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Thuee Cheers yvR Captain Passfokd" (Page 75) 


The ^hie and the Gray Series 





"the great western series" **the woodville stories" 
"the starry-flag series" "the boat-club stories" 
"the onward and upward series" "the yacht- 
club series" "the lake-shore series" 
**the riverdale series" "the 
boat-builder series" etc. 


BOSTON 1889 



718 and 720 BROADWAY 

Copyright, i8S8, by Lee and Shepard. 

All rights rcscTiicd. 

Taken by the Enemy. 




mji& Book 




" Taken by the Enemy " is the first of a new 
series of six volumes which are to be associated 
under the general title of "The Blue and the 
Gray Series," which sufficiently indicates the char- 
acter of the books. At the conclusion of the 
war of the Rebellion, and before the writer had 
completed ''The Army and Navy Series," over 
twenty years ago, some of his friends advised 
him to make all possible haste to bring his war 
stories to a conclusion, declaring that there could 
be no demand for such works when the war had 
come to an end. But the volumes of the series 
mentioned are as much in demand to-day as any 
of his other stories, though from their nature the 
field of their circulation is more limited. Surpris- 
ing as this may aj^pear, it is still the fact; and 
certainly the author has received more commend- 
atory letters from young people in regard to the 



books of tliis series than concerning those of any- 

Among these letters there has occasionally 
been one, though rarely, in which the writer 
objected to this series for the reason that he was 
'' on the other side " of the great issue wliich shook 
the nation to the centre of its being for four years. 
Doubtless the writers of these letters, and many 
who wrote no letters, will be surprised and 
grieved at the announcement of another series 
by the author on war topics. The writer had 
little inclination to undertake this task; for he 
has believed for twenty years that the war is over, 
and he has not been disposed to keep alive old 
issues which had better remain buried. He has 
spent some time in the South, and has always 
found himself among friends there. He became 
personally acquainted with those who fought on 
the Confederate side, from generals to privates, 
and he still values their friendship. He certainly 
is not disposed to write any thing that would cause 
him to forfeit his title to the kind feeling that was 
extended to him. 

It is not, therefore, with the desire or intention 
to rekindle the fires of sectional animosity, now 


happily subdued, that the writer begins another 
series relating to the war. The call upon him to 
use the topics of the war has been so urgent, and 
its ample field of stirring events has been so 
inviting, that he could not resist ; but, while his 
own opinions in regard to the great question of 
five-and-twenty years ago remain unchanged, he 
hopes to do more ample justice than perhaps was 
done before to those "who fought on the other 

The present volume introduces those which are 
to follow it, and presents many of the characters 
that are to figure in them. Though written from 
the Union standpoint, the author hopes that it 
will not be found unfair or unjust to those who 
looked from the opposite point of view. 

Dorchester, June 12, 1888. 



Astounding News from the Shore .... 13 

The Brother at the South 24 

Dangerous and Somewhat Irregular ... 35 

The First Mission of the Bellevite. . . 47 

The Bellevite and those on Board of her. . 58 

Mr. Percy Pierson introduces himself ... 69 

A Complication at Glenfield . . . ~ . .80 

A Disconsolate Purchaser of Yessels ... 91 

Christy matures a Promising Scheme . . .102 



The Attempt to pass into Mobile Bay . . . 113 


The Major in Command of Foet Gaines. . . 124 

How the Bellevite passed Fort Morgan . . 135 

A Decided Difference of Opinion .... 146 

The Blue and the Gray 157 

Brother at War with Brother , . . .168 

Christy finds himself a Prisoner .... 179 


Major Pierson is puzzled 190 

The Morning Trip of the Leopard .... 201 

The Report of the Scout from the Shobe . . 212 

A Rebellion in the Pilot-House .... 223 



The Sick Captain of the Leopard .... 234 


The PpvOCeedings on the Lower Deck . . .245 

The Expedition from the Leopard .... 256 


The Engineer goes into the Forecastle . . 267 

The First Lesson for a Sailor 278 

The Post of Duty and of Danger . . ,* . 289 

A Cannon-Ball through the Leopard . . . 300 

The American Flag at the Fore .... 311 

On Board of the Bellevite 322 

Running the Gantlet ....,,. 333 




" This is most astounding news ! " exclaimed 
Captain Horatio Passford. 

It was on the deck of the magnificent steam- 
yacht Bellevite, of which he was the owner; 
and with the newspaper, in which he had read 
only a few of the many head-lines, still in his 
hand, he rushed furiously across the deck, in a 
state of the most intense agitation. 

It would take more than one figure to indicate 
the number of millions by which his vast wealth 
was measured, in the estimation of those who 
knew most about his affairs ; and he was just 
returning from a winter cruise in his yacht. 

His wife and son were on board ; but his daugh- 
ter had spent the winter at the South with her 



uncle, preferring this to a voyage at sea, being 
in rather delicate health, and the doctors thought 
a quiet residence in a genial climate was better 
for her. 

The Bellevite had been among the islands 
of the Atlantic, visiting the Azores, Madeira, 
the Canary Islands, and was now coming from 
Bermuda. She had just taken a pilot fifty miles 
from Sandy Hook, and was bound to New York, 
for the captain's beautiful estate, Bonnydale, was 
located on the Hudson. 

As usual, the pilot had brought on board with 
him the latest New- York papers, and one of them 
contained the startling news Avhich appeared to 
have thrown the owner of the Bellevite entirely 
off his balance ; and it was quite astounding enough 
to produce this effect upon any American. 

"What is it, sir?" demanded Christopher 
Passford, his son, a remarkably bright-looking 
young fellow of sixteen, as he followed his father 
across the deck. 

" What is it, Horatio ? " inquired Mrs. Passford, 
who had been seated with a book on the deck, 
as she also followed her husband. 

The captain was usually very cool and self- 


possessed, and neither the wife no.r the son had 
ever before seen him so shaken Ly agitation. 
He seemed to be unable to speak a word for the 
time, and took no notice whatever of his wife 
and son when they addressed him. 

For several minutes he continued to rush back 
and forth across the deck of the steamer, like a 
vessel which had suddenly caught a heavy flaw 
of wind, and had not yet come to her bearings. 

" What is the matter, Horatio ? " asked Mrs. 
Passford, when he came near her. "What in 
the world has happened to overcome you in this 
manner, for I never saw you so moved before ? " 

But her husband did not reply even to this 
earnest interrogatory, but again darted across the 
deck, and his lips moved as though he were 
muttering something tojhimself. He did not look 
at the paper in his hands again ; and whatever the 
startling intelligence it contained, he seemed to 
have taken it all in at a glance. 

Christy, as the remarkably good-looking young 
man was called by all in the family and on board 
of the Bellevite, appeared to be even more 
astonished than his mother at the singular con- 
duct of his father ; but he saw how intense was 


his agitation, and he did not follow him in his 
impulsive flights across the deck. 

Though his father had always treated him with 
great consideration, and seldom if ever had occa- 
sion to exercise any of his paternal authority 
over him, the young man never took advantage 
of the familiarity existing between them. His 
father was certainly in a most extraordinary 
mood for him, and he could not venture to speak 
a word to him. 

He stood near the companionway, not far from 
his mother, and he observed the movements of 
his father with the utmost interest, not unmingled 
with anxiety ; and Mrs. Passford fully shared 
with him the solicitude of the moment. 

The steamer was going at full speed in the 
direction of Sandy Hook. Captain Passford gave 
no heed to the movement of the vessel, but for 
several minutes planked the deck as though he 
were unable to realize the truth or the force 
of the news he had hastily gathered from the 
head-lines of the newspaper. 

At last he halted in the waist, at some distance 
from the other members of his family, raised 
his paper, and tixed his gaze upon the staring 


announcement at the head of one of its columns. 
No one ventured to approach him ; for he was the 
magnate of the vessel, and, whatever liis humor, 
he was entitled to the full benefit of it. 

He only glanced at the head-lines as he had 
done before, and then dropped the paper, as 
though the announcement he had read was all he 
desired to know. 

''Beeks," said he, as a quartermaster passed 
near him. 

The man addressed promptly halted, raised his 
hand to his cap, and waited the i:)leasure of the 
owner of the steamer. 

'" Tell Captain Breaker that I wish to see him, 
if 3^ou please," added Captain Passford. 

The man repeated the name of the person he 
was to call, and hastened away to obey the order. 
The owner resumed his march across the deck, 
though it was evident to the anxious observers 
that he had in a great measure recovered his self- 
possession, for his movements were less nervous, 
and the usual placid calm was restored to his face. 

In another minute. Captain Breaker, who was 
the actual commander of the vessel, appeared 
in the waist, and walked up to his owner. 


Though not more than forty-five 3'ears old, his 
han^ and full beard were heavily tinted with gray ; 
and an artist who wished for an ideal shipmaster, 
who was both a gentleman and a sailor, could not 
have found a better representative of this type in 
the merchant or naval service, or on the deck 
of the finest steam-yacht in the Avorld. 

" You sent for me, Captain Passford," said the 
commander, in respectful but not subservient 

" You will take the steamer to some point off 
Fire Island, and come to anchor there," replied 
the owner, as, without any explanation, he walked 
away from the spot. 

"Off Fire Island," added Captain Breaker, 
simply repeating the name of the locality to which 
his order related, but not in a tone that required 
an exclamation-point to express his surprise. 

Whatever the captain of the Bellevite thought 
or felt, it was an extraordinary order which he 
received. It was in the month of April, and the 
vessel had been absent about five months on her 
winter pleasure cruise. 

In a few hours more the yacht could easily be 
at her moorings off Bonnydale on the Hudson ; 


but when almost in sight of Xew York, the captain 
had been ordered to anchor, as though the owner 
had no intention of returning to his elegant 

If he was surprised, as doubtless he was, he did 
not manifest it in the slightest degree ; for he was 
a sailor, and it was a part of his gospel to obey 
the orders of his owner without asking any 

No doubt he thought of his wife and children 
as he walked forward to the pilot-house to execute 
his order, for he had been away from them for a 
long time. The three papers brought on board 
by the pilot had all been given to the owner, 
and he had no hint of the startling news they 

The course of the Bellevite was promptly 
changed more to the northward ; and if the pilot 
wished to be informed in regard to this strange 
alteration in the immediate destination of the 
vessel, Captain Breaker was unable to give him 
any explanation. 

Captain Passford was evidently himself again; 
and he did not rush across the deck as he had 
done before, but seated himself in an armchair he 


had occupied before the pilot came on board, and 
proceeded to read something more than the head- 
lines in the paper. 

He hardly moved or looked up for half an hour, 
so intensely was he absorbed in the narrative 
before him. Mrs. Passford and Christy, though 
even more excited by the singular conduct of 
the owner, and the change in the course of the 
steamer, did not venture to interrupt him. 

The owner took the other two papers from his 
pocket, and had soon possessed himself of all the 
details of the astounding news ; and it was plain 
enough to those who so eagerly observed his 
expression as he read, that he was impressed as 
he had never been before in his life. 

Before the owner had finished the reading of 
the papers, the Bellevite had reached the anchorage 
chosen by the pilot, and the vessel was soon fast 
to the bottom in a quiet sea. 

"The tide is just right for going up to the 
city," said the pilot, who had left his place in 
the pilot-house, and addressed himself to the 
owner in the waist. 

" But we shall not go up to the city," replied 
Captain Passford, in a very decided tone. " But 


that shall make no difference in your pilot's fees. 
— Captain Breaker." 

The captain of the steamer, who had also come 
out of the pilot-house, had stationed himself with- 
in call of the owner to receive the next order, 
which might throw some light on the reason for 
anchoring the steamer so near her destination on 
a full sea. He presented himself before the 
magnate of the 3^acht, and indicated that he was 
ready to take his further orders. 

"You will see that the pilot is paid his full 
fee for taking the vessel to a wharf," continued 
Captain Passford. 

The captain bowed, and started towards the 
companionway ; but the owner called him back. 

" I see what looks like a tug to the westward 
of us. You Avill set the signal to bring her 
alongside," the magnate proceeded. 

This order was even more strange than that 
under which the vessel had come to anchor so 
near home after her long cruise ; but the captain 
asked no questions, and made no sign. Calling 
Beeks, he went aft with the pilot, and paid him 
his fees. 

When the American flag was displayed in the 


fore-rigging for the tug, Captain Passford, with 
his gaze fixed on the planks of the deck, walked 
slowly to the place where his wife was seated, 
and halted in front of her without sj^eaking a 
word. But there was a quivering of the lip 
which assured the lady and her son that he was 
still struggling to suppress his agitation. 

"What is the matter, Horatio?" asked the 
wife, in the tenderest of tones, while her expres- 
sion assured those who saw her face that the 
anxiety of the husband had been communicated 
to the wife. 

*'I need hardly tell you, Julia, that I am 
disturbed as I never was before in all niy life," 
replied he, maintaining his calmness only with 
a struggle. 

" I can see that something momentous has 
happened in our country," she added, hardly able 
to contain herself, for she felt that she was in the 
presence of an unexplained calamity. 

" Something has happened, my dear ; something 
terrible, — something that I did not expect, though 
many others were sure that it w^ould come," he 
continued, seating himself at the side of his wife. 

" But you do not tell me what it is," said the 


lady, with a look which indicated that her worst 
fears were confirmed. " Is Florry worse ? Is 
She" — 

" So far as I know, Florry is as well as usual," 
interposed the husband. " But a state of war 
exists at the present moment between the North 
and the South." 




Even five months before, when the Bellevite 
had sailed on her cruise, the rumble of coming 
events had been heard in the United States ; and 
it had been an open question whether or not war 
would grow out of the complications between the 
North and the South. 

Only a few letters, and fewer newspapers, had 
reached the owner of the yacht; and he and 
his family on board had been very indifferently 
informed in regard to the progress of political 
events at home. Captain Passford was one of 
those who confidentl}^ believed that no very 
serious difficulty would result from the entangle- 
ments into which the country had been plunged 
by the secession of the most of the Southern 

He would not admit even to himself that war 


was possible ; and before his departure he had 
scouted the idea of a conflict with arms between 
the brothers of the North and the brothers of the 
South, as he styled them. 

Captain Passford had been the master of a ship 
in former times, though he had accumulated his vast 
fortune after he abandoned the sea. His father 
Avas an Englishman, who had come to the United 
States as a young man, had married, raised his 
two sons, and died in the city of New York. 

These two sons, Horatio and Homer, were 
respectively forty-five and forty 3^ears of age. 
Both of them were married, and each of them 
had only a son and a daughter. While Horatio 
had been remarkably successful in his pursuit of 
w^ealth in the metropolis, he had kept himself 
clean and honest, like so many of the wealthy 
men of the great city. When he retired from 
active business, he settled at Bonny dale on the 

His brother had been less successful as a 
business-man, and soon after his marriage to 
a Northern lad}^ he had purchased a plantation 
in Alabama, where both of his children had been 
born, and where he was a man of high stan dins', 


with wealth enough to maintain his position in 
luxury, though his fortune was insignificant 
compared with that of his brother. 

Between the two brothers and their families the 
most kindly relations had always existed ; and 
each made occasional visits to the other, though 
the distance which separated them was too great 
to permit of very frequent exchanges personally 
of brotherly love and kindness. 

Possibly the fraternal feeling which subsisted 
between the two brothers had some influence 
upon the opinions of Horatio, for to him hostili- 
ties meant majving war upon his only brother, 
whom he cherished as warmly as if they had not 
been separated by a distance of over a thousand 

He measured the feelings of others by his own ; 
and if all had felt as he felt, war would have 
been an impossibility, however critical and momen- 
tous the relations between the two sections. 

Though his father had been born and bred in 
England, Horatio was more intensely American 
than thousands who came out of Plymouth Rock 
stock ; and he believed in the union of the 
States, unable to believe that any true citizen 


could tolerate the idea of a separation of any 

The first paper which Captain Passford read on 
the deck of the Bellevite contained the details 
of the bombardment and capture of Fort Sumter ; 
and the others, a record of the events which had 
transpired in the few succeeding days after the 
news of actual war reached the North. 

This terrible intelligence was unexpected to 
the owner of the yacht, believing, as he had, in the 
impossibility of war ; and it seemed to him just as 
though he and his cherished brother were already 
arrayed against each other on the battle-field. 

The commotion between the two sections had 
begun before his departure from home on the 
yacht cruise , but his brother, perhaps because 
he was fully instructed in regard to the Union 
sentiment of Horatio, was strangely reticent, anc 
expressed no opinions of his own. 

But Captain Passford, measuring his brother 
according to his own standard, was fully per- 
suaded that Homer was as sound on the great 
question as he was himself, though the excitement 
and violence around him might have caused him 
to maintain a neutral position. 


Certainly if the Northern brother had antici- 
2)atecl that a terrible war was impending, he 
would not have permitted his daughter Florence, 
a beautiful young lady of seventeen, to reside 
during the winter in a hot-bed of secession and 
disunion. The papers informed him wliat had 
been done at the North and at the South to 
initiate the war ; and the thought that Florry was 
now in the midst of the enemies of her country 
was agonizing to him. 

Though he felt that his country demanded liis 
best energies, and though lie was ready and ^^•ill- 
ing to give himself and his son to her in her hour 
of need, he felt that his first duty was to his own 
family, within reasonable limits; and his earliest 
thoughts were directed to the safety of his daugh- 
ter, and then to the welfare of his brother and 
his family. 

" War ! " exclaimed Mrs. Passford, when her 
husband had announced so briefly the situation 
which had caused such intense agitation in his 
soul. "What do you mean by war, Horatio?" 

'^I mean all that terrible word can convey of 
destruction and death, and, worse yet, of hate 
and revenge between brothers of the same house- 


hold ! " replied the husband impressively. " Both 
the North and the South are sounding the notes 
of preparation. Men are gathering by thousands 
on both sides, soon to meet on fields which must 
be drenched in the gore of brothers." 

"But don't you think the trouble will be settled 
in some way, Horatio?" asked the anxiuus wife 
and mother; and her thoughts, like those of her 
husband, reverted to the loving daughter then in 
the enemy's camp. 

^ " I do not think so ; that is impossible now. I 
did not believe that war was possible : now 
I do not believe it will be over till one side or 
the other shall be exhausted," replied Captain 
Passford, wiping from his brow the perspiration 
which the intensity of his emotion produced. 
"A civil war is the most bitter and terrible of all 

" I cannot understand it," added the lady. 

"Is it really Avar, sir?" asked Christy, who 
had been an interested listener to all that had 
been said. 

" It is really war, my son," replied the father 
earnestly. "It will be a war which cannot be 
carried to a conclusion by hirelings ; but father, 


son, and brother must take part in it, against 
father, son, and brother." 

"It is terrible to think of," added Mrs. Passford 
with something like a shudder, though she was a 
strong-minded woman in the highest sense of the 

Captain Passford then proceeded to inform his 
wife and son in regard to all the events which had 
transpired since he had received his latest papers 
at Bermuda. They listened with the most intense 
interest, and the trio were as solemn as though 
they had met to consider the dangerous illness of 
the absent member of the family. 

The owner did not look upon the impending 
war as a sort of frolic, as did many of the people 
at the North and the South, and he could not 
regard it as a tri^dal conflict which would be 
ended in a few Aveeks or a few months. To 
him it was the most terrible reality which his 
imagination could picture ; and more clearly 
than many eminent statesmen, he foresaw that it 
would be a long and fierce encounter. 

"From what you say, Horatio, I judge that 
the South is already arming for the conflict," 
said Mrs. Passford, after she had heard her 


husband's account of what had occurred on 

"The South has been preparmg for war for 
months, and the North began to make serious 
l^reparation for coming events as soon as Fort 
Sumter fell. Doubtless the South is better 
prepared for the event to-day than the North, 
though the greater population and vast resources 
of the latter will soon make up for lost time," 
replied the captain. 

"And Florry is right in the midst of the 
gathering armies of the South," added the fond 
mother, wiping a tear from her eyes. 

" She is , and, unless something is done at once 
to restore her to her home, she may have to 
remain in the enemy's country for months, if not 
for years," answered the father, with a slight 
trembling of the lips. 

"But what can be done?" asked the mother 

" The answer to that question has agitated me 
more than any thing else which has come to my 
mind for years, for I cannot endure the thought 
of leaving her even a single month at any point 
which is as likely as any other to become a 


battle-field in a few days or a few weeks," 
continued Captain Passford, with some return 
of the agitation which had before shaken him 
so terribly. 

"• Of course your brother Homer will take care 
of her," said tlie terrified mother, as she gazed 
earnestly into the expressive face of the stout- 
hearted man before her. 

''Certainly he will do all for Florry that he 
would do for his own cliildren, but he may not 
long be able to save his own family from the 
horrors of war." 

"• Do jou think she will be in any actual danger, 

" I have no doubt she will be as safe at 
Glenfield, if the conflict were raging there, as 
she would be at Bonnydale under the same 
circumstances. From the nature of the case, the 
burden of the fighting, the havoc and desolation, 
will be within the Southern States, and few, if 
an}^, of the battle-fields will be on Northern soil, 
or at least as far north as our home." 

" From what T have seen of the people near the 
residence of your brother, they are neither brutes 
nor savages," added the lady. 


" No more than the people of the North ; but 
war rouses the brute nature of most men, and 
there will be brutes and savages on both sides, 
from the very nature of the case." 

" In his recent letters, I mean those that came 
before we sailed from home, Homer did not seem 
to take part with either side in the political 
conflict; and in those which came to us at the 
Azores and Bermuda, he did not say a single 
word to indicate whether he is a secessionist, or 
in favor of the Union. Do you know how he 
stands, Horatio ? " 

" My means of knowing are the same as yours, 
and I can be no wiser than you are on this point, 
though I have my opinion," replied Captain 

"What is your opinion?" 

"That he is as truly a Union man as I am." 

"I am glad that he is." 

"I do not say that he is a UnioD man; but 
judging from his silence, and what I know of him, 
I think he is. And it is as much a part of my 
desire and intention to bring him and his family 
out of the enemy's country as it is to recover 


"Then we shall have them all at Bonnydale 
this summer ? " suggested Mrs. Passford. " Noth- 
ing could suit me better." 

" Though I am fully persuaded in my own mind 
that Homer will be true to his country in this 
emergency, I may be mistaken. He has lived for 
many years at the South, and has been identified 
with the institutions of that locality, as I have 
been with those of the North. Though we both 
love the land of our fathers on the other side of 
the ocean, we have both been strongly American. 
As he always believed in the whole country as a 
unit, I shall expect him to be more than willing 
to stand by his country as it was, and as it 
should be." 

"I hope you will find him so, but I am 
grievously sorry that Florry is not with us." 

"Tug-boat alongside. Captain Passford," said 
the commander. 

The owner of the Bellevite wished the tug to 
wait his orders. 




In various parts of the deck of the Belle vite, 
the officers, seamen, engmeers, and coal-passers 
of the steamer were gathered in knots, evidently 
discussing the situation ; for the news brought on 
board by the pilot had been spread through the 

Captain Passford hardly noticed the announce- 
ment made to him by the commander, that the tug 
was alongside, for he was not yet ready to make 
use of it. Even the wife and the son of the owner 
wondered what the mission of the little vessel 
was to be ; but the husband and father had not 
yet disclosed his purpose in coming to anchor 
almost in sight of his own mansion. 

"Why have you come to anchor here, Horatio?" 
asked Mrs. Passford, taking advantage of the 
momentary pause in the interesting, and even 


exciting, conversation, to put tliis leading ques- 
tion. ^ 

"I was about to tell you. I have already 
adopted my plan to recover Florry, and bring 
my brother and his family out of the enemy's 
country," replied the owner, looking with some 
solicitude into the face of his wife, as though he 
anticipated some objection to his plan. 

" You have adopted it so quick ? " inquired the 
lady. "You have not had much time to think 
of it." 

" I have had all the time I need to enable me 
to reach the decision to rescue my child from 
peril, and save my brother and his family 
from privation and trouble in the enemy's country. 
But I have only decided what to do, and I have 
yet to mature the details of the scheme." 

" I hope you are not going into any danger," 
added the wife anxiously. 

" Danger ! " exclaimed Captain Passford, 
straightening up his manly form. "War with 
all its perils and hardships is before us. Am I a 
villain, a poltroon, who will desert his country 
in the hour of her greatest need? I do not so 
understand myself." 


" Of course I meant any needless exposure," 
added Mrs. Passford, impressed by the patriotic 
bearing of her husband. 

" You may be assured, Julia, that I will incur 
no needless peril, and I think I am even more 
careful than the average of men. But, when I 
have a duty to perform, I feel that I ought to 
do it without regard to the danger which may 
surround it." 

" I know you well enough to understand that, 
Horatio," said the lady. 

"I believe there will be danger in my under-* 
taking, though to what extent I am unable to 

"But you do not tell me how you intend to 
recover Florry." 

" I intend to go for her and my brother's family 
in the Bellevite." 

" In the Bellevite ! " exclaimed the lady. 

" Of course ; there is no other possible way to 
reach Glenfield," which was the name that 
Homer Passford had given to his plantation. 

" But Fort Morgan, at the entrance of Mobile 
Bay, is in the hands -of the Confederates, and 
has been for three or four months," said Christy, 


who had kept himself as thoroughly posted 
in regard to events at home as the sources of 
information would permit. 

" I am well aware of it ; and I have no doubt, 
that, by this time, the fort is strongly garrisoned, 
to say notliing of other forts which have prob- 
ably been built in the vicinity," replied Captain 

"It says in this paper that the ports of the 
South have been blockaded," said Christy, glancmg 
at the journal in his hand. 

"The President has issued a proclamation to 
this effect, but there has hardly been time to 
enforce it to any great extent yet. But of these 
matters I have nothing to say yet. Tlie important 
point now is that I shall go in the Belle vite 
to Mobile Bay, and by force or strategy I shall 
bring off my daughter and the family of my 

" Then I suppose Christy and I are to be sent 
on shore in the tug alongside," suggested Mrs. 

" That is precisely what I wanted the tug for," 
added the husband. 

" I should be willing to go with you, and share 


whatever dangers you may incur," said the lady, 
who had by this time come to a full realization of 
what war meant. 

" I should be a heathen to allow you to do so. 
A woman would be more of a burden than a help 
to us. You had better return to Bonnydale, 
Julia, where I am sure you can render more 
service to your country than you could on board 
of the steamer. All that I am, all that I have, 
shall be at the service of the Union ; and I wish 
you to act for me according to your own good 

"I shall do whatever you wish me to do, 
Horatio," added the lady. 

" My mission will be a dangerous one at best, 
and the deck of the steamer will be no place for 
you, Julia." 

" Very well ; Christy and I will take the tug as 
soon as you are ready to have us leave you." 

" Am I to go on shore, father ? " demanded 
Christy, with a look of chagrin on his handsome 
face, browned by exposure to the sun on the 
ocean. " I want to go with you ; and I am sure 
I can do my share of the duty, whatever it may 


" You are rather young to engage in such an 
enterprise as that before me, Christy," added his 
father, as he gazed with pride at the face and form 
of his son, who had thrown back his head as 
though he felt the inspiration of all the manliness 
in his being. 

" If there is to be a war for the Union, I am a 
Union man, or boy, as you like ; and it would be 
as mean and cowardly for me to turn my back to 
the enemy as it would be for you to do so, sir," 
replied Christy, his chest heaving with patriotic 

" I am willing jou should go with me," added 
Captain Passford, turning from the young man 
to his mother. 

There was a tear in the eyes of the lady as she 
looked upon her son. It was hard enough to 
have her husband leave her on such a mission : it 
was doubly so to have Christy go with him. 

" Christy might be of great service to me," said 
his father. "I look upon this war as a very 
solemn event; and when a man's country calls 
upon him to render his time, his comfort, even his 
life, he has no moral right to put himself, his 
father, his brother, or his son in a safe place, and 


leave mere hirelings, the thoughtless, reckless 
adventurers, to fight his battle for him." 

" I am ready to go, sir," added Christy. 

"He may go with you, if you think it best," 
said the mother with a quivering lip. " I shall 
miss him, but I am sure you would miss him 

" My first mission is hardly in the service of my 
country; at least, it is not directly so, though I 
hope to be of some use to her during my absence. 
As I said before, I think my first duty — a duty 
committed to me by the Almighty, which takes 
precedence over all other duties — is, within 
reasonable limits, to my own family. I will not 
spare myself or my son, but I must save Florry 
and my brother's family." 

" I think you are right, Horatio." 

" On my return I shall present the Bellevite to 
the Government, which is in sore need of suitable 
vessels at the present time, and offer my services 
in any capacity in which I can be useful," con- 
tinued Captain Passford. " Captain Breaker," he 
called to the commander. 

" Here, sir." 

"Pipe the entire ship's company on the fore- 


castle, and see that no one from the tug is near 
enough to hear what is said there." 

Captain Breaker had formerly been a lieutenant 
in the navy, and the forms and discipline of a 
man-of-war prevailed on board of the steam-yacht. 
In a minute more the pipe of the boatswain rang 
through the vessel, and all hands were mustered 
on the forecastle. The tug was made fast on the 
quarter of the steamer, and no one fi'om her had 
come on board. 

Captain Passford and Christy walked forward, 
leaving the lady with her own thoughts. She was 
a daughter of a distinguished officer in the navy, 
and she had been fully schooled in the lesson of 
patriotism for such an emergency as the present. 
She was sad, and many a tear dropped from her 
still handsome face ; but she was brave enough to 
feel proud that she had a husband and a son 
whom she was willing to give to her country. 

The ship's company gathered on the forecastle ; 
and every one of them seemed to be deeply 
impressed with the solemnity of the occasion, for 
not a light word was spoken, not a laugh played 
on any face. They had just learned that the 
country was in a state of war; and the present 


occasion indicated that the owner had some 
serious question in his mind, which was now to 
be presented to them. 

The Bellevite was heavily manned for a yacht; 
but every person had been selected for his 
position, from the highest to the lowest, with 
the utmost care by Captain Breaker, assisted by 
the owner. Every one of them had been attached 
to the steamer for at least a year, and some of 
them for a longer period. All of them were 
personally known to the owner and the members 
of the family, who had taken the greatest pleasure 
in improving and assisting them and their families, 
if they had any. 

They were all devoted to the owner and the 
members of his family, who had taken such a 
strong personal interest in them and theirs. 
Many instances of the kindness of the lady in 
times of sickness and death, as well as in the 
brighter days of prosperity and happiness, could 
be related; and in return for all this generous 
and considerate treatment, there was not a man 
on board who would not have laid down his life 
for the family. 

It was certainly a model ship's company; and 

44 take:j{ by the enemy 

if there had ever been another owner and captain 
like those of the Bellevite, there might also have 
been such another collection of officers and 
seamen. But every one of them had been 
selected for his moral character, not less than 
for his nautical skill and knowledge. In fact, 
the personal history of any one of them would 
have been interesting to the general reader. 

These men composed the audience of Captain 
Passford when he took his place at the bowsprit 
bitts ; and, if the occasion had been less solemn, 
they would have cheered him, as they were in the 
habit of doing on every suitable opportunity, and 
even when it was not suitable. 

The owner prefaced his remarks with a state- 
ment of the events which had occurred in the 
country since the last dates they had received, 
and then proceeded to ^describe his mission as 
indicated to his wife and son. He fully stated 
the perils of the enterprise, with the fact that his 
operations would be somewhat irregular ; though 
he intended to make an immediate tender of the 
vessel to the Government, with his own services 
in any capacity in which he might be needed. 

In spite of the solemnity of the occasion, the 


men broke out into cheers, and not a few of 
the sailors shouted out their readiness to go with 
him wherever he might go, without regard to 
danger or hardship. One old sheet-anchor man 
declared that he was ready to die for Miss Florry ; 
and he was so lustily cheered that it was evident 
this was the sentiment of all. 

"I have called the tug at the quarter along- 
side to convey Mrs. Passford to the shore, 
though Christy will go with me," added the 

At this point he was interrupted by a volley of 
cheers, for Christy was a universal favorite on 
board, as Florry had always been ; and the ship's 
company regarded her as a sort of mundane 
divinity, upon whom they could look only with 
the most profound reverence. 

" In view of the danger and the irregularity of 
the enterprise, I shall not persuade or urge any 
person on board to accompany me ; and the tug 
will take on shore all who prefer to leave the 
vessel, with my best wishes for their future. 
Those who prefer to go on shore will go 
aft to the mainmast," continued Captain Pass- 


Officers and seamen looked from one to the 
other ; but not one of them took a step from his 
place on the forecastle, to which all seemed to be 




Captain Passford looked over his audience 
with no little interest, and perhaps with consider- 
able anxiety ; for he felt that the success of his 
enterprise must depend, in a great measure, upon 
the fidelity and skill of the individual members 
of the ship's company. 

*' My remarks are addressed to every person in 
the ship's company, from Captain Breaker to the 
stewards and coal-passers; and any one has a 
perfect right to decline to go with me, without 
prejudice to his present or future interests," 
continued the owner. 

More earnestly than before the officers and men 
gazed at each other ; and it looked as though not 
one of them dared to move a single inch, lest a 
step should be interpreted as an impeachment of 
his fidelity to one who had been a Christian and a 
trusty friend in all his relations with him. 


"I know that some of you have families, 
mothers, brothers, and sisters on shore ; and I 
assure you that I shall not regard it as a disgrace 
or a stigma upon any man who does his duty as he 
understands it, without regard to me or mine," 
the owner proceeded. 

Still not a man moved, and all seemed to be 
more averse than before to change their positions a 
particle ; and possibly any one who was tempted 
to do so expected to be hooted by his shipmates, 
if he took the treacherous step, 

" I sincerely hope that every man of you will be 
guided by his own sense of duty, without regard 
to what others may tliink of his action. I will 
not allow any man to suffer from any reproach or 
indignity on account of what he does in this 
matter, if by any means I can prevent it," con- 
tinued Captain Passford, looking over his audience 
again, to discover, if he could, any evidence of 
faltering on the part of a single one. 

Still officers and men were as immovable as a 
group of statuary ; and not a face betrayed an 
expression indicating a desire to leave the vessel, 
or to falter in what all regarded as the allegiance 
they owed to the owner and his family. 


"We will all go with you to the end of the 
world, or the end of the war ! " shouted the old 
sheet-anchor man, who was the spokesman of the 
crew when they had any thing to say. " If any 
man offers to leave " — 

" He shall go with my best wishes," interposed 
Captain Passford. "None of that, Boxie ; you 
have heard what I said, and I mean every word of 
it. There shall be no persuasion or intimidation." 

" Beg pardon, Captain Passford ; but there isn't 
a man here that would go to the mainmast if he 
knew that the forecastle w^ould drop out from 
under him, and let him down into Davy Jones's 
locker the next minute if he staid here," responded 
Boxie, with a complaisant grin on his face, as if 
he was entirely conscious that he knew what he 
was talking about. 

" Every man must act on his own free will," 
added the owner. 

"That's just what we are all doing, your honor; 
and every one of us would rather go than have 
his wages doubled. If any dumper here has a 
free will to go to the mainmast, he'd better put 
his head in soak, and " — 

" Avast heaving, Boxie ! " interposed the owner, 


smiling in spite of himself at the earnestness of 
the old sailor. 

" I hain't got a word more to say, your honor ; 

" Only nothing, Boxie ! I see that not one of 
you is inclined to leave the vessel, and I appreciate 
in the highest degree this devotion on your part 
to me and my family. I have some writing to do 
now ; and, while I am engaged upon it, Mr. Watts 
shall take the name and residence of every man 
on board. I shall give this list to my wife, and 
charge her to see that those dependent upon you 
need nothing in your absence. She will visit the 
friends of every one of you, if she has to go five 
hundred miles to do so. I have nothing more to 
say at present." 

The men cheered lustily for the owner, and 
then separated, as the captain went aft to draw up 
his papers to send on shore by ^Irs. Passford. He 
was followed by Captain Breaker, Avhile little 
groups fornied in various parts of the deck to 
discuss the situation. 

"I intended to have some talk with you. Breaker, 
before I said any thing to the ship's company ; but, 
you know, it is very seldom that I ever say any 


thing directly to them," said Captain Passford, as 
the commander came up with him. 

'' This was an extraordinary occasion ; and I am 
very glad that you did the business directly, 
instead of committing it to me," replied Captain 
Breaker ; " and I have not the slightest objection 
to make. But I have a word to say in regard to 
myself personally. As you are aware, I was 
formerly an officer of the navy, with the rank of 
lieutenant. I wish to apply to the department to 
be restored to my former rank, or to any rank 
which will enable me to serve my country the 
most acceptably. I hope my purpose will not 
interfere with your enterprise." 

