Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesHurricane Hurry - Chapter 26
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Hurricane Hurry - Chapter 26 Post by :24HourCash Category :Long Stories Author :William H. G. Kingston Date :May 2012 Read :3347

Click below to download : Hurricane Hurry - Chapter 26 (Format : PDF)

Hurricane Hurry - Chapter 26

CHAPTER TWENTY SIX

A CRUISE.--LEAVE THE CHESAPEAKE.--NEW YORK.--PRESS-GANGS AT WORK.--CRUEL SCENES.--EVIL TIDINGS FROM HOME.--BRITISH TAKE POSSESSION OF YORK TOWN.--PREPARATIONS FOR DEFENCE.--A DANGEROUS TRIP.--MORE LOSSES--A NARROW ESCAPE.--SLIGHT HOPES OF SUCCESS.

At this period of the American war both parties seemed so equally balanced that it appeared doubtful which after all would come off successful in the contest. The superior discipline of the British, and the experience and talent of their generals, had frequently obtained for them the victory in the expeditions which had of late been undertaken. General Arnold's plans had hitherto never failed in Virginia. Lord Rawdon had obtained a considerable advantage over General Greene in South Carolina, while it was hoped, from the bravery and talent of Lord Cornwallis, that he would carry everything before him in North Carolina. He had been posted at Wilmington in the southern part of that province. His supplies however failing, he took the bold resolution of marching through North Carolina to join Generals Phillips and Arnold at Portsmouth. Sir James Wright held the town of Savannah in Georgia, and Colonel Cruger the important post of Ninety-six in South Carolina. New York and the country in the immediate neighbourhood was in possession of the British, and at that city Sir Henry Clinton, as Commander-in-chief of the British Army in North America, held his head-quarters.

The British forces however, it will thus be seen, were broken into small divisions and stationed at posts so much apart as to be of little mutual assistance. The war thus raged pretty equally in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and while the force seemed everywhere sufficient for destroying considerable tracts of country, and accumulating a great deal of spoil, it was wholly inadequate to the main purpose of bringing matters to a conclusion. Thus numbers of brave men lost their lives without any equivalent result, and veteran battalions were worn down by fruitless exertions of valour, and by a series of most brilliant successes which produced no permanent result. On the other hand, although the French had landed a small army under the Marquis de la Fayette, the American forces were mostly ill-disciplined and disorganised, and although it cannot be said that they were favourable to the English, they were discontented with the treatment they were receiving from their own government, many of them being ill-paid, ill-clothed, and often but scantily fed. The unsuccessful attempt of the French fleet to enter the Chesapeake was also a great damper to the patriot cause.

At this time the American forces were separated into as many divisions as the English. General Greene commanded in the Carolinas, the Marquis de la Fayette was in Virginia, and watched the banks of the James River, to prevent the further advance of the British in that direction, while General Washington himself remained with another army in the north, his head-quarters being Newport in Rhode Island. Soon after this General Phillips died, and General Arnold, greatly to the disgust of our officers, who did not at all like serving under him, would have had the command, had not Lord Cornwallis arrived with his army from the south at Portsmouth.

Such was the state of affairs on shore. At sea the British arms were in most instances victorious. While the Marquis de la Fayette was hovering about General Arnold in the hopes of cutting him off by land, the French expedition to the Chesapeake, concerted at Rhode Island by Monsieur de Ternay and the Count Rochambeau was, as I have described, defeated by the fleet of Admiral Arbuthnot. The British also were collecting a large fleet to be ready to encounter one which was expected on the coast of America from the West Indies under the Count de Grasse.

The war was no longer confined to one between England and her revolted colonies, but we had now the French, Spaniards, and Dutch to contend with on various parts of the American coasts, and mighty fleets were collecting to contest with us as of yore the sovereignty of the seas. I, for one, looked forward with the greatest satisfaction to an engagement with either the Spaniards or the French, the hereditary enemies of England. I regretted at the same time that the Americans had adopted the dangerous expedient of calling in their assistance. If they were to be free, I felt that it would be better for them to achieve their independence by themselves, instead of trusting to those who were too likely to play them some treacherous trick in the end. I felt, however, that our own Government was more likely to come to terms considering the immense pressure brought against the country if the Americans would be but moderate in their demands.

