boat. "Then I will wait till I have time to attend to it," replied the heroic officer who treated the injury with contempt; "I have not finished my report to the captain yet. I will be in the ward room as soon as the captain is done with me." "I won't do so any more, Captain Passford," protested the steward, showing his ivory, though he was not a very black man, and the contrast was not as great as in many instances. "I am entirely satisfied, Mr. Galvinne; and here is my hand," added Corny, who doubtless felt that he had fully vindicated himself. myslot "No, sir; nothing but the voices; but I think the speakers must be in a vessel of some sort, for 205 the sound since I first heard it, and could hardly make it out, comes from farther south," replied the man. The prisoners appeared to be quite as much interested in the proceedings on deck as the ship's company, and closely observed everything that was done. Michael Bornhoff was quite excited, and walked the deck hurriedly, as though he was 231 in search of something to do; but he was very careful not to go near the place where Captain Flanger was made fast to the rail. ambking Probably it was the shock quite as much as the force of the blow that brought down the steward's victim. But it was a heavy stroke, for the wood of the feather duster was split into many pieces, and the stumps of the feathers were scattered all over the table. The onslaught could not fail to be very confusing to the ideas of the intruder, and he seemed to be tangled up in the arm-chair in which he had been seated. "Whar you gwine, Massa Ossifer?" asked Uncle Job, after they had walked a short distance from the negro village. "Fourteen and a half feet!" shouted the leadsman. "But why were they brought off if the steamer is still in the bay?" "Horatio Passford." With even an ordinary revolver in his hip pocket, he would not have been helpless, and he might have saved himself without requiring this service of the steward. Opening his valise, he took from it a smaller revolver, and put it in his hip pocket, which he had never used for any other purpose; and he resolved not to be caught again in an unarmed condition, even when no danger was apparent. In action he carried a navy revolver in each of his hip pockets. The commander read his orders through. It was believed that vessels were loading with cotton there, towed down in flatboats by small steamers, and that a steamer of four hundred tons was fitting out in the bay as a privateer. It might not be practicable for the Bronx to go into the bay; but she was to do what she could to capture the 305 cotton vessels and the steamer when they came out. นาคา 77 "How shall you manage it?" "No one thought you would hide in the captain's cabin." In his youth the author used to listen to the stories of several aged Revolutionary pensioners, one of whom had slept in the snows of Valley Forge, another who had been confined on board of the Jersey prison-ship, and a third who had been with Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis. Not one lives to-day who fought in the battles of the Revolution; but a multitude of those who trod the battle-fields of the war that was finished twenty-seven years ago have taken their places, and have become as interesting to the present generation as the heroes of former wars were to the fathers and grandfathers of the boys and girls of to-day. "All right, doctor; I have been directed to admit you. Pass in, sir." "Dr. Connelly?" "Are you a free man?" "Have them closely watched, or they may play us some trick when we least suspect it, and in some critical moment," said the commander. Christy looked at his watch when the sail was reported to him, and found that it wanted ten minutes of eleven. The Bronx had been steaming for just about three hours, and must have made about forty miles, as he hastily figured up the run in his mind. "I cannot say that I was; the cause of the South is religion itself, and I am there every time. Who told you that I had been engaged in smuggling?" 344 In ten minutes more the Bronx quivered under the discharge of the great midship gun, and a cloud of smoke rose above her deck.

