stp4bet net "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." "But he has placed you in a very awkward position, Mr. Passford." "We are all right on the course, Mr. Flint; now make it west," said Christy to the executive officer; and then went to his cabin for his breakfast, directing the officer of the deck to report to him when the steamer was off the South West Pass.
www.betufa "Certainly not; for as soon as it was seen on board of the flag-ship that the commander of the Bronx was disobeying his orders, we should be chased by the two ships on the station and fired upon." www.betufa "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. "What's that, Captain Passford?" demanded Dave, opening his eyes like a pair of saucers. "I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with my third lieutenant's mode of operations," replied Christy, laughing, though his mirth was of the graveyard order. "But Mr. Pennant is a new officer, and that was the first active duty he had been called upon to perform. Very likely he will suit you better next time." "I say I am abused, and dragged from below like a dog." "But he did not." "I have no bag, sir," replied Christy in submissive tones. Early in the evening, the two steamers were standing out into the Gulf headed to the south-east. In the middle of the afternoon of the next day, Mr. Flint reported to the flag-officer off Pensacola Bay. The wounded captain was as comfortable as a young man could be with two bullet-holes in his limbs. It was the first time he had been wounded so as to disable him; but he felt that he had faithfully done his duty to his country, and he was as cheerful as a man in his condition could be. Dr. Connelly reported that he would not be fit for service again for six or eight weeks. bone168 wallet "Find a bag, for we shall throw that valise overboard," added Mr. Flint. "Ensign Philip Bangs." "I can mention just the right person to take Mr. Nawood's place," said Christy eagerly. "Do you remember the names of the officers who served with you in the Vixen?" asked the captain. "We have no countersign to give." "It is the name of my father's place," answered Christy, using the same words that Corny had. "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. "Precisely so; and you will readily see that I am not exactly in a position to act in any other manner, as I cannot go back on deck and deliver them in person, for your officers would be prejudiced against me, and might be disposed to rebel against my authority." 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. x4rich "I am sure he would," protested Paul. "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." The prisoner walked up and down the lower deck, doing his best to conceal the agitation which had taken possession of him. No one took any notice of him, for the seamen had become accustomed to the presence of the captive officer. While he was struggling to contain his emotions, he heard the rattle of the cable again, and saw the chain descending to the locker below. "Very well, Mike; you are a free man on board of this ship." When he rushed back to the cabin, Flanger had got the better of his foe, and had risen to his feet, with his grasp upon the throat of the steward. Then he hurled him from him with a vigorous movement with his left hand, while he raised the right with the evident intention of shooting him. The commander saw the imminent peril of Dave; he took a hasty aim and fired before the intruder had time to do so. He was a good shot with the navy revolver, for he had taken lessons and practised a good deal with the weapon. "That is Uncle Job, Captain Passford," replied the lieutenant. "He has been of very great service to me, and he enables me to make a very full report to you, sir. This is the captain of the gunboat, Uncle Job," he added to the negro. "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." A third shot fell a little nearer the cutter; but it was evident enough that it was out of the reach of the feeble guns of the fort. The firing continued but a few minutes longer, for it was as plain to Lieutenant Fourchon as to Lieutenant 339 Pennant that the shots were harmless to the boat. The commander on shore could see by this time, if he had not before, that a gunboat was in the offing, and that he might soon have a better use for his powder than wasting it upon the boat. "Advance, friends, and give the countersign!" "The boats of the Mercidita and Sagamore have captured the place, and picked up five or six small vessels loaded with cotton, I was informed by the commodore," replied Christy.
