hilo911 53 "I beg your pardon, Captain Battleton, but I have not been in any stateroom, sick or well, on board of the Vernon, and I respectfully suggest that it was quite impossible for you to have called upon me this morning, or at any other time," Christy interposed, very pleasantly, though quite as perplexed as the commander. 179 "I will," replied the prisoner. hilo911 "Jes' so; you was born ob de debbil," replied the old negro, rising in his bed, and showing all his remaining teeth in an expansive smile. CHAPTER II THE ABSCONDING MAN-SERVANT "Sit down, take a seat, doctor, and I will tell you all about it. You may go forward, Dave, and report to me the condition of the prisoner," added Christy, as he seated himself at the table, and began to tell the story of the intruder's visit to his cabin. 141 "But how is this desirable end to be accomplished?" inquired the second lieutenant, who seemed to be troubled with some doubts. wild west gold "That makes it all the more remarkable, for I was not aware that there was any officer in the navy who resembled me so closely," added Christy more bewildered than before, and beginning to scent a plot of some kind against him or his country. "Maggywogs! That sounds like Massa Christy's 129 voice; but I done seen him on deck five or ten minutes ago." "You took the bull by the horns at an opportune moment, my son," said Captain Passford, Senior. "If you had not done so you would have been in a rebel prison at this moment. As it is, poor Corny has got back to Fort Lafayette, with Galvinne and our man-servant, whom I never should have suspected of being a Confederate officer." "This is an informal conference, doctor, and I hope you will express your views freely," said the captain. ทเดดสง "I shall not compel you to land, and you can remain on board till I report to the flag-officer of the Eastern Gulf squadron, off Pensacola, if you desire to do so; but you will be subject to his decision and not mine then." CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE "Not a word, sir; only said he would be down to his breakfast in a few minutes." "If I remember rightly it is eighty-three sea miles from the entrance to Pensacola Bay. But 151 you do not run away with the idea that it is necessary for you, as the present commander of the Bronx, to visit this place?" asked the naval officer. The head and hair of the old colored man were peculiar enough to enable the Russian to identify him if he had ever seen him even once before. His mouth was twisted to one side either naturally or by some injury, and his kinky hair made him look as though he carried a great bale of cotton on the top of his head. He opened his eyes when Mike shook him gently, and looked at the two men at the side of his bed with a wondering rather than an alarmed expression. "By the way, Christy, have you heard anything from him or his family lately?" asked Mrs. Passford. "Is there any doctor at the big house?" asked the lieutenant as soon as Job entered the house. As he dressed himself he could not help thinking of the mysterious visitation, and he asked himself a great many questions in regard to the object of the intruder, since it did not appear that he had entered the house for the purpose of robbing its occupants. He could not determine whether or not the fellow had actually come into his room; but his porte-monnaie, which contained a considerable sum of money, and his gold 27 repeater, a very valuable watch, were just where he had left them the night before. Captain Battleton would soon begin his investigation, and Christy was confident that the sick officer would be proved to be the impostor. He was not at all worried or even disturbed in regard 60 to the result, for he felt that "truth is mighty and must prevail." His only solicitude was to unravel the plot. Bands of Confederates had been put on board of several steamers for the purpose of capturing them; and it was possible that this plan had been adopted to obtain possession of the Vernon, for she was a good vessel, and was fitted out as a man-of-war.
