Search      Hot    Newest Novel
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 "Captain Flint, the first question to be settled is in regard to the engineer force," said Christy, as the three officers seated themselves at the table.  
"I think we shall have no difficulty on that score, Captain Passford, for I have already sounded those on board of the Arran, or the Escambia, as her officers call her. As long as their wages are paid, they don't care which side they serve. Mr. Pivotte is the chief, and he is as willing to go one way as the other."
"Very well; then he shall retain his present position, and Bockburn shall be restored to the Ocklockonee. Of course the arrangements made after the capture of the first vessel were only temporary, and I propose to report to the flag officer with everything as nearly as possible in the condition in which we left New York," continued Christy.
225 "Of course I expected to resume my former position on board of the Bronx as soon as we had disposed of the two steamers; and I can say that I shall not be sorry to do so," said Flint with a pleasant smile, as though he did not intend to grieve over the loss of his command.
"In a few days more, we shall move down a peg, and I shall cease to have a command as well as yourself," added Christy.
"And I suppose I shall be relegated to my position as a quartermaster," said Baskirk; "but I shall be satisfied. I don't care to wear any spurs that I have not won, though I shall be glad to have a higher rank when I deserve it."
"You deserve it now, Mr. Baskirk, and if you don't receive it, it will not be on account of any weakness in my report of the events of the last twenty-four hours," added Christy heartily.
"Thank you, captain; I suppose I could have procured a better position than that of able seaman, but I preferred to work my way up."
"It was wise not to begin too high up, and you have already won your spurs. Now, Mr. Baskirk, I shall ask you to take the deck, relieving Mr. Amblen," added Christy, who wished to talk with Flint alone.
226 "I shall be really glad to get back into the Bronx, for I feel at home here with you, captain," said Flint.
"You will be back to your berth here very soon. Now we have to send these two steamers to New York. They are fine vessels, and will be needed. We want two prize masters, and we must have able men. Have you any suggestion to make, Mr. Flint? I first thought of sending you as the principal one; but I cannot spare you, and the service in the Gulf needs you."
"I am entirely willing to go where my duty calls me, without regard to personal preferences," replied Flint. "I have a suggestion to make: which is that Baskirk take one of the steamers."
"That is exactly my own idea; from what I have seen of him, there is no more devoted officer in the service."
"I have known him for many years, and I believe in him. McSpindle is almost as good, and has had a better education than Baskirk. I don't think you could find two better men in the navy for this duty."
"Very well; then I will appoint them both."
Flint was instructed to communicate their appointment 227 to Baskirk and McSpindle, and make all the preparations for the departure of the Escambia and the Ocklockonee. Christy went to his state room, and wrote his report of the capture of the two steamers, in which he commended the two officers who were to go as prize masters, and then wrote a letter to his father, with a strong appeal in their favor. Then he wrote very careful instructions for the government of the officers to be sent away, in which he directed them to use all necessary precautions in regard to the prisoners. In a couple of hours after the capture of the Escambia, the two prizes sailed for New York. Captain Dinsmore expressed his thanks very warmly to Captain Passford for his courtesy and kindness at parting.
Christy had visited every part of the two steamers, and talked with the officers and men, and especially with the engineers, and he discovered no elements of discord on board of either. Hungerford and Pawcett were transferred to the Escambia, and committed to the care of the surgeon of the ship. Both of them were suffering from fever, and they were not likely to give the prize master any trouble during the 228 passage, which could only be three or four days in duration. Baskirk and McSpindle were required to make all the speed they could consistent with safety, though Christy hardly thought they would encounter any Confederate rover on the voyage, for they were not very plenty at this stage of the war.
It seemed a little lonesome on board of the Bronx after the two steamers had disappeared in the distance, and the number of the crew had been so largely reduced by the drafts for the prizes. The steamer was hardly in condition to engage an enemy of any considerable force, and Sampson was directed to hurry as much as possible. Christy had heard of the Bellevite twice since he left her off Pensacola Bay. She had been sent to other stations on duty, and had captured two schooners loaded with cotton as prizes; but at the last accounts she had returned to the station where the Bronx had left her.
Christy was not so anxious as he had been before the recent captures to fall in with an enemy, for with less than twenty seamen it would not be prudent to attack such a steamer as either of those he had captured, though he would not have objected 229 to chase a blockade runner if he had discovered one pursued by the gunboats.
It was a quiet time on board of the Bronx compared with the excitement of the earlier days of the voyage. In the very beginning of the trip, he had discovered the deaf mute at the cabin door, and his thought, his inquiries, and his action in defeating the treachery of the second lieutenant had kept him busy night and day. Now the weather was fine most of the time, and he had little to do beyond his routine duties. But he did a great deal ............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved