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nigoal123 "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." 303 "Undoubtedly; headed to the south-west the ship would be off the passes of the Mississippi at eight bells in the forenoon. If we are sent to Lake Pontchartrain or Ship Island, we should be a long way off our course at that time," added Christy, as he broke the seal of the envelope. "Neither Lake Pontchartrain nor the Mississippi. We are ordered to Barataria Bay, where a steamer is loading with cotton." "That is true; and now I am going to appoint you acting third lieutenant. You will call the watch aft." nigoal123 "I prefer that to starving to death in this region," replied the colonel. "The first cutter of the United States steamer Bronx! Heave to, and give an account of yourselves," hailed the officer in command. "Stand by to lay on your oars!" he added in a lower tone to his crew. "Oars!" 284 "You have shot off by dose, you!"—groaned Flanger. "The ball welt straight through it." "I do not regard his statements as lies in any proper sense of the word, Dr. Connelly," replied Christy with considerable spirit. "I have had occasion to deceive the enemy on several occasions; and nearly two years ago I looked up the morality of lying on the field of battle and its surroundings. I think my father is as good a Christian man as draws the breath of life, and I found that I simply held to his opinions." Mr. Flint reported that she had been captured without any resistance on the part of the crew. There was no incident worth relating in connection with the capture, though she was full of cotton, and brought over seventy thousand dollars when the vessel and cargo were sold. The two cutters were brought alongside, and hoisted up to the davits. "If I did, you did not pick them up." "Who is Captain Flanger?" asked Christy. rich168t "Of course I expected that would be your decision," replied Corny, as he took the papers 91 which the captain returned to him, including his commission and report. He put the formidable weapon back into the 291 drawer from which he had taken it; but the lesson of the evening had made a strong impression on his mind. Though he had permitted Captain Flanger to believe that he was not at all disturbed by his presence in his cabin, and had kept up the humor with which the intruder had introduced himself, yet he had felt a sense of humiliation through the whole of the scene. It was a new thing to be confronted by an enemy in his own cabin; and the privateersman, armed with two heavy revolvers, had all the advantage, while neither he nor the steward had a weapon of any kind. 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. Both Christy and Dave kept their positions, each with a revolver in his hand, ready to finish the victim if he exhibited any symptoms of further violence. This was the tableau presented in the captain's cabin when the door was suddenly opened by the first lieutenant, who rushed in, followed by the second lieutenant and Quartermaster Vincent. Mr. Flint had been on the quarter-deck, 283 and had heard the report of Christy's revolver when he fired. Calling Mr. Camden and the quartermaster, he has come to ascertain the cause of the fracas; and the sight was certainly impressive when he entered. 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. "We shall soon be where our operations begin; but I am afraid we are to have a lazy time of it," 307 added Christy, as soon as the vessel's head had been pointed in the direction indicated. "Perfectly, Captain Passford; and I would trust you with my freedom, which is the dearest thing on earth to me. But don't call me 'mister,' or you will make me forget that I am a nigger," 227 said the skipper, laughing in his delight to find that he was in good and safe hands. "Captain Flanger called me Mike always, and that is a good enough name for me." "Dave," repeated Christy, in a more decided tone after he had heard the voice of the steward. "Better; a great deal better," replied the patient. "There ain't no hole in this millstone for me," continued Dave, suddenly becoming very thoughtful. "I don't see how Massa Corny can run away with the steamer when she has her officers and crew on board." 40 The lieutenant gazed earnestly into the face of the sailor, for he was willing to admit to himself the possibility of a mistake. Walsh, or whatever his name might have been, was a man of robust form, not more than an inch or two short of six feet in height. He was clean-shaved, with the exception of his upper lip, whereon he sported a rather long dark brown mustache, of which a Broadway dandy might have been vain. As a servant, he had been rather obsequious, though Christy had observed that he used very good language for one in his menial position. As the officer examined his form and features, and especially regarded the expression in general, he was satisfied that he could not be mistaken. betflix59 "Over to the other side of the island," replied the lieutenant. The oaths and epithets he used need not soil our page; but the prisoner seemed to be suffering more from his wrath than from his wound. 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. 154 "I have no doubt he is concealed on board of the Vernon, with the intention of returning to New York, where he has plenty of influential friends to fight his battle for him. But I must go on deck, or something may go wrong in my absence." "I was hit in the left arm; but very fortunately the wound did not disable me," replied the lieutenant as he proceeded to take off his coat. "Perhaps you have never read 'Lafitte, the Pirate of the Gulf;' but this bay was his famous resort," said Christy, smiling. "It was formerly quite as noted as a resort for smugglers, and Lafitte was more a smuggler than a pirate in this region. He was six feet two inches in height, a well educated and handsome man, so that he was a first-class hero for a novel of the dime class," added Christy. "You will be in command of a steamer, Christy, when you reach the Gulf. I hope you will not be rash, and try to do too much," said Mrs. Passford, as they rose from the table. Christy did not go near him, but he watched him very closely. He had not long to wait before Mr. Galvinne, who was then the officer of the deck, spoke to him, and they had quite a long conversation. He could not hear a word of it; but the fact that they were intimate enough to 112 hold what appeared to be a confidential interview was enough to satisfy the prisoner that the second lieutenant was the principle confederate of his cousin. How many of the crew were "packed" for the enterprise he could form no idea. "You must excuse me, Captain Flanger, but I object to signing such an order," replied Christy, as he rose from his chair. "Then we had better obey the sealed orders of the flag-officer; we will come about, and head her for St. Andrew's. Fortunately I have been there myself in the Bellevite, and I have been up the harbor and bay in boats, for the yacht, as she was at the time, drew too much water to go into the bay, for it is shoal inside. Come about, Mr. Flint, and make the course due east." "Where is your bag?" asked Mr. Flint, as Christy, the actual commander of the Bronx, passed him. "What are you doing with a valise?" "I hope it will all come out right," added Corny.