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hilo911 "Pass the word for Ralph Pennant," said Christy, as soon as he reached the quarter-deck. 25 They had given up the examination of the premises, and given up the conundrum, and Christy was leading the way up-stairs. He went into his room, followed by his mother. "While you are here, doctor, I will show you my arm, which is beginning to be somewhat uncomfortable," said the third lieutenant with a cheerful smile. When the questioning was finished, the leaning of the trio of officers was in favor of Christy; but not one of them said anything in the presence of the two Passfords. The captain declared that he had already used up too much time in the inquiry, and he must close the conference very soon. 79 Then he asked if either of the gentlemen had any papers they wished to present in support of his identity. "I should take him for a young man of twenty or twenty-one, but he says he is only eighteen. He is a very young officer to be put in charge of a steamer, for I understand that he is ordered 61 to the command of the Bronx. But then he has made a reputation as the commander of that vessel, which doubtless justifies his appointment." "Who is it? What is the matter?" demanded the lady of the mansion, in tones which indicated anxiety if not alarm. In less than half an hour the party reached the locality indicated by Job. The officer could see the steamer which looked, in the gloom of the night, as though she was a craft of about five hundred tons. She was moored in the deep water so far in that she could not be seen by vessels in the offing. On each side of her was a small river steamer, and she seemed not to have completed her cargo. รบสปนฟร "I know no name but Bonnydale," replied Corny; and the flush of fever or something else was on his cheeks now. As he spoke, Boxie dropped in his place at the wheel, and Vincent grasped the spokes. The blood was streaming down the face of the old man, and he did not move after he fell. Two sailors bore him below; but the surgeon promptly declared that he was dead. "Friends," replied the lieutenant. "I don't say that I absolutely dislike it, for I mean to be happy in whatever place my duty may call me. The responsibility weighs heavy on me, and I should prefer to be in a subordinate position," replied Christy very seriously. "I can't sleep as I used to." "Not a word, and I am not likely to hear from them. Corny Passford was exchanged, and sent back to the South a year ago or more; and I have no idea what has become of him since." "It was quite true, uncle Homer; and he has been quite as unfortunate as he was in his former expedition to the North," added Christy very quietly. The strange sail continued to approach; and, little by little, the first lieutenant, who had sailed in the Bellevite several years, identified her as that steamer. It was probable that she had chased some vessel, and was now returning to her station. As she came nearer, she fired a gun for the Bronx to come to; and when within hail of her, stopped her screw. "I have, captain; Rockton and Warton took part with Mr. Galvinne, but Sayles and Nichols did nothing, and they seem to be as in earnest on 181 the right side as the other two were on the wrong side," replied Ralph. "Be it so; death before dishonor," replied the commander firmly. ผล ศกแดงเดอด ลาสด "I shall find no fault with my accommodations, whatever they are," replied Christy. "You stole it, cousin, and you must give it back to me," added Christy, very decidedly. "Your absence from the between decks of the Vernon has been discovered, and Captain Battleton has caused the strictest search to be made for you on board of all three of the ships. The last I saw of him he was evidently talking with the flag-officer about you, as I judged from his looks and gestures," replied the second lieutenant. "Of course I can't say that Sayles and Nichols are not rebels; but they have done nothing that is suspicious, and one of our men has pumped them both," answered Ralph. "Only the women and the old hands, too old to do much work." hilo911 Dave was the most assiduous of nurses, and had no little skill in attending to the wants of the sick. The young commander was made comfortable in a few hours, and Mr. Flint came below to see him at the end of an hour when he had performed his most pressing duties. He reported that Mr. Pennant's wound was slight, and did not disable him. Eight seamen in all had been wounded, and one of them was likely to die of his injury. "I have been under the berth in this stateroom, a hiding-place which was suggested to me by one of your people who used it as such, and was caught, as I was not." "I shall be equally reasonable," said Christy. "The more witnesses there are the better it will suit me." The surgeon went below, leaving the commander and Christy together. "That was the folly of Captain Flanger; and I protested the moment I discovered what had been done," added the planter, who seemed to be anxious to relieve himself of all responsibility for the discharge of the muskets.
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hilo911 "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. "South-west," repeated the first lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster who was conning the wheel. "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." "My first misfortune was in being made a prisoner. My second and most annoying mishap was the capture of the Floridian," continued Captain Flanger. "It was my intention to fit her out as a privateer, with the proceeds of the sale of her cargo of cotton, for she is a good vessel, and as fast as the Bronx, as you call her." "I believe you; they be mixed if you be the captain when I done seen him on deck just now." "We have no surgeon, I believe, for Dr. Spokeley 173 is sick, and was to be sent home before I left in the Vixen for New York," added the commander, now restored to his own right on board. At the present time his father was in Washington, and he could not have neglected to close the door. He had been to the railroad station to meet the last train, thinking it possible that his father might return, and he was confident that he had been the last to enter the house. He was very sure that he had not left the door unfastened, and this assurance made him confident that some person had entered the