www.ambking.com "I heard you tell the captain that you could not make out the nature of his malady." Seated on the side of his berth he considered the situation very faithfully. The Bronx lay off St. Rosa's Island; she was on the blockade, evidently ready to trip her anchor, whenever occasion should require. In regard to her officers Christy only knew that Mr. Flint was in temporary command of her, in place of Mr. Blowitt, 115 who had become the executive officer of the Bellevite. The other officers must have been appointed for temporary service. www.ambking.com CHAPTER XXIX A PROFESSIONAL VISIT TO THE FORT "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." "But we have concluded to reverse the decision of the commander of the Vernon, and submit the 177 case to the flag-officer for final adjustment. In the mean time, I have taken possession of the steamer, and put all your confederates in irons. For the present, at least, I am in command of the Bronx, and I want my stateroom. With Dave's assistance, I must ask you to turn out of that berth." "I called you Walsh; and that is the name to 41 which you responded at two o'clock this morning," persisted the lieutenant. "In that case, probably Mike was with him, and he may be a useful man to us as a pilot," replied Christy. "The commodore says the Western Gulf squadron had no steamer that was suitable for this service, for there is only nine feet of water on the bar of Barataria at low water. For this reason he had been requested to send the Bronx, not only on account of her light draft, but of her speed." "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." "Yes, sir; the Vixen was fully armed and manned to protect the fleet of prize vessels she convoyed." ufa9k "If Captain Breaker decides to take your prisoner, I will send a boat for him so as to make no unnecessary delay for you. Mr. Vapoor may remain, and return in the boat I send, for I am confident the commander will accede to your request. Good-by, Captain Passford," said Mr. Blowitt, offering his hand to Christy, who pressed it most earnestly. "I reported to the department that I had only a single vacant stateroom in the ward room of the Vernon, and I was ordered to receive Lieutenant Christopher Passford as a passenger, as I could not take another officer," said the captain. "It is not a serious question compared with others at issue, but the occupation of the single room, now in possession of the gentleman who came on board last evening, depends upon the result of our present inquiry." "It will not only suit me better, but you cannot fail to see that it is the only practicable way for me to operate with my present very limited resources. If I had a dozen good men and true,—not such dunderheads as your officer captured in the Magnolia,—I should be able to proceed in a more orderly and regular manner. In that case, I should issue my orders in person, and not compel you to act as my intermediary." The fort was silent. It was evident now that the commander of the little garrison had not left the barbette before till he had prepared at least one of his guns for further service; but it had again been disabled, and it was not known on board of the steamer whether or not he had any other gun fit for use. It was presumed that he had not, for the Bronx was within easy cannon shot of his works. Christy used the glass, but could not discover any gun that appeared to be mounted. The leadsman was ordered to sound, as the screw was stopped, and he reported sixteen fathoms with the deep-sea lead. Christy ordered the quartermaster to go ahead again, and keep the hand-line going all the time. Mr. Flint came forward, and took his place on the bridge, where the 192 officer of the deck was usually stationed on board of the Bronx. "Does your patient below seem to be improving, doctor?" he asked. "I went to sea for eleven years, and Captain Flanger, father and son, put my wages in their pockets." 66 "It is a family party, captain," replied the sick officer, smiling as cheerfully as though he had never had any practical knowledge of headache and pains in the bones, which was the description of his malady given to the surgeon. "As I have hinted before, my cousin Corny is a rebel of the first order; and you can imagine my astonishment at finding him in the uniform of a lieutenant on board a United States naval vessel." "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." texaslk89 "I will take care of that part of the matter if you will put me alongside the steamer," answered Christy. "No more talk, if you please, for you are wasting your wind." "Make the course about south, Vincent," said the officer, as soon as he discovered that the steamer was in motion. 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. "I think we shall be in Pensacola Bay by daylight," said Mr. Galvinne; "and we have just the right kind of weather for our enterprise. It is cloudy, and it looks as though we might have a fog, for they often come up after dark when the wind is as it is now." "I see you are; but you decline to permit the surgeon to dress your wound. I have no more time to fool with you, and the men will put you on a berthsack forward. If you want the surgeon to attend to your wound, you have only to say so." "That is all for the present, Mike," added Christy. 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. "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." "Does he talk at all?"