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nigoal123 335 "But the fort can protect your vessels in the bay," suggested the lieutenant of the Bronx. "One thing more, Captain Passford," continued the flag-officer; "the ship's steward of the Mercidita has been very sick for three weeks, and has applied for a sick-leave. I shall be obliged to transfer Mr. Nawood of the Bronx to his place." "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 I do not quite understand the matter yet. You disappeared very suddenly; and when I wanted to present you to the commodore, you could not be found," added the captain of the Vernon. "I am very curious to know what became of you." "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." "Dave," called the captain. "De steamer! wot's de steamer? Is't a Yankee gumboat?" demanded Uncle Job, opening his eyes with wonder and astonishment. As soon as the Bronx had lost her headway, the screw was stopped, and a drift lead was dropped into the water. A sharp lookout had been kept, 313 and some flickering lights had been reported. The weather had become cloudy since noon, but there was no fog and no wind. "I don't see that we can help ourselves," 212 replied the spokesman in a surly tone; for the prospect before him was not very pleasant, especially as a volley had been fired from the sloop, presumably by his order, for he was the one who had made the threat in the first place. Without discussing this matter any farther, Christy detailed his plan to Mr. Flint, which was certainly very simple, and the second lieutenant could raise no objection to it. He was requested to select the men who were to take part in the enterprise, and all the particulars were definitely arranged. There was nothing more to be done, and Christy was left to himself to consider what he had done. The hungry officer helped himself hastily from the table which was waiting for him in the ward room, and then hastened on deck. gg168th "You are one now, at any rate. Were you bound to Appalachicola?" "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. "Not at all, for, as I said, my cousin Corny was brought up in the South, at Glenfield, near Mobile," protested the ailing officer, who was careful this time not to use the word "raised." 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. "Such an ornament must be a nuisance to you, 262 Captain Flanger, and I think we will have it removed. Dave, go and ask the second lieutenant to report to me with his keys and a file," said Christy. Christy took the offered hand of Captain Battleton, and looked earnestly into his face to determine whether he had ever seen him before; but the face was entirely new to him. He was quite confident that he had never seen the commander before. There was something rather ludicrous in the situation, and he felt as though he was taking part in a farce; at any rate, there was nothing serious or compromising in it, and in spite of the confusion in his mind, he could not help smiling. "Mr. Flint has not had his breakfast yet, and he will come below for it very soon," added Dave. "He was just coming down for it when he got the signal to come alongside the flag-ship." roman189 "Enough to take her to Liverpool," replied the first lieutenant. He complied with the request, as he saw that it was a very simple means of identification, for the steward had some skill as a mechanic, and he had frequently sharpened the knife, and knew the repeater of the lieutenant from having seen it so often, for it was a very peculiar watch. Dave's last doubt vanished when these articles were produced. "I have precisely the same papers," added Christy, with as much assurance as his cousin. "Nothing further, captain," said the executive officer; and the stock of this particular Lieutenant Passford mounted another trifle. "I can assure you first that he is alive and well. I am not informed how he got to New York, but 239 he did get there, and in company with two naval officers, one by the name of Byron, as well as Galvinne." nigoal123 "It dropped from some of the men that were captured in the sloop." "Of course the Confederates on the lower Mississippi are using all their resources to strengthen Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip; and they can make a better use of big guns and artillerymen than in defending an opening like this one," replied Mr. Flint. "I beg your pardon, Captain Flanger; but do I understand that you intend, single-handed and alone, to capture the Bronx?" asked the commander, with a smile of incredulity on his face. The second lieutenant was calling over a list of names, which Christy concluded was the draft of seamen for the Bronx. Possibly Captain Passford had used some influence in this selection, 121 for all the other hands were to be put on board of the flag-ship to be assigned to such vessels as needed to be reinforced by the officers of the staff. 329 "You, Massa Gumboat!" cried the negro. "De sodgers put de bagonet frou your crop like a knife frou a pullet's froat!"

