c online "He was by profession an actor in Mobile," added Corny. Christy had crawled out of his narrow quarters under the berth as soon as Dave began to operate on the sleeper above him, and he stood ready to assist the steward if his services were required; but there was hardly anything like a struggle, for Corny had been so completely surprised that he was incapable of doing anything in self-defence. With his hands strapped behind him, and with the gag still in his mouth, he was permitted to remain in the berth under the guard of Dave.
gamo888 "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." "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." "We must recapture the vessel before she gets into port; and what I want most now is to see Mr. Flint. You must fix the matter in some way, Dave, so that I can see him. Now go on deck, and ascertain what is going on there. If you get a chance, speak to Mr. Flint; but be extremely careful." "I cannot say as to that. When you go forward take a look at the prisoners, and report to me," added Christy, as Mr. Pennant went below. gamo888 Dr. Connelly was so much astonished at the proceedings that he did not turn in, but completed his toilet, and came out into the ward room again. He looked troubled, for he had 188 heard nothing of the struggle on the quarter-deck, and the situation was a revelation to him. He looked and talked as though he thought that Christy and his associates who had captured the vessel were simply mutineers. The captain sent the steward for Boxie, and, giving him a pair of pistols and a cutlass, informed him that he was to stand guard over the five prisoners until he was relieved. The old man, who had been one of the seamen on board of the Bellevite when she was a yacht, took his place forward of the berth-sacks, and began his march athwartship. The commander appeared to be less occupied at this moment than he had been before, and Christy 47 stepped forward to the quarter-deck, and politely saluted him. Captain Battleton was not less punctilious in his etiquette. He was a young man, though he was apparently six or seven years older than Christy. He was an ensign, and looked like a gentleman who was likely to give a good account of himself when he was called to more active duty than that of commanding a store ship. "I should not have rung that bell if I had not been afraid of taking cold," added the son. He had decided upon his method of operations, and then wished again that he was not in command of the steamer; for the expedition he intended 311 to send out was one he would have been glad to command in person, instead of remaining inactive on board of the Bronx. As soon as he had arranged his plan, he went on deck. To the astonishment of the first lieutenant, he changed the course of the steamer to the north, and at noon let go the anchor in four fathoms of water. The vessel remained there till it was dark, and then proceeded to the westward, sounding all the time. "In spite of the fact that it was a pretty day, I should think you would have spent your last day on shore with your mother and sister as I did," replied Christy. 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. "Now a piece of flannel," added the doctor. "If you are, I am sorry that you are unable to prove your claim. I have only one officer on board as a passenger, for the reason that I had only 96 one spare stateroom. There is no place for you in the ward room, and it does not appear that you are an officer." gicc "I was not; I had nothing to do with the sloop. She belonged to Captain Flanger." "It may be he was; I don't know about that. You say that we have met before, but to save my life, I cannot recall the time, and I am sorry to add that I do not identify your face as that of any person I ever saw before. I have the pleasure of introducing myself to you as Lieutenant Christopher Passford, commanding the United States steamer Bronx." He was absolutely confident that he was himself Lieutenant Christopher Passford, and as absolutely confident that the other officer could not be that person, whoever else he might be. The commander appeared to be considering what Christy had suggested to him in regard to his orders, and the passenger had a minute or two to think of the situation in which he found himself placed. But what was the use to think of it? He was at the end of a blind alley, where there was no light from any direction except that by which he had entered it. He had no premises from which to reason, and it was useless to consider the matter. "So far we do not disagree by the breadth of a hair. My cousin Corny was raised in the South, while I was raised in the North," continued the sick passenger. "I have not time now to look into that question; 220 but I can assure you that you will be treated with the greatest consideration on board of my ship," added Christy as he conducted him below, and left him with Dave in his own cabin, returning at once to the deck to inquire into the operations of the first cutter. The boat had been hoisted up to the davits, and the Magnolia was made fast astern. All hands had been called when the Bronx