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uf9999 "He could not have been disturbed until you spoke to him; and he might have ransacked the whole of the lower part of the house." "I will take care of the orders myself." uf9999 "Wot you gwine to do ober dar, massa?" "He is a good man, and quite as intelligent as any of our seamen. He is a pilot on the coast of Florida, and may be farther to the westward so far as I know. He is forty-seven years old, though he does not look it, and has been to sea all his life. By the way, that Captain Flanger has done some business as a smuggler, Mike informs me." "Any orders, Captain Passford?" asked the first lieutenant, as he saw that Christy appeared to be master of the situation. "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." 148 Mr. Galvinne had proved himself to be a very gentlemanly officer in what little Christy had seen of him on the voyage from New York; but the situation was entirely changed so far as he was concerned. It appeared from the conversation, as the listener had for some time supposed, that the second lieutenant of the Vernon was the real leader of the enterprise of which Corny was the nominal head. Probably the restraint of over a week imposed upon him had fretted his spirit, and when he found himself alone with his incompetent superior, he became conscious of the superiority his knowledge and training gave him. The two boats were soon in the water, though the first lieutenant wondered that he had not been sent on this important service. The two officers hurried their crews, and the boats flew on their mission. The commander felt that it was necessary to keep an eye on the fort, for its energetic officer was not at all inclined to be idle at the present exciting time. The Bronx had hardly stopped her screw before the soldiers were to be seen on the barbette; but the shell with which the midship gun had been charged sent them all to the casemates in an instant. "Then I stay for sure; I don't go back on you, Massa Christy," protested the steward warmly. "Do you think it advisable to do so at once?" asked Corny; and his motive seemed to be simple curiosity, for he was not competent to give advice on a naval question, though he was in nominal command of the steamer. "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." afbet789 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. "Then I may see you again, my friend. Thank you for your information, and will you give me your name?" added Christy. 35 "Naval officer, sir?" interrogated the boatman. "He is always inquiring into things that I don't care a straw about," replied Corny, vexed that he had been tripped up in a matter so simple. "Find a bag, for we shall throw that valise overboard," added Mr. Flint. 228 "We were going to Appalachicola after a while, where we were to pilot out some vessels loaded with cotton." "Wounded, you"— "That was a sensible thing to do. You are aware that we are short of officers, I suppose," said the commander. "Do you say that Captain Flanger has been a smuggler in these waters?" Though it is said that the South "robbed the 6 cradle and the grave" to recruit the armies of the Confederacy, it is as true that young and old in the North went forth in their zeal to "Stand by the union," and that many and many a young soldier and sailor who had not yet seen twenty summers endured the hardships of the camp and the march, the broiling suns, and the wasting maladies of semi-tropical seas, fought bravely and nobly for the unity of the land they loved, and that thousands of them sleep their last sleep in unmarked graves on the sea and the land. The writer can remember whole companies, of which nearly half of the number could be classed as mere boys. These boys of eighteen to twenty, who survived the rain of bullets, shot, and shell, and the hardly less fatal assaults of disease, are the middle-aged men of to-day, and every one of them has a thrilling story to tell. The boys of to-day read with interest the narratives of the boys of thirty years ago, and listen with their blood deeply stirred to the recital of the veteran of forty-five years, or even 7 younger, who brought back to his home only one arm or one leg. ยฟาเบท 1688 "Undoubtedly you do. I decline to give you my sealed orders. What then?" replied the commander, who began to feel a certain sense of shame because he had temporized so long with the bold pirate, for he regarded him as such. "What is that for?" "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." "Sail ahead!" shouted the bow oarsman, looking behind him. The Bronx continued to dart ahead at her best speed, and no sound came from the fort. It was only a question of minutes now before the steamer reached a point inside of the island where she could accomplish her mission by the capture of the Sphinx. The officers remained on deck, but they were protected by the bulwarks, the masts, and especially under the shelter of the top-gallant forecastle. Christy had earnestly warned the second and third lieutenants not to expose themselves needlessly to the musketry of the fort, and Mr. Flint was discreet enough to need no such warning. 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?"

