At First I Only Laughed,
But Knowing The Man Who Spoke To Me To Be Of Great Veracity, And Hearing Him
Repeat His Information, I Flew Upon Deck, On Which I Had Barely Set My Foot,
When The Cry Of "Another Sail" Struck On My Astonished Ear.
Confounded by a thousand ideas which arose in my mind in an instant,
I sprang upon the barricado and plainly descried two ships of considerable
size, standing in for the mouth of the Bay.
By this time the alarm had become
general, and every one appeared lost in conjecture. Now they were Dutchmen
sent to dispossess us, and the moment after storeships from England,
with supplies for the settlement. The improbabilities which attended
both these conclusions, were sunk in the agitation of the moment.
It was by Governor Phillip, that this mystery was at length unravelled,
and the cause of the alarm pronounced to be two French ships, which,
it was now recollected, were on a voyage of discovery in the southern
hemisphere. Thus were our doubts cleared up, and our apprehensions banished;
it was, however, judged expedient to postpone our removal to Port Jackson,
until a complete confirmation of our conjectures could be procured.
Had the sea breeze set in, the strange ships would have been at anchor
in the Bay by eight o'clock in the morning, but the wind blowing out,
they were driven by a strong lee current to the southward of the port.
On the following day they re-appeared in their former situation, and a boat
was sent to them, with a lieutenant of the navy in her, to offer assistance,
and point out the necessary marks for entering the harbour.
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