Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/547

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A little later, that signal was hauled down, and an English ensign and pennant were substituted.[1] We replied by hoisting our colours; and we continued to advance towards each other. The manoeuvre of the English ship indicating that she desired to speak to us, we stood towards her.[2] When we got within hail, a voice enquired what ship we were. I replied simply that we were French. "Is that Captain Baudin?" "Yes, it is he." The English captain then saluted me graciously, saying "I am very glad to meet you." I replied to the same effect, without knowing to whom I was speaking; but, seeing that arrangements were being made for someone to come on board, I brought the ship to.

"Mr. Flinders, who commanded the English vessel, presented himself. As soon as I learnt his name, I no longer doubted that he, like ourselves, was occupied with the exploration of the south coast of New Holland; and, in spite of the reserve that he showed upon that first visit, I could easily perceive that he had already completed a part of it. Having invited him to come into my cabin, and finding ourselves alone there, the conversation became freer.[3]

"He informed me that he had left Europe about eight months after us, and that he was bound for Port Jackson, having previously refreshed at the Cape of Good Hope.

"I had no hesitation about giving him information concerning what we had been doing upon the coast until

  1. Flinders says: "Our colours being hoisted, she showed a French ensign, and afterwards an English jack forward, as we did a white flag."
  2. Flinders' own explanation of his manoeuvring is: "We veered round as Le Géographe was passing so as to keep our broadside to her lest the flag of truce should be a deception."
  3. "Nous trouvant seul, la conversation devint plus libre." Flinders says that Brown accompanied him, and went into the cabin with him. "No person was present at our conversations except Mr. Brown."