" Not at all, I think, except in the matter of 
some delay. I shall tender the Bellevite as a free 
gift to the Government in a letter I shall send on 
shore by my wife," replied Captain Passford. 
" But I shall offer to do this only on my return 
from a trip I feel obliged to make in her. I shall 
also offer my own services in any capacity in 
which I cau be useful; though, as I am not a naval 
officer like yourself, I cannot expect a prominent 

" Your ability fits you for almost any position ; 


and, after a little study of merely routine matters, 
you will be competent for almost any command," 
added Captain Breaker. 

" I do not expect that, and I am willing to do 
my duty in a humble position," said the owner. 
" All that I am and all that I have shall be for 
my country's use." 

" I knew very well where we should find you if 
the troubles ended in a war." 

" My present enterjorise will be rather irregular, 
as I have already said; but the delay it would 
cause alone prevents me from giving the vessel to 
the Government at once." 

"As a man-of-war, the Bellevite could not be 
used for the purpose you have in mind. The 
plan 5"ou have chosen is the only practicable 

"Very well. Breaker. You had better pass 
the word through the ship's company that the 
Bellevite will sail in an hour or two, — as soon as 
I can finish my business ; and if officer or seaman 
wishes to leave the vessel, let him do so," added 
the owner, as he moved towards the companion- 

"Not one of them will leave her under any 


circumstances," replied the commander, as he 
went forward. 

The word was passed, as suggested by the 
owner, and the result was to set the greater part 
of the officers and men to writing letters for their 
friends, to be sent on shore by the tug ; but the 
captain warned them not to say a word in regard 
to the destination of the steamer. 

In another hour Captain Passford had com- 
pleted his letters and papers, including letters to 
the Secretary of the Navy, a power of attorney 
to his wife which placed his entire fortune at her 
command, and other documents which the hurried 
movements of the writer rendered necessary. 

The owner and his son bade adieu to the wife 
and mother in the cabin ; and it is not necessary to 
penetrate the, sacred privacy of such an occasion, 
for it was a tender, sad, and trying ordeal to all of 

All the letters were gathered together and com- 
mitted to the care of the lady as she went over 
the side to leave the floating home in which she 
had lived for several months, for the family did 
not often desert their palatial cabin for the poorer 
accommodations of a hotel on shore. 


The pilot departed in the tug, and he was no 
wiser than when he came on board in regard to 
the intentions of the owner of the steam-yacht. 
There was an abundant supply of coal and pro- 
visions on board, for the vessel was hardly three 
days from Bermuda when she came up with Sandy 
Hook ; and the commander gave the order to 
weigh anchor as soon as the tug cast off her fasts. 

" I suppose we are bound somewhere. Captain 
Passford," said Captain Breaker, as soon as the 
vessel was fully under way. '' But you have not 
yet indicated to me our destination." 

" Bermuda. The fact is that I have been so 
absorbed in the tremendous news that came to us 
with the pilot, that I have not yet come to my 
bearings," replied the owner with a smile. " My 
first duty now will be to discuss our,future move- 
ments with 3^ou ; and when you have given out 
the course, we will attend to that matter." 

Captain Breaker called Mr. Joel Dashington, 
the first officer, to him, and gave him the course 
of the ship, as indicated by the owner. He was 
six feet and one inch in height, and as thin as a 
rail ; but he was a very wiry man, and it was said 
that he could stand more hunger, thirst, exposure, 


and hardship than any other living man. He was 
a gentleman in his manners, and had formerly- 
been in command of a ship in the employ of 
Captain Passford. He was not quite fifty years 
old, and he had seen service in all parts of the* 
world, and in his younger days had been a master's 
mate in the navy. 

The second officer Avas superintending the crew 
as they put things to rights for the voyage. His 
person was in striking contrast with his superior 
officer ; for he weighed over two hundred pounds, 
and looked as though he were better fitted for 
the occupancy of an alderman's chair than for a 
position on the deck of a sea-going vessel. He 
was under forty years of age, but he had also 
been in command of a bark in the employ of 
his present owner. 

" Of course we cannot undertake the difficult 
enterprise before us, Breaker, without an arma- 
ment of some sort," said Captain Passford, as 
they halted at the companionway. 

" I should say not, and I was wondering how 
you intended to manage in this matter," replied 
the commander. 

"I will tell you, for our first mission renders 


it necessary to give some furtlier orders before 
we go below," continued the owner. " We have 
not a day or an hour to waste." 

" The sooner we get at the main object of the 
expedition, the better will be our chances of 

"You remember that English brig which was 
wrecked on Mills Breaker, while we were at 
Hamilton ? " 

" Very well indeed ; and she was said to be 
loaded with a cargo of improved guns, with the 
ammunition for them, which some enterprising 
Britisher had brought over on speculation, for 
the use of the Confederate army and navy, — 
if they ever have any navy," added Captain 

" That is precisely the cargo to which I allude. 
The brig had a hole in her bottom, but only a 
part of her was under water. The officers of the 
vessel were confident that the entire cargo would 
be saved, with not much of it in a damaged 
condition," added the owner. 

"There has been no violent storm since we 
left St. George, hardly three days ago," said the 


"I wish to obtain as much of this cargo as 
will be necessary to arm the Bellevite proxDerly 
for the expedition ; and I have a double object 
in obtaining it, even if I have to throw half of 
it into the Atlantic Ocean." 

"The fact that we need the guns and ammu- 
nition is reason enough for trying to obtain the 

" But I have the additional inducement of 
keeping it out of the hands of the enemy, so 
that the guns shall be turned against the foes 
of the Union instead of its friends. We must 
make a quick passage, so that, if we lose this 
opportunity, it will not be our fault." 

" I understand. Pass the word for Mr. Vapoor," 
added the commander to a C[uartermaster who was 
taking in the ensign at the peak. 

Mr. Vapoor was the chief engineer; though 
he was the youngest officer on board, and really 
looked younger than Clnisty Passford. 




Paul Vapoor was a genius, and that accounted 
for his position as chief engineer at the age of 
twenty-two. He was born a machinist, and his 
taste in that direction had made him a very hard 
student. His days and a large portion of his 
nights, while in his teens, had been spent in 
studying physics, chemistry, and, in fact, all the 
sciences which had any bearing upon the life- 
work which nature rather than choice had given 
him to doc 

His father had been in easy circumstances 
formerly, so that there had been nothing to 
interfere with his studies before he was of age. 
Up to this period, he had spent much of his 
time in a large machine-shop, working for nothing 
as though his daily bread depended upon his 
exertions ; and he was better qualified to run an 


engine than most men who had served for years 
at the business, for he was a natural scientist. 

There was scarcely a part of an engine at 
which he had not worked with his own hands 
as a volunteer, and he was as skilful with his 
hands as he was deep with his head. Paul's 
father was an intimate friend of Captain Passford ; 
and when a sudden reverse of fortune swept 
away all the former had, the latter gave the 
prodigy a place as assistant engineer on board of 
his steam-yacht, from which, at the death of the 
former incumbent of the position, he had been 
promoted to the head of the department. While 
his talent and ability were of the highest order, 
of course his rapid promotion was due to the 
favor of the owner of the Bellevite. 

Captain Breaker, who had rather reluctantly 
assented to the placing in charge of the engineer 
department a young man of only twenty-one, 
had no occasion to regret that he had yielded his 
opinion to that of his owner. Paul Vapoor had 
been found equal to all the requirements of the 
situation, for the judgment of the young chief was 
almost as marvellous as his genius. 

Paul was gentle in his manners, and possessed a 


very lovable disposition ; in fact, he was almost 
a woman in all the tender susceptibilities of his 
nature ; and those who knew him best knew not 
which to admire most, his genius or his magnetic 
character. Mr. Leon Bolter, the first assistant 
engineer, was thirty-six yesLVs old ; and Mr. Fred 
Faggs, the second, was twenty-six. But there was 
neither envy, jealousy, nor other ill-feeling in the 
soul of either in respect to his superior ; and they 
recognized the God-given genius of the chief more 
fully than others could, for their education enabled 
them to understand it better. 

Paul Vapoor and Christy Passford were fast 
friends almost from the first time they met ; and 
they had been students together in the same 
institution, though they were widely apart in 
their studies. They were cronies in the strongest 
sense of the word, and the chief engineer would 
have given up his very life for the son of his 
present employer. The owner favored this inti- 
macy, for he felt that he could not find in all the 
world a better moral and intellectual model for 
his son. 

Mr. Vapoor, as he was always called when on 
duty, even by the members of the owner's family, 


in spite of the fact that he seemed to be only a 
boy, appeared on the quarter-deck of the steamer 
in answer to the summons of the commander. He 
was neatly dressed in a suit of blue, with brass 
buttons, though some of the oil and grime of the 
engine defaced his uniform. He bowed, and 
touched his cap to the commander, in the most 
respectful manner as he presented himself before 

" For reasons which you will understand better, 
Mr. Vapoor, at a later period, Captain Passford 
is in a great hurry to reach Bermuda, where we 
are bound, at the earliest possible moment," the 
captain began. " Our ordinary rate of speed is 
fourteen knots when we don't hurry her." 

" That is what I make her do when not otherwise 
instructed," replied the chief engineer. 

"You assisted as a volunteer in building the 
engine of the Bellevite, and you were in the 
engine-room during the whole of the trial trijD, 
three years ago," continued Captain Breaker with 
a smile on his face ; and a smile seemed to be a 
ne'cessity in the presence of the young man. 

" That is all very true, captain ; and I was more 
interested in this engine than I have ever been in 


any other, and it has fully realized my strongest 

"What speed did 3'ou get out of her on the 
trial trip ? " 

" Eighteen knots ; but her machinery was new 
then. The order of Captain Passford included 
the requirement that the engine of the vessel 
should give her the greatest speed ever produced 
in a sea-going steamer, and the Bellevite was 
built strong enough to bear such an engine. I 
believe the company that built it fully met the 

" What do you believe to be her best speed, ^Ir. 
Vapoor ? " 

" I have never had the opportunity to test it, 
but I believe that she can make more than twenty 
knots, possibly twenty-two. You remember that 
Captain Passford was in a desperate hurry to get 
from Messina to ^Marseilles a year ago this month, 
and the Bellevite logged twenty knots during 
nearly the whole of the trip,*' replied the engineer, 
with a gentle smile of triumph on his handsome 
face, for he looked upon the feat of the engine as 
he would upon a noble deed of his father. 

'' You made her shake on that trip, Mr. 


"Not very much, sir. All the owner's family, 
including Miss Florry, were on board then , and, 
if any thing had happened, I should have charged 
myself with murder. I do not know what the 
Bellevite could do if the occasion warranted me 
in taking any risk." 

" I do not wish you to be reckless on the present 
emergency ; but it is of the utmost importance to 
save every hour we can, and the success or failure 
of the expedition may depend upon a single hour. 
I will say no more, though an accident to the 
engine would be a disaster to the enterprise. . I 
leave the matter with you, Mr. Vapoor," added 
the commander, as he moved off. 

" I understand you perfectly. Captain Breaker, 
and there shall be no failure in the engine 
department to meet your wishes," replied the 
chief, as he touched his cap and retired to 
the engine-room. 

" I am waiting for you, Breaker," said Captain 
Passford, who was standing near the companion- 
way with Christy. 

"Excuse me for a few minutes more, for 
there seems to be a strong breeze coming up 
from the north-east, and I want to take a look 


at the situation," replied the commander, and 
he hastened forward. 

It had been bright sunshine when the pilot 
came on board; but suddenly the wind had 
veered to an ugly quarter, and had just begun 
to pipe up into something like half a gale. 
Captain Breaker w^nt to the pilot-house, looked 
at the barometer, and then directed Mr. Dash- 
ington to crowd on all sail, for he intended to 
to drive the vessel to her utmost capacity. 

The Bellevite was rigged as a barkantine ; that 
is, slie was square-rigged on her foremast, like a 
ship, while her main and mizzen masts carried 
only fore-and-aft sails, including gaff-topsails. The 
shrill pipe of the boatswain immediately sounded 
through the vessel, and twenty-four able seamen 
dashed to their stations. In a few minutes, every 
rag of canvas which the steamer could carry was 
set. But the commander did not wait for this 
to be done, but hastened to join the owner. 

"I suppose you don't want me, sir," said 
Christy, as his father led the way into the 

"On the contrary, I do want you, Christy," 
replied Captain Passford, as he halted, and the 


commander passed liim on his way to the cabin, 
" I wish you to understand as well as I do myself 
what we are going to do." 

'' I shall be very glad to know more about it," 
added Christy, pleased with the confidence his 
father reposed in him in connection with the 
serious undertaking before him. 

'^ In the work I have to do, you stand nearer to 
me than any other person on board," continued 
Captain Passford. "I know what you are, and 
you are older than your sixteen years make you. 
It was at your age that Charles XII. took 
command of the armies of Sweden, and he was 
more than a figure-head in his forces." 

" Sometimes I feel older than I am," suggested 
the boy. 

'" I believe in keeping a boy young as long as 
possible, and I have never hurried you by putting 
you in an important place, though at one time I 
thought of having a third officer, and assigning 
you to the position, for the practice it would give 
you in real life ; but I concluded that you had 
better not be driven forward." 

"■ I think I know something about handling a 
steamer, father." 


" I know you do ; though I have never told you 
so, for I did not care to have you think too much 
of yourself. Now, in common with all the rest of 
us, you are hurled into the presence of mighty 
events ; and in a single day from a boy you must 
become a man. You are my nearest representative 
on board ; and if any thing should happen to me, 
in the midst of the perils of this expedition, a 
responsibility would fall upon you which you 
cannot understand now. I wish to prepare you 
for it," said Captain Passford, as he went down 
into the cabin. 

The commander was already seated at the table, 
waiting for the owner ; and Captain Passford and 
Christy took places near him. The cabin was as 
elegant and luxurious as money and taste could 
make it. In the large state-room of the owner 
there was every thing to make a sea-voyage 
comfortable and pleasant to one who had a 
liking for the ocean. 

Leading from the main cabin were the state- 
rooms of Florence and Christy. One of the four 
others was occupied by Dr. Linscott, the surgeon 
of the sliip, who had had abundant experience in 
his profession, who had been an army surgeon 


in the Mexican '^ar, though his health did not 
permit him to practise on shore. 

Another was occupied by the chief steward, 
who was a person of no little consequence on 
lx)ard; while the others were appropriated to 
guests when there were any, as was often the 
case when the Bellevite made short voyages. 

The trio at the table began the discussion of 
the subject before them without delay ; but it is 
not necessary to enter into its details, since, 
whatever plans were made, they must still be 
subject to whatever contingencies were presented 
when the time for action came. 

Forward of the main cabin was what is called 
in naval parlance the ward-room, and it was 
called by this name on board of the Bellevite. In 
this apartment the officers next in rank below 
the commander took their meals; and from it 
opened the state-rooms of the first and second 
officers on the starboard-side, with one for the 
chief engineer on the port-side, and another for 
his two assistants next abaft it. 

The commander was an old friend of the 
owner, and messed with him in the main cabin, 
though his state-room was a large apartment 


between the cabin and the ward-room ; the space 
on the opposite side of the ship being used for 
the pantries and the bath-room. 

Before the conference in the cabin had pro- 
ceeded far, the motion of the steamer, and the 
creaking of the timbers within her, indicated 
that Mr. Vapoor was doing all that could be 
required of him in the matter of speed, though 
the pressure of canvas steadied the vessel in the 
heavy sea which the increasing breeze had 
suddenly produced. Before night, the wind was 
blowing a full gale, and some reduction of sail 
became necessary. 

The Belle vite had the wind fair, and the most 
that was possible was made of this accessory to 
her speed. At one time she actually logged the 
twenty-two knots which the chief engineer had 
suggested as her limit, and inside of two days 
she reached her destination. Christy had suddenly 
become the active agent of his father, and he was 
the first to be sent on shore to obtain information 
in regard to the guns and ammunition, for it was 
thought that he would excite less suspicion than 
any other on board. 




Christy obtained the desired information on 
shore ; and being but a boy, lie obtained no credit 
for the head he carried on his shoulders, so that 
no attention was given to him when he made 
his investigation. At the proper time Captain 
Passford appeared; but, as the guns and other 
war material were intended for the other side 
in the conflict, he was obliged to resort to a little 
strategy to obtain them. 

But they were obtained, and the Bellevite was 
as fully armed and prepared for an emergency as 
though she had been in the employ of the 
Government, as it was intended that she should 
be when her present mission was accomplished. 
During her stay at St. George, such changes as 
were necessary to adapt the vessel to her enter- 
prise — such as the fitting up of a magazine — 
were completed, and the steamer sailed. 


- After a quick passage, the Bellevite arrived at 
New Providence, Nassau, where she put in to 
obtain some needed supplies, as it was directly 
on her course. Ah^eadj there was not a little 
activity at the principal foreign ports nearest to 
the Southern States, created by the hurried operar 
tions of speculators anxious to profit by the war 
that was to come ; and later these harbors were 
the refuge of the blockade-runners. 

The arrival of the Bellevite at New Providence 
created not a little excitement among the Confed- 
erate sympathizers who had hastened there to 
take advantage of the maritime situation, and 
to procure vessels for the use of the South in 
the struggle. The steamer 'was painted black, 
and, as she had been built after plans suggested 
by her owner, she was peculiar in her construction 
to some extent, and her appearance baffled the 
curiosity of the active Confederate patriots and 
speculators alike ; for both classes were represented 
there, though not yet in large numbers. 

Captain Passford had instructed the commander 
to conceal all the facts in regard to her, and no 
flag or any thing else which could betray her 
nationality or character was allowed to be seen. 


The business of obtaining the needed stores 
required many of the ofticers and men to go on 
shore, but all of them were instructed to answer 
no questions. No one was allowed to come on 

" Good-morning, my friend," said a young man 
to Christy, as he landed on the day after the 

" Good-morning," replied the owner's son, civilly 
enough, as he looked over the person addressing 
him, who appeared to be a young man not more 
than eighteen years old. 

" What steamer is that?" continued the stranger, 
pointing to the steam-yacht. 

Christy looked at his interlocutor, who was a 
pleasant-looking young man, though there was 
something which did not appear to be quite 
natural in his expression ; and he suspected that 
he had been placed at the landing to interrogate 
him or some other person from the steamer, in 
regard to her character and nationality. Possibly 
he derived this idea from the fact that he had 
himself been employed on a similar duty at St. 

" Do you mean that schooner ? " asked Christy 


carelessly, as he pointed at a vessel much nearer 
the shore than the Bellevite. 

" No, not at all," replied the stranger. " I mean 
that steamer, off to the north-east," replied the 
young man, pointing out into the bay. 

" North-east ? " added the owner's son. " That 
is this way ; " and he turned about, and directed 
his finger towards the interior of the island. 
" That would put the craft you mean on the shore, 
wouldn't it?" 

" Not a bit of it ! I don't mean that way. 
Don't you know the points of the compass?" 

" I learned them when I was young, but I forget 
them now." 

" Pray how old are you, my friend ? " asked the 
stranger, who thought his companion was stupid 
enough to answer any question he might put to 

"I was forty-two yesterday; and in a year from 
yesterday, I shall be forty-three, if I don't die of 
old age before that time," replied Christy, looking 
the other full in the face, and with as serious an 
expression as he could command. 

"Forty-two! You are chaffing me. Didn't 
you come from that steamer over there?" de- 


maucled the young man, pointing at the Bellevite 

"No, sir. I came from China, from a place 
they call Shensibangerwhang. Were you ever 

" I never was there, and I question if you were 
ever there." 

" Do you mean to question my veracity ? " 
demanded Christy, knitting his brow. 

" Oh, no, not at all ! " 

" Very well ; and when you go to Shensibanger- 
whang, I shall be glad to see you ; and then I will 
endeavor to answer all the questions you desire to 

''I thought you came from that steamer over 

"Thought made a world, but it wasn't your 
thought that did it." 

" Of course you know the name of that 

" Oh, now I think of her name ! That is the 
Chicherwitherwing, and she belongs to the Chinese 
navy. She is sent out on a voyage of discovery 
to find the north pole, which she expects to reach 
here in the West Indies. When she finds it, I 


will let you know by mail, if you will give me 
your address," rattled Christy with abundant 

" No, no, now ! You are chaffing me." 

" Do you know, brother mortal of mine, that I 
suspect you are a Yankee ; for they say they live 
on baked beans, and earn the money to buy the 
pork for them by asking questions." 

" I am not a Yankee ; I am a long way from 

" Then perhaps you sympathize with the meri- 
donial section of the nation on the other side of 
the Gulf Stream." 

" Which section ? " asked the stranger, looking 
a little puzzled. 

" The meridonial section." 

" Which is that ? I don't know which meridian 
you mean." 

"I mean no meridian. Perhaps the word is a 
little irregular ; I studied French when I was in 
the Bangerwhangerlang College in China, and I 
am sometimes apt to get that language mixed up 
with some other. Let me see, we were speaking 
just now, were we not?" 

" I was." 


"Sometimes I can't speak any English, and I 
had forgotten about it. If you prefer to carry on 
this conversation in Hebrew or Hindostanee, I 
shall not object," added Christy gravely. 

" I think I can do better with English." 

"Have your own way about it; but 'meridonial' 
in French means ' southern,' if you will excuse me 
for making the suggestion." 

" Then I am meridonial," replied the stranger ; 
and he seemed to make the admission under the 
influence of a sudden impulse. 

" Your hand on that ! " promptly added Christy, 
extending his own. 

" All right I " exclaimed the other. " My name 
is Percy Pierson. What is yours?" 

" Percy Pierson ! " exclaimed Christy, starting 
back with astonishment, as though his companion 
had fired a pistol in his face. 

" What is the matter now ? " demanded Percy 
Pierson, surprised at the demonstration of the other. 

" What did you say your name was ? Did I 
understand you aright ? " 

" I said my name was Percy Pierson. Is there 
any thing surprising about that?" asked Percy, 
puzzled at the demeanor of Christy. 


" See here, my jolly highflyer, who told you my 
name ? " demanded the son of the owner of the 
Bellevite, with a certain amount of indignation 
in his manner. 

" You did not, to be sure, though I asked you 
what it was." 

" What sort of a game are you trying to play 
off on me ? I am an innocent young fellow of 
sixteen, and I don't like to have others playing 
tricks on me. Who told you my name, if you 
please ? " 

" No one told me your name ; and I don't 
know yet what it is, though I have asked it of 

" Oh, get away with you ! You are playing off 
something on me which I don't understand, and 
I think I had better bid you good-morning," 
added Christy, as he started to move off. 

" Then you won't tell me your name. Stay a 

" You know my name as well as I do, and you 
are up to some trick with me," protested Christy, 

" Ton my honor as a Southern gentleman, I 
don't know your name." 


"If you are a Southern gentleman, I must 
believe you, for I did not come from as far north 
as I might have come. My name is Percy 
Pierson," added Christy seriously ; for he felt that 
this was actually war, and that the strategy that 
does not always or often speak the truth was 

" Percy Pierson ! " exclaimed the real owner of 
the name. " Didn't I just tell you that was my 
name ? " 

" Undoubtedly you did, and that is the reason 
why I thought you were making game of me." 

"But how can that be when my name is Percy 
Pierson ? " 

" Give it up ; but I suggest that in London, 
where I came from, there are acres of King 
Streets, almost as many Queens ; and, though you 
may not be aware of the fact, there are seven 
thousand two hundred and twenty-seven native 
and foreign born citizens of the name of John 
Smith. Possibly you and I are the only two 
Percy Piersons in the country, or in the world." 

"Now you say you are from London, and a 
little while ago you said you were from farther 
north than I am. Which is it ? " 


" Isn't LoncloD farther north than any Southern 

" Enough of this," continued Percy impatiently. 

" Quite enough of it," assented Christy. 

" Will you tell me what steamer that is, where 
she is bound, and what she is here for ? " 

" My dear Mr. Pierson, it would take me forty- 
eight hours to tell you all that," repli-ed the 
representative of the Bellevite, taking out his 
watch. " If you will meet me here to-morrow 
night at sundown, I will make a beginning of the 
yarn, and I think I can finish it in two days. 
But really you must excuse me now ; for I have 
to dine with the Chinese admiral at noon, and I 
must go at once." 

" I can put the owner of that craft in the w\ay 
of making a fortune for himself, if he is willing to 
part with her," added Percy, as his comj^anion 
began to move off. 

" That is just what the owner of that steamer 
wants to do : he desires to part with her, and he 
is determined to get rid of her. I Eave the 
means of knowing that he will let her go just as 
soon as he can possibly get rid of her." 

" Then he is the man my father wants to see ; 


that is, if the vessel is what she appears to be, for 
no one is allowed to go on board of her." 

"I am sorry to tear myself away from you, but 
positively I must go now ; for the Chinese admiral 
will get very impatient if I am not on time, and 
I have some important business with him before 
dinner," said Christy, as he increased his pace and 
got away from Mr. Percy Pierson, though he was 
afraid he would follow him. 

But he did not ; instead of doing so, he began 
to talk with a boatman who had some kind of a 
craft at the landing. Christy was not in so much 
of a hurry as he had appeared to be, and he 
waited in the vicinity till he saw his Southern 
friend embark in a boat which headed for the 
Bellevite. He concluded that his communicative 
friend meant to go on board of her, thinking the 
vessel was for sale. 




The boat in which Christy had come on shore 
carried off to the steamer the last load of supplies, 
and she sailed in the middle of the afternoon. 
Captain Passford and Christy were standing on 
the quarter deck together ; and, as the latter had 
not had time to tell his father his adventure 
before, he was now relating it. 

The captain was amused with the story, and 
told his son that he had been approached by a 
gentleman who said his name was Pierson, and 
he was probably the father of the enterprising 
young man who had been so zealous to assist in 
the purchase of a suitable vessel for the service 
of the Confederates. 

"Let me alone! Take you hands off of me!" 
shouted a voice that sounded rather familiar to 
Christy, as he and his father were still talking 

Let Mk alu>e, I a.m a buL xhkkn Gkmlima.n " (Page 81) 


on the deck. " Let me alone I I am a Southern 
gentleman ! " 

" I know you are," replied Mr. Dashington, 
as he appeared on deck, coming up from the 
companionway that led to the cabin and ward- 
room, holding by the collar a young man who 
was struggling to escape from his strong grasp. 
"Don't make a fuss, my hearty: I want to 
introduce you to the captain." 

'-' What have you got there, Mr. Dashington ? " 
asked Captain Breaker, who was standing near 
the owner. 

" I have got a young cub who says he is 
a Southern gentleman; and I suppose he is," 
replied the first ofiicer. " But he is a stowaway, 
and Avas hid away under my berth in the ward- 
room. — Here you are, my jolly frisker : and that 
gentleman is the captain of the steamer." 

As he spoke, the officer set his victim down 
rather heavily on the deck, and he sprawled 
out at full length on the planks. But he was 
sputtering with rage at the treatment he had 
received; and he sprang to his feet, rushing 
towards Mr. Dashington as though he intended 
to annihilate him. But, before he reached his 


intended victim, lie stopped short, and eyed the 
tall and wiry first officer from head to foot. 

He concluded not to execute his purpose upon 
him, for he could hardly have reached his chin if 
he resorted to violence. But he turned his back 
to the captain, so that the owner and his son did 
not get a look at his face. Captain Breaker 
walked up to him and began to question him. 

" If you are a Southern gentleman, as I heard 
you say you were, don't you think it is a little 
irregular to be hid in the ward-room of this 
vessel?" was the first question the commander 

" I am what I said I was, and I am proud to 
say it ; and I don't allow any man to put his 
hands on me," blustered the prisoner. 

" But I think you did allow Mr. Dashington 
to put his hands on you," replied the captain. 

" Of course I did not know that he was a 
Southern gentleman when I snaked him out from 
under the berth," added the first officer. 

" I accept your apology," said the prisoner, 
coming down from his high horse with sudden 
energy; possibly because he felt that he had a 
mission on board of the steamer. 


All present laughed heartily at the apology of 
the giant mate, and Christy changed his position 
so that he could see the front of the stowaway. 

" Why, that is the gentleman I met on shore, — 
Mr. Percy Pierson ! " exclaimed the owner's son, 
as soon as he saw the face of his late companion 
at the landing. 

"I am glad to see you again, Mr. Percy 
Pierson," said the original of that name, as he 
extended his hand to Christy. 

" I did not expect to meet you again so soon, 
and under such circumstances," replied he, taking 
the offered hand; for his father had proclaimed 
his own principle on board, that, though the war 
was not to be conducted on peace principles, it 
was to be carried on in an enlightened, and even 
gentlemanly manner, so far as he was concerned. 

'' I am right glad to see you, Mr. Percy Pierson, 
for I think you can assist me in the object I have 
in view," said the first officer's victim, looking now 
as though he was entirely satisfied with himself. 

" What do you mean by calling each other by 
the same name ? " inquired Captain Breaker, 
somewhat astonished at this phase of the conver- 


"That is the most astonishing thing in the 
world, that my friend here should have the same 
name I have ; and he even thought I was playing 
a game upon him when I told him what my name 
was," replied Percy, laughing, and apparently 
somewhat inflated to find a friend on board. 

" Precisely so," interposed Captain Passford, 
before the commander had time to say any thing 
more about the name. "But, as you both have 
the same name, it will be necessary to distinguish 
you in some manner, or it may make confusion 
while you remain on board." 

" I see the point, sir, though I do not expect to 
remain on board for any great length of time ; or 
possibly you may not," answered Percy. 

"Then, I suggest that 3'OU be called simply 
Percy, for that is a noble name ; and the other 
young man shall be addressed as Pierson. By 
doing this we shall not sacrifice either of you," 
continued the owner, who did not understand 
what his son had been doing. 

" I have not the slightest objection. My friend 
Pierson gave me some information in regard to 
this steamer which made me very desirous to get 
on board of her. That must explain why I was 


found here under circumstances somewhat irregu- 
lar, though a true gentleman can sacrifice himself 
to the needs of his suffering country." 

" To what country do you allude, Mr. Percy ? " 
asked Captain Passford. 

" To our country," replied Percy with strong 
and significant emphasis, as though he were sure 
that this would cause him to be fully understood. 

" Exactly so," added the owner. 

"But I see that you are sailing away from 
Nassau as fast as you can, and I think I had 
better explain my business as soon as possible," 
continued Percy, who seemed to be as confident as 
though he had already accomplished his purpose 
as hinted at in his conversation with Christy. 

" I shall have to ask you to excuse me for a few 
minutes, for I have a little business with the 
captain of the steamer and this young man," said 
Captain Passford. "The tall gentleman who so 
gracefully apologized for his seeming rudeness to 
you will entertain you while I am absent." 

The owner presented the tall first officer by 
name to his late victim, and at the same time gave 
him a look which Mr. Dashington understood to 
the effect that he was to keep the young man 


where he was. With a signal to his son and to 
the captain, he went below. 

" I do not understand this masquerade, Christy," 
said he, as he seated himself at the cabin table. 
" What have you been telling this young fellow ? " 

Christy had only informed his father that he 
had been approached by Percy, and that he had, 
as well as he could, evaded his questions, and he 
had fooled the young man. He then gave the 
substance of the conversation at the landing, 
which amused both the OAvner and the com- 
mander very much ; though he could not recall 
the Chinese names, invented on the spot, which 
he had used. 

"All right, Christy. This young man is evi- 
dently the son of the gentleman by the name 
of Pierson who approached me for the purpose of 
purchasing the Bellevite. I went so far as to tell 
him that the vessel was for service in Southern 
waters. At any rate, he inferred that she was 
intended for the navy of the Confederate States, 
and I did not think it necessary to undeceive him. 
With this belief, he sought no further to buy the 
vessel, and I had no clifQculty in shaking him off. 
It seems that the same mission absorbs the atten- 


tioii of the son, and that he has come on board to 
purchase the steamer." 

" I told hirfl that you wanted to get rid of her, 
and that you would do so soon, by which, of 
course, I meant that she was to go into the service 
of the Government," added Christy. 

"I should not have taken this young man on 
board ; but, as he is here, he may be of use to us. 
But it is necessary to conceal from him the real 
character of the Bellevite, and we will keep up 
the farce as long as we please. So far as he is 
concerned, Christy, you may be my nephew 
instead of my son." 

Captain Passford led the way back to the deck, 
where they found the first officer evidently on 
the best of terms with his prisoner. But Mr. 
Dashington had been as discreet as a man could 
be, and Percy had not obtained a particle of 
information from him. 

" Now, Mr. Percy, I am at your service," 
said the owner, when he reached the deck. "I 
think you said you had some business with 

"I have not the pleasure of knowing who or 
what you are, sir; and Mr. Dashington and my 


friend Mr. Pierson are all I know on board by 
name," added Percy. 

"Then you must be made better acquainted 
before any thing can be done," replied the owner, 
pointing to the captain of the steamer. " Mr. 
Percy, this is Captain Breaker, the commander 
of the steamer." 

"And this," added Ca^jtain Breaker, pointing 
at the owner, "is Captain Passford, who is the 
fortunate owner of this vessel, though she is soon 
to pass into other hands." 

" Captain Passford ! " exclaimed Percy, bowing 
to both gentiemen as he was presented to them. 
" That is a familiar name to me ; and upon 
my word, I thought it was Colonel Passford of 
Glenfield when I first looked at him." 

" He is my brother ; but I never heard him 
called ' colonel ' before," added the owner, 
laughing at the odd-sounding title, as it was 
to him. 

" Colonel Homer Passford is tlie name by Avhich 
he is often called near his residence," Percy 
explained. "He is the nearest neighbor of my 
father, Colonel Richard Pierson." 

" Indeed ! then you probably know my brother," 


said Captain Passford, interested in spite of 

" As well as I know any gentleman in the State 
of Alabama," replied Percy. "By the great 
palmetto ! you are Colonel Passford's brother ; 
and I think yon must know Miss Florence 
Passford, who has been staying all winter with 
her uncle." 

" She is my daughter," replied the owner with 
some emotion, which he could not wholly conceal 
when he thought of his mission in the South. 

"I have met her several times, though not 
often, for I have been away from home at school. 
But my brother. Major Lindley Pierson, I learn 
from my letters, is a frequent visitor at your 
brother's house ; and they even say " — 

But Percy did not repeat what they said, 
though he had gone far enough to give the father 
of Florry something like a shock. 

" What were you about to say, Mr. Percy ? " 
he asked. 

" I think I had better not say it, for it may 
have been a mere idle rumor," answered Percy, 
who was now beginning to disclose some of liis 
better traits of character. 


" Does it relate to my daughter, sir ? " asked 
the captain rather sternly ; for, in the present 
condition of the country, he was more than 
ordinarily anxious about his daughter. 

" I ought not to have said any thing, sir ; but 
what I was about to say, but did not say, does 
relate to Miss Florence," replied Percy, not a little 
embarrassed by the situation. " But I assure you, 
sir, that it was nothing that reflects in the slightest 
degree upon her. As I have said so much, I may 
as well say the rest of it, or you will think more 
than was intended was meant." 

" That is the proper view to take of it, Mr. 

"It was simply said that my brother Lindley 
was strongly attracted to your brother's house 
by the presence of your daughter. That is all." 

But the fond father was very anxious. Of 
course the major was a Confederate. 




The information in regard to Florry was 
very meagre and very indefinite. She was a very 
beautiful young lady of eighteen ; and it was not 
at all strange that a young Confederate officer 
should be attracted to her, though the thought 
of it was exceedingly disagreeable to her father, 
under present circumstances. 

Percy evidently was not satisfied with the 
situation ; and after he had given the information 
which had so disturbed the owner of the steamer, 
he desired to change the subject of the conversa- 
tion, to which Captain Passford only assented 
after he realized that nothing could be ascertained 
from him in regard to his daughter. 

"I don't think I quite understand the situation 
on board of this steamer," said Percy, when he 
had told all he knew about the visits of his 
brother at Glenfield. 


" What further do you desire to know in 
regard to her ? " asked Captain Passford ; for the 
commander, when he saAv that there v/as a family 
matter involved in the conversation, was disposed 
to be very reticent. 

*' I did not come on board of this vessel in the 
manner I did — I do not even know her name 
yet," continued Percy; and when he found that 
he was talking to a brother of Colonel Passford, he 
dropped all his rather magnificent airs, and became 
quite sensible. 

" The steamer is called the Bellevite," replied 
the owner. 

" The Bellevite. It is an odd name, but I think 
I can remember it. I was about to say that I did 
not come on board of her, as I did, v.dthout an 
object ; for I assure you that I am high-toned 
enough not to do any thing in an irregular manner 
unless for the most weighty reasons," said Percy, 
with an anxious look directed towards the island, 
which was now almost out of sight. 