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www.betufa This was done under the direction of Mr. Camden. A fresh breeze had sprung up from the north-west, and the Bronx came up to the cable still headed in the direction of her former course. The carpenter reported that the shot had passed out at the side between decks, and that he had plugged the hole. The third lieutenant was busy rigging new wheel ropes, which he said would be 353 ready in half an hour. Mr. Flint, at the order of the captain, had manned the broadside guns, and loaded them with shrapnel, for the most perilous part of the enterprise was yet to come. "But you need not expect any signal for a couple of hours, or even three. If we get into trouble, we shall retreat upon the boat direct; so keep your eyes wide open." "If you stand up and walk like a man, the dog will not be dragged." 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 am not so sure of that." Though the young officer was prudent and discreet, he did not lose his self-possession, and he smiled as though he had been simply the host in the dining-room of the mansion at Bonnydale. There was a certain humor about the intruder which would have pleased him under other circumstances. "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." "Produce it, if you please." "Looking at you more closely, I see that you are not my patient, and you will excuse me for giving you a headache. But you resemble my patient very closely," added the doctor. As he spoke Captain Flanger toyed with the revolver in his right hand as if he intended that the weapon should produce its proper impression on the mind, and especially upon the nerves, of 275 the commander, who had continued to walk up and down in front of the table at which his dangerous associate was seated, occasionally pausing when a point was made on either side. CHAPTER XVIII A BATTLE ON A SMALL SCALE "You think that method would suit you better than the usual one of delivering orders verbally," said Christy, laughing as much at the coolness as at the impudence of his companion. The lieutenant had covered his lantern, for he 320 did not wish to wake the other sleepers in the cabin, after the description the Russian had given of his man. Mike spoke in a low tone to him, and it did not take him long to make his toilet, for he slept just as he was clothed during the day. No one knew how old he was, but he was still brisk in his movements. The officer led the way to one of the deserted cabins at a considerable distance from the one occupied by Uncle Job. 38bet "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." "Do you expect me to obey your orders?" demanded the executive officer in a sneering tone. It was evident enough to Christy that there had been some kind of a scene in the cabin before he came below, for the steward had certainly been intimidated by the powerful visitor. "The circumstances favored me, sir," replied Christy, bowing. "I desire to call your attention to the first of the two reports I submit, for the first battle I was called upon to fight was on board of the Bronx." "His name is David Davis; but he is not a relative of the president of the Southern Confederacy, for he is a mulatto. He has rendered very 364 important service on several occasions, and there is not a truer or braver man on board of the Bronx, or any other ship of the squadron," replied Christy with enthusiasm. "It is; the name was given to the estate by my mother," replied Christy, unable to follow Corny any farther. Dave arranged the trunk and other articles to the best advantage for the concealment of the lieutenant, and then left the stateroom. Christy, 134 as soon as he had become acquainted with the situation, had arranged his plan of action, and the new officers of the Bronx were likely to encounter a mutiny, either to inaugurate or end their sway. In less than half an hour, the steward returned to the stateroom with the information that he had spoken to the second lieutenant, and informed him that the real commander of the Bronx was concealed under the berth in the captain's stateroom. 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." "Mark under water twelve!" shouted the man with the hand lead. ufa656 ทางเขา CHAPTER XV A REBELLIOUS AND PREJUDICED PRISONER "I am just as glad to see you, Mr. Blowitt," replied Christy, taking the offered hand of his old friend. "That is very true; I went on board of the flag-ship, 261 but I am somewhat fastidious in my notions, and I concluded not to remain there," replied Captain Flanger. "Without any intention of flattering you, Captain Passford, candor compels me to say that I prefer your company to that of the commodore. Can I help you to anything more on my side of the table?" 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. "No, you didn't, Dave; that was Corny," replied Christy. "We have five prisoners on board; and we can take care of them well enough," replied Christy; "but the principal difficulty is that we have no officers." www.betufa "I see they are not," answered Christy blankly. "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." "I have had considerable talk with Camden, and I am satisfied that he will make a capital officer," said the executive officer, as he moved towards the companion-way. "I suppose you 198 have sent for Pennant with the intention of appointing him third lieutenant."