got under way, and the men were all at their stations. "Bless the Lord that you are his nephew and not his son!" exclaimed Michael fervently, as he raised his eyes towards the sky, which was beginning to be visible through the fog. "I have heard about you, for I was to pilot a vessel out of Cedar Keys when you came up there in command of the boats. Colonel Passford was over there, and he saw you on board of the Havana." "I have been living on a hot gridiron for the last ten days, and in the first moments of freedom I overstepped the limits of propriety. I hope we understand each other now, for we are engaged in an important enterprise, and we cannot afford to be at variance," replied the naval officer. "Our work is yet unfinished, though it has progressed admirably so far. Have I your permission to open this sealed envelope?" "I thought I should like it, but I find I do not as well as I expected," answered Christy. "There ain't no hole in this millstone for me," continued Dave, suddenly becoming very thoughtful. "I don't see how Massa Corny can run away with the steamer when she has her officers and crew on board." coding online "You stole it, cousin, and you must give it back to me," added Christy, very decidedly. 322 This seemed to be reasonable to the lieutenant, and in accordance with the belief of his superiors on board of the Bronx, for no union man-of-war of any size could pass through the water courses to the great river. It looked as though the big guns had been replaced with those of smaller calibre. "You did not?" 230 "All ready, sir; and the signal was a sky-rocket, which the pilot could see over the fog." "Perfectly, Captain Passford; and I would trust you with my freedom, which is the dearest thing on earth to me. But don't call me 'mister,' or you will make me forget that I am a nigger," 227 said the skipper, laughing in his delight to find that he was in good and safe hands. "Captain Flanger called me Mike always, and that is a good enough name for me." "Do so," replied Christy. "Mr. Camden, pass the word for Dr. Connelly." "The Bronx is getting under way also," said the civil tar, who evidently had some sympathy for the prisoner. "Probably she is also ordered alongside. Twenty-five of us have been detailed to serve on board of her, and I am one of them." "Hold the sloop as she is, and I will board you," said Mr. Pennant, as he saw the skipper filling away again. "No, sir; I belong to Captain Flanger: his father is dead, and left me to his son." "I thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Passford, and I must say that you seem to be entirely fair," said the commander. 338 "South, sir," replied the quartermaster.
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gamo888 "I suppose you were religiously inclined when you were engaged in the business of smuggling," added the commander. It seemed to him to be a matter of course that the midnight visitor had come into the mansion 18 for the purpose of plundering its occupants, or of securing the valuables it contained. Putting his lamp on the table, he went out upon the veranda, and looked all about him. The grounds were very extensive, and a broad avenue led to the street. It was very dark; but as he cast his eyes in the direction of the grand entrance to the estate, he discovered some dark object in motion; but he lost sight of it in a moment. "Thank you, Dave." "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." Instead of obeying the order, the boatman hauled in his sheet, and the sloop began to fill away. Mr. Pennant could form no idea of what the party were. It was possible that they were private citizens, and non-combatants; if they were, they had only to prove they were such by submitting to a further inquiry. "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. 42 "I never heard of the place before, sir," persisted the seaman. "I had the same thing once before, and I was 333 sure I should die with it this time," said the sick soldier, "It lasted me all night and part of the next day the other time." The cutter came up at the gangway of the 218 Bronx, and Christy was standing on the rail, anxious to learn what the boat had accomplished. He had heard the report of the volley fired at the cutter, and had been very solicitous for the safety of her crew. He had weighed anchor as soon as he heard the sounds, and proceeded in the direction from which they came. "I 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." 326 "Can't you spell it?" hilo198 He had not been mistaken in his estimate of the man, so far as he could judge from his answers. Pennant had taken a steamer home to New York from Havana after the captain had died there of yellow fever. He had expected to be given the command of the vessel; and when he failed to obtain the position he resigned his place as mate, but secured the same position in another and larger steamer. "You can trust Dave, Massa Christy," replied the steward, as the officer drew back into his hiding-place. "You have heard the decision I have just given, Mr. Passford, for I have no doubt that is your real name," said the captain, when the cabin door was closed. "This will never do, Passford," said the tyrannical officer. "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." "Good, Corny!" exclaimed Christy, dropping upon the divan of the cabin and laughing heartily. Many of the seamen were foreigners who cared little on which side they served, and one or more of the four officers in the ward room might be at work for the Confederacy. Christy thought he 102 was in an excellent position to investigate the matter, and he decided that this should be his first duty. Among the crew there must be some who were to take part in the plot of Corny, whatever it was. "The Floridian was coming out this morning in the fog, if Captain Flanger made the signal for her to do so. Then the captain was to go on board of her, and I was to sail the rest of the party to Appalachicola," replied Mike, still chuckling with delight at his ability to give the commander such important information. ผลฮานอยhuaysong "This fish seems to be red snapper, captain, and it is very good. Will you allow me to help you to some of it?" continued the stranger very politely. 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. "Take a force of twelve men, with pistols and cutlasses, Mr. Pennant, in the first cutter, and pull down to the south-east. Whatever you find in the shape of a vessel or a boat, capture it, and return to the Bronx. Get off with as little noise as possible, and muffle your oars." "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "Call all hands, Mr. Camden," said the commander in brusque tones. gamo888 "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?" He made the attempt to do so, but he would have fallen to the floor, with his hands fastened behind him, if Christy and Dave had not received him in their arms. The steward hugged him like a brother, perhaps maliciously, and carried him to a divan in the cabin. Corny had apparently abandoned his cause, and his cousin gave him a berth in the ward room for the rest of the night. The speakers said no more, but leaving the locality near the berth, they moved forward in a body. Christy was sorry he was not to hear any more of the conversation; but he felt that he had made some progress in his work. He had obtained the names of two of the men, and ascertained that one of the officers in the ward room was a Confederate. With this information he could the more readily obtain more. Christy did not wish to sleep, and he felt that he could not afford to spend his time in that way. He sat up in the berth, and wrote the two names he had heard in his pocket-diary, in order to make sure that he did not forget 106 them. While he was thus engaged Dr. Connelly came into the quarters of the crew. "Stand by to secure that man," replied the commander, pointing at the wounded man behind the table. "He has a revolver in his left coat pocket."
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gamo888 "I shall have to give it up, mother." The officer led the way up the shore, and the rows of sugar-cane extended almost to the water. They could make out the little village of negro cabins which lay between them and the planter's house, and they directed their steps towards it. It was but a short walk, and they soon reached the lane that extended between the rows of huts. Dorchester, Mass., April 23, 1891. "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. At this moment the captain appeared in the gangway, and interrupted the conversation. He informed the prisoner of war, as he chose to regard him, that he had directed the carpenter to put up a temporary berth for him. Christy opened his valise, and took from it his frock, which he put on after he had disposed of his coat. Then he looked like a common sailor. He was informed that his berth was just forward of the steerage, in that part of the steamer where the men slung their hammocks. The third lieutenant was directed to show him to the place indicated. "Vincent, pass one half of the men on board of the cutter," said Mr. Pennant, when he had looked over the boat and the men on board of it. "Byron!" called a boatswain's mate from the forecastle. "I think you told me that you had had some experience on board of steamers, Pennant," replied Christy. ufaeasy gamo888 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. As Christy viewed the matter, there appeared to be no obstacle to the success of Corny's scheme for the capture of the Bronx, unless it was Mr. Flint, who might or might not discover that the new commander was an impostor. If his old associate saw the two cousins together, he would have no difficulty in determining which was his former commander; seeing Corny alone he might be deceived. With the flag-officer, who had seen Christy but once or twice, he was not likely to suspect that Corny was an impostor. "I thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Passford, and I must say that you seem to be entirely fair," said the commander. "Steward, light the lamp in my stateroom," 163 said Corny; and Christy was glad to find that he intended to retire for the night, for he had no duties to perform unless there was a disturbance on the quarter-deck. 