Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/395

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pointed out that the immediate requirements were fresh water and a pilot who would take the ship round to Port Louis, as repairs could not be effected at Baye du Cap. The pilot was promised for the next day, and Major Dunienville at once sent a boat for the Cumberland's empty casks.

As soon as he got ashore again, Dunienville wrote a report of what had occurred to the Captain-General, or Military Governor of the island, General Decaen, and sent it off by a special messenger. In this document[1] he related that a schooner flying the English flag had chased a coastal schooner into the bay; that the alarm had been given that she was a British privateer; that he had at once called out the troops; and that, expecting an attack, he had ordered the women and children to retire to the interior, and had given orders for cattle and sheep to be driven into the woods! "Happily," he proceeded, "all these precautions, dictated by circumstances, proved to be unnecessary." The English captain had explained to him that he had merely followed the coastal boat because he had no pilot, and wished to enter the bay to solicit succour; "adding that he did not know of the war, and consequently had no idea that he would spread alarm by following it.

Later in the afternoon Dunienville returned to the Cumberland with the district commandant, Etienne Bolger, and an interpreter. The passport was again examined, when Bolger pointed out that it was not granted to the Cumberland but to the Investigator, and that the matter must be dealt with by the Governor personally. At first he desired to send the passport to him, but Flinders objected to allowing it to leave his possession, as it constituted his only guarantee of protection from the French authorities. Then it was arranged that he

  1. Decaen Papers, Vol. 84.