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ufa007 com "Yes, sir; most of the guns have been removed to points where they can be used to greater advantage than here. The few we have are twenty-four pounders, mounted en barbette," replied Lieutenant Fourchon. "The fort is practically abandoned; and in a short time will be entirely so, for the enemy's ships of war can do no harm here, and there is not water enough above to permit their passage into the Mississippi." "Do you know the name of that steamer, Uncle Job," inquired Mr. Pennant. ufa007 com "In that case, probably Mike was with him, and he may be a useful man to us as a pilot," replied Christy. "The commodore says the Western Gulf squadron had no steamer that was suitable for this service, for there is only nine feet of water on the bar of Barataria at low water. For this reason he had been requested to send the Bronx, not only on account of her light draft, but of her speed." In due time this appointment was made, and Captain Flint, on the recommendation of Christy, was entirely satisfied to receive him as his first lieutenant. "But I do not wish to subject you to any unnecessary restraint, and I shall be willing to accept your parole that you will engage in no hostile movement on board of the Vernon," continued the captain, in milder tones. "Thank you, sir," said the rower, as he pulled with more vigor even than before, and did not say another word till the boat was alongside the Vernon. "How many men are there at the fort?" ufa1917 "On deck, sir," reported Ralph, touching his cap to the commander, as Mr. Flint descended the steps to the ward room. "Five dollars if you will put me on board of that steamer before she gets off!" added the officer. "He is; he dressed himself this morning, and sits up part of the time." "He still complains that his head and his bones ache, so that I cannot say he is improving," replied Dr. Connelly. "Eight of them, sir; and they have been keeping guard on Crooked, St. Andrew's, and Hurricane Islands, to let them know inside if there was any blockader coming this way. They had sky-rockets and flags to make signals with." 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. 247 "On board of the Bronx!" exclaimed the flag-officer. "Do you mean that you had a mutiny to suppress?" u31 เครดต ฟร Mr. Flint went to his stateroom, and turned in; but Christy spread his chart of the Gulf of Mexico, and using his parallel ruler, he found that the present course of the Bronx would take her to the Pass à Loutre, the most northerly entrance of the Mississippi River. He went to the bridge at once, and directed the officer of the deck to make the course south-west by south. Everything was going well on deck, and Mr. Pennant had proved that he was a competent officer. Corny politely saluted Mr. Flint, the acting commander of the gunboat. Mr. Galvinne was introduced, and there was plenty of bowing and formal politeness. Corny presented his commission and orders for the inspection of the officer in command, and for the present the formalities were completed. Corny was evidently in command of the Bronx; but Christy could not determine the position of Mr. Flint, and he watched his movements with intense interest for some time. "What is she doing now in the bay?" "I spoke to you, Walsh," said the lieutenant, in the tone he had learned to use when he intended to enforce respect and obedience. "Let go the anchor, Mr. Flint!" shouted Christy. CHAPTER XII A LESSON IN ORDINARY POLITENESS "And the second lieutenant?" "I am not a naval officer, though I have given a good deal of attention to the study of nautical subjects in connection with this enterprise, and I am not a cipher," continued Corny, after he had 149 handed the sealed envelope to his companion. "I expect to be treated with reasonable consideration, even while I defer to you in all nautical matters. Let us understand each other." 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 did not do quite as well every time, but in two hours there was not a gun in place on the barbette of the fort. Dr. Connelly left him, and made his tour of inspection among the men. The steamer was still rolling heavily, and the prisoner found himself more comfortable in his berth than on the lower deck. He had not yet learned whether or not he was to remain confined in his present quarters, and when the surgeon returned from his tour, he asked him to inquire of the captain in regard to his limits. He was informed that he could go on deck for an hour in the forenoon, and an hour in the afternoon. It was nearly night and he did not avail himself of this permission.

