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fafa24 In the breast pocket of his uniform coat he found the envelope which contained his commission as a lieutenant, received only two days before his orders, and some other papers. As a precaution against inquisitive persons, if the package should happen to be mislaid in the house, he had applied some mucilage in the library, and resealed the envelope. It had not been tampered with so far as he could discover, and he returned it to the pocket. Standing on the bridge with the executive officer, Christy took his leave mentally of the flag-ship, and the few other vessels that were on the 254 station; for most of them were on duty in various expeditions engaged in the destruction of salt works. A boat expedition had just captured Appalachicola, with all the vessels loading with cotton in the bay. The young commander congratulated himself that he had a fast steamer, for that caused him to be employed in more active duty than the work of destruction on shore. "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.

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riches777all "It was not; for I had concealed myself on board when I realized what Galvinne was about, and, with the aid of the officers who knew me, captured the vessel. I am now in command of her, and I am likely to have a prize to assist in establishing my identity when I report to the flag-officer." "You may come with me, Ralph," added Christy, as he descended the companion-way. "An excellent simile, Captain Passford, and I could not have invented a better myself," returned the privateersman. "I think we understand each other perfectly, and therefore it is not necessary to 272 use up any more time in explanations. You are too intelligent a person to fail to comprehend my plan. As an epitome of the whole scene, I may add that I propose to do what my friend Galvinne undertook with that cousin of yours: I intend to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and have her used in the service of the righteous cause in which the people of the South are engaged," continued Captain Flanger, as though he believed in all he was saying. "His name is Galvinne, and he was second lieutenant of the Vernon; but he is a Confederate. I think he is to be the real commander of the Bronx if they succeed in getting her into Pensacola," added Christy. 230 "All ready, sir; and the signal was a sky-rocket, which the pilot could see over the fog."

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g2gbet555 "But they must have had very big guns." "Very well, Mike; you are a free man on board of this ship." The fort had become harmless so far as the use of its guns was concerned; but the channel of the Grand Pass was hardly a quarter of a mile in width, and even twenty soldiers with muskets could pick off the men on the deck of the Bronx. Christy's orders required him to capture the steamer that was fitting out in the bay, and he intended to do it. The order to weigh the anchor and cast off the spring was given, and the commander sent for the chief engineer. 241 "He did not do that in person; but employed Byron to do it for him; and for several weeks this actor was a house-servant at Bonnydale," answered Christy, as he proceeded to narrate the adventure more in detail. "It is not an old story, for the last event occurred on board of the Bronx at about eight o'clock last evening." "I suppose it is," answered Corny, with increasing confusion.

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satuwin88 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. "Are you a free man?" "All ready, Mr. Flint," reported the third lieutenant, when he had completed the repairs on the steering gear. "Here, sir," replied the steward, coming into the cabin and gazing with astonishment at the negro. "This man has done a good work; take care of him, give him a good breakfast, and see that no one insults him."

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lucy789 "You have done your work very promptly, Captain Passford," said the commodore with a smile. 270 "There may be difficulties; but I think they can be overcome. I purpose to act through you, my friend, as my resources are rather limited at the present moment. In other words, I propose that you shall issue certain orders which I intend to dictate," Captain Flanger proceeded, as coolly as though he had been in his own cabin instead of that of his companion. "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." "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."

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evo77 "Do you expect me to obey your orders?" demanded the executive officer in a sneering tone. "I have not the slightest objection to the presence of as many officers as you may choose to call in," added the invalid. "Not exactly; but I'm his man, Mike Bornhoff." CHAPTER VIII THE PRISONER OF WAR

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chess888 "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?" "Jes' so; you was born ob de debbil," replied the old negro, rising in his bed, and showing all his remaining teeth in an expansive smile. "Well, Mr. Flint, we have been more successful than I feared we might be," said Christy, after the prisoners except Corny had been put in irons, though they consisted of only five officers and seamen. The young lieutenant leaned against the rail, and gave himself up to the consideration of what 43 had occurred since he came on board. He had been bewildered by one mystery the night before, and he could not help asking himself if the conduct of Walsh had anything to do with the visit of the intruder at Bonnydale. He could not trace out any connection between the two events; but, on the other hand, he was unable to satisfy himself that the mysterious visit, the sudden disappearance of the man-servant, and the denial of his identity by the latter, were not in some manner related to each other.

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thb999 "No use, Massa Ossifer; dis nigger don't hab teef enough to do dat." As soon as the steward had taken him to the steerage, Mr. Pennant made his report in full, even to the number and calibre of the guns at the fort, and including the cure he had wrought upon the Confederate soldier. Christy was amused at this last part of the narrative; but he had no time to waste in conversation.

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imilucky The young lieutenant leaned against the rail, and gave himself up to the consideration of what 43 had occurred since he came on board. He had been bewildered by one mystery the night before, and he could not help asking himself if the conduct of Walsh had anything to do with the visit of the intruder at Bonnydale. He could not trace out any connection between the two events; but, on the other hand, he was unable to satisfy himself that the mysterious visit, the sudden disappearance of the man-servant, and the denial of his identity by the latter, were not in some manner related to each other. 138 "There has, captain; he is a young man by the name of Byron; but I did not learn his rank." "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." "We have a nest of them in the cabin—the captain and two officers. What is to be done? We cannot allow the Bronx to be captured by any such trick as this, with forty-five loyal seamen on board of her, to say nothing of myself as a loyal officer."

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g2gzone The steamer had been so successful while in command of Captain Blowitt in breaking up the shipping of cotton in a port where a larger vessel could not operate, that Christy promptly concluded that she was to be used in a similar enterprise. The listener was amused rather than impressed by the conversation which was in progress so near him, and especially at the display of dignity and authority on the part of his cousin. "I don't know; do you, Rockton?" replied the 105 one addressed; and it was evident to the listener that the men were at least persons of average education with but little of the common sailor in it. "If I remember rightly it is eighty-three sea miles from the entrance to Pensacola Bay. But 151 you do not run away with the idea that it is necessary for you, as the present commander of the Bronx, to visit this place?" asked the naval officer. 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. "I should thank you, Captain Battleton, for the compliment, if I were not under suspicion of being some other person. May I ask when it will be convenient for you to settle the question, for it is not pleasant for me to feel that I am looked upon as even a possible impostor?"

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