"They sent a midshipman as prize-master on board of the vessel, and left all us, who had been taken prisoners by the French, in the vessel, to help to work her into port, as the captain did not wish to part with any more men of his own than was necessary. We soon made sail for England, quite delighted at having escaped a French prison, but, after all, we only exchanged it for a Dutch one."
"I mean that, two days afterwards, as we were rounding the Cape, another French vessel bore down upon us, and captured us. This time we did not find any friend in need, and were taken into Table Bay; for at that time the Cape of Good Hope was in the possession of the Dutch, who, as well as the French, were at war with England."
"How very unfortunate you were, Ready!" said Mrs. Seagrave.
"Yes, madam, we were, and I can't say much in favour of a Dutch prison. However, I was very young at that time, and did not care much - I had a light heart."
A heavy storm came on soon after they had retired to rest; the lightning was so vivid that its flashes penetrated through the chinks of the door and windows, and the thunder burst upon them with a noise which prevented them obtaining any sleep. The children cried and trembled as they lay in the arms of Mrs. Seagrave and Juno, who were almost as much alarmed themselves.
"This is very awful," said Mr. Seagrave to Ready, for they had both risen from their beds.
"It is indeed, sir; I never knew a more terrible storm than this."
"Merciful Heaven!" exclaimed Mr. Seagrave.