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 "Good evening, Mr. Lillyworth," said Captain Passford, when he reached the bridge.  
"Good evening, Captain Passford," replied the second lieutenant, as he touched his cap to his superior, galling as the act was, according to his own statement.
"It looks as though we should have some wind," added the captain.
"Yes, sir; and we shall have a nasty time of it across the Gulf Stream."
"If there is any decided change in the weather during your watch, you will oblige me by having me called," added the captain; "I think I am tired enough to turn in, for I have been very busy all the evening, copying letters and papers. I think I need a clerk almost as much as the captain of a frigate."
"I think you ought to have one, sir," added 093 Mr. Lillyworth, manifesting a deep interest in this matter.
"As the matter now stands I have to use a good deal of my time in copying documents. By the way, if we fall in with any United States man-of-war, I wish to communicate with her."
"Of course I shall report to you, sir, if one comes in sight during my watch," replied the second lieutenant, with a greater manifestation of zeal than he had before displayed in his relations with his commander, evidently profiting by the suggestion made to him by Pink Mulgrum.
"But I hope we shall not fall in with one before day after tomorrow, for I have not copied all the letters I desire to use if such an occasion offers," said Captain Passford, who was really playing out a baited hook for the benefit of the second lieutenant, in regard to whose intentions he had no doubt since the revelations of the steward.
"By the way, Captain Passford, what you say in regard to the amount of writing imposed upon you reminds me that there is a man on board who might afford you some relief from this drudgery. Possibly you may have noticed this man, though he is doing duty as a mere scullion."
94 "Do you mean the man I have seen cleaning brass work about the cabin?" asked Christy, glad to have the other take hold of the baited hook.
"That is the one; he is deaf and dumb, but he has received a good education, and writes a good hand, and is rapid about it," added the second lieutenant, with some eagerness in his manner, though he tried to conceal it.
"But my writing is of a confidential nature," replied the captain.
"I have known this man, whose name is Pink Mulgrum, for some time. He is deaf and dumb, and you must have noticed him."
"Oh, yes; I have seen him, and he had an interview with Mr. Flint in my presence. I observed that he wrote a good hand, and wrote very rapidly."
"I am very confident that you can trust him with your papers, Captain Passford. He could not go into the service as a soldier or a sailor on account of his infirmity; but he desired to do something for his country. He was determined to go to the war, as he called it, in any capacity, even if it was as a scullion. He wrote me a letter to this effect, and Mr. Nawood consented to take 95 him as a man of all work. If he ever gets into an action, you will find that he is a fighting character."
"That is the kind of men we want, and at the present time, when we are hardly in a fighting latitude, perhaps I can use him as a copyist, if he will agree to make no use whatever of any information he may obtain in that capacity. I will speak to Mr. Nawood about the matter."
"Thank you, Captain Passford. Mulgrum is a very worthy man, patriotic in every fibre of his frame, and in every drop of his blood. I should be glad to obtain some permanent occupation for him in the service of his country, for nothing else will suit him in the present exciting times. Perhaps when you have tested his qualifications, this will make an opening for him."
"I will consider the subject tomorrow," said Christy, as he descended from the bridge.
The commander was satisfied that the portion of the conversation which had taken place between the aspirant for the position of captain's clerk and the second lieutenant and which had been finished before the steward had reached his perch on the foremast, related to this matter. Mulgrum had 96 heard the conversation between the first lieutenant and himself, which was intended to blind the listener, and he had reported it to his confederate. It was only another confirmation, if any were needed, in regard to the character of the conspirators.
Christy had no doubt in regard to the disloyalty of these two men; but nothing in respect to their ultimate intentions had yet been revealed. They had brought six seamen on board with them, and they appeared to have influence enough in some quarter to have had these men drafted into the Bronx. Eight men, even if two of them were officers, was an insignificant force, though he was willing to believe that they intended to obtain possession of the vessel in some manner. The captain returned to his cabin, and resumed his work in the state room.
Though Christy had spent several hours at his desk, he had really produced but a single letter, and had not yet finished it. When he heard eight bells strike, he left his state room, and seated himself at the table in the middle of his cabin. The door was open into the companion way. Mr. Flint presently appeared, and went on deck to 97 relieve the second lieutenant, who came below a few minutes later, though the captain did not allow himself to be seen by him. Then he closed the cabin door, and turned in, for he began to realize that he needed some rest. He went to sleep at once, and he did not wake till four bells struck in the morning. The Bronx was pitching heavily, though she still maintained her reputation as an easy-going ship in spite of the head sea. He dressed himself, and seated himself at his desk at once, devoting himself to the letter upon which he had been engaged the evening before. The second lieut............
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