"T do not ask your reasons; but, if you wish to 
give them, I will hear all you have to say, Mr. 
Percy," replied the owner. 

"I talked with Mr. Pierson on shore; aiul 


though he was disposed at first to chaff me, and 
avoid giving me any information in regard to this 
steamer, he afterwards informed me that the 
gentleman who owned her intended to get rid of 
her as soon as he could." 

"And you came on board for the purpose of 
buying her ? " suggested Captain Passford. 

" I did not expect to buy her myself, of course ; 
but my father is exceedingly anxious to obtain a 
steamer like this one, and he asked me to do what 
I could to obtain any information in regard to 
her. That was the object which brought me on 
board of her in a clandestine manner." 

" You were very zealous in meeting the wishes 
of your father." 

" More than that, I was at work in a good cause ; 
and I think I have patriotism enough to do my 
duty to my country in the hour of her ne^d," 
added the young man, with a swell of the chest. 

"After his family, a man's first duty is to his 
country," said the owner. 

"I wanted to go into the army, for I am eighteen 
years old ; but my father insisted that I could be 
of more service to the Confederacy as his assistant 
in obtaining vessels for its use." 


" I understand your motives." 

" From what I learned from Mr. . Pierson, — 
though I do not yet know who or what he is," 
said Percy, bestowing a smiling glance upon 

" You may look upon him as my nephew," 
added Captain Passford, glancing at his son, who 
gave a slight bow for the benefit of the guest on 

" From what I could learn from your nephew, 
sir, I concluded that this steamer could be bought, 
if I could only obtain an interview with the 
owner," continued Percy, with an inquiring glance 
at all who were present. " I understand you are 
the owner of the vessel. Captain Passford." 

'' You are quite right : she has been my yacht 
since she was built, and a stronger and more able 
vessel was never put into the water." 

''Mr. Pierson gave me to understand that he 
was in sympathy with the Confederacy ; and since 
I came on board, and learned that you were a 
brother of our nearest neighbor, I have no diffi- 
culty in arriving at the conclusion that you are a 
devoted friend of the Southern cause." 

" What I am, for the present, I do not feel at 


liberty to say," replied Captain Passford, who 
was certainly reluctant to play a double part 
before the young man, though he felt that the 
necessities of the occasion required him to do 

'^ Quite right, sir ; one cannot be too cautious in 
these times. But it is time for me to say that I 
did not intend to take passage in the Bellevite, 
and I am sure my father will be very anxious in 
my absence.'^ 

*'May I ask how you did intend to proceed?" 

*' I can hardly tell myself, sir ; but my object 
was to see the owner as soon as I could discover 
who he was. But I have found you now, Captain 
Passford, and I am glad to find in you a friend of 
our holy cause." 

The owner only bowed ; and it was as true as it 
could be that the representative of the intended 
purchaser of vessels jumped at nearly all of his 
conclusions, giving the captain but little occasion 
to say any thing that was not literally true ; though 
the deception was just as real as though it had 
been carried on with actual falsehood. 

" May I ask you for a few minutes in private, 
Captain Passford ? " continued Percy. 


" Certainly ; " and the owner retired with him 
to the weather-raih 

" I have seen this vessel, and I have heard what 
you say of her. Now I am better informed in 
regard to her than my father is. I am not author- 
ized to name a price, but I am very sure that he 
will buy her." 

" So he said to me himself, Mr. Percy," added 
the owner with a smile. 

" He said so to you, sir ! " exclaimed the 3^oung 
man, starting back; for he believed that he had 
accomplished all that liad been done towards 
buying the vessel. 

''I had an interview with him, and stated most 
explicitly that the Bellevite could not be purchased 
by any person at any price ; and when I hinted 
very guardedly to him, as I do to you, in the 
strictest confidence, that I am bound for ^Mobile 
Bay, he did not urge the matter. He was satisfied 
that the steamer was to be used in a good cause ; 
and I can give you the same assurance, Mr. 

The young man looked positively humble after 
he had listened to the remark of the owner, for 
he felt that his father had '^ taken all the wind out 


of his sails." He looked in the direction of the 
receding island of Nassan, and realized that he 
had been wasting his time, to say nothing of the 
wasted strategy he had bestowed on his enterprise. 

"You have stated" that you are bound for 
Mobile Bay, sir," said he. "That is a long 
distance from New Providence, as I have learned 
from experience." 

"But this trip will give you the satisfaction of 
being restored to your own home in a very short 
time, for there is no faster vessel afloat than the 
Bellevite," acjded Captain Passford. 

" It will put me into the army," said Mr. Percy ; 
but he felt at once that he had made a slip of the 
tongue, and he hastened to- correct the effect of 
his involuntary speech. " Of course, T wanted to 
go into the army of my country, as every patriotic 
fellow in the South does ; but my father objects 
simply because I can be of riiore service to the 
good cause in another field of action, and I had 
to j^eld the point." 

The owner thought he had not been guilty of a 
very savage yielding of his own inclination, but 
he said nothing. He was evidently the youngest 
child of the family, and doubtless the pet of his 


parents ; and it was hard for them to put him in a 
position to be shot, or to endure the hardships of 
the camp. 

" I see now that my mission is a failure, though 
with no detriment to the good cause. I Avish I 
was in New Providence again," continued Mr. 
Percy, looking very much discontented with 

" I am sorry you did not speak to me on shore 
as your father did, and that would have saved you 
from all annoyance." 

" But I must beg you to do me the favor to put 
me ashore again, for my father will suffer untold 
agonies when he misses me to-night." 

" Put you on shore ! " exclaimed Captain Pass- 
ford. " You are a sensible and reasonable young 
gentleman, and you will readily see that this is 
quite impossible." 

" We have not been out above two hours, sir," 
suggested Percy. 

" But we have made thirty-six miles, at least, in 
that time ; and to return would delay me about 
four or five hours, — long enough, perhaps, to 
defeat the object of my voyage. I assure you that 
it is wholly impossible for us to return." 


" Do you think so, sir ? " asked the enterprising 
purchaser of vessels, looking very disconsolate 

" I not only think so, but I am perfectly sure 
on this point. You can see for yourself that I 
cannot sacrifice the object of my voyage — for the 
vessel has a special mission at her destination — by 
a delay of some hours. I am not responsible for 
your being on board, and I am sorry that I cannot 
do any thing for you." 

" But you can put me ashore at Key West, and 
I may find some vessel bound to Nassau," sug- 
gested Percy, becoming more and more disconso- 
late, as he realized the difficulties of his situation, 
for he was plainly very much averse to returning 
to his home. 

"But, my dear JMr. Percy, the Bellevite will 
not go within fifty miles of Key West ; and if she 
did, I should not dare to put in there, for the port 
is a naval station of the United States, and my 
vessel might be taken from me in the absence of 
any regular papers to explain her character." 

"I suppose you are right," added Percy gloomily. 

Captain Passford was really more afraid of fall- 
ing in with any naval vessel of the nation than of 


meeting any of the Confederate tugs or other 
vessels which had been hnrriedl}^ fitted out, even 
at this early period of the war ; for he knew that 
his mission, however justifiable under the circum- 
stances, was quite irregular. He had decided to 
keep at least fifty miles from Key West, and the 
usual course of vessels bound into the Gulf of 

"We may meet some vessel, and you could put 
me on board of her," the disconsolate young man 

" ]\Iy mission compels nte to give every vessel 
a wide berth, and I can incur no risks. But it 
cannot be a great hardship for you to be conveyed 
back to your own home." 

"But my father needs me with him, and he 
will suffer terrible anxiety when he fails to find 
me. He will even think I am dead." 

" I know he must be anxious, but I think some 
way will be found to send a letter to him." 

" But I shall be compelled to go into the army, 
and my father is utterly opposed to that." 

" But you have a brother who is a major in the 
army, and I should say that he will be able to 
save you." 


"My brother is the ODe who insists that I shall 
go into one of the regiments forming in the State. 
He called me a coward becanse I yielded to my 
father and mother." 

" All that is your own family affair, and I am 
sorry that I can do nothing for you, Mr. Percy. — 
Mr. Watts," he called to the chief steward, who 
was planking the lee-side of the deck. 

" Here, sir," replied the official. 

" Give Mr. Percy the best stateroom available, 
and see that he is made as comfortable and happy 
as possible," added the owner. 

The involuntary guest on board was conducted 
to the cabin. 




However interesting the voyage of the Belle- 
vite might prove to be, the purpose of this story 
does not admit of its details. Mr. Yapoor was 
instructed to the effect that a quick run was 
desirable, and he governed himself accordingly. 
At daylight on a bright ^lay morning, the lofty 
light tower of Sand Island, off the entrance to 
Mobile Bay, was reported by the lookout, and the 
captain was called. 

On the passage from Nassau, the guns of the 
steamer had been mounted ; for, as a measure of 
prudence, they had been put in the hold. Though 
the owner hoped to avoid any close scrutiny of 
his outfit, and had succeeded in doing so, he was 
not inclined to tempt fate by any carelessness. 
But when the first watch was called, the night 


before her arrival off the bay, every thing was in 
condition for active service. 

Captain Passford had not a particle of the foam 
generated by the excitement of the times, and he 
sincerely hoped he should have no occasion to use 
the guns which it had cost him so much trouble 
to procure. P^ort Morgan was on one side of the 
entrance to the bay, and Fort Gaines on the other 

He had seen a paragraph in one of liis papers, 
to the effect that one or both of these works 
had been garrisoned by Confederate troops, and 
it was not likely to be an easy matter to get 
into the bay. As it looked to the owner and 
the commander, the only way to . accomplish this 
feat was by running the gauntlet of both forts, 
which were just three nautical miles apart. 

A shot from either of them might go through 
the boiler or engine of the Bellevite, which would 
render her utterly helpless, and subject all on 
board to the fate of prisoners-of-war. It looked 
like a terrible alternative to the owner, so over- 
burdened with anxiety for the safety of his 
daughter ; but he was prepared to run even this 
risk for her sake. 


The method of getting into the bay had beeA 
fully considered by the owner and the captain ; 
and as soon as the latter came on deck, he ordered 
the course of the vessel to be changed to the 
westward, as they had decided to enter the bay 
by the Middle Channel. For the danger from 
Fort Gaines was believed to be less than that from 
Fort Morgan, though either of them doubtless 
had the means of sinking the steamer with a 
single shot. 

The water was shoal in the Middle Channel, 
and it was not prudent to attempt to go into the 
bay at any other time than high tide ; though 
Captain Breaker was thoroughly acquainted with 
the channel, having once been engaged in a 
survey of the shifting shoals in tliis localit}^, and 
he had once before taken the Bellevite by this 
passage on a trip to New Orleans. 

As he could not foresee the time of the 
steamer's arrival off tlie bay, he was obliged to 
consult his almanac, and make his calculations in 
regard to the tide, which rises and falls less than 
three feet at this point. It woukl not be safe to 
attempt the passage before nine o'clock in the fore- 
noon, and he headed the vessel away from the land. 


Percy had tried to make the best of his 
situation, annoying as it was ; and Christy 
amused him with more Chinese reminiscences. 
Both of them came on deck at an unusually 
early hour on the morning that the Sand Island 
light was made out ; for there was more commo- 
tion than usual on board, and even in the cabin, 
where the owner and commander discussed the 

"Here we are, my Chinese friend," said Percy, 
as he joined Christy on deck, and made out the 
tall tower in the distance. " I wish I was on 
the Island of Nassau, instead of here." 

"Why, Mr. Percy, this is your own, your 
native land; and in China we always used to 
have a warm affection for our own country," 
replied Christy. 

" You didn't have to go into the army there," 
said Percy with a sigh. 

" But don't you want to go into the army ? " 

" Certainly I do ; that is the dearest wish of 
my heart. But my father would not let me, and 
what could I do ? " 

" If you were bent on it, as a patriot, like you 
must be, you could run away and enlist. I don't 


know but I shall do that when I get back to 

" I don't like to do any thing to make my poor 
father unhappy. I am afraid my absence now, 
without his knowing where I am, or whether I 
am dead or alive, will bring on a fit of sick- 

" But I am sure he would be very proud of you 
if you should run away and join the army." 

" Perhaps he would ; but I should not feel 
very proud of myself if I did a thing like that. 
I am only afraid I shall meet my brother, Major 
Pierson, and that he will make me go into some 
regiment against the wishes of my father and 
mother. He is not willing to hear a word from 
either of them," replied Percy, disgusted with 
the prospect before him. 

" He is very patriotic," suggested Christy. 

"He is altogether too patriotic for me. But 
don't misunderstand me : I am really ver}- anxious 
to go into the army, and fight the enemies of my 

" I see that you are, and perhaps you and I 
had better run away and enlist." 

"My conscience would not let me do that 


contrary to the wishes of my parents," replied 
Percy, shaking his head vigorously. 

"But you may not see your brother the major; 
for probably he has been ordered away with his 
regiment before this time," said his companion 
in comforting tones, though he was not as sincere 
as he generally was. 

" I am afraid I shall ; and I fear, that, in the 
absence of my father, he would put me into 
the ranks in spite of all I could do." 

" But your mother is at home." 

"Lindley don't care a rush for what she says 
in this matter, for he insists that a boy of eighteen 
ought not to be tied to his mother's apron-strings 
when his country needs his services. I may see 
my brother before we get fairly into the bay." 

" Where in the world are you going to see 
him before you get on shore ? " asked Christy, 
becoming more interested in the conversation. 

"I believe he is in command of the garrison 
at Fort Gaines, though I am not sure," replied 
Percy, suddenly looking more disconsolate than 
ever at the prospect of meeting his patriotic 
brother. . 

" What makes you think he is ? " asked Christy, 


with the feeling that he might be on the point of 
obtaining some useftil information. 

"They talked of sending him there before 
father and I left for New Providence." 

" I supposed your brother was a young fellow 
like yourself." 

"I believe he is twenty-six years old; but he 
has been two years in a military school in North 
Carolina, and they say he is a good soldier, and 
knows all about guns and forts and such things." 

"Where do you think we are likely to overhaul 

"I don't know much about this business; but 
don't a boat have to come out from the fort and 
see that this vessel is all right before she can go 
into the bay ? " asked Percy. 

" I don't know about that. We may run into 
the bay without waiting for any boat." 

" Then they fire on you from the fort," suggested 
the disconsolate. 

"We rather expect that," added Christy quietly. 

"You do?" 

" Of course, a shot from the fort may blow us 
out of the water ; but we can't help that, and we 
must take our chances of being hit." 


''But that is terribly risky business, and the 
whole of us may be killed before we get by 
the fort." 

" Of course : that may be the case ; but we have 
no papers, and we have to take things as they 

" It isn't pleasant to take cannon-balls as they 
come, for they are apt to hit hard. But they won't 
fire at us if a boat comes off to examine the 

''But in that case you will have the pleasure 
of meeting your brother the major." 

'^And whatever he may do with the steamer, 
he will take me to the fort with him, and put me 
into the ranks." 

" Perhaps we can save you from such a fate in 
some way," suggested Christy, who was already 
doing some heavy thinking on his own account. 

" I wish you would ! " exclaimed Percy, catching 
at the straw held out to him. 

" There is time enough, and I will see you 
again," added Christy, as he joined his father on 
the forecastle, where he was taking a survey. 

The owner's son had an idea, and he thought 
it was a good one. Without losing any time, he 


laid it before his father, explaining it in detail. 
He was even ready to remove objections to the 
scheme, and was confident that it would succeed. 
Captain Passford called the commander, and 
informed him what his son had suggested. Cap- 
tain Breaker heartily approved it ; for, if it failed, 
it would leave the steamer in no worse position 
than before, with all her chances of running the 
gauntlet successfully still open to her. 

Christy was the best person on board to manage 
the details, for he was the most intimate with the 
son of the purchaser of vessels. He returned to 
that part of the deck where he had left his 
companion. He found that Percy was very 
anxious to see him again, for he had founded a 
hope on what had been Siiid before. 

'"•I think we can manage it, j\Ir. Percy, if you 
will do just what you are told to do," Christy 

" I will do all that to the letter," protested 
Percy ; and a smile actually lighted up his face 
at the prospect of escaping the fate to which his 
father and mother objected so strongly. 

" You see the trouble with the Bellevite is that 
she has no papers; not even a letter from the 


Confederate agent who is picking up vessels for 
the navy. But I think we can manage it if you 
will learn your part correctly." 

'' I will do that. Do you think you can really 
keep my brother from taking me to the fort ? " 
asked Percy, his tones and manner burdened with 

" I feel almost sure of it." 

" Good for you ! " 

"You must go into the cabin now with me. 
They are just startiiig up the steamer again, and 
she will soon reach the channel where she is 
going into the bay." 

The owner and the commander were busy in 
instructing the ship's company in regard to what 
would be expected of them as soon as the Bellevite 
was in motion again". All the men spoken to 
smiled as they heard what was said to them, 
and they evidently regarded the whole affair as 
a decided pleasantry. But they all promised to 
be very discreet, and to sa}^ only what they had 
been told to say if they were called on for any 
information by Confederate officials. 

In the mean time Christ}^ was very busy with 
his pupil, who entered heartily into the plan 


which promised to save him from shouldering a 
musket in one of the companies of his brother's 
regiment. He had been quite enthusiastic from 
the first ; and, as he was deeply interested in the 
result of the adventure, he was a very apt pupil. 

As the Bellevite approached the Middle Channel, 
a tug-boat was discovered off Fort Gaines, which 
immediately began to move towards the approach- 
ing steamer. Examined with the glass, a heavy 
gun was seen on her forecastle. 




The tug appeared to be one of tlie craft which 
had been hastily prepared for service, and she 
did not look like a formidable vessel. Captain 
Breaker was sure he could blow her out of the 
water with his heavy guns, on an emergency; 
but this would be bad policy, and he did not 
propose to do any thing of this kind. 

He was not as confident as Captain Passford 
and his son were that the plan adopted would be 
an entire success, with the assistance of Percy; 
but there could be no harm in trying it. He 
intended to pass as near Fort Gaines as possible, 
for it was not probable that the works were yet in 
the best condition ; and two miles from Fort 
Morgan, which was doubtless much stronger, 
would afford a better chance of escaping any 
shots fired from it. 


As the Bellevite approached the channel, where 
there could not be more than a foot of water 
under her keel, Christie came on deck, followed 
by Percy. The latter wore a sort of naval uni- 
form, which his instructor had borrowed for him 
from his own stock. It fitted him Avell ; for he 
was no larger than the owner's son, though he was 
two years older. 

Percy was to be on duty, on board of the 
steamer, as a Confederate agent taking the vessel 
into the bay for service. He was not a little 
inflated by the position which had been assigned 
to him, though he had no powers whatever, except 
in appearance. He had been instructed to con- 
duct himself boldly, and to insist that the vessel 
was in his charge, when she was boarded by officers 
from the tug or from the fort. His very nature 
inclined him to play this part to the best advan- 

The blockade had been established at some of 
the northern ports of the seceded States, but not 
yet at the cities on the Gulf of ^Mexico ; and the 
only real obstacle to the passage of the Bellevite 
into the bay consisted of the two forts, for the 
tug-boats were not regarded as of any consequence 


to an armed steamer of great speed like tlie 

"We are approaching the shoal water now," 
said Captain Breaker to Mr. Vapoor, as the 
steamer came near the south-eastern end of Pelican 
Island. " We may take the ground, for the shoals 
have an ugly trick of changing their position. 
Let her go at about half speed." 

" Half speed, sir," replied the chief engineer, 
as he descended to the engine-room. 

"Is it fully high tide now, Breaker?" asked 
Captain Passford, who was watching the move- 
ments of the vessel with the most intense interest, 
for it seemed to him that the critical moment in 
his enterprise had come. 

" Not quite ; it will not be full sea for about 
half an hour," replied the commander. "If we 
take the ground, we shall have some small chance 
of getting off. — Mr. Dashington." 

" On duty, sir," responded the first officer. 

"Beeks has the wheel, I believe ?" 

" Yes ; and Thayer is with him." 

" They are both reliable men ; but I wish you 
would stand by the helm, and see that the steamer 
is headed directly towards the eastern end of 


Dauphine Island. That will give us the deepest 
water till we get to the spit. Have a man in the 
port and starboard chains with directions to sound 
as fast as possible." 

"Mr. Blowitt," called the first officer, '4et a 
hand sound in the port and starboard chains, and 
look out for it yourself, if you please." 

The second officer went forward and the first 
officer aft, each to perform the duties assigned to 
him by the captain. The speed of the Bellevite 
had been reduced, and she was going along at a 
very easy rate. The tug was some distance 
beyond Fort Gaines ivhen she was first seen, and 
she seemed to be incapable of making more than 
six knots an hour. 

The steamer had taken on board all the coal it 
was possible for her to stow away in her bunkers, 
and a large supply had been put into the hold ; 
but she had used a considerable portion of it in 
her rapid passage, though she had still an abundant 
supply for her return voyage. The reduction 
in the quantity had made her draught somewhat 
less, and the owner and captain hoped she would 
get through the channel. 

But the thought had hardly passed through 


their minds before tlie Bellevite came to a sudden 
stop, and her keel was heard grinding on the 
bottom. Mr. Yapoor heard the sound in the 
engine-room, and felt the jar ; and before any bell 
came to him, he had stopped the machine, and 
reversed it so as to check the steamer's headway. 

"Run her back with all the steam you can 
crowd on, Mr. Vapoor," said Captain Breaker, 
as he hastened to the door of the engine-room. 

" I don't think she hit the ground very hard, 
captain," added the chief engineer. 

" No ; she w411 come off. The ground has 
shifted since I was here last," said the captain 
of the vessel. 

But it was half an hour before she yielded to 
the pressure brought to bear npon her, and then 
only because a few inches had been added by 
the tide to the depth of water. She went back, 
and came into depth enough to give her a foot 
under her keel. 

" It don't look very hopeful," said Captain 
Passford, as he joined the commander at the 
door of the engine-room. 

" Oh, I think we shall be all right now ! " 
replied Captain Breaker very cheerfully. "I 


have found where the shoal is now, and I know 
where to find deeper water. — Keep her going 
astern, Mr. Vaj)oor." 

"A boat from the fort, sir," reported a messenger, 
who had been sent aft by the second officer on 
the forecastle. 

" That looks like an inquiry into our business 
here," added the owner. 

" Now we are all right," said the commander, 
who was watching the position of the vessel very 
carefully. *' I must go to the wheel, and look 
out for the course mj'self." 

Again the Bellevite went ahead ; and she soon 
reached a point half way between the two forts, 
and her speed was reduced to not more than 
three knots. But the tug was approaching, and 
the worst part of the channel was still to be 
attempted. The two men in the chains reported 
the depth as rapidly as they could heave the 
lead, and it was soon evident that the steamer 
could not pass the extensive bar to the westward 
of the ship-channel. 

" Steamer ahoy I " shouted the captain of the 
tug, as he stopped his screw witliin hailing- 
distance of the Bellevite. 


" Reply to that hail, Mr. Percy," said the 
commander to the young gentleman in uniform. 
" You must do all the talking." 

" I shall be very happy to do it, and I think I 
can do it to your satisfaction," replied Percy 

"Jump up on the rail nearest to the tug, 
where you can see and hear." 

" I am not much of a sailor, Captain Breaker, 
and T don't pretend to be one," added Percy. 
" What shall I say to the captain of that boat ? " 

" On board of the tug ! " shouted the agent of 
his father, after the commander had instructed 
him in regard to his speech. 

" What steamer is that ? " demanded the master 
of the tug. 

Captain Breaker instructed him in what manner 
to make his reply, though he did not tell him 
what to say. The young man was to explain 
the character of the vessel as he understood it ; 
and neither the commander nor the owner was 
disposed to indulge in any unnecessary strate- 
getical falsehood, though they felt that they 
could do so in the service of the Union. 

" The Bellevite from Nassau," replied Percy. 


" Is she a Federal vessel ? " inquired the captain 
of the tug with the greatest simplicity. 

"A Federal vessel! " exclaimed Percy, evidently 
expressing by his manner some of the indignation 
he felt. ''Do you mean to insult me, sir?" 

" No, I do not mean to insult you ; but it 
becomes necessary for me to ascertain something 
more in regard to the steamer," returned the 
other. " Where are you from ? " 

"I told you the vessel was from Nassau." 

" But she don't hail from Nassau. Where did 
she come from before that?" 

"From Bermuda," answered Percy, as 

" But she don't belong to Bermuda." 

The volunteer agent of the Confederate cause 
was not able to answer any questions in this 
direction, and the commander did not tell him 
what more to say. 

" Can you tell me who is in command of Fort 
Gaines at the present time ? " demanded Percy, 
branching out on his own account. 

" I can ; but I want you to tell me something 
more about the steamer, before I answer any 
questions. Is the steamer armed ? " 


" She is armed ; and she could blow your tug 
into ten thousand pieces in four minutes if she 
should open upon you," added Percy; and the 
listeners were of the opinion that he was begin- 
ning to use strong speech. 

" That may be ; but with a fort on each side of 
you, I don't think you will get into the bay in 
broad daylight," said the captain of the tug. 
" The commander of Fort Gaines is in that boat, 
and I suppose he is coming off to examine the 
steamer. As you are not disposed to answer my 
questions, you can wait for him ; but if you try to 
get into the bay, you will find that a shot from 
both forts can reach you." 

" I am an agent of the Confederate government, 
and my father has been sent to Nassau to obtain 
vessels for our navy," continued Percy, as he saw 
that the boat from the fort was still some 
distance from the vessel. 

"Why didn't you say so before?" demanded 
the captain of the tug rather impatiently. " Of 
course you have some papers from the agent at 
Nassau, to show what the vessel is." 

" Not a single paper ; he had no time to give me 


"Who is the agent?" 

The question was evidently put as a test; for 
if the young agent, as the captain could see that 
he was, gave a known name, it would be some 
evidence that he told the truth. 

" Colonel Richard Pierson ; and he is my 

" Your father ! " exclaimed the other, evidently 
impressed with the fact, and his tone was more 

"You can come on board and see her for 
yourself," suggested Percy, prompted by the 
commander; for there was nothing on board 
to betray her true character, the guns having 
been concealed. 

" I will not do that, as the commander of the 
fort will soon be here, and he may make the 
examination for himself. But perhaps you will 
be willing to give me your name?" added the 

" My name is Percy Pierson ; and, as I told you, 
I am the son of Colonel Richard Pierson." 

" Then you are the brother of Major Pierson, 
w^ho is in command of Fort Gaines. I tliink it 
must be all right. 


"Of course it is all right. Do you think I 
would bring a vessel into this bay if she were 
not all right?" inquired Percy with becoming 

" I suppose you have heard there is going to be 
a war, and it is necessary to find out what vessels 
go into the bay," said the captain of the tug, 
when he had brought his craft quite near the 
steamer. " That is a very fine vessel." 

"It is the fastest and strongest steamer that 
floats, and she will give a good account of herself 
when the trouble begins in earnest." 

" Here comes the boat from the fort, and I see 
that Major Pierson is in the stern sheets. I have 
no doubt he will find you all right," said the 

The boat came alongside of the Belle vite, and 
the major went on board. 




Percy Pierson retained his position on the 
rail when his brother the major came up the 
gangway steps, which had been put over for him. 
As the latter went up, he could not help seeing 
him ; and his astonishment evidently mounted to 
the highest degree, as manifested in his expression. 
The owner and the commander stood near the 
rail, to give the visitor a pleasant reception. 

But the major took no notice of them ; for his 
attention was plainly absorbed in his surprise at 
seeing his brother, dressed in uniform, on the rail 
of the steamer. He halted as soon as he had 
mounted the rail, over which he must pass to 
reach the deck. He looked at Percy for some 
time, without being able to say a word, and 
seemed to be not quite sure that it was he. 

The younger brother was as silent as the older 


one ; for he had had some rather exciting times 
with him in the matter of enlisting, and he was 
not very confident of his reception at the hands 
of the commander of Fort Gaines. He looked at 
him with interest, not nnmingled with some 
painful solicitude for the future. 

" Percy ! " exclaimed Major Pierson at last, 
when he was entirely satisfied that the young 
man was his brother, in spite of the uniform of 
blue he wore, though the gray had not yet come 
into extensive use. 

'' Lindley ! " added the younger, evidently desir- 
ing to go no faster than the occasion might 
require of him. 

" I am glad to see you back again," continued 
the major, without offering to take his hand. 
''You deserted like a coward, and I have been 
ashamed of you ever since. A young fellow like 
you, eighteen years old, who will not fight for his 
country, ought to lose the respect of even his own 

"That is a pleasant greeting," replied Percy, 
with the suspicion of a sneer on his face. 

" It is all that a coward deserves," replied 
Lindley severely. 


"I am no coward, any more than you are," 
protested Percy. " You know that father did not 
wish me to join the army, though I wished to do 

" I know that you wished to do so just as any 
other coward does, — over the left." 

" What could I do when father told me not to 
go to the war ? " 

" What could you do ? You could have gone ! 
If you had not been a poltroon, you would have 
joined the first regiment that came in your 

"I never was in the habit of disobeying my 
father," pleaded the young agent. 

''You were not? You ran away to New 
Orleans last winter when your father told you not 
to go. You came home from the academy when 
he told you to remain there. You have spent the 
evening in Mobile when he told 3'ou not to go 
there. I could tell 3^ou instances all day in which 
you disobeyed him, and mother too," continued 
the soldier warmly. 

" That was different." 

" It was different ; and you could obey your 
father in a bad cause, but not in a good one. I 


am heartily asliamecl of you, and I don't feel 
willing to own you as a brother of mine." 

"But my father told me that I could better 
serve the good cause by going with him than I 
could by joining the army." 

" And you were willing to go with him, for 
then you could keep out of danger. Father is 
getting old, and he is not fit to serve in the 
army ; and you have been his pet since you were 
born. But that is no excuse for you ; and if I 
can get you back into the army, I mean to do 

Percy was afraid he might succeed, and he did 
not feel as confident as he had been ; and he lost, 
for the time, some of his self-possession. He was 
confronting the fate he had dreaded when he 
found the steamer was leaving Nassau. 

" What are you doing here ? " demanded the 
major, looking down upon the deck of the vessel 
for the first time. 

'' I am taking this steamer into the bay, where 
she is to go into the service of the Confederate 
States," answered Percy, plucking a little more 
confidence from the nature of his present occupa- 


" You are taking her into the bay ! " exclaimed 
the older brother. 

" That is what T said, and that is what I mean," 
added Percy, glad to see that his mission had 
produced an impression. 

"Taking this steamer into the ba}^!" repeated 
the major, evidently unable to comprehend the 
mission of his brother. "Do you mean to say 
that you are taking her in, Percy ? " 

" That is what I mean to say, and do say." 

" Are you the pilot of the steamer ? I should 
think you might have been, for she was aground 
just now," sneered the commander of the 

" I am not the pilot, and I don't pretend to be 
a sailor ; but the steamer is in my charge," replied 
Percy, elevating his head to the need of the 

" In charge of the steamer ! I would not trust 
a coward like you in charge of a sick- monkey," 
added Lindley, with his contempt fully expressed 
in his face. 

" See here, Lindley, I don't mean to be insulted 
on board of this steamer by ray own brother. If 
you can't be decent, I have nothing more to say 


to 5'ou ! " cried Percy, his wrath breaking out 
quite violently. 

" If you gi\e me an impudent word, I will take 
you into . the boat and put you into the fort," 
added the major, as he stepped down upon the 

" No, you won't. I will jump overboard before 
I will be carried to the fort. I have done just 
what my father told me to do, to say nothing of 
my mother ; and I won't be insulted by you. It 
is you who are the coward and the poltroon, to do 
so," continued Percy, boiling over with rage. 

"Whatever provocation the major had had for his 
savage treatment of his brother, the owner of the 
Bellevite thought his conduct was unjustifiable. 
The young man was under age ; and whether or 
not his father was less a patriot than his older 
son, the latter was certainly unkind, ungenerous, 
and even brutal. Without being a "milk-and- 
water man," Captain Passford was full of kind- 
ness, courtesy, and justice.. He did not like the 
behavior of the major towards his brother. 

It looked like a family quarrel of the two 
brothers* on board of the steamer; for Percy was 
evidently " a weak chicken," after all, though he 


had become, desperate under the stings and 
reproaches of the major. Under present circum- 
stances, it did not appear that Percy could be of 
any service on board of the Bellevite, for his 
brother would not hear a word he said. Captain 
Passford directed the commander to have every 
thing ready for a hurried movement at once, for 
there was but little hope of satisfying a man as 
unreasonable as the commander of the fort had 
proved himself to be in his dealing with his 

The captain of the steamer went to Mr. Yapoor, 
who was standing near the door of the engine- 
room, and said something to him, which soon 
produced a lively effect among the coal-passers 

'* I will attend to your case in a few minutes, 
Percy, for I do not allow any one to be impudent 
to me," growled the major. 

"Nor I either. If you put a finger on me, I 
will put a bullet through your head, if you are 
my brother ! " yelled Percy, as he took a small 
revolver from his hip-pocket. 

This demonstration increased the anger of 
Lindley; and he ran up the steps to the rail 


again, where he called upon two soldiers to come 
on deck. At the same moment, Captain Breaker, 
as instructed by the owner, rang the bell on the 
quarter, and the engine began to move again. 
Before the men from the boat could leave it, the 
steamer was moving, and it was no longer possible 
for them to obey the order. 

" What are you about, sir ? " demanded Major 
Pierson, rushing to the commander, not a little 
excited by what had been done. 

" I think this thing has gone about far enough, 
sir," replied Captain Breaker, as calmly as though 
there had not been a ripple on the surface of affairs. 

" But I came on board of this steamer to make 
an examination of the character of the vessel," 
protested the major, who evidently did not like 
the present aspect of the situation. 

" I have waited for jou to do so ; but I do not 
care to lose the tide while you are quarrelling 
with your brother, sir," added the commander. 

" But I order you to stop, sir ! " continued the 

" What am I to do, Mr. Percy ? " asked Captain 
Breaker, addressing the young man with a 
revolver in his hand. 


There was something on the part of the 
commander which indicated that he was playing 
a part, as were all on board, though he seemed 
to be a little amused to find that he was taking 
his orders from a boy of eighteen. At the same 
time he nodded his head slightly, though very 
significantly, to the young agent. 

" Go ahead just as fast as you can make the 
steamer travel. Captain Breaker,*' said Percy, 
with as much energy as though he had been in 
command of a Confederate fleet. 

" Certainly, Mr. Percy ; I shall obey your 
order, as you have charge of the vessel,'' added 
the commander. 

This passage between the authority of the 
steamer and his brother absolutely confounded 
the major, and for a couple of minutes he was 
unable to say any thing at all. But Captain 
Breaker, who was the only pilot on board, was 
obliged to leave the ship's guest in order to look 
out for the course of the steamer. . 

It seemed to be useless to attempt to get over 
the bar where he had tried to do so ; and 
lie directed the vessel towards the main ship- 
channel, finding plenty of water to enable him to 


reach it. But he would have to ruu the gauntlet 
of Fort Morgan, and the chances of a shot were 
against him. 

" Do you mean to say that Percy is in charge 
of this steamer, Captain Breaker?" demanded 
Major Pierson, who had by this time recovered 
some portion of his self-possession. 

" That is what both he and I said to you," 
replied Captain Breaker. 

" And the vessel is to be in the service of the 
Confederate States," added Percy, with more 
pluck than he had displayed before. " If my 
brother will not let her pass into the bay, I will 
go on shore at Fort Morgan, and explain the 
situation to the officer in command," blustered 
Percy; and perhaps he would have done just as 
much under the circumstances if he had known 
the vessel was on the other side in the coming 

" Where are your papers, sir ? " asked the major. 

" We have no papers ; and that is wdiy I am 
come in charge of the steamer," rejDlied the agent, 
who seemed to be quite able to strain a point 
when necessary. 

"We met Colonel Richard Pierson in Nassau, 


and I believe lie is your father and Mr. Percy's," 
answered Captain Breaker. 

" He is ; but I can hardly understand how he 
happened to send my brother home in charge of 
this fine steamer," said the major, glancing at his 

" Going into the army is not all the duty a man 
has to do for his country," said Percy warmly. 

"May I ask where this vessel came from?" 
inquired the commander of the fort. 

" From New York before she went to Bermuda 
and Nassau ; before that, from England," replied 
the commander evasively. 

"If you are really in charge of the steamer, 
Percy, I have nothing more to say," continued 
Major Pierson. "Now may I ask who owns 

" Captain Horatio Passford, who stands there ? " 

The officer in command of the fort started 
back as though he had received another surprise, 
greater than before. 




