ฝาก 15 รบ 100 วอ เลท ลาสด 2565 Dave was standing by the door when he entered his cabin. Seated at the table was a man of stalwart frame, who was helping himself to the viands prepared for the commander, and making himself entirely at home. "I can just see the fort and the big house. It is not so very dark to-night," answered the Russian. The gunner was again fortunate in his aim, and it was seen that the solid shot cleaned off the carriage upon which the soldiers were at work. With the aid of the glass it was found that two of the men had been killed or wounded. The work on that gun was suspended, but the officer could be seen in the act of directing his force to another of the barbette pieces. 55 "The brilliant officer who bears this name is too well known to hide his light under a bushel. I have not the honor to be personally acquainted with him, and therefore I am unable to decide which of the gentlemen who report to me under that name is the real one."
wmbet444ทางเขา wmbet444ทางเขา 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. 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. He soon returned with a huge slice of ham and 157 some cold biscuits. The hungry fugitive, who had not left his appetite at home, immediately attacked the provision as though it had been an enemy of the union, and stood by it till he had devoured the whole of it; and it proved to be just a pattern for his empty stomach, and he declined Dave's offer to bring him another. 219 The moment he put his feet upon the deck, the commander stepped back, with a look of profound astonishment, if not of dismay, on his face, as he glanced at the important prisoner of the party. At first he seemed to be unable to believe the evidence of his senses, and gazed with intense earnestness at the gentleman. Christy listened with interest to the conversation in the captain's cabin, though so far it had afforded him no information in regard to the present situation, and it was hardly likely to do so, for he had already been told by Mr. Flint what the next movement of the Bronx was to be. She had already been ordered to proceed to the eastward, and her sealed instructions would reveal the enterprise in which she was to engage. "Laborers, niggers," replied the Russian. "Then my uncle has vessels in that bay which are to run out?" inquired Christy, deeply interested in the revelations of the skipper. pg slotzeed Dressing himself hastily, Christy hastened on deck, and to the bridge, where he found Mr. Flint, who informed him that the Bronx was off the South Pass of the Mississippi. The fleet of the flag-officer of the Western Gulf squadron had 306 gone up the river, with the exception of a single vessel, which had not been able to get over the bar. There were a few sail in sight. "I reported to the department that I had only a single vacant stateroom in the ward room of the Vernon, and I was ordered to receive Lieutenant Christopher Passford as a passenger, as I could not take another officer," said the captain. "It is not a serious question compared with others at issue, but the occupation of the single room, now in possession of the gentleman who came on board last evening, depends upon the result of our present inquiry." "Did he bring you an order to this effect?" asked Christy more seriously. "My cousin gave his name and rank correctly." 260 I have already learned that you have an excellent cook on board. I should judge from these potatoes that he was brought up in New Orleans." "How's de sick man, Massa Gumboat?" asked the old negro, chuckling as though he appreciated the stroke of strategy made by his companion. "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. "Do you think you should have let these conspirators 171 run into Pensacola Bay without meddling with the matter?" asked Christy. "Perhaps you builded better than you knew; but if you had not escaped from the Vernon, and managed the whole affair, it would have been a success," added Mr. Flint. 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. It was plain enough to Christy that the remarkable attempt of one or the other of the officers on board as passengers to personate the other had been explained to those on the quarter-deck, for he observed that they all regarded him with curiosity, and were interested in the matter. As the surgeon passed near him he spoke to him. As the names were called the men passed over to the starboard side, with their bags in their hands, for there was evidently to be no delay in making the transfer. But it was a full hour before Captain Battleton and Corny returned from the flag-ship. The prisoner on the forecastle thought his cousin looked very complacent, and his return indicated that his plot had not miscarried, and that the flag-officer had not challenged the identity of the future commander of the Bronx. "It is all of two months since I had any news in regard to him. He is still a soldier and has not yet been promoted. His company is still at Fort Gaines; but he has been sent away once or twice on detached duty. He is not given to writing many letters; but the last time I was in Mobile I was told that he had again been sent off on some sort of secret service with a naval officer by the name of Galvinne. I do not know whether the report was true or not." slotxoth pg "Do you think if I should present myself on deck at this moment, wearing the frock and shirt of a common seaman, the men would identify me alongside Corny, who wears the uniform of an officer?" "You did not always eat the fish you caught," suggested Christy. "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. "Who's there?" he repeated in a louder tone. "Don't do it, Dave, for I hope to save the vessel to the union, and you can render me the most important service in this matter," added Christy. "There is some sort of commotion among the men on the top-gallant forecastle," said Mr. Pennant, while Christy was still studying the situation, and one of the men was seen in the act of hurrying aft. "Don't you know me, Uncle Job?"