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uf9999 "I go for de doctor if he's dar," said Job. "Mind yore eye, Massa Gumboat!" exclaimed Job, in a low tone, but with great earnestness. "I expect they have sent all the strong ones up to work on the fortifications." Dave looked as solemn as an owl, and his ivories seemed to be sealed up in his expansive mouth. He attempted to make a sign to the captain, but it was not understood. At that moment, the stranger raised his finger and beckoned to the steward. "Not if you tell them I am the doctor," added the lieutenant. 335 "But the fort can protect your vessels in the bay," suggested the lieutenant of the Bronx. 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. The End ufabet888s "Here you differ. Did you make a report of your voyage home, Lieutenant Passford?" continued the captain, pointing at Corny. 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. "Corny again!" exclaimed the captain. 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. "Now, give way with a will, my men!" called Mr. Pennant in brisk tones, "for we shall soon have a twenty-four pound shot chasing us out." "Byron!" called a boatswain's mate from the forecastle. Corny's first movement on board of the Vernon was to take the hand of Mr. Galvinne, whom he appeared to be congratulating on a promotion or appointment. The second lieutenant promptly handed his lists to the third lieutenant, Mr. Winter, who proceeded with the calling of the names. Corny and Mr. Galvinne immediately went below, and Christy concluded that the officer he had spotted as the traitor had been appointed to the little gunboat, either as first or second 122 lieutenant, and that they were making their preparations to go on board of her. In a few minutes they appeared with the steward of the ward room carrying their baggage. "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?" "I dol't walt any Yalkee surgeod at work od be," protested Captain Flanger, whose speech was badly affected by the injury to his nasal organ, or by the pressure he applied to it with his hand. "I did not think it was so late; but that reminds me that I have eaten nothing since my breakfast was brought to me early this morning," said Christy. ufawinner "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!" "At Bonnydale, on the Hudson," answered Corny, as we may call him now that the reader knows who he is. 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. "Silence, all!" cried the commander, as soon as he heard the hail from aloft. "Go forward, Mr. Pennant, silence the hands, and direct the lookout to hail in lower tones." For the next three days it blew a gale, moderating 111 at times, and then piping up again. To a sailor it was not bad weather, but Christy learned from the surgeon that his cousin was confined to his berth during all this time. The prisoner went on deck for the time permitted each forenoon and afternoon. He had his eyes wide open all the time, on the lookout for anything that would afford him further information in regard to the plot in the midst of which he was living. 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. "Then you can do my errand for me," added the soldier. "Here are my papers, captain," added Corny, as he passed his envelope across the table to the commander. uf9999 "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. Christy certainly felt very anxious, and he could not help asking himself whether or not he was engaged in a foolhardy enterprise in attacking the fort. His orders related only to the steamer that was loading in the bay, and he had been warned in his instructions to take the fort into consideration in his operations. He felt that he had given proper attention to the fort, inasmuch as he had disabled all its guns. He might have simply blockaded the entrance to the Pass; but he might have stayed in the offing a month before she ventured to come out. He was still willing to believe that he had not overstepped his orders. "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. "I done get sick, massa, and I's gwine up to de big house to see de doctor," replied the negro, who probably used the first excuse that came into his head.

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uf9999 "I have been under the berth in this stateroom, a hiding-place which was suggested to me by one of your people who used it as such, and was caught, as I was not." "Your father is good authority," added the surgeon. "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." But he had no intention of again approaching the fort, and he headed the boat to the south-east, or nearly so, and then ordered the men to give way. He called the attention of the coxswain to the range, and directed him to keep it. The bowman was required to keep the lead going all the time. "But they must have had very big guns." The morning mail brought a letter from Captain Passford, informing the family that he was detained in Washington, and that he could not be at home to say good-by to his son, who was to leave that day in the store ship Vernon. He wrote a special letter to Christy, containing not only his adieux, but the good advice he would otherwise have given him in person. "Does your patient below seem to be improving, doctor?" he asked. "We may not be able to help ourselves." "Grass! They don't raise it in the city; and there isn't as much of it in all the streets as I saw in the principal one in Mobile when I was there, on my way from the prison to the bay," replied the commander cheerfully. "I don't believe that business was ever so lively in New York and the other cities of the North as it is at this time; and I left there ten days ago." "We have met before," replied the stranger. "Shall I help you to some of these fried potatoes? They are very good, and I can recommend them. ufa030 "If we keep her due west we shall be all right; and I know this coast as well as I do my father's plantation," replied Mr. Galvinne; and Christy heard him open the door. "He still complains that his head and his bones ache, so that I cannot say he is improving," replied Dr. Connelly. He complied with the request, as he saw that it was a very simple means of identification, for the steward had some skill as a mechanic, and he had frequently sharpened the knife, and knew the repeater of the lieutenant from having seen it so often, for it was a very peculiar watch. Dave's last doubt vanished when these articles were produced. "In what direction is the head of the steamer pointed, Mr. Pennant?" he asked as he joined the lieutenant. "All the crew are not loyal," replied Christy, as he explained the instructions he had given to the steward. uf9999 He had no fault to find with the captain for his decision against him, which seemed to be natural and warrantable. He had no ill-feeling against 101 his cousin, for he was trying to serve the cause he had espoused. He was even willing to believe that he would have done the same thing himself under like circumstances. "As usual, you are the hero of the adventure," replied the new first lieutenant, laughing. "But I must say it was the stupidest enterprise in which rational men ever engaged." The old man had no hat to touch or take off, for the mass of hair was a sufficient protection to his head; but he bowed almost to the deck, and was too timid to say a single word. "How old a man does he appear to be?" ufa8899 auto "I am sure Mr. Flint could not have a better man." "Yes, sar; ober dar," he replied, pointing to the west. "No, sar; all de family done leave, an' was gwine to New Orleans. Arter a while I go to de fort and tell de sodgers the doctor done gone," replied Job. CHAPTER XI LAYING OUT A PLAN OF OPERATIONS 31 The breakfast was rather a sad gathering on account of this parting, for Christy was to leave in another hour. Bertha Pembroke and her father were quite as sad as the mother and sister, and the young officer did his best to cheer up the family and the guests. He tried to make them laugh, but he found it was up-hill work. "You shall see it, and go on board of it if you wish; but we may have a battle with the fort." The commission and other papers were all right in every respect. Christy handed his envelope to the commander, and he broke it open. It contained nothing but a lot of blank paper.