Major Lindley Pierson was plainly very 
much disturbed when the owner of the Bellevite 
was pointed out to him by the commander. He 
had practically retreated from the position he had 
taken with his brother, and had apparently given 
up the idea of sending him to the fort to be made 
a soldier. 

From the point which the steamer had reached, 
just north of Little Pelican Island, Captain 
Breaker had directed Mr. Dashington to head the 
vessel to the eastward, through Sand Island 
Channel ; and she was now moving towards the 
main ship-channel, which passed under the very 
guns of Fort Morgan. 

The tug had picked up the boat from the fort 
on the other side of the bay, and was following 
the Bellevite, though she had fallen a long way 


behind her in a very short time. It was about 
two miles to the more formidable fort, and the 
steamer was going at full speed, so that it could 
not be long before a shot Avould interrupt the 
harmony of her movements. 

In the mean time the commander of Fort Gaines 
was really a prisoner on board of the Bellevite, 
for Captain Breaker had started her screw before 
he could get any of his force on board. But the 
major was not half so much disturbed by this fact 
as he was by the consciousness that he had 
behaved in a very rude, brutal, and tyrannical 
manner in the presence of Colonel Passford's 
brother, who had thus far spoken not a word to 

"Captain Breaker, may I ask you to present 
me to the owner of the steamer ? " said Major 
Pierson, after he had looked about him for a time, 
and perhaps considered how he should atone for 
his rudeness. 

" Certainly, if you desire it," replied the com- 
mander, who was as polite as though he had been 
brought up in Paris, though he was hardly an 
exception to all naval officers. 

"Will you excuse me if I say that you are 


running at great speed, sir, and a sliot from Fort 
Morgan cannot be much longer postponed," added 
the major, as he glanced at the fort on the right. 

" I did not willingly start the steamer, sir ; but 
it was my duty to protect the agent in whose 
charge the steamer comes into port. If you say 
that he shall suffer no further annoyance, either on 
your own part or that of your people, I will stop 
the screw and wait your pleasure," said the 

"I have had some difficulty with my brother, 
and it looked incredible to me that he had come 
into Mobile Bay in charge of this fine vessel. I 
apologize to you and the owner for my rudeness, 
and assure you that I will not trouble Percy again 
while he remains on board," continued Major 
Pierson, with no little embarrassment in his 

" I accept the apology, and your explanation is 
entirely sufficient. What happens to Mr. Percy 
after he leaves the steamer does not concern me," 
answered Captain Breaker with a polite boAV, as 
he went to the quarter and rang the bell to stop 

When he had done this, he conducted Major 


Pierson to the quarter - deck, where Captain 
Passford and Christy were seated, and formally 
presented him to both of them. 

" I am most happy to make your acquaintance, 
Captain Passford," said the commander of Fort 
Gaines, as he extended his hand to the owner, 
which was taken, though the expression of the 
gentleman from the North did not indicate that 
he was very well pleased with him. 

To Christy he was as polite as to his father, 
and to both he was almost obsequious. It was 
rather difficult for father or son to realize that 
this was the man who had threatened to send 
his own brother to the fort as a soldier, to say 
nothing of the abusive language he had used. 

"I am very glad to see you in the State of 
Alabama, Captain Passford, and especially at this 
time," the major began ; and it looked as though 
the cordiality of his welcome was to compensate 
for former rudeness. 

"I am not a total stranger here," added the 
owner rather coldly. 

"It affords me a degree of pleasure I cannot 
express to see you come here, as events are 
getting big all around us, and with such a fine 


steamer. I am sure the Government will regard 
yon as one of its greatest and truest benefactors," 
continued Major Pierson. 

"It is my intention to serve the good cause 
with whatever measure of ability I may possess ; 
but I do not care to say any thing at all about my 
purpose till I have talked with my brother. I hope 
I shall find my brother Homer in full sympathy 
with me in my views," added the owner, though it 
was not a pleasure to him even to deceive an 

" Colonel Passford ! " exclaimed the major. 
" Have you any doubt about him ? " 

" Hardly any, though I prefer to talk with him 
before I say much on my own account." 

" Colonel Passford is not a very demonstrative 
man, but no one in the vicinity of Glenfield has 
any doubt as to how he stands on the great 

" I think no one will have any doubt as to how 
I stand, as soon as I take my position." 

" Certainly, sir, you will give no doubtful 

"I hope not." 

"I came on board to examine this steamer 


before we permitted her to pass the forts," 
continued Major Pierson. " I find her in charge 
of my brother, in the absence of any letter from 
my father or other Confederate agent. I humbly 
apologize for the rudeness of which I was guilty, 
though I assure you I have had abundant provo- 
cation for it." 

"That is a family affair with which we have 
nothing to do beyond the proper protection of the 
young agent in charge of the steamer." 

"I wish to say that I am entirely satisfied. 
Captain Passford, and I am heartily delighted to 
learn that you are about to make your residence 
in this section of the country," said the major, who 
seemed to have assured liimself on this point 
without much assistance from those most deeply 

The owner looked at him, and tried to ascertain 
what was passing in his mind ; and it was not a 
very difficult enterprise to accomplish his purpose. 
The hint he had received about the frequent visits 
of Major Pierson at Glenfield seemed to explain 
the present operations of his mind. Florry Pass- 
ford was a beautiful young lady of eighteen, and 
any young man of twenty-six could easily have 


been excused for making his visits very often at 
the mansion in which she resided. 

Though the fond father was not disposed to 
interfere unnecessarily with the choice of his 
daughter, even the hint that she might be entan- 
gled more than a thousand miles from her home 
had given him a positive shock. Now that he had 
seen the young man, and observed his conduct an 
board of the Bellevite, he most earnestly hoped 
that she was not in any degree committed to him. 
He had an additional inducement to get her away 
from the home of his brother, and the thought of 
it nerved him to increased exertion. What he 
had seen of the commander of Fort Gaines, 
though he appeared to be a faithful, patriotic, and 
energetic young man, as he understood his duty 
to his country, assuredly he was not the person he 
would have chosen for Florry. But his brother 
could tell him more about it, and how far the 
matter had gone, when he saw him. 

By the time Captain Passford had settled his 
conclusions as far as he could, the tug came up 
to the steamer, towing the boat from the fort. 
Percy felt that he had won a victory over his 
brother, and a Bantam rooster could not have 


made a wider spread on the deck. He seemed 
to feel that he was in command of the steamer, 
though he did not venture to interfere with any 
thing on board. 

" I am very sorry to have given you any annoy- 
ance, Captain Passford," said the major, as the 
tug came up to the gangway. "I think we 
shouki have understood eacli other better if your 
steamer had not got aground." 

"We have suffered little or no inconvenience, 

"Whether you have or not, you shall suffer 
no more. The tug has come alongside, and T 
will see that you are not delayed a moment after 
I can get to Fort Morgan, which will certainly 
fire upon you if I do not interfere ; and I will 
go to it in the tug," continued the major, who 
was still struggling to make all the atonement 
in his power for his former conduct. 

"You are very kind. Major Pierson, and I am 
under obligations to you. I have not seen my 
daughter for nearly six months, or my brother; 
and the sooner I meet them, the better I shall 
like it," replied the owner. 

"I have had the pleasure of meeting your 


daugliter ^veral times, as your brother's planta- 
tion is next to my father's. It is possible that, 
if the exigencies of the coming war permit, I 
may desire to address a communication to you 
at no distant day," said Major Pierson, with 
considerable embarrassment in his manner. 

Captain Passford made no reply to this remark ; 
for he thought it was entirely out of place under 
present circumstances, and hoped matters had not 
gone far enough even to think of future formali- 
ties. The major shook hands with the owner 
and his son, and then with the commander, 
and went over the side. As he did so, he re- 
quested Captain Breaker not to advance till he 
reached the fort, or at least not to attempt to 
pass it. 

The tug-boat went off on its course, but it 
was nearly half an hour before it got near enough 
to the fort to allow the Bellevite to start her 
screw. As there was nowdiere less than three 
fathoms of water, and Captain Breaker knew 
every inch of bottom, he directed Mr. Yapoor 
to hurry the engine, so that no one should have 
time to change his mind. The steamer shot by 
the fort as though she did not like the looks of 


it, and in another half an hour she was out 
of the reach of its guns. 

The commander had piloted the steamer to 
her present destination before ; and there was 
plenty of water till she nearly reached the wharf, 
where the planter could load small vessels with 
cotton. It was not within the city of Mobile, 
though it was not far from it ; and it was a sort 
of low-ground paradise, which money and taste 
had made very beautiful. 

. " What am I to do noAV, ]\Ir. Pierson ? '' asked 
Percy, when the steamer had come to her moor- 
ings alongside the wharf. 

" That will be for you to decide, Mr. Percy ; 
but you had better take that uniform off before 
you live any longer, for I am afraid some one 
will mistake your character if you wear it on 
shore," replied Christy. 

" I don't know that I shall go on shore," rej^lied 
the agent doubtfully. " I got by my brother 
very nicely, thanks to Captain Breaker ; for I 
should have been sent to the fort if he had not 
started the screw." 

" Do you think 3'ou are in any danger here ? " 
asked Christy. 


" I know I am. My father's house is over in 
that direction about half a mile. My brother 
can leave the fort any time he likes; and he 
Avill either do so, or send some of his men up 
here in the fast tug to catch me." 

"Why don't you go into the army, if your 
brother is so anxious about it, Percy?" 

" That is just what I want to do, but my father 
positively forbid my doing so," replied the volun- 
teer agent. '' I should like to get back to Nassau ; 
for I know I shall be forced into the army, in 
spite of my father, if I stay here." 

"My boy," called his father, "I am going on 
shore now, and I should like to have you go with 
me to see your uncle." 

Christy was glad to do so; and he departed 
with the owner, leaving Percy in charge of the 




If Homer Passforcl was not a rich man in the 
sense that his brother was, he was still a wealthy 
man, and lived in a style as elegant as that of 
any nabob in the South. More than this, and of 
vastly more consequence, he was a good and true 
man. He was a member of his church, and his 
brother believed that he was a genuine and true 
religious man. The same principles of justice, 
humanity, and fairness had been born into both 
of the brothers, and inherited from the same 

- This was the brother whom he from the Xorth 
was about to visit on the most solemn and 
momentous questions which could unite or 
separate the only two sons of the same father. 
Though Horatio had reasoned himself into the 
belief that Homer was as strongly a Union man 


as he was himself, he had argued without any 
adequate XDremises ; and now, wdien he was almost 
on the threshold of his door, he did not feel sure 
of the position of his brother, though his hope 
was very strong. 

It was with no little trepidation on this account 
that he rang the bell at the front door of Glen- 
field. A few minutes or an hour or two 
w^ould settle the momentous question, and decide 
whether or not all the family, as well as Florry, 
would take passage in the Belle vite for a more 
Northern clime. 

"De L'od!" exclaimed the venerable colored 
man that came to the door. " De hull family 
done be wery glad to see you, Massa 'Ratio." 

'' I hope you are very well, Pedro," replied 
Captain Passford, as he gave his hand to the 
old servant. '' Here is Christy." 

" De Lo*d bless Massa Christy ! " And he 
sliook hands with the son as he had with the 

"Is your master at home, Pedro?" asked the 
visitor, in haste to see his l)rother. 

*" Yes, sar ; all de folks to home ; jes' gwine to 
lunch. I spects dey all wery glad to see Massa 


'Ratio and Massa Christy. Walk in, sar; took 
a seat in de parlor ; and I done reckon we call 
Massa Homer and de rest ob de folks afore you 
gits to sleep in yer char, thar," said Pedro, as he 
scurried out of the room where he had shown 
the visitors. 

It was Florry who caught the first sound of 
the visitors who had arrived, and she rushed 
into the drawing-room before the others could be 
called from up-stairs. She bounded into the 
room like a fawn, with her eyes swimming with 
tears, and threw herself into her father's arms. 
She could not speak a word, and the captain was 
as dumb as she Avas. 

For a moment she remained folded in his arms, 
and then she gently disengaged herself, to render 
the same wealth of affection in its manifestation 
to her brother, who was standing by her father 
when she darted into the room. But Christy 
was a boy, and not as demonstrative as his 
father, though he discharged the duties of the 
affecting occasion with becoming fidelit}^, so that 
tlie loviDg girl was sure that his heart was 
where it had always been. 

"Why, papa, I had no idea of seeing you 

*• Shk was Clasped in her Father's Ar3is " (Page 148) 


to-day ! " exclaimed Florry, when she had wiped 
away her abundant tears. " I did not know that 
I should ever see you again, for they say that 
all the roads to the North have been closed to 

'^ We did not come by land, either by railroad 
or otherwise ; and the Bellevite lies at the 
wharf near this house," the captain explained. 

" I was terribly afraid I should never see you 
again, and that I should have to stay here till 
this war is ended, papa ; but they say it will 
soon be over," said the fair girl. 

"■ I am afraid it will not be over for a long 
time, for each side is firmly united in its own 
cause. But I could not leave you here. Do 
you want to go back to Bonnydale, Florry?" 

" Do I want to go back ? What a funny 
question, papa ! " exclaimed she. 

" Why is it a funny question ? " asked the 
anxious father, recalling the rather presumptuous 
suggestion the gallant major from Fort Gaines 
had made. 

"Don't you think I want to see mamma? 
You have not told me a word about her ; and it 
is a loug time now since I have heard any thiug. 


I do want to go home, and especially I want to 
see mamma." 

" Then you shall see her. 

*' Is she here, papa ? " exclaimed Florry, 
leaping out of the chair in which she had seated 

" She is not here, my child. She is at home, 
but it will not take many days to bear you to 
her," replied the devoted father, embracing her 
again, while she kissed him over and over again. 

" Can I see her before the war is over, papa ? " 
she asked. 

"Certainly you can, if no accident interferes 
with my plans. You really want to go home ? " 

" To be sure I do. How cruel it is of you to 
ask me such a question ! " 

" Then I won't ask it again. But perhaps you 
will not be able to come to Glenfield again for 
years," added Captain Passford, looking earnestly 
into her face. 

'' What makes jou look at me so, papa ? What 
have I done ? You look just as you did when I 
was little and pulled the kitten's tail." 

^' It is a long time since I have seen you, Florry, 
and I want to look at you all I can." 


" Then you may look at me as mucli as 3'ou 
wish ; and I shall be thankful it is not that Major 
Pierson who comes here, for he has stared me out 
of countenance every time he came," replied she, 
blushing a little. 

" Then you don't like him, do you ? " asked her 
father, with more interest than he cared to 

" I like him well enough, but I wish he would 
not stare at me all the time. He seems to think 
I am good for nothing but to look at," replied 
Florry smartly. 

But the entrance of Mr. and Mrs. Passford 
turned aside the inquiries the captain was making 
before he had satisfied himself, though he had 
obtained enough to afford him some hope. The 
greeting extended to the brother and nephew was 
all that could be expected or desired ; and if the 
country had not been riven into two bitterly hos- 
tile sections, the interview could not have been 
more brotherly and affectionate. A full hour was 
used in talking about the trip of the Bellevite, so 
anxious were the family, including Florry, to hear 
the particulars of the voyage. 

''But how in the world did you get here, 


Horatio, when every public conveyance that leads 
into the South has been discontinued?" asked 

"I came as I came before," replied Horatio. 

" You came in the Bellevite ! " exclaimed 

-I did." 

" But how did you get by the forts? Both of 
them have been garrisoned, and they have been 
ordered to allow no vessel to pass unless she give 
a good account of herself," continued the planter. 

"In other words, it is war now," . added 

" Undoubtedly it is war ; and, in my judg- 
ment, it will be a terrible conflict before it is 

" I full}' agree with you. Homer." 

" But you did not tell me in what manner you 
passed the two forts, which are already strong 
enough to blow your steamer into a thousand 
pieces," suggested Homer. 

"I did not tell you, and I think we had better 
understand each other a little better before I say 
any thing at all about the passage of the forts ; 
though I can assure you that not a single shot 


was fired at the Bellevite," said Horatio, some- 
what embarrassed by the situation. 

" De lunch am ready, saw," said a darky at the 
door at this moment ; and perhaps the summons 
saved the owner of the Bellevite from some 
further annoyance. 

An hour was spent at the table, for there was 
enough to talk about without meddling with deli- 
cate subjects. When the repast was over, Florry 
invited her brother to look at the flower-garden, 
which was in the height of its glory, and she was 
followed by Gerty her cousin, and by Mrs. 
Passford. As in the Northern family, there were 
only two children ; but Cornelius, or Corny as he 
was generally called, was not at home, though 
nothino; at all was said about him. 

Horatio was invited into the library by his 
brother, and they seated themselves for a long 
talk. The owner of the Bellevite was confident 
that he should soon know on which side the 
planter belonged, though he was still confident in 
his former views. 

" I suppose there is no other way for you to get 
here at the present time except in your yacht, 
and not many men can command so elegant and 


substantial a vessel as the Bellevite," said Homer, 
when they were seated. " But what in the world 
do you expect to do with her down here?" 

" I intend to return to my home in her, and to 
take my daughter back to her mother," replied 
Horatio, as unmoved as though he had uttered a 
commonplace expression. 

" Take Florry back to her mother ! " exclaimed 
Homer, springing out of his armchair as though 
his five-and-forty years counted for nothing. ''I 
hope that nothing at all is the matter with your 
brain, Horatio." 

" Nothing at all, so far as I am aware. Homer. 
You seem to think it is a great undertaking to 
take my daughter home," added Horatio. 

" But it is war in this country, and all along the 
coast. You will certainly be captured, and your 
daughter sent to a prison, at least till she can be 
sent home. You have not more than one chance 
in ten to get to New York." 

" Do you think so ? " asked Horatio, smiling. 

" If 3^ou don't know it, I do, my dear brother, 
that the Southern Confederacy has sent out agents 
to buy up all the suitable vessels the}^ can find, to 
do duty as cruisers and privateers. You are almost 


sure to be captured, and think what Florry would 
suffer in such an event." 

" You seem to think that the North is going to 
hokl still, and let you do all this, Homer," added 
the owner of the Bellevite. 

''I don't see how the North can help itself." 

'•' My information is rather meagre ; but I am 
informed that the Government of the United 
States has proclaimed the blockade, and even that 
it is enforced farther north, as I am sure it. will be 
on the south." 

'^ That is all nonsense, Horatio, and you know 

''I don't understand it so." 

'' How is it possible for the Yankee Government 
to station ships-of-war on the coast of the South- 
ern States ? It is simply impossible," said Homer, 
warming up with the argument. " The business 
of fitting out vessels is already begun, I read in 
the newspapers; and it will be pushed to the 

'' I am confident that every Confederate port in 
the United States will be invested by one or more 
vessels within a reasonable time." 

''But your steamer will be captured before 


you can get home, even if you get out of Mobile 

"I don't apprehend any difficulty on that 
account. If the Bellevite can't keep out of the 
way of any thing that floats, she deserves to be 
captured. She will belong to the Government 
within a few weeks," added Horatio quietly. 

" The Bellevite ! " exclaimed Homer. 

" The Bellevite, certainly. I should be ashamed 
to retain her a month after I knew that the Union 
needs her, and the Union shall have her as a free 
gift," added Horatio, quite as warmly as his 
brother had spoken. 

*' You will give j^our steamer to the Yankee 
Government ! " gasped Homer, rising from his 
chair again, and darting across the room, as though 
he was both shocked and disgusted at the conduct 
of Horatio. "You will allow her to be used hi 
subduing a free people ? I am sorry." 

Homer was very deeply grieved, and Horatio 
hardly less so. 




To Captain Passford the question seemed to be 
settled; and lie could no longer doubt that his 
brother fully sympathized with the leaders of the 
rebellion, if he was not one of them himself. He 
was certainly the most enthusiastic person he had 
yet seen on that side of the question. But Homer 
was thoroughly sincere, for he never was any thing 
else on any subject. 

Horatio was unable to understand how his 
brother could reason himself into the belief that 
secession was right, when the duty of saviug the 
Union was to him paramount: and certainly 
Homer was equally puzzled over the political faith 
of Horatio. Until the darkness of evening began 
to gather, they argued the tremendous question ; 
and they discussed it ably, for both of them were 
thinkino; and reasonino; men. 

But, when the darkness gathered, they were not 


one hair's-breaclth nearer an agreement ; and 
probably if they had continued to argue till morn- 
ing, or even till the end of the year, they would 
have come no nearer together. Each had a sort 
of horror of the views of the other, though they 
had lived in peace and harmony all the da^^s of 
their lives. 

*•' Homer, you are my brother ; and I am sure 
that an unpleasant word never passed between 
us," said Horatio, wlien the sun had gone down on 
the fruitless discussion. 

''Certainly not, brother; and it grieves me 
sorely to find that you are upon one side, wliile 1 
am on the other," replied Homer with a strong 
manifestation of feeling. " I did not expect to 
see you at Glen field ; but I felt sure that you 
would not be found, actually or constructively, in 
the ranks of the enemies of the South." 

'' And I was equally sure that you would be 
found on the side of your country, — the whole 
conntr\% and not a miserable fraction of it," 
added Horatio, with quite as much warmth as 
liis brotlier. " I came here in the Bellevite as 
much to convey you to a place of safety, as to 
restore Florry to her mother." 


" My country is here in the South. I have no 
oihev country ; and I shall stand by it to the last 
ditch, wherein I am ready to east all that I have 
and all that I am. If you thought it possible 
for me to desert the cause of the South, you 
strangely misjudged me ; and I do not feel at all 
complimented by the formation of your opinion 
of me," said Homer, with a trifle more of bitter- 
ness in his tone and manner than he had used 

"I see how it is with you. Homer; and I 
realize that it is worse than folly for us to discuss 
this important question. Your mind is made up, 
and so is mine ; and I fear that we might quarrel 
if we should continue to bandy words on the 
subject. We had better drop it entirely, once 
for all." 

" Perhaps we had ; but it grieves me sorely, 
even to think of my only brother taking part 
wdth the hirelings of the North in an attempt to 
subdue the free, untamed, and untamable South. 
It would not hurt my feelings more to know that 
you were a buccaneer, roving on the ocean for 
the plunder of all nations." 

''You should also consider my feelings when 


I tliink of you in armed rebellion against the 
best government God ever allowed to exist ; that 
my own brother is a rebel and a traitor, who is 
liable to be shot or hung for his armed treason." 

This was too much for Homer, and he gave 
vent to his emotion in a laugh at the picture his 
brother had drawn. He walked the library, and 
chuckled as though he were actually amused at 
the remarks of the other; and perhaps he was. 

" I am really and heartily sorry for you, 
Horatio, Your future, I fear, will be terribly 
dark. Of course, all business will cease at the 
North : the grass will grow in the streets of New 
York and other large cities. You have an 
immense fortune, which I do not believe you can 
retain a single jeav ; for the war is not to be 
confined to Southern soil, but will be carried into 
the North, where the expenses of our men will 
be paid by the enemy." 

''I think we had better confine our attention 
to the present, and let the future take care of 
itself," said Horatio, with a smile at the prophetic 
croakings of his brother. 

" Be that as it may, though T feel confident 
that all I predict will come to pass, I desire to 


have one thing understood : when you have lost 
your fortune, or wasted it on the hireling armies 
of the North, or on ships for its navy, you may 
always be sure of a home at Glenfield for yourself 
and all your family." 

" If you do not lose or waste all that you have 
on the army of the other side," added Horatio with 
a smile. " But I am ready to drop this subject." 

" It seems to be useless to continue it ; though, 
if there were any possible way to convert you 
from the error of your way of thinking, I would 
struggle all night with you," said Homer. 

" You cannot make a traitor of me, brother. 
But I must tell Florry to pack her trunk at 

"Pack her trunk? Why are you in such a 
hurry?" demanded Homer. 

" Because this is not a safe place for me and 
mine ; and I have my two children with me." 

" You ought to have left Christy at home." 

" I think not. Though he is only sixteen, he 
has seen so much of the world, and is so bright, 
that he is almost a man. He will go into the 
navy within a few weeks, and I shall expect him 
to give a good account of himself." 


" He is rather young. Corny is eighteen, and 
he has already enlisted with his mother's blessing 
and mine. But I think you need not be in such 
a hurry, Horatio, to get away from here ; for it 
is a long time since we met." 

" I have expressed my political sentiments very 
freely to you. Homer , and you know as well as I 
do, that, if they were known, I should not be safe 
a single day." 

" Not quite so bad as that, for I think I should 
have sufficient influence to save you from arrest," 
added Homer. 

"The Bellevite cost me over half a million 
dollars, and she is worth all she cost. If I were 
safe a single day, the steamer and ship's company 
on board of her would not be. I brought them 
down here, and I intend to take them back." 

" And then you present this fine vessel to the 
Yankee Government, and doubtless the men on 
board of her will go into the service of the 

"I certainly expect as much as that of them." 

''Then I question whether I ought to allow 
such a prize to pass out of the bay for such a 
purpose," said Homer. 


" Then, with such a doubt as that in your mind, 
I ought not to remain here another hour," added 
Horatio quietly. '' If you have gone far enough 
in treason to betray your own brother, coming 
here to your home for no warlike purpose, into the 
hands of the enemy, why, all I can do is to look 
out for myself." 

"I did not say that I should betray you, 
Horatio. It is simply a question with me whether 
my duty to my country will allow me to let your 
steamer leave these waters. I have not settled 
the question in my own mind." 

"I hope you will settle it soon. If I am to take 
my first step in this fratricidal war by defending 
myself against my own brother, let him speak, and 
I am ready," replied Horatio, shaken by an 
emotion deeper than he had ever experienced 

"Horatio, whatever you may do, whatever I 
may do, each in the discharge of his duty to his 
country, his country as he understands it, let 
us have no unfraternal feeling," continued Homer, 
almost as much disturbed in his feelings as his 

" In other words, if you hand me and my vessel 


over to your leaders, and consequent!}" take from 
me the means of bearing my daughter to a place 
of safet}^ I am to put my hand on my heart, and 
say that my brother has done right, for I will not 
use any stronger terms," said Horatio, struggling 
with his emotion. 

"I must do my duty as I understand it," 
protested Homer. " The question I put to myself 
is this : can I justify myself, before God and my 
country, if I permit the finest steamer in the 
world, as you state it, to be transferred to the 
Yankee navy, to be used in killing, ravaging, and 
destroying within the free South ? The steamer is 
here, and. within my reach. After all you have 
said, she would be the lawful prize of any tug-boat 
in the bay that could capture her. I begin to 
realize that I should be guilty of treason to mj 
country in letting her go." 

" You must be your own judge in regard to 
that," replied Horatio bitterly, as he rose from his 
chair and walked towards the door. 

" One word more, Horatio. I look upon the 
Bellevite as already belonging to the Southern 
Confederacy. Of course, being a private yacht, 
she is not armed ? " 


Homer paused and looked at his brother as 
though he expected an answer to this question ; 
but the owner of the steamer made no reply. 

"Do you say that the Bellevite is armed, 
Horatio ? " repeated Homer. 

" I do not say any thing about it. I find that I 
am in the presence of an enemy, though he is my 
own brother." 

" Do not assume that tone to me, Horatio : it 
wounds me to the heart," said Homer, in a depre- 
catory tone. "If we are enemies because you 
choose to oppress our peojDle, I cannot help it; 
but we will still be brothers." 

" The attack upon Fort Sumter was made by 
the South; and thus far, at least to the extent 
that I have been informed, the South has been the 
assailant; and you say that I choose to ojDpress 
your people. They have taken the sword, and 
they will perish by the sword." 

Captain Passford could not trust his feelings 
any longer to remain with his brother, and he left 
the room. In the hall he met Florry, who had 
been lying in wait for him for over an hour. She 
threw herself on his neck as she had done before ; 
but she found her father full of energy, and he 


was not even willing to use his minutes to caress 

"What is the matter, papa?" asked the fair 
girl, astonished at the manner of her father, for 
she had never before seen him so agitated. 

"Do not ask me any questions, Florry, for I 
have not time to answer them now," said he 
hastily. " Go to your room and pack all your 
things as quick as you possibly can, and without 
saying a word to any one." 

" Why, papa ! " 

" Not a word, my dear child," he added, kissing 

" It will not take me five minutes, papa ; for I 
have been packing my trunk this afternoon, when 
I had nothing else to do." 

" Where is your room, Florry ? " 

" It is on the lower floor, next to the library." 

" I will be there in a few minutes. Dress your- 
self, and be ready to leave at a minute's notice," 
continued Captain Passford. " Where is Christy ? " 

" He went out about an hour ago, when he saw 
from the window a young man I did not know," 
replied Florry, as she passed into her room. 

Captain Passford wondered who the young man 


was whom his son had gone out to meet ; for no 
one was allowed to leave the deck of the Bellevite 
who belonged to her, and he was not aware that 
Christy had any friend in the vicinity. . He was 
annoyed at his absence, for he wanted him at that 
very moment. 

Mrs. Passford and Gerty were up-stairs, where 
nimble fingers were busily at work for the soldiers 
of the Southern Confederacy, as they were also in 
the North for the Union. The captain looked all 
about the house, but he could not see or hear of 
his son. 




Captain Passford was very much annoyed at 
the absence of Christy at that particular moment, 
for it seemed to be heavily laden with momentous 
events to him and his family ; though Christy 
could not possibly know what had transpired in 
the library between the two brothers. He waited 
very uneasily in the hall, after his return from his 

Homer Passford did not come out of his library, 
and he sat brooding over the remarkable interview 
which had taken place between the brothers. No 
doubt he would have been glad to believe that he 
had been wrong ; for he had nothing but the kind- 
est feelings in the world towards his brother, and 
had never had in all his life. He was five years 
older than Horatio ; and, in their earlier life, 
he had been to some extent his guardian and 


protector, and he had never lost the feeling of 

But he had proved himself to be a patriot of the 
severest type, and proposed to rob his brother of 
his steamer, his only means of conveying his 
daughter to his home, for the benefit of the frac- 
tion of the nation which he called his country, and 
more to prevent her from being transferred to the 
navy of the Union. 

While the captain was waiting in the hall, the 
library door opened, and Homer presented himself. 
He invited his brotlier to return to the apartment, 
for he had something to say to him ; but Horatio 
positively declined to do so, fearful that they 
might come to an open rupture if the exciting 
discussion was continued. 

"But you will hear me a moment or two, will 
you not, Horatio ? " asked Homer ; and his lips 
quivered under the influence of his active thought. 

" I will as long as that," replied Horatio. 

"I have been thinkino- of the subject of our 
conversation in relation to the Bellevite ; and I 
have something to propose to you, which I hope 
will satisfy you, and at the same time will not rob 
our Government of what now belongs to it." 


"I am listening," added Horatio, as Homer 
paused to note the effect of his proposal. 

" You did not tell me how you got by the forts 
in your steamer, and perhaps you are ready to do 
so now." 

" I am not ready now ; and I am not likely to 
be ready at any future time to do so, Homer. You 
have indicated that we are enemies, and each 
should keep his own counsels." 

" Of course you will do as you think proper. I 
cannot reconcile myself to the idea of permitting 
a fine steamer like the Bellevite, now virtually in 
possession of the Confederacy, to sail away out of 
the bay. I feel that I should be guilty of treason 
to my country to do so." 

" And you propose to steal her from your own 
brother, if you can. You have done a large 
business in stealing forts, and one ought not to 
be surprised when you propose to steal a ship," 
replied Horatio mildly but sternly. 

"I pass over the injustice and unkindness on 
your part of that remark, and I hope you will 
accept my offer." 

" Let me hear it as soon as possible." 

" In spite of your present unfortunate position, 


Horatio, I believe you are still a man of truth, 
honor, and integrity." 
" Thank you, Homer." 

" I do not wish to keep Florry here when her 
mother desires so much to see her, and I have hit 
upon a plan by which you can do this without 
making me a traitor to my country." 

"It must have been a happy thought," added 
Horatio, somewhat interested in what the other 
was saying. 

"I think it was a happy thought, and I 
sincerely hope you will be able to accept the plan. 
I have some little influence in this section, and I 
have no doubt I can procure a pass for your 
steamer to go to sea," continued Homer, pausing 
to study the expression of his brother. 

" Do I understand that you propose to do this, 
Homer?" asked Captain Passford, not a little 
astonished at the apparent change his brother had 
made in his position. 

" On a certain condition, which you can easily 

"It looks as though you were becoming more 
reasonable. What is the condition on which you 
will do this? For I should certainly prefer to 


have no shots fired at the Bellevite while Flony 
is on board of her." 

" As I have said, your word is as good as your 
bond; and I am willing to accept the conse- 
quences of the step I propose to take, since the 
Confederacy will not suffer any loss or detriment 
on account of it." 

"It will not! " exclaimed the captain, beginning 
to see that he could not accept the conditions. 

"It will not. I could not injure or cheat my 
country, even to serve my only brother, greatly as 
I desire to do all I can for him." 

"But what is the condition, Homer?" asked 
Captain Passford, who had by this time lost all 
hope of the plan. 

" You shall take Florry to some point, — Ber- 
muda, for instance, — from which she can obtain 
passage to New York. Before you go, you shall 
give me your simple word that you will return to 
Mobile Bay with the Bellevite, and surrender her 
to the Confederate authorities. I am entirely 
willing to accept your promise to do this, without 
any bond or other writing." 

"Is that all?" asked Horatio, hardly able to 
contain himself. 


" That is all ; what more do you desire? " 

"Nothing; that is enough. I have already 
tendered my steamer to the Government of the 
United States; do you think me capable of 
surrendering my vessel to rebels and traitors, 
under any possible circumstances? I would blow 
her up with all on board of her, before I would do 
such a thing. You insult me by proposing such 
treachery to me. Not another word about it, if 
you please ! " 

Homer returned to his library, and closed the 
door after him ; for the last remark of the owner 
of the Bellevite had excited him, and he could not 
trust himself to remain any longer in the presence 
of his Union brother. 

" I am all read}-, papa," said Florry, who had 
opened the door once before, and found that her 
father was engaged. 

"I cannot find Christy, but I hope he is not far 
off," added Captain Passford, as he went into the 
room, and, to the astonishment of his daughter, 
bolted the door after him. 

"I did not know the young man he went out to 
see, but I noticed that he looked something like 
Major Pierson," said Florry. 

174 take:n" by the enemy 

" Then it was the major's brother, and he came 
from Nassau with us on board of the steamer. I 
hope neither of them will get into any trouble, for 
all this country is in a very excited condition," 
said the captain, as he carefully opened the 
window at the side of the apartment. 

This was quite as singular a movement as bolting 
the door ; and the fair girl, who had heard some of 
the energetic conversation in the hall, began to 
think that something strange was about to trans- 
pire in the mansion. Her father spent some time 
in looking out the window ; for it was now quite 
dark, and he could not make out objects out- 
doors very readily. 

The window opened upon a lawn covered with 
orange, magnolia, and other ornamental trees. 
The house was low on the ground, and it was 
not more than three feet from the window-sill 
to the lawn. Without explaining any thing. 
Captain Passford took his daughter's trunk, 
carried it to the window, and then dropped it 
upon the lawn beneath. 

"Now, Florry, I want you to get out at this 
window ; and you can easily step down upon the 
trunk," continued the owner of the Bellevite. 


" Get out of the window, papa ? " demanded the 
maiden, with a look of intense astonishment at 
her father. 

" Do just as I tell you, my child, and don't ask 
any questions now ; for all will be explained to 
your satisfaction," replied he, as he assisted her 
to a chair, by which she mounted to the window- 

She dropped lightly down upon the trunk, 
which had been placed in a convenient position 
for her, and then to the ground. Her father 
followed her ; though he stopped long enough to 
close the window after him, and leave every thing 
as it had been before. 

" I think I can understand something about it, 
papa," said Florry, as the captain joined her. 
" But am I to leave this house, where I have been 
for six months, without saying good-by to uncle or 

" Not a word to any one, my child. I am sorry 
it must be so ; but this is a time of war, and I 
have no time to stand on ceremonies," replied her 
father, as he picked up the trunk, and tossed it on 
his shoulder as though he had done that kind af 
work before. 


He walked off with a firm step, in spite of his 
burden, taking the nearest way to the wharf where 
he had left the Bellevite. The distance was con- 
siderable, and the millionnaire was obliged to stop 
and rest two or three times ; and, though Florry 
insisted upon helping him, he would not allow her 
to do so. It was nearly ten o'clock at night when 
the wanderers reached their destination, and were 
hailed by the vigilant watch on the deck. 

" Florence I " called the owner of the steamer 
when he was challenged, and gave the word that 
had been agreed upon. 

" Pass, Florence," replied the sentinel. 

