distress, and the Ville de Paris bore straight toward him, responding to her him and handling like a ship which was under complete control. Two merchant vessels passed close enough to hail the Centaur and offer help, but Captain Inglefield waved them on their courses, so confident was he that the Ville de Paris, now flying the ensign of the British navy, would stand by. Another merchantman passing close aboard, the Centaur asked her to take word to Captain Wilkinson of the Ville de Paris that he was urgently needed. A little while and, inexplicably, the captured flag-ship passed without making a signal and held on the same tack until she vanished in the mist, passed forever with her eight hundred men just as she had disappeared from the sight of those who gazed and wondered from the decks of the Ramillies. The sea holds many an unfinished story, and the tall Ville de Paris was one of them.
On board the Centaur they pumped and they baled and gulped down the stiff rations of grog and hoped to fetch her through, as is the way of simple sailormen. Captain Inglefield noted that "the people worked without a murmur and indeed with cheerfulness." In 1782 men-of-war's-men were singing Didbin's hearty sea-songs, which held sentiment enough to please a mariner's heart, and pos-