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www.ambking.com 243 "They have no doubt whatever that the Rebellion will be crushed out. The last time we met you did not believe that a blockade could be established; but it has been done, and the government is strengthening it every day. It is effective, too; and I have been concerned in the capture of nearly a dozen vessels that were trying to break through." "But don't you believe it will be better to appeal to the flag-officer?" asked the second lieutenant. "Very likely you did, if your hearing is good," replied Christy with a smile, for the large revolver, discharged in the small cabin, made a tremendous noise. "The gentleman behind the table, who is holding on to his nose, requires some of your professional skill. He was proceeding to capture the Bronx, and had gone to the point where you find him." "Certainly, Mr. Galvinne; I had heard so much about sealed orders in the instructions given me for this undertaking, that I was under the impression that they were not to be seen till the time marked on the envelope." "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!" "What is your age?" "He fixed himself up to pass for me, and that helped his case very greatly. He put on a uniform like mine, such a one as you have never seen him wear." Neither of the two disloyal officers of the Bronx was an infant, and each struggled like a brave man against the force that attacked them. Mr. Flint had fallen upon Mr. Galvinne from behind, and had thrown him down at the first onslaught. He fought like a tiger, but with the aid of Christy and two of the men from the 167 waist, he was subdued, and Christy had a strap ready to confine his hands behind him. Then he was drawn over to the rail and made fast to a belaying pin. autobetautobet 666 Another half hour elapsed, and except the monotonous plaint of the screw, no sound was to be heard. A footstep came from the cabin, where Dave was at work, or appeared to be, for he had been stationed there for his part of the programme which was presently to be carried out. "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. The captain asked Corny a hundred questions in regard to the estate, making memoranda of his answers. Once he suggested to the surgeon that he had better examine the pulse of his patient, for he did not wish to overtask him in the investigation. The subject of the inquiry declared that his headache had almost disappeared, and he needed no indulgence on account of his health. He had hardly left the cabin before the steward entered the stateroom, and reported that he had seen Ralph Pennant, and that he had told him all he knew about the loyalty and the disloyalty of the new hands in the crew. Ralph reported that he had "spotted" the four seamen whose names had been given him before the Vernon reached the station. "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 beg your pardon, Mr. Passford, but I did not intend to question the truth of your reply to my question," said the commander, fearing that he had overstated his doubts. "I am 52 simply bewildered, confused, confounded by this interview." "How are you going to get to the entrance of the bay in a fog?" inquired Corny. "Will you set a nigger upon me again, Christy?" using the commander's proper name for the first time. "I know what he means," interposed the Russian. "I know that steamer, for she came in at Cedar Keys when I was there. He means the Sphinx." แทงบอล ไมมขนตำ The naval officer read the orders aloud for the benefit of his associate. The flag-officer had obtained information that a steamer was loading with cotton at St. Andrew's Bay, and Captain Passford was instructed to visit that locality and capture the vessel, and any others that might be found there. This time it was discovered that the vigorous commander of the garrison had dug out some rifle-pits on the top of his works, and his men were 358 doing effective work with their muskets. Three men had been wounded on the deck of the Bronx, the third lieutenant being one of them. Christy shouted to Mr. Flint, ordering him to send the men below, and cease the use of the broadside guns, for the garrison were on the barbette, sheltered by their earth-works, where the guns could not reach them, so high was their position. "I thought I should like it, but I find I do not as well as I expected," answered Christy. 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. www.ambking.com CHAPTER III CHRISTY PASSFORD IS UTTERLY CONFOUNDED "Nothing more, Captain Battleton." "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.
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www.ambking.com "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." "Christopher Passford," replied the invalid officer, with the most unblushing effrontery. "You are not! Who are you, then?" "Don't you know?" "How is your patient, Dr. Connelly?" asked Captain Battleton, joining them at this moment. "Then you will oblige me by getting him into the cabin; I mean my cabin. I will be there in ten minutes." 195 "I think some of us need a little sleep to-night," said the commander. "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." Before the close of the conference the Atlantic had begun to be quite "sloppy," and the Vernon was now laboring in an ugly cross sea, which caused her to roll heavily. "Ralph Pennant. I had my eye on him while I was aboard of the Vernon, where he became a sort of oracle among the seamen on account of his abundant information on general subjects. He talks like a man with a good education, and he has been mate of a steamer of good size. But I know very little concerning him, and am afraid he has one out." www ufa888 com "Station a strong lookout, Mr. Flint, and send a man aloft on the foremast and another on the mainmast," continued Christy when the other orders had been obeyed. "Not a word, sir; only said he would be down to his breakfast in a few minutes." In his youth the author used to listen to the stories of several aged Revolutionary pensioners, one of whom had slept in the snows of Valley Forge, another who had been confined on board of the Jersey prison-ship, and a third who had been with Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis. Not one lives to-day who fought in the battles of the Revolution; but a multitude of those who trod the battle-fields of the war that was finished twenty-seven years ago have taken their places, and have become as interesting to the present generation as the heroes of former wars were to the fathers and grandfathers of the boys and girls of to-day. www.ambking.com "His name is David Davis; but he is not a relative of the president of the Southern Confederacy, for he is a mulatto. He has rendered very 364 important service on several occasions, and there is not a truer or braver man on board of the Bronx, or any other ship of the squadron," replied Christy with enthusiasm. "You were very considerate," answered Christy, looking at the steward, who had stationed himself behind the unwelcome guest. 