All the officers were still upon board, and Florry 
received a very respectful greeting from all of 
them. Her trunk was carried to her stateroom ; 
and she soon followed it, for the excitement of the 
afternoon and evening was rather too much for 

" Is Percy still on board, Breaker ? " asked the 

" He is not : he lounged about the deck till 
nearly night, and then he said he would go up and 
see his mother, to which I had not the least 
objection," replied the commander. 


"I have no objection to his going where he 
pleases now, but the worst of it is that Christy 
appears to have gone witli him. They must have 
been gone three hours, and I begin to be worried 
about my son. But no matter for that now: we 
are ready to sail, and it is necessary to get out 
into the bay, at least without any loss of time, 
Breaker. The tide is right now." 

Captain Breaker had not expected to leave so 
soon, and thought it probable that the vessel 
would remain where she was for several days or a 
week. But he had caused the fires to be banked, 
so as to be ready for any emergency, though he 
did not anticipate any ; for he reasoned that the 
powerful influence of the owner's brother would 
be enough to protect the steamer from interfer- 

The commander called all hands, and the owner 
requested that the work be done with as little 
noise as possible. In less than an hour the Belle- 
vite was floating in the deep waters of the bay. 
But the owner was far from easy ; though, in spite 
of all his brother had said, he felt that the steamer 
was safe for the present : he was not a little 
alarmed at the continued absence of Christy. 


Captain Passford had formed a very decided 
opinion in regard to Major Pierson, and he did not 
believe that Percy had seen the end of his troubles 
in the matter of joining the army. It was not 
over a three hours' run in a reasonably fast 
steamer from the forts to the city, and at least ten 
hours had elapsed since the Bellevite came up. 
Possibly the major might wonder whether or not 
the coming of Captain Passford would disturb the 
residence of Miss Florence at the mansion of her 
UDcle. It was not improbable that he had, or 
might, come up to look out for his interests. 

If he came across his brother Percy after he left 
the steamer, he was likely to make a soldier of 
him ; and it was unfortunate that Christy had 
been his companion when last seen. 




Christy Passford had not gone out of his 
uncle's house for any particular purpose ; though 
he saw Percy, and joined hira as he left the 
mansion. He had visited Glenfield before, and 
he had some curiosity to see familiar objects 
again. It was nearly dark, and he wondered 
where the major's brother was going at that 

" Where are you going now, Mr. Percy," he 
asked, as he approached the agent. 

"I thought I would go up to the house and 
see my mother," replied Percy. " Won't you go 
over with me ? It is only a short distance." 

" No, I think not : I don't care to go a great 
way from the house." 

" It isn't above half a mile, and I am coming 
directly back again." 


" I will not go as far as joii are going, but I 
will take a little stroll as far as the gate. Where 
is your brother now ? " 

" I suppose he is at the fort. If I thought he 
were about here, I should not leave the steamer. 
lie has got it into his head that I must join the 
army, and he will never be satisfied till I am 

" He is certainly very much in earnest, judging 
by his conduct on board of the Bellevite," added 

" He pretends to believe that my not joining 
the army will be a disgrace to the family ; but, if 
my father don't think so, Lindley need not worry 
his head about the matter." 

" Your brother seems to have a very strong 
will of his own," suggested Christy. 

" He will send me into the army in spite of my 
father and mother ; and, for that reason, I don't 
mean to go where he can put his finger on me. 
Of course, the Bellevite is going into the 
Confederate navy." 

Percy looked his companion in the face, as 
though he had been thinking of something which 
would benefit his own case. 


'■' You will have to ask my uncle about that," 
replied Christy, not willing to say any more than 
was necessary on this subject. 

"There can be no doubt of it, and I would 
rather be in the navy than in the army. I hope 
your uncle will be able to do somethmg for me." 

" I don't know whether he can or not. For 
aught I know, the steamer may be sent to 
England, or to some other country," replied 
Christy, as they approached the gate, which was 
to be the end in that direction of his walk. 

" At any rate, I mean to stay on board of the 
Bellevite ; and I shall take my chances of getting 
a position of some kind on board of her." 

" What kind of a position do you desire ? " 

" I am willing to be one of the lieutenants, or 
something of that kind," replied Percy with 
becoming condescension. 

" One of the lieutenants ! " exclaimed Christy. 
"Of course you know all about handling a ship 
or a steamer." 

"I can't say I do. In fact, I never went on 
the sea till I went to Nassau with my father," 
replied Percy candidly. "But I can soon learn 
all about it." 


" A nice lieutenant you will make ! Why 
don't you apply for the position of commander 
of her ? " 

''I am willing to take a subordinate position 
till I learn something about the business." 

"That's right! Be humble at first, and you 
will be great afterwards." 

" I should have been willing to go into the 
army as a captain, or even as a lieutenant ; but I 
couldn't quite stand it to go in as a common 
soldier, while my brother made a beginning as a 

" I think I will not go any farther, Mr. Percy," 
said Christy, as he halted near the gate. 

"Oh, don't leave me now, Mr. Pierson! We 
are half way to my father's house," Percy objected. 

" I can't go any farther, for I may be wanted." 

"You will be safe enough, Mr. Pierson. My 
mother is at home, and she will be glad to see 

" I think I will not see your mother to-night," 
added Christy, as he turned, and began to retrace 
his steps towards the mansion of his uncle. 

They had halted in the road near the gate, and 
on both sides of it was a thick undergrowth of 

FoLR Mex Sprang in Front of Hm (Page 183) 


small trees and biisbes ; and in tlie shade of this 
foliage it had become quite dark. Christy had 
not taken three steps before four men sprang out 
of the thicket in front of him, all of them armed 
with muskets, and wearing a uniform of gray. 
Two placed themselves in front of Christy ; 
while the other two rushed after Percy, who 
took to his heels as soon as he saw them. 

The gate was an impediment to the latter ; and 
before he could get over or through it, the two 
soldiers had laid violent hands on him. He 
could offer no effectual resistance, and it was 
evident that he was frightened out of his wits ; for 
he looked and acted like the ghost of despair 
itself. The two men immediatel}^ tied his hands 
behind him ; and, though they did not use any 
undue harshness, they did their work thoroughly. 

Christy was even more astonished than his 
companion at this sharp discipline. He did not 
regard himself as a fit subject for such treatment, 
and he could not understand why he had been 
subjected to it. Pie was not liable to do military 
duty, and Major Pierson could hardly think of 
pressing him into the service of the Confederacy. 
His two captors were as prompt in their action 


as tlie two wlio had taken Percy, and his hands 
were also tied behind him. 

" Good-evening, gentlemen," said Christy, as 
soon as the soldiers had bound him, and then 
stood in front to take a look at him. " Don't it 
strike you that you are indulging in rather sharp 
practice ? " 

" We haven't any thing to do with the practice : 
all we have to do is to obey orders," replied one 
of the men. 

" But I think you have mistaken your orders," 
suggested the prisoner. 

"I think not: if we have, we will set things to 
rights at once," replied the man, who appeared to 
be the sergeant in command of the party. " But 
our business is not so much with you as Avith the 
other young fellow." 

Upon this, Christy was conducted to the gate, 
where Percy had not yet recovered any of his self- 
possession. For his own part, he felt that a mis- 
take had been made, which must soon be corrected. 
He knew nothing of the wide difference of 
opinion which had suddenly become apparent 
between his father and his uncle, and he Avas sure 
that the latter could soon effect his release. 


" This is an outrage ! " exclaimed Percy, wlio 
perhaps felt that it was necessary for him to say 
something, now that Christy had come within 
hearing distance. 

"Perhaps it is, Mr. Pierson," replied the 
sergeant. " But that isn't any of my business." 

" You will be held responsible for it, sir ! " 
protested Percy. 

" Perhaps I shall ; but I shall obey my orders," 
replied the soldier doggedly. 

"Who gave you your orders?" demanded 
Percy imperatively. 

"Well, I don't belong to the class in catechism, 
and I don't answer all the questions that are put 
to me." 

"My father will have something to say about 
this business." 

" He can say all he likes, but he need not say 
it to me ; for I only obey my orders, and I have 
nothing to do with giving them." 

" What are you going to do with me ? " asked 
Percy, when he found he could make nothing of 
the sergeant. 

" I don't know what they will do with you ; but 
I reckon they won't shoot you, as they might a 


fellow whose father was not a man of some con- 
sequence," replied the sergeant, as he ordered 
one of his men to open the gate. 

" Shoot me ! " exclaimed, Percy, evidently 
appalled at the bare possibility of such an event. 

"I reckon they won't do that," added the 

" This is my father's plantation, and my mother 
is in the house," continued Percy. 

" She can stay there : we shall not meddle with 

" But you are going to take me away from her." 

" You look like a stout young fellow, and you 
ought to be able to get along for a while without 
your mother," chuckled the sergeant. "You 
belong in the army ; and I reckon you will have 
to go back to it, in spite of your mother." 

'' I don't belong to tlie army," protested Percy. 

" Well, they call you a deserter, anyhow." 

Percy seemed to be overcome by this statement, 
and Christy thought there was something more 
of his story than he had told on board of the 
Bellevite. It was possible, after all, that Major 
Pierson was not as much of a brute as he had 
appeared to be. But, if his companion was a 


deserter, he certainly did not come under that 
head himself, and he could not understand why 
he had been arrested. 

" I suppose you don't claim me as a deserter, do 
you ? " asked Christy good-naturedly. 

'' I don't think they do," replied the sergeant, 
as pleasantly as he had spoken himself. 

"Then, why do you arrest me?" 

" ]My orders were to arrest any person with Mr. 
Pierson : and that is all I know about your case, 
and I am very sorry to give j^ou any annoj^ance. 
Things are a little mixed, and I hope they will 
soon get them levelled down. If you don't object, 
we will march." 

" I suppose you will march all the same, if I do 
object," added Christy. " I was not aware that it 
was a crime here to be in the company of that 
young man." 

" I reckon I was ordered to arrest you as a mat- 
ter of precaution ; and I dare say they will let you 
return as soon as we report to the major," said the 
sergeant, leading his prisoner through the gateway. 

The other men took Percy by the arm ; and, 
after they had closed the gate, they followed the 
road for a considerable distance, and then struck 


across the fields. Not far ahead, Christy saw many 
lights; and he concluded that this must be the 
location of the mansion of Colonel Pierson, the 
father of Percy, and for some reason best known 
to himself, the sergeant desired to avoid going 
very near it. 

A march of a short distance farther across the 
field brought them to a road, which they followed 
till they came to a wagon drawn by two horses. 
The animals were hitched at the side of the road, 
and no one seemed to be in charge of the team. 
But the sergeant halted his party at this point; 
and, leaving the prisoners in charge of his men, he 
went to the wagon. 

" Major Pierson," said he ; but no answer came 
to his question, and he repeated it with no better 

Then he mounted the seat in front of the 
wagon, and looked over into the body of it. Then 
he reached over ; and a moment later the form of 
a man was seen to rise from a quantity of hay 
which filled the body. 

"Is that you, Spottswood?" demanded the 
rising form. 

" Yes, sir, I am here ; and I have two prisoners. 


One of them is your brother, and I don't know 
who the other is," rephed the sergeant. 

"Are you sure that one of them is my brother ? " 
asked the major. 

" I am as sure as I can be, for I heard the other 
fellow call him Percy two or three times before I 
stepped in front of them." 

"Don't you know who the other one is?" 

"I haven't the least idea. I arrested him as 
you told me, but I did not question him." 

The major ordered him to put his prisoners into 
the wagon. 




Two of the soldiers were placed at the rear of 
the wagon, one took his place on the hay with 
Percy, while the major and the sergeant seated 
themselves on the cushion in front. Spottswood 
took the reins ; and the officer told him to drive 
on, without saying a word to the prisoners. 

It was quite dark ; and Christy had not the 
least idea where he was, or where he was going. 
He could see that Major Pierson had sent this 
party to arrest his brother, as Percy seemed to 
fear that he would do, and had remained and slept 
away the time in the wagon himself. He liad 
been introduced to the major, and had been 
treated with " distinguished consideration '' by 
him. In view of the possible relations between 
him and Florry, he did not feel much concerned 
about his own safety, though he was sorry to have 
his father and sister worry over 'his absence. 


" Then, it seems you have been in the army, 
after all," said he to his fellow-prisoner, after they 
had gone some distance. 

"I never belonged to the army," he replied 

" Did you put your name down ? " 

" Yes, I did ; but I supposed I was to be a 
captain, or something of that sort. When I found 
I must go as a common soldier, mixed up with all 
sorts of people, I couldn't stand it. I applied for 
my discharge ; but they would not give it to me, 
and I went home without it." 

" That looks very much like desertion," added 
Christy, and the major went up somewhat in his 

" But it was not desertion ; for I applied for my 
discharge, and all they had to do was to give it 
to me. They understood it so, for they did not 
come to the house after me," argued Percy. 
" Then, when my father went to Nassau, he took 
me with him. But the surgeon said I was not 
fit for the army, for I had indications of varicose 
veins. My father sent the certificate to the 
authorities, and applied for my discharge." 

"Was it £ver granted?" 


" I suppose it was, but I don't know." 

" If it had been, your brother would know 
about it." 

" Will your uncle make you join the army, 
Mr. Pierson ? " 

" No : my uncle has no authorit}^ over me, and 
he cannot make me join the army," replied Christy. 

" Where is your father ? " 

" He was at my uncle's plantation. I think we 
have kept up this farce long enough, Percy," 
said Christy, laughing. " My father is the owner 
of the Bellevite." 

" What did you tell me your name was Percy 
Pierson for ? " demanded the other prisoner. 

" For the same reason that I told you the 
steamer belonged to the Chinese government, 
and a dozen other things of the same sort." 

" What is your name, then ? " 

" Christopher Passford ; but" I am commonly 
called Christy." 

'' Then, you have been fooling me ? " 

" You knew very well that I had been fooling 


"Then, you are the son of the owner of the 


"I am." 

" Then, you can get me a place on board of her." 
" Perhaps I can. We will see about that." 
Christy doubted if their political opinions 
would permit them to serve on the deck of the 
same vessel, but he did not suggest any thing 
of this kind. He had been introduced to Major 
Pierson under his real name, and he was certain 
to be identified by him as soon as the light 
permitted him to see his face ; and he had made 
the best of it b}^ telling Percy the truth before 
he found it out himself. 

" You haven't told me who the other prisoner 
is, Spottswood," said the major, when they had 
ridden some distance in silence. 

"I don't know who he is," replied the sergeant. 
" I never saw him before in my life, so far as I 

''Didn't he tell you who he was?" 
"He did not, and I did not ask him any 

That was all that was said about it; and the 
major relapsed into silence, and Christy concluded 
that he had gone to sleep again. The wagon 
continued on the journey, though at a very slow 


pace, for the road could hardly have been any 
worse. At the end of about two hours more, 
the vehicle halted near a sheet of water which 
looked as though it might be a river, or an arm 
of Mobile Bay. 

The road appeared to end at a rude sort of 
wharf; but there was no person in the vicinity, 
no house, and no craft of any kind in the water, 
so far as Christy could see when he was helped 
out of the wagon. Percy was assisted to the 
ground also ; and the two soldiers at the rear of 
the wagon, who had gone to sleep, were waked, 
and ordered to get out. 

"We shall not want the wagon any more," 
said the major. " You can send Boyce back to 
the house with it." 

" It is five miles from here, and he will not get 
back till nearly morning." 

" We can wait for him. The Leopard will not 
be here for some time." 

" I think we ought to send two men, major," 
suggested the sergeant. 

"Why two?" 

" For company : one of them may get asleep, 
and two will get back sooner than one." 


" They might as well all of them go, for they 
can do nothing here," added the major with a 
terrific yawn. 

Two men were sent away with the wagon. 
The most of the hay in it was taken out; and 
with it the superior officer made a bed for himself, 
and was soon asleep again. The sergeant and 
the remaining soldier took their knapsacks from 
a tree where they had put them before, and it 
was decided that one of them might sleep while 
the other kept guard over the prisoners. Spotts- 
wood was the first to take his turn, and his 
companion stretched himself on the planks of the 

The sergeant brought out the knapsacks of the 
two absent soldiers, and gave the blankets to 
Christy and Percy, both of whom were sleepy 
enough to follow the example of the others. 
Spottswood assisted them very kindly, spreading 
out the blankets for them, and covering them 
afterwards; for, as their hands were tied behind 
them, they were almost helpless. 

The two prisoners soon dropped asleep ; and 
they knew nothing more till after daylight, when 
Christy was waked by the hissing of steam at the 


rude wharf. The two soldiers who had been sent 
away with the wagon were asleep on the planks, 
though neither had. a blanket. The major had not 
been disturbed by the noise, for he was farther 
from it than the others. 

With some difficulty Christy got upon his feet, 
and looked about him. A tug-boat lay at the 
wharf, with the steam escaping from her pipe. 
There was nothing else to be seen in the vicinity. 
The sheet of water, which was apparently half a 
mile wide, had a bend some clistance from the 
wharf, so that he could not see any farther ; but 
he had no difficulty in coming to the conclusion 
that the water was an arm of the bay. 

On board of the Leopard, for the name was on 
the front of the pilot-house, he could see only two 
llien, one of whom came out of the engine-room ; 
and he judged that they were the pilot and 
engineer. Doubtless the former was also the 
caj)tain of the craft. 

While one of the two men seated himself on 
the rail, the other came on shore. He was a man 
of very small stature, and looked as though his 
health was very poor. Indeed, his step was quite 
feeble, and he seemed to have hardly strength 


enough to handle his frame. As the tng had just 
come in, doubtless he had been on duty the whole 
or a portion of the night, which may have 
explained his exhausted condition. 

" Good-morning, Captain Pecklar," said the 
sentinel on duty at the wharf. 

" Good morning, Tubbs. Where is Major Pier- 
son ? " asked the captain of the Leopard, in a very 
faint voice. 

" He is still asleep, and he has his bed at the 
foot of that tree yonder," replied the sentinel, 
pointing at it. "How do you find yourself this 
morning ? Any better ? " 

"About the same; I am about used-up for this 
world," replied Captain Pecklar, continuing his 
painful walk towards the tree indicated. 

" Is that the captain of the Leopard ? " asked 

"Yes, poor fellow! He came down here two 
years ago from somewhere North, almost gone in 
consumption. He got a little better; but he is 
worse again, and I don't believe he will last much 
longer," replied the sentry. 

" Has he been out all night on the steamer ? " 
inquired Christy, who felt that it was his duty to 


obtain all the information lie could in regard 
to this steamer, as it was in the service of the 
commander of Fort Gaines. 

" I don't know where he has been ; but I 
suppose he has been on duty all night, and that 
don't agree with him at all. We came up here 
yesterday afternoon — Well, never mind what we 
have been about. I forgot that you were a pris- 
oner ; and you may be a Yankee, for aught I know." 

Before Christy had time to make any reply, the 
sentinel walked away, and the major was seen 
coming from his bed with CajDtain Pecklar. They 
went to the wharf together, where they seated 
themselves on a box which lay there. The pris- 
oner turned away from them ; and the major took 
no notice of him, and did not appear to see him, 
or he would certainly have identified him. 

Christy's bed was just behind them, when they 
had seated themselves ; and he dropped down on 
his blanket, rolled it about him as well as he 
could, and then pretended to be asleep, as Percy 
was still, in spite of the noise of the escaping 
steam on board of the boat. 

" What have you done with your men. Captain 
Pecklar ? " asked the major. 


" I have just told you that the steamer had 
changed her position," replied the captain. 

" I did not understand you," returned the major. 
"Do you mean that she has left the wharf? " 

" I do : she was out at least two miles from the 
shore," added Captain Pecklar. 

" Two miles from the shore I " exclaimed Major 
Pierson. *' What does that mean ? " 

" I don't know, sir. Lieutenant Dallberg did 
not know what to make of it ; and he decided to 
take his two men to the shore, and investigate the 
matter. He directed me to report this to you." 

"But when did the Bellevite leave the wharf ? " 
asked the major, evidently very much puzzled at 
what he regarded as the singular conduct of the 
owner of the steamer. 

" I don't know, sir. It was after ten o'clock in 
the evening when we first saw her out in the bay." 

" Was she at anchor? " 

"I think not. I was ordered not to go very 
near her, and I could not tell." 

" Do you know whether or not Captain Passford 
is on board of her ? " 

" Of course I do not. In fact, I know nothing 
at all about her, except that she has left the 


wharf and come out into the bay. I think I 
heard her screw in motion, though I am not sure ; 
and that makes me think that she is not at anchor. 
Mr. Dallberg thought he ought to go on shore, 
visit Colonel Passford, and obtain further informa- 
tion if he could." 

The major ordered the captain to embark the 
party at once. 




If Major Pierson had had aii}^ curiosity at all in 
regard to the person captured by the soldiers with 
his brother, he appeared to have forgotten all 
about him. He took no notice of him after he 
left his bed of hay, but then he was evidently very 
much disturbed by the fact that the Bellevite had 
left the wharf. 

Christy Passford was quite as much astonished 
as the major when he learned that the steamer had 
left her berth at the wharf, and he was utterly 
unable to account for the change of positioli. The 
movement had been made since he left his uncle's 
mansion ; for at that time the two brothers were 
still in the library, and he had no knowledge 
whatever of what was passing between them. 

The major ordered all his men on board the 
Leopard, and directed the sergeant to conduct the 


prisoners to the deck of the tug. Percy was 
waked when he was wanted, and he had slept 
soundly till that time. With their hands still tied 
behind them, they were conducted to the after- 
deck of the tug, where there was a small space 
from which opened the stateroom of the captain. 

" I might as well jump overboard first as last," 
said Percy bitterly, as he seated himself in the 
place assigned to him by Spottswood. 

" It is hardly worth your while to do that, Percy. 
I don't think your brother is likely to do you any 
harm," replied Christy. 

" I would rather be drowned in deep water than 
be sent into the army as a common soldier," said 
the victim, as he went to the rail and looked over 
into the water. 

But his companion was perfectly confident that 
he would not jump overboard while his hands 
were tied behind him ; for the chances were all 
against him, though he might be willing to punish 
his brother by making a demonstration in the 
direction indicated. 

" The water is too cold at this time in the morn- 
ing, Percy," said Christy with a smile. "I think 
you ought to give your brother the credit of having 


the reputation of your family at heart. If I 
had a brother, I had about as lief have him drown 
himself as desert from the army." 

"I don't call it deserting," replied Percy rather 

" You can call it what you like, but that is what 
it was." 

"It is no use to talk with you about it. Where 
are we going now ? " demanded Percy impatiently. 

" We are going to look out for the Belle vite, 
and perhaps you can get on board her again," 
suggested Christy. 

" Do you think I can ? " asked the deserter with 
renewed interest. 

"I am afraid your brother will look out too 
sharply for you. He has you now, and he will 
hold on this time." 

Christy had little sympathy for his companion. 
He was an able-bodied young man of eighteen, 
with influence enough behind him to give him a 
good show in the ranks if he did his duty. But 
he was the youngest child of his father and 
mother ; and he had evidently been spoiled by 
indulgence, so that he was not fit for the stern 
duties of the present emergency. 


The steamer seemed to be very short handed, 
and doubtless part of the work on board was 
done by the soldiers, for the tug seemed to be 
in the employ of the fort. There was no crew, 
so far as Christy could judge, except the captain 
and engineer; and both of these seemed to be 
invalids, for the latter was so lame he could 
hardly go. The soldiers hauled in the fasts, 
and seemed to be at home with this sort of 

The Leopard backed out from the wharf, came 
about, and headed down the inlet, or whatever 
it was. She had hardly left the pier before 
Major Pierson appeared on the quarter-deck, 
which had been assigned for the use of the 
prisoners. His gaze was first fixed on Percy; 
for the other prisoner was looking astern, in order 
to obtain some idea of where he was, if he could, 
for he thought such information might be of 
some use to him in the future. 

" Well, Percy, how goes it now ? " asked the 

Christy heard the voice, which was the first he 
knew of the presence of a third person, and 
he turned about. The major started back as 


though he had seen his father with his hands tied 
behind him by his order. 

" Good Heaven ! Mr. Passford ! " exclaimed the 
major ; and Christy was satisfied that his aston- 
ishment was sincere. 

" Tliat is certainly my name : I haven't for- 
gotten it, if I am a prisoner with my hands tied 
behind me," replied Christy, as good-naturedly as 
though he had had no grievance. 

" This is all a mistake ! " ejaculated Major 
Pierson, evidently greatly disturbed by the dis- 
covery he had just made, as he rushed upon the 
prisoner, turned him around, and proceeded to 
untie the line which bound him. 

"I thought it must be a mistake," added 

"You must have been with this brother of 
mine. I told Spottswood to arrest Percy, for 
he has disgraced himself and his family ; and I 
told him to capture whoever might be with him, 
for I did not care to leave behind an informant 
of what had been done, for it would only have 
made my mother feel badly. That is really the 
whole of it. I am very sorry indeed that you 
were subjected to this annoyance, Mr. Passford; 


and I assure you I will do all in my power to 
atone for my offence." 

" I am satisfied, Major Pierson ; and the only 
thing that disturbs me is the fact that my father 
and sister will worry about my absence," replied 

"You are no longer a prisoner, Mr. Passford, 
and you are at liberty to go where you please." 

" But my limits are rather circumscribed on 
board this tug." 

"But I will soon put you on board your father's 

"Thank you, sir ; that is all I can desire." 

"Can't you do as much as that for me, 
Lindy?" asked Percy, when he saw that his 
brother was about to leave him. 

" If you say that you will return to your place 
in your regiment, I will release you at once," 
replied the brother. 

" I won't do that," answered Percy without any 
hesitation. "But I want to go into the navy. 
I am better fitted for a sailor than I am for a 

"The first thing is to wipe out the disgrace 
you have cast upon yourself and your family," 


added the major warmly. " I induced your 
officers to look upon it as a freak of a boy, and 
by returning to your duty you can soon wi^je out 
the stigma." 

" I shall not become a common soldier if I can 
help it. My father and mother will stand by me, 
if the rest of you do not," said Percy. 

" That's enough ; and you will go back to the 
army, whether or not you are willing," added 
the major, as he turned on his heel. 

Christy followed him to the forecastle of the 
tug, where a rather heavy gun was mounted, 
which took up most of the space. 

" Take a seat, Mr. Passford," said the major, 
giving him a stool, while he took another himself. 
" It looks as though your father changed his plans 
rather suddenly last evening." 

"I was not aware of it," replied Christy. 

" The Bellevite was taken from the wharf 
where you landed some time in the evening, and 
came out into the bay, where she seems to be 
waiting for something, I don't know what. As I 
understand the matter, your father has sold the 
steamer to the Confederacy." 

"Where did you learn that. Major Pierson?" 


asked Christy, who had not heard any such 

" You certainly came from Nassau ? " 

"We did." 

" And you met my father there ? " 

" I did not meet him, but my father did." 

"I understood that my father bought this 
steamer, or that he bargained for her in some 
manner, for the use of the Confederacy." 

"I was not present at the interview between 
your father and mine, and I do not know just 
what passed between them." 

" And I understood that he sent Percy to act as 
a sort of agent for the delivery of the vessel ; 
though it still puzzles me to comprehend how my 
father should do such a thing, especially when he 
knew that the boy would be arrested as a deserter 
if he showed his face anywhere near Mobile." 

Christy felt that his tongue might be a danger- 
ous member, and he was not disposed to talk about 
the matter at all. All the information which the 
major had derived from Captain Passford and 
others had been accepted from inference ; for the 
owner of the Bellevite certainly had not said that 
the steamer was for the use of the Confederacy, 


and lie would have blown her up rather than 
admit any thing of the sort. 

"It looked to me as though every thing was all 
right about the steamer, or I would not have let 
her pass the fort ; and the commander at Fort 
Morgan was as well satisfied as I was, after I had 
explained the situation to him." 

Major Pierson looked at Christy as though he 
expected him to talk on the subject before them ; 
but the latter would not say any thing, for he saw 
that he was in an extremely delicate position. He 
made some sort of answers, but they amounted to 

" I cannot understand why Captain Passford has 
moved the Bellevite from the wharf," continued 
the major. 

" I am as much in the dark as you are, sir. I 
spent the afternoon with my sister, and my uncle 
Homer and my father were in the library together 
all this time," replied Christy. " I have no idea 
what they were talking about. Just at dark, I 
saw Percy pass the window ; and I went out for a 
little walk. I was arrested by your men soon after. 
Not a word had been said in my hearing about 
moving the steamer. That is all I know about the 


matter, and I am as much surprised as you can be 
at the change which has been made." 

"I have no doubt that every thing connected 
with the steamer is all right. I know that your 
father is a Northern man, but I am confident that 
he will be on the right side in .this conflict," added 
the major. 

" He will certainly be on the right side," said 
Christy ; but he had gone far enough to know that 
there were two right sides to the question, and 
one seemed to him to be as honest, earnest, and 
resolute as the other. 

"We shall soon know something more about it," 
added the major, evidently disappointed at not 
being able to obtain any information from the 
owner's son. 

The tug went out into the bay, and then 
changed her course to the eastward. One of the 
soldiers went to the galley, and breakfast was 
served to the major and his guest in the captain's 
room; and Percy was released long enough to 
take the meal with them. But he was sullen, and 
even morose, in view of the fate that awaited 

" Boat just come round that point," said the 


captain from the pilot-house, when the party had 
returned to the forecastle. 

Captain Pecklar seemed to be hardly able to 
speak ; he was so exhausted by his night watch, 
and by constant fits of coughing, that he could 
hardly make himself heard. 

" What boat is it, Pecklar ? " asked the major, 
straining his eyes to discover it. " I don't see it." 

" Take my glass, and you can see it," added the 
captain, more faintly than before. "I don't think 
I can stand it any longer, Major Pierson." 

" But we can't get along without you, Pecklar. 
We haven't another hand that knows how to 
steer,'* replied the major, as he hastened up to the 
pilot-house, followed by Christy. 

Captain Pecklar had fainted and fallen from the 




Captain Pecklar had held out as long as it 
was possible for him to stand it, and he had 
only given up when his senses deserted him. 
Major Pierson raised him from his position on 
the floor of the pilot-house, and, with Christy's 
assistance, bore him out into the air. 

The wheel had gone over when the sick man 
could no longer hold it, and the tug was begin- 
ning to whirl about in an erratic manner, when 
the major rang the bell to stop the engine. 
The captain was carried down to his room, and 
put into his berth, where one of the soldiers 
was detailed to act as his nurse. 

"I haven't a man on board that knows the 
first thing about handling a steamboat ; and I am 
not a bit wiser myself," said the major, when 
the sick man had been disposed of. Every man 


that is fit to be made into a soldier is sent to 
the army ; and we have nothing but the lame, 
and the halt, and the blind to handle these boats.'* 

"It does not look like good policy," added 

" Dallberg and his two men are soldiers, and 
they know no more about a steamboat than the 
rest of us," continued Major Pierson. "It looks 
as though we should have to stay here till some 
other boat comes along ; and that may be in three 
days or a week, for steamers have no occasion to 
come up here now." 

" Perhaps you may find a pilot among the men 
in that boat," suggested Christy, as he looked 
about the pilot-house, where the conversation 
took place. 

The captain's glass was lying on a shelf in 
front of the wheel, and he took a look through 
it in order to find the boat. After searching in 
every direction, he discovered the boat, which 
was pulled by two men, with a third in the 
stern-sheets. He indicated the position of it to 
the major, and gave him the glass. 

" That's Dallberg, without any doubt ; but he 
must be five miles off. He can't reach the 


steamer for a long time," said the major, when 
he had examined the boat. " But we shall be no 
better off than we are now when she gets here, 
for not one of those in it is a sailor." 

Christy was not a little interested in the 
situation ; for he thought his father must have 
gone on board of the Belle vite, or she would 
not have changed her position. It was all a 
mystery to him as well as to the commandant of 
Fort Gaines, and the boat in the distance had been 
to the shore for the purpose of investigating it. 

He had an idea in his head, and he continued 
to examine the interior of the pilot-house till he 
found a number of paper rolls in a drawer, which 
looked ver}^ much like local charts of the bay. 
He examined several of them, and found one 
which covered the portion of the waters around 
him. He had noted the direction taken by the 
Bellevite the day before, and he had no difficulty 
in placing the inlet where she had moored at the 

"What have you got there, Mr. Passford?" 
asked the major, who had been looking on the 
floor, thinking what he should do in his present 

"You A Sailor?" (Page 215) 


"It is a chart of these waters, which appears 
to have been considerably improved with a pen 
and ink," replied Christy, still examining it. 

" That is the work of Captain Pecklar. They 
call him the best pilot for Mobile Bay there is 
about here, though he has been here but two 

"Here is the inlet, or river, where we passed 
the night ; and the captain has marked the wharf 
on it." 

"What good is the chart without a man that 
knows how to steer a steamer ? " asked the major, 
who was .becoming very impatient in the presence 
of the delay that confronted him ; for th^ illness of 
Captain Pecklar deprived him of the ability to 
do any thing, even to return to the fort. 

" You forget that I am a sailor. Major Pierson," 
said Christy. 

"You a sailor? I thought you were the son 
of a millionnaire, who could not possibly know 
any thing except how to eat and sleep," replied 
the soldier, laughing. 

" I have steered the Bellevite for a great many 
hundred miles, and my father says I am com- 
petent to do duty as a quartermaster." 


" You astonish me ; and, as we are both engaged 
in the same good cause, I am heartily delighted 
to find that you are a sailor." 

" Probably I shall astonish you still more before 
we have got through. With this chart before 
me, I have no doubt I can find my way about 
here in the Leopard," said Christy. 

"Then I give you the command of the steamer 
in the absence of Captain Pecklar," continued the 
major. " This boat and another are in the service 
of the forts ; and if you don't want to join 
the army w^th Percy, perhaps I can obtain the 
appointment for you, especially as you are hardly 
old enough to go into the ranks. We will see 
about that." 

"We will leave all that open for future action, 
if you please. Major Pierson," replied Christy, 
as he rang the bell for the steamer to go ahead. 

The major watched him with the most intense 
interest, as though he feared that the young man 
would prove to be a failure as a steamboat captain. 
But the steamer went ahead at the sound of the 
bell, and in a minute or two Christy had her on 
her course in the direction of the approaching 
boat. He examined the chart very carefully, and 


satisfied himself that there was water enough for 
the tug anywhere outside the headlands which 
projected into the bay. 

The Leopard held her course as steadily as 
though the sick captain were still at the wheel ; 
and the major was entirely satisfied with the 
qualifications of the nev/ master, after he had 
watched him for a while. 

- "Spottswood, how is the captain?" called the 
major from the pilot-house. 

" Just the same : he don't seem to be any 
better," replied the sergeant. 

" He ought to have a doctor ; for the poor fellow 
may die here, away from any proper attendance," 
said the major, with more feeling than the new 
captain supposed he possessed. 

" There is a very skilful surgeon on board of 
the Bellevite," suggested Christy. " Dr. Linscott 
served in the army in Mexico, and had a large 
practice in New York." 

"Then he shall see Pecklar. Dr. Linscott is 
just the sort of a surgeon we want in our army ; 
and I suppose he would not be on. board of the 
Bellevite if he was not of our way of thinking," 
added the major. 


Christy knew he was nothing but a Union man, 
and not of the way of thinking which the soldier 
suggested : so he said nothing. The Leopard was 
a faster tug than the one which had come off from 
Fort Gaines, and she came up with the boat which 
contained Lieutenant Dallberg and his two men, 
the Latter of whom were nearly exhausted with 
the long pull they had taken ; for, as they were not 
sailors, they did not row to the best advantage. 

The new captain rang the bell to stop her, as 
soon as the boat came near, and the party came on 
board. The two men seated themselves on the 
rail as though they never intended to do another 
stroke of work, for they had been using the oars 
most of the time since the evening before. 

"Come up here, Dallberg," called the major 
from the pilot-house. 

The lieutenant looked as though he had just 
been through one war ; for he had slept none the 
night before, and had been on duty without inter- 
mission. He came to the hurricane-deck, and 
entered the pilot-house, where he dropped on the 
sofa abaft the wheel as though he were not in 
much better condition than the captain when he 
fell at his post. 


"You have made a night of it, Dallberg," the 
major began, seating himself by the side of the 

" I am about used up, major. I believe I walked 
ten miles on shore ; and I am not as strong as I 
wish I w^as," replied Mr. Dallberg. ''But I found 
out all I wanted to know, and I expected the 
Leopard would be somewhere near the creek." 

"I beg your pardon, Major Pierson," said 
Christy, who was standing at the wheel. " What 
am I to do now ? " 

" I will tell you in a moment. — Can you tell me, 
Dallberg, where the Belle vite is at the present 
time ? " asked the major, turning to the lieu- 

" She seems to be running up and down across 
the head of the bay. She is beyond that point 
now, and you will see her when you go within a 
mile of the land," replied the lieutenant. 