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ufa007 com 200 The men gave three hearty cheers as they were dismissed, proving to the commander that Pennant was a popular man among them, as Camden had also been proved to be when his appointment had been announced to the starboard watch. As in politics, legislation, war, and business, the masses of the people soon ascertain who are their natural leaders, the crew of the Bronx, or that portion who had come from New York in the Vernon, had been prompt in discovering the abilities of the two men now promoted. "Dave," said the wounded lieutenant, the next time the steward came into the room, "no more 'massa,' no more 'moggywompus,' no more 'done do it.' You know better than to use such expressions, and you are no longer a 'nigger;' you are the ship's steward of the Bronx." 237 The young commander did not feel entirely sure that his ruling was correct, for a naval officer must be learned in a great variety of subjects which he had not had time to study; but he was willing to take the responsibility in the present instance. "No, sir; I don't believe he is over twenty, if he is that," replied the third lieutenant. "I know all that, captain, like I know my name." "I had the same thing once before, and I was 333 sure I should die with it this time," said the sick soldier, "It lasted me all night and part of the next day the other time." 281 Dave was not satisfied with what he had done, and as his foe went over in the chair, he sprang upon him, and tried to wrest the pistol from his hand, and a struggle on the floor was begun, the result of which could not be foreseen. Christy took in the situation at a glance, and while the steward and his victim were rolling and writhing on the floor, he darted into his stateroom, the door of which had been open all the time, and took his heavy revolvers from the drawer where he kept them, charged for immediate use. "I have not seen my uncle Homer for several months; but I had not the remotest idea that you had an uncle Homer," replied Christy, laughing heartily, for the situation seemed so amusing to him that the serious part of his cousin's obvious plan had so far hardly dawned upon him. "I should like to inquire of you, as one good turn deserves another, in regard to the health of your father and mother and Gerty." "She is, sir; she has not been in action since her crew was reinforced," answered Christy. The mystery was not solved till Christy embarked for the Gulf. ufa123 สลอต "You do not wish to make any explanation of the remarkable situation in which you find yourself placed at the present moment?" "No, sir; it is not. I had the misfortune to leave it on the table at Bonnydale, and Walsh, the man-servant, supposing it to be of no value, threw it into the fire," replied Corny promptly. "I am glad to see you, Christy," said the prisoner, if he was to be regarded as such, for he certainly was not a sailor or a soldier. Christy felt very much like a caged tiger. He had hoped that the Bellevite would be on the station when he arrived, for there were plenty of officers and seamen on board of her who could identify him beyond the possibility of a doubt. In that case he intended to make a strong appeal to Captain Battleton, for he would then have the means of arriving at a correct conclusion. Then he could explain in what manner he had been robbed of his papers with some chance of having his statement accepted. "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "But most of the crew must be loyal, for twenty of the old seamen remain on board, and every one of them is as true as steel," Mr. Flint insisted. The strange sail continued to approach; and, little by little, the first lieutenant, who had sailed in the Bellevite several years, identified her as that steamer. It was probable that she had chased some vessel, and was now returning to her station. As she came nearer, she fired a gun for the Bronx to come to; and when within hail of her, stopped her screw. "Midnight is rather an odd time for the opening of the envelope containing the orders," said Mr. Flint, as he seated himself at the table. "But I suppose it was chosen for a purpose." "No, sir; but I used to drink some of them." "I won't do so any more, Captain Passford," protested the steward, showing his ivory, though he was not a very black man, and the contrast was not as great as in many instances. "I have not time now to look into that question; 220 but I can assure you that you will be treated with the greatest consideration on board of my ship," added Christy as he conducted him below, and left him with Dave in his own cabin, returning at once to the deck to inquire into the operations of the first cutter. The boat had been hoisted up to the davits, and the Magnolia was made fast astern. All hands had been called when the Bronx got under way, and the men were all at their stations. ufabet24 ทางเขา "He has not found me yet; and I think that the stateroom of the commander of the Bronx is the last place he will think of looking for me. But I have no time to talk of merely selfish matters, for I am not at all worried about my personal safety while we are within union lines. If this plot succeeds, and the conspirators get the ship into a Confederate port, I shall feel differently about this matter. Has any third lieutenant been appointed, Mr. Flint?" "I have no idea of its strength; but I do not care to have the Bronx knocked to pieces by the big guns of a fort. The bar of Barataria and the shoal water of the entrance to the bay extend out about two miles into the Gulf. At low water, two miles from the fort, we should bury our keel in the mud. It looks just now as though we should have to put the Bronx under the guns of the fort, or simply blockade the entrance to the bay. That makes it look like a quiet time in these waters." "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?" "I have, captain; Rockton and Warton took part with Mr. Galvinne, but Sayles and Nichols did nothing, and they seem to be as in earnest on 181 the right side as the other two were on the wrong side," replied Ralph. ufa007 com The rattle of musketry became quite sharp, and the bullets were penetrating the bulwarks. Two had been wounded at one of the guns, and carried below. Christy stepped over to the end of the 355 bridge to call a hand to take the place of Boxie, and at that moment he felt a sharp sting, as it were, in his right arm, above the elbow. Involuntarily he raised his hand to the place, and felt the warm blood oozing from the wound. It produced a momentary faintness; but he braced himself up, and wound his handkerchief around his arm, calling upon the wheelman to tie it, as he hastened to the aid of Vincent. He said not a word about the accident. Before Christy could begin his report he was called to the deck by the first lieutenant, though everything had appeared to be quiet and orderly there. Ralph Pennant had been at work among the crew, and was unable to discover that any of the men were disloyal; but the commander had better information obtained by his own investigations. Ralph was in consultation with Mr. Flint when Christy went on deck. "No, sir; it is not. I had the misfortune to leave it on the table at Bonnydale, and Walsh, the man-servant, supposing it to be of no value, threw it into the fire," replied Corny promptly.

