It was the beginning of April before they had new-rigged the ship, stowed their provisions and water on board, and fitted her for the sea; and before this time the Chinese grew very uneasy and extremely desirous that she should be gone, either not knowing, or pretending not to believe, that this was a point the Commodore was as eagerly set on as they could be. On the 3rd of April two mandarin boats came on board from Macao to urge his departure; and this having been often done before, though there had been no pretence to suspect Mr. Anson of any affected delays, he at this last message answered them in a determined tone, desiring them to give him no further trouble, for he would go when he thought proper and not before. On this rebuke the Chinese (though it was not in their power to compel him to be gone) immediately prohibited all provisions from being carried on board him, and took such care that their injunctions should be complied with, that from that time forwards nothing could be purchased at any rate whatever.
AT SEA AGAIN.
On the 6th of April the Centurion weighed from the Typa, and warped to the southward, and by the 15th she was got into Macao road, completing her water as she passed along, so that there remained now very few articles more to attend to; and her whole business being finished by the 19th, she, at three in the afternoon of that day, weighed and made sail, and stood to sea.
The Commodore was now got to sea, with his ship very well refitted, his stores replenished, and an additional stock of provisions on board. His crew, too, was somewhat reinforced, for he had entered twenty-three men during his stay at Macao, the greatest part of which were Lascars or Indian sailors, and some few Dutch. He gave out at Macao that he was bound to Batavia, and thence to England; and though the western monsoon was now set in, when that passage is considered as impracticable, yet by the confidence he had expressed in the strength of his ship and the dexterity of his people he had persuaded not only his own crew, but the people at Macao likewise, that he proposed to try this unusual experiment; so that there were many letters put on board him by the inhabitants of Canton and Macao for their friends at Batavia.
But his real design was of a very different nature, for he knew that instead of one annual ship from Acapulco to Manila there would be this year, in all probability, two, since by being before Acapulco he had prevented one of them from putting to sea the preceding season. He therefore resolved to cruise for these returning vessels off Cape Espiritu Santo, on the island of Samal, which is the first land they always make in the Philippine islands. And as June is generally the month in which they arrive there, he doubted not but he should get to his intended station in time enough to intercept them. It is true they were