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uf9999 "We had the Magnolia over here then, and I used to go out fishing in her about every night," chuckled Mike. "Sometimes I did not catch any fish, and sometimes I caught five hundred boxes of Havana cigars. I often caught other kinds of fish." "Who's there?" demanded Christy Passford, sitting up in his bed, in the middle of the night, in his room on the second floor of his father's palatial mansion on the Hudson, where the young lieutenant was waiting for a passage to the Gulf. About this time Dave, who had taken care to keep in the front of the table as he had been ordered to do, seized upon his feather duster, and began to dust the divan on the starboard side of the cabin. Flanger was so much occupied with the commander at that moment, that he was not disposed to take his eye off him for an instant; for certainly the situation had become critical, and 277 he paid no attention to the steward. Dave was a sort of a feather-duster fiend, and he used the article a great deal of his time, apparently as much from habit as from cleanliness. While he was still considering the subject, he heard the call for "All the port watch!" on deck, and Mr. Camden came below to wake the third lieutenant, for the routine was hardly in working order on board of the steamer. The commander went into his stateroom, and soon returned with the sealed envelope in his hand. He was deeply interested in its contents, for he hoped his vessel was ordered to take part in the Mississippi expedition, which was to attack Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and capture the city of New Orleans. Eight bells had been struck, indicating midnight, which was the hour at which he was directed to break the seal. The first lieutenant was quite as much interested in ascertaining the destination of the Bronx as the commander. Christy had invited him to his cabin. 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." "But can you not recall some event or circumstance which will throw some light on the mystery?" persisted Dr. Connelly. "Nothing more, Captain Battleton." "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." "I propose to appoint him executive officer of the Bronx." ufa8899 auto "Will you permit me to see your orders, Mr. Passford?" said the officer. "I suppose you were religiously inclined when you were engaged in the business of smuggling," added the commander. "Never mind the regular dinner; but bring me something to eat, if it is only some crackers and cheese," added Christy; and the steward hastened to his pantry. "Only one, sir: a steamer of five hundred tons, called the Floridian." Christy and the first lieutenant sprang from the shelter where they had been waiting the passage of the fort, and rushed up the steps to the bridge. The commander of the force on shore, with half a 351 dozen men, was at work on one of the guns on the barbette; but it was impossible to make out what they were doing. Then there was a flash, a cloud of smoke went up, and a shot crashed into the deck directly under the pilot-house, tearing up the planks, and disappearing in the space below. 32 "No one knows what is going to happen, and I may spend the next year or two in a Confederate prison. I don't think my Uncle Homer would cry his eyes out if such should be my fate, for he has lost several vessels and cargoes of cotton on my account," returned Christy. "How many men are there at the fort?" "My first service was in the Bellevite, and my last in the Bronx, of which I was acting commander on her voyage from New York to the Gulf," answered Christy, to whom the question was addressed. ufabet auto 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. The course was believed to be correct for the point indicated by the captain, and in less than half an hour the boat grounded; but the shore was bold enough to enable the men to land. Mr. 316 Pennant went to the forward part of the boat and took a careful look all around him. All was as silent as a tomb. Stepping into the fore-sheets, he leaped on shore, directing the Russian to follow him. Corny politely saluted Mr. Flint, the acting commander of the gunboat. Mr. Galvinne was introduced, and there was plenty of bowing and formal politeness. Corny presented his commission and orders for the inspection of the officer in command, and for the present the formalities were completed. Corny was evidently in command of the Bronx; but Christy could not determine the position of Mr. Flint, and he watched his movements with intense interest for some time. "I don't believe he would attempt to run in while it is broad daylight," suggested Mr. Flint. "Captain Corny already has his sailing orders. They are sealed, but he is to proceed to the eastward. I should say that he would obey orders, and when it is time for him to break the seals this evening, he will come about, hug the shore of St. Rosa's till he comes to the entrance of the bay, when he will go in." uf9999 "All right in every respect," replied the young officer cheerfully. In spite of his claim that he was a religious man, he indulged in a volley of profane language which made the commander's blood run cold in his veins. His right hand, from which he had dropped one of his revolvers, was pressed upon his nose, as though this organ was the seat of his injury. He stood behind the table, and continued to swear like a pirate in a passion. His face and his hand were absolutely covered with blood. "What is she doing now in the bay?" 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.

