a fire upon the Blanche, then about 700 yards distant, working up to a nearer and more effectual position.
At 3 h. 45 m. p.m., having got close abreast of the fort, the Blanche dropped her anchor, and commenced a heavy fire, as well upon the fort as upon the schooner and some troops drawn up on the shore to assist in defending her. At 4 p.m., having silenced the fort, Captain Faulknor despatched the boats of the frigate to capture the schooner. This the boats very soon effected ; and the Blanche weighed and stood out with her prize, which was a national schooner mounting eight guns, and commanded by a lieutenant de vaisseau, recently from Pointe-à-Pitre in the island of Guadeloupe. The loss sustained by the Blanche in this spirited enterprise was rather severe, amounting to one midshipman (Mr. Fitzgibbon) and one marine killed, and four seamen wounded: that on the part of the French schooner could not be ascertained, as the crew, previously to her being boarded, had escaped to the shore.
Having manned his prize and despatched her to the harbour of the Saintes, two small islands close to Guadeloupe, and still in British possession, Captain Faulknor proceeded on a cruise off Pointe-a-Pitre, a harbour in Grande-terre, Guadeloupe, and in which lay, ready for sea, the French 36-gun frigate Pique, Captain Conseil. On the 2d of January the Blanche was joined by the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Quebec, Captain James Carpenter ; but, the next afternoon, the latter parted company, and, bearing up to the westward under all sail, was soon out of sight.
Thus left alone, the Blanche at about 6 p.m. steered straight for Pointe-à-Pitre, and, on arriving within four miles of the port, lay to for the night. On the nest day, the 4th, at daybreak, the Blanche discovered the Pique lying at anchor just outside of the harbour. At 7 a.m. the French frigate got under way, and began working into the offing under her topsails, backing her mizen topsail occasionally, to keep company with a schooner which had weighed with her. At about 8 h. 30 m. the Blanche made sail to meet the French ship and schooner, until nearly within gun-shot of Fort Fleur-d'Epée ; when, finding the Pique apparently disinclined to come out from the batteries, the Blanche, who had hove to, made sail to board a schooner running down along Grande-terre. At this time Pointe-à-Pitre bore from the Blanche north-west, distant two leagues, and the French frigate north-north-west, distant three miles.
At half-past noon the Pique filled and made sail towards the Blanche. At 1 p.m. the latter brought to an American schooner from Bordeaux to Pointe-à-Pitre with wine and brandy, and, taking her in tow, steered towards the Saintes. At 2 p.m. the Pique crossed the Blanche on the opposite tack, and, hoisting French colours, fired four shots at her. This challenge, as it might be considered, the British frigate answered, by firing
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