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ufa007 com "What's that, Captain Passford?" demanded Dave, opening his eyes like a pair of saucers. "And by taking the bull by the horns, instead of waiting till the captain of the Sphinx concluded to take his chances of being captured in getting to sea, we have made the Bronx available for duty at once in another quarter, where she can do better work than in chewing her cable off the bar of Barataria," said the wounded commander, thus satisfying his conscience that he had done his duty. "Don't do it, Dave, for I hope to save the vessel to the union, and you can render me the most important service in this matter," added Christy. "Stand by to secure that man," replied the commander, pointing at the wounded man behind the table. "He has a revolver in his left coat pocket." "Loadin' wid cotton de steamers fotch down." Christy heard the footsteps of the late second lieutenant of the Vernon as he left the cabin. He had listened to the details of the plan formed by the naval officer, and it agreed with the prediction of Mr. Flint. While he was thinking of what he had just learned, he heard the step of Corny—for it could not be that of any other person so soon—coming into the stateroom; then he saw his feet from behind his barricade of bags and baggage. "I can mention just the right person to take Mr. Nawood's place," said Christy eagerly. The leadsman was ordered to sound, as the screw was stopped, and he reported sixteen fathoms with the deep-sea lead. Christy ordered the quartermaster to go ahead again, and keep the hand-line going all the time. Mr. Flint came forward, and took his place on the bridge, where the 192 officer of the deck was usually stationed on board of the Bronx. "Four bells, Mr. Flint!" added the commander when the Bronx was fairly under way. "Stand by the union" is the fourth of "The Blue and Gray Series." As in the preceding volumes of the series, the incidents of the story are located in the midst of the war of the Rebellion, now dating back nearly thirty years, or before any of my younger readers were born. To those who lived two days in one through that eventful and anxious period, sometimes trembling for the fate of the nation, but always sustained by the faith and the hope through which the final victory was won, it seems hardly possible that so many years have flowed into the vast ocean of the past since that terrible conflict was raging over so large a portion of our now united country. "And by taking the bull by the horns, instead of waiting till the captain of the Sphinx concluded to take his chances of being captured in getting to sea, we have made the Bronx available for duty at once in another quarter, where she can do better work than in chewing her cable off the bar of Barataria," said the wounded commander, thus satisfying his conscience that he had done his duty. "Boddyvale? I never heard of the place before in my life, sir," answered the runaway servant. uf168 "Do you think he could go out into the cabin, doctor?" asked the captain. "I wish to see him on a matter of the utmost importance. Is he dressed?" "As I said before, I have no doubt you are a Passford; and I have been compelled to decide that you are not the son of Captain Horatio Passford, the distinguished gentleman who has done so much for his country in the present war." ufa007 com "I done wish dat Massa Linkum come down here hisself," added the venerable colored person. "We have damaged the enemy enough to make it pay, and the steamer and her cargo will put at least seventy-five thousand dollars into the pockets of our side in the conflict." In a few minutes he reported that the prisoners were all fast asleep. Boxie had been relieved as guard, and another seaman was marching back and forth by their couches. It was still dark and foggy, and a hail came from the mast-head forward. ufa789bet "Dis nigger's 'feered de doctor done gone away." "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "We are cousins." There was nothing necessarily secret in the proceedings in the cabin, and the stewards might have heard what was said in the ward room after the decision had been rendered, reporting it to members of the crew, who had circulated it as the latest news. At any rate, the group near Christy were talking about the two officers who claimed to be Lieutenant Passford. They spoke in low tones, and Christy could hardly hear what they said. His berth was ready for him, and he concluded to lie down in it. He took no notice of the speakers, and soon pretended to be asleep. "I am only sorry that he is fighting on the wrong side," added Christy, as he observed the 347 earnestness of the officer in the discharge of his duty. "Is he an old man?"