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bet911com "Well, Dave, how is your prisoner?" he asked, halting at the door. "Ensign Frederick Jones," answered Corny, with some hesitation. Lieutenant Fourchon pressed the hand of the doctor, and left the casemate with him. "Do you realize your present situation, Mr. Passford?" asked the captain, apparently disappointed at the unwillingness of the young man to attempt an explanation.

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ufabet8s "Vincent, you will remain in charge of the boat and the men," said the third lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster. "I will explore the island with Mike. I have the fireworks with me, and you will keep a sharp lookout in the direction of the fort. If you see a light close to the water, make for it as fast as you can. Do you understand me?" "Who is Captain Flanger?" asked Christy. "Then you are not dangerously wounded," added Christy. "I was afraid it had gone through your head."

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ยฟา898 "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." "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." "Your name is not Walsh!" exclaimed Christy with a frown. "Sail ahead!" shouted the bow oarsman, looking behind him.

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เกมสปองกนฐาน pc The temporary berth was finished, the bedding put into it, and Christy took possession of it. For the present he had done all the thinking he cared to do, and he felt that his present duty was in action. He was a prisoner of war, and as such he was in disgrace in a loyal ship's company; at least, he felt that he was so under present circumstances. He was not disgusted at his failure to establish his identity, nor disheartened at the prospect before him. More than ever before in the two years of his experience as a naval officer, he realized that it was his duty to "Stand by the union." "Dey hab de medicine at de big house." Christy obeyed the order of Captain Battleton when he was directed to report below; but he felt that he was permitting the plot of his cousin to be carried out without any opposition, and without any attempt to check its progress. But he was a prisoner, and he realized that he could do nothing. His case had been tried, and he had been condemned to his present condition. It was useless to appeal to the captain, for he had already passed upon all the facts that had been presented before him. "I cannot say that I was; the cause of the South is religion itself, and I am there every time. Who told you that I had been engaged in smuggling?"

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ufa939

ufa939

ufa939 Christy was not stunned or overwhelmed by this impudent speech. He looked at the speaker, and promptly recognized his cousin Corny. He was astonished at the brazen assurance of the other, for he had always seemed to him to be a fairly modest young man. Corny extended his hand to Christy, and it was accepted. The Bronx continued to dart ahead at her best speed, and no sound came from the fort. It was only a question of minutes now before the steamer reached a point inside of the island where she could accomplish her mission by the capture of the Sphinx. The officers remained on deck, but they were protected by the bulwarks, the masts, and especially under the shelter of the top-gallant forecastle. Christy had earnestly warned the second and third lieutenants not to expose themselves needlessly to the musketry of the fort, and Mr. Flint was discreet enough to need no such warning. "Why not, my son?" "I have no bag, sir," replied Christy in submissive tones.

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123 เวบพนน

123 เวบพนน

123 เวบพนน "It is Mr. Christy, ma'am; nothing is the matter," replied Walsh; but then he appeared to think that he had replied without proper consideration, and he revised his speech. "I don't know that anything's the matter, ma'am," and still he gazed at the young gentleman, as though he deemed it possible that he had suddenly gone crazy. CHAPTER XV A REBELLIOUS AND PREJUDICED PRISONER "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."

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