วธบลอคเวบพนน มอถอ It was a humiliating posture for the actual commander of the vessel, but he promptly got down upon the floor of the stateroom, and crawled under the berth. He placed the trunk and some other articles there so as to form a sort of breast-work, behind which he carefully bestowed himself. It was not an uncomfortable position, for the floor was carpeted and an old satchel filled with his cast-off garments furnished him a pillow sufficiently soft for a person on extraordinary duty. "'Pose I don't answer 'em?" suggested the negro. "Be it so; death before dishonor," replied the commander firmly.
messiwin77 Lieutenant Fourchon pressed the hand of the doctor, and left the casemate with him. "He did not, and perhaps I have made a mistake, though my superior officer told me at the yard that it would be safe for me to obey the verbal order," replied Captain Battleton, looking somewhat troubled. "He fixed himself up to pass for me, and that helped his case very greatly. He put on a uniform like mine, such a one as you have never seen him wear." messiwin77 "Not a word, sir; only said he would be down to his breakfast in a few minutes." "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. "I can easily imagine your astonishment, Mr. Passford, for it seems to me to be a very remarkable state of things," added the captain, as he looked from one to the other of the claimants. "One thing seems to be admitted by both of you, that you are both Passfords, and that you are cousins." 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. "I don't think I care to go to the Gulf again as the commander of a vessel," added Christy, who had not changed his mind on this subject. "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." "In spite of your denial and your motto, I shall have to regard you as a prisoner of war, and treat you as such," said the captain, rising from his chair, the others following his example. 154 "I have no doubt he is concealed on board of the Vernon, with the intention of returning to New York, where he has plenty of influential friends to fight his battle for him. But I must go on deck, or something may go wrong in my absence." 128 In a few minutes, when he had made the cabin tidy for the reception of "Massa Cap'n Passford," he transferred his labors to the stateroom. He worked in the berth and all its surroundings, including the desk, which still contained the real commander's papers, and then gave his attention to the trunk beneath. wwwlucia168 CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER CHAPTER I A MYSTERIOUS VISITATION "I have, captain," replied Christy, bowing respectfully. "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 prisoner was certainly a hideous-looking object, his face daubed with blood, and his nose a mass of tangled flesh; but he was put into the boat in spite of his struggles. Paul Vapoor bade his friend an affectionate adieu, and went over the side. The Bronx started her screw at once. In less than another half hour, Christy heard a knock on the cabin door, which was the signal from the second lieutenant that it was time to begin operations. He crawled to the front of the space beneath the berth at the sound, and at the same moment Dave came in at the door of the stateroom, which had been left open. "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. The Sphinx sailed the next day for New York, and made a tolerably quick passage. Of course Christy was received with open arms by the family at Bonnydale, and with a profusion of blushes by Bertha Pembroke, who happened to be there on a visit. His father and mother looked with no little anxiety at the pale face of their son, though he was still cheerful and happy. He had lost a portion of his flesh, and his uniform hung rather loosely upon him. ufa656เขาเลน 153 "He is what the Yankees call smart, and I know he is all that," added Corny. "What do you suppose has become of him? When Captain Battleton sent for him in order to let the commodore see us both together, he could not be found. As you know, all three vessels were very thoroughly searched without any success." "This is an outrage," said the man on the forecastle, who could not help seeing that the whole party were in a fair way to be annihilated if they made any further resistance. "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." "You believe that your papers were taken from you, and the blanks substituted for them?" "I hope you will not make a donkey of yourself before we have finished this business," added the executive officer for the time being. "Now have you looked at your orders?" 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. "Can you tell me what position Mr. Flint has on board?" "I believe your late passenger in the cabin knows something about Barataria Bay and its surroundings, 304 for I think I heard the Russian say that he had done some smuggling in this quarter," said Mr. Flint. "As you are doubtless aware, by a series of lakes, bayous, and a canal which comes out near Carrollton, just above New Orleans, water communication is open to the Mississippi River for small vessels." "An excellent rule. Is he aware of the fact that there is another Richmond in the field?" "Mr. Flint, I appoint you acting first lieutenant of the Bronx," said Christy, as soon as the affray was over. "You will restore order on board."
