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mgm99wln "The crew all know me, and I dare say I can 201 get along without a uniform till we get back to the station, where I could get one from the store-ship; but it is not likely that I shall need one then." He reached the grand entrance in an exceedingly short space of time; but he might as well have been in his chamber, for no ruffian, robber, or Confederate spy could be seen. He had no means of knowing which way the intruder at the mansion 19 had turned, to the right or the left, or whether, like the timid colored gentleman in a trying situation, he had taken to the woods. Christy walked up the street, and then down the street; but the underbrush had recently been cut in the grove, and he did not venture to explore it without any protection for his feet. "About the same the last time I saw him. He 62 ate all the toast I sent to him, and seemed to enjoy it. I don't think he is in a dangerous condition," replied the surgeon. "Don't you know me, Dave?" asked Christy, speaking out plainly so that the steward might recognize his voice. mgm99wln "I did not expect your return so soon, but I have your sealed orders ready. You will get under way as soon as possible," added the commodore, handing him the sealed envelope. "You will make your course south-west, and open your orders at twelve o'clock to-night." "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. "If you saw us together you would not mistake him for me," replied Christy, as he proceeded to explain the situation to the steward, upon whom he depended for very important assistance. "Do you know who is in that berth, Warton?" asked one of the four men, speaking in a low tone, but loud enough to enable Christy to hear him. 247 "On board of the Bronx!" exclaimed the flag-officer. "Do you mean that you had a mutiny to suppress?" "South-west," repeated the first lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster who was conning the wheel. "That will amount to their being made ensigns when you go north again if they prove to be worthy of promotion," added the executive officer, with a chuckle. "That was what happened to Baskirk and Amden." But Job was very obliging, and he made a hissing sound, followed by an effort to sneeze which was a failure. Then he hissed some more, though the loss of his front teeth interfered with the effort. Then he said "fing." "Will you set a nigger upon me again, Christy?" using the commander's proper name for the first time. bestma198 In accordance with the directions he had left with the first lieutenant, Christy was called with the watch at four o'clock in the morning. Though the first lieutenant is not a watch officer, he may be required to do duty as such when the number of commissioned officers is reduced below three, and Mr. Flint had remained in charge of the mid-watch, which had been called to the deck at midnight. The captain relieved him and Camden, and both of them went below, the new appointee taking the stateroom of the second lieutenant. "I will take care of the orders myself." "How do you find yourself, Corny?" asked the captain, turning to the berth. "One of our men is very sick, and we have no doctor. We are afraid he will die before morning, 328 and we want a doctor. Ours was ordered off a week ago." "Where did she come from?" asked the lieutenant, who had more confidence in the honesty than in the intelligence of Job. 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. "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. wink777 The sea was smooth, and the commander of the Bronx was directed to bring her alongside the flag-ship. As soon as this was done, all the prisoners on board of her were transferred to the custody of the commodore. Christy introduced his uncle Homer to the flag-officer, suggesting that he was a non-combatant, and stating that he had offered to put him on shore at St. Andrew's Island. 336 The day was beginning to break in the east, and he was afraid the commander of the Bronx would become uneasy in regard to him. The quarters of the soldiers were passed, though they were not in use, and the shore reached. The lieutenant thanked the guide for the service he had rendered, and told him he could go back to his cabin, and finish his night's sleep. "Sea-sick! No, sir; I believe I never was sea-sick in my life." "You stole it, cousin, and you must give it back to me," added Christy, very decidedly. "As you please," replied the surgeon, as the second lieutenant returned attended by two stout seamen. "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. CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER "Who dar?" called Job. "That is a bad name for this child," said the octoroon, shaking his head. "Are you the son of Colonel Passford?"

