THE CENTURION RETURNS.
But their projects and labours were now drawing to a speedier and happier conclusion, for on the 11th of October, in the afternoon, one of the Gloucester’s men, being upon a hill in the middle of the island, perceived the Centurion at a distance, and running down with his utmost speed towards the landing-place, he in the way saw some of his comrades, to whom he hallooed out with great ecstasy, “That ship! The ship!” This being heard by Mr. Gordon, a lieutenant of marines, who was convinced by the fellow’s transport that his report was true, Mr. Gordon ran towards the place where the Commodore and his people were at work, and being fresh and in breath easily out stripped the Gloucester’s man, and got before him to the Commodore, who, on hearing this happy and unexpected news, threw down his axe with which he was then at work, and by his joy broke through for the first time the equable and unvaried character which he had hitherto preserved. The others who were with him instantly ran down to the seaside in a kind of frenzy, eager to feast themselves with a sight they had so ardently wished for and of which they had now for a considerable time despaired. By five in the evening the Centurion was visible in the offing to them all; and, a boat being sent off with eighteen men to reinforce her, and with fresh meat and fruits for the refreshment of her crew, she the next afternoon happily came to an anchor in the road, where the Commodore immediately came on board her, and was received by us with the sincerest and heartiest acclamations.
When the Commodore came on board the Centurion on her return to Tinian as already mentioned, he resolved to stay no longer at the island than was absolutely necessary to complete our stock of water, a work which we immediately set ourselves about. But on the 14th of October, being but the third day after our arrival, a sudden gust of wind brought home our anchor, forced us off the bank and drove the ship out to sea a second time. However, as the weather was favourable, and our crew was now stronger than when we were first driven out, we in about five days’ time returned again to an anchor at Tinian and relieved those we had left behind us from their second fears of being deserted by their ship.