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wmbet444ทางเขา "Friends," replied the lieutenant. "Sealed orders?" "Not exactly; but she is well filled with his people," replied Mr. Pennant, laughing. "I ought to be, for I am a whiter man than Captain Flanger." Christy did not believe that the second lieutenant would turn in at the time indicated, though he might make a pretence of doing so, and shut himself up in his stateroom. Mr. Galvinne proceeded to say that he should have Rockton and Warton ready to make Mr. Flint a prisoner in case he became too inquisitive. Nichols and Sayles would 160 be available near the quarter-deck in case any demonstration was made by any portion of the crew. "I shall not," replied Corny, with quite as much firmness. "I cannot explain it—how can I?" replied Christy. "Whoever took out my papers and put the blanks in their place, did not make me his confidant in the operation." "Your name is not Walsh!" exclaimed Christy with a frown. 230 "All ready, sir; and the signal was a sky-rocket, which the pilot could see over the fog." "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." The hands of the impostor were now free, and he placed himself in a defensive attitude; but Ralph Pennant, who was rather above the average stature, threw his arms around him, and he was 185 pinned as tightly as though he had been put into a strait jacket. Corny was probably stiff in his arms from their confinement, and he was unable to make a very spirited defence. While the seaman held him, Christy took the envelope from his breast pocket, and transferred it to his own. But there was considerable noise made in the brief scuffle, which waked some of the sleepers. From one of the staterooms an officer rushed out, and demanded the cause of the disturbance. The person proved to be the surgeon. เกมเตมวอเลท "And the second lieutenant?" "I shall not," replied Corny, with quite as much firmness. "I acknowledge that I was altogether too brusque with you, Mr. Passford, and I beg your pardon for my rudeness," said Mr. Galvinne. "Thank you, Dave." "No, sir; it is not. I had the misfortune to leave it on the table at Bonnydale, and Walsh, the man-servant, supposing it to be of no value, threw it into the fire," replied Corny promptly. When he had finished his morning meal, he proceeded to study his chart again. He had never been to the westward of the mouths of the Mississippi; but he had a chart of the entrance to Barataria Bay. He examined it with the greatest care, and made himself familiar with the bearings and distances. In about an hour after he left the deck, a messenger came to the door of the cabin to inform him that the South West Pass was in sight, bearing due north. "By the way, Christy, have you heard anything from him or his family lately?" asked Mrs. Passford. "I am willing to believe that he is doing his duty to his country, and his grand mistake is in 108 believing that the fraction of it in rebellion is his country." After half an hour of questioning, Corny was sent to the ward room, and Christy was called to 78 the captain's cabin. About the same questions were put to him as to his cousin; but both of them were prompt in their answers. In the last two years, Corny had been more at Bonnydale than Christy, and he was quite as much at home there, so that there was no reason why he should not be able to describe the mansion and its surroundings as accurately as the genuine Lieutenant Passford. 197 "If they are worthy, I shall certainly do the best I can for them," added Christy, gaping. "We are all private citizens," added the sloop's spokesman. vip 147 "Dave," called the captain. "Where were you yesterday, Corny?" asked Christy, suddenly suppressing his mirth. 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. 265 "Quite right, captain!" exclaimed the visitor. "I have an object in view, and both my inclination and my duty are urging me to carry it out. How your boat happened to capture the Magnolia is beyond my comprehension up to the present moment, though I think the principal reason was the lack of a sufficiently osseous vertebra on the part of your worthy uncle, Colonel Passford. Then the officer in charge of the cutter did not do what I expected him to do. Instead of falling back when he and one of his crew were wounded, as he ought to have done, and using the heavy revolvers with which his men were armed, he did not delay a moment, but smashed into the sloop, and jerked his men on board of her, cutlass in one hand and revolver in the other; and that brought me to the end of my rope. I could not do anything more." "I have one in my stateroom; but it is altogether too small for you," replied the commander, glancing in the gloom of the night at the stalwart form of the third lieutenant, lacking not more than an inch of six feet, and his weight could not have been less than one hundred and eighty. "We will see what can be done in the morning." wmbet444ทางเขา "I am not going to banter with you, Passford. Where are your orders?" demanded the first lieutenant in a tyrannical manner. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted Christy, with almost frantic earnestness. Ralph Pennant and three seamen conducted the other prisoners to their quarters. They were supplied with blankets, in which those from the deck wrapped themselves up. Corny and Galvin began 189 to compare notes at once; but Boxie kept his ears open as he marched up and down within two feet of his charge. "It is possible that the Russian knows something about this region," suggested Mr. Flint. "How do you feel?" asked the doctor.