On the 2nd of April we sailed from the Chesapeake with the whole of the squadron, consisting of seven line-of-battle ships, two fifty-gun ships, five frigates, and two sloops, and stood to the southward in search of the French fleet. On the 5th the fleet tacked and stood to the north-east.

There is something very exciting and interesting in forming one of a large fleet of men-of-war. I had sailed often, and more than enough with fleets of merchantmen and transports, but then I had generally to act the part of a whipper-in to a pack of lazy or worn-out hounds, and had to run in and out among them, hailing one, signalising a second, and firing a shot at another to keep them all in order, caring very little how my own ship looked, provided I could accomplish my object. Now, on the contrary, each ship sailed in proper order, and one vied with the other in the neatness of their appearance, and the rapidity with which various evolutions could be performed.

On the 6th the Charon was detached ahead of the squadron to look into the Delaware to ascertain if the French fleet was still there. We obeyed the order with alacrity, though we expected that if they were there we should be very quickly chased out again. We had great hopes that this would be done, as we might thus lead them down upon our own squadron which was well prepared to receive them. O'Driscoll rubbed his hands as we sailed up that magnificent estuary, keeping a bright look-out on every side for the mast-heads of the enemy's fleet.

"Arrah, now, won't it be fun to see them all come bounding out like bulldogs when by chance a stranger comes suddenly into the courtyard where they are chained up, all barking, and leaping, and pulling with the amiable wish of tearing him to pieces!" he exclaimed, as I was expressing a hope that they might still be found there.

On we sailed, till at last we felt convinced that the Frenchmen had already put to sea. Once more therefore we stood out again in search of the Admiral. On the 11th we spoke the Chatham, which ship had also been sent to look-out for the enemy. She had taken a prize, and from her had gained the information that a large fleet of merchantmen was in the neighbourhood, bound from Saint Domingo to Philadelphia under the convoy of the Dean and Confederacy State frigates.

I ought to have said that we had hove-to, and that Captain Ord of the Chatham had come on board us, Captain Symonds being the senior officer. Captain Ord now proposed that we should in company cruise off the heads of the Delaware in the hopes of intercepting this valuable convoy. Once more there appeared a certain prospect of my picking up an ample supply of prize-money, but greatly to our disappointment; Captain Symonds declined to accede to the proposal, though he allowed Captain Ord to remain if he thought fit. This Captain Ord said he should do, and returned on board the Chatham, while we made sail to the northward. That evening I heard Nol Grampus holding forth on the subject.

"I knew it would be so," he exclaimed, clapping his right hand down on his hat, which he held in his left; "our ship's got ill-lack in her sails, depend on that. I don't say nothing against our skipper; what he does is all right and above board, and a better man nor officer never stepped a deck, but, mark my words, that 'ere `Chatham's' people now will be filling their pockets with gold dollars, while we shan't have a penny piece to chink in ours; as for our ship, I knows what I knows, and I thinks what I thinks."

The effect of old Nol's remarks were, however, counteracted before long, for on the 13th we sighted a large brig, which immediately stood away from us. We, therefore, made sail in chase. She sailed so fast we had to do our best to come up with her. It seemed, however, doubtful whether we should do so. Nol shook his head, and remarked that night would come down, and that she would slip away before we could overhaul her. Hour after hour passed. It was evident that we were gaining on her, and at length, at the end of a chase of seven hours we came up with the stranger, when she struck her flag and proved to be the Peggy, rebel privateer, of fourteen guns and seventy men, loaded with rum and indigo, from Carolina to Philadelphia.

On our arrival at New York with our prize, we had the mortification to find that the admiral approved of Captain Ord's proposition, and still greater was our annoyance to hear a few days afterwards that he, with the Roebuck and Orpheus, had taken the Confederacy and several of her convoy.

