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memberg2gbk8 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. memberg2gbk8 "But Bonnydale is not an incorporated town. In what city or town is your father's place situated?" As he spoke, Boxie dropped in his place at the wheel, and Vincent grasped the spokes. The blood was streaming down the face of the old man, and he did not move after he fell. Two sailors bore him below; but the surgeon promptly declared that he was dead. "I was not; I had nothing to do with the sloop. She belonged to Captain Flanger." "I'm the one for your money," returned the oarsman, as he headed his boat into the slip. madameflix 242 "I consider the naval officers as dangerous men, and I had to treat Corny in the same manner that I did his associates. If you wish to see him, I will send for him." "Yes, sar; ober dar," he replied, pointing to the west. "What's that, Captain Passford?" demanded Dave, opening his eyes like a pair of saucers. "You cannot ship as a pilot, only as an able seaman, if you know how to hand, reef, and steer, and how to make knots and splices." "We appear to agree, gentlemen, for you have expressed my own views as well as I could state them myself," added the captain. "But when I decide that the holder of the commission, which I am satisfied is a genuine document, is the loyal officer, and entitled to be received as the future commander of the Bronx, I must declare that the other is a Confederate; and not only that, but also that he is acting as a spy; that he is on board of the Vernon with mischievous intentions. It will be my duty to regard him as a prisoner of war, at least. What do you think of it, Mr. Salisbury?" henglotto "But they may have captured her," suggested Christy. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted a man on the forecastle of the sloop. "Gollywops! But he was in command of the Bronx, for I done seen Mr. Flint hand it over to him. Go 'way! You can't fool this colored person." "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. He reached the grand entrance in an exceedingly short space of time; but he might as well have been in his chamber, for no ruffian, robber, or Confederate spy could be seen. He had no means of knowing which way the intruder at the mansion 19 had turned, to the right or the left, or whether, like the timid colored gentleman in a trying situation, he had taken to the woods. Christy walked up the street, and then down the street; but the underbrush had recently been cut in the grove, and he did not venture to explore it without any protection for his feet. But if Corny carried his investigations too far for his safety, and especially for the success of his enterprise, he decided that the ties of blood should not prevent him from doing his whole duty as he understood it. He was therefore prepared to muzzle the intruder, and confine his hands behind him with a strap he had taken from his valise. Happily Corny did nothing more than look under the berth while still standing in the space in front of it, and in this position he could not see the fugitive. The impostor wandered about the cabin for a time, and then Christy heard his footsteps on the stairs as he ascended to the deck. "That is all I have to say about him. I studied the skipper of the sloop and watched him. I am sure he did not fire a musket, and he seemed to take no part in the affairs of the men on board. Captain Flanger is the active man of the party; but I have no idea who or what he is. If you look at the skipper, you will see that he is an octoroon, or something between a mulatto and a white man, and in my opinion he is not a cheerful worker on that side of the house. Perhaps the skipper will be willing to tell you who and what the party are. They claimed to be private citizens, and that the sloop was bound to Appalachicola; perhaps the gentleman in black can explain the mission of the party." The mysterious visitor at the mansion, whoever or whatever he was, could not be regarded as a burglar, or, if he was, he had strangely neglected his opportunities, for he had failed to appropriate at least five hundred dollars worth of watches and money, which he could hardly have helped seeing. His object was not plunder, and there was nothing to indicate the purpose of his visit. In retiring from the house the intruder had left the front door ajar: and Christy thought it would have been the most natural thing in the world to close it, in order to conceal the way by which he had left the mansion. But he might have done this to avoid 28 the noise of shutting it, or had neglected it in his haste to escape. "Do!" exclaimed the patient. "You will take off what is left of by dose." The quartermaster obeyed the order, and four of the party were placed in the bow and stern sheets of the cutter. Six oarsmen were directed to take their places on the thwarts. The lieutenant retained his place in the stern sheets, which he had not left during the affray or the conference. Three seamen, with a pistol in one hand and a cutlass in the other, were directed to remain on board of the sloop; but the party had been disarmed, and their muskets were in the bottom of the cutter, and they were not likely to attempt any resistance. The painter of the sloop was made fast to the stern of the Bronx's boat, and Mr. Pennant gave the order for the crew to give way.

