ufa rs v3 Mr. Pennant had the deck, and the commander walked back and forth, considering the information he had obtained from the skipper of the Magnolia, of the correctness of which he had no doubt, for Mike impressed him as a truthful man, and, like all the contrabands, his interest was all on the side of the union, which meant freedom to them. For the first time he began to feel not quite at home in his new position. He had been compelled to fight for it; but he absolutely wished that he were the first or second lieutenant rather than the commander of the vessel. "I should thank you, Captain Battleton, for the compliment, if I were not under suspicion of being some other person. May I ask when it will be convenient for you to settle the question, for it is not pleasant for me to feel that I am looked upon as even a possible impostor?" At first, he was disposed to be amused at the answers the quartermaster had given him, for it was evident to him then that he had been mistaken for another person. It looked as though some officer had come on board, and reported under his name, for he had not yet learned anything in regard to the gentleman who had appeared to be quite sick when he reported himself. It had the elements of another mystery in it. But the petty officer could easily have made an honest mistake; and this was the solution he accepted, without bothering his bewildered brain any further about it. When the questioning was finished, the leaning of the trio of officers was in favor of Christy; but not one of them said anything in the presence of the two Passfords. The captain declared that he had already used up too much time in the inquiry, and he must close the conference very soon. 79 Then he asked if either of the gentlemen had any papers they wished to present in support of his identity. The carpenter and his assistants were still at work on the berth, and Christy, placing his valise near it, seated himself by it. For the first time since he came on board of the Vernon he had an opportunity to reflect upon the events of the day. Corny Passford was the present master of the situation. He had not been aware till he met him in the captain's cabin, that his cousin was even in the vicinity of New York. With an amount of assurance for which he had not given him credit, 98 Corny had undertaken to personate his nautical relative, and was now actually on his way to the Gulf to take command of the Bronx. "I was in New York, preparing to come on board of the Vernon."