Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/377

This page needs to be proofread.

much worse off. Close to leeward was a large vessel, the Dutton, which had been a famous East Indiaman. She was lying flat upon her side, while the crew struggled to cut away the masts. Presently the naval lieutenant in command was seen to jump into the sea, which instantly obliterated him. A few of the crew slid one of the boats off the deck, and were whirled away in the foam and spray which soon engulfed them. Presently the ship dived under and was seen no more, and the last glimpse, as she miserably foundered, was the ensign hoisted union down, which gleamed like a bit of flame. Of the ninety-odd ships which had been seen in the convoy only a dozen hours earlier, no more than twenty could be counted. Some had been whirled away like chips before the storm, while others had gone down during the night and left no trace.

Hull down was descried the Canada; the Centaur reeled far to windward; and the Glorieux was a distant hulk, all three of them dismasted and apparently sinking. Of these stout British men-of-war only the Canada survived, and brought her people safely through. The Ville de Paris was still afloat and loomed lofty and almost uninjured, but a few hours later she filled and sank, carrying eight hundred men to the bottom with her. Of the merchantmen, not one within sight of the Ramillies had all