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memberg2gbk8 This was the first responsible position Mr. Pennant had been called upon to fill, and he knew that his future depended in a large measure upon the skill and fidelity with which he obeyed his orders. His crew believed in him, and they were 206 very painstaking in their efforts to work in silence. He had stationed quartermaster Vincent in the bow of the boat as the lookout, and he was industriously peering out into the gloom of the fog and darkness to discover a vessel or a boat. He had heard the sounds himself, and he knew there was something there. When the boat had pulled about fifteen minutes, Vincent raised his hand up into the air; this was a signal which the third lieutenant understood, for he had arranged several of them with the quartermaster. "I don't know." 245 "I suppose the steamer has a supply of coal on board, Mr. Flint." Another shot followed the first, and dropped into the water; and if it had gone fifty feet farther, it would have struck the boat. "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. After breakfast Christy packed his valise, where he placed the new uniform in which he intended to present himself on the quarter-deck of the Bronx. The carriage was at the door to convey him to the railroad station. The parting was not less tender than it had been on former similar occasions, and Mrs. Passford preferred that it should be in the house rather than at the railroad station, in the presence of curious observers. Many tears were shed after the carriage drove off, 33 for the patriotic young man might find a grave in southern soil, or beneath southern waters. The commander looked at the man; but he did not know him. wd168 "I can come to no conclusion in regard to it, though I may be able to do so when I have seen my double," replied Christy, whose curiosity in regard to the sick officer was strongly excited. "It looks like a conspiracy of some kind, but I can go no farther in the direction of a solution." "I think you told me that you had had some experience on board of steamers, Pennant," replied Christy. "Do you remember the names of the officers who served with you in the Vixen?" asked the captain. Both of the other officers assented to this view, and the captain sent for the two claimants. Neither of them had spoken a word to the other during their stay in the ward room. Christy looked upon his cousin as a Confederate who was serving what he called his country, and he had not the slightest disposition to quarrel with him, and especially not to lead him to utter any unnecessary falsehoods. Possibly Corny was somewhat diffident about playing his assumed character before his cousin when they were alone, for they had always been the best of friends. "You and Florry are not in the habit of setting the table, mother; and the first bell rang an hour later than usual," added Christy. "Wheel disabled, sir!" shouted the quartermaster. "That will do, Mr. Flint; stop her, and let go the anchor. Get out a spring astern and make it fast to that buoy," said the commander. "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." lucky1god As he dressed himself he could not help thinking of the mysterious visitation, and he asked himself a great many questions in regard to the object of the intruder, since it did not appear that he had entered the house for the purpose of robbing its occupants. He could not determine whether or not the fellow had actually come into his room; but his porte-monnaie, which contained a considerable sum of money, and his gold 27 repeater, a very valuable watch, were just where he had left them the night before. "I done count only four ob dem w'en I was dar last time." "Now, captain, will you permit me ask what you do not understand, for I assure you I am profoundly ignorant of the situation which perplexes you. I was ordered to be on board of the Vernon at one o'clock, and I found her under way at eleven. I happened to find a boatman before I left the ferry-boat, who put me on board, or I should have missed my passage. That is simply all I know about the matter." 197 "If they are worthy, I shall certainly do the best I can for them," added Christy, gaping. memberg2gbk8 "An excellent simile, Captain Passford, and I could not have invented a better myself," returned the privateersman. "I think we understand each other perfectly, and therefore it is not necessary to 272 use up any more time in explanations. You are too intelligent a person to fail to comprehend my plan. As an epitome of the whole scene, I may add that I propose to do what my friend Galvinne undertook with that cousin of yours: I intend to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and have her used in the service of the righteous cause in which the people of the South are engaged," continued Captain Flanger, as though he believed in all he was saying. "You must excuse me, Mr. Blowitt, for I am sailing under sealed orders, and the commodore hurried me off as soon as I returned with the Bronx from St. Andrew's Bay; and I do not know that my mission admits of any delay," said 297 Christy. "I have a prisoner on board, and I want to get rid of him, for he is a dangerous character;" and he briefly related the incident of the evening with Captain Flanger. 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."