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ambking 248 "I am amazed, and I fear the officers in charge at Brooklyn are not as cautious as they should be. Not long ago a steamer had to return to the navy-yard there because her machinery had been tampered with; and the enemy are putting men on board of steamers for the purpose of capturing them. Where is your cousin now, Captain Passford?" "Ensign Philip Bangs." "But why were they brought off if the steamer is still in the bay?" "It won't take a six-mule team to draw that one," added the privateersman, rather sourly for the first time. "Of course I understood that it would not be advisable for the commodore to let it be known exactly where the steamer is bound, and that you have sealed orders. I shall have to trouble you, Captain Passford, to produce the envelope." "Gentlemen, I have come to a decision in this matter," said the captain, when the two claimants had placed themselves before him in a standing position. "I cannot go behind the commission presented by the officer who came on board last evening, and I consider it my duty to regard him as the real Lieutenant Passford, recently promoted to his present rank. There is nothing more to be said." "I am glad to see you, Dr. Waterton, for I have exhausted all my remedies," said Lieutenant Fourchon. "I was not born to be a doctor. The patient seems to be no better." PREFACE นาคา 77 "Perhaps we are; but you talk too much by 144 half, Passford, and I have been dreading that you would make a slip of some kind," replied Mr. Galvinne rather crustily. "You were as stupid as a Kentucky mule when you stopped to talk with Byron in the waist." He had no fault to find with the captain for his decision against him, which seemed to be natural and warrantable. He had no ill-feeling against 101 his cousin, for he was trying to serve the cause he had espoused. He was even willing to believe that he would have done the same thing himself under like circumstances. "Yes, sir; and since I came on deck, I heard that Phil Camden had been appointed acting second lieutenant," replied Pennant. "Where does he live?" "I find him—I thought I found him; but he appears to be on deck," replied the surgeon, as he fixed his gaze upon Christy, preluded by a start, dramatic enough to prove that he was astonished to find his patient was not in his room below. "I left him not five minutes ago, for I have not yet been able to discover what ails him. He 58 complained of a severe headache and pains in his bones; but he has not a particle of fever, or any symptom of anything that I can discover. I am glad to see you on deck, Mr. Passford. How is your headache?" The watch below were all around him. Some of them were mending their clothes, others were reading newspapers they had brought with them, but the greater part of them were in squads engaged in talking about the events of the war. 104 The nearest group to Christy were conversing about the two lieutenants who claimed to be the real officer ordered to the command of the Bronx. It seemed rather strange to the listener that they should know anything about the events which had happened in the secrecy of the captain's cabin, and this circumstance led him to believe that at least one of the officers of the ship must be a confederate of Corny. He had not been mistaken in his estimate of the man, so far as he could judge from his answers. Pennant had taken a steamer home to New York from Havana after the captain had died there of yellow fever. He had expected to be given the command of the vessel; and when he failed to obtain the position he resigned his place as mate, but secured the same position in another and larger steamer. 93 "Nothing at all," replied Christy, bowing again, and bearing himself with the dignity of a veteran officer; and in the matter of demeanor, the Confederate Captain Carboneer had presented to him one of the best models he had seen, both in action and as a prisoner. "At present, no, sir," replied the seaman decidedly. "I learned a few months ago that I failed to obtain the command of the steamer I brought home from Havana because it was said I took too much whiskey. I knocked off then, and have not drank a drop since." g2grich888 "And by taking the bull by the horns, instead of waiting till the captain of the Sphinx concluded to take his chances of being captured in getting to sea, we have made the Bronx available for duty at once in another quarter, where she can do better work than in chewing her cable off the bar of Barataria," said the wounded commander, thus satisfying his conscience that he had done his duty. "As usual, you are the hero of the adventure," replied the new first lieutenant, laughing. "But I must say it was the stupidest enterprise in which rational men ever engaged." The cabin was to be occupied by Corny, though his cousin had no doubt that Mr. Galvinne was the real leader in the adventure of capturing the steamer. Both of them would be obliged to keep up appearances for the present. Christy's first thought after he had settled himself in his new quarters related to the cabin steward, who had served him very faithfully, and whom he had 127 brought off in the Teaser, the former name of the Bronx. He had no doubt he was still on board, and probably acting in his former capacity, for Mr. Flint knew that he was attached to the man for the service he had rendered, not only to him but to his country. He was absolutely sure that Dave could be trusted under any and all circumstances, and the first thing he did would be to make a connection with him. "You are the only officer on board except myself," replied Christy. "We are still in the dark as to what we have to do here. We may have to send off a boat expedition, as we did at Cedar Keys, and we are in absolute need of more officers." Suddenly the officer started back, and began to look very sharply at the presumed sailor. But the file pressed behind him, and Christy was too glad to move with it to delay a moment longer. He went below to the familiar quarters of the crew, and saw many of his old seamen still on board, though many of them had been taken to reinforce other vessels. At this moment Dave had worked himself in behind the pirate; and, with a well-directed blow with the feather duster on the head of Flanger, he brought him to the floor. "I acknowledge that I was altogether too brusque with you, Mr. Passford, and I beg your pardon for my rudeness," said Mr. Galvinne. "That is immaterial," added Captain Battleton, as Corny left the cabin to procure the document. "Have you a copy of your report, Lieutenant Passford?" He pointed to Christy. ambking "Whether the decision be just or not, I am obliged to regard you as son of the Homer Passford who supports the government of the Confederacy. You and the other Mr. Passford have recognized each other as cousins." "That will amount to their being made ensigns when you go north again if they prove to be worthy of promotion," added the executive officer, with a chuckle. "That was what happened to Baskirk and Amden." "But she will signal the fort to fire upon us." "It is evident from what we have heard, and from the documents submitted to me that one of these gentlemen is Lieutenant Christopher Passford," said Captain Battleton; "but we have no means of identifying the officer. In what vessels have you served, Mr. Passford?"

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betflixhero "Very well; perhaps you had better answer the question;" and the captain pointed at Corny. "Who was your first lieutenant?" "Whar you gwine, Massa Ossifer?" asked Uncle Job, after they had walked a short distance from the negro village.

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wowslot007 Mr. Pennant had some doubts about the correctness of the important information he had obtained, but he was at a loss to know how to verify it. It was a matter of course that sentinels patrolled the vicinity of the fort, or at least the principal approach to it. He decided to postpone his inquiry into this matter till a later hour of the night or morning. "But the other Massa Passford looks just like you," added Dave.

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wowslot888 PREFACE "Captain Battleton," added the quartermaster. "I hope you are feeling better to-day, sir." "Corny again!" exclaimed the captain.

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superslot1234 "I understand you perfectly now; but as you have not, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for yourself, the dozen men at hand, I am to hold the fiddle while you play upon it, as I have seen a couple of negro minstrels do it." "Undoubtedly you do. I decline to give you my sealed orders. What then?" replied the commander, who began to feel a certain sense of shame because he had temporized so long with the bold pirate, for he regarded him as such. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted a man on the forecastle of the sloop. Christy found a rope hanging over the side, to 36 which the boatman attached his valise, the young officer going up the line hand over hand as though he was used to that sort of thing. The oarsman secured his five-dollar bill, and Christy hauled up his valise. He felt that he had saved himself from the dishonor of failing to obey his orders, and he looked about him for some one who would be able to explain to him how the steamer happened to be sailing two hours before the time named in his orders. Three or four sailors were at work in the waist, where the lieutenant came on board; and Christy was not a little astonished to observe that Walsh, the absconding man-servant, was one of them. "My father is quite well, but he left Bonnydale last Tuesday to go to Washington, and had not returned when I left home. My mother is quite well, and so is Florry," replied the sick officer, who did not appear to be suffering from a very severe headache just then, for he was quite cheerful and animated.

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