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the coal mines were blocked with ice ; finding, moreover, that, with the addition of 150 prisoners to the number of men on board, he was short of both food and water, Captain Jones felt obliged to steer for home instead of trying to rescue the Americans in the coal mines.

The little fleet kept well together until off the Georges Bank, when, late in the afternoon, the British frigate Milford, that had chased the Providence in the last voyage, was discovered. Knowing the speed of the Milford, Captain Jones at once laid his plan for escape.

His own ship, the Alfred, could outsail the frigate, but the prizes could not. The frigate was sure to overtake them, though not until after dark. So the captain of each of the prizes was instructed to hold fast on the course on which they were then sailing all night, regardless of any signals they might see from the flagship, and then, when day should come, to make the best course possible to port.

When this order was fully understood Captain Jones waited calmly for the early nightfall of the season. The Milford was steadily gaining, but the Alfred, with shortened sail, remained with the prizes as if to protect them. But when night was fully come the Alfred, with signals aloft for her prizes to follow, went off on the other tack, and the Milford promptly followed, while the prizes, except

the privateer under Lieutenant Saunders, kept on as before.

So, when daylight came, all of the prizes but the privateer were out of sight. The privateer was, therefore, retaken. During the afternoon a snowstorm came up.

The Milford was still in chase of the Alfred, but the Yankee, “amid clouds and darkness and foaming surges, made her escape.”

The Alfred arrived safely in Boston on December 15, 1776, but she had water and provisions for only two days left. When there her crew had the satisfaction of learning that all the other prizes had arrived in safety.

The importance of the Mellish as a prize was far greater, of course, than her mere money value, because of the uniforms she carried. These were at once forwarded to Washington's men at Trenton. So great, indeed, had been the value of this transport