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mgm99wln "Mark under water twelve!" shouted the man with the hand lead. "Half a dozen of them, and a steamer to tow them to sea." "Hold the sloop as she is, and I will board you," said Mr. Pennant, as he saw the skipper filling away again. 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. "Then let your father give him the choice of two or three officers. That will settle the matter." So far, Corny, with the single exception of his failure to give the geography of the estate, stood quite as well as his cousin. Then the first lieutenant questioned them both, as they were seated at the table, in a very general way. In their answers, Corny used the word "raised," while Christy was "brought up." Several phrases in more common use at the South than at the North were noted in his answers, which did not appear in the diction of Christy. "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. "We have no time to talk sentiment now. It is necessary for you to understand the situation better than you do," interposed Christy; and he proceeded to explain in what manner his cousin Corny happened to be in command of the Bronx, while he was himself nominally a prisoner of war. "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." "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." pg333 Possibly the man under examination was not wholly responsible for his distortion of the name of Captain Passford's estate, as Christy was beginning to reap the penalty of his imprudence the night before, in exposing himself barefooted and half-clothed to the chill midnight air, and was developing a cold in the head that already affected his enunciation. "But I am sure he has no ill-will against you." CHAPTER VI THE CONFERENCE IN THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN 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." 273 "It could have dropped only from Mike Bornhoff, for he is the only one who knew anything about it. He is my property, and when we are fairly in Pensacola Bay I shall seize him up to the grating, and give him thirty-nine for opening his mouth when he ought to have kept it closed. Where is he now, for I did not find him among the prisoners?" The boat's crew had already lowered the first cutter into the water. The oars were muffled, for the chances were that no one in the vicinity of the plantation had discovered the presence of the Bronx, and it was not advisable to alarm the people. Vincent acted as cockswain of the boat, while the Russian, as most of the officers and men 315 insisted upon calling him, was seated in the stern sheets with the third lieutenant. The eight men at the oars formed the rest of the crew. "This is an outrage," said the man on the forecastle, who could not help seeing that the whole party were in a fair way to be annihilated if they made any further resistance. hoff88 "That is true; and now I am going to appoint you acting third lieutenant. You will call the watch aft." "Will you permit me to see your orders, Mr. Passford?" said the officer. "If you will name one, I will name another," added Christy. "You will pardon me if I add that I think one or the other of them must be an impostor," added Captain Battleton with some diffidence. mgm99wln "I can make nothing of it," added the surgeon. "It looks to me as though the commission alone would have to settle this matter." 124 "I don't think you will, sir, after the circumstances have been explained." 141 "But how is this desirable end to be accomplished?" inquired the second lieutenant, who seemed to be troubled with some doubts. "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." 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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mgm99wln "Dave," said Christy, after he had obtained a view of the back of the steward's head which satisfied him that he was the right man. "Mr. Flint, send Mr. Camden in the first cutter and Mr. Pennant in the second to take possession of that steamer," said Christy, holding on at the rail in front of him. "Put fifteen men well armed into each boat, and send the second engineer with 356 them. Hurry them off, or they may burn the vessel." "Nothing is the matter, mother," called Christy. "I am all right." 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. Mr. Pennant had the deck, and the commander walked back and forth, considering the information he had obtained from the skipper of the Magnolia, of the correctness of which he had no doubt, for Mike impressed him as a truthful man, and, like all the contrabands, his interest was all on the side of the union, which meant freedom to them. For the first time he began to feel not quite at home in his new position. He had been compelled to fight for it; but he absolutely wished that he were the first or second lieutenant rather than the commander of the vessel. "I have, captain; Rockton and Warton took part with Mr. Galvinne, but Sayles and Nichols did nothing, and they seem to be as in earnest on 181 the right side as the other two were on the wrong side," replied Ralph. 