200 The men gave three hearty cheers as they were dismissed, proving to the commander that Pennant was a popular man among them, as Camden had also been proved to be when his appointment had been announced to the starboard watch. As in politics, legislation, war, and business, the masses of the people soon ascertain who are their natural leaders, the crew of the Bronx, or that portion who had come from New York in the Vernon, had been prompt in discovering the abilities of the two men now promoted. The prisoner was certainly a hideous-looking object, his face daubed with blood, and his nose a mass of tangled flesh; but he was put into the boat in spite of his struggles. Paul Vapoor bade his friend an affectionate adieu, and went over the side. The Bronx started her screw at once. "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?" The crew had been ordered to ease off, and the cutter moved very slowly. A quarter of an hour later the sounding was ten and three-quarters feet. The next report was fourteen feet, and then no bottom at twenty feet. The Bronx was approaching 341 the boat with full steam, and stopped her screw a short distance from the cutter. In a few moments more the boat was at the davits, and the commander of the expedition reported to Captain Passford. When Christy awoke it was dark, or at least dusky, as far as he could judge in his concealment. He heard the rattle of dishes, knives and forks in the cabin, and he understood that the captain was taking his dinner. A conversation was in progress, and Christy concluded from the 159 voices he heard that Corny had invited his first lieutenant to dine with him. "No, sar; can't spell noffin." ufa658 Flanger in the Captain's Cabin.—Page 281. "You shall see it, and go on board of it if you wish; but we may have a battle with the fort." 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. CHAPTER XXX THE ATTACK UPON THE FORT "Why was it necessary to give secret orders for such an expedition as this?" asked Corny. "If he can he will not, if they were engaged in an operation in the interest of the Confederates," added Christy with a smile. "That gentleman is Colonel Homer Passford." "Not just then, captain," chuckled Mike, who seemed to be amused and delighted to feel that he was telling the secrets of his late companions. The progress of the boat was hardly interrupted by the volley, and in less than a minute after the discharge of the muskets, her stem struck the bow of the sloop, though not till the lieutenant had checked her headway, and ordered the men to stand by to board the rebellious craft. The quartermaster made fast to the sloop, and then grasped his cutlass.
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www.ambking.com "The sail is reported on the port bow, which looks as though she might be coming in from sea," continued Christy, as he went into his stateroom with his navy revolver in his hand. "No, sir; but I was named after a Russian sailor Captain Flanger picked up in Havana. I don't mean this Captain Flanger that was on board of the Magnolia, but his father," replied the stout fellow. It was plain enough to all the officers and men that the commander knew what to do in the emergency, and every one was energetic in the 352 discharge of his duty. Mr. Ambleton was fully alive to the peril of the moment, and he was careful to make his aim sure with the great gun. It had been loaded before with a solid shot, and presently the steamer was shaken to her keel by the concussion of its discharge. "What's the trouble here, Captain Passford?" asked Dr. Connelly, presenting himself at the door of the cabin. "Didn't I hear the report of a firearm in this direction just now?" "Excuse me for interrupting you, Captain Flanger; but I have eaten a hearty supper, encouraged by your friendly presence, and I was sleepy, for my rest was broken last night, and I wanted simply to stretch myself," replied Christy, yawning and stretching himself again. "The telltale is honest, and tells no lies," replied Christy. "All the crew are not loyal," replied Christy, as he explained the instructions he had given to the steward. "Now, gentlemen, I will thank you to retire to the ward room, and I will send for you to hear my decision," continued the commander, and the cousins retired together, and both of them appeared to be as good-natured as though they were in perfect accord on the question in dispute. "You must excuse me, Captain Flanger, but I object to signing such an order," replied Christy, as he rose from his chair. ufa658 "Make the course north-west, Mr. Flint," said 350 Christy, following the sailing directions with a proper allowance for the tide. "No more sounding; send the man below. We shall have from three to seven fathoms of water till we have passed the fort." "Who's there?" he repeated in a louder tone. His reflections relieved him of all scruples in regard to any action he might resolve to take. He was held in confinement as a Confederate. When he had been taken by the enemy and locked up as a union prisoner, he had considered his duty, independently of his desire to be free, and he had effected his escape with Flint. In the present instance his confinement was not irksome, but he felt more keenly than before that he ought to do something to save the little gunboat; and he could do nothing without first getting into a position where he could act. "Dr. Waterton," added Mr. Pennant. "Thank you; I will have one of those lamb's tongues," replied Christy. "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. "So can I, if you please, captain," added the lieutenant, smiling as pleasantly as though he had been free from pain, as he could not have been with the wound in his arm. "I wish to say a few words about the gentleman in black we captured on board of the sloop." "Don't you know?" เวบ789bet 329 "You, Massa Gumboat!" cried the negro. "De sodgers put de bagonet frou your crop like a knife frou a pullet's froat!" "While you are here, doctor, I will show you my arm, which is beginning to be somewhat uncomfortable," said the third lieutenant with a cheerful smile. "He was always sea-sick when he first went out, and it appears that he has not yet got over the habit. He was so badly off on one occasion that my father thought of taking him on shore, and sending him back to Mobile by land." 