Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/139

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115
OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.

lected at Harve and St. Malo. M. de la Fayette sent for me and told me that I was to start for Lorient, in company with the Chevalier de Gimat,—who had been one of his aides-de-camp in the American War,—and there wait for orders. There were some hints of a secret expedition. My heart beat with joy. My comrade, who was much older than I, a colonel, and a very experienced officer, was in the secret, but it was in vain that I tried to draw it out of him. He confined himself to repeating that I was very lucky, and that I should find that the patronage of the Marquis de la Fayette would be of great service to me. Beyond this he would tell me nothing.

Many armed vessels were awaiting us in the port of Lorient; the Bon Homme Richard, a vessel belonging to the India Company mounting 54 guns of various calibres; the frigate Alliance, on which we had made the voyage back to France; the Pallas, 32 guns, commanded by Captain Cottineau of Nantes, an able officer of the merchant service, etc. These were under