Search      Hot    Newest Novel
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 During the evening Captain Blowitt had consulted his officers, and arranged his plans for operations, or at least for obtaining information in regard to the situation inside of North Key, where the landing place is situated. He had already arranged to give the command of the boat expedition to Christy, with the second lieutenant in another boat, Mr. Amblen being with the executive officer in the first.  
"Now, Mr. Passford, I do not expect you to capture the whole State of Florida, and if you should return without accomplishing anything at all, I shall not be disappointed, but I shall feel that you have done everything that could be done," said the captain, with a very cheerful smile, when all had been arranged.
"I shall endeavor to obey my orders, Captain Blowitt, if I can do so in the exercise of a reasonable 247 prudence," replied Christy, who took in all that his superior looked, as well as all that he said.
"A reasonable prudence is decidedly good, coming from you, Mr. Passford," said the captain, laughing outright.
"Why is it decidedly good from me rather than from anybody else?" asked Christy, somewhat nettled by the remark.
"You objected once on board of the Bellevite when I mildly hinted that you might sometimes, under some circumstances, with a strong temptation before you, be just a little audacious," said the captain, still laughing, as though he were engaged in a mere joke.
"That statement is certainly qualified in almost all directions, if you will excuse me for saying so, captain," replied Christy, who was fully determined not to take offence at anything his superior might say, for he had always regarded him as one of his best friends. "If I remember rightly the mild suggestion of a criticism which you gently and tenderly applied to me was after we had brought out the Teaser from Pensacola Bay."
"That was the time. Captain Breaker sent you to ascertain, if you could, where the Teaser was, 248 and you reported by bringing her out, which certainly no one expected you would do, and I believe this part of the programme carried out on that excursion was not mentioned in your orders."
"It was not; but if I had a good chance to capture the steamer, was it my duty to pass over that chance, and run the risk of letting the vessel get out?"
"On the contrary, it was your duty, if you got a good chance, to capture the steamer."
"And that is precisely what I did. I did not lose a man, or have one wounded in the expedition; and I have only to be penitent for being audacious," laughed Christy; and he was laughing very earnestly, as though the extra cachinnation was assumed for a purpose. "I suppose I ought to dress myself in ash cloth and sashes, shut myself up in my state room always when off duty, and shed penitential tears from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, and during the lone watches of the night, and in fortifying my soul against the monstrous sin of audacity. I will think of it."
"I hope you have no feeling about this matter, 249 Mr. Passford," said the captain, rising from his chair and taking Christy by the hand.
"Not a particle, Captain Blowitt. I am absolutely sure that you would have done precisely what I did, if you had been in my situation," protested Christy. "About the last thing my father talked about to me when we parted in this cabin in New York Harbor was the necessity of prudence and discretion in the discharge of my duties; and I am sure his advice saved me from falling into the traps set for me by Hungerford and Pawcett, and enabled me to capture two of the enemy's crack steamers."
"I will never use the word audacity or the adjective audacious to you again, Christy. I see that it nettles you, to say the least," added the captain, pressing his hand with more earnestness.
"I am perfectly willing you should apply both words to me when I deserve it. Audacity means boldness, impudence, according to Stormonth. Audacious means very bold, daring, impudent. It may have been bold to run out the Teaser, and the enemy would even call it impudent, for the meaning of a word sometimes depends upon which side you belong to. My father was quite as impudent 250 as I was when he ran the Bellevite out of Mobile Bay, under the guns of Fort Morgan. He was audacious, wasn't he?"
"We should hardly apply that word to him."
"Why not? Simply because my father was forty-five years old when he told Captain Breaker to do it. If I were only thirty years old I should not be audacious. I am a boy, and therefore anything that I do is daring, audacious, impudent, imprudent."
"I rather think you are right, Mr. Passford, and it is your age more than the results of your actions that is the basis of our judgment," said Captain Blowitt.
"I wish to add seriously, captain, as a friend and not as an officer, I do not claim that the command of this expedition should be given to me because I am first lieutenant of the Bronx, or for any other reason," added Christy with an earnest expression. "Perhaps it would be better to give the command to the second lieutenant; and if you do so, I assure you, upon my honor, that it will not produce a particle of feeling in my mind. I shall honor, respect, and love you as I have always, Captain Blowitt."
251 "My dear fellow, you are entirely misunderstanding me," protested the commander, as earnestly as his subordinate had spoken. "I give you the command of this expedition because I honestly and sincerely believe you are the very best person on board to whom I can commit such a responsibility."
"That is enough, captain, and a great deal more than you wer............
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