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. 12bet มอถอ "I don't know, Paul; I will think of the matter, and write to you as soon as I have time. There comes the boat. Mr. Flint, have the prisoner brought on deck to be transferred to the Bellevite." Mr. Flint sprang upon the quarter-deck and threw himself upon Mr. Galvinne, closely followed by Christy. At the same time, and as soon as the gangway was clear, the two men who had been stationed in the ward room leaped upon the deck, and threw themselves upon the third lieutenant. At the same moment, the six men who had been lurking in the waist, and who had attracted the attention of the executive officer, hastened to the scene of the conflict. Rockton, who had been made a quartermaster, and the helmsman, Warton, went to the assistance of the first and third lieutenants. When the commander went on deck, the fog had disappeared, and the shore was to be seen at the distance of about six miles from the steamer. At eight bells, or noon, a steamer was discovered coming out of the bay by a channel between two islands. She carried the American flag over the Confederate, and no one doubted that she was the Floridian. In half an hour she was alongside, and she looked like a fine vessel, for she had come from the other side of the ocean as a blockade-runner. 319 "'Pears like I do; I reckon you's Massa Cap'n Flanger." "Then I am to do duty as a figure-head, am I?" laughed Christy. "Strike three bells," added the commander; and the steamer began to back her screw. Instead of obeying the order, the boatman hauled in his sheet, and the sloop began to fill away. Mr. Pennant could form no idea of what the party were. It was possible that they were private citizens, and non-combatants; if they were, they had only to prove they were such by submitting to a further inquiry. "Are those four very large,—long as this cabin is wide?" asked the lieutenant with interest. "Just west of the big house, sir," replied the Russian. "And you did not come on board of the Vernon last evening?" No doubt he was greatly surprised to hear his name, pronounced as though it came up through the deck, as he had abundant reason to be. "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." CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER
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gamo888 "I believe you; they be mixed if you be the captain when I done seen him on deck just now." "I admit the correctness of your conclusion." In due time this appointment was made, and Captain Flint, on the recommendation of Christy, was entirely satisfied to receive him as his first lieutenant. "South-west," repeated the first lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster who was conning the wheel. "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." "He might have taken Florry's watch, she was so careless as to leave on the table in the sitting-room," added she. "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." 118 "What does that mean, my man?" asked Christy of one of the men near him. "They appear to be weighing the anchor." "Ensign Philip Bangs." Colonel Passford was naturally very anxious to ascertain what had been done, and what was to be done, by the Bronx; but the steward was too discreet to answer any of his questions, and he was not aware that his son Corny was a prisoner on board as well as himself. "They were taken in arms, and therefore they are prisoners. But you lost all your commissioned officers but one in the affair on board of the Bronx, Captain Passford." 12bet มอถอ "So far as I have seen, there is not." What he had learned within the last few moments was even more perplexing than the mysterious visitation at Bonnydale. Then the appearance of Walsh on board, and his denial of his identity, were still in his mind, and he wondered whether or not all these strange circumstances had any connection. But he was standing in the presence of the commander of 49 the steamer, and he had no time to reach a conclusion of any kind, satisfactory or otherwise. "Not exactly; but I'm his man, Mike Bornhoff." "Five dollars is just what I said," replied the lieutenant, as he took a bill of that denomination from his porte-monnaie, rolled it around the boat-hook, and fixed it so that it should not blow away. "Perfectly, Mr. Pennant." "She is, sir; she has not been in action since her crew was reinforced," answered Christy. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted a man on the forecastle of the sloop. "He still complains that his head and his bones ache, so that I cannot say he is improving," replied Dr. Connelly. "The United States steamer Bellevite. We will send a boat to you," returned Mr. Blowitt. za88 "He stole that officer's commission and other papers while he was sleeping in his own home," added Christy. 281 Dave was not satisfied with what he had done, and as his foe went over in the chair, he sprang upon him, and tried to wrest the pistol from his hand, and a struggle on the floor was begun, the result of which could not be foreseen. Christy took in the situation at a glance, and while the steward and his victim were rolling and writhing on the floor, he darted into his stateroom, the door of which had been open all the time, and took his heavy revolvers from the drawer where he kept them, charged for immediate use. 