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wmbet444ทางเขา "Then my uncle has vessels in that bay which are to run out?" inquired Christy, deeply interested in the revelations of the skipper. Another solid shot sped on its way, and Mr. Ambleton, the gunner, fully justified the reputation he had earned, though the missile only ploughed up the earth in front of the party on the fort. But then Lieutenant Fourchon proved that he was a wise and a prudent man, as well as a brave one, for he retreated from the exposed position with his men. It was almost sure death for them to remain there, for they could not help seeing the cloud of smoke that rose from the funnel of the Bronx, indicating her intention to go up the Pass. "How many guns has it? I mean big guns, Uncle Job?" "I went to sea for eleven years, and Captain Flanger, father and son, put my wages in their pockets." "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. 310 "Not much, captain, for in our business we did not have anything to do with forts and such things," chuckled Mike. "The old quarters of the mechanics and laborers used to be on the Gulf shore, but they moved them up north of the fort, on the Grand Pass. About a mile east of the fort there is a big plantation." "Not a bad wound at all, Captain Passford," said Mr. Pennant. "The doctor says I am still fit for duty." "I don't quite understand this matter," said the surgeon. "What are you doing, Mr. Passford?" "How are you going to get to the entrance of the bay in a fog?" inquired Corny. "I had nearly forgotten the most important evidence that can be presented in this matter," said the captain with a smile. "I dare say that each of the gentlemen will produce his commission, his orders, and his appointment to the command of the Bronx; and I don't know how we can decide between the papers. It looks as though the Bronx was likely to have two commanders." สลอต19รบ100 318 "I think I know one of the old men," added the Russian as he returned from the door, "Shall I wake him up?" "Then we had better obey the sealed orders of the flag-officer; we will come about, and head her for St. Andrew's. Fortunately I have been there myself in the Bellevite, and I have been up the harbor and bay in boats, for the yacht, as she was at the time, drew too much water to go into the bay, for it is shoal inside. Come about, Mr. Flint, and make the course due east." "But don't you believe it will be better to appeal to the flag-officer?" asked the second lieutenant. "You will let Mr. Pennant command this expedition, Mr. Flint," said Christy. "He will take the first cutter, with ten men, including Quartermaster Vincent and Bornhoff." wmbet444ทางเขา Possibly the man under examination was not wholly responsible for his distortion of the name of Captain Passford's estate, as Christy was beginning to reap the penalty of his imprudence the night before, in exposing himself barefooted and half-clothed to the chill midnight air, and was developing a cold in the head that already affected his enunciation. "I hope so," replied Christy, who did not like the idea of fighting or trying to run away from a craft three times as strong as the Bronx. "Have the ensign set at the peak, Mr. Flint." And a quartermaster was sent aft to attend to this duty. Flanger in the Captain's Cabin.—Page 281. "De steamer! wot's de steamer? Is't a Yankee gumboat?" demanded Uncle Job, opening his eyes with wonder and astonishment. "But I do not wish to subject you to any unnecessary restraint, and I shall be willing to accept your parole that you will engage in no hostile movement on board of the Vernon," continued the captain, in milder tones. "In that case she is too big for us to fight her, and too fast for us to run away from her; and Captain Flanger may be a free man in a few hours." "We are cousins." "I have no idea of its strength; but I do not care to have the Bronx knocked to pieces by the big guns of a fort. The bar of Barataria and the shoal water of the entrance to the bay extend out about two miles into the Gulf. At low water, two miles from the fort, we should bury our keel in the mud. It looks just now as though we should have to put the Bronx under the guns of the fort, or simply blockade the entrance to the bay. That makes it look like a quiet time in these waters." ps slot CHAPTER XXII THE STRANGER IN THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN "Enough to take her to Liverpool," replied the first lieutenant. "I have no bag, sir," replied Christy in submissive tones. "Then you were not at Bonnydale?" demanded Christy sharply. "Wot you gwine to do ober dar, massa?" 243 "They have no doubt whatever that the Rebellion will be crushed out. The last time we met you did not believe that a blockade could be established; but it has been done, and the government is strengthening it every day. It is effective, too; and I have been concerned in the capture of nearly a dozen vessels that were trying to break through." "If he had done so, I should not have complained. I have been a prisoner of war, and I had to take my chances. We may be in action for aught I know in a few hours, and I do not mean to have half a dozen rebels at my heels to trip me up if I can help it. The circumstances are entirely different from those on board of the Vernon." "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." 255 "Because the Bronx is a fast vessel compared with most of the steamers of the navy, hardly any of which are good for more than twelve knots an hour, while this ship will make sixteen when she is driven, and fourteen under ordinary circumstances when we are not trying to save coal. Of course I have no idea what duty we are to perform, and I am not anxious to know till the time comes, though midnight is a rather odd time to open the envelope." The men at work in the waist finished their task as Christy was returning from his promenade, with the intention of presenting himself to the commander. Among those who saluted him in proper form was Walsh. He seemed to be a little diffident about encountering the son of his late employer, and turned his face away as he touched his cap. But the officer had fully identified him, and spoke to him, calling him by name. The sailor made no reply; but Christy had placed himself directly before him, and he could not escape without a breach of discipline.