messiwin77 335 "But the fort can protect your vessels in the bay," suggested the lieutenant of the Bronx. "Pardon me, Mr. Passford, but were you not sick when you came on board of the Vernon last evening?" asked the commander, with something like a frown upon his brow as the situation became more bewildering. "Good again!" exclaimed the lieutenant. "I think that is about the range of those guns." The Bronx dashed upon her course, and in a moment more she was out of the reach of the balls from the muskets. Half a mile farther up the Pass, the captain ordered Vincent to strike two bells. The Sphinx was in sight, not half a mile distant, with a small steamer on each side of her. Doubtless her captain had full confidence in the ability of the fort to protect his vessel, and he continued his operations as though he was in no possible danger. "At present I cannot; after I have had an opportunity for reflection I may be able to do so," replied Christy, from whom a more decided demonstration than he made was expected. "Who were the men with muskets on board of the sloop?" "What is your opinion, Mr. Salisbury?" asked the captain, when the claimants had retired, careful not to indicate his own conclusion. "All your guns seem to be mounted outside," said the naval officer as he halted on the parade. The Vernon continued on her course, and in another hour the pilot had been discharged. Christy had puzzled his brains over the events of the day and the night before without being able to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. He was extremely anxious to see the officer who had taken his name and assumed his character, as he was to obtain all the information within his reach. His reflections assured him that some one had chosen the rôle of an impostor for the purpose of accomplishing some treasonable object, and he was anxious to fathom the mystery for his country's sake rather than his own. "Quarter less ten!" shouted the leadsman, with even more vigor than before. "Can you get into it?" เวบพนนออนไลนถกกฎหมาย ufabet This completed the preparation for the night. The captain consulted his repeater, and ascertained that it was twenty minutes past twelve. The Bronx was in position to learn the fact if any vessel attempted to run out of St. Andrew's Bay, provided his calculations in regard to the locality of the Bronx were correct. Christy went down to the deck, and walked aft with Mr. Flint. 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. CHAPTER XI LAYING OUT A PLAN OF OPERATIONS "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." "Peach says he has taken his valise with him, which indicates that he has gone for good." 221 "But I cannot dress the wound here, Mr. Pennant," added the surgeon. "It may be delicate; I admit that it is so for you: but as my plans may depend somewhat upon a knowledge of your instructions, I really feel compelled to insist upon this point, Captain Passford," replied the intruder as blandly as ever. "But we are living just now in a state of war, and it is quite impossible to act with as much delicacy us one might desire." "With the evidence before you, I do not see how you could have decided otherwise." Job was familiar with the interior of the fort, and he led the way; but before they had crossed the parade, the soldier who had gone for the doctor came to them, and conducted them to a casemate, where the sick soldier was still suffering terrible pains. ufascr v4 "Mr. Flint has not had his breakfast yet, and he will come below for it very soon," added Dave. "He was just coming down for it when he got the signal to come alongside the flag-ship." "Can you form any idea where we are, Captain Passford?" asked the lieutenant. "It is a bad wound though not a dangerous one," said Dr. Connelly, who had approached the victim of his own conspiracy near enough to obtain a view of the injured nose. "The ball has torn away the middle of the member, and it hangs in pieces from the wound." "What do you mean by that?" 203 The captain went on the bridge; but he could not see the light. He descended to the deck, and then mounted the fore-rigging. The lookout saw him, and said he could not see the light any longer; it had been in sight a couple of minutes, and then had disappeared. It was useless to look for it if gone, and Christy returned to the bridge, where Mr. Pennant was attentively studying the compass. At first, he was disposed to be amused at the answers the quartermaster had given him, for it was evident to him then that he had been mistaken for another person. It looked as though some officer had come on board, and reported under his name, for he had not yet learned anything in regard to the gentleman who had appeared to be quite sick when he reported himself. It had the elements of another mystery in it. But the petty officer could easily have made an honest mistake; and this was the solution he accepted, without bothering his bewildered brain any further about it. "The other men in the sloop, with the exception of the skipper, fired upon my boat, and wounded an officer and a seaman." messiwin77 This responsibility was not of a personal nature. He did not have the feeling that he had been vanquished in the contest before the captain, and the fact that he was a prisoner hardly disturbed him. It was the prospective injury to the cause of his country which occasioned his solicitude. His object was to save the Vernon, the Bronx, or both, from being handed over to the enemy without a struggle to save them, one or both. The dishes rattled for a moment, and then the fugitive heard the step and the voice of Dave in the stateroom. "Where did she come from?" asked the lieutenant, who had more confidence in the honesty than in the intelligence of Job.