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ufa007 com "Stand by, my men! Give way together, lively!" shouted the lieutenant as though he intended that those on board of the sloop should hear him as well as his own crew. He had aimed at the head of Flanger, and he saw that he had hit him, for his face was instantly covered with blood. He did not think it necessary 282 to fire a second shot, but he was careful not to let the opportunity pass by if it was needed to reduce the privateersman to subjection. Flanger dropped his weapon instantly, and Dave as instantly picked it up. It was clear to Christy then that the battle had been fought and won, though the defeated party had another revolver in his pocket. "Very likely; and I dare say you know all about this region." He had learned that several vessels were loading with cotton at Appalachicola, with the intention of running the blockade, if there was any blockader off Cape St. George. His uncle Homer was engaged in superintending the fitting out of these vessels, though whether on his own account or that of the Confederacy, he was not aware. Christy felt that he ought to follow up the information he had obtained with decided action; but he was hardly in condition to do so, for he had fifteen prisoners on board, and he would be obliged to send a prize crew off in the Floridian when she was brought out, as he was confident she would be. He could not settle the question at once, and he went down into his cabin, where his uncle was waiting very impatiently to see him, and had asked Dave a dozen times in regard to him. "I don't wish to be rude with a gentleman as polite as yourself, Captain Passford; but you interrupted my remarks by rising from your chair," said Captain Flanger, with the revolver still poised in his hand, while he dropped the other with the handcuff upon it at his side. "Excuse me, Captain Battleton; may I ask a question?" interposed the first lieutenant. "Not a word, sir; only said he would be down to his breakfast in a few minutes." But if Corny carried his investigations too far for his safety, and especially for the success of his enterprise, he decided that the ties of blood should not prevent him from doing his whole duty as he understood it. He was therefore prepared to muzzle the intruder, and confine his hands behind him with a strap he had taken from his valise. Happily Corny did nothing more than look under the berth while still standing in the space in front of it, and in this position he could not see the fugitive. The impostor wandered about the cabin for a time, and then Christy heard his footsteps on the stairs as he ascended to the deck. ufa789bet "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." "Because I have been trying to get here for 225 more than a year," replied the contraband, after looking about him for a moment, and then dropping his voice as though he feared Captain Flanger might hear what he said. "Now, mister, will you tell me who you are before I say anything more? for I shall get my back scored with forty-nine stripes if I open my mouth too wide;" and again he looked timidly around the deck. Though the second lieutenant of the Bronx had not been to breakfast, it was not his stomach that made the first demand upon him. He directed the steward to remain in the gangway and apprise him of the coming of any person in the direction of the cabin and ward room. Dave took his station on the steps. Mr. Flint entered the stateroom, and the first thing he did was to drop down on his knees and thrust his right hand into the space under the berth. It was instantly grasped by Christy, and given a warm pressure. "Dave is a sensible man, and I trust I shall find you his equal in that respect, Captain Passford," replied the intruder, still seated in his chair at the supper-table. "I should think he might be, for the night air is very chilly," replied Christy. "I should have preferred to get rid of these men before we went 182 into any enterprise, for they are dangerous persons to us." The Bronx continued on her course indicated