We must first, however, make the Frenchmen give us their parole not in any way to interfere in whatever takes place. I propose fighting the lugger under weigh, till the breeze and ebb tide enable us to carry her out. The tide will soon make, and I hope to be alongside the frigate in an hour or little more."
I wos the bo's'n of that unfortunate frigate, but I is so no longer." Dick said this in a melancholy tone, and thereafter meditated for a few moments in silence. "No," he resumed with a heavy sigh, "the Talisman's blow'd up, an' her bo's'n's out on the spree so to speak, though it ain't a cheerful spree by no means.
The proper precautions were not neglected in the mean time. Men were sent aloft to do what they could, under the circumstances, with the two spars, and the strain was a little relieved by keeping the lugger as much away as might be done without enabling the frigate to set her studding-sails.
"That looks to me rather long, Harrison, and busy as Sir Arthur must be, he might not take the trouble to read it. I wish you would write out another, as concise as you can make it, of the actual affair, saying at the end that you beg to report especially the conduct of Ensign O'Connor, to whose suggestions the escape of the ship both from the privateers and French frigate were due.
How fortunate! we shall be three leagues to windward, and may escape." "I doubt if she could catch us at any point of sailing: they may come up with the prizes, but can do nothing with them." "No, the boats which boarded them are already returned to the frigate; she must wait for them, and that will give us a start and it will be night before they can even make sail."
The expeditions of the Spaniards to Otaheite and the neighbouring islands had been undertaken in consequence of the jealousy of the Spanish Government at the visits of the English to the South Seas. The first was under the command of Don Domingo Bonechea, in the Aguila frigate, in 1772.
He had left England a friendless ship’s-boy; he returned home a midshipman, with a most creditable record, and with a fortune that, when he left the service, would enable him to live in more than comfort. On arriving at Portsmouth the crew were at once paid off, and Will was appointed to the Tartar, a thirty-four gun frigate.
In less than an hour our little party were threatened with a new danger, that of being run over by the frigate, which was now within a cable's length of them, driving the seas before her in one widely extended foam, as she pursued her rapid and impetuous course.
Sir Sydney on this called the other two vessels near to him, and informed their commanders that he knew the place, and that he intended surveying the entrance, which he believed was deep enough for the frigate herself. The frigate and her consorts then stood off till the approach of evening, as if giving up the pursuit. As soon, however as it was dark, they once more approached the land.
After the action had lasted rather more than three hours, the Constitution placing herself so as to rake the dismasted Java, Lieutenant Chads ordered the colours to be lowered from the stump of the mizzen-mast, and the frigate was taken possession of by the victor. The whole of the Java's boats, and all except one of the Constitution's, were knocked to pieces.