And now I was engaged in a scene, to do proper justice to which completely baffles all my powers of description. The fleet were sadly in want of men. By some means or other they must be procured. New York was, we heard, full of seafaring men, boatmen and others, accustomed to the water, whom the war had driven from their usual vocations, and who were now living on shore. To get hold of these was our object. It would not do to attempt to capture them by driblets, for if a few were pressed, the rest would take alarm and hide away where we were not likely to find them. The admiral's plans were quickly and secretly formed. All the boats of the fleet were ordered to assemble, with the crews well armed, by break of day, on board the Rainbow. Silently we pulled in for the city much in the same way that we should have attempted to surprise a place held by an enemy. Having completely surrounded all the lower parts of the town inhabited by the class of men we wanted, we commenced our press. While one portion of our force were told off to keep guard, the others broke into every house without ceremony, where there was a probability of finding men. Very seldom we stopped to knock for admission. Generally the door was forced open, and in we rushed, seizing the husband from the arms of his wife, and very often allowing him scarcely time to put on his clothes, while we were compelled to endure the bitter invectives, the tears, the screams, and abuse of his wife, whom we were thus cruelly robbing. Sometimes the men, aided by their better halves, made an attempt at resistance, but were speedily overpowered, bound hand and foot, and carried off. Often, too, we fell in with young men of a better class, mates of merchantmen and others lately married; and truly pitiable was it to witness the grief and agony of the poor young wives as they saw their husbands in the power of our rough-looking and seemingly heartless press-gangs. They did not scream; they did not abuse us; but often on their knees, with tears and sighs, they implored us to release those who had become dearer to them than life itself. These appeals I found harder to withstand than anything else, and had to steel my heart and to assume a roughness which I did not feel, to resist giving way to their entreaties. I did, as it was, all I could to assure them that their husbands would soon again be at liberty; though I might have remembered, had I thought more about it, how bitterly they would be disappointed. In too many instances, husbands and wives then parted, never met again. Fathers, also, were torn from their children, leaving them desolate indeed; young sons were carried off from their parents. We had not time to stop to listen to any remonstrances. Men must be had at every cost. The only question asked was, "Have you a protection?" If not, seamen, and often landsmen, if they were stout fellows, were bound hand and foot and carried off to the boats. I would have given much to have allowed one young man, especially, to escape. He had been aroused by the noise in the street, and was sitting up dressed when we entered his house, holding his wife in his arms. She was a fragile, delicate-looking girl, soon about to become a mother. I felt almost sure when I saw the couple that the shock would kill her.

"You will not take him, sir?" she said, calmly appealing to me as I entered the room in which my men had just seized him, though even they were inclined to treat him with some delicacy. "He has been an officer, sir. You will not carry him off and make a common seaman of him? Oh, sir, he is my husband, he does not wish to leave me. Let him, let him remain!"

This simple and artless appeal affected me much.

"He surely has some protection," said I. "Pray, let me see it."

"Oh, you relent, you relent!" she shrieked out joyfully.

"I have no protection that I am aware of, except the right of being free," answered the young man mournfully.

If I let this poor fellow off, so I must many others, and, besides, my duty is to take him; orders must be obeyed, I reflected.

"It cannot be helped," said I gruffly. "You must come along with us. The captain may let you off when he hears your story."

"I'll go quietly, but do not bind me, for mercy's sake," he answered calmly.

I walked out of the room. There was the sound of something falling on the floor. The poor young wife had fainted. Thus the husband had to leave her, unconscious of her bereavement, he was conveyed on board the Charon. Before we left the port, a letter was brought him from the shore. He was a widower. While he remained in the ship he was to all appearance a steady, obedient man, but I suspect that he wreaked a bitter vengeance ere long for the cruel wrong he felt that he had suffered.

The result of this hot-press was four hundred men, captured that forenoon. A fleet of transports now received on board another division of two thousand troops, to be conveyed to the assistance of Lord Cornwallis, at Portsmouth.