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nigoal123 "I want to see what there is over there." "You made no protest to the flag-officer, but suddenly disappeared. When I went to my stateroom in the evening, your cousin was in command, and had sailed to execute the orders given him. You can judge of my astonishment when I learned 190 just now that the captain and his officers were prisoners," the surgeon explained. Suddenly the officer started back, and began to look very sharply at the presumed sailor. But the file pressed behind him, and Christy was too glad to move with it to delay a moment longer. He went below to the familiar quarters of the crew, and saw many of his old seamen still on board, though many of them had been taken to reinforce other vessels. At this moment Dave had worked himself in behind the pirate; and, with a well-directed blow with the feather duster on the head of Flanger, he brought him to the floor. CHAPTER XI LAYING OUT A PLAN OF OPERATIONS 319 "'Pears like I do; I reckon you's Massa Cap'n Flanger." "I am not; but I am his nephew," replied the commander, willing to be perfectly frank with him. "Sail ahead!" shouted the bow oarsman, looking behind him. He leaped from his bed when no answer came to his second demand, lighted his lamp, and put on his trousers. With the light in his hand, he opened the door; but there was no one there, and not a sound of any kind could be heard. He walked about the hall in his bare feet, and listened attentively at the doors of several of the chambers, especially at that of Mr. Pembroke, the invalid gentleman whom, with his daughter, he had brought home as a passenger in the captured Vixen. ufa1919 "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." The steamer went off till she looked very much smaller, and then changed her course to the south-west. The lieutenant in the cutter ordered the bowman to sound with the small hand lead, after he had brought the boat to a full stop. The man reported eight feet. The head of the boat was then turned to the west, and the crew ordered to give way. In a quarter of an hour more the course was checked, and the bowman directed to sound again. Sixteen feet was reported. CHAPTER IX A MORAL PHILOSOPHER. "It may be delicate; I admit that it is so for you: but as my plans may depend somewhat upon a knowledge of your instructions, I really feel compelled to insist upon this point, Captain Passford," replied the intruder as blandly as ever. "But we are living just now in a state of war, and it is quite impossible to act with as much delicacy us one might desire." nigoal123 "If we keep her due west we shall be all right; and I know this coast as well as I do my father's plantation," replied Mr. Galvinne; and Christy heard him open the door. Lieutenant Fourchon pressed the hand of the doctor, and left the casemate with him. "I see; that is plain enough," added Corny. "How far is it to St. Andrew's?" "Hardly, my dear friend, for I fear that on deck you would give way to your own individual prejudices against me, and do something that would jeopard my interest in the premises. With your approbation, I should prefer to resort to a method that prevails in the army, though not to any considerable 271 extent in the navy. More clearly, I will invite you to send your orders on deck in writing, over your own signature." "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." "Dr. Connelly?" นาคา77 The commander was amazed at the impudence of the intruder. "If you don't, I will send for the second lieutenant 146 and a file of men to put you out of my cabin." "It is Mr. Christy, ma'am; nothing is the matter," replied Walsh; but then he appeared to think that he had replied without proper consideration, and he revised his speech. "I don't know that anything's the matter, ma'am," and still he gazed at the young gentleman, as though he deemed it possible that he had suddenly gone crazy. "Shall we find no one at the negro quarters?" asked the lieutenant with interest. "Uncle Homer!" exclaimed Christy, extending his hand to him, which Colonel Passford, as he was called at home, though he was not in the Confederate army, warmly grasped; and the first smile that had been seen on his face played upon his lips. "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. "Your father's name?" "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." "Then let your father give him the choice of two or three officers. That will settle the matter."