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. "I do not propose to submit to another investigation by you, or any one but the flag-officer; but for your information I am willing to give you the facts," said Christy with dignity, of which he had a full supply whenever it was needed. "As long as the officers in charge of the Bronx continued to obey the orders of the commodore to proceed to the eastward, I did nothing; but when they headed the steamer to the westward, which they did as soon as it was dark, I understood very well that they were disobeying their orders, and intended to run the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and deliver her to the Confederate authorities. Then I carried out my plan and captured the vessel." "All right in every respect," replied the young officer cheerfully. "Produce it, if you please." "I reckon dar's one dar if he done habn't leabe yisterday." gamo888 "If you wish to get back into the Bellevite, of course you can do so, for it is not every fellow 296 that wears shoulder-straps who has such a backing as you have. You have only to speak, and anything reasonable is yours. But how are all at home, Christy?" 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. "We have plenty of material out of which to make them, and we can do as we did after the fight with the Scotian and the Arran, when we made them," replied Mr. Flint. "We have men of good education in the crew, who have either commanded coasters, or been mates on steamers." "I had nearly forgotten the most important evidence that can be presented in this matter," said the captain with a smile. "I dare say that each of the gentlemen will produce his commission, his orders, and his appointment to the command of the Bronx; and I don't know how we can decide between the papers. It looks as though the Bronx was likely to have two commanders." CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE
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สลอตทดลอง "You will call all hands, Mr. Flint," said the commander, as soon as the executive officer appeared on the deck; and the call of the boatswain's mate sounded through the vessel. The transfer of cargo, so far as the Bronx was 142 concerned, was completed. It appeared that the flag-officer was hurrying the departure of the steamer on her mission, whatever it was. He had just had a long talk with Corny, and doubtless there was danger that the object of the cruise might be defeated by delay. In a short time the Bronx was under way, headed to the eastward, in accordance with her verbal orders, for the sealed envelope was not to be opened till nine o'clock in the evening, as Christy learned from Mr. Flint. "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.
เวบยงเบอร "Perhaps you have never read 'Lafitte, the Pirate of the Gulf;' but this bay was his famous resort," said Christy, smiling. "It was formerly quite as noted as a resort for smugglers, and Lafitte was more a smuggler than a pirate in this region. He was six feet two inches in height, a well educated and handsome man, so that he was a first-class hero for a novel of the dime class," added Christy. "Yes, sar; she done h'ist two out ob her innards, and done took two more from de fort." "Do!" exclaimed the patient. "You will take off what is left of by dose." "Bonnydale sounds like a fancy name, such as any gentleman might give to his estate, as Sunnyside was the home of Washington Irving. Is this the fact?" asked Mr. Salisbury.
ak88king v2 Lieutenant Fourchon pressed the hand of the doctor, and left the casemate with him. "Then we had better obey the sealed orders of the flag-officer; we will come about, and head her for St. Andrew's. Fortunately I have been there myself in the Bellevite, and I have been up the harbor and bay in boats, for the yacht, as she was at the time, drew too much water to go into the bay, for it is shoal inside. Come about, Mr. Flint, and make the course due east." 55 "The brilliant officer who bears this name is too well known to hide his light under a bushel. I have not the honor to be personally acquainted with him, and therefore I am unable to decide which of the gentlemen who report to me under that name is the real one." "Do!" exclaimed the patient. "You will take off what is left of by dose."
ไอโปร999 "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." "I am afraid he is fond of whiskey, though I do not know that he is." "Of course I shall not raise an issue as to your veracity, Mr. Passford, but after the statement you have made to me, I must change the form of my phraseology," continued the commander, using a smile to cover any possible doubts or suspicions in his mind. "When I called at the stateroom of the officer who reported on board last evening as Lieutenant Christopher Passford, he told me that I was expected to get under way and proceed to my destination as soon as the officer and the seamen were on board."