On the 12th of May, having fallen down to the Hook, we sailed with the whole fleet for the southward. Nothing occurred on the passage except the capture of an unfortunate brig, which found herself near us in a calm, and upon which nearly all the boats of the squadron set at once. It made me think of a number of birds of prey pouncing down on some poor beast of burden which has dropped through fatigue on the road. The commander-in-chief having given up the command of the convoy to Captain Symonds, leaving also the Roebuck and Assurance, he parted company, while we continued our course for our destination.

We anchored with the convoy off Sewel's Point on the 20th, and Captain Symonds remained in command till the 30th, when the Richmond coming in, he was relieved of that duty by Captain Hudson. Twice during that time I was sent on shore with flags of truce to Hampton, where I was, as before, most hospitably received by my friends the Langtons. My first inquiries on returning to the coast of Virginia had been for Colonel Carlyon. He was still a prisoner at Portsmouth; but, from what I could learn, I had hopes that he would soon be exchanged. I was unable to see him before I was sent off to Hampton. On reaching the house of my friends, I eagerly asked after Madeline. I felt that it was unnecessary with them to disguise my feelings, and that it would please them better if I spoke openly to them on the subject.

"Where is she? Is she safe? Is she well?" I exclaimed, almost before the first greetings were over.

To all my questions they gave me satisfactory answers, and I went back much lighter of heart than I had been for a long time. They also loaded me with all the luxuries and delicacies which their most fertile province can produce, and welcomed indeed they were by my messmates, who had been for some time living chiefly on salt pork, beef, and peas-pudding--not pleasant food during a warm spring in that southern clime. On my second visit I had the satisfaction of negotiating the exchange of Colonel Carlyon and some other Americans with several of our own officers, who had been captured in the numerous engagements our forces had lately had in the Carolinas, as well as in some of what I may, with justice, call our marauding expeditions in Virginia. I had an opportunity of seeing Colonel Carlyon but for a moment, when he again expressed his gratitude for what he was pleased to call the very great services I had done him. Curious it may seem, but I had rather he had said less on the subject, and taken it for granted that nothing could give me greater satisfaction than assisting the father of one to whom I was so deeply attached. There was, I thought, too much stiffness and formality in his mode of expressing himself. I, of course, speak of what my feelings were at the time, and after I had left him my spirits once more sank to their former level. Those were busy times, and I had not much opportunity of being troubled with my own thoughts.

Once more, on the 4th of June, we put to sea, to convoy thirty sail of transports back to New York; chased a rebel privateer on our way, but she escaped us. When there, we refitted the ship, and sailed again for Virginia on the 24th of June. On the 26th spoke the Solebay and Warwick, with a convoy from Europe, and after parting from them on the same day, sighted another sail, which did her utmost to escape from us. We accordingly made sail after her, and at the end of four hours, on coming up and signalising her, she proved to be no other than the Cartwright packet from Falmouth to New York. The moment I discovered this my heart began to beat with anxiety to hear from those I loved so well. It was long since I had had any news from home. Letters might, I knew, have been written, but being so constantly on the move as I had been, there were great probabilities of their having missed me. The packet hove-to. She had letters on board for the Charon. The bag was delivered. I had one. There was a black seal to it. The handwriting was that of my sister.

There was bad news, I knew. For some moments I dared not open it. One of our family circle was gone. When I returned his or her place would be empty. I tore open the letter. One we could all of us least spare, one we had every reason to love and revere, was taken from us. My father was no more. A choking sensation filled my throat--tears, long strangers, then started to my eyes. Often had I pictured to myself the delight I should feel, should I carry home Madeline as my bride, in presenting her to him. I knew how he would admire her, how proud he would be of her, how he would have delighted to call her his little rebel American daughter-in-law. All that was ended. I should never again see the kind, good old man. I dashed the tears from my eyes, and in a hoarse voice gave the order to trim sails as we once more shaped a course to the southward.