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nigoal123 "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?" 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. 260 I have already learned that you have an excellent cook on board. I should judge from these potatoes that he was brought up in New Orleans." "He bears your name," said Mr. Pennant. "All right; I think we understand the situation up here," said Mr. Pennant, as he led the way in the direction from which they had come. The quartermaster obeyed the order, and four of the party were placed in the bow and stern sheets of the cutter. Six oarsmen were directed to take their places on the thwarts. The lieutenant retained his place in the stern sheets, which he had not left during the affray or the conference. Three seamen, with a pistol in one hand and a cutlass in the other, were directed to remain on board of the sloop; but the party had been disarmed, and their muskets were in the bottom of the cutter, and they were not likely to attempt any resistance. The painter of the sloop was made fast to the stern of the Bronx's boat, and Mr. Pennant gave the order for the crew to give way. 178 "That is the very reason why I chose this place. I have had the pleasure of listening to all your conversations with Mr. Galvinne, and I knew your plans from beginning to end." "We shall soon be where our operations begin; but I am afraid we are to have a lazy time of it," 307 added Christy, as soon as the vessel's head had been pointed in the direction indicated. "You made no protest to the flag-officer, but suddenly disappeared. When I went to my stateroom in the evening, your cousin was in command, and had sailed to execute the orders given him. You can judge of my astonishment when I learned 190 just now that the captain and his officers were prisoners," the surgeon explained. นาคา77 There were nine men left in the standing room, including the gentleman in black; they were coarse and rough-looking persons, and not one of them appeared to be the social peer of him who had condemned the firing upon the boat. The skipper remained at the tiller of the boat, and he looked as though he might have negro blood in his veins, though he was not black, and probably was an octoroon. He said nothing and did nothing, and had not used a musket when the others fired. He 216 behaved as though he intended to be entirely neutral. A few drops of negro blood in his veins was enough to condemn him to inferiority with the rude fellows on board of the sloop, though his complexion was lighter than that of any of his companions. CHAPTER III CHRISTY PASSFORD IS UTTERLY CONFOUNDED "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." "Then I stay for sure; I don't go back on you, Massa Christy," protested the steward warmly. illustration of quoted scene "Mind yore eye, Massa Gumboat!" exclaimed Job, in a low tone, but with great earnestness. This matter was fully discussed during the next two months; and at the end of that time the young lieutenant was again in condition for duty. Both Mr. Camden and Mr. Pennant obtained the appointment of ensign on the strength of his reports. Christy was as earnest as ever in his desire to Stand by the union; he was ordered to the Bellevite as second lieutenant, and, after three months' absence, went to the Gulf again, where we shall find him once more, both on sea and shore, Fighting for the Right. 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. up2bet Another solid shot sped on its way, and Mr. Ambleton, the gunner, fully justified the reputation he had earned, though the missile only ploughed up the earth in front of the party on the fort. But then Lieutenant Fourchon proved that he was a wise and a prudent man, as well as a brave one, for he retreated from the exposed position with his men. It was almost sure death for them to remain there, for they could not help seeing the cloud of smoke that rose from the funnel of the Bronx, indicating her intention to go up the Pass. "I am the commander of this steamer, and I have been assaulted in my berth!" replied the sufferer, warming up a little. "No, sar; see you frou, Massa Gumboat," replied Job. They returned to the negro village, for the commander of the expedition did not feel as though he had yet finished his mission on shore. nigoal123 260 I have already learned that you have an excellent cook on board. I should judge from these potatoes that he was brought up in New Orleans." "I suppose that is the Bronx astern of her," added Captain Battleton. "It is the smallest of the three, at any rate. Mr. Salisbury, you will run directly for the flag-ship," he added to the executive officer on the quarter-deck.