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messiwin77 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. "The first cutter of the United States steamer Bronx! Heave to, and give an account of yourselves," hailed the officer in command. "Stand by to lay on your oars!" he added in a lower tone to his crew. "Oars!" "But why are you out doors at this time of night?" Mrs. Passford insisted. "You will catch a cold that will lay you up, if you go out in that condition." "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." "I suppose they have seen that the course of the ship has been changed, and I thought they might have come aft to ask some questions, 166 though the men ought to be better trained than that," added Mr. Galvinne, as he came quite near the companion-way where the second lieutenant was waiting for him, with Christy behind him, and ready to support him. CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE "Thank you, sir; I will take some of it, if you please," replied Christy, as he passed his plate across the table. "Of course, as you have done me the honor to take a seat at my table, I must be acquainted with you." "Mind yore eye, Massa Gumboat!" exclaimed Job, in a low tone, but with great earnestness. "I hope we shall do as well as we did at Cedar Keys," replied the first lieutenant, when he had given the order to come about to the quartermaster. 113 Christy recognized the Bronx if others did not, for none of the officers had been on this station before. He wondered if the present deception was likely to be carried out to the accomplishment of the end the conspirators had in view. He could see nothing to prevent its accomplishment. 75 "Is Bonnydale the name of the town or city in which your father lives?" "I know no name but Bonnydale," replied Corny; and the flush of fever or something else was on his cheeks now. ufa777net "But he did not." "Wounded, you"— "Good again!" exclaimed the lieutenant. "I think that is about the range of those guns." messiwin77 "Do you know where we are bound, Mike?" asked Christy. "Is that so? Then we mustn't talk here," added Warton, apparently somewhat alarmed. "Who told you so?" "Make the course north-west, Mr. Flint," said 350 Christy, following the sailing directions with a proper allowance for the tide. "No more sounding; send the man below. We shall have from three to seven fathoms of water till we have passed the fort." "He is a prisoner on board of the Bronx, with two Confederate naval officers who were his associates in the conspiracy; and we have also two seamen," replied Christy, who proceeded to give the narrative in full of the work done on board of the Bronx on the evening of the day she sailed from the station. winner99 เครดตฟร "But I am sure he has no ill-will against you." 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. Within the limits of these instructions, he was to act on his own judgment. Mike was sent for, and further information in regard to the course was obtained from him. The officer was cautioned to be prudent, and not fall into any traps. If he discovered that there was a steamer in the bay, 314 and that the fort was not heavily armed, he was to burn a red roman candle as a signal to the Bronx, which would proceed to the southward, and then enter the Grand Pass by the deepest water. "In fact, you are more than half right. The sealed orders are not absolutely necessary to me just now, and I shall not insist upon the production of them for the present. Now, if you will seat yourself at the table opposite me, I will dictate an order to you, which you will oblige me by reducing to writing, and then by signing your name to it as commander," continued Flanger, still toying with the heavy revolver. 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. Walsh, the man-servant at Bonnydale, was now a seaman on board of the Vernon, under the real or assumed name of Byron. He denied his identity, as he would naturally do under the circumstances; but Christy had not a doubt that he was the man who had suddenly disappeared after the mysterious visitation of the night before. Doubtless, Corny had been the visitor at the mansion, and had procured the contents of the official envelope on this occasion.
