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slot56 "Ten and a half feet!" reported the bowman. Lieutenant Passford was on board of the Vernon, and he had no further solicitude in regard to a literal obedience to his orders. The commander of the steamer, whoever he was, did not appear to have noticed the new arrival, and no one gave any attention to Christy. He walked forward to take a better view of the crew, and the seamen touched 39 their caps to the shoulder straps of a lieutenant with which he had been careful to ornament his coat. 29 "But where is Walsh?" inquired Christy. slot56 "I had not the honor to communicate with you yesterday before the Bronx sailed for her destination; but I believe you were called upon to decide upon the identity of the officer who presented himself to you as the lieutenant appointed to the command of the Bronx, introduced by Captain Battleton of the Vernon." "How shall you manage it?" "You took the bull by the horns at an opportune moment, my son," said Captain Passford, Senior. "If you had not done so you would have been in a rebel prison at this moment. As it is, poor Corny has got back to Fort Lafayette, with Galvinne and our man-servant, whom I never should have suspected of being a Confederate officer." 338 "South, sir," replied the quartermaster. "Shall we find no one at the negro quarters?" asked the lieutenant with interest. 187 "This is mean of you, Christy, to put me in irons," said Corny reproachfully as he turned to his cousin; "I might have asked Captain Battleton to put you in irons on board of the Vernon; but I did not." "I have, captain; and it is in my own handwriting," replied the officer addressed. "At Bonnydale, on the Hudson." ufa369 สลอต "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. The commander read his orders through. It was believed that vessels were loading with cotton there, towed down in flatboats by small steamers, and that a steamer of four hundred tons was fitting out in the bay as a privateer. It might not be practicable for the Bronx to go into the bay; but she was to do what she could to capture the 305 cotton vessels and the steamer when they came out. 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." "Then it follows that one of the two must be a Confederate who is on board of a United States 95 ship for some purpose not yet explained, but fairly supposed to be hostile." "I don't think I am ever rash, mother; and if I have been exceedingly fortunate, it was more because the circumstances favored me than because I ran great risks," replied Christy very seriously, for he was sensitive on the point his mother had brought up. "Father has said a great deal to me on this subject, and I have always done my best to carry out his principles. It is not my fault that I have a friend at court, and have had opportunities that have not been offered to many others. But the tide may turn against me on my next cruise." "Do you say that Captain Flanger has been a smuggler in these waters?" "I do not so consider you, uncle Homer; but I cannot say how my superior officer will look at 236 the matter when I report to him. You were taken in a sloop that fired upon the first cutter of the Bronx, wounding one of the crew and the officer in command." The late acting-commander did not leave the deck, as he would have been likely to do if he had been relieved and ordered to report on board of the flag-ship, though he might have been superseded as executive officer,—a position which he was clearly entitled to hold. A little later, the draft of seamen were ordered to file on board of the Bronx. Then the observer saw Mr. Galvinne, with a rather pompous gesture point to the men who were coming on board, and say something he 123 could not hear to Mr. Flint. He had evidently directed him to receive the seamen as they came on deck. This indicated that the late second lieutenant of the Vernon had been appointed executive officer of the Bronx. "You know me, don't you, Boxie?" said Corny as he recognized the old salt, who was the sheet-anchorsman of the crew, and who was generally their spokesman. The carpenter and his assistants were still at work on the berth, and Christy, placing his valise near it, seated himself by it. For the first time since he came on board of the Vernon he had an opportunity to reflect upon the events of the day. Corny Passford was the present master of the situation. He had not been aware till he met him in the captain's cabin, that his cousin was even in the vicinity of New York. With an amount of assurance for which he had not given him credit, 98 Corny had undertaken to personate his nautical relative, and was now actually on his way to the Gulf to take command of the Bronx. ทางเขา ufpt168p 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. "Precisely so; in this cause, though I drink whiskey, chew, and smoke, and never swear except when I am excited, I am a religious man," said the intruder, laughing. "I am, uncle Homer," replied the young man. "I wish to introduce a gentleman to you; Lieutenant Passford, let me make you acquainted with Lieutenant Passford," said the commander as he led the way into the captain's cabin. When he realized that the scheme of his cousin, or whoever had devised it, was in a fair way to accomplish its object, Christy felt that he must do something. Though he was a prisoner and in 116 disgrace, he did not feel that he was absolved from the duty of attempting to save the Bronx to the union. He had refused to accept a parole, or anything of that kind, and his honor as an officer did not require him to submit to the discipline of his situation. He was a prisoner; but the responsibility of retaining him as such belonged to the captain of the Vernon for the present. "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. "If you will name one, I will name another," added Christy. "I thought you were somewhat changed in your looks when I saw you come on board of the Bronx, and then I felt that the greeting you gave me was rather stiff for an old comrade who had 137 passed some time with you in a Confederate prison," added Mr. Flint. "Not if you tell them I am the doctor," added the lieutenant. As the soldier did not offer to come into the cabin, Mr. Pennant had come out of his hiding-place, and had heard all that was said by the soldier, even while he was in concealment. "I have to report the capture of the small sloop, the Magnolia, in tow," said the third lieutenant, touching his cap to the commander. "We have eleven prisoners. Hilton is wounded, and I will send him on board first, if you please." "Will it be the highest prudence to permit the conspirators to take the Bronx into a Confederate port, Pensacola, or any other?" demanded Christy with more earnestness than he had yet manifested. "They are in my pocket," replied Corny sourly.

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slot56 67 "Then you were both brought up in the North," suggested the captain. "No use, Massa Ossifer; dis nigger don't hab teef enough to do dat." "Yes, sar; she done h'ist two out ob her innards, and done took two more from de fort." "Come aft, Kingston!" called the third lieutenant to the nearest man in the bow, and the one indicated crawled aft with all the haste he could make. "Take Hilton's oar!" added Mr. Pennant, as with his right arm he drew the wounded man back into the stern sheets. Homer Passford, the only brother of his father, had early in life settled in Alabama, and become a planter, where he had made a respectable fortune, though he was a poor man compared with the northern brother. He had a wife, a son, and a daughter. At the beginning of the war of the Rebellion he had promptly espoused the cause of the South, and from his point of view, he was fully as patriotic as his brother on the other side. He was ready to give himself, his son, and his fortune to the independence of the South. His character was quite as noble as that of his brother, and he had done all he could in person and with his wealth to insure the success of the Southern cause. "Don't you know?" "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." "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. "He is a prisoner on board of the Bronx, with two Confederate naval officers who were his associates in the conspiracy; and we have also two seamen," replied Christy, who proceeded to give the narrative in full of the work done on board of the Bronx on the evening of the day she sailed from the station. "Don't do it, Dave, for I hope to save the vessel to the union, and you can render me the most important service in this matter," added Christy. ทาง เขา ufabet88 "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." "In spite of your denial and your motto, I shall have to regard you as a prisoner of war, and treat you as such," said the captain, rising from his chair, the others following his example. "Hardly, doctor; I looked up the subject for my own benefit. I simply mean to say that I do not consider my cousin a liar," replied Christy, who was an earnest debater when he became warm in his subject. "I should think they would be safe with a guard," added Ralph. The prisoner was disposed to make further resistance, but two men fell upon him and made him fast to one of the thwarts. The leader of the party, as he appeared to be from the first, could do no further mischief, and the lieutenant gave his attention to the others on board of the sloop. The dignified gentleman, who was dressed in black clothes, though they had suffered not a little from contact with grease and tar, had seated himself in the standing room. He looked like a man of many sorrows, and his expression indicated that he was suffering from some cause not apparent. "Will it be the highest prudence to permit the conspirators to take the Bronx into a Confederate port, Pensacola, or any other?" demanded Christy with more earnestness than he had yet manifested. "Gentlemen, I have come to a decision in this matter," said the captain, when the two claimants had placed themselves before him in a standing position. "I cannot go behind the commission presented by the officer who came on board last evening, and I consider it my duty to regard him as the real Lieutenant Passford, recently promoted to his present rank. There is nothing more to be said." Whether the escaped prisoner had gone to the captain's cabin for a special purpose, or had simply followed the most convenient way that was opened to him in his flight, it was plain enough to Christy that, at the present time, he had an object before him. He had practically taken possession of the cabin, and had already overawed the steward. The commander could not see his way to do anything to improve the situation. He had no weapon about him but his sword, and he was satisfied that the intruder was provided with one or more revolvers, as indicated by the appearance of the side pockets of his blue coat. "I don't think I am ever rash, mother; and if I have been exceedingly fortunate, it was more because the circumstances favored me than because I ran great risks," replied Christy very seriously, for he was sensitive on the point his mother had brought up. "Father has said a great deal to me on this subject, and I have always done my best to carry out his principles. It is not my fault that I have a friend at court, and have had opportunities that have not been offered to many others. But the tide may turn against me on my next cruise." Dave busied himself in clearing the cabin table, and Christy impatiently waited the time for the decided action which had been planned. About half an hour later, when he realized from the condition of the stateroom that it was quite dark, the sounds coming to him assured him that the course of the Bronx had been changed as indicated by Mr. Galvinne. No noise or confusion on deck followed it, and the naval officer's prediction seemed to be in a fair way to be realized. ufabet Dorchester, Mass., April 23, 1891. "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?" "Don't you know?" "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?" "I do not fully understand this affair, captain," said Mr. Flint. "Exactly north-east, sir," replied Mr. Pennant. "I am sure I do not know. I called in the coachman, and he has been to his room and looked all over the place without finding him." slot56 "I hope you have not committed any rash act, Mr. Passford," said Dr. Connelly as the party passed through the ward room. "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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slot56 "I shall have to give it up, mother." "It does not follow that we shall have to fight 293 her or run away from her," added the first lieutenant, still gazing at the approaching steamer through his glass. "I don't believe she is a Confederate vessel. The rebels do not buy steamers as big as that one in England." "Then the report of the light on the starboard bow places it directly to the eastward of us," added Christy. "That is about where the entrance to St. Andrew's Bay ought to be, if my calculations were correct. We have been running to the eastward since we left the blockaders' station off Pensacola Bay. My ruler on the chart gave me that course, and Mr. Galvinne followed it while he was in charge. We could not have got more than half a mile off the course in coming about twice. The shoaling of the water also indicates that we are all right." "I have already recognized the union officer, and therefore you must be the Confederate." "Of course Corny asked for his appointment, for Mr. Galvinne was the real leader of the enterprise. I think you and some of the rest of us have narrowly escaped a Confederate prison." "Why was it necessary to give secret orders for such an expedition as this?" asked Corny. "No matter what you are; I propose to overhaul you and judge for myself what you are," answered the officer in command of the cutter. "Let go your sheet, skipper!" "How old a man does he appear to be?" "I cannot say as much as that," replied Christy, still holding the gentleman's hand; "I must say I am sorry to see you under present circumstances, for you come as a prisoner in the hands of my men." "I should think so," replied the first lieutenant. ufa7k "Probably the odd time means something." "He remembers me," said Mike turning to the lieutenant. "We have struck the right man. But he don't mean that I am any wickeder than the rest of the world. I used to be called here by my last name, and Job invented the pun he has just used." "Let go the anchor, Mr. Flint!" shouted Christy. "Nothing more, captain," said the first lieutenant; and the stock of the other claimant mounted a little. slot56 "It was a great mistake," repeated the dignified gentleman, shaking his head. "I think you need not be too particular about them; they have made their own nest, and now they must live in it," said the first lieutenant. "The flag-officer has signalled for the Vernon to come alongside," interposed another seaman who had heard the question. The End "Oh, I am the officer whom Corny personated," replied the commander with a quiet smile. "The story is not a second-handed one, uncle Homer." "Shut the door, Mike," said the officer, in order to prevent the light from being seen. ufa767 "But Bonnydale is not an incorporated town. In what city or town is your father's place situated?" "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "That is immaterial," added Captain Battleton, as Corny left the cabin to procure the document. "Have you a copy of your report, Lieutenant Passford?" He pointed to Christy. "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. On the lower floor nothing appeared to have been disturbed. In the parlor a gold watch, adorned with diamonds, had been left on the table by Florry, who had forgotten it; but it had not been taken. The burglar could not have helped 24 seeing it if he had explored the house as such gentry do on such occasions. In the dining-room no attempt to open the steel safe set in the wall, which contained a vast amount of silver, jewelry, money, and other valuables, had been made. In a word, wherever they examined the rooms, no sign of any depredations could be discovered. The burglar did not appear to have lunched in the pantry where some choice viands had been placed. The robber had certainly been very considerate, and had done no mischief either for plunder or diversion. He had evidently, in the opinion of Mrs. Passford and her son, undertaken a profitless enterprise. "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. 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. The boatswain's whistle sounded through the steamer. In a moment, as it were, all hands were in their stations. Nothing like a drill with the present ship's company had been possible, though the men had been trained to some extent at the navy-yard and on board of the Vernon; but the majority of the crew were old men who had served some time on board of the Bronx, and under the present commander. 308 "This is not a cotton-growing region, but is given up to sugar raising," added Christy. "They have to bring the cotton a long distance in order to ship it here." "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." "South-west," said Mr. Flint, after the port watch had been dismissed, leaving the starboard with Mr. Camden as watch officer on deck. "I thought it probable that we should be sent to Appalachicola after the information the Russian gave us."