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syclub

syclub

syclub "I think you ought to know it by this time, Captain Passford," answered Dave; and the remark was enough to condemn the impostor in the opinion of the servant. "You lived in here when you were in command of the vessel." The lieutenant went to the ward room where the surgeon was waiting for him. Christy called out the skipper of the sloop, and walked into the waist with him. The octoroon was a large man, of about the size of the third lieutenant, and he could have made a good deal of mischief if he had been so disposed. "Don't care for de fight, sar; Job isn't 'feered o' noffin'." "But there is a third lieutenant who may deserve promotion," suggested Christy.

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nazathai

nazathai

nazathai 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 do not, Paul; I think it wears upon me, though I am willing to do my duty wherever I am ordered."

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ezx10

ezx10

ezx10 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. Christy was not disposed to believe that he was a brilliant officer, or to accept unchallenged the extravagant praise that had been bestowed upon 44 him. He endeavored to follow the Gospel injunction "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think." But while he tried to keep the flower of modesty in full bloom in his soul, he could not deny that he had given the enemies of his country a great deal of trouble, and subjected them to some heavy losses. Then he recalled the conspiracy on board of the Bronx while he was acting-commander of her; and though it was for the interest of the Confederacy to get rid of so active an officer, he believed it was the vessel and not himself that the conspirators desired to obtain. "Is he really sick, doctor?" asked Christy, with a smile which meant something. "Michael Bornhoff," replied the prisoner.

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ufau4

ufau4

ufau4 A third shot fell a little nearer the cutter; but it was evident enough that it was out of the reach of the feeble guns of the fort. The firing continued but a few minutes longer, for it was as plain to Lieutenant Fourchon as to Lieutenant 339 Pennant that the shots were harmless to the boat. The commander on shore could see by this time, if he had not before, that a gunboat was in the offing, and that he might soon have a better use for his powder than wasting it upon the boat. "He said he believed you were bony fido commander of the Bronx, and he is ready to obey your orders. Mr. Flint had a talk with him while the first lieutenant was below; he talked to Boxie, and three more of the men, and he did it mighty sly, too, for the third lieutenant was on the deck all the time. There's eight bells, Massa Christy, and the second lieutenant will have the deck."

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iconxfun

iconxfun

iconxfun 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. "I am not sure that Captain Breaker would be willing to receive me as his second lieutenant," Christy objected. The weather continued favorable till the end of the cruise, and then on the eighth day the Vernon arrived near her destination off Pensacola Bay. Thus far no attempt had been made to capture the steamer, and the plot was as dark as it had been in the beginning. Christy thought that Corny was becoming somewhat nervous when the vessels of the squadron were made out in the distance.

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ฟอก888

ฟอก888

ฟอก888 32 "No one knows what is going to happen, and I may spend the next year or two in a Confederate prison. I don't think my Uncle Homer would cry his eyes out if such should be my fate, for he has lost several vessels and cargoes of cotton on my account," returned Christy. "I should be extremely sorry to put a ball through your head, Captain Passford, not only because it would disfigure a handsome face, but because you may be of great use to me," replied the pirate. "If you don't, I will send for the second lieutenant 146 and a file of men to put you out of my cabin." 140 "But you had no witnesses then. You have twenty or thirty of them now. I know you, and so do all the members of the old crew."

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