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messiwin77 On his arrival in New York he hastened across the ferry to the navy-yard. As he approached the opposite shore, he discovered a steamer getting under way. He had not seen the vessel on board of which he was ordered to report as a passenger, but when he asked a deck hand what the steamer was, he was informed that it was the Vernon. The ferry-boat had just gone into the slip, and Christy was terribly startled to learn that he was late. He was still two hours ahead of the time indicated in his orders, and the Vernon was actually getting under way. "So far as I have seen, there is not." "I don't see how the commodore could go behind the commission which Corny carries in his pocket, with the orders of the department, any more than Captain Battleton could. I have thought of this, and I am afraid to trust myself to the chance," replied Christy very decidedly. "Besides, I desire to take the conspirators in the very act of running away with the Bronx; then I can make out a good case." "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." "I don't know." "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." "Better; a great deal better," replied the patient. "It may be delicate; I admit that it is so for you: but as my plans may depend somewhat upon a knowledge of your instructions, I really feel compelled to insist upon this point, Captain Passford," replied the intruder as blandly as ever. "But we are living just now in a state of war, and it is quite impossible to act with as much delicacy us one might desire." winner99 เครดตฟร "Where is your bag?" asked Mr. Flint, as Christy, the actual commander of the Bronx, passed him. "What are you doing with a valise?" "I will take care of that part of the matter if you will put me alongside the steamer," answered Christy. "No more talk, if you please, for you are wasting your wind." 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. After he had considered the subject for a couple of hours he went back to one of his first points, relating to the fitness and capacity of Corny to accomplish the task he had undertaken. It was evident enough on the face of it that his cousin, even if he had been a veteran naval officer, could not carry out the plan alone. He must have confederates, in the double sense, on board of the Vernon. In the early stages of the war, men who had served in the navy as officers were coming home from all parts of the world to take part on one side or the other in the struggle. Those even who were disloyal could obtain commissions in the loyal navy if their consciences would let them take the oath of allegiance with a mental reservation. Christy had encountered several of this kind. At the last order the men levelled their oars, feathering the blades, and remained like eight statues in their seats. Vincent listened with all his ears in the dead silence which prevailed. "No matter what you are; I propose to overhaul you and judge for myself what you are," answered the officer in command of the cutter. "Let go your sheet, skipper!" 140 "But you had no witnesses then. You have twenty or thirty of them now. I know you, and so do all the members of the old crew." "Where are you bound, Captain Passford?" asked Flanger, in a careless and indifferent manner, as he looked about the cabin. "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." "Were you ever there, Mike?" "We are all private citizens," added the sloop's spokesman. "Where did you hide, for the vessel has been searched in every part of her for you?" "The coast guard? I don't understand that," replied Christy, puzzled at the expression. ยฟา8899 "That is a perfectly justifiable conclusion; and it rests with you to decide which is the genuine Lieutenant Passford, and which is the impostor," replied Christy frankly. "You will be perfectly justified in calling upon both for all the evidence they are able to present. I suggest that each of them must carry his commission about him, as well as his orders from the department; and it seems to me that these documents will enable you to decide without any delay;" and Christy involuntarily put his hand upon his breast pocket, where he carried these valuable papers. So far, Corny, with the single exception of his failure to give the geography of the estate, stood quite as well as his cousin. Then the first lieutenant questioned them both, as they were seated at the table, in a very general way. In their answers, Corny used the word "raised," while Christy was "brought up." Several phrases in more common use at the South than at the North were noted in his answers, which did not appear in the diction of Christy. "Do it, then," added Christy. "I suppose it is," answered Corny, with increasing confusion. "Don't strike, my men; they have surrendered," continued Mr. Pennant with a gesture to his men. "No, you didn't, Dave; that was Corny," replied Christy. messiwin77 Job was familiar with the interior of the fort, and he led the way; but before they had crossed the parade, the soldier who had gone for the doctor came to them, and conducted them to a casemate, where the sick soldier was still suffering terrible pains.
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ufa789 auto "He is quite safe; he is a prisoner of war below, with a pair of handcuffs on his wrists," replied Christy. "You and he together made the nest for him, and he must sleep in it. I cannot say what the commodore will do with you." "Are we to understand that one of these officers is the double of the other?" asked the first lieutenant, who seemed to be disposed to take in the situation as a pleasantry of the commander. "I have just told you that the first lieutenant is a Confederate officer; and I have not yet learned who is the third lieutenant. Among the crew I 133 know there are at least four men, and there may be twenty of them, who are to take part in this plot. The loyal men will not be likely to interfere with the officers unless they have a leader. The fact that the Bronx is headed into a Confederate port would not create a rebellion on board unless they were informed of the actual situation. By the time the union men found out the plot, it would be too late for them to do anything, for the vessel would be under the guns of the forts." 207 The boat went ahead again, though only at a moderate speed consistent with the least possible noise. The quartermaster in the bow continued to gaze into the fog bank, though by this time there was a little lighting up in the east, indicating that the day was breaking. For half an hour longer the cutter continued on its course. Occasionally Vincent had raised his hand over his head, and then dropped it to his left, indicating to the officer in command that the sounds came from farther to the southward, and the cockswain was directed to change the course.
ทางเขาm8bet CHAPTER XXVI THE MEETING WITH THE BELLEVITE AT NIGHT "I believe you; they be mixed if you be the captain when I done seen him on deck just now." He had hardly finished it before Mr. Flint paid him another visit, and reported everything ready for the recapture of the steamer. "All right; get him up if you can. Is he able to walk?"
wwwriches888 "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." "The plan was not finally successful, more is the pity," added the Southern gentleman. "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." "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." "A drift lead, sir," replied Mr. Flint.