riches666 all "Where is your bag?" asked Mr. Flint, as Christy, the actual commander of the Bronx, passed him. "What are you doing with a valise?" "It may be delicate; I admit that it is so for you: but as my plans may depend somewhat upon a knowledge of your instructions, I really feel compelled to insist upon this point, Captain Passford," replied the intruder as blandly as ever. "But we are living just now in a state of war, and it is quite impossible to act with as much delicacy us one might desire." It was some little time before Mr. Galvinne presented himself, for probably he did not feel bound to obey the orders of the bogus captain with especial promptness. However, he came after a quarter of an hour, and seated himself familiarly in an arm-chair at the table. He had the bearing of the superior officer, to which Corny made no objection. He appeared to have been unwilling to trust Byron, as the seaman preferred to be called, and had attended to the business in person with the assistance of his confederate. The report was lying on the table in his chamber, and Byron could have borrowed it for any length of time to enable Corny to make a copy. Whoever had visited his chamber in the night, whether Corny or the man-servant, he must have taken the official envelope to the library, or some other part of the house, for it had been carefully opened, and restored to its 100 former condition after the genuine documents in it had been replaced by the blank paper. "I will take care of that part of the matter if you will put me alongside the steamer," answered Christy. "No more talk, if you please, for you are wasting your wind." About this time Dave, who had taken care to keep in the front of the table as he had been ordered to do, seized upon his feather duster, and began to dust the divan on the starboard side of the cabin. Flanger was so much occupied with the commander at that moment, that he was not disposed to take his eye off him for an instant; for certainly the situation had become critical, and 277 he paid no attention to the steward. Dave was a sort of a feather-duster fiend, and he used the article a great deal of his time, apparently as much from habit as from cleanliness.