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. 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. "You will take the command now, Mr. Flint," said he when he saw the executive officer watching him with the most intense interest. "What do you think of it, Dr. Connelly?" he asked, turning to the surgeon. www.ambking.com Christy had deposited his valise in a place where it was not likely to be seen unless a search was made for it. There was no one in the ward room to obstruct his advance to the captain's cabin. He had served as acting-commander of the vessel in a voyage from New York to the Gulf, and been the executive officer on board for a short term, and he was perfectly at home in every part of her. In the conspiracy on his last voyage in the Bronx, Pink Mulgrum had concealed himself under the berth in the captain's stateroom, where Dave, the cabin steward, had discovered him, though he might have remained there a month if his hiding-place had not been suspected. "I am only sorry that he is fighting on the wrong side," added Christy, as he observed the 347 earnestness of the officer in the discharge of his duty. "Is he an old man?" By this time the executive officer had beat the crew to quarters, and every man was at his station. "Captain Battleton," added the quartermaster. "I hope you are feeling better to-day, sir." "It is; the name was given to the estate by my mother," replied Christy, unable to follow Corny any farther. The leadsman was ordered to sound, as the screw was stopped, and he reported sixteen fathoms with the deep-sea lead. Christy ordered the quartermaster to go ahead again, and keep the hand-line going all the time. Mr. Flint came forward, and took his place on the bridge, where the 192 officer of the deck was usually stationed on board of the Bronx.
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ufafin168 "He was always sea-sick when he first went out, and it appears that he has not yet got over the habit. He was so badly off on one occasion that my father thought of taking him on shore, and sending him back to Mobile by land." "I am glad to be informed of the fact, for I am not conscious of any such improvement as you describe. In fact, I am not in quite so good condition in a sanitary point of view as I was 50 last evening, for I took my cold about midnight, or a little later, last night," added Christy, his smile becoming a little more pronounced.
ufa แทงบอล "I don't think so," muttered Corny. "You treat your own flesh and blood as though blood was nothing but water with you." "I see; that is plain enough," added Corny. "How far is it to St. Andrew's?" "I am sure Mr. Flint could not have a better man." "I want to see what there is over there." "But, Christy, something has happened; and you must tell me about it, or I shall not sleep another wink to-night," persisted the lady, concluding that her son was trying to conceal something from her, as indeed he was, for he feared it would alarm her if he told her some one had come into the house.
fwiptv cc "Nothing is the matter, mother," called Christy. "I am all right." "I have done something in the business, and perhaps I can cure the man who is sick, if they have the proper medicine," added the officer. 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. "Certainly, captain; go on."
ยฟา99 "Do you know the name of that steamer, Uncle Job," inquired Mr. Pennant. 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. "Perhaps I ought to say in the beginning that it is not in my own handwriting, for after I had written it, Mr. Jones copied it for me," Corny explained, and, perhaps, thought he might be called upon to give a specimen of his chirography. In the official record of a certain regiment recruited up to the full standard, we find that 47.5 per cent of the non-commissioned officers and privates were under twenty-one years of age. We find a few in the list who were only sixteen and seventeen years. In this regiment, 8 we find two captains only twenty-one years of age, and three lieutenants who were only twenty. This regiment was exceptional in regard to age, though we find that over twenty-five per cent of several companies, taken at random, were under age. Even boys of fourteen and fifteen were enlisted as musicians, "drummer boys," and served out their full term. It can, therefore, be truthfully said, that those who were literally "boys" did their full and fair share in fighting for the union. Perhaps even a larger proportion of minors served in the navy than in the army; and the record of some of them could be recited to prove that in those days boys became men prematurely, and distinguished themselves by brave and daring deeds.
wwwrab023com "But why are you out at this time of night, my son? It is nearly two o'clock in the morning," said Mrs. Passford, as she descended the stairs. "You are not half dressed, Christy." "He is a tough sinner," added the first lieutenant of the Bellevite. "Of course I cannot take him without an order from Captain Breaker; but I will return to the ship, and put the matter before him." "I am very much obliged to you, Captain Passford, for this favor; and I know you would not give me the place if you did not think me worthy of it," replied the seaman as he went forward and called the watch to the mainmast.