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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

Although we left the bay on the 19th of September, yet, by the irregularity and fluctuation of the wind in the offing, it was the 22d of that month, in the evening, before we lost sight of Juan Fernandez; after which we continued our course to the eastward, in order to join the Tryal off Valparaiso.  Next night the weather proved squally, and we split our main top-sail, which we then handed; but got it repaired and set again by next morning.  In the evening, a little before sunset, we saw two sail to the eastward, on which our prize stood directly from us, to avoid any suspicion of our being cruisers, while we made ready for an engagement, and steered with all our canvass towards the two ships we had descried.  We soon perceived, that one of them, which seemed a very stout ship, stood directly for us, while the other kept at a great distance.  By seven o’clock we were within pistol-shot of the nearest, and had a broadside ready to pour into her, the gunners having their lighted matches in their hands, only waiting orders to fire.  But, as the commodore knew that she could not now escape, he ordered the master to hail the ship in Spanish; on which her commanding officer, who happened to be Mr Hughes, lieutenant of the Tryal, answered us in English, that she was a prize, taken by the Tryal a few days before, and that the other vessel at a distance was the Tryal, disabled in her masts.

We were soon after joined by the Tryal, when her commander, Captain Saunders, came on board the Centurion.  He acquainted the commodore, that he had taken this ship on the 18th, being a prime sailor, which had cost him thirty-six hours chase before he could get up with her, and that for some time he gained so little upon her, that he almost despaired of ever making up with the chase.  The Spaniards were at first alarmed, by seeing nothing but a cloud of sail in pursuit of them, as the hull of the Tryal lay so low in the water, that no part of it appeared; yet knowing the goodness of their ship, and finding how little the Tryal neared them, they at last laid aside their fears, and, recommending themselves to the protection of the blessed Virgin, they began to think themselves quite secure.  Indeed, their success was near doing honour to their Ave Marias; for, altering their course in the night, and shutting close their cabin windows to prevent any of their lights from being seen, they had some chance of escaping:  But a small crevice in one of their shutters rendered all their invocations of no avail; as the people of the Tryal perceived a light through this crevice, which they chased till they got within gun-shot; and then Captain Saunders alarmed them with a broadside, when they flattered themselves they were beyond his reach.  For some time, however, the chase still kept the same sail abroad, and it was not observed that this first salute had made any impression; but, just as the Tryal was about to repeat her broadsides the Spaniards crept from their holes, lowered their sails, and submitted without opposition.  She was named the Arranzazu, being one of the largest merchantmen employed in these seas, of about 600 tons burden, bound from Calao to Valparaiso, having much the same cargo with the Carmelo, our former prize, except that her silver amounted only to about 5000l. sterling.

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