in the verbal order of the flag-officer. Christy felt that he had had a narrow escape from death, or at least a severe wound, at the hands of the desperado who had invaded his cabin. Flanger had escaped, after he had been put on board of the flag-ship, with the assistance of Galvinne; and he appeared not to have taken the trouble to render the same service to his confederate. The ships' companies of the two steamers were inclined to converse, giving and receiving the news; and doubtless the prisoner had taken advantage of the confusion to slip on board of the Bronx and secrete himself. "Who is Captain Flanger?" asked Christy. "But there is a third lieutenant who may deserve promotion," suggested Christy. 75 "Is Bonnydale the name of the town or city in which your father lives?" "But what are we going to do, Massa Christy?" asked the steward, dazzled by the situation. "Fourteen and a half feet!" shouted the leadsman. 141 "But how is this desirable end to be accomplished?" inquired the second lieutenant, who seemed to be troubled with some doubts. ufa7979 ทางเขา "I shall find no fault with my accommodations, whatever they are," replied Christy. "I shall find no fault with my accommodations, whatever they are," replied Christy. "What is that for?" "Of course Corny asked for his appointment, for Mr. Galvinne was the real leader of the enterprise. I think you and some of the rest of us have narrowly escaped a Confederate prison." "Now will you inform me, Mr. Passford, who your officers were?" The commander pointed at Christy. "Your executive officer?" "Not a word, sir; only said he would be down to his breakfast in a few minutes." "Hardly; both of them claim to be the same officer, and I have invited you to assist me in deciding which is the real Mr. Passford." "Of course you see no difficulties in the way of such an undertaking as you propose," added Christy. 303 "Undoubtedly; headed to the south-west the ship would be off the passes of the Mississippi at eight bells in the forenoon. If we are sent to Lake Pontchartrain or Ship Island, we should be a long way off our course at that time," added Christy, as he broke the seal of the envelope. "Neither Lake Pontchartrain nor the Mississippi. We are ordered to Barataria Bay, where a steamer is loading with cotton." ufa007 com "You took the bull by the horns at an opportune moment, my son," said Captain Passford, Senior. "If you had not done so you would have been in a rebel prison at this moment. As it is, poor Corny has got back to Fort Lafayette, with Galvinne and our man-servant, whom I never should have suspected of being a Confederate officer." "If he does that, so much the better, for we shall have more time to prepare for a decided stroke," replied Christy. "I have my plan all ready, though of course it may fail, and to-night we may all be prisoners of war." This was the first responsible position Mr. Pennant had been called upon to fill, and he knew that his future depended in a large measure upon the skill and fidelity with which he obeyed his orders. His crew believed in him, and they were 206 very painstaking in their efforts to work in silence. He had stationed quartermaster Vincent in the bow of the boat as the lookout, and he was industriously peering out into the gloom of the fog and darkness to discover a vessel or a boat. He had heard the sounds himself, and he knew there was something there. When the boat had pulled about fifteen minutes, Vincent raised his hand up into the air; this was a signal which the third lieutenant understood, for he had arranged several of them with the quartermaster. The lieutenant's first thought, after he realized the intention of the intruder, was that he was insane, for no man in his senses would think of accomplishing such a mad enterprise. His second idea was that he had mistaken the declaration of Captain Flanger, though he had certainly said that he meant to replace the Floridian with the Bronx, and the statement could hardly mean anything else. "Will you permit me to see your orders, Mr. Passford?" said the officer.