We arrived off the Heads of Virginia on the 9th of July, and found there the Richmond, Guadaloupe, Fowey, and Vulcan fire-ship. It had been for some time seen that the town of Portsmouth was not a tenable post. The neighbourhood, especially in the summer season, was unhealthy, and ships of any size could not get up sufficiently near it to assist in its defence. The commanders-in-chief had accordingly resolved to evacuate it, and to occupy York Town, on the James River, instead. The latter place was supposed to possess many advantages over the former, while the river was navigable for ships of far larger burden than those which could approach Portsmouth.

The first division of the army having embarked on board the transports by the 30th of July we sailed with them, Lord Cornwallis himself, who took the command, being on board the Richmond. We landed the troops on the 2nd, and took possession of York Town and Gloucester without any opposition. It was not, however, till the 19th that the second division of the army arrived, Portsmouth being entirely evacuated. There was a general feeling that events of considerable importance were about to occur. While we were eagerly looking for a reinforcement of troops and the arrival of a fleet capable of competing with the French, the enemy were assembling their forces in the neighbourhood, and it was very evident would bring the whole of their strength to bear upon York Town, and to endeavour to crush our army there before the arrival of the aid we so much required. I resolved at all events to note down from day to day with even greater care than heretofore the occurrences which might take place in the stout brown journal which had already been so long my companion, and which I had preserved through so many chances of destruction both by fire and water--from thieves and the carelessness of servants and others to whom I had from time to time been compelled to entrust it. Yet here it still is, battered on the outside, like its owner; but, though its leaves are somewhat yellow and stained, as sound as ever in the main, and with the ink as black as the day it was written. Brief but, believe me, perfectly accurate, according to my means of information and my own observation, are the descriptions I am about to offer of those events. Before, however, I go on with my journal I will give a short account of the position now taken up by the British army.

The peninsula which is formed by the rivers James and York is one of the richest and most beautiful parts of Virginia. York Town is situated on the south bank of the latter-named stream and on the narrowest part of the peninsula, which is there but five miles across. Gloucester Point is on the north, and therefore the opposite side of the river, into which it extends so far that it reaches within almost a mile of York Town. The two posts thus completely command the navigation of the river, which is here of sufficient depth to allow ships of considerable size to ascend it. The force with which we now occupied these two important positions amounted to about 7000 men, and it was the intention of Lord Cornwallis so completely to fortify them both on the sea and land sides, that they might resist any attack likely to be made against them either by the French fleet or the combined American and French armies till we could be relieved by Sir Henry Clinton or by a fresh army and fleet from England. It was too well known from the first that the army was but ill-supplied with guns, and indeed with all the munitions of war requisite for carrying on offensive, or even defensive, operations against the enemy. This became still more evident when the guns and ammunition were landed from the ships-of-war, and the crews were summoned on shore to work them. Every effort was made to put our positions in an efficient state of defence, for our hopes of being relieved from New York were very slight, it being understood that General Washington was preparing for an attack on that city with all the forces he could muster in the north, at the same time that a sufficient number of troops were left in the south to give us a good deal of trouble, and to cause much anxiety to our commanders-in-chief. By my daily journal I find that on the 20th of August the Charon's lower deck guns were landed for the defences on shore, while she with the Richmond was moored so as to flank the enemy should they make an attack on Gloucester.

21st.--The troops were engaged in throwing up works, while the seamen of the squadron were employed in landing the guns and ammunition, the transports, meantime, being secured under the town of York.

22nd.--The seamen were employed in the boats, landing at every available spot on the river, and foraging. On the following day detachments of men were landed to assist the troops in throwing up works.

24th.--Foraging parties from the army and navy procuring fresh provisions often having to take them by force, while the remainder were employed on the works. It was an ominous circumstance that at no time did the inhabitants offer a cordial welcome to any of our troops, although to individuals they were often inclined to show courtesy and kindness.

25th.--The Richmond sailed for New York, leaving the command of the squadron to Captain Symonds.