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www.betufa They returned to the negro village, for the commander of the expedition did not feel as though he had yet finished his mission on shore. "I want to see what there is over there." He had learned that several vessels were loading with cotton at Appalachicola, with the intention of running the blockade, if there was any blockader off Cape St. George. His uncle Homer was engaged in superintending the fitting out of these vessels, though whether on his own account or that of the Confederacy, he was not aware. Christy felt that he ought to follow up the information he had obtained with decided action; but he was hardly in condition to do so, for he had fifteen prisoners on board, and he would be obliged to send a prize crew off in the Floridian when she was brought out, as he was confident she would be. He could not settle the question at once, and he went down into his cabin, where his uncle was waiting very impatiently to see him, and had asked Dave a dozen times in regard to him. "If you saw us together you would not mistake him for me," replied Christy, as he proceeded to explain the situation to the steward, upon whom he depended for very important assistance. Dave arranged the trunk and other articles to the best advantage for the concealment of the lieutenant, and then left the stateroom. Christy, 134 as soon as he had become acquainted with the situation, had arranged his plan of action, and the new officers of the Bronx were likely to encounter a mutiny, either to inaugurate or end their sway. In less than half an hour, the steward returned to the stateroom with the information that he had spoken to the second lieutenant, and informed him that the real commander of the Bronx was concealed under the berth in the captain's stateroom. Christy laughed in spite of the importance of the investigation at the coolness and self-possession of his cousin; but he could not understand how Corny would be able to produce a copy of his report, which was in his valise with several such papers. "Do you know the name of that steamer, Uncle Job," inquired Mr. Pennant. "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!" He peered into the gloom of the night with all his eyes, and listened with all his ears for over an hour; and then, watchful and careful officer as he was, there were five hundred chances against him to one in his favor, of finding the intruder, and he reluctantly returned to the mansion. "And the second lieutenant?" "Eight of them, sir; and they have been keeping guard on Crooked, St. Andrew's, and Hurricane Islands, to let them know inside if there was any blockader coming this way. They had sky-rockets and flags to make signals with." The lieutenant took out his memorandum book, and looked at the names of the men he had spotted as disloyal, Rockton and Warton, to which he had added two others, Nichols and Swayne, after he had observed that they were very intimate with the two whose names he had learned from their own mouths. ดบอล 66 "And because, in your present enterprise as you have outlined it, you cannot get along without me," said Christy. "I don't think he has." www.betufa "We will soon stop that," added Christy. "Give them another shot from the midship gun, Mr. Flint." "But, Christy, something has happened; and you must tell me about it, or I shall not sleep another wink to-night," persisted the lady, concluding that her son was trying to conceal something from her, as indeed he was, for he feared it would alarm her if he told her some one had come into the house. "Only the women and the old hands, too old to do much work." The little gunboat had certainly done a great deal of mischief to the Confederate interests, for she had captured two valuable vessels intended for the southern navy, to say nothing of half a dozen others loaded with cotton, and ready to sail. From the Confederate point of view, it was exceedingly desirable that she should be prevented from doing any further injury to the maritime interests of the South. But it seemed almost incredible that Corny Passford should be employed to bring about her capture by stratagem. His cousin was not a sailor; at least, he had not been one the last time he had met him, and it was hardly possible that he had learned seamanship, navigation, and naval tactics in so short a time, and so far as Christy knew, with little practical experience. In another half hour the noises could be distinctly heard by the third lieutenant, and he directed the course of the cutter without the need of any more signals from the bow. His first move was to make a more decided course to the southward. Then he hastened the crew in their work. "And by taking the bull by the horns, instead of waiting till the captain of the Sphinx concluded to take his chances of being captured in getting to sea, we have made the Bronx available for duty at once in another quarter, where she can do better work than in chewing her cable off the bar of Barataria," said the wounded commander, thus satisfying his conscience that he had done his duty. "I am very glad to see you, Uncle Job," said Christy, taking the hand of the venerable colored person. "I thank you for the service rendered to my officer. Now, Mr. Pennant, you will come to my cabin and make your report. Bring Uncle Job with you." 123faz เขาสระบบ "But I am sure he has no ill-will against you." At this moment Dave had worked himself in behind the pirate; and, with a well-directed blow with the feather duster on the head of Flanger, he brought him to the floor. "I am not, sir." "There is nothing to be frightened about, mother; and I will tell you all about it," added Christy, as he took his overcoat from the stand and put it on. "I waked an hour ago, or more, with the idea that some one had opened the door of my room," and he related the circumstances to his mother, including his search in the grounds and the road. "One who can believe that would swallow Baron Munchausen without blinking. But I think we had better not talk politics, uncle Homer, for we don't get ahead at all. I shall continue to stand by the union, and the South will raise the same cry after a few years more," said Christy, as Dave opened the door, and ushered the prisoner into the cabin. The appearance of Walsh, fully dressed in the garb of a seaman, was so great a surprise to Christy Passford, that he hardly noticed any other person on the deck of the Vernon. He had given no particular attention to the man when he saw him at his father's house, though he regarded him as a very good-looking and intelligent person for one in the situation in which he found him. The absconding man-servant had certainly made good use of his time since he left Bonnydale, for he appeared to have become a full-fledged sailor in the space of ten hours. "Do you expect me to obey your orders?" demanded the executive officer in a sneering tone. Whatever had been said about the imprudence and even recklessness of the young lieutenant, he was really a prudent and even cautious officer. He realized that any movement on his part would draw the fire of the insolent intruder, and he saw that strategy was far preferable to open violence, since the latter was likely to end only in killing or disabling him. If he could visit his 264 stateroom and obtain his pair of navy revolvers, or even the smaller ones in one of the drawers of his desk, it would improve the chances in his favor. It was evident that he would not be permitted to do this, and he did not attempt it. Though the second lieutenant of the Bronx had not been to breakfast, it was not his stomach that made the first demand upon him. He directed the steward to remain in the gangway and apprise him of the coming of any person in the direction of the cabin and ward room. Dave took his station on the steps. Mr. Flint entered the stateroom, and the first thing he did was to drop down on his knees and thrust his right hand into the space under the berth. It was instantly grasped by Christy, and given a warm pressure. "I stand by the union, and those on the other side must keep out from under. When I was in a Confederate prison, my uncle Homer, your father, did not do a single thing for me. Lead on, Ralph." While the crews were making the boats ready, and Mr. Camden was selecting the extra men for them, as he was instructed to do, Christy gave the executive officer a brief account of the capture of the sloop, and an epitome of the information he had obtained from Bornhoff.
