Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/130

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arrived in France, we were forced to let him go.

We were all anxious to see land, for we were tired out, and we were worried, moreover, by the fear of meeting a hostile vessel stronger than ourselves, in which case it was tolerably certain that the men we were guarding below decks would have helped her. We had lost our top masts in the tempest, so flight would have been impossible. We were not yet in sight of land,—though it could have been at no great distance,—when an English cruiser of 16 guns, saw us and gave chase. As we showed no guns she no doubt thought ours was a vessel of the French East India Company, and a rich prize. So sure of this were her crew, that, as she neared us they mounted the rigging and cheered. When she was within half range she fired a shot to make us show our colours. We instantly ran up the American flag, and followed that by giving her a broadside.

She quickly saw her mistake, and lowered her flag. We contented ourselves with sending a boat's crew on board, and