26th.--I was sent to get off a schooner belonging to the enemy which had been run on shore in a small creek. I accomplished my mission, and, she being found a serviceable little craft, the commodore kept her as a tender, and appointed me to the command of her.

27th.--The Bonetta was sent to anchor on the Shoe as advanced ship to give notice of the approach of an enemy. I was employed with thirty seamen in fitting out the tender.

28th.--While the army was employed as before on the works, they were engaged in pulling down the houses in front of York Town, greatly to their amusement, it seemed. Tackles were hooked on to the top of the walls, and thundering down they came almost on the heads of the men. The wonder was that numbers were not crushed beneath the ruins as off they ran, laughing and shouting with glee at the havoc they had committed.

29th.--The Guadaloupe and Express despatched to Charleston, and the Loyalist sent to the Shoe to relieve the Bonetta.

30th.--A day of much excitement and no little anxiety. About noon the Guadaloupe and Bonetta were seen standing up the harbour under all sail, and soon it became known that they had been chased by a fleet of French ships, consisting of twenty-six sail of the line, besides frigates, fire-ships, bombs, and transports, who followed them to the mouth of the harbour and captured the Loyalist within three miles of the town after a most gallant resistance, her masts having gone by the board before she struck her colours to the enemy. This fleet is commanded by the Count de Grasse, and has come direct from the West Indies. Three of their ships brought up at the mouth of the harbour, but the main body anchored at Lynhaven Bay.

31st.--The enemy's forces have assembled at Williamsburg, about twelve miles from York, under the command of the Marquis de la Fayette, and the French fleet advanced to the Shoe. Thus is York Town shut in both by sea and land, and it becomes evident that they intend more and more closely to press us in till they completely invest our positions. The troops and seamen engaged hard at the works. The shipping removing further up the harbour.

September 1st.--The French landed 6000 troops up the James river, which joined the Marquis de la Fayette at Williamsburg. The enemy now far outnumber us. I was sent for by the commodore that night, and directed to guard, till she had safely passed the French advanced ships, an express boat which was sent off to convey important despatches to New York, describing the dangerous position in which we were placed. The risk of being captured was very great. My greatest safeguard was in the very boldness of the undertaking. The night was dark, and as the roads where they were anchored were very wide, I might hope to slip by without being observed. As soon as night fell we sailed. The wind was fair, and we stood boldly on, looking out for the dark forms of the enemy's ships. One after the other were passed, till at midnight we were clear of the enemy, as we believed, and the despatch-boat stood on her course for the northward, while I made the best of my way back to port. Here I arrived by daylight, and my report seemed to give great satisfaction to the commodore.

2nd.--The seamen of the fleet were removed on shore, and took up their quarters in tents. Engaged night and day in throwing up works towards the sea, from which quarter an attack may be expected.

3rd.--Nine of the French ships advanced to Tous Marsh, and the rest employed in landing the artillery and stores up James river.

4th.--Mounted all the Charon's eighteen-pounders on the new sea works. The seamen engaged in pulling down the front of the town, and in cutting trees for stockades.

5th.--The enemy preparing to commence the attack.

6th and 7th.--The seamen unrigging the ships and hauling some transports on shore for the defence of the place. The army, as before, employed without intermission on the works, day and night.

8th.--The enemy's advanced ships quitted the river and joined the main body at Lynhaven Bay in consequence of Admiral Graves having appeared off the Capes with twenty sail of the line. After some slight skirmishing with the French, the British admiral was compelled from their great superiority in strength to retreat. The French also on their return to Lynhaven Bay unfortunately fell in with the Richmond and Iris frigates, both of which were captured.

9th.--My duties are very arduous, but honourable, and show the confidence reposed in me by my superior officer. I went down the river in the tender to reconnoitre the enemy's fleet, with orders to come occasionally up in sight of York to signal what was going on among them. The French fleet from Rhode Island under Monsieur de Barras had now joined them, making their force consist of thirty-six sail of the line besides frigates, fire-ships, bombs and transports. During the night I signalled to York Town that the enemy were at anchor in Lynhaven Bay, and then I stood off and on in sight of them, watching for any movement till daylight.