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." "Florry was very well the last time I saw her, not more than two weeks ago, and she talked a great deal about you, Paul," answered her brother, partly in a whisper. betflikco "You have been very fortunate, nephew; but it will be impossible to conquer the South. We shall be the victors in the end as sure as there is a God in heaven who watches over the affairs of men." "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." "That will amount to their being made ensigns when you go north again if they prove to be worthy of promotion," added the executive officer, with a chuckle. "That was what happened to Baskirk and Amden." The reports of the leadsman were satisfactory, and the steamer went ahead for an hour. Then they began to give a diminution of the depth of water, indicating, as Christy stated it, that the vessel was approaching the land. He looked over the log slate, and found that the course had been due east till the order had been given to head her in the opposite direction. She had sailed rather more than an hour on that tack, during which the recapture of the steamer had been made. mgm99wln "Good-evening, Captain Passford; I hope you are all right. I waited a reasonable time for you to come below to supper; but as you did not appear, I have made myself at home, for my appetite has been somewhat stimulated to-day," said the stranger. "We are within a mile of the fort, Mr. Sampson, and I mean to run by it. We shall be exposed to the fire of musketry for about half a mile, and the quicker we make this distance, the less the danger to the men," said the commander, when the engineer presented himself. "We will not get under way till you have all the steam you need to give the steamer her best speed." "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. When Captain Battleton took from the envelope the blank papers, no one seemed to be inquisitive as to the result, for, as the commander had suggested, they all expected to find the commission and other papers regularly and properly made out and signed. Several sheets were unfolded and spread out upon the table, and Christy was hardly more surprised than the others at the table. "We are all private citizens," added the sloop's spokesman. "No doubt of it; for to-morrow morning by four bells we shall be off the passes of the Mississippi, and our mission may be up Lake Pontchartrain, or at Ship Island. But let that matter rest, for in three hours and a half we shall know all about it. I want to ask you about the man you call the Russian." ufaapollo Christy certainly felt very anxious, and he could not help asking himself whether or not he was engaged in a foolhardy enterprise in attacking the fort. His orders related only to the steamer that was loading in the bay, and he had been warned in his instructions to take the fort into consideration in his operations. He felt that he had given proper attention to the fort, inasmuch as he had disabled all its guns. He might have simply blockaded the entrance to the Pass; but he might have stayed in the offing a month before she ventured to come out. He was still willing to believe that he had not overstepped his orders. "I never saw Massa Corny; but I done hear enough about him when I was at Bonnydale. Show me your knife and your watch, Massa Christy." "I told you that I had been the mate of a steamer," answered the seaman. "Did you learn his name?" asked Christy, greatly interested in what the officer was about to say. 366 He was too feeble from the effects of his wounds, for that in the thigh had proved to be more severe than the surgeons had indicated, to tell the exciting story of the escapade of Corny Passford; but when he did relate it, three weeks later, it thrilled the listeners for three whole evenings. "I will have a talk with him," replied the commander, as he left the bridge. "Did she?" added Paul with a gush. "Then she has not forgotten all about me. I almost wish I were not an engineer, for then I might be sent home once in a while in charge of a prize." "The crew all know me, and I dare say I can 201 get along without a uniform till we get back to the station, where I could get one from the store-ship; but it is not likely that I shall need one then." "It dropped from some of the men that were captured in the sloop." "Only the women and the old hands, too old to do much work." Christy certainly felt very anxious, and he could not help asking himself whether or not he was engaged in a foolhardy enterprise in attacking the fort. His orders related only to the steamer that was loading in the bay, and he had been warned in his instructions to take the fort into consideration in his operations. He felt that he had given proper attention to the fort, inasmuch as he had disabled all its guns. He might have simply blockaded the entrance to the Pass; but he might have stayed in the offing a month before she ventured to come out. He was still willing to believe that he had not overstepped his orders. "Mr. Flint," called the commander to the first lieutenant, as soon as the crew were assembled on deck, "there is a steamer of five hundred tons in St. Andrew's Bay, all ready to come out at a given signal from the party just captured by the first cutter. I propose to capture her with the boats, and you will take the command of the expedition. The first and second cutters will be employed, and you will see that they are ready." 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark.

