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1810 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 300


were, as may be conjectured, the Iphigénie and Astrée, telegraphed each other ; and then the Entreprenant, the brig in company, made sail to the north-east and was soon out of sight. The Astrée and Iphigénie stood in upon the larboard tack, as if disposed to offer battle : whereupon Captain Corbett, who was employed in landing his badly wounded, that they might be sent to the hospital, hoisted a broad pendant and red ensign. The object of doing this was, by deceiving the French into a belief that the Africaine was their old acquaintance the Boadicea, to conceal the fact of any additional British force having arrived on the station.

At noon, or shortly afterwards, the Boadicea herself weighed from the bay of St.-Paul, and accompanied by the 16-gun ship-sloop Otter, Captain James Tomkinson, and gun-brig Staunch, Lieutenant Benjamin Street, proceeded in chase of the two French frigates, also seen by them in the offing to windward. At 2 P.M. the Boadicea and her consorts rounded Pointe du Galet, having the wind well from the Southward ; while the Iphigénie and Astrée were under all sail on the starboard tack, with the wind, a common occurrence in the vicinity of Madagascar, fresh from the eastward. The instant she cleared the bay of St.-Paul, the Boadicea, was descried, and making her number, became at once recognised by the Africaine ; from whom the French frigates at this time bore north distant eight miles. Commodore Rowley, when getting under way, had received an intimation from Lieutenant-colonel Keating, the lieutenant-governor of Isle Bourbon, that an English frigate, reported to be the Africaine, had arrived at St. Denis : he therefore knew that the frigate in sight was the Africaine. Captain Corbett now returned on board his frigate, attended by Major A. Barry of the honourable company's service, and Captain Elliott of the British regulars. At about the same time the frigate received from the shore a lieutenant and 25 soldiers of the 86th regiment, to replace her wounded, most of whom were able seamen.

The Africaine immediately made sail, close on a wind, upon the starboard tack, the same as that on which the French ships were standing. These, at about 3 p.m., had descried the Boadicea and her two consorts. The latter Captain Bouvet knew were the Otter and Staunch ; but the Boadicea, on account of the ruse practised by the Africaine in the morning, he took to be the Windham, equipped as a ship of war. By 6 p.m. the Otter and Staunch had so dropped astern in the chase, as to be entirely out of sight of the Africaine; and about the same time the Boadicea, being headed by the east wind, took in her studding-sails and braced up. This brought her about eight miles on the Africaine's lee quarter. At 6 h. 20 m. p.m.. the Africaine lost sight of the Boadicea; and in 10 minutes more the latter lost sight, in the opposite direction, of the Otter and Staunch. The weathermost French frigate, finding the Africaine approaching

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