" Have you been near her ? " 

"Not within a mile of her, I should say." 

" All right , you may head her within a mile of 
that point. Captain Passford," added the major ; 
and Christy rang to go ahead. 

When the major applied this high-sounding 


title to the new captain, the lieutenant opened 
his eyes a little ; but he asked no questions, for 
he had learned as he came on board that Captain 
Pecklar had fainted at his post. 

"Well, what have you been about, Dallberg?" 
asked the major rather impatiently, as soon as 
the boat was under way again. 

" Walking, talking, and rowing most of the 
time. As the poet says, 'Things are not what 
they seem,' " replied the scout ; for such appeared 
to be the duty in which he had been engaged. 

"What do you mean by that?" asked Major 
Pierson, opening his eyes very wide. 

"We discovered that the steamer had left the 
wharf last night, and you sent me to investigate 
when you started off in that wagon." 

" That's so ; and Pecklar reported to me early 
this morning that the steamer had left the wharf, 
and was standing off and on in the bay." 

" I went ashore in the evening, leaving Pecklar 
to watch the steamer. I don't know any thing 
about his movements." 

" He reported to me this morning about day- 
light. It is all right as far as he is concerned. 
What have you done ? " 


"I landed at the wharf where the Bellevite 
had been moored, about eleven o'clock, I should 
say, for I could not see my watch. I went up to 
Colonel Passford's house, and found it all in 

" What was the matter ? 

" Colonel Passford was not there : he had gone 
off to procure assistance." 

" Assistance for what ? " demanded the major. 
"You are sleepy, Dallberg, and you are mixing 
your story." 

" I am sleepy and exhausted, but I will try to 
do better. I saw Mrs. Passford. She told me 
that her brother-in-law, Captain Horatio Passford, 
had come to the house that day, with his son ; 
and you are aware, I believe, that his daughter, 
Miss Florence, has been there all winter." 

" I know all about that. Go ahead, Dallberg." 

"The two brothers had been shut up in the 
library all the afternoon, engaged in an earnest 
discussion ; though the colonel's wife did not know 
what it was about. Captain Horatio left Colonel 
Homer in the library some time in the evening, 
and the colonel remained there till after ten. 
Then it was found that the captain had left the 


house secretly, with his daughter and his son; 
though some of the servants had seen the young 
man going up the road with Percy Pierson." 

" Exactly so ; never mind the young man now. 
The captain had left the house, and his daughter 
went with him?" repeated the major, beginning 
to be a good deal excited. 

'' The house was searched, but they could not 
be found ; and the young lady's trunk had been 
removed from her room. Then the colonel went 
down to the wharf, and found that the Bellevite 
had left." 

Major Pierson sprang to his feet, hardly able to 
contain himself. 




Captain Passford had obtained the idea, 
from the fact that Florry did not like to have 
the major gaze at her all the time, that she was 
not very deeply interested in him ; and the con- 
clusion afforded him a great deal of satisfaction. 
She did not like to leave her uncle and aunt 
and her two cousins without saying good-by to 
them ; but she had not said a word about the 
military gentleman who was supposed to have 
made frequent visits at the mansion on her 

When Lieutenant Dallberg informed Major 
Pierson that Miss Florry had left the house, and 
that her trunk had been removed, indicating that 
she did not intend to return, the effect upon 
him was very decided. However it may have 
been with the young lady, it was plain enough 


that lie was stirred to the very centre of his 

" Then Captain Passford has left the man- 
sion ? " said the Major, after he had strode several 
times across the little pilot-house, as he halted in 
front of the lieutenant. 

" No doubt of that ; the family and the servants 
hunted the house all over in search of him and 
his daughter," replied Mr. Dallberg with a yawn. 

"Well, what did Colonel Passford say about 
him?" demanded the major. 

"He was not at the house when I got there. 
As I said, he had gone for assistance. I could do 
nothing till I had seen him. I sent my men 
oi\ ahead to look for him, and then I went 
myself. We did not find him till one o'clock in 
the morning. He had given up all his horses 
for the service, and we had to go on foot," 
continued the lieutenant. 

"But you saw Colonel Passford?" 

"I did; but he had been unable to find the 
persons of whom he had been in search, and 
he could procure no such assistance as he wished. 
I walked back to his mansion with him. At first 
he was not inclined to say any thing to me ; but 


when I told him that you were over here in 
the Leopard to look out for the steamer, he had 
more confidence in me." 

"Well, what did he say?" asked the major 

"He would not say any thing till I had told 
him all I knew, including the manner in which 
the steamer had passed the forts. By this time 
we had reached his house, and we seated our- 
selves in the library." 

" You need not stop to describe the chairs or 
the sofa," interposed the excited commandant 
of the fort. 

" I will not ; but, if I omit any thing, it will 
not be my fault," said the younger officer with a 
long gape. " He told me he and his brother had 
been discussing the great question, as he called 
it, for over six hours ; and they understood each 
other perfectly in the end." 

" Six hours ! It is a wonder they did not talk 
each other to death ! " exclaimed the major. 

"At any rate, they talked enough to enable 
them to come to a perfect understanding. Col- 
onel Passford is as true to the Confederacy as 
we all know him to be, but Captain Passford 


is a Yankee to the marrow of his bones ; and 
the two brothers could not agree at all on the 
political question, though they profess still to 
be friends." 

" Then the owner of the Bellevite is on the 
other side ? " 

" No doubt of that ; and the steamer did not 
come down here to go into the service of the 
Confederacy," added the lieutenant. 

" But she will go into it, all the same," said the 
major, glancing at the new captain of the Leopard. 

Christy was quite as much excited over the 
conversation to which he could not help being a 
listener, even if he had wished not to be so. 
It was clear enough to him that the whole object 
of the voyage to ^Mobile Bay had come out, 
and the major needed no further information to 
enable him to act with promptness and decision. 
The fact that Miss Florry must be on board 
of the Bellevite was doubtless an additional 
incentive to make him do his entire duty to the 

"I think I have told you the whole story, 
Major Pierson," said Lieutenant Dallberg with 
another prodigious yawn. 


"Then Captain Passforcl and his daughter are 
now on board of the steamer," added the major ; 
tho'ugh he seemed to be -musing on the fact, 
rather than saying it to his companion. 

"There can be no doubt of that," replied the 

"As Captain Passford is a Yankee at heart, 
of course he don't intend to remain in these 
waters much longer," continued the major, giving 
utterance to his reflections. 

" There is something more than that, which I 
forgot to tell you ; for you hurried me so that 
I could not keep my thoughts about me," inter- 
posed the lieutenant. 

" What more is there ? You said you had told me 
the whole," said the major, with a sneer on his lips. 

" The Belle vite is intended for the Yankee 
navy, and she has already been tendered to the 
Government for that purpose. More yet. Captain 
Passford and the commander of the steamer have 
offered their services. The owner is sure that 
all hands will be volunteers for the service as 
soon as she returns from this trip," continued 
Dallberg, who had suddenly roused his energies 
to the requirements of the situation. 

228 take:n' by the exemy 

" I had no doubt that Captain Passford would 
be with his brother in this war,*' mused the 

"He could not be any farther from him. He 
came down here after his daughter, and his 
brother says he expected to remove him and 
his family to the North at the same time." 

" His mission will be a failure in every sense," 
added Major Pierson, as though he regarded it as 
a matter of course. 

" The colonel said his duty to his country and 
her cause would not allow him to suffer his 
brother to take the steamer back to the North to 
be handed over to the Yankee navy." 

" That is where he was quite right." 

"But the colonel does not like to do any 
thing to injure his brother and his two children 
who are with him ; and he wished to find Colonel 
Dalheath, who could manage the business without 
loss to the Confederacy, while he could favor the 
captain's escape. But he was satisfied that you 
would feel an interest to prevent the departure 
of the steamer; while you would not be willing 
to do her owner or his family any injury in their 
persons, however it might be in their property." 


"I tliink I understand the situation perfectly 
now," said the major, as he went to the front 
windows of the pilot-house. " Spottswood ! " he 
called to the sergeant. 

" Here, sir." 

"How is Captain Pecklar?" 

" He has come to himself, but he is no better. 
I am afraid he is going to die." replied Spotts- 
wood, coming near the bulkhead, and speaking in 
a low tone. 

"That's bad," added the major, shaking his 

" There's the steamer, sir ! " called one of the 

The Leopard had just passed a point of land 
beyond which the Bellevite was discovered, 
apparently going at full speed, and headed to 
the south-west. Christy brought his glass to bear 
upon her, but he could see notliing which 
afforded him any information in regard to her 
movements or intentions. 

" I suppose it is not difficult to determine what 
your father's steamer is waiting in the bay for, 
Mr. Passford," said Major Pierson, as he looked 
into the face of his pilot. 


"I am sure I don't know what he is waiting 
for," rej)lied Christy. 

" Don't you, indeed ? " added the major, 

" I am sure I do not." 

"Then, it has not occurred to you that he 
misses you, and don't like to leave without 
you ? " chuckled the major. " I did not intend 
to have you captured by my men, and I gave 
them no definite orders to that effect; but, as 
things look just now, it is rather fortunate that 
I have you on board of the Leopard, not only 
for the sake of your father's waiting for you, 
but you are a good pilot, and are of great 
service to me." 

Christy rang the bell with a sudden impulse, 
which made it look as though he had not fully 
taken in the situation before. The engineer, 
though he was one of the army of the disabled 
in whole or in part, obeyed the summons of the 
bell, and the propeller ceased to revolve. 

''What's that for. Captain Passford?" asked 
the major good-naturedly. 

" With your permission. Major Pierson, I will 
resign my office as captain of the Leopard," 


replied Christy, as he stepped back from the 

"But I cannot give you my permission," 
laughed the major. 

"I am sorry to disoblige you. Major Pierson; 
but then I am compelled to resign the position 
without your permission," replied Christy with- 
out an instant's hesitation ; for he clearly under- 
stood what he was doing now, and neither really 
Mor constructively was he willing to do any thing 
in the service of the enemies of the Union. 

"But you can't resign in the face of the 
enemy. Captain Passford ; and you accepted 
the position which I assigned to you," said the 
major, beginning to look a little more serious. 

" In the face of the enemy ! " exclaimed Christy, 
glancing at the Bellevite, as she dashed furiously 
over the waves at a distance of not more than 
a mile from the tug. " May I ask what you 
mean by the enem}^, Major Pierson?" 

"You must have heard all the information 
which was brought to me by Lieutenant Dall- 
berg ; and by this time you are aware that the 
steamer yon'der is an enemy of the Confederate 
States," continued the major. 


"She did not come into these waters as an 
enemy, or with any warlike intentions, sir. She 
came on a peaceful mission ; and now it appears 
that my uncle is guilty of treachery towards my 
father," replied Christy with deep emotion. 

"Do you think it would be right or proper 
for your uncle to allow that fine steamer, which 
I am told is one of the strongest and fastest ever 
built, to be handed over to the Yankee navy ? " 
demanded the major, with energy enough to 
assure his auditor that he meant all he said. 

" I happen to know that my father had several 
hundred dollars about him in gold ; and my 
uncle would have done no worse to rob him of 
that, than to have his steamer taken from him 
when it was not engaged m acts of war. In either 
case. Homer Passford is a thief and a robber I " 

"That's plain speech, young man," said the 
major, biting his lips. 

" I meant it should be plain, sir," said Christy, 
gasping for breath in his deep emotion. "I am 
ashamed of my uncle, and I know that my father 
would not be guilty of such treachery." 

"I see that it is useless to reason with you, 


" You have come to a correct conclusion. When 
you call my father's steamer an enemy, you define 
my duty for me ; and I have nothing further to 
do on board of this tug," replied Christy. '' I am 
in your power, and of course you can do with me 
as you please." 

Major Pierson was certainly very much embar- 
rassed. The events of the night, and the informa- 
tion obtained on shore, to say nothing of the 
specific request from Colonel Passford to '' manage 
the business," imposed upon him the duty of 
capturing the Bellevite ; and he was all ready to 
do it. But the Leopard might as well have been 
without an engine as without a pilot; for all 
the men on board were from the interior of 
the country, and not one of them, not even the 
officers, knew how to steer the boat. 

The marks and figures on the chart of the bay, 
which Christy had put on the shelf in front of the 
wheel, were all Greek to them. Possibly they 
might get the tug to the shore, or aground on 
the way to it; but the steamer was practically 




Christy Passford now realized, for the first 
time, that he had been taken by the enemy. War 
had actually been declared against the Bellevite, 
and Major Pierson would undertake to perform the 
duty assigned to him by Colonel Passford. The 
young man was determined to be true to his colors 
under all possible circumstances ; and therefore he 
could do nothing, directly or indirectly, to assist 
in the capture of the steamer. 

Captain Passford, wdiile he recognized the irreg- 
ularity of his mission, had come into the waters of 
Mobile Bay with no intention of committing any 
depredations on the persons, property, or vessels 
of the Confederacy. The Bellevite had not fired 
a shot, or landed a force, in the enemy's country. 

Indeed, the owner of the steamer had taken 
especial pains to conceal any appearance of using 


force on coming into the bay; and all the guns on 
the deck of the vessel, that could not be easily 
lowered into the hold, had been covered up and 
concealed. Though Major Pierson had spent 
some time on board of the Bellevite, he did not 
know whether or not she was armed. He was no 
w^iser than the owner's brother. 

The major went to the lower deck of the Leop- 
ard, where Christy saw him questioning the 
soldiers there, though he could not hear any thing 
that was said. Of course he was inquiring for 
some hand who had steered a steamer ; but he 
soon returned alone, and it looked as though 
he had not found the person he sought. 

" It looks like bad weather, Mr. Passford, since 
you decline to be called captain any longer," said 
the major, as he came into the pilot-house, and 
looked at the sky in all directions. 

Christy had noticed the weather signs before ; 
and the wind was beginning to pipe u-p a rather 
fresh blast, though the sun had been out for an 
hour or more earlier in the morning. It came 
from the southward, and it was already knocking 
up a considerable sea, as it had the range of the 
whole length of the bay. 


" I was thinking that we should have a storm 
before long when I looked at the signs this 
morning," rej^lied Christy rather indifferently. 

"How many men does your father have on 
board of his steamer, Mr. Passford ? " asked the 
major, in a careless sort of way. 

"Not as many, I should say, as you have in 
Fort Gaines. By the way, how many have you 
under your command there ? " returned Christy 
with a twinkle of the eye. 

"We have two thousand four hundred and 
twenty-six, including myself," replied the major. 

" That is quite a force ; my father has only seven 
hundred and forty-two, without counting me." 

"Where do you put them all? " 

"We stow them away in the hold, after the 
manner of packing sardines in a box. We only 
let them out one at a time, when we feed them 
with salt fish and baked beans." 

" That makes a good many men to a gun," 
suggested the major. 

" Lots of them," answered Christy. 

" How many guns does the steamer carry ? " 

" Only two hundred ; of course T mean heavy 
guns, — sixty and eighty-four pounders. I think 


there must be small arms enough to supply all 
your men in the fort." 

"I was on board of the Bellevite for half an 
hour or more, and I really did not see a single 
heavy gun," added the major, biting his lip. 

" Didn't you notice the one hundred and 
twenty pounder in the waist ? It is big enough 
for you to have seen it." 

It was plain enough to the young Unionist 
that the major really desired to know something 
about the force and metal of the Bellevite, and 
that he was disappointed when he found that 
the son of the owner was on his guard. No 
information was to be obtained from liim. 

" I think you said there was a doctor on board 
of the steamer," continued Major Pierson, 
changing the subject of the conversation. 

" Yes, sir ; and a very skilful surgeon he is, — 
Dr. Linscott," replied Christy. 

" I went in to see Captain Pecklar when I was 
below, and I found him in a very bad condition. 
I am afraid he will die before we can get him 
to the shore ; and he is suffering terribly," added 
the major, looking earnestly into the face of the 
young man. 


"I am sorry for him," replied Christy ; and his 
pity and sympathy were apparent in his face. 

He had noticed the captain of the tug in the 
morning, and one of the soldiers had told him 
he was a Northern man who had come to this 
region for his health. He appeared to have no 
scruples at doing the duty assigned to him, 
though he had been only two years at the South. 
But he seemed to be of no use to either side in the 
contest, for he was too sick to work any longer. 

Christy was filled with pity for the sufferings 
of the captain of the tug, and he thought the 
major's questions suggested that something was 
to be required of him in connection with the 
sick man. He was willing to do any thing he 
could for the aid of the captain, if he could do it 
without sacrificing his principles. 

" It was a part of my purpose to obtain assist-. 
ance from the surgeon of the steamer for poor 
Pecklar," continued the major. " But you have 
moored us all here by refusing to steer the boat, 
and the captain will die without our being able 
to do a single thing for him. There is not even 
a drop of brandy on board of this boat to restore 


" What do you propose to do, Major Pierson ? " 
asked Christy. 

" Just now, all I desire is to procure assistance 
for poor Pecklar," replied the major. '' But we 
are as helpless as though we were all babies, for 
we can't handle the steamer, and cannot run 
down to the Bellevite. I hope you will not 
have the death of this poor fellow on your 

" I will not. I will take the Leopard alongside 
of the Bellevite, if you like," replied Christy ; 
and he regarded this as a mission of humanity 
which he had no right to decline. 

" The steamer has turned about ! " shouted one 
of the soldiers on the forecastle. 

Christy had noticed that the Bellevite was 
coming about before the announcement came 
from below, for his nautical eye enabled him to 
see her first movement. He did not feel that the 
service he was about to render would benefit 
the enemy, on the one hand ; and he hoped that 
his father or some other person on board of the 
Bellevite would see him in the pilot-house, on 
the other hand. If he could only let his father 
know where he was, he felt that he should 


remove a heavy burden from liis mind and that 
of his sister. 

What else might come from getting near to the 
steamer, he did not venture to consider. But he 
could not help figuring up the number of soldiers 
on board of the tug ; the force which had cap- 
tured him and Percy consisted of four men, and 
two men were with the lieutenant. Two officers 
and six men was the available force of the 
enemy on board of the little steamer, for neither 
the captain nor the engineer was fit for duty. 

" I accept your offer, Captain Passford ; and 
we have no time to spare, or the sick man may 
die," said the major. 

Christy made no reply, but went to the 
wheel, and rang the bell to go ahead. Heading 
the Leopard for the Bellevite, he gave himself 
up to a consideration of the situation. Major 
Pierson immediately left the pilot-house, and did 
not return. No stipulations of any kind had 
been made, and no terms had been imposed upon 
Christy. All that he desired was that his father 
should see him, and know where he was. 

No one but himself on board could handle 
the steamer ; and he could not be sent out of the 


pilot-house, or concealed so tliat he should not 
be seen. On the other hand, it did not seem 
to him that the officer could do any thing towards 
capturing the Bellevite. The major desired to 
ascertain what force she had, and had asked 
some questions calculated to throw light on the 

If the steamer had come into the bay on a 
peaceful errand, as Christ}^ insisted that she had, 
the major might easily believe that she was not 
armed, and that she had only men enough to 
man her. But Christy could not tell what his 
captor was thinking about, and he could not 
yet enlarge his plans for the future ; but he was 
very certain in his own mind, that he should 
not let pass any opportunity to escape, even at 
great risk, from his present situation. 

As the Leopard went off on her course, 
considerably shaken by the fresh breeze which 
had stirred up a smart sea, the acting captain of 
the tug saw that all the men who had been 
on the forecastle had disappeared, with a single 
exception. The major was not to be seen, and 
doubtless he was taking care of the sick captain, 
or arranging his plan for the interview with the 


people of the Bellevite. In a few miniTtes more, 
tliis last man disappeared, and Percy Pierson took 
his place on the forecastle. 

"So you are a Yank, are you, Mr. Pierson?" 
said he of that name, looking up to the window 
at which Christy stood. 

" Whatever I am, I am in command of a 
Confederate steamer," replied Christy, laughing. 
"What is your brother doing, Mr. Percy?" 

"I am sure I don't know : he is only talking 
to the men," answered the young man, who had 
evidently been put there to act as a lookout. 

At that moment a voice was heard from farther 
aft, and Percy Avent towards the stern of the 
boat. A few minutes later he ascended to 
the pilot-house. On the sofa abaft the wheel 
was Lieutenant Dallberg, where he had dropped 
asleep as he finished his report of what he had 
learned on shore. 

" Mr. Dallberg ! " shouted Percy ; but the 
lieutenant did not show any signs of life till 
the messenger had shaken him smartly. " Major 
Pierson wants you down below." 

The officer rubbed his eyes for a moment, 
and then rose from the sofa, and left the apart- 


ment. The summons for the lieutenant made 
it look to Christy as though something was in 
progress below. There was only one thing which 
the major could think of doing; and that was 
to capture the Belle vite, either by force or b}^ 
strategy. He would have given a good deal to 
know what the plan was, but it seemed to him 
to be quite impossible to leave the wheel. 

" How is the sick man, Percy ? " asked Christy, 
when he found that the messenger was not 
disposed to leave the pilot-house. 

"He is a good deal better: they have just 
given him another glass of brandy," replied 

This statement did not agree with that of the 
major, who had told him the captain was likely 
to die, and that there was not a drop of brandy 
on board of the boat. The commandant of the 
fort had evidently been acting in the pilot-house 
with a purpose. 

"Didn't your brother order you to stay on 
the forecastle, Mr. Percy ? " asked Christy, when 
his companion came to the wheel on the opposite 
side from the helmsman. 

"No: he said if I would help him, he would 


do what lie could for me ; and he told me to 
keep a lookout at this end of the tug. I can 
see ahead better here than' I can doAvn below," 
replied Percy, as he tried to turn the wheel. 
" I believe I could steer this thing." 

"I know you could, Percy. Do you see the 
Bellevite ? " 

" Of course I do : I'm not blind." 

" She has stopped her screw, and is not going 
ahead now," added Christy, as he let go the 
spokes of the wheel, and proceeded to instruct 
his pupil. 

A few minutes later, Christy left the pilot- 
house to take a look below. 




Christy Passford did not consider Percy 
Pierson a competent helmsman, for he had spent 
bat a few minutes in instructing him in handling 
the wheel ; in fact, only long enough to induce 
him to " steer small." For the moment, Percy 
was interested in the occupation, and gave his 
whole mind to it ; and Christy intended to 
remain where he could reach the wheel in a 
moment if occasion should require. His com- 
panion in the pilot-house did not seem to care 
what he did. 

The Bellevite, as the new captain had observed 
before, had stopped her screw ; and she appeared 
to be waiting for the tug to come up, as it was 
headed towards her. Christy had examined her 
with the glass, but he could see nothing which 
gave him any idea of what was going on upon 


her decks. As Florry was now on board of her, 
he was satisfied that his father could only be 
waiting for him ; and he intended to do his best 
to report on board some time during the day. 

Major Pierson and his little force were 
gathered under the hurricane-deck, in the space 
from which opened the door of the captain's 
little cabin. Christy could not see a single one 
of them from the upper deck ; but he had gone 
but a few steps aft before he heard the voice of 
the major who seemed to be "laying down the 
law " in a forcible manner to his men. 

" Do you understand me, Spikeley ? " demanded 
the major slowly and loudly, as though he were 
talking to a deaf man. 

Christy had not heard the name of Spikeley 
before ; but he concluded that he must be one of 
the soldiers, probably one of the two who had 
come on board with Lieutenant Dallberg. 

"I don't think I do," replied the man addressed, 
in a tone quite as loud as that of the military officer. 

"You are not to start the engine under any 
circumstances," continued the major, in a louder 
tone than before, as if the man had failed to 
hear him. 


The man addressed as Spikeley must be the 
engineer then, and not a soldier, Christy realized 
at once. 

" Don't I mind the bells, Major Pierson ? " 
asked the engineer, whose tones indicated that 
he was not a little astonished at the positive 
order he had received. 

" You will not mind the bells. You will take 
no notice of them after this present moment. 
When I tell you to stop the engine, you will stop 
it, not without, no matter how many times the 
bells ring," said the major with emphasis. 

" I hear you, and I understand now what I 
am to do," replied Spikeley. 

" All right, so far ; but do you understand 
what you are not to do ? " demanded the officer 
sharply, as though he fully comprehended the 
obtuseness of the engineer. 

" I reckon I do : I am not to start the engine 
till you tell me to start it," answered the dull 

" Not if you don't start it for a month I " 
added the major sternly. 

" Bui you are going off, Major Pierson," sug- 
gested Spikeley. "If that steamer over yonder 


looks like she was going to run over the Leopard, 
I am not to start the engine to keep her from 
being sent to the bottom of the ba}' ? " 

" No ! " exclaimed the officer. 

"All right, major ; then you may find me on 
the bottom when you come back." 

" You will not be lost as long as I know where 
your are," added the major with a chuckle. 

" Are 3^ou coming back to-day, major? " 

" I don't know when I shall return. All you 
have to do is to obey orders, and leave all the 
rest to me." 

" Shall I be all alone on board?" 

" That young fellow at the wheel will remain 
on board ; but you are not to mind what he says 
to you. Do you understand that?" 

'' I reckon I do," replied Spikeley. 

" My brother, who was down here a little 
while ago, will also remain on board ; and Captain 
Pecklar will be in his room, for he cannot leave 
it. That is all that will be on board. But no 
one will bother you, unless it should be the fellow 
now at the wheel ; and he can't do any harm as 
long as you don't start the engine for him." 

" I reckon I won't start the engine for him, or 


anybody else but you, major. You can bet your 
commission on that," added the engineer, with 
more vim in his speech than he had used before. 

"All right, Spikeley; and I -will see that you 
don't lose any thing, if you are faithful to your 
duty. You must keep a sharp lookout for Pass- 
ford : that's the young fellow at the wheel. He is 
the only one that can do any mischief, and I 
would not have liim go near that steamer for a 
thousand dollars." 

Christy thought he understood what was in 
progress ; at any rate, he dared not remain any 
longer away from the wheel, and he returned to- 
the pilot-house. Percy was still interested in his 
occupation. He was steering the tug very well for 
a beginner, and his brother was too busy organiz- 
ing his expedition to notice that the steering was 
a little wild ; for the waves caused the boat to yaw 
somewhat in the absence of a skilled hand at the 

The Leopard was now within about half a mile 
of the Bellevite. The latter turned her screw a 
few times once in a while to keep from drifting, 
and Christy saw from his chart that the water was 
too shallow for her in the direction in which the 


tug was approaching her. Of course his father 
was aware that, by this time, his own and his 
daughter's departure from his uncle's mansion was 
known. His own absence, therefore, must be the 
only thing that detained her in these waters. 

" I think I can steer this thing pretty well, Mr. 
Pierson," said Percy, when the new captain 
joined him. 

"You do it very well indeed for a beginner, 
Percy ; but you need not call me ' Mr. Pierson ' 
any longer, for it takes too long to say it. Every- 
body calls me Christy, and you had better follow 
the fashion," replied the captain. 

" All right, Christy, and I will do so ; for there 
are more Piersons on board of this boat now than 
I wish there were," added Percy, glancing at the 
face of his companion. 

" What is your brother going to do, Percy ? He 
seems to be arranging something on the lower 
deck," continued Christy. 

" I don't know : he didn't tell me any thing at 
all about it. He wanted to use me ; so he soaped 

"If he knew you could steer this steamer, he 
would have something more for you to do." 


" Then I won't tell him. All I want is to get 
away from him. He will make a common soldier 
of me, and T shall never get out of the ranks." 

" But you will fight like a brave fellow, and you 
will be promoted," suggested Christy. 

'' If I get a bullet through my carcass, they will 
make a corporal of me. Then if I had half my 
head shot off, they might make a sergeant of me. 
I am not thirsting for any such glory as that, 
and I expected to stay with my father at Nassau." 

" Did your brother ask you any thing about the 
Bellevite, Percy ? " 

"Xot a thing: he would hardly speak to me, 
for he says I have disgraced the family. But, 
Christy, now I thmk of it, you are not on the 
South side of this question." 

''How do you know I am not?" asked Christy, 

'' I heard my brother say so ; and that he did 
not wish to have you, on any account, go near 
that other steamer." 

" I think we won^t talk about that just now," 
added Christy cautiously, for he was not inclined 
to have Percy know too much about his affairs at 


"Why not? After all my brother has done, 
and is trying to do, to me, I don't think I am 
exactly on the South side of the question any 
more than you are," said Percy, looking with 
interest into the face of his companion. " If your 
father is a Union man, as Lindley says he is, he 
don't mean to have the Bellevite go into the 
service of the Confederacy." 

"That is not bad logic, with the premises on 
which you base it." 

" Just talk English, if you please, Christy." 

"The English of it is, that if my father is a 
Union man, as your brother says he is, the Bellevite 
is not going into the Southern navy," replied 
Christy, willing to encourage the major's brother. 

" I can understand that, Christy. Now, you are 
going on board of your father's steamer if you can 
get there." 

"I certainly don't want to stay on board of 
this little tub any longer than I am obliged to 
do so, for you can see that I am really a 

" So am I ; and that is just where we ought 
to be friends, and stand by each other," said 
Percy with a good deal of enthusiasm. "I can 


see througli a brick wall, when there is a hole 
ill it." 

" Good eyes you have, Percy, and you don't 
have to wear glasses." 

" I don't know much about logic ; but if the 
Bellevite is not going into the Confederate navy, 
as I supposed when we came into Mobile Bay, I 
can figure it out that she is not going to stay 
in thes3 parts at all." 

" That's your logic, Percy, not mine ; but I 
don't think I care to argue the question on the 
other side," said Christy, making very light of 
the whole matter, though he was vastly more 
interested than he was willing to acknowledge. 

"She is going to get out of Mobile Bay, and 
she is going to do it just as soon as she can. 
Now, the question is, where is she going then ? " 

"You will have to put that question to my 
father, Percy," said Christy. "He can tell you 
what he is going to do a great deal better than 
I can." 

" He is not within ear-shot of me just now : if 
he were, I would ask him without stopping to 
soap my tongue." 

" You may see him before long. I don't know 


what your brother is about just now; and, for 
aught I know, he may intend to capture the 

"I reckon he will have a good time doing 
it, if your father and Captain Breaker haven't 
a mind to let him do it." 

"They will not wish to fight, even for their 
steamer, here in Mobile Bay. I know that my 
father intended to keep the peace. Besides, 3'our 
brother may think there are few men on board 
of the vessel." 

"I want to get on board of the Bellevite any- 
how ! " exclaimed Percy, bluntly coming to the 
point at which he had been aiming for some 

" I shall not do any thing to prevent you from 
doing so," added Christy. 

"I don't say that I want to go into the Yankee 
navy, or that I will lift a finger against my 
country, mind you." 

He seemed to be equally unwilling to lift a 
finger for it. 

" I don't ask you to do any thing against your 
conscience, Percy." 

"If the Bellevite gets out of the bay with 


you and me on board, I believe I can find 
some way to get back to Nassau. That is what 
I am driving at." 

"I can't say that the steamer will not go 
there," added Christy, who did not mean to 
commit himself. 

Suddenly, without any bell from the pilot- 
house, the engine of the Leopard stopped; but 
Christy was not at all surprised at the failure 
of the power, though Percy began to make 
himself very indignant over the stoppage of the 




" What is the matter now ? " demanded Percy 
Pierson, when the tug ceased to shake under 
tlie pressure of the engine, and began to roll 
rather smartly in the sea, though it Avas not 
heavy enough to be at all dangerous. 

"It appears that the engine has stopped," 
replied Christy quietly. 

" What has it stopped for ? " asked the other. 

"You will have to put that conundrum to 
your brother ; but doubtless the needs of the 
Confederate States require that it should stop." 

" Which is the bell, Christy ? " inquired Percy, 
looking at the pulls on the frame of the wheel. 

"The large one is the gong bell, the other is 
the speed bell, and the latter is a jingler." 

" Well, which one do you ring to start her ? " 

"One pull at the gong bell to stop or to start 


her," replied Christy, who was rather anxious 
to have his companion learn the secrets of the 

" One bell to stop or start her," repeated 

"Two bells to back her," added the acting 

" Two bells to back her. I can remember all 
that without writing it down. But what is the 
other pull for. There don't seem to be any need 
of any more bells." 

" I think there is ; at least, it saves striking 
too many strokes on the gong when there is an 
emergency. The other is the speed bell." 

"What is that for, to make her go faster ?" 

" Yes, or slower. If you start the engine, the 
engineer will run it slowly at first, and continue 
to do so till he gets the speed bell, or jingler, 
which he can never mistake for the gong." 

" I see ; and that is a good scheme." 

"If you are approaching a wharf or another 
vessel, or if a fog come up, you ring the jingler, 
if the boat is going at full speed, and the engineer 
slows her down. If there is any danger, and you- 
wish to stop her as quick as you can, you ring 


one bell on the gong, which stops the engine, 
and then two bells on the same, which reverses 
the engine. Now let me see if you know all 
about it ; for your brother may want you to steer 
the Leopard, and become her captain, after he 
has tied my hands behind me again/' 

" If he does that, I will cut you loose, Christy." 

" Thank you, Percy. I don't know what he 
will do, but it seems to me that he is going to do 
something ; " and Christy proceeded to examine 
his pupil in the use of the bell-pulls. 

Percy made some mistakes, which were care- 
fully corrected ; and, as he did so, the captain 
wrote down the directions in full, placing the 
paper on the shelf with the chart. 

The student of bell-pulls signalized the com- 
pletion of his examination by giving one pull 
at the gong ; but it produced no effect at all upon 
the engine or the engineer, and the Leopard, 
liaA'ing fallen off into the trough of the sea, had 
begun to roll more violently than at first. 

" What is the matter with that engineer ? " 
pouted Percy, who did not feel flattered that his 
first experience with the bell-pulls produced no 
effect, though he had distinctly heard the sound 
of the gong. 


" They haven't sent any word up to the pilot 
house that the engine is disabled, and we shall 
have to apply to Major Pierson for further 

" That engineer must have gone to sleep I " 
exclaimed Percy, whose vexation was in 
proportion to his zeal. 

He rang the gong again ; but Christy under- 
stood why the screw did not turn, though he 
deemed it wise to keep his own counsel for the 
present. Percy was rousing himself to a passion 
at the neglect of the engineer to heed his bell. 

" Keep cool, Percy," interposed Christy. 
" Don't say a word to your brother that you 
have learned to steer a steamer; and you may 
have a chance to surprise him, and show that 
you are a good deal more of a fellow than he 
takes you to be." 

" I don't believe he will get such a chance if 
he don't have it now. I wonder what he is up 
to," added Percy, restraining his impatience. 

" We can only wait till his plans come out," 
added Christy. " But I will go to the side of the 
hurricane deck, and tell him that the engine does 
not respond to the bells." 


" I should think he might see that for himself," 
said Percy. ^ 

" Don't you say a word, and don't you show 
yourself to any one. Sit down on that stool, 
and keep quiet." 

" I will do just what you tell me, Christy, for 
I believe you will be able to get me out of this 
scrape," replied Percy, as he seated himself, and 
began to read over the instructions relating to 
the bells. 

In fact, he was so interested in the new 
occupation he had taken up, that he soon forgot 
all about his brother, and the trouble that lay in 
his path. He read the paper, and applied his 
fingers to the pulls in a great many different 
ways, supposing all the various situations of the 
boat which Christy had suggested. 

Christy went to the side of the upper deck, 
and saw that the soldiers had hauled in the boat 
that had been used by the lieutenant and his two 
men. It was a large and clumsy affair, big 
enough to hold a dozen men, and provided with 
four oars. But the Leopard was in the trough 
of the sea, and it was not an easy matter for the 
soldiers to handle it ; and just then the major 


declared that the boat would be smashed against 
the side of the tug. 

'' Major Pierson, this steamer has stopped 
without any bell from the pilot-house, and I 
have been unable to start her again," said 
Christy, hailing the commander of the fort. 

" All right, Mr. Passford : I told the engineer 
to stop her," replied tlie major, who appeared to 
be in a hurry, though he could not make the 
long-boat work as he desired. " Oblige me by 
remaining in the pilot-house for the present, and 
keep a sharp lookout for the Bellevite." 

'^ Certainly, Major Pierson, if you desire it ; but 
permit me to suggest that you will not be able to 
do any thing with that boat while the tug remains 
in the trough of the sea," replied Christy, who was 
more afraid that the major would not carry out 
his plan than that he would do so. 

" I don't see that it can be helped, though I am 
no sailor," replied the commandant, looking up 
witli interest to the acting captain. " For reasons 
of my own, which I cannot stop to explain, I don't 
wish to take this tug any nearer to the Bellevite ; 
and I am going off in the boat after Dr. Linscott. 
But it looks now as though the boat would be 
smashed in pieces." 


"■ I should say that it would be," added Christy. 
"If you will start the engine again, I think I can 
help you out of this difficulty." 

"How do you expect to do it?" asked the 
major, who seemed to be incredulous on the point. 

"If you will let me get the tug out of the 
trough of the sea, you can easily haul the boat up 
on the lee side of her," Christy explained. " The 
steamer will shelter the water on that side of her." 

" Spikeley ! " called the major, in a loud voice ; 
and the engineer came out of his den. " Start her 
up now." 

" Run her at about half speed, major ; " and 
the commandant repeated his direction to the 

Christy retreated to the pilot-house, and thr:w 
over the wheel of the boat ; so that, when the screw 
began to turn, the bow of the tug soon headed to 
the southward, which gave her the wind ahead. 
Then he brought her so that the water was com- 
paratively smooth on her port quarter, where the 
long-boat was. 

Without the loss of a moment, the major drove 
all his men into the boat, and they shoved off. 
The men were soldiers, and they had had but little 


practice in rowing, having taken it up at the fort. 
They made rather bad work of it ; but, more by 
luck than skill, the boat cleared the tug without 
being stove. 

" Spikeley I " shouted the major. 

'' Here, sir," replied the engineer, hobbling out 
of his room. 

" Stop the engine, and remember what I told 
you," added the commandant. 

" All right, sir : I will do just as you ordered 

" What does he want to stop the engine for ? " 
asked Percy. " She don't roll so badly when the 
engine is going." 

" That is very true ; but your brother knows 
what he is about," replied Christy, his eyes begin- 
ning to liglit up with an unwonted fire. 

"Well, what is he about? " 

" He is going to capture the Bellevite." 

" He will have a nice time of it ! " exclaimed 
Percy. " That steamer can blow him out of the 
water a dozen times before he gets near her." 

" I don't believe your brother has any idea that 
the Bellevite is heavily armed," added Christy. 

" But he has been on board of her." 


" That is very true ; but the two heavy guns 
were covered up, and the others were sent down 
into the hold. All the soldiers in the boat with 
your brother have their muskets ; and he would 
not have taken the lieutenant and six men with 
him if he were simply going for the doctor for 
CajDtain Pecklar, as he told me he was." 

" I believe Lindley is a fool to think of such a 
thing as capturing the Bellevite with eight men," 
added Percy. 

" I don't know what else he can intend to do, 
but I do know why he don't take the tug any 
nearer to the steamer. He don't want my father 
to know what has become of me." 

" Can't you make some sort of a signal to him, 

" I can do something better than that." 

"What's that?" 

" I can show m3-self to him. But, before I do 
that, I must know how you stand, Percy." 

" How I stand ? You know as much about me 
as I know about myself. I want to get on board 
of the Bellevite, and I am not a bit anxious to 
fight my brother's battle for him. I know what 
he is after, now I think of it." 


"Well, what is he after?" 

" He is after the Bellevite ; and if he can 
take her, he is sure of a colonel's commis- 

" T should say that he could not do any thing 
better for the Confederacy than to present it 
with the finest steamer in the world. But you 
are not with him, you say, Percy." 

"I am not. I belong to the Confederacy the 
same as he does; but I want to get aboard of 
the Bellevite, and then I shall have a good chance 
to reach Nassau," replied Percy. 

Christy had a good deal better opinion of 
Major Pierson than he had of his brother in the 
pilot-house with him ; but just then the latter 
was able to be more useful to him than the 
commandant of the fort. 

" I can now almost promise that you shall be 
put on board of the Bellevite, if I succeed in 
reaching her myself," said Christy. 

" That is all T can expect of 3'ou ; and I 
will do whatever you tell me, if it be to sink 
the Leopard. But we can't do a thing. The 
engineer will not start the engine for us ; and 
I don't see but what we must stay here till my 


brotlier comes back from his errand, whatever it 
may be." 

" I don't feel quite so helpless as that," added 
Christy, as he took a revolver from his hip-pocket, 
where he had carried it all the time since the 
steamer left Nassau, and while she was there. 

" What are you going to do with that, 
Christy ? " asked Percy, impressed with the sight 
of the weapon. 

" I am going to start this tug with it, if 
necessary. Now hear me." 

Percy was all attention. 




The wind from tlie southward seemed to 
be increasing in force, though it was not yet 
what old salts would call any thing more than 
half a gale, and hardly that; but the long-boat 
from the Leopard made bad weather of it, and 
rolled wildly in the trough of the sea. The 
soldiers pulled badly, for they had had no training 
in the use of the oars, and very little experience. 

The boat had made very little progress towards 
the Bellevite, and Christy was in no hurry to 
put his plan in operation. He showed his 
revolver to Percy, and then restored it to 
his hip-pocket. But he watched the expression 
of his companion in the pilot-house very closel}'- ; 
for, as the case then stood, one of them belonged 
to the blue, wdiile the other was of the gray. 
But Percy's patriotism was hardly skin deep, 


and he had already spoken freely enough to 
make himself understood. 

"I don't see how you are gomg to start the 
tug with that pistol if the fellow at the engine 
don't look at it in that light," said Percy, as his 
companion restored the weapon to his pocket. 

" I don't intend to use it if it can be avoided," 
replied Christy. " I shall not ask Spikeley to 
start the engine, and if he don't interfere with 
me, I shall not harm him ; for he seems to be a 
cripple, and it would hurt my feelings to have 
to lay hands on him, or even to point a revolver 
at his head." 

"If Spikeley don't start the engine, I reckon 
it will not start itself," suggested Percy. 

"I don't believe it will." 

" What are you going to do, then ? " 

" I am going to start it myself." 

"Start it yourself I You will blow the whole 
thing np I " exclaimed Percy, who did not see 
how the same young fellow of sixteen could know 
how to steer, and run the engine. 

'•I have been on board the Bellevite a great 
deal of the time for the last three years, and my 
mother says I was born a sailor, as my father 


was before me. I always took a deep interest in 
every thing connected with the steamer." 

"I should think you might, on board of such 
a fine vessel as the Bellevite." 

" I have stood my trick at the wheel for weeks 
together ; and the quartermasters taught me all 
they knew about steering, the compass, the log, 
the lead, and the signals." 

" Those things have notliing to do with the 
engine," suggested Percy. 

" That is very true ; but, when I had learned 
enough in the pilot-house, I went down into the 
engine and fire rooms. Mr. Vapoor, the chief 
engineer, and I were in the same school together ; 
and, though he is six years older than I am, we 
have been cronies for four years." 

" And he told you about the engine ? " 

" I made a regular study of the engine, in 
connection witli physics, and Paul " — 

" Paul ? That's another fellow ? " 

" No : it's the same fellow, — Paul Vapoor. 
Everybody that knows him says he is a genius. 
He was my teacher. But he told me that all the 
theory in the world would not make me an 
engineer : I must have the experience ; and for 


weeks together I took the place of one of the 
assistant engineers. That's how I happen to 
know something about an engine ; and I have 
been on board of all sorts of steamers Avith Paul, 
for the purpose of studying the engines, from a 
launch up to the biggest ocean-steamers." 

"Did you take any lessons of the cook on 
board of the Bellevite, Christy ? " asked Percy, 

" I used to ask questions of him ; but I have 
served as cook on board of a small yacht, and I 
know how to get up a chowder or bake a pot of 

" All right ; then I will take it for granted 
that you can start the engine of the Leopard," 
continued Percy, coming back to the topic which 
interested him most. " What are you going to 
do after you have started the engine ? " 

" I am going to get on board of the Bellevite, 
and get you on board of her." 

" That will suit me first rate," replied Percy. 
" But I don't want you to think I am a Yankee, 
for I am not." 

" But I want you to think I am a Yankee, as 
you call it; and I am one," added Christy. 


" After we get on board of the Bellevite, what 
do you suppose she will do ? " 

" That is more than I can tell you ; but I have 
no doubt my father will try to get out of the 
bay, and then he will go to New York. It is 
about time to make a beginning, for the boat will 
not trouble us now," replied Christy, as he took 
a look all around the tug. 

" What am T to do ? " 

" I haven't told you all I know about steering 
the boat for nothing, Percy, and you will remain 
at the wheel. But I wonder what that is over 
in the north-west," added Christy, as he took 
the glass from the shelf, and pointed it out the 
after window of the pilot-house. 

"I think I can steer her all right now. What 
do you see over there ? " 

" I believe there is a steamer coming down from 
that direction," replied Christy anxiously, as he 
brought the glass to bear on the object in sight. 

'* A steamer I " exclaimed Percy. " That will 
mix things with us." 

'' Perhaps it will. It is a steamer, but it looks 
like a river boat , at any rate, it is not a tug. 
She is headed this way." 


Christy was a good deal disturbed by the 
discovery he made ; and. giving no further atten- 
tion to his companion, he continued to study 
the approaching craft, at the same time endeavor- 
ing to account for her appearance. His uncle 
Homer had gone to find some one who was to 
render assistance in preventing the Belle vite 
from leaving the bay, and becoming a part of 
the navy of the Union. 

He had not succeeded in finding the person 
he sought, but he had had abundance of time to 
go to Mobile ; and Christy feared that this 
steamer coming down from the north-west might 
be intended for the capture of the Bellevite, in 
which case she must be armed and provided 
with an ample force for the purpose. 

" That is not a tug-boat : she is a river or a 
bay steamer, and I am afraid she is faster than 
this thing," said Christy, when he had obtained 
all the information he could at the present 
time. " At any rate, we have no time to spare. 
Do you think you can steer the Leopard, 

" I know I can," replied he confidently. 

" The boat with the major in it is losing a 


good deal by lee-way, for he seems to be making 
no allowance for it." 

" What does that mean ? " asked Percy, 
puzzled by the statement. 

" She has the wind on her beam, and she drifts 
to the north almost as much as she goes ahead. 
He ought to head her for some point to the 
southward of the Bellevite ; but the more 
mistakes he makes, the better it will be for us." 

" I see that he don't seem to be headed 
anywhere in particular." 

" Now, Percy, I am going below to have it 
out with Spikeley," continued Christy, taking 
the revolver from his pocket, while he drew a 
box of cartridges from another. The Bellevite 
drifts as well as the boat ; but they don't let 
her go far to the north where the shoal water 
is, and they turn the screw enough to keep her 
pretty nearly in the same position." 

"I am to steer for her, of course," added Percy. 

" No : there is something that looks like build- 
ings on the shore, at least five miles beyond the 
steamer. Do you see them ? " 

"I do." 

" Run for them ; and this course will carry you 


a considerable distance to the southward of the 
boat. I shall be near you all the time ; and if you 
get bothered, sing out for me, and I will help 
you out." 

"Don't you think I had better go below with 
you, so as to make a sure thing with the 
engineer r*" 

" I can handle him alone ; or, if I find that I 
cannot, I will call for you. Now, look out very 
closely for your steering, and don't let her wobble 
any more than you can help." 

Christy left the pilot-house, after he had put six 
cartridges into his revolver, and restored the 
weapon to his pocket. He had already made up 
his mind as to the manner in which he proposed 
to dispose of the engineer. He descended the 
ladder to the forecastle of the tug ; but before 
he proceeded to the important task before him, he 
made a careful survey of the accommodations of 
the steamer, though she did not appear to be 
different from a score of similar vessels he had 
visited in making his studies. 

Under the pilot-house was the galley, Avhich was 
also the mess-room of the crew when she had any. 
Forward of this, and under the forward deck, was 


the forecastle, to which the inquirer descended. 
It was fitfed up with bunks, and there was only 
one entrance to it, by a ladder from a scuttle in 
the deck. 

The scuttle was the interesting point with him ; 
and he saw that it was provided with a hasp and 
staple, so that the entrance could be secured by 
a padlock, though that was missing. Getting a 
piece of wood from the deck, he made a toggle 
that would fit the staple, and put the scuttle in a 
convenient place. Leaving the forward deck, he 
went aft, taking another look at the steamer in the 
north-west ; but he could hardly see her with the 
naked eye, and he thought she must be at least 
five miles off. 

"Where is your bunk, Mr. Spikeley?" asked 
Christy, as he went to the door of the engine-room. 

"What's that to you, youngster?" demanded 
the engineer; and possibly it did not comport 
with his dignity to be bossed by a boy. 

"It is rather important for me to know just 
now," replied Christy, looking as savage as it was 
possible for a good-natured boy to look. 

"What do you want to know for?" asked 


" I happen to be in command of this tug for the 
present moment, and I want an answer without 
stopping all day to talk about it." 

" Well, youngster, I don't reckon 1*11 tell you 
any thing about it. I get my orders from Major 
Pierson," replied the engineer sourh^ 

" The Leopard is in my charge, and I must ask 
you to show me where your bunk is ; and after 
you have done that, I shall ask you to get into it, 
and stay there," said Christy, with decision enough 
for the needs of the occasion. 

At the same time he took the revolver from his 
pocket, and pointed it towards the head of the 

" You can take your choice, Mr. Spikele}^ : you 
can get into your bunk, or have your carcass 
thrown into the bay , and you haven't got a great 
while to think of it." 

The engineer seemed to be properly impressed 
by the sight of the weapon, and he could see that 
the chambers contained cartridges. He rose from 
his seat, and moved towards the door of the 

" I heard some of the men say you was a Yank, 
and I reckon you be," said Spikeley. " What are 
you go'n to do ? " 

The Engineer Obeyeb" (Page 277) 


" I am going to get you into your bunk, where 
you will be more comfortable than you are here. 
Move on ! " 

The man obeyed ; for he was unarmed, and he 
did not like the looks of the revolver. Without 
another word, he moved forward, and descended 
to the forecastle. As soon as he was below the 
deck, Christy closed the scuttle, and secured it 
with the toggle. 




As the engineer was a cripple, Christy Passford 
had not expected to have any difficulty in bring- 
ing him to terms; and the result justified his 
calculations. The Leopard was now practically 
in his possession, for Captain Pecklar was the 
only person on board, except Percy, who could 
give him any trouble ; and he was too feeble to 
do any thing. 

Percy seemed to be very busy in the pilot- 
house, going through imaginary evolutions at the 
wheel, and supposing all sorts of orders, and all 
kinds of positions in which the tug might be 
placed. He did not seem even to observe what 
his companion was doing, though the engineer 
had been driven into the forecastle in plain sight 
from the window of the pilot-house. 

The long-boat was still struggling through the 


waves on her way to the Bellevite, and could 
hardly have made any worse weather of such a 
comparatively mild sea. But she had made some 
considerable progress, for the boat was now 
making a proper allowance for leeway, and the 
soldiers were improving in their rowing, possibly 
under the direction of the major, who could not 
help seeing how badly they had been doing. 

Christy decided to ascertain more definitely 
the condition of Captain Pecklar, for reports in 
in regard to him were conflicting. He went to 
his state-room, and found him in his berth. 
He certainly looked like a very sick man, though 
he appeared to be in no immediate danger, so 
far as the new captain of the Leopard was able 
to judge from his appearance. 

" How do you find yourself, Captain Pecklar ? " 
asked Christy in sympathetic tones ; for he 
really pitied the poor man, far away from his 
friends, and apparently on the very brink of the 

'•' I am a great deal better," replied the invalid, 
looking earnestly into the face of the young man 
in front of him. 

'' I am glad to hear it. Major Pierson has gone 


in the boat to the Bellevite for Dr. Linscott, 
and I am sure he will be able to do something for 
you when he comes," added Christy. 

"When he comes," re^Deated Captain Pecklar, 
with a smile on his thin and blue lips. " I don't 
expect to see him at present." 

" But the major has gone for him ; at least, he 
told me he should." 

" I have no doubt he told you so ; but he has 
not gone for the doctor, though I may see the 
surgeon of the steamer in the course of the day," 
replied the captain, turning his gaze upon the 
floor of his room, as thougli his mind troubled 
him as much as his body. 

"If the major has not gone for the doctor, 
what has he gone for ? " asked Christy. 

"I know what he has gone for; and, as you 
belong on board of that steamer, I should think 
you might easily imagine." 

" Perhaps I can," added Christy rather vaguely. 

" Was it necessary for a major and a lieutenant, 
with six soldiers, to go for the doctor, when five 
at the most could have done it better ? But have 
they gone ? " asked the captain anxiously. 

" They have ; they started some time ago. They 


are making bad weather of it, for they don't 
know how to handle the boat in a sea," replied 

"They have gone!" exclaimed Captain Pecklar, 
getting out of his bunk. " Then I need not stay 
in my berth any longer." 

Christy looked at him with astonishment when 
he saw him get out of his berth without any 
apparent difficulty ; for he certainly looked like a 
very sick man, though his appearance had some- 
what improved since he left the pilot-house. 

" Do you feel able to get up, captain ? " asked 
he, as the sufferer put on his coat. 

"I was exhausted and worn out by being on 
duty all night, and I had a faint turn; but 
I am subject to them. If 3^ou are the son of 
the man that owns that steamer, you will be able 
to understand me," replied the captain; and his 
feeble condition seemed to make him somewhat 

" I am the son of Captain Passford, who owns 
the Bellevite," added Christy. 

" I should not have been down here now, if I 
could have got away; but they seem to hold 
on to me, for the reason that I am a pilot of 


these waters. I was brought up in the pilot- 
house of a steamer ; and they say I know the 
bottom of this bay better than any other man, 
though I have been here but two years." 

" Then you are not in sympathy w^ith the 
secession movement ? " 

" In sympathy with it ? I hate the very sound 
of the word ! I will tell you about it." 

" Don't be long about it, for I have an affair 
on my hands," interposed Christy, though he 
was not sorry to have the advice of one who knew 
something about the situation in the vicinity. 

" Only a minute. Major Pierson sent a glass 
of brandy to me, and I was fit to take my place in 
the pilot-house then, for I felt a great deal better; 
in fact, I was as well as usual, and I am now. 
But I had an idea what the major was about, 
and I did not want to take any part in getting 
your father's steamer into trouble. That's the 
whole of it ; all I want is to get on board of 
her, and get out of this country." 

" All right, Captain Pecklar ! " exclaimed 
Christy, delighted at the frankness of his com- 
panion. " The steamer, I mean the tug, is 
already in my possession." 


" In your possession ! What do you mean 
by that ? " asked the captain with a look of 

" I have driven the engineer into the fore- 
castle, and fastened him down. The major's 
brother is in the pilot-house, and he has learned 
something about handling the wheel. I am going 
to start the boat now ; and if I can do nothing 
more, I can show myself to my father on board 
of the Bellevite." 

"I am glad to hear it. I intended to do 
something, though I hardly knew Avhat, as soon 
as I was sure that the major and his men had 
gone," added Captain Pecklar. " I can take the 
wheel now." 

''Percy Pierson takes a great deal of interest 
in his new occupation, and I think it will be 
best to let him occupy his mind in that way. 
He steered the tug for some time, while I was 
ascertaining what was going on in this part of 
the boat." 

" Just as you think best, Mr. Passford." 

" Call me Christy, for that will sound more 
natural to me." 

"As you please, Christy. I am competent to 


run an engine, and did it once for a couple of 
years, though the business does not agree with 

" Very well, Captain Pecklar ; then you shall 
run the engine, and I will keep the run of what 
is going on around us," said Christy, as he 
walked towards the stern of the tug. " There 
is a new danger off in the north-west." 

"What's that?" asked the captain. 

" There is another steamer coming in this 
direction, and I suppose she hails from Mobile. 
There she is." 

Christy was somewhat disturbed to find that 
the approaching steamer was overhauling the 
tug very rapidly. It looked as though she 
would prove to be a more important factor in 
the immediate future than he had supposed. If 
he could only get on board of the Bellevite, he 
was sure that she could run away from any 
thing that floated. But there was not another 
moment to be lost, and he hastened on deck to 
have the Leopard started. He found Percy still 
engaged with his problems in steering, going 
through all the forms as though the boat were 
actually under way. 


"Now yon may do it in earnest, Percy," said 
he. " We are all ready to go ahead. Strike 
yonr gong." 

" It will be no use to strike it while yon are 
up here," replied the pilot, looking at Christy 
with interest. 

'' We have not a second to spare ; strike your 
gong, and we will talk about it afterwards," 
continued Christy impatiently. 

" But I am not a fool, Christy, and I don't " — 

" But I do I " interposed the acting captain 
sharply, as he reached over and pulled the 

" I don't like to have a fellow fool with me 
when I am in earnest. What good will it do to 
ring the bell while you are in the pilot-house, 

But before the captain could answer the 
question, if he intended to do so, the boat 
began to shake under the pressure of the engine, 
and the tug moved ahead at half speed. Percy 
was so much astonished that he could hardly 
throw over the wheel, and Christy took hold 
of it himself. 

"I don't understand it," said he, as he took 


hold of the spokes, and looked ahead to get 
the course of the boat. 

"You will never make a sailor till you mend 
your wa3^s," added Christy. 

" There must be some one in the engine-room," 
said Percy. 

" Of course there is." 

" Why didn't you say so, then ? I did not 
suppose the boat could go ahead Avhile you were 
up here." 

" I told you to ring the gong, didn't I ? " 

" What was the use of ringing it when you were 
in the pilot-house ? " 

'' What was the use of ringing it when I did ? " 
demanded Christy, who had but little patience 
with this kind of a sailor. 

" You knew there was some one in the engine- 

"But the engine would have started just the 
same if you had rung the gong." 

"Well, I didn't know it; and if you had only 
said you had an engineer, I should have under- 
stood it." 

" You will never make a sailor, as I said before," 
added Christy. 


"What is the reason I won't?" 

"Because you don't obey orders, and that is 
the first and only business of a sailor." 

" If you had only told me, it would have been 
all right." 

"If the captain, in an emergency, should tell 
you to port the helm, you could not obey the 
order till he had explained why it was given ; and 
by that time the ship might go to the bottom. I 
can't trust you with the wheel if you don't do 
better than you have ; for I have no time to 
explain what I am about, and I should not do it 
if I had." 

"It would not have taken over half an hour to 
tell me there was an engineer in the engine-room," 
growled Percy. 

" That is not the way to do things on board of 
a vessel, and I object to the method. I don't 
know what there is before us, and I don't mean 
to give an order which is not likely to be obeyed 
till I have explained its meaning." 

"I will do as you say, Christy," said Percy 
rather doggedly. " Did Spikeley agree to run the 
engine ? " 

" No, he did not ; he is locked up in the fore- 


castle. Captain Pecklar is at the engine ; but he 
is all ready to take the wheel when I say the 

" I can keep the wheel, for I think I understand 
it very well now." 

"I did not wish to take you away from the 
wheel, for I saw that you liked the work ; and I 
said so to Captain Pecklar. If jou have learned 
the first lesson a sailor has to get through his head, 
all right; if not, Captain Pecklar wdll take the 

"I understand the case better now, and I will 
do just what you tell me," protested Percy. 

••' And without asking any questions ? " 

" I won't ask a question if the whole thing drops 
from under me." 

Percy steered very well, and Christy had 
enough to do to watch the steamer astern and the 
boat ahead. 




The long-boat, with the increased experience of 
its crew, was doing very well, and it would soon 
be within hailing-distance of the Bellevite. But 
Major Pierson could hardly help discovering that 
the Leopard was under way, though he seemed to 
give his whole attention to the boat and the 
steamer ahead of him. 

Christy went aft to ascertain the situation of 
the steamer from the north-west, and with the 
glass he satisfied himself that she was not exactly 
a river steamer, such as he had seen on the 
Alabama ; or, if she w^as, she had been altered to 
fit her for duty on the bay. 

He could see that she had brass guns on her 
forward deck, and a considerable force of soldiers 
or sailors. But she was a nondescript craft, and 
he was unable to make her out accurately, though 


by this time she was not more than half a mile 
distant. Xo immediate danger was to be appre- 
hended from her, unless she opened fire with the 
field-pieces on her deck. As the Leopard was in 
the service of the forts, she was not likely to do 
this till she knew more of the present situation on 
board of her. 

Christy had made up a new course for the tug 
Avhen he saw the change in the working of the 
long-boat, and the approaching steamer had an 
influence in his calculations. He had directed the 
new pilot to head her directly for the Bellevite, 
only taking care to give the long-boat a sufficiently 
wide berth to prevent the soldiers from boarding 
her, and with steam it would be an easy thing to 
keep out of its way. 

Christy went below to the engine-room to 
ascertain the condition of Captain Pecklar. He 
found him eating his breakfast, which he took 
from a basket he had evidently brought with 
him from the shore the day before. He seemed 
to have an appetite ; and, from the food he 
consumed, the acting captain did not believe 
he could be in a desperate situation. 

"How do you get on, Captain Pecklar?" 


asked Christy, as he glanced at the engine, and 
judged, that it was moving more rapidly than 
at any time before. 

" I am a good deal better, Christy : in fact, the 
thought of getting out of this country is almost 
enough to cure me ; for I have come to the con- 
clusion that I had rather die at home than live 
here," replied the captain, as he put an enormous 
piece of beef into his mouth, which his companion 
thought would be almost enough for his 

"I am glad you are better. How does the 
engine work?" asked Christy. 

"I have been stirring it up, and I just filled 
up the furnaces. I think she is doing her best, 
though that is not saying a great deal. But, 
Christy, have you tried to get a look over beyond 

"No, I haven't seen any thing in that direc- 
tion," replied Christy, a little startled by the 

" I believe there is another steamer over there ; 
and, if there is, it must be the Dauphine." 

'* What of her ? " asked Christy anxiously. 

" She is a steam-yacht of four hundred tons, 


and the fastest steamer in these waters. They 
have been fittmg her up for the war, though I 
don't know whether she is to be a man-of-war 
or a blockade-runner." 

"What makes you is she?" 

" Because she has been over to the town you 
may have seen in that direction. She is behind 
the Bellevite, so that you can hardly see her." 

" I am inclined to think the Bellevite can 
take care of herself," replied Christ}". 

" Why, the Bellevite cannot do any thing but 
run away ; and i\Iajor Pierson says she will never 
do that till you have been taken on board of 
her. I heard him and Lieutenant Dallberg talk 
it all over near the door of my room." 

" Perhaps the Bellevite can do something more 
than run away," added Christy with a smile. 

" What do you mean, my friend ? " asked the 
captain, suspending the operation of his jaws, 
he was so interested in the answer to his ques- 
tion. " The major said distinctly that she was a 
gentleman's pleasure-yacht, and that she was not 

"The major has a right to his opinion, and I 
shall not argue the point against him. My father 


came into the bay on a peaceful errand, and he 
had no intention to be aggressive." 

" All right, Christy ; I can see through plain 
glass even when there isn't a hole in it," said 
Captain Pecklar, laughing; for he seemed to be 
entirely satisfied with the situation, in spite of 
the fact that two hostile steamers appeared 
to menace the Bellevite, which he hoped would 
bear him to his home. 

'' Now, what do you know of the steamer astern 
of us ? " asked Christy. 

'That must be the Belle. She is no match 
for an armed steamer, but she may do a great 
deal of mischief. She used to run down the 
bay in the summer." 

'' I will go up to the pilot-house, and see if I 
can make out the Dauphine. If she is a sea-going 
yacht, she is the one we have to fear," said 
Christy, as he left the engine-room. 

" See here, Christy ; there is another steamer 
over beyond the Bellevite, and she is pretty 
near her, too," said Percy, as he entered the 

The acting captain brought his glass to bear 
over the Bellevite, and he was satisfied that the 


approaching vessel was the yacht described hj 
Captain Pecklar. But he had hardly got his 
eye on the Daiiphine, before he saw that the 
Bellevite had started her screw. It looked as 
though she deemed it advisable to change her 
position in view of the approach of the steamers 
on each side of her. 

" Where is she going, Christy ? " asked Percy. 

" I am sure I cannot tell you. You can see all 
that I can see," replied Christy, who was very 
anxious about the situation. 

" We are not a great way from the long-boat," 
suggested Percy, who was more afraid of that 
than he was of all the steamers in sight. "What 
am I to steer for now ? Shall I make her follow 
the Bellevite ? " 

" Head her off to the north-east," replied 
Christy, opening the binnacle. 

But he might as well have opened the book of 
the black art to Perc}^ for he could not steer 
by compass. Christy got the Leopard on her 
new course, by which she would come somewhere 
near intercepting the Bellevite; and then he found 
an object on the shore, many miles distant, for 
the guidance of the pilot. 


But the long-boat was now almost within 
hailing-distance of the Leopard. Major Pierson 
was certainly aware that the tug was under way, 
and he made the most energetic demonstrations 
for her to stop her screw. Suddenly the Belle- 
vite changed her course again, and run directly 
towards the tug. 

This movement was a|)parently noticed by the 
major ; for his men doubled their efforts at the oars, 
pulling for the Leopard. The boat was then out 
of the trough of the sea, and its progress was 
much better. Then the Bellevite changed her 
course again ; and it was impossible to determine 
what she intended to do, though possibly she 
was following a crooked channel. 

"Leopard, ahoy I " shouted Major Pierson ; 
and he was near enough now to be distinctly 

" Li the boat ! " returned Christy, though he 
knew the parley could amount to nothing. 

" Stop her ! " yelled the major. 

" Not yet ! " replied the acting captain. 

" Stop, or I will fire into you ! " 

" I'm not going to stand here and be shot 
down 1 " exclaimed Percy. " My brother don't 


know that I am at the wheel, and I shall be the 
first one to get hit." 

Christy could not blame Percy for not wishing 
to be shot by the party under his brother's 
command ; and he had no more relish for being 
shot himself, quite in sight of his father's 
steamer. But to abandon the helm was to 
abandon the control of the tug, and the major 
could recover possession of her and of his 
prisoner within a few minutes. 

" Go below, Percy, and put yourself in the 
fire-room, for you will be safe there," said 

At that moment the crack of a musket was 
heard, and a bullet craslied through the pine 
boards of the pilot-house. It was the first 
evidence of actual war which Christy had seen, 
and it impressed him strongly. 

"It isn't safe for me to show myself," said 
Percy, as his companion took the wheel from him. 

"You must be your own judge of that," 
replied Christy, as he dropped down on the 
floor, with the compass in his hand. 

"What are you going to do down there?" 
asked Percy. 


" I have no wish to be shot any more than 3^011 
have. I am going to keep out of sight, and steer 
the steamer by compass," replied Christy. 

" I will steer her if I can keep out of sight," 
added Percy. 

"You can't steer by compass; but you can do 
something if you are willing," suggested the pilot. 

" I am willing to do all I can ; but I don't 
w^ant my brother to shoot me, as much for his 
sake as my own. What shall I do?" asked 

" Crawl out of the pilot-house on the port- 
side, where they can't see joii from the boat, 
and then keep watch of all the other steamers. 
Report to me just where they all are, and what 
they are doing." 

" All right ; I will do that," replied Percy, as 
he obeyed the order. 

The boat continued to fire at the pilot-house 
of the Leopard, and though a shot came uncom- 
fortably near Christy, he stuck to his post; for 
to leave it was to give up the battle. 

" The Bellevite is headed directly towards 
us," called Percy, outside of the pilot-house. 
" The other steamers are just as they were." 


" All right ; keep your eye on them all the 

" The Bellevite is headed directly towards us," 
said Captain Pecklar, coming to the top of the 
ladder on the port-side. 

" So Percy has just reported to me." 

" But you Avill get killed if you stay here," 
said the captain, with genuine solicitude in his 
looks and manner. 

" But I must stay here, all the same," replied 
Christy, who felt' too proud to desert the post of 
duty because it happened to be the post of danger 
at the same time. 

"But let me take your place, Christy," contin- 
ued Captain Pecklar, finishing the ascent of the 

'' No, no, captain ! Don't expose yourself," 
protested Christy. " It is as safe for me as it will 
be for you." 

" But I have got about to the end of my chap- 
ter of life ; and there is not more than a year, if 
there is as much as that, left for me. You are a 
young fellow, and the pride of your father, I have 
no doubt ; at any rate, you ought to be. Give me 
that place, and you will be safer in the engine- 


Captain Pecklar insisted for some time, but 
Christy obstinately refused to leave his post. 

" Men pulling in the boat with all their might ! " 
shouted Percy. 

" I think I can bring their labors in that way to 
an end," added the captain. " But do you under- 
stand what the Bellevite is doing, Christy?" 

'' She is coming this way ; that is all I know." 

" She is coming this way because the major has 
been fool enough to fire on the Leopard. The 
shooting assures your father that this tug is an 

The captain went below again, leaving Christy 
to consider his last remark. But he had not been 
gone five minutes before the report of a cannon 
shook the hull of the Leopard, and the pilot saw 
that it was on the forecastle of the tug. 




The gun on the forecastle of the Leopard was 
placed as far aft as possible, so that Christy could 
not see it without putting his head out at the 
front windows of the pilot-house, and for this 
reason he had not seen Avhat Captain Pecklar was 
about. But the piece must have been loaded 
before, for he could not have charged it without 
being seen. 

The captain had remarked that he could bring 
the labors of those in the long-boat to an end, for 
Major Pierson was urging his men to their utmost 
with their oars in order to reach the tug. The 
smoke prevented Christy from seeing to what 
extent he had succeeded, though the fact that he 
had fired the gun at the boat was all he needed to 
satisfy him of the fidelity of the acting engineer 
to the cause he had just espoused. 


Christy had not deemed it advisable to change 
the course of the Leopard ; for the long-boat was 
approaching her at right angles, and he thought 
she would get out of its way, for those in charge 
of it made no calculation of the distance the 
tug would run while the boat was approaching 

The smoke blew aside in a moment, and Christy 
discovered that the long-boat had not been struck 
by the shot ; or, if it had, it had received no 
material damage. The major was still urging his 
men to increase their efforts, and he seemed to be 
not at all disconcerted by the shot which had been 
fired at liim. But Christy saw that he was losing 
the game, as he probably would not have done if 
he had been a sailor, for his cal'culations would 
have been better made. 

When the pilot of the Leopard realized that 
the major was too much occupied in increasing the 
speed of the long-boat to continue the firing at the 
tug, he had resumed his place at the window ; but 
he kept his eye on the enemy. He looked out at 
the window ; but he could not see Captain Pecklar, 
though he heard him shovelling coal a minute 
later. The engine still appeared to be doing its 


best, and the tug was in a fair wa}^ to pass clear 
of the long-boat. 

" Look out, up there, Christy ! " shouted the 
engineer, a little later. 

The pilot turned his attention to the boat again, 
and saw that the major and the lieutenant were 
loading their muskets again, and the two men not 
at the oars were doing the same. The command- 
ant evidently began to feel that he was to miss his 
prey if he depended upon the oars of the soldiers, 
and he was about to turn his attention again to 
the business of disabling the pilot of the tug. 
Christy dropped down on the floor again, and 
steered by the compass, which was still where he 
had placed it before. 

He could hear a rumbling sound on the forward 
deck, and he was curious to know w^hat the 
captain was doing ; but it was not prudent to look 
out at the window. After a great deal of hard 
kicking and prying, he succeeded in removing a 
narrow board from the front of the pilot-house 
near the floor ; and through this aperture he could 
see that the acting engineer had just finished 
reloading the gun, and was changing its position 
so as to bring it to bear on the long-boat. 


The enemy were now a little forward of the 
beam of the tug, and not more than fifty yards 
from her; but Christy was satisfied that the 
Leopard would go clear of the long-boat if his 
craft was not disabled. The major and his com- 
panions could not help seeing that Captain 
Pecklar had deserted their cause, and that, with 
the gun on the deck, he was a dangerous 

The report of a musket in the direction of the 
boat caused Christy to look very anxiously to 
the forward deck ; but to his great satisfaction he 
saw that the captain had not been hit. But 
he immediately retired under the pilot-house, so 
that he could- not see him. He was brave 
enough to stand up and be shot at, but he 
was also prudent enough not to expose himself 

Three other shots followed the first, one of 
the balls passing through the boards of the 
pilot-house, above the helmsman's head ; and he 
saw a splinter fly from a stanchion forward. 
Captain Pecklar waited for the fourth shot, — 
and he had evidently noticed how many men had 
muskets in their hands, — then he sprang out 


from his liidiDg-place, sighted the gun, and 
pulled the lock-string. 

Through the aperture he had made, Christy 
looked, with intense interest to ascertain the 
effect of this shot. As soon as the smoke blew 
away, lie saw that the shot had passed obliquely 
into the boat, striking the stern-board just behind 
Major Pierson, and splitting off the plank near 
the water-line. 

Tliere was a commotion in the ranks of the 
enemy, and it was plain enough that the water 
was flowing into the craft. The soldiers stopped 
rowing, and the lieutenant and one of the extra 
men were sent into the bow. This change 
settled the bow of the boat down into the water, 
and lifted tlie stern. The major appeared to be 
equal to the emergency ; he gave his orders in a 
loud voice, and the rowing was renewed with 
the delay of not more than a couple of minutes. 
But that was enough to defeat his present 
purpose, though he still urged his men to exert 
themselves to the utmost. 

The long-boat went astern of the tug, and 
Christy came out from his place on the floor to 
the windows. Captain Pecklar was loading the 


gun, as he had dene before, by swinging it around 
so th:it the muzzle was under the pilot-house. 

*• I think you will have no further use for that 
gun,* said Christy, when he saw what the captain 
was doing. 

'• Perhaps not ; but it is best to have it ready 
for the next time we want it. The major kept 
it loaded ail the time, and I shall follow his 
example," replied the captain. 

" Have you been hit, Percy ? " asked Christy, 
looking out at the side under which the late 
pilot had bestowed himself for safe-keeping. 

" I have not been hit ; they could not see me 
where I am. Have you been hit, Christy ? " 
replied Percy. 

" Not at all ; T took good care not to be seen 
while they were firing. But your brother has 
dropped astern of the Leopard in his boat, and 
there is no danger here now : so you can come 
in and take the helm, if you like." 

Percy was glad to have something to do, for 
he was very nervous; and he came into the pilot- 
house. He was not half as airy as he had been 
before, and the sound of the muskets and the 
twelve -pounder on the forward deck had 


undoubtedly made an impression upon him. 
But he was as glad to take the wheel as 
Christy w^as to have him, for he desired to study 
the situation after all the changes which had 
been made in the position of the several vessels. 

" You have had an awful time of it, Christy," 
said Percy, as he took the wheel. " I wonder 
that you have not been killed." 

" Not a very awful time of it, and T took good 
care not to be killed," replied Christy. "A 
fellow isn't good for much after he has been 
killed, and it is always best to look out and not 
get killed; though I suppose one cannot always 
help it." 

" Did you fire the field-j^iece on the deck 

" No, I did not ; that was done by Captain 

" My brother will have him hanged when he 
gets hold of him," added Percy, shaking his 

"Ver}^ likely he will if he gets hold of him, 
but we don't intend to let him get hold of 

Christy left the pilot-house, and went out on 


the hurricane deck, where he could better see 
all that was to be seen, and be alone with his 
own thoughts. His first care was to ascertain 
the position of his most active enemy, the long- 
boat. He could see it a short distance astern of 
the tug. It had changed its course, and was 
following the Leopard, which was now gaining 
rapidly upon it. 

Directly ahead of the tug was the Bellevite, 
not more than a quarter of a mile distant; but 
while she was going off the north-west, the 
Dauphine had kept more to the southward, and 
was now nearer than the steamer of Captain 

The remark which Captain Pecklar had made 
when he came partly upon the hurricane deck, 
that the Bellevite had changed her course 
because Major Pierson had been fool enough to 
fire at the tug, came up in Christy's mind again. 
He had thought of it at the' time it was uttered, 
and several times since ; but he had not had the 
time to weigh its meaning. 

The .owner's son knew very well that every 
incident connected with the tug, and with the 
other vessels in sight, had been carefully observed 


and weighed by his father and Captain Breaker. 
They had seen the boat leave the Leopard. It 
looked like a stupid movement to do such a 
thing, when the approach to the Bellevite could 
be made so much more rapidly and safely in the 

There must be a motive for such a singular 
step. Of course the passage of the boat had 
been closely observed, and the starting up of 
the screw of the Leopard had been duly noted. 
As the tug came near the long-boat, the latter had 
fired upon it. This must have been seen ; and 
the question naturally would come up as to why 
those in the boat fired upon their own people in 
the Leopard. 

It was not likely that they could answer the 
question in a satisfactory manner on board of 
the Bellevite ; but the firing indicated that an 
enemy was in possession of the tug. This was 
enough, in the opinion of Christy, as it had been 
in that of Captain Pecklar, to produce the change 
in her course. 

The firing from both craft since the first 
demonstration must have deepened the impres- 
sion. Those on board of the Leopard must be 


on tlie side of the Union, or the party in the 
boat would not repeatedly fire upon them. 
Christy was satisfied that his father would know 
what all the indications meant before he aban- 
doned the investigation. 

But the Bellevite did not seem to be making 
her best speed by a great deal. With his glass 
he could see that there was a hand in the fore- 
chains heaving the lead; and probably Captain 
Breaker feared that the bottom "might be too 
near the top of the water " for the draught of 
his vessel, and he was proceeding with caution. 

Christy descended the ladder to the main-deck. 
He found Captain Pecklar in the fire-room, 
shovelling coal into the furnace. He seemed to 
be again nearly exhausted by the efforts he had 
made during the morning ; and Christy took the 
shovel from him, and did the work himself. 

" You must not kill yourself. Captain Pecklar. 
This is too hard work for you," said Christy. 

"If I can only get out of this scrape, it will 
not make much difference what becomes of me," 
replied the invalid faintly. 

" I will do this work myself. Don't you touch 
that shovel again." 


" But things are looking very badly indeed for 
us, Christy," said the captain, bracing himself up 
as if for a renewed effort. " The Belle is almost 
up with the boat, and she will take Major 
Pierson and Ins party on board; and she is 
nearer to us than the Bellevite." 

" Is that so ? I have not looked astern for 
some time," replied Christy, rather startled by 
the information. 

"The Bellevite is not sailing as fast as she 
has some of the time, and both the Belle and 
the Dauphine are nearer to us than she is," 
added Captain Pecklar. " I have been trying to 
get up more steam." 

'' If my father only knew that I was on board 
this tug, I should feel more hope," said Christy. 

'^ Perhaps he suspects you are. He probably 
sent ashore to obtain information in regard to 
you. But we don't know." 

Just then a cannon-ball made the sj^linters fly 
all around them. 




Christy rushed out of the engine-room, 
followed by Captain Peckhar, to ascertain what 
damage had been done to the tug by the shot. 
A cloud of smoke rising from the Belle, astern 
of the Leopard, informed them that the shot had 
come from her. It had struck the house on 
deck, carrying away the corner of the captain's 
state-room ; but, beyond this, no damage appeared 
to be done. 

But the tug had broached to, and it was 
evident that Percy had abandoned the whee] 
when the shot struck the vessel ; and Christy 
hastened to the pilot-house to restore the vessel 
to her course. But he was closely followed by 
the acting engineer. They found the volunteer 
pilot lying on the deck, where he had been before 
when the vessel was fired upon. 


"Is that the way you steer the boat, Percy?" 
said Christy reproachfully, as he went into the 
pilot-house, and righted the helm. 

" Didn't you hear that cannon-shot that struck 
her just now?" demanded Percy, partly raising 
himself from his recumbent posture. 

"Of course I heard it: I am not deaf; and, if 
I had been, I could have felt it. I don't believe 
we shall want you on board of the Bellevite, 
if that is the way you do your duty." 

" I don't want to be shot by my own people," 
pleaded Percy. "Has the shot ruined the 
vessel ? " 

" Don't you see that she is going along the same 
as ever? No harm has been done to her so far 
as any further use to us is concerned," replied 
Christy. " But, Captain Pecklar, as things are 
now, we are running right into the fire." 

Christy was more troubled than he had been 
at any time before ; and he realized that it was 
necessary to make some change in the course of 
the Leopard, though she had the enemy on each 
side of her. 

" It don't look as well as it might," added the 
captain gloomily. 


"The Dauphine is getting altogether too near 
us, and we are making the distance between us 
less every minute," added Christy. 

" There comes another shot from the Belle. 
She means business, and Major Pierson is cer- 
tainly directing things on board of her. We 
can't stand that any longer. But she wasted her 
powder that time, and we must do better than 
that. What do 3'ou intend to do, Christy." 

"I mean to come about, and take a course 
between the Belle and the Dauphine : that is the 
most hopeful thing I can think off," replied 
Christy, after another careful survey of the posi- 
tions of the enemy. 

" I think you are right." 

"We will come about, then;" and Christy 
threw over the wheel. 

" That will bring our gun where we can use it ; 
and we shall have a better chance at the Belle 
than she has at us, for she is larger, and has a 
crowd of men on her main deck," added Captain 
Pecklar, as he went to the ladder. 

"If you are not afraid of those shots, I am 
not," said Percy, coming into the pilot-house 
again ; and he was evidently ashamed of himself 


when lie saw a fellow younger than himself taking 
no notice of them. 

" I don't pretend to like them, or that I am not 
afraid of them ; but I shall do my duty in 
spite of them," replied Christy. "I should be 
ashamed to meet my father, if I ever see him 
again, if I gave up the fight, and allowed myself 
to be kept as a prisoner." 

" I want to get away from here as mnch as you 
do ; and I will take the wheel again, if you will 
let me," continued Percy. 

**I don't ask you to expose yourself; but, if 
you take the helm, j^ou must stick to it till you 
are relieved. We have no time to fool with 

" I will stick to it, Christy." 

" Very well, then you shall take it ; but if you 
desert your post again, I will shoot you the first 
time I set eyes on you." 

" That is rough." 

" If you think it is, don't take the helm." 

"I will take it, for I had rather be shot by 
those in the other steamers than by j'ou." 

"I am going below to help Captain Pecklar; 
but the moment the tug goes wrong, I shall 

I HAVE HIT Her" (Fa^e ill.")) 


send a ball from my revolver up into the 

" I understand you, and it looks as though we 
were getting into a hot place. I will do my duty 
as well as I know how. Now tell me how I am 
to steer." 

" Run for that point you see far off to the 

Christy went to the main deck forward, where 
he found Captain Pecklar getting the field-piece 
ready for use. The Belle was now quite near 
on the one hand, while the Dauphine was hardly 
farther off on the other hand. The Belle vite 
was coming down from the north-east, with the 
lead still going in her chains. The immediate 
danger was to come from the Belle. 

" That won't do I " exclaimed Captain Pecklar, 
when they had the gun in position for use. 

" What won't do ? " asked Christy. 

"Didn't you notice that? They are firing 
rifle-balls from the Belle. One of them just 
struck the bulkhead." 

"I don't see that we can help ourselves, 
whether it will do or not." 

" The chances are in our favor, however, for 


the men cannot handle their rifles to the best 
advantage while the Belle heaves in the sea," 
added the captain. " Don't stand np where 
they can see you, Christy, but get down on the 
deck with that lock-string in your hand. When 
I give you the word, pull it as quick as you 
can," said the captain, as he sighted the gun, 
and changed its position several times. 

He was a sailor, and the artillery officers at 
the forts had trained the men employed on the 
tugs in handling the pieces put on board of 
them, to be used in bringing vessels to. Better 
than any soldier, he could make the proper 
allowance for the motion of the steamer in the 
sea, which was becoming heavier. 

'^ Fire ! " shouted he, with more voice than he 
w^as supposed to have in the feeble condition 
of his lungs. 

The gunner had loaded the piece himself, and 
it made a tremendous report when Christy pulled 
the lock-string. The Leopard shook under the 
concussion of the discharge, and she was com- 
pletely enveloped in smoke ; so that they could 
not see whether the Belle had been hit or not. 
But in the distance they could hear hoarse 


shouts in tlie direction of the Belle, and they 
concluded that something had happened in that 

Christy had brought down the glass with him ; 
and he directed it towards the steamer aimed at 
as soon as the smoke began to blow out of the 
way, though it was some time before he could 
get a clear view of her. 

<•' By the great Constitution ! " exclaimed 
Captain Pecklar, before Christy could cover the 
Belle with his glass. " I have hit her ! " 

"Where?" asked the other, elated at the 

. " Eight on the bow I There is a hole big 
enough to roll a wheelbarrow through," replied 
the captain, greatly excited. "She has stopped 
her wheels." 

" That's a nice hole ! " added Christy, as he 
got the glass to bear on it, and his hopes began 
to rise again. " It is just about big enough for 
a small wheelbarrow. But they have gone to 
work on it, and are putting mattresses over it." 

"That craft is finished for to-day, and we 
needn't worry any more about her," said tlie 
captain. "She will not get that hole stopped 


up for an hour or longer, and I hope this affair 
will be over before this can be done. Shall we 
give them another shot? What do you think, 
Christy? She holds still now, and I believe I 
can hit her every time." 

" Decidedly not : she is disabled for the 
present, and that is all I care for. We are not 
in war trim," replied Christy, as he turned his 
attention in the direction of the other vessels. 

" As I told you, the Dauphine is fast ; and 
she will be down upon us in less than five 
minutes more," said Captain Pecklar. 

" I wonder that she don't fire upon us," added 

" I doubt if she has any guns on board, though 
she may have a field-piece or two." 

" The Bellevite is waking up, I think," said 

" She is getting into deeper Avater." 

"But tlie Dauphine is coming right between 
the Leopard and the Bellevite," continued 
Christy, as he brought the glass to bear upon 
her, though she was near enough to be distinctly 
seen with the naked eye. " Whether she had 
any guns or not, she has plenty of men on 


board; and it is easy enough to see what she 
intends to do." 

'• What do you think she intends to do ? " asked 
the captain. 

" Of course she carae out here after the Belle- 
vite, as the Belle did also ; but her people have 
seen what the Leopard has been about for the last 
hour, and they intend to dispose of us before they 
hunt for the bigger game." 

"She may capture the Belleyite after she has 
finished her business with us," said the captain, 
looking very anxious. 

'- She may, but I don't believe she will. You 
have proved that you are all right. Captain 
Ffcklar, and I don't mind telling you now that 
the Bellevite is heavily armed. Captain Breaker 
was a lieutenant in the nav}^ and he knows how 
to handle a ship," replied Christy. 

"Then, if we escape the Dauphine, w^e shall be 
all right." 

" The Dauphine will come down, and throw^ a 
few men on board of us ; boarding us, in fact, as 
we have no force with which to help ourselves, ' 
added Christy, as he took a small American flag 
from his pocket. 


It had been made by his mother on the late 
cruise of the steamer, and it was a sort of talisman 
with him, which he had often displayed in foreign 
lands. He found a pole on the deck, to which he 
attached the emblem of his whole country, and 
displayed it at the bow of the tug. He hoped 
that his father or the captain might see it, and 
recognize it as the one he had so often seen on 
board and ashore. 

" That's a handsome flag, Christy ; and it does 
me good to see it again," said Captain Pecklar, as 
he took off his hat, and bowed reverently to it. 

" Percy, hard-a-starboard the helm ! " shouted 
Christy to the helmsman. "Head her for the 

" All right." 

"I think we can increase the distance a little 
between us and the Dauphine," added Christy. 

" That's a good move ; for we have been putting 
ourselves nearer to her when there was no need 
of it, as there has not been since the Belle was 

He had hardly spoken the words before a tre- 
mendous cheer came from the Bellevite, and her 
fore-rigging appeared to be filled with men. The 


cheer was repeated till it had been given at least 
*' three times three." 

"What does that mean, Christy?" asked 
Captain Pecklar. 

" It means that my father or some one on board 
has recognized my flag. I should have set it 
before if we had been near enough for them to 
make it out. But they have seen it, and I feel 
sure that all the steamers in the bay could not 
capture us now. Look at the Bellevite I " 

She seemed suddenly to have taken the bit in 
her teeth, and she was rushing forward at a speed 
which she had not before exhibited. Paul Vapoor 
was evidently wide awake. 

A little later her port-holes flew open. 



on' board of the bellevite 

The crisis was at liand ; for the Daupliine was 
darting in between the Leopard and the Bellevite, 
between father and son. On the port rail of the 
former, as if ready to leap upon the deck of the 
tug, were at least twenty men ; and, for the first 
time, the plan of the enemy became apparent to 
Christy Passford. 

He hastened to the hurricane deck of the 
Leopard, where he could see more clearly ; and 
it ^\as evident to him that the question before 
them would be settled witliin a very few minutes. 
If he and his companions fell into the hands of the 
enemy, nothing less than a severe fight with the 
Dauphine, perhaps aided by the Belle, on the part 
of the Bellevite could undo the mischief. 

Christy was disposed to leave nothing to be 
undone. Rushing into the pilot-house, he seized 


the wheel, and threw it over, determined to 
redeem the fate of the tug while he could. 
Captain Pecklar had crowded on all the steam he 
could, and doubtless the boat was doing her very 
best. She flew round like a top, careening till 
her rail was under water. 

" Hard up, Percy I " cried he, while the tug was 
still whirling. "Those men will drop on board 
of us if we don't get out of the Dauphine's way." 

" The Bellevite is almost into her," added the 
volunteer pilot. 

Paul Yapoor evidently understood the situation, 
and must have been preparing for it for some time, 
though the shoal-water had prevented the steamer 
from taking advantage of his effort. She had 
suddenly begun to dart ahead as though she had 
been an object shot from one of her biggest guns ; 
and she seemed almost to leap out of the water in 
her struggle to come between the Leopard and 
the Dauphine. 

The Bellevite was certainly making two miles 
to her rival's one in the race, and it looked as 
though she would strike her sharp bow into the 
broadside of the enemy. She seemed to rely 
on a vigorous blow with her stem rather than on 


her guns ; for as yet she had not fired a .shot, 
though she was fully prepared to do so. 

The Leopard came about in double-quick time ; 
and as soon as her keel was at right angles Av^ith 
that of the Dauphine, Christy righted the lielm, 
and let her go in the direction of the disabled 
Belle. She rolled, pitched, and plunged in the 
sea, which had been increasing very sensibly 
within a short time ; but she went ahead at her 
best speed, and that was all Christy wanted of 

Tlie Bellevite was still rushing down upon the 
Dauphine as though she intended to annihilate 
her when the crash came, as come it must within 
a minute or two. Christy's heart was in liis 
throat, for he felt that his own safety depended 
upon the events of the next two minutes. A 
tremendous collision was impending, and thus 
far the Dauphme had done nothing to avoid it. 
Doubtless her commander had gauged the speed 
of the Bellevite by what she had been doing 
in the shoal water, and had not believed she 
'could overhaul him before he had thrown a force 
on board of the Leopard. ^ 

" Now, keep her as she is, Percy, and we shall 


soon know what is going to happen," said 
Christy, when the tug had come about so that 
he could not readily see the movements of the 
other steamers. 

" We are running right into the Belle," 
suggested Percy. 

" This thing will be settled before we can 
come within hail of her, and I don't think she 
wants any thing more of us at present," replied 
Christy, as he left the pilot-house, and hastened aft, 
where he could get a better view of the situation. 

"There is a row on board of the Dauphine," 
said Captain Pecklar, who had come to the stern 
for the same purpose as Christy. " Those men 
are leaping down from the rail." 

" What has happened on board of her ? " 
asked Christy. 

" Nothing ; but the Bellevite is coming into 
her full tilt, and they know that the shock will 
knock all those men overboard ; and I think 
they don't want to have to stop to pick them 
up," answered the captain. 

At this moment several sharp orders were 
given on board of the Dauphine, and her head 
began to swing around to the northward. 


" That's what's the matter ! " exdaimed the 
captain. " They think they won't wait for 
the rap the Bellevite is ready to give them." 

The helm of the enemy's steamer had been 
put hard-a-port ; and as she promptly came about, 
the sharp bow of the Bellevite shot past her 
quarter, and she barely escaped the blow. It 
look as though those on board of either vessel 
could have leaped to the deck of the other. 

" What is the reason she don't fire upon the 
Bellevite?" asked Christy, when he felt that 
the crisis was past. 

" I don't believe she has any guns on board 
yet, though I don't know," replied the captain. 

" What is she going to do now, I wonder." 

" I think she will come about and try to board 
the Bellevite now. It seems to me that if she 
had any guns on board, she would have opened 
fire before this time." 

" We must look out, or the Bellevite will run 
into us," added Christy, as he went forward to 
the pilot-house. 

" That steamer has come about," said Percy, 
as he joined him. 

''If she had not come about, the Bellevite 


would have cut through her starboard quarter," 
replied Christy. " But -we are all right now, and 
I think the excitement is about over."- 

By this time the Bellevite was abreast of the 
Leopard, and not half a cable's length from her ; 
but there was no demonstration at all of anj^ 
sort on board of her. Her high bulwarks con- 
cealed the whole ship's company; and no one 
could be seen but the lookouts forward, and a 
couple of officers in the rigging of the mainmast. 

" Now we will get a little nearer to her," said 
Christy, as he threw the wheel over. " She is 
coming about." 

The Bellevite was blowing off steam, and she 
had reduced her speed as soon as she went clear 
of the Dauphine. In a minute more, when she 
had come a little nearer to the Leopard, she 
stopped her screw. 

" Tug, ahoy ! " shouted some one, in whose 
voic^ Chiisty recognized that of Captain Breaker. 

"On board the Bellevite ! " responded Christy. 

" Come alongside ! " added the commander of 
the steamer. 

"That's just what I was going to do," added 
Christy to his companion. 


" I suppose we are all right now, are we not, 
Christy?" asked Percy. 

" I don't know what will come np next. The 
Dauphine is still afloat, and in good condition ; 
and I don't believe she is going to let the 
Bellevite off without doing something." 

Captain Pecklar was letting off steam also ; for 
he realized that the battle, so far as the Leopard 
was concerned, was finished. Christy steered the 
tug alongside of the steamer ; and when he rang 
tlie bell finally to stop her, after a rope had been 
heaved on board of her, he left the engine, 
with the steam still escaping from the boiler, and 
the furnace-door wide open, and went to the 

" Hurry up ! " shouted Captain Breaker, appear- 
ing on the rail of the Bellevite, at the gang- 

Captain Pecklar looked astern of tlie tug, and 
saw that the Dauphine was rapidly approaching. 
She had come about, and her captain did not 
appear to be satisfied with saving his own vessel 
from the collision, and intended to make another 
movement. But he had gone some distance 
before lie came about, though he was now rather 


too near for the comfort of the Bellevite after she 
had stopped her screw. 

" What shall we do with this tug ? " asked 
Christy, who had some doubts whether or not 
he ought to leave the Leopard in condition for 
further use by the enemy. 

"We have no time to bother with her, and 
she don't amount to any thing. Come on board 
as quick as you can," replied Captain Breaker. 

" Go on board, Captain Pecklar," said Christy, 
pointing to the gangway. " Come, Percy, your 
troubles are over for the present." 

The captain went up the ladder, followed by 
Percy, and Christy went the last ; for he felt that 
he must see his friends through before he aban- 
doned the Leopard himself. The moment the 
owner's son showed himself on the rail, a burst 
of cheers came from the ship's company, to which 
he replied by taking off his cap and bowing. 

" I am glad to see you again, Christy," said his 
father, as he descended to the deck and found 
himself in the arms of Captain Passford. " I was 
afraid I should have to leave you here, though T 
did not intend to do that as long as a plank of 
the Bellevite remained under me." 


Cliristy found his father a great deal more 
demonstrative than he had ever known him tb be 
before, and he fully realized that he had had a 
very narrow, and even a wonderful escape since 
he had been taken by the enemy. 

Captain Breaker did not wait for father and 
son to finish their affectionate greetings ; but as 
soon as Christy put his foot on the rail he directed 
the line to the tug to be cast off, and the order 
was given to start the screw. The Bellevite went 
ahead again, and the commander gave out the 
course for her. 

Before Captain Passford was read}^ to think 
of any thing except the joyful meeting with his 
son, Captain Pecklar suddenly dropped to the 
deck as though a bullet from the enemy had 
finished his career in the very moment of victory. 
Christy broke from his father, and hastened to 
his assistance. He had fainted again from 
exhaustion after the efforts of the day. Dr. 
Linscott was at his side almost as soon as Cliristy,- 
and the sufferer was borne to the cabin, where 
he was placed in one of the vacant state-rooms. 

"Who is that man, Christy?" asked Captain 
Passford, as soon as the invalid had been cared 


" That is Captain Pecklar ; and he is a Union 
man, though he has been in charge of that tug in 
the service of the forts. But he is in consump- 
tion, and he does not believe he can live much 
fonger. He says lie would rather die at home 
than live down here," replied Christy. 

" He looks like a sick man," added the owner. 

" He is, and he has worked altogether beyond 
his strength. But I believe I should not have 
been here, father, at this moment, if he had not 
worked with me, and acted with the utmost 
courage and devotion." 

" Then he* shall want for nothing while he is on 
board of the Bellevite." 

" But I am sure that the doctor can improve his 
condition ; at least, I hope he can." 

"He can if any one can. But how happens 
Percy to be with you in the tug?" asked Captain 
Passford, as he looked about him for the young 
man, who was standing near the mainmast, 
watching the approaching smoke-stack of the 

"Percy has not been as reliable as Captain 
Pecklar ; but he has done well, and has rendered 
good service. He has steered the tug for some 


time," replied Christy, calling to him the subject 
of the last remarks. 

" I am glacl to see you again, Mr. Percy," said 
the owner, giving him liis hand. '' I am under 
obligations to you for all you have done to assist 
my son on board of that tug." 

"I was at work too for myself," said Percy, 
taking the offered hand. " I don't belong on this 
side of the question, and all I want is to get back 
to Nassau. I have nothing to expect from my 
brother, ^lajur Pierson, and my mother cannot 
protect me." 

" In consideration of the service you have ren- 
dered to my son, I shall be glad to do all I can to 
assist you in getting there." 

" Thank you, sir." 

" But where is Florry, father ? " asked Christy, 
looking about the deck. 

"I could not allow her to be on deck when a 
shot was liable to come on board. She is in the 
cabin, and she will be as glad to see you as I 
have been," replied Captain Passford. 

Christy hastened to the cabin. 




Captain Passford and Percy soon followed 
Christy into the cabin, and the meeting of the 
brotlier and sister was quite as affectionate as that 
between father and son had been. In fact, none 
of them cared now for the steamers of the enemy, 
or for any thing else, except to get out of JMobile 
Bay. Christy told his story ; and he learned that 
his father had sen.t a party ashore the night before 
to look for him, though they had been unable to 
obtain the slightest information in regard to him. 

Captain Breaker insisted that Christy was on 
board of the Leopard, though not till the soldiers 
in the long-boat had fired into the tug. The father 
believed that his son would not tamely submit to 
being made a prisoner, and the act of Major 
Pierson had almost convinced him that the com- 
mander was right. He had not been fully satisfied 


Oil this point till he recognized the silk American 
flag at the fore of the tug. 

But Captain Passford was too much interested 
in the situation on deck to remain long in the 
cabin , and he left Christy there with Florry, who 
seemed to be supremely happy, now that the 
family was in a fair way to be re-united at no 
distant day. 

"I think you know the gentleman who has 
made all this trouble for me, Florry," said Christy, 
when he and Percy were alone with her. 

"How can I know him?" asked the fair girl, 

" He is my brother. Major Pierson ; and they 
say he used to call at Colonel Passford's once in 
a while, while I was away at school," interposed 

" Then I do know him," replied Florry, 

" Father thought, or at least he feared, that you 
might not like to leave the South," added Christy. 

''Did he say so?" asked the fair maiden, 

"He did not say a word, but I could tell by 
his looks." 


*' Then papa was very much mistaken. Major 
Pierson Avas very kind and polite to me, and I 
think he is a gentleman ; but I have had no desire 
to remain at Glenfield on his account." 

Florry spoke as though slie intended this remark 
to be the end of the conversation on that subject, 
and Christy felt quite sure that she was not deeply 
interested in the commander of Fort Gaines. 

" Now, I wonder if I can't go on deck," contin- 
ued Florry, breaking away from the disagreeable 
conversation. '*■ They are not firing now." 

'' I don't know, but I will go on deck and ask 
father if you wish." 

'^Do, Christy, if you please." 

The Bellevite was shaking in all her frame ; for 
Paul Vapoor was again exercising his skill upon 
the screw, and she was flying through the water. 
The Dauphine seemed to be struggling to get up 
an equal degree of speed; but, fast as she was 
said to be, the Bellevite was running away from 
her. There was no excitement on deck, and 
Christy readily obtained the required permission 
for his sister. 

Captain Pecklar, under the skilful treatment of 
Dr. Linscott, had improved a great deal, though 


he still remained in his bed. He declared that he 
felt like a new man ; and, whether he lived or died, 
he was as happy as anuman ought to be on the 
face of the earth. 

" That steamer off to the north-west has set her 
ensign with the union down, though I can't make 
out what the flag is," said Captain Breaker, 
addressing the owner as Christy came on deck. 

*'What does that mean?" asked Captain Pass- 
ford, getting upon the rail with the commander. 

" I am sure I don't know. I suppose it is a 
signal of distress, but it may be a trick of some 
sort," added Captain Breaker. 

" Do you know any thing about that steamer 
over there, Christy ? " asked the owner, calling his 

" That is the Belle, and I believe she came from 
Mobile," replied Christy. 

"What is she out here for?" 

" I have no doubt she came out here to capture 
the Bellevite. Uncle Homer must have sent word 
to some one in Mobile, judging from what I heard 
Major Pierson say ; and probably that steamer 
came out here to prevent the Bellevite from going 
into the navy of the Union." 


'' But why does slie hoist a signal of distress ? " 

'• I think it is very likely she is in distress." 

'■ She is firing a gun," added Captain Breaker, 
as a cloud of smoke rose from the Belle. 

" Why do yon think she is in distress, Christy ? " 
asked his father. 

'* She opened fire on the Leopard, after she had 
picked up the boat contaii-ing Major Pierson's 
party ; and Captain Pecklar and I gave her a shot 
in return, which went through her bow and made 
a big hole. She stopped her wheels then, and 
since that she has been out of the fight. 

" The Daupliine is coming about," added 
Christy, as he joined the commander and his 
father on the rail. 

*' The Dauphine ? " queried Captain Passford. 

" That is her name. Captain Pecklar can tell 
you something about her. He says she is fitting 
up for the Confederate navy, but he thinks she 
has no guns on board yet." 

''It is beginning to blow very fresh," said 
Captain Breaker, as he took a look at the sky and 
the waters of the bay, "My barometer indicates 
nast}^ weather." 

"There is too much sea, at any rate, for a 


steamer with a big hole in her bow," said Captain 

Christy told all he knew about the Belle, and 
the owner declared that he had no desire to see 
the larcre number of men on board of her drowned 
before his eyes. The gun the disabled steamer 
had fired was regarded as another signal of 
distress, which indicated that the situation was 
becoming urgent with her. 

" She has hoisted a white flag," added Captain 
Breaker ; and no glass was needed to disclose the 
fact that a panic existed on board of her, for men 
who could fight bravely for a cause they deemed 
right might not be willing to be drowned without 
being able to lift a finger to save tliemselves. 

" Come about. Breaker, and run for the disabled 
steamer," said Captain Passford, in a decided tone ; 
and the order was instantly obeyed. 

The commander sent Cln'isty to the chief engi- 
neer to have him increase the speed of the steamer, 
at the suggestion of the owner. Paul had not 
seen him before, and the two friends hugged each 
other like a couple of girls when they came 
too-ether. But the chief did not lose a moment in 
obeying the order brought to him. In a few 


minutes the Bellevite passed the Dauphine, and 
reached the vicinity of the Belle, which was evi- 
dently-sinking, for she had settled a good deal in 
the water. 

Four boats were instantly lowered into the 
water; and Christy v/as assigned to the command 
of one of them, while the first and second officers 
and the boatswain went in charge of tiie others. 
These boats were skilfully handled, and they 
dashed boldly up to the sinking craft. The 
soldiers on board of her were more afraid of water 
than they were of fire, and the four boats were 
soon loaded. 

''Is that you, Christy?" said one of his 

Christy looked, and saw that the person who 
addressed him was his uncle Homer. 

" Yes, sir," replied the nephew ; but he did not 
venture to say any thing more. 

" I was not aware that you were taking an 
active part in this affiiir till Major Pierson told 
me that you had taken ^jossession of his steam-tug, 
and that it was you who had fired the shot which 
disabled the Belle," continued Colonel Passford, 
evidently very much troubled and annoyed. 


"I was made a prisoner by the major, and I 
have done what I could to get out of his hands,"' 
replied Christy. " I suppose you came out in this 
steamer for the purpose of captuiing the Bellevite ; 
but you have not done it yet, and I don't believe 
you will." 

" I should like to see your father," added the 

" We are ordered to put these people on board 
of tlie Daupliine, and she has just stopped 
her screw. I cannot disobey my orders, uncle 

But Christy did not like to prolong the conver- 
sation, and he told his men to give way. The sea 
had certainly increased till it made it lively for 
the boats, and the colonel said no more. The 
passengers were put on board of the Dauphine, 
and it was not necessary for more than two of the 
boats to return to the Belle for the rest of the men 
on board of her. Colonel Passford insisted upon 
boarding the Bellevite, after the others had left 
the boat, and Christy yielded the point. 

The Confederate brother was received by the 
Union brother as though nothing had occurred to 
divide them. He was conducted to the cabin, as 


it had just begun to rain, where he was greeted 
as kindly by Florry. 

"I am sorry you left me in such an abrupt 
manner, Horatio," said Homer, very much embar- 
rassed. *' I think you took a rather unfair 
advantage of the circumstances." 

"Unfair? Wliat? When you said outright 
that you intended to take steps for the capture of 
my steamer, the only means of reaching my family, 
and conveying my daughter to her home, that 
w^ere within my reach. I came here on a peaceful 
mission, and I think the unfairness was all on the 
other side," replied Horatio. 

" I still believe that I had no moral right, before 
God and my countrymen, to allow^ you to hand 
this fine steamer over to the Yankee navy : but I 
was on board of the Belle for the purpose of seeing 
that no harm came to j^ou, or any member of your 
family," said Homer with deep feeling. 

" Then I thank jou for your good intentions. 
But I believed, before God and my countrymen 
North and South, that I had no moral right to let 
this vessel be taken for the use of the Confed- 
eracy . and T would have burned her on the waters 
of Mobile Bay before I would have given her up," 


added Horatio, quite as earnestly as the other had 

" Fortune has favored 3'ou this time, Horatio ; 
but wlien you are sufferinc^ and in ^Yant from the 
effects of this war, rememl^er that I shall always 
liave a brother's heart in my bosom, and that it 
will always be opeii to you and yours." 

" I heartily reciprocate this fraternal sentiment, 
and I am confident that 3'ou will need m}- assist- 
ance before I need 3-ours ; but all tliat I have and 
all that I am shall be at your service. Homer. ' 

" I am glad that we understand each otlier, and 
r rejoice that I came on board of your steamer for 
these parting words. I will not ask you what you 
are going to do next, for 3'ou would not tell me ; 
but I shall expect to hear that the Bellevite has 
been sunk in attempting to pass the forts." 

'^Better that than in the service of the enemies 
of my country. Homer." 

They parted with tears in the eyes of both, 
and never before had they realized how stern and 
severe was the mandate of duty. Christy con- 
veyed his uncle back to the Dauphine, shook 
hands with him, and returned to the Bellevite. 

The mission of the steamer in Mobile Bay ended, 


and she had nothing: more to do but return to her 
native waters, though perhaps this would prove to 
be the most difficult part of the entire enterprise. 
The steamer stood down the bay in the drenching 
rain, and was soon buried in a dense fog that was 
blown in by the wind from the gulf. She hi}^ off 
and on during the rest of the day, and the com- 
mander made his preparations for running the 
gantlet of the forts. 

This was not so difficult and dangerous an 
enterprise as it became later when the channel 
was obstructed, though even now the feat could 
not be accomplished without great difficulty and 
danger. In the course of the day, Captain Peck- 
lar left his berth and came on deck. Captain 
Breaker decided to leave the piloting of the 
steamer to him, after he had conversed for hours 
with him. 

No better night in the whole year could have 
been selected for the undertaking. It had ceased 
to rain, but the darkness and the fog were a> 
dense as possible. The pilot manifested entire 
confidence^ as he had plenty of water in the ojian- 
nel, and he knew all about the currents, the tide, 
and the action of the wind. It was an exciting 


time, when every light on board was extinguished, 
and the steamer started down the bay with 
Captain P^cldar and two quartermasters at the 

After the Bellevite had passed the dangerous 
part of the channel, firing was heard from Fort 
Morgan ; but the vessel was soon in the Gulf of 
Mexico. Heavy guns were heard for some time, 
but all on board of the steamer could afford to 
laugh at them. The ship continued on her course, 
and among the islands near Nassau Percy Pierson 
was put on board of a schooner bound to New 

In eight days from the time she passed the forts, 
the Bellevite steamed into New York Bay, and 
then to Bonnydale on the Hudson, where the 
family were again re-united, and the fond mother 
wept over her two children, restored to her after 
all the dangers of the past. 

On his arrival. Captain Passford found letters 
for him from the Government, and the offer of the 
Bellevite had been promptly accepted. After 
having been Taken by the Enemy, on the next 
voyage Christy found himself Within the Enemy's 



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