|Naval history of Great Britain
||Battle of Trafalgar
magazine and put the key in his pocket, and placed two of his men as sentries, one at each cabin-door, Captain Atcherley, accompanied by the French admiral and his two captains, pulled off, with his three remaining hands, and at length boarded, not the Conqueror, who had proceeded in chase, but the Mars, her sister-ship ; where on account of some mistake about the nature of the message sent by Lieutenant Hennah, the acting commander of the Mars, to Captain Hardy, the French officers were ordered to remain.
Hauling up, after having raked the Bucentaure, * the Neptune soon found herself in a similar position astern of the Santisima-Trinidad, whose main and mizen masts came down with a tremendous crash, just as the Leviathan was in the act of seconding a fire which her leader had so successfully opened. The English Neptune then luffed up alongside the Santisima-Trinidad to leeward, while the Conqueror, with her starboard guns, kept up a distant fire upon her to windward. At about 2 h. 30 m. P.M. the foremast of the Spanish four-decker shared the fate of her main and mizen masts, and she lay an unmanageable wreck upon the water. At this moment the Neptune had her attention suddenly called off by the movement that was making in the combined van, some of the ships of which, on bearing up, raked her, and caused the principal part of the damage and loss which she sustained in the action.
The Africa 64, having had the misfortune to lose sight of her fleet in the night, was, when the firing commenced, broad upon the Victory's larboard beam, and nearly abreast of the van ship of the combined line. Seeing her danger, Lord Nelson ordered the Africa's signal to be thrown out, to make all possible sail. The intention of this signal appears to have been misunderstood ; and, instead of using means to run his ship out of danger, Captain Digby set every sail he could spread to hasten her into it. Passing along, and exchanging broadsides in succession with the ships of the combined van, the Africa, with much less injury done to her than might have been expected, bore down ahead of the Santisima-Trinidad.
Meeting no return to her fire, and seeing no colours hoisted on board the latter Captain Digby concluded that the four-decker, had surrendered, and sent Lieutenant John Smith in a boat to take possession. Upon the lieutenant's reaching the quarterdeck, and asking an officer who advanced to meet him, whether or not the Santisima-Trinidad had surrendered, the Spaniard replied, " Non, non," pointing at the same time to one Spanish and four French sail of the line then passing to windward. As, for the want of masts, the Santisima-Trinidad was settling fast to windward of the two fleets, and he had only a
* See diagram at p. 44
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