house. The noise at the door of his chamber was not an illusion or a dream: though it had been made by closing rather than by opening it, or he would have been likely to find the intruder in his room when he lighted his lamp. "Now, gentlemen, I will thank you to retire to the ward room, and I will send for you to hear my decision," continued the commander, and the cousins retired together, and both of them appeared to be as good-natured as though they were in perfect accord on the question in dispute. "He is as tough as a he-bear, and can walk a hundred miles on a stretch," replied Mike. "He knows everything that is going on in these times." ตรวจหวย 1 ตลาคม65 "Well, this is pleasant; and it will be my duty to report your conduct to my superior officer. In command of this ship! Why, you don't know enough to lay off the course of the ship, or even to box the compass." "Very likely; and I dare say you know all about this region." "They are awake there," said Christy with a smile to the first lieutenant, and both of them watched for the fall of the shot, which struck the water at least a quarter of a mile ahead of the vessel. "Beat to quarters, Mr. Flint." "I have been wanting to see you, Christy," said the planter, as he approached his nephew. "I learn, with no little astonishment, that you are the commander of this steamer." hilo911 "Are you a Russian?" asked the commander, inclined to laugh at this singular name of one of the proscribed race. "With the evidence before you, I do not see how you could have decided otherwise." "You were very considerate," answered Christy, looking at the steward, who had stationed himself behind the unwelcome guest. "You are a moral philosopher, Mr. Passford," said the surgeon, laughing at the earnestness of the speaker. "No, sar!" exclaimed Job with energy. "Yes, sir; the Vixen was fully armed and manned to protect the fleet of prize vessels she convoyed." 338 "South, sir," replied the quartermaster. ตว สลอต "Oh, yes; he has told me about some of his exploits; and as he seems to forget his aches when he speaks of them, I have encouraged him to talk as much as possible." 210 "Keep off, or we will fire into you!" shouted the man on the forecastle, who appeared to be the principal man of the party. "I beg your pardon, Mr. Passford, but I did not intend to question the truth of your reply to my question," said the commander, fearing that he had overstated his doubts. "I am 52 simply bewildered, confused, confounded by this interview." "You don't like it!" exclaimed the engineer of the Bellevite. The naval officer read the orders aloud for the benefit of his associate. The flag-officer had obtained information that a steamer was loading with cotton at St. Andrew's Bay, and Captain Passford was instructed to visit that locality and capture the vessel, and any others that might be found there. "Does he talk at all?" CHAPTER XVIII A BATTLE ON A SMALL SCALE "How many men are there at the fort?" "All sorts o' tings, massa; guns, and pistols, and close. Dis nigger help take de tings out ob her." "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."
hilo911 "Because, though he don't look it, he is the best posted nigger in these parts. He is the wise man among his people, and a sort of leader among them, and fetich man besides." Mr. Pennant stood up in the stern sheets, and 340 gazed in the direction of the fort. On the shore of the Grand Pass, above the fort, were three buildings, formerly occupied by mechanics and laborers. The sailing directions for entering the bay were to bring the fronts of these structures in range, and proceed for a time on the course indicated. Mr. Pennant had obtained this bearing after he had backed the boat a few feet. The depth of water then informed him that he was in the channel. "Do you know where we are bound, Mike?" asked Christy. "He is as tough as a he-bear, and can walk a hundred miles on a stretch," replied Mike. "He knows everything that is going on in these times." "I am in command, Dave, and there must be no more 'massa' now," added Christy. The two boats were soon in the water, though the first lieutenant wondered that he had not been sent on this important service. The two officers hurried their crews, and the boats flew on their mission. The commander felt that it was necessary to keep an eye on the fort, for its energetic officer was not at all inclined to be idle at the present exciting time. The Bronx had hardly stopped her screw before the soldiers were to be seen on the barbette; but the shell with which the midship gun had been charged sent them all to the casemates in an instant. 145 "Hand them over to me, and let us have no more fooling." "Then there are cotton vessels at that port, are there?" asked Christy, pricking up his ears at this suggestion. "His name is Galvinne, and he was second lieutenant of the Vernon; but he is a Confederate. I think he is to be the real commander of the Bronx if they succeed in getting her into Pensacola," added Christy. "But why were they brought off if the steamer is still in the bay?" ตว สลอต "Christopher Passford," replied the invalid officer, with the most unblushing effrontery. "He might have taken Florry's watch, she was so careless as to leave on the table in the sitting-room," added she. He had decided upon his method of operations, and then wished again that he was not in command of the steamer; for the expedition he intended 311 to send out was one he would have been glad to command in person, instead of remaining inactive on board of the Bronx. As soon as he had arranged his plan, he went on deck. To the astonishment of the first lieutenant, he changed the course of the steamer to the north, and at noon let go the anchor in four fathoms of water. The vessel remained there till it was dark, and then proceeded to the westward, sounding all the time. Father and son shook hands, but they were not so demonstrative as they might have been. Christy was not disposed to burden them with his presence, but he insisted that Dave should stay 244 there during the interview. He left them together for two hours, and then sent Mr. Pennant and a seaman to remove Corny to the quarters. Dave said they had talked only of family matters, though the son had explained to his father the plan to obtain possession of the Bronx. It had been a battle on a small scale, but the 217 victory had