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slot56 "Gentlemen, this seems to be a strange muddle," said the captain, who was not disposed to listen any longer to the sparring between the cousins. "At the suggestion of the lieutenant who came on board this forenoon, I have taken the earliest opportunity to settle the question as to which is the original and genuine Mr. Passford who was ordered on board of the Vernon as a passenger for the Gulf, and who, I am informed, is appointed to the command of the Bronx. I have not much time to spare, and if you do not object, I shall call in the first lieutenant and the surgeon to take part in this conference. I am perplexed, and I desire witnesses if not assistants in these proceedings." The Bronx had been absent from the station hardly more than thirty hours; but she had accomplished the mission with which she had been charged in her secret orders. The Vernon was still at anchor near the flag-ship. Christy hastened on board of the latter to make his report, which he had written out during the passage; in fact, he had two reports, one of the capture of the Bronx, and the other of the Floridian. "Beat to quarters, Mr. Flint!" said Christy, trying to make out what mischief had been done by the shot; but he could only see that it had cut the wheel ropes. 193 "And a half ten!" shouted the leadsman, as though he meant to have his figures understood, as they indicated the shoaling of the depth. "I have, captain; and it is in my own handwriting," replied the officer addressed. "No, sir; not a single big gun, and she has only hands enough to work her. Steam all up when we came out of the bay, sir," said Mike, laughing heartily, apparently in spite of himself. "Nothing, captain." 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?" ufa767 "At Bonnydale, on the Hudson." "What are you about?" demanded the prisoner, attempting to shake off his captor when he felt the cold iron. "I am sure I should, for I could not have helped myself. The captain had his orders, to be opened about this time; and I should have supposed you were going into the bay to shell out Fort Barrancas." "Just west of the big house, sir," replied the Russian. "When I called upon you in your stateroom this morning, you told me that"— Colonel Homer Passford Visits the Bronx.—Page 219. "Yes, sar; ober dar," he replied, pointing to the west. ufa58 "Lieutenant Fourchon, this is the doctor; but I do not know his name," said the soldier. In a few minutes the two stout sailors who had removed him from the captain's cabin appeared on deck, dragging Captain Flanger after them, for he would not walk, and did all he could with his hands made fast behind him to embarrass his conductors. slot56 "You believe that your papers were taken from you, and the blanks substituted for them?" CHAPTER I A MYSTERIOUS VISITATION