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www.betufa "Sea-sick! No, sir; I believe I never was sea-sick in my life." "No doubt of that, sir." "Not a bad wound at all, Captain Passford," said Mr. Pennant. "The doctor says I am still fit for duty." "If you don't, I will send for the second lieutenant 146 and a file of men to put you out of my cabin." "At present, no, sir," replied the seaman decidedly. "I learned a few months ago that I failed to obtain the command of the steamer I brought home from Havana because it was said I took too much whiskey. I knocked off then, and have not drank a drop since." Mr. Pennant concluded that the sail could not be far off, or it could not be seen, and it would be useless to maintain the dead silence, which was 208 painful to all in the boat. He stood up in his place, and, after looking for a couple of minutes, he made out the sail himself. So far as he could judge from what he saw, the craft was a small sloop of not more than thirty-five feet in length. "Do you know where we are bound, Mike?" asked Christy. "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?" "Is there any officer on board with whom you have served?" "On board the sloop!" replied Mr. Pennant, standing up in the stern sheets. "What sloop is that?" "You are not! Who are you, then?" 123faz เขาสระบบ The prisoner walked up and down the lower deck, doing his best to conceal the agitation which had taken possession of him. No one took any notice of him, for the seamen had become accustomed to the presence of the captive officer. While he was struggling to contain his emotions, he heard the rattle of the cable again, and saw the chain descending to the locker below. "I am very glad to see you, Corny," continued 65 he who bore that name in reality. "I did not expect to find you on board of the Vernon. How are uncle Homer, aunt Lydia, and Gerty?" "I know no name but Bonnydale," replied Corny; and the flush of fever or something else was on his cheeks now. "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 need not have. You have played your part remarkably well, Mr. Passford, and it was an excellent idea on the part of Major Pierson, who suggested this plan of putting you in the place of your cousin. He had seen you and your relative together, I believe?" 195 "I think some of us need a little sleep to-night," said the commander. "Who are the other prisoners?" demanded Corny, as though he had a right to know. "Where were you yesterday, Corny?" asked Christy, suddenly suppressing his mirth. Christy struck his bell, and the steward promptly appeared at the door. 99racha "As I said before, I have no doubt you are a Passford; and I have been compelled to decide that you are not the son of Captain Horatio Passford, the distinguished gentleman who has done so much for his country in the present war." The commander found Dave keeping close watch over Corny Passford, though he was fast asleep in his berth. Passing through the ward room and steerage, Dave unlocked the door that led into the quarters of the crew. Next to the bulkhead, or partition, was space enough for the prisoners, and the steward was required to bring five berth sacks, which were placed on the deck. "And you did not come on board of the Vernon last evening?" Christy heard the footsteps of the late second lieutenant of the Vernon as he left the cabin. He had listened to the details of the plan formed by the naval officer, and it agreed with the prediction of Mr. Flint. While he was thinking of what he had just learned, he heard the step of Corny—for it could not be that of any other person so soon—coming into the stateroom; then he saw his feet from behind his barricade of bags and baggage. www.betufa Christy rather sympathized with him in his contempt for the one who was only nominally his superior, though that could not excuse the breach of good manners of which he had been guilty, whether in the old or the new navy. He felt that Mr. Galvinne was a man of ability, and that he was the only person whom he had to fear in carrying out his plan for the recovery of the vessel. 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.
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ฉงจอ "No, you didn't, Dave; that was Corny," replied Christy. "Precisely; and you are a better-looking one than your cousin. But excuse me for changing the subject of the conversation, for I am losing 274 time. I see by the telltale over our heads that the Bronx is headed to the south-west, which is doubtless the course you were ordered to take by the commodore."
naza168 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.