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wmbet444ทางเขา "Nothing is the matter, mother," called Christy. "I am all right." "You seem to have a man ready for every vacant position. Who is he?" asked the commodore with a pleasant smile. 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. "You are playing a farce now, cousin; but I cannot stay to fool with you. Take him out of the berth, Dave." Then he listened for any sounds that might come to him from the direction of the shore; but 194 all was as still as the tomb itself. The screw stopped in obedience to the order of the executive officer, who went down to the deck to supervise the anchoring of the steamer, as he had no inferior officer to attend to this duty. "You do not use your left hand, captain; I hope you were not wounded in the affair this morning off St. Andrew's Bay." Christy had deposited his valise in a place where it was not likely to be seen unless a search was made for it. There was no one in the ward room to obstruct his advance to the captain's cabin. He had served as acting-commander of the vessel in a voyage from New York to the Gulf, and been the executive officer on board for a short term, and he was perfectly at home in every part of her. In the conspiracy on his last voyage in the Bronx, Pink Mulgrum had concealed himself under the berth in the captain's stateroom, where Dave, the cabin steward, had discovered him, though he might have remained there a month if his hiding-place had not been suspected. "Is that so? Then we mustn't talk here," added Warton, apparently somewhat alarmed. "Who told you so?" 120 The store-ship had been made fast to the flag-ship, and at this moment came a call for all hands to go aft. Christy could not endure the suspense any longer, and taking his valise in his hand he went on deck, just as the Bronx came alongside. Mr. Flint was on duty with a couple of young officers, and gave the orders to make her fast to the Vernon. Captain Battleton was going up the side of the flag-ship, followed by Corny. ps slot The petty officer did not hear his remarks, for he had been called by the second lieutenant in the waist, and, with a touch of his cap, hastened away. The lieutenant opened his eyes very wide, as he looked down at the seams in the deck, and wondered whether he were asleep or awake. He had been quite sick, and he had come on board the 46 night before! It was very strange that he was not at all aware of either of these facts. He felt reasonably confident that he had slept in his own chamber at Bonnydale the night before, and at that time he was certainly in a very robust state of health, however it might be at the present moment. Even now, he could not complain of anything more severe than an embryo cold in the head, which the medicine his mother had given him would probably reduce to a state of subjection in a day or two. 179 "I will," replied the prisoner. "He remembers me," said Mike turning to the lieutenant. "We have struck the right man. But he don't mean that I am any wickeder than the rest of the world. I used to be called here by my last name, and Job invented the pun he has just used." "The Floridian was coming out this morning in the fog, if Captain Flanger made the signal for her to do so. Then the captain was to go on board of her, and I was to sail the rest of the party to Appalachicola," replied Mike, still chuckling with delight at his ability to give the commander such important information. The skipper took his cap off, and bowed very low to Christy when he realized that he was talking to the principal personage on board of the gunboat. He was well dressed for one in his position, and displayed no little dignity and self-possession. Perhaps, if he had not been tainted with a few drops of black blood in his veins, he might have been a person of some consequence in the Confederate service. "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." "He is the coachman. I am not sorry that Walsh has gone, for he has saved me the trouble of discharging him. Wilder, who had been with us so many years, took it into his head to enlist in the army, and I was not willing to persuade him to shirk his duty. Walsh has not been here quite two weeks. He said he was born in the West Indies; but he was always prying into matters that did not concern him, and I have several times found him standing at the door when we were talking about family matters. I reproved him for it; but it did no good. Your father 30 intended to discharge him as soon as he returned from Washington." hi88 club 243 "They have no doubt whatever that the Rebellion will be crushed out. The last time we met you did not believe that a blockade could be established; but it has been done, and the government is strengthening it every day. It is effective, too; and I have been concerned in the capture of nearly a dozen vessels that were trying to break through." "Who's there?" he repeated in a louder tone. CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER "It was wise on the part of the Yankee commodore to make his orders secret; for information might have been sent by telegraph or otherwise to St. Andrew's, which would have enabled our people to get the steamer mentioned out of the way, or to prepare a successful resistance to the gunboat sent to capture it," Mr. Galvinne explained in the tone of one who enlightens an ignorant person. "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." "I will go with you, Uncle Job," added Mr. Pennant quietly. wmbet444ทางเขา "I have one in my stateroom; but it is altogether too small for you," replied the commander, glancing in the gloom of the night at the stalwart form of the third lieutenant, lacking not more than an inch of six feet, and his weight could not have been less than one hundred and eighty. "We will see what can be done in the morning." "But Bonnydale is not an incorporated town. In what city or town is your father's place situated?" "A ball went through my arm; but it is all right," replied Christy with a ghastly smile.