been won, and the cutter was towing her prize in the direction of the gunboat. The lieutenant's first care was to attend to Hilton, the stroke oarsman who had been wounded in the affair. He placed him in a comfortable position on the bottom of the boat, and then examined into his condition. A bullet had struck him in the right side, and the blood was flowing freely from the wound. Mr. Pennant did the best he could for his relief, and the man said he was comfortable. "I beg your pardon, Captain Flanger; but do I understand that you intend, single-handed and alone, to capture the Bronx?" asked the commander, with a smile of incredulity on his face. Seating himself on the quarter-deck, he sent for Michael Bornhoff, who presently reported to him. This man had proved himself to be entirely faithful and reliable; and Christy had no doubts in regard to his loyalty, for his race guaranteed that. "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. "It was not; for I had concealed myself on board when I realized what Galvinne was about, and, with the aid of the officers who knew me, captured the vessel. I am now in command of her, and I am likely to have a prize to assist in establishing my identity when I report to the flag-officer." p168สลอต "I cannot so far, though that does not prove that he is not sick; but I will venture to say he could not get his discharge from the navy on his present symptoms. He may have drunk too much wine or whiskey recently, though he certainly was not in liquor when he came on board." "I don't see that we can help ourselves," 212 replied the spokesman in a surly tone; for the prospect before him was not very pleasant, especially as a volley had been fired from the sloop, presumably by his order, for he was the one who had made the threat in the first place. "No, sir; I don't believe he is over twenty, if he is that," replied the third lieutenant. "All right, doctor; I have been directed to admit you. Pass in, sir." "Do you think it advisable to do so at once?" asked Corny; and his motive seemed to be simple curiosity, for he was not competent to give advice on a naval question, though he was in nominal command of the steamer. "But I do not quite understand the matter yet. You disappeared very suddenly; and when I wanted to present you to the commodore, you could not be found," added the captain of the Vernon. "I am very curious to know what became of you." "Quartermaster Camden. He commanded a three-masted schooner in the coal trade. He is not college educated, but he is a remarkably well-informed man who shipped in the navy to learn the details of duty on board of a man-of-war." hilo911 "His name is Galvinne, and he was second lieutenant of the Vernon; but he is a Confederate. I think he is to be the real commander of the Bronx if they succeed in getting her into Pensacola," added Christy. "All your guns seem to be mounted outside," said the naval officer as he halted on the parade. Christy felt very much like a caged tiger. He had hoped that the Bellevite would be on the station when he arrived, for there were plenty of officers and seamen on board of her who could identify him beyond the possibility of a doubt. In that case he intended to make a strong appeal to Captain Battleton, for he would then have the means of arriving at a correct conclusion. Then he could explain in what manner he had been robbed of his papers with some chance of having his statement accepted.
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แมนย เมอคน "The United States steamer Bellevite. We will send a boat to you," returned Mr. Blowitt. "I hardly think so, though I should be pleased to have it so." "He is a tough sinner," added the first lieutenant of the Bellevite. "Of course I cannot take him without an order from Captain Breaker; but I will return to the ship, and put the matter before him."
สลอตฝาก1บาทรบ20 illustration of quoted scene The first lieutenant inspected the work, and reported to the captain, who immediately ordered him to weigh the anchor. The chief engineer had been directed to be ready to proceed, and the steam was hissing with a merry music. The midship gun was of no service now, and Mr. Flint had been directed to keep up a steady fire with the 354 broadside guns at the embrasures of the fort as soon as the Bronx was in range.
ดบอลออนไล "If you will excuse me for making an indirect reply, captain, I did not come on board of the Vernon last evening," answered Christy, his smile becoming still more decided; and if he had not been on the quarter-deck of a vessel in service, he might have suspected that he was himself the victim of a practical joke. Mr. Flint reported that she had been captured without any resistance on the part of the crew. There was no incident worth relating in connection with the capture, though she was full of cotton, and brought over seventy thousand dollars when the vessel and cargo were sold. The two cutters were brought alongside, and hoisted up to the davits.
ราคาบอล15 Dr. Connelly left him, and made his tour of inspection among the men. The steamer was still rolling heavily, and the prisoner found himself more comfortable in his berth than on the lower deck. He had not yet learned whether or not he was to remain confined in his present quarters, and when the surgeon returned from his tour, he asked him to inquire of the captain in regard to his limits. He was informed that he could go on deck for an hour in the forenoon, and an hour in the afternoon. It was nearly night and he did not avail himself of this permission. "I have heard of it; and in quite a number of instances, Confederates have been put on board of steamers for the purpose of taking them from their officers," added the captain. "At the same time, I do not see that I can decide this question 90 on any other evidence than that of the commission and other official documents." He could feel the envelope that contained them, and he was satisfied of the triumph which awaited him when the evidence should be required of the 56 two claimants of the name. At the same time he felt that he was moving in a cloud of mystery, which had begun to enfold him in the middle of the preceding night. "I will go below and see what can be done with them. I desire to make them as comfortable as possible, though I do not believe they will be satisfied with any location to which I may assign them."