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ทางเขา24h

ทางเขา24h

ทางเขา24h "That is true; and now I am going to appoint you acting third lieutenant. You will call the watch aft." Ensign McLinn, who had served on board of the little steamer, but had recently been on sick leave, was appointed second lieutenant of the Bronx, while Mr. Camden, outranked by the other officers, remained as third lieutenant. Christy and Mr. Pennant were transferred to the Sphinx, with a prize crew; and that same evening the Bronx sailed under her new commander, with sealed orders, to the eastward. "On board the steamer!" replied Mr. Flint from the bridge. "I have a plain frock in my valise which I wore when the Teaser was captured," added Christy with a smile. "I will remove my coat and wear that."

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ทางเขาufa9000

ทางเขาufa9000

ทางเขาufa9000 "It was wise on the part of the Yankee commodore to make his orders secret; for information might have been sent by telegraph or otherwise to St. Andrew's, which would have enabled our people to get the steamer mentioned out of the way, or to prepare a successful resistance to the gunboat sent to capture it," Mr. Galvinne explained in the tone of one who enlightens an ignorant person. "I may yet be called upon to serve under you 253 some time in the future; and I did not wish to have any prejudice against me on account of my decision, in which my officers concurred." The cabin was to be occupied by Corny, though his cousin had no doubt that Mr. Galvinne was the real leader in the adventure of capturing the steamer. Both of them would be obliged to keep up appearances for the present. Christy's first thought after he had settled himself in his new quarters related to the cabin steward, who had served him very faithfully, and whom he had 127 brought off in the Teaser, the former name of the Bronx. He had no doubt he was still on board, and probably acting in his former capacity, for Mr. Flint knew that he was attached to the man for the service he had rendered, not only to him but to his country. He was absolutely sure that Dave could be trusted under any and all circumstances, and the first thing he did would be to make a connection with him. CHAPTER IV THE SICK OFFICER IN THE STATEROOM "I heard you tell the captain that you could not make out the nature of his malady."

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ufaball77

ufaball77

ufaball77 83 "If I am correctly informed, you came home as prize master of the Vixen, convoying quite a fleet of steamers and schooners," continued Captain Battleton, looking about the cabin as though the inquiry had become wearisome to him. "I have not noticed any seaman whose face was familiar to me." "He had, for we were both prisoners of war after our unsuccessful attempt to capture the Bellevite, on the Hudson."

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ยฟา1669

ยฟา1669

ยฟา1669 "I have a plain frock in my valise which I wore when the Teaser was captured," added Christy with a smile. "I will remove my coat and wear that."

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ufafast

ufafast

ufafast "It is certainly very unexpected on my part, Corny," replied Christy, who began to comprehend the object of his cousin; but there was something so ludicrous in the situation that he was more disposed to laugh than to look upon it seriously. It was now all as clear to Christy as though he had observed the proceedings of the conspirators, and taken notes of all they had done. The purpose of all these operations was quite as obvious as the details of the scheme. Either the Vernon or the Bronx was to be captured, perhaps both, for of course Christy could not determine in what manner the mischief was to be accomplished. Prisoner of war as he was, he never felt burdened with a greater responsibility than when he realized the actual situation. "Yes, sar; but dey done tote 'em all ober to de Mis'sip Riber." "Strike three bells, Vincent," continued the commander. "Mr. Flint, open fire upon the fort with the midship gun. Have the carpenter report at once on the damage done by that shot. Strike two bells, Vincent."

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ufamax888

ufamax888

ufamax888 "Yes, sar; she done h'ist two out ob her innards, and done took two more from de fort." Christy crawled to the front of the berth, and thrust his head out into the stateroom in as natural a position as he could place it.

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