The launch carried the Japanese flag and the lieutenant at the helm called to the Siegismund in Japanese. As they were directly before the guns of the American batteries, the German captain didn't know what to make of it.
A steamlaunch was therefore sent out to look for the anchored ship. The latter was the German steamer Siegismund, whose captain, standing on the bridge, suddenly saw a dripping little launch approaching with its flag trailing behind it in the water. And just as in every cleverly arranged plan one stupid oversight is apt to occur so it happened now.