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mgm99wln "Enough to take her to Liverpool," replied the first lieutenant. CHAPTER II THE ABSCONDING MAN-SERVANT "That makes it all the more remarkable, for I was not aware that there was any officer in the navy who resembled me so closely," added Christy more bewildered than before, and beginning to scent a plot of some kind against him or his country. Christy struck his bell, and the steward promptly appeared at the door. 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. He had aimed at the head of Flanger, and he saw that he had hit him, for his face was instantly covered with blood. He did not think it necessary 282 to fire a second shot, but he was careful not to let the opportunity pass by if it was needed to reduce the privateersman to subjection. Flanger dropped his weapon instantly, and Dave as instantly picked it up. It was clear to Christy then that the battle had been fought and won, though the defeated party had another revolver in his pocket. "Good-morning, Uncle Job," replied Mike, taking the hand of the aged colored person. "How is your health?" "Those were the coast guard, sir," replied Mike, chuckling again. The big steamer, as she certainly was compared with the Bronx, started her screw again, and came within less than half a cable's length of the little gunboat, for the water was very still, with a gentle breeze from the westward. The boat was dropped into the water; and in a minute or two it was at the accommodation ladder of the Bronx, when a couple of officers mounted the side. "Excuse me, Captain Battleton; may I ask a question?" interposed the first lieutenant. Like the other male occupants of the house, the lieutenant was provided with a night-key. For one who had only just developed a tolerably thriving mustache, Christy was a prudent and methodical young gentleman. As a part of his method, he had a great many small drawers in his rooms, and a dozen or more keys; but he had never lost them, for the reason that he carried them chained to his nether garment. But he had two sets of keys, one for the house, and one for the ship. He had taken the night-key from the former, and put it in his vest pocket; and when he 20 reached the front door of the mansion, the key he wanted was in his chamber, and he had been careful to shut the door when he left the house. "We will soon stop that," added Christy. "Give them another shot from the midship gun, Mr. Flint." ufaapollo "I did not see them there, Captain Passford; but it was your uncle's business to look after them, as he was doing in St. Andrew's Bay." Job conducted him to the fort, which was over a mile distant. The lieutenant was not dressed in his uniform with the shoulder straps, though he had procured one from the store ship at the station; but he had adjusted his garments to the needs of the occasion, so that, if captured he could hardly be recognized as a union officer. But he had his navy revolvers in his hip pockets, though they were covered by the skirts of the frock coat he wore, for he had borrowed this garment of the surgeon. "I don't know exactly where we are now, Captain Passford," said the officer of the expedition. "It does not look like a very bad case," added the doctor, finding it necessary to say something, as he felt the pulse of the sufferer. "The plan was not finally successful, more is the pity," added the Southern gentleman. The executive officer sent Mr. Camden on deck for a pair of handcuffs and a couple of men to execute the order. Flanger still retained his 286 standing position behind the table, holding on to his nose, which continued to bleed very freely. The surgeon went over to him, and endeavored to obtain a sight of the mutilated member. The screw of the Bronx was started again. Though the Russian was a pilot over the bar, his services were not needed as such. The first cutter had kept the range of the buildings on the island, and Mr. Flint had already picked it up. The steamer proceeded at less than half speed, but the tide was at its highest. By this time it was seven o'clock in the morning, for a great deal of the time 343 had been used up in moving the cutter and the steamer. Breakfast had been served to all hands, and Christy had fortified his stomach for a busy forenoon. As the Bronx proceeded on her course, the lead going all the time, making not more than two knots an hour, the report of a gun was heard from the fort. Christy struck his bell, and the steward promptly appeared at the door. "I can't told you 'zackly, massa; she as big as de fort." Mr. Flint went to his stateroom, and turned in; but Christy spread his chart of the Gulf of Mexico, and using his parallel ruler, he found that the present course of the Bronx would take her to the Pass à Loutre, the most northerly entrance of the Mississippi River. He went to the bridge at once, and directed the officer of the deck to make the course south-west by south. Everything was going well on deck, and Mr. Pennant had proved that he was a competent officer. "No doubt of that, sir." "I shall be equally reasonable," said Christy. "The more witnesses there are the better it will suit me." m24 wallet "I have, captain," replied Christy, bowing respectfully. "She is off the shore not far from here. Now you will answer my questions. There is a fort here?" "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. "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." The reports of the leadsman were satisfactory, and the steamer went ahead for an hour. Then they began to give a diminution of the depth of water, indicating, as Christy stated it, that the vessel was approaching the land. He looked over the log slate, and found that the course had been due east till the order had been given to head her in the opposite direction. She had sailed rather more than an hour on that tack, during which the recapture of the steamer had been made. mgm99wln "All sorts o' tings, massa; guns, and pistols, and close. Dis nigger help take de tings out ob her." His scheme, which must have been devised after he obtained admission to the cabin, was born of nothing less than madness, and could hardly have succeeded under any circumstances, though it 302 might have ended in killing or disabling the commander. Christy felt that a kind Providence had saved him, and he rendered devout thanks for the merciful interposition, as it seemed to him. "Thank you, sir; I will take some of it, if you please," replied Christy, as he passed his plate across the table. "Of course, as you have done me the honor to take a seat at my table, I must be acquainted with you."