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betflix777 wallet 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. The cutter darted ahead; but she had not advanced half the distance before the men on board 211 of the sloop fired a volley with muskets at the approaching boat. Mr. Pennant dropped his left arm very suddenly, and the stroke oarsman went down into the bottom of the boat. "I can do that again, Captain Passford," replied the gunner, who was in charge of the piece. Between the decks of the Vernon, he could do nothing; he could not even see what was going on, though he had no doubt the captain was in the act of reporting to the flag-officer. Probably Corny would go off in the first boat to report for 117 duty, and receive his orders. The seamen who were simply passengers on board of the steamer, were below in considerable numbers, gathering up their bags, and preparing for the transfer to the flag-ship, or to the Bronx, for there were no other vessels near to receive them. In a few minutes he reported that the prisoners were all fast asleep. Boxie had been relieved as guard, and another seaman was marching back and forth by their couches. It was still dark and foggy, and a hail came from the mast-head forward.
w66 slot The Confederate officer was evidently of French descent; at any rate, he was very polite. He expressed his obligations to the supposed physician for the service he had rendered in very earnest terms. Mr. Pennant had been able to see that there were no guns in the casemates of the fort, and this was really all he wanted to know. "Perhaps I ought to say in the beginning that it is not in my own handwriting, for after I had written it, Mr. Jones copied it for me," Corny explained, and, perhaps, thought he might be called upon to give a specimen of his chirography.
wallet devil slot The cutter came up at the gangway of the 218 Bronx, and Christy was standing on the rail, anxious to learn what the boat had accomplished. He had heard the report of the volley fired at the cutter, and had been very solicitous for the safety of her crew. He had weighed anchor as soon as he heard the sounds, and proceeded in the direction from which they came. "I am very much obliged to you, Captain Passford, for this favor; and I know you would not give me the place if you did not think me worthy of it," replied the seaman as he went forward and called the watch to the mainmast.
เกมออนไลน777 "But the conspirators do not intend that any issue shall be raised until the vessel is under the 139 guns of a Confederate fort. Doubtless Mr. Galvinne, whom I look upon as the actual commander of the steamer, for Corny is no sailor, will run into Pensacola Bay under the American flag. Probably he is a pilot in these waters, and knows what signal to make to the Confederate forts." "Now, Mr. Pennant, you may remove your bag to the ward room, and the third stateroom on the starboard side, counting from the forward one, is yours for the present," continued Christy. Mr. Pennant put out the light in his lantern, and the party started to cross the island. CHAPTER XXVI THE MEETING WITH THE BELLEVITE AT NIGHT
เวบ สลอต 555 His son Cornelius followed the lead of his father, and was faithful to the teachings given him in his southern home. He had enlisted as a soldier; but when it was found that he could be more serviceable 72 to the Confederacy in certain irregular enterprizes, he was detached for this service. He had been engaged in an attempt to capture the Bellevite in connection with older and more skilful persons. The plan had failed, Corny had been severely wounded, and while on parole had lived at Bonnydale. From there he had been sent to a military prison, and had been exchanged. From that time, Christy knew nothing about him until he met him on board of the Vernon. "Up oars! Let fall!" said Mr. Pennant. "Stern, all! Give way!" "I think the men are all right, and, so far as I can ascertain, not a man is a rebel," said Ralph in answer to a question of the executive officer.