Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/128

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when the English sailors came off their watch. Our informant added, that many of the men, especially the ringleaders, would be found to have arms concealed in their hammocks. He had only joined in the plot, he said, in order to be able to save us.

There was not a moment to be lost. We numbered in all fourteen officers. We began by securing the man who had warned us, and Duplessis-Mauduit stood over him with a cocked pistol in his hand. Some of us then went to fetch the bravest and trustiest of our sailors, who came quickly and ready armed. Thirty of us went down between decks, and, as the hammock of each of the ringleaders was pointed out to us by the man who had betrayed the conspiracy, the cords were cut with one blow of a hatchet, and the man thrown out, seized, and bound, before he was half awake. The scoundrels were so taken by surprise that they made no resistance. At first they all denied the existence of a plot, but on being questioned separately, the fear of being hanged on the spot made