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"But I too made them out," grumbled Gacquoil.

"Good vessels," said the captain. "I have had some command of them myself."

"For my part," said Gacquoil, "I have seen them close to. I don't mistake one for another. I have their description in my head."

The captain handed his spyglass to the pilot.

"Pilot, can you make out the three-decker distinctly?"

"Yes, commander, it is the 'Cöte d'Or.'"

"They have re-named her," said the captain. "She used to be the 'Etats de Bourgogne.' A new ship. Hundred and twenty-eight guns."

He took a note-book and pencil out of his pocket, and wrote in the former the number one hundred and twenty-eight.

He went on to say: "Pilot, what is the first sail to port?"

"It is the 'Experimenté.'"

"First-class frigate; fifty-two guns. She was fitted out at Brest two months ago."

The captain put the number fifty-two down in his note-book.

"Pilot," he continued, "what is the second sail to port?"


"First-class frigate; forty eighteen-pounders. She has been in India. She has a fine naval record."

And he wrote down forty under the number fifty-two; then, raising his head, he said,—

"Now to starboard."

"Commander, these are all second-class frigates. There are five of them."

"What is the first, starting from the three-decker?"

"The 'Résolue.'"

"Thirty-two eighteen-pounders. And the second?"

"The 'Richemont.'"

"Same strength. Next?"

"The 'Athée.'"

"Queer name to go to sea with. Next?"

"The 'Calypso.'"

"What next?"

"The 'Preneuse.'"