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wwwufa1919com He had seen the commission which Corny presented to the captain of the Vernon, and recognized it as his own. In spite of the statements his cousin had made, Christy saw that the handwriting of the report he submitted as a copy of the genuine document was in Corny's usual handwriting. 99 Where had he obtained the commission, and where the original report? These were not hard questions, now that the preliminaries of the plot had been fully developed. "I am sorry that you feel constrained to act in this indelicate manner; but I cannot, on my honor and conscience, violate my orders, and I must respectfully decline to produce the envelope," replied Christy, feeling that he had come to a crisis in the affair.

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wwwufa777com สมคร

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wwwufa777com สมคร "Very well; perhaps you had better answer the question;" and the captain pointed at Corny. "Who was your first lieutenant?" 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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ufa7789 "Loadin' wid cotton de steamers fotch down." "I hope you have not committed any rash act, Mr. Passford," said Dr. Connelly as the party passed through the ward room. "He is better; in fact, he was about well when I left him," replied the practitioner. "But I have no more time to waste," added he, as he quickened his pace, moving in the direction of the shore. "I cannot explain it—how can I?" replied Christy. "Whoever took out my papers and put the blanks in their place, did not make me his confidant in the operation." "Mullygumps!" exclaimed Dave, as he suspended his labors on the trunk. "You are more fortunate than your cousin, for he is having quite a hard time of it," added the doctor, who seemed to be very much amused that the future commander of the Bronx, who had been to sea so much, should be afflicted in this manner.

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ufa168bet th "I am the commander of this steamer, and I have been assaulted in my berth!" replied the sufferer, warming up a little.

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สมครufabet168 "I think the Russian said so." Under the vigorous pulling of eight stalwart men, the cutter leaped forward at a speed that would have won an ordinary boat race, and in ten minutes more, the sloop could be distinctly made out, the cutter running across her bow. She was close-hauled, with the wind from the south-west, and very little of it. On board of her were at least ten men, as the quartermaster counted them, and there might have been more in her cuddy under the hail-deck forward. "What do you know about the fort?"

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123ufabet "It was wise on the part of the Yankee commodore to make his orders secret; for information might have been sent by telegraph or otherwise to St. Andrew's, which would have enabled our people to get the steamer mentioned out of the way, or to prepare a successful resistance to the gunboat sent to capture it," Mr. Galvinne explained in the tone of one who enlightens an ignorant person. The entire party then seated themselves at the table. "Can you make out where you are, Mike?" inquired Mr. Pennant, after about half a mile had been made.

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