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ufabomb "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. "What do you know about the fort?" "Mr. Flint, I appoint you acting first lieutenant of the Bronx," said Christy, as soon as the affray was over. "You will restore order on board." "I was not; I had nothing to do with the sloop. She belonged to Captain Flanger."

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ufadragon168 "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. "There comes the Bronx," said a seaman standing at the head of the ladder. 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. Colonel Homer Passford Visits the Bronx.—Page 219.

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g2ggod

g2ggod

g2ggod "But the conspirators do not intend that any issue shall be raised until the vessel is under the 139 guns of a Confederate fort. Doubtless Mr. Galvinne, whom I look upon as the actual commander of the steamer, for Corny is no sailor, will run into Pensacola Bay under the American flag. Probably he is a pilot in these waters, and knows what signal to make to the Confederate forts." "We shall be too far in for her to do us any harm, for the water has not less than four fathoms anywhere along the shore of St. Rosa's Island." "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. "But you need not expect any signal for a couple of hours, or even three. If we get into trouble, we shall retreat upon the boat direct; so keep your eyes wide open." "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.

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goodman888

goodman888

goodman888 "I am sure he will get a commission as soon as he applies for it, captain," added the first lieutenant, pleased with the prompt decision. "Now, who is your man?" "Call all hands, Mr. Camden," said the commander in brusque tones. "Well, Dave, how is your prisoner?" he asked, halting at the door. At first, he was disposed to be amused at the answers the quartermaster had given him, for it was evident to him then that he had been mistaken for another person. It looked as though some officer had come on board, and reported under his name, for he had not yet learned anything in regard to the gentleman who had appeared to be quite sick when he reported himself. It had the elements of another mystery in it. But the petty officer could easily have made an honest mistake; and this was the solution he accepted, without bothering his bewildered brain any further about it.

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wowgame432

wowgame432

wowgame432 242 "I consider the naval officers as dangerous men, and I had to treat Corny in the same manner that I did his associates. If you wish to see him, I will send for him." "We are within a mile of the fort, Mr. Sampson, and I mean to run by it. We shall be exposed to the fire of musketry for about half a mile, and the quicker we make this distance, the less the danger to the men," said the commander, when the engineer presented himself. "We will not get under way till you have all the steam you need to give the steamer her best speed." "Michael Bornhoff," replied the prisoner. "We are all right on the course, Mr. Flint; now make it west," said Christy to the executive officer; and then went to his cabin for his breakfast, directing the officer of the deck to report to him when the steamer was off the South West Pass. "I cannot say that I was; the cause of the South is religion itself, and I am there every time. Who told you that I had been engaged in smuggling?"

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autoplay vip

autoplay vip

autoplay vip "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." "It dropped from some of the men that were captured in the sloop." "He has not found me yet; and I think that the stateroom of the commander of the Bronx is the last place he will think of looking for me. But I have no time to talk of merely selfish matters, for I am not at all worried about my personal safety while we are within union lines. If this plot succeeds, and the conspirators get the ship into a Confederate port, I shall feel differently about this matter. Has any third lieutenant been appointed, Mr. Flint?"

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