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memberg2gbk8 "I think you are correct in your view, Captain Passford, though probably he is of more service 249 to the Confederate government, as your father is to our own, than a score of sailors or soldiers; but modern civilization does not hold civilians as prisoners of war. Besides, he is doing so much to provide our vessels with prizes in the matter of cotton ships, that it would be a pity to take him out of his sphere of usefulness to us," added the commodore with a smile. "Sign it, or you are a dead man!" exclaimed Flanger fiercely. "We shall be well out of sight of the flag-ship by dark, or sooner, and then we can come about, 152 and keeping closely under the lee of the land, we shall reach the entrance of the bay before morning; and then all we have to do is to run in." "Certainly, Mr. Salisbury. This is not a court-martial, but an informal investigation, and I shall be glad to have you and Dr. Connelly entirely free to ask any questions you please," replied the captain, who was anything but a martinet. 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. "You did not?" dragon888 slot "Let go the anchor, Mr. Flint!" shouted Christy. 270 "There may be difficulties; but I think they can be overcome. I purpose to act through you, my friend, as my resources are rather limited at the present moment. In other words, I propose that you shall issue certain orders which I intend to dictate," Captain Flanger proceeded, as coolly as though he had been in his own cabin instead of that of his companion. memberg2gbk8 "Stand by, my men! Give way together, lively!" shouted the lieutenant as though he intended that those on board of the sloop should hear him as well as his own crew. 248 "I am amazed, and I fear the officers in charge at Brooklyn are not as cautious as they should be. Not long ago a steamer had to return to the navy-yard there because her machinery had been tampered with; and the enemy are putting men on board of steamers for the purpose of capturing them. Where is your cousin now, Captain Passford?" "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." "We are all right so far," said Corny. 184 "Is he a prisoner?" asked Corny, as he got out of the berth. It was probable that the greater part of his new crew would be made up from the men now on board of the Vernon; and this belief caused him to regard these men with more interest than he might otherwise have done. He had no fault to find after the glance he had bestowed upon them, for they presented a very trim appearance in their new uniform, and looked a great deal more tidy than they would after they had been on duty a few weeks. g2gnhamee "I was hardly called upon to decide anything, for the matter in doubt had been settled by the commander of the Vernon before it came to my knowledge; but I agreed with him that the commission ought to settle the point. Are you not the officer presented to me by Captain Battleton, Captain Passford?" asked the commodore, gazing earnestly into the face of Christy. "Good heavens!" exclaimed the first lieutenant, as he came out from his shelter. "You are wounded again!" "I don't like to contradict my cousin, but I was brought up in the North," said Christy, hoping Captain Battleton would notice the difference in the phraseology. "It is easy enough to say that I may depart; but how shall I do it?" added the planter with a smile. "I cannot swim ashore." "I can just see the fort and the big house. It is not so very dark to-night," answered the Russian. "Over to the other side of the island," replied the lieutenant. "Don't care for de fight, sar; Job isn't 'feered o' noffin'." "I did not, captain," replied Christy quietly, though he was amused rather than disquieted by the earnestness of the commander. "Hardly, my dear friend, for I fear that on deck you would give way to your own individual prejudices against me, and do something that would jeopard my interest in the premises. With your approbation, I should prefer to resort to a method that prevails in the army, though not to any considerable 271 extent in the navy. More clearly, I will invite you to send your orders on deck in writing, over your own signature." "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."

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memberg2gbk8 "I shall not regard you as an impostor, Mr. Passford, for I mean to be entirely impartial, and I shall not brand you even in thought until the evidence warrants me in doing so," replied the commander, as he called the surgeon who was just coming on deck. "How do you find your patient, Dr. Connelly?" "Jes' so; you was born ob de debbil," replied the old negro, rising in his bed, and showing all his remaining teeth in an expansive smile. "Dr. Waterton," answered Mr. Pennant, giving 331 the first name that came into his head, for the medical title was the essential thing. "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." "I am glad to hear it, sir, for you appeared to be quite sick last night when you came on board," added the quartermaster. "All right: I will count you first," added Mr. Pennant, as he reached over and seized the leader of the party by the collar with his right hand. "That was the folly of Captain Flanger; and I protested the moment I discovered what had been done," added the planter, who seemed to be anxious to relieve himself of all responsibility for the discharge of the muskets. g2gnhamee "No, sar; I want to be free, but I'm not gwine away, I want to see de gumboat." 170 "But it had not one chance in ten of success. Your cousin looks more like you than he did the last time I saw him." "I am glad to hear it, sir, for you appeared to be quite sick last night when you came on board," added the quartermaster. "I did not see them there, Captain Passford; but it was your uncle's business to look after them, as he was doing in St. Andrew's Bay." "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." "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." "This will never do, Passford," said the tyrannical officer. เวบ betflix 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. This was the first responsible position Mr. Pennant had been called upon to fill, and he knew that his future depended in a large measure upon the skill and fidelity with which he obeyed his orders. His crew believed in him, and they were 206 very painstaking in their efforts to work in silence. He had stationed quartermaster Vincent in the bow of the boat as the lookout, and he was industriously peering out into the gloom of the fog and darkness to discover a vessel or a boat. He had heard the sounds himself, and he knew there was something there. When the boat had pulled about fifteen minutes, Vincent raised his hand up into the air; this was a signal which the third lieutenant understood, for he had arranged several of them with the quartermaster. But if Corny carried his investigations too far for his safety, and especially for the success of his enterprise, he decided that the ties of blood should not prevent him from doing his whole duty as he understood it. He was therefore prepared to muzzle the intruder, and confine his hands behind him with a strap he had taken from his valise. Happily Corny did nothing more than look under the berth while still standing in the space in front of it, and in this position he could not see the fugitive. The impostor wandered about the cabin for a time, and then Christy heard his footsteps on the stairs as he ascended to the deck. "I wish I were myself," replied the commander, in a tone so low that none but the visitors could hear him. "I can mention just the right person to take Mr. Nawood's place," said Christy eagerly. "You are the only officer on board except myself," replied Christy. "We are still in the dark as to what we have to do here. We may have to send off a boat expedition, as we did at Cedar Keys, and we are in absolute need of more officers." "I think you ought to know it by this time, Captain Passford," answered Dave; and the remark was enough to condemn the impostor in the opinion of the servant. "You lived in here when you were in command of the vessel." memberg2gbk8 "How high is the grass in the streets of New York, Christy?" asked the colonel, with a twinkle of the eye, and a smile. "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?" But Job was very obliging, and he made a hissing sound, followed by an effort to sneeze which was a failure. Then he hissed some more, though the loss of his front teeth interfered with the effort. Then he said "fing." It was now all as clear to Christy as though he had observed the proceedings of the conspirators, and taken notes of all they had done. The purpose of all these operations was quite as obvious as the details of the scheme. Either the Vernon or the Bronx was to be captured, perhaps both, for of course Christy could not determine in what manner the mischief was to be accomplished. Prisoner of war as he was, he never felt burdened with a greater responsibility than when he realized the actual situation. "Then we understand each other, Mr. Bornhoff," added Christy.

