Vpon this the sayle stood off againe, and the night approching, our boates lost her and so returned. In this our pursute after the sayle the Centurion being left a sterne, the next morning wee missed her, and spent that day in plying vp and down seeking her.
The 30 betimes in the morning we put into the harborow; and approching nere their stage, we saw it vncouered, and so suspected the ship to be gone: whereupon we sent our pinnesse on shore with a dozen men, who when they came, found great store of fish on shore, but all the men were fled: neither could they perceiue whether the ship should be gone, but as they thought to sea.
The Astronomers consent that the Sunne descending from our vpper hemisphere at the 18 parallel vnder the horizon maketh an end of twilight, so that at length the darke night insueth, and that afterward in the morning the Sun approching againe within as many parallels, doth driue away the night by accesse of the twilight.
The Gouernour came vnto the towne: and presently there came foure canoes to him; in one of them came a sister of the Ladie, and approching to the Gouernour she said these words: Excellent Lord, my sister sendeth vnto you by me to kisse your Lordships hands, and to signifie vnto you, that the cause why she came not in person, is, that she thinketh to do you greater seruice staying behind, as she doth, giuing order, that with all speed, al her canoes be readie, that your Lordship may passe the Riuer, and take your rest, which shall be presentlie performed.
The report hereof being made vnto me, I placed each of my men in his quarter, with full deliberation to defend ourselues, if they had beene enemies, as in trueth we thought them to haue bene: likewise I caused two small field pieces which I had left me, to be trimmed in such sort, as if in approching to the Fort they had not cryed that it was Captaine Ribault, I had not failed to haue discharged the same vpon them.
The Meg approching neere, there passed some shot betwixt them, whereby, as also by their Admiral and Vice-admirall putting foorth their flags, we perceiued that some fight was likely to follow. Having therefore fitted our selues for them, we made what hast we could towards them with regard alwayes to get the wind of them, and about 10 or 11 of the clocke, we came vp to them with the Victory.
The yoonger brother Alfred, with his brothers consent, tooke with him a certeine number of gentlemen and men of warre, and first came into Flanders, where after he had remained a while with earle Baldwine, he increased his retinue with a few Bullogners, and passed ouer into England, but approching to the shore, he was streightwaies descried by his enimies, who hasted foorth to set vpon him; but perceiuing their drift, he bad the ships cast about, and make againe to the sea; then landing at an other place, he ment to go the next way to his mother.
All these ships being of notable and approued seruice comming neere to the mouth of the Straights hard by the coast of Barbary, descried twelue tall Gallies brauely furnished and strongly prouided with men and munition, ready to seaze vpon these English ships: which being perceiued by the Captaines and Masters thereof, wee made speedy preparation for the defence of our selues, still waiting all the night long for the approching of the enemie.
Now whilest they within were busie in deuising how to repell the assault, and to defend themselues, the aduersaries about midnight came forth of their campe, and approching the walles with their ladders, raised them vp, and began to scale the citie.
Not the les seeing the miserie sa greit appeiring, and the calamitie sa neir approching, I thocht it les fault to incur the cryme of surmounting my private estait than the blame of neglecting the publict danger." From this the reader will be able to judge what extraordinary difficulty there was in the Scotch to an English reader of those days.