Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Classical Novels > A Victorious union > CHAPTER XXIII
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
Even with the West Wind in tow, the Tallahatchie could make fifteen knots an hour; for the sea was smooth, with every prospect of continued fine weather. Dr. Davidson was a prisoner of war, but he remained on board in charge of the wounded of both sides. He was very devoted to Christy, and dressed his wound every morning as tenderly as his mother could have done it. He was a gentleman in the highest sense of the word, and belonged to one of the best families in the South.
Captain Rombold was a very agreeable person; and most of the conversation in the cabin was carried on in French, for the commander was delighted when he could obtain an opportunity to practise the language, and Dr. Davidson spoke it as fluently as a Frenchman, though Captain Drake was unable to understand a word of it. If one had looked in upon them he would have supposed 258 they were enjoying a yachting excursion, and could not have told who were prisoners and who were not.
The two wounded officers passed a portion of every day on deck, and the time slipped away very pleasantly. Mr. Graines spent much of his days and some of his nights in the engine-room, and was on the best of terms with the English engineers; but he could discover no signs of treachery on their part. The prisoners forward were well treated and well cared for, and they made no trouble.
The ship made a quick passage to New York, and went into the harbor with the American flag flying over the Confederate; but this was not an uncommon sight, and it did not attract much attention. The pilot brought a file of newspapers, and the lieutenant learned that Grant was still "hammering away" at the Confederate forces in Virginia, though without any decided success. The ship came to anchor at the navy yard, and Captain Drake reported to the commandant.
Lieutenant Passford was well known there, though the intelligence of his latest achievement had not yet reached there. Christy had written out his report of the expedition to Mobile Point, 259 and Captain Drake brought that of Captain Breaker of the action with the Tallahatchie. The lieutenant had no official duty to perform, and he was at liberty to go where he pleased. He procured leave of absence for Mr. Graines; for he was himself still on fever diet, and was rather weak so that he needed his assistance.
"Home again, Charley!" exclaimed Christy, when they had landed at the navy yard.
"That's so, and my folks at home will not expect to see me," replied the engineer.
"Neither will any one at Bonnydale anticipate a visit from me," added Christy. "We know all about the sharp action of the Bellevite with the Tallahatchie; but no one in these parts can have heard a word about it. Now, Charley, see if you can find a carriage for me;" and the wounded officer went into an office to wait for it.
The uniform of the messenger carried him past all sentinels; and in half an hour he returned in a carriage, which was permitted to enter the yard on Mr. Graines's statement of its intended use. Christy was assisted into it. "Wall Street Ferry," said the lieutenant to the driver.
"Why do you go there?" asked the engineer. 260 "You wish to go to the railroad station, do you not?"
"I want to find my father if I can, and I think he must be in the city," replied Christy, as he gave his companion the location of the office where he did his business with the government, though he made frequent visits to Washington for consultation with the officials of the Navy Department.
The carriage was retained, and in another hour they reached the office. Captain Passford was not there; he had gone to Washington three days before, and no one knew when he would return. Christy was prepared for this disappointment, and he had arranged in his mind the wording of a telegraphic message to his father. While he was writing it out a gentleman came out of the office whom the lieutenant had met before.
"I am delighted to see you, Mr. Passford!" exclaimed the gentleman, who was in the uniform of a naval officer, as he extended his hand to the visitor. "One of our people informed me that the son of Captain Passford was at the door, and I hastened out to see you. Won't you come into the office?"
"No, I thank you; I am not very well, for I 261 was wounded in the left arm in our last action, and I am sent home by the surgeon on a furlough," replied Christy. "Permit me, Captain Bentwick, to introduce my friend, Mr. Graines, third assistant engineer of the Bellevite."
"I am very happy to know you, Mr. Graines," added Captain Bentwick, taking his hand. "I am very sorry you are wounded, Mr. Passford. What can I do for you?"
"Nothing, I thank you, at present. I am writing a message to send to my father. I was just finishing it when you came," replied Christy, as he added the finishing words, and passed it to the official.
"'Sent home on furlough, slightly wounded. Wish paroles for Captain George Rombold and Dr. Pierre Davidson,'" Captain Bentwick read from the paper. "I will have it sent at once from this office. But, Mr. Passford, I can parole these officers, and it is not necessary for you to trouble your father with such a matter. Who and what are the officers?"
"Captain Rombold was the commander of the Tallahatchie, prize to the Bellevite," answered Christy. "When I was in danger of fainting 262 after the action on the deck of his ship, he sent for his surgeon, Dr. Davidson, though his own wound had not been dressed. Both he and the surgeon were extremely kind to me, and I desire to reciprocate their good offices by inviting them to my father's house."
"Where are these gentlemen now, Mr. Passford?"
"I left them on board of the prize at the navy yard, sir. I am not sure that they will accept parole, for I have not spoken to them about it; but I am very anxious to serve them."
"I know what your father would say if he were here, and I will send a............
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