10th.--Observed the enemy getting under weigh from Lynhaven Bay. Watched them till they stood towards the Shoe. Ran up and signalled accordingly. Soon after they anchored at that place.

11th.--Calm, moderate weather. At four AM the enemy began to advance from the Shoe, at which time I lay becalmed about three miles from them, and as they brought the sea breeze with them while I was without power of moving, I felt that my time was come, and that I should once more fall into their hands as a prisoner. Ou Trou and all its horrors rose up before me. Old Nol looked very grave.

"It's hard times we shall have of it, Mr Hurry, if the breeze don't be smart about coming, sir," he remarked, shaking his head. "I'd sooner by half have a chance of fighting, sir, than running for our liberty."

"We have no choice left us, I fear, Grampus," said I. "However, we'll do our best, and not give in as long as the little barkie can swim."

"That's it, sir, that's the thing. The people will stick by you and go down in the craft if you wishes it," was his answer.

This being the spirit of my men, my hopes revived. The enemy came on slowly, but still they were nearing me. With hearty good-will every one on board kept whistling for a wind, but for all that the breeze did not come. At six o'clock one of the headmost ships tried the range of her guns by firing a shot at me. It came pretty near, but a miss is as good as a mile. There was, however, no time to be lost. Another and another shot came whistling after me. I cut away my boat, the breeze was rippling the water astern. I trimmed sails, the wind filled them. Once more the craft began to move. She slipped faster and faster through the water, and away she went before the wind with everything we could clap on her like a scalded cock, as O'Driscoll remarked afterwards, and for this time happily escaped the durance vile I had been anticipating. At noon I made the signal that the enemy were still approaching, and at four o'clock, they having anchored at the mouth of the harbour, I ran up to the town with the conviction that Othello's occupation had gone. In the evening I accordingly received orders to haul her on shore and to join the Charon's at the battery in which they were posted. I do not mean to say that we did not hope by some means or other to succeed, but even the most sanguine could not help acknowledging just then that things looked black and threatening in the extreme.

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

The Muse Of The Department - Preface The Muse Of The Department - Preface

The Muse Of The Department - Preface
THE MUSE OF THE DEPARTMENT BY HONORE DE BALZAC Translated by James Waring DEDICATION To Monsieur le Comte Ferdinand de Gramont. MY DEAR FERDINAND,--If the chances of the world of literature --_habent sua fata libelli_--should allow these lines to be an enduring record, that will still be but a trifle in return for the trouble you have taken--you, the Hozier, the Cherin, the King-at-Arms of these Studies of Life; you, to whom the Navarreins, Cadignans, Langeais, Blamont-Chauvrys, Chaulieus, Arthez, Esgrignons, Mortsaufs, Valois--the hundred great names that form the Aristocracy of the "Human Comedy" owe their lordly mottoes and ingenious armorial bearings.
PREVIOUS BOOKS

Hurricane Hurry - Chapter 25 Hurricane Hurry - Chapter 25

Hurricane Hurry - Chapter 25
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE OPERATIONS UNDER COLONEL SIMCOE.--SENT TO MACKEY'S MILLS.--MY FRIEND'S HOUSE SACKED.--COLONEL CARLYON TAKEN PRISONER.--RENDER HIM A SERVICE.-- TROOPS EMBARK AT NIGHT.--MY LOYALTY QUESTIONED.--MILLS BURNT.--IN COMMAND OF RATTLESNAKE.--SAIL WITH PRIZES.--A WINTRY VOYAGE.--NEW YORK ONCE MORE.--SERVE ON BOARD CHATHAM.--MISMANAGEMENT OF THE WAR.--REJOIN CHARON. I must endeavour to get on more rapidly than heretofore with my account of public matters. On the 18th of January the British army marched from Smithfield southward, and the squadron moved down to Newportneuse. Among the most active of the English officers was Colonel Simcoe. On the 16th he surprised and took prisoners an American
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT