UFASTEP123 "That is true; and now I am going to appoint you acting third lieutenant. You will call the watch aft." "I may be mistaken, Captain Passford, but I think that steamer is the Bellevite," added Mr. Flint. "One thing more, Captain Passford," continued the flag-officer; "the ship's steward of the Mercidita has been very sick for three weeks, and has applied for a sick-leave. I shall be obliged to transfer Mr. Nawood of the Bronx to his place." There were nine men left in the standing room, including the gentleman in black; they were coarse and rough-looking persons, and not one of them appeared to be the social peer of him who had condemned the firing upon the boat. The skipper remained at the tiller of the boat, and he looked as though he might have negro blood in his veins, though he was not black, and probably was an octoroon. He said nothing and did nothing, and had not used a musket when the others fired. He 216 behaved as though he intended to be entirely neutral. A few drops of negro blood in his veins was enough to condemn him to inferiority with the rude fellows on board of the sloop, though his complexion was lighter than that of any of his companions.
za888 The fort had become harmless so far as the use of its guns was concerned; but the channel of the Grand Pass was hardly a quarter of a mile in width, and even twenty soldiers with muskets could pick off the men on the deck of the Bronx. Christy's orders required him to capture the steamer that was fitting out in the bay, and he intended to do it. The order to weigh the anchor and cast off the spring was given, and the commander sent for the chief engineer. "As you please," replied the surgeon, as the second lieutenant returned attended by two stout seamen. CHAPTER XVIII A BATTLE ON A SMALL SCALE za888 "Hold water!" added the lieutenant. "Stern all!" 237 The young commander did not feel entirely sure that his ruling was correct, for a naval officer must be learned in a great variety of subjects which he had not had time to study; but he was willing to take the responsibility in the present instance. Corny was two years older than Christy; but the latter looked even more mature than the former. The resemblance between them had hardly been noticed by the two families, though Christy had spent several months at different times at the plantation of his uncle. But the resemblance was noted and often spoken of by persons outside of the families, the members of which, being in the habit of seeing them often together, did not notice the similarity of features and expression. Both of them resembled their fathers, who were often mistaken the one for the other in their early years. UFABET888888 "Indeed!" exclaimed Christy, not a little startled at the information thus communicated, for it was plain enough that the intruder meant mischief in spite of his good manners. "I was under the impression that you had taken up your abode on board of the flag-ship with others who were captured in the Magnolia." "Uncle Job," said Mike, placing his hand on the shoulder of the sleeper on the side of the bed nearest to him. "The boats are in good condition, sir, and they will be ready in five minutes," replied Mr. Flint, who had come on deck at the call for all hands, and had hardly learned the results of the recent boat expedition. "Just so; and I dare say he is asleep in his stateroom at this moment." "Station a strong lookout, Mr. Flint, and send a man aloft on the foremast and another on the mainmast," continued Christy when the other orders had been obeyed. "You do not use your left hand, captain; I hope you were not wounded in the affair this morning off St. Andrew's Bay." "But it appears that you promptly accepted your commander in the person of my cousin," said Christy, laughing in spite of the gravity of the situation. UFA WALLET 999 "I hear the voices again," he reported to the lieutenant in the stern sheets, in a voice just loud enough to reach him; "they are more to the southward." At the end of a couple of hours, the flames arose from the two bay steamers which had been alongside the Sphinx, for the second lieutenant 357 had been ordered to burn them. The smoke was pouring out of the two smoke-stacks of the steamer. Several boats filled with men pulled to the shore, landing the crews of the three vessels. In less than another hour the Sphinx was under way, and soon came alongside the Bronx. "That is very odd," mused the officer, wondering whether this sudden disappearance had anything to do with the principal event of the preceding night. Christy was still on the bridge, and he watched with intense interest the effect of the shot. In a moment he saw the carriage of the only gun that seemed to be mounted on the barbette flying in pieces in every direction. He directed the gunner to use a shell next time; but the soldiers had hastened away from the place, bearing with them two of their companions, doubtless wounded by the splinters. At the end of a couple of hours, the flames arose from the two bay steamers which had been alongside the Sphinx, for the second lieutenant 357 had been ordered to burn them. The smoke was pouring out of the two smoke-stacks of the steamer. Several boats filled with men pulled to the shore, landing the crews of the three vessels. In less than another hour the Sphinx was under way, and soon came alongside the Bronx.
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za888 "What am I to do, Mr. Galvinne?" asked Corny. He rang the bell, and the sound from it reverberated through the entire mansion. It was some time before a servant came to open the door; but the man who let him in was astonished to see him partially dressed, and wondered if he had not been walking in his sleep. In the lower hall, he was satisfied that the whole house was astir, for the gong which had sounded was the "emergency 21 bell," used only when the ordinary one at the front door was not likely to be heard. "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." "What are you waiting for, Mr. Flint?" asked Christy in a whisper, as he joined the second lieutenant. "We were all disturbed last night, and I did not wake till the cook knocked at my door. She told me she could not find Walsh, and breakfast had been ready half an hour. That is the reason why everything is late this morning," Mrs. Passford explained. "I propose to appoint him executive officer of the Bronx." "I have not seen my uncle Homer for several months; but I had not the remotest idea that you had an uncle Homer," replied Christy, laughing heartily, for the situation seemed so amusing to him that the serious part of his cousin's obvious plan had so far hardly dawned upon him. "I should like to inquire of you, as one good turn deserves another, in regard to the health of your father and mother and Gerty." Christy deposited his valise in a secure place near the door leading into the steerage. All hands were on deck attending to the transfer of seamen, even to the stewards. The way was clear, and the late prisoner promptly decided what to do. He thought the captain's cabin was the proper place for him, and he went there. "Byron!" called a boatswain's mate from the forecastle. Though the lieutenant of the Bronx was not a physician, he was not altogether a pretender, for in the capacity of mate and temporary commander, he had done duty in the healing art in the absence of a more skilful person. UFABETS188 "So am I, captain," added the lieutenant, laughing outright at the perplexity in which both of them were involved. "I have told you the simple truth in regard to my movements." "Do you expect me to obey your orders?" demanded the executive officer in a sneering tone. "We have a nest of them in the cabin—the captain and two officers. What is to be done? We cannot allow the Bronx to be captured by any such trick as this, with forty-five loyal seamen on board of her, to say nothing of myself as a loyal officer." The third lieutenant sprang forward to obey the order, and Christy followed him at a more moderate pace, consistent with his dignity as the officer highest in rank on board. It was not so much a question of dignity, however, with him as it was the intention to preserve his self-possession. A light had been reported on the starboard bow; but Christy had no more means of knowing what it meant than any other person on deck. It suggested a blockade runner, a battery, or a house near the shore where he did not expect to find one. When Christy awoke it was dark, or at least dusky, as far as he could judge in his concealment. He heard the rattle of dishes, knives and forks in the cabin, and he understood that the captain was taking his dinner. A conversation was in progress, and Christy concluded from the 159 voices he heard that Corny had invited his first lieutenant to dine with him. "I beg your pardon, sir; my name is not Walsh," replied the sailor, with all the deference the occasion required. CHAPTER XXI A NON-COMBATANT ON BOARD THE BRONX "I thought you were somewhat changed in your looks when I saw you come on board of the Bronx, and then I felt that the greeting you gave me was rather stiff for an old comrade who had 137 passed some time with you in a Confederate prison," added Mr. Flint. "I think the Russian said so." UFA F1 "Mr. Flint, drop a drift lead, and station a hand to observe it," said Christy, hailing the first lieutenant. "There is not much planning to be done; all we have to do is to run into Pensacola when we are ready to do so," replied the naval officer. za888 Captain Battleton returned the pressure as heartily as it had been given, and departed from the gunboat. The commander gave the order to the first lieutenant to get under way; and the fasts were cast off from the flag-ship. The Bronx backed away from her, came about, and was ready to proceed on her voyage to the destination as yet unknown on board of her. Camden was called aft and formally appointed second lieutenant, but Ralph was in the watch below, and was in his hammock. The commander retired to his stateroom, and, letting his report wait till another day, he was soon sound asleep. The weather continued favorable till the end of the cruise, and then on the eighth day the Vernon arrived near her destination off Pensacola Bay. Thus far no attempt had been made to capture the steamer, and the plot was as dark as it had been in the beginning. Christy thought that Corny was becoming somewhat nervous when the vessels of the squadron were made out in the distance.
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za888 "Vincent, you will remain in charge of the boat and the men," said the third lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster. "I will explore the island with Mike. I have the fireworks with me, and you will keep a sharp lookout in the direction of the fort. If you see a light close to the water, make for it as fast as you can. Do you understand me?" "I heard men's voices off to the eastward," said this man, when he had mounted the bridge, and touched his hat to the officers there; and he spoke in a whisper, in conformity with the orders given. "I don't like the responsibility, in the first place, and the inactivity, in the second. When I am forty or fifty years old, I shall like a command better. Others seem to look upon me now as a boy, capable of any sort of quixotism, however prudent I may be, and point at me as one who has been 367 made a commander of a steamer by influence at court. There is a vacancy at the present time on board of the Bellevite, for the second lieutenant will be compelled to resign on account of his health." "What are those men doing aft, Mr. Byron?" demanded the first lieutenant, with some excitement in his manner. "They were very nearly on the quarter-deck, and they seemed to be very reluctant to go forward." "You do not wish to make any explanation of the remarkable situation in which you find yourself placed at the present moment?" 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. "But I wished to see you in regard to the prisoners," interposed Mr. Flint. "We have four of them here made fast to the rail, and Galvinne complains of his treatment; he says he is cold." "We must be about forty miles off the station of the blockaders before the entrance to Mobile Bay," said Christy, after he had thought the matter over for a moment. This matter was fully discussed during the next two months; and at the end of that time the young lieutenant was again in condition for duty. Both Mr. Camden and Mr. Pennant obtained the appointment of ensign on the strength of his reports. Christy was as earnest as ever in his desire to Stand by the union; he was ordered to the Bellevite as second lieutenant, and, after three months' absence, went to the Gulf again, where we shall find him once more, both on sea and shore, Fighting for the Right. "Probably the odd time means something." "Were you in charge of the sloop, uncle Homer?" UFA1999S "She is off the shore not far from here. Now you will answer my questions. There is a fort here?" "Don't care for de fight, sar; Job isn't 'feered o' noffin'." "Who were the men with muskets on board of the sloop?" za888 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. "I must object to your wearing the shoulder straps of a lieutenant on board of the Vernon," added Captain Battleton. "Do so," replied Christy. "Mr. Camden, pass the word for Dr. Connelly." "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." UFABET 99999 Standing on the bridge with the executive officer, Christy took his leave mentally of the flag-ship, and the few other vessels that were on the 254 station; for most of them were on duty in various expeditions engaged in the destruction of salt works. A boat expedition had just captured Appalachicola, with all the vessels loading with cotton in the bay. The young commander congratulated himself that he had a fast steamer, for that caused him to be employed in more active duty than the work of destruction on shore. "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. illustration of quoted scene "Do you remember the names of the officers who served with you in the Vixen?" asked the captain. Colonel Passford was naturally very anxious to ascertain what had been done, and what was to be done, by the Bronx; but the steward was too discreet to answer any of his questions, and he was not aware that his son Corny was a prisoner on board as well as himself. "I am a sort of peace officer," added Dr. Connelly, when the captain glanced at him, "and I will express no opinion as to the status of the officer, though it appears to be as you describe it."
za888 "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." He put the formidable weapon back into the 291 drawer from which he had taken it; but the lesson of the evening had made a strong impression on his mind. Though he had permitted Captain Flanger to believe that he was not at all disturbed by his presence in his cabin, and had kept up the humor with which the intruder had introduced himself, yet he had felt a sense of humiliation through the whole of the scene. It was a new thing to be confronted by an enemy in his own cabin; and the privateersman, armed with two heavy revolvers, had all the advantage, while neither he nor the steward had a weapon of any kind. "No use, Massa Ossifer; dis nigger don't hab teef enough to do dat." "The farce came to an end when you menaced me with death if I declined to sign the order you dictated, and the steward played the first scene in the tragedy. I am sure it was a farce up to that time," replied Christy. "Mr. Flint, have the prisoner put in irons, and remove him to the quarters of the men forward. Give him a berthsack and a blanket, and place a hand to stand guard over him." "This will never do, Passford," said the tyrannical officer. "I should think they would be safe with a guard," added Ralph. Ensign Flint was appointed to the command of the Bronx by the flag-officer, who had called upon Captain Passford in his stateroom. Christy had not failed to commend his executive officer in the highest terms. The commodore suggested that Christy could not be very kindly disposed towards Captain Battleton of the Vernon, on account of his decision against him in the matter of his identity. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted a man on the forecastle of the sloop. "But it appears that you promptly accepted your commander in the person of my cousin," said Christy, laughing in spite of the gravity of the situation. UFABET 99999 "That is not my name, sir; and I refer you to the ship's papers to prove it. I am not the man to be ashamed of my name, which is not Welch or Walsh, sir, if you will excuse me for saying so." "You stole it, cousin, and you must give it back to me," added Christy, very decidedly. "You know that I am. Wasn't the commission decided to be mine?" He had seen the commission which Corny presented to the captain of the Vernon, and recognized it as his own. In spite of the statements his cousin had made, Christy saw that the handwriting of the report he submitted as a copy of the genuine document was in Corny's usual handwriting. 99 Where had he obtained the commission, and where the original report? These were not hard questions, now that the preliminaries of the plot had been fully developed. 89 "I do not see how you can escape that conclusion," replied the first lieutenant. "Thank you; I will have one of those lamb's tongues," replied Christy. 223 "You did your duty, and it was quite right for you to bring him on board. He is as devoted to the Confederate cause as my father is to the union. But go below, and have your wound dressed, Mr. Pennant." "Can you form any idea where we are, Captain Passford?" asked the lieutenant. UFABET356 ทางเขา "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." "Don't blame him, Captain Passford, for it was not his fault that he did not announce my presence to you. He wished to do so, but I assured him I was not disposed to disturb you, for you must be occupied with your own affairs, and I persuaded him not to go for you," added the person with perfect self-possession. "When I called upon you in your stateroom this morning, you told me that"— "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." za888 "Only twenty, sar; all gone ober to New Orleans, sar." 366 He was too feeble from the effects of his wounds, for that in the thigh had proved to be more severe than the surgeons had indicated, to tell the exciting story of the escapade of Corny Passford; but when he did relate it, three weeks later, it thrilled the listeners for three whole evenings. "What is that for?"
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UFAMONSTER "There are several vessels in Appalachicola Bay, and I thought of attending to them; but I think we have too much on our hands now, and I shall sail at once for the station. You will take charge of the Floridian, Mr. Flint, with such crew as you need," said Christy. "Do you realize your present situation, Mr. Passford?" asked the captain, apparently disappointed at the unwillingness of the young man to attempt an explanation. Christy had hardly finished his instructions to the steward before he heard footsteps in the cabin. Dave looked into the apartment and discovered Mr. Flint, who went into the stateroom at once.
PSC265AUTO "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. "I don't think he has." He had a wife, a daughter, and a son, and his family were as patriotic as he was himself. At sixteen Christy, the son, had gone into the navy. He had learned to be a sailor and an engineer in his repeated cruises in the Bellevite, his father's large steam yacht, now a man-of-war in the navy. In two years the young man had worked his way up 71 to the rank of lieutenant. He was very large for his age, and his nautical and mechanical education had prepared him for service to a degree which made him almost a prodigy, though his courage and skill had been fully equalled, if not surpassed, by other naval officers not older than himself. 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.
UFABET869 The steward lost no time in acting his part, the first step of which was to jam a handkerchief into the half-open mouth of Corny Passford; but he had been counselled to use no more force than was necessary to subdue him. Dave then turned 164 him over on his back in spite of his aimless struggles, for, as he was roused from his sound slumber, he was too much bewildered to accomplish anything like an effective resistance. The strap which Christy had provided for the purpose was used in fastening his hands behind him, and so far as Corny was concerned, the battle was fought and the victory won. "We have damaged the enemy enough to make it pay, and the steamer and her cargo will put at least seventy-five thousand dollars into the pockets of our side in the conflict." 179 "I will," replied the prisoner. "We had the Magnolia over here then, and I used to go out fishing in her about every night," chuckled Mike. "Sometimes I did not catch any fish, and sometimes I caught five hundred boxes of Havana cigars. I often caught other kinds of fish."
UFABET AI It was plain enough to all the officers and men that the commander knew what to do in the emergency, and every one was energetic in the 352 discharge of his duty. Mr. Ambleton was fully alive to the peril of the moment, and he was careful to make his aim sure with the great gun. It had been loaded before with a solid shot, and presently the steamer was shaken to her keel by the concussion of its discharge. "The only objection I have to this as prison quarters is that Sayles and Nichols will be too 183 near them; but I shall keep a sentry over them all the time," said Christy. "Sign it, or you are a dead man!" exclaimed Flanger fiercely. "I have, captain; and it is in my own handwriting," replied the officer addressed.