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slotdog88

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slotdog88 "He has gone into the waist," replied the officer in waiting. "He will be back in a moment." Upon this when it was brought he dropped a quantity of the chloroform, and applied it to the seat of the pain. In a moment the soldier cried out against the burning heat of the remedy; but the practitioner insisted that it should remain a while longer. But he relieved him of it in a short time. Christy's curiosity was excited: he thought the order would throw some further light on the plan of the pirate; and he seated himself. Captain Flanger proceeded to dictate to him an order to 278 the officer of the deck, to the effect that his sealed orders directed him to cut out a rebel privateer under the guns of Fort McRae; ordering him to head the Bronx to the north-west for this purpose, and instructing him to call him as soon as he made out the shore, Christy wrote it, and the pirate told him to sign it. "Your cousin, who, according to your statement, 77 was raised in the South, seems to be better informed in regard to the geography of Bonnydale than you do," added Captain Battleton.

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slot8899com "He has enlisted as a seaman, and seems to be a good one. By the way, where did you learn that my cousin attempted to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay?" asked Christy curiously, though he was using up the time he could not yet improve. "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. "Gollywompus! My old master will get me back then!" groaned Dave, who had been very happy in his new service and at Bonnydale where he had spent considerable of his time while Christy was waiting for the fitting out of the Bronx. "I think I had better get on board of the flag-ship right off."

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tangtem168com

tangtem168com

tangtem168com "I done bring you something more to eat, Massa Christy," said the steward, who appeared to have suffered some lapse in his grammar and pronunciation during the absence at the North of his instructor; and as he spoke he handed in a piece of pie and a large slice of cake. "I decline to be regarded as the hero of the adventure, as you call it; and it was not so stupid as you suggest," replied Christy, with the greatest good-nature. "Dey hab de medicine at de big house." "He stole that officer's commission and other papers while he was sleeping in his own home," added Christy.

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ibet99

ibet99

ibet99 "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." Christy was utterly confounded at this salutation. With the aid of his speaking trumpet he gave the same order to Mr. Camden on board of the Sphinx; but he had hardly uttered the command before his left leg gave way under him, and he sunk to the floor of the bridge. A ball had struck him in the thigh, and he could feel the blood flowing down his limb. He grasped the rail of the bridge, and drew himself up. There he stood like a statue, supporting himself with his well arm, till the Bronx had passed out of musket-shot range. "Nothing is the matter now on our side of the house, but I must put you with the other prisoners," replied Christy. "You may unbuckle the strap, Dave, so that he can get out of the berth." "With the evidence before you, I do not see how you could have decided otherwise."

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captain888

captain888

captain888 "We appear to agree, gentlemen, for you have expressed my own views as well as I could state them myself," added the captain. "But when I decide that the holder of the commission, which I am satisfied is a genuine document, is the loyal officer, and entitled to be received as the future commander of the Bronx, I must declare that the other is a Confederate; and not only that, but also that he is acting as a spy; that he is on board of the Vernon with mischievous intentions. It will be my duty to regard him as a prisoner of war, at least. What do you think of it, Mr. Salisbury?"

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hawaii168

hawaii168 "I can come to no conclusion in regard to it, though I may be able to do so when I have seen my double," replied Christy, whose curiosity in regard to the sick officer was strongly excited. "It looks like a conspiracy of some kind, but I can go no farther in the direction of a solution." "But you must not be rash, captain." "Sealed orders?" "Look up the log slate, for I suppose they have made the entries, and when we have run eighty knots from the station, keep a sharp lookout for the land. Now I will go to my cabin, and find the 174 envelope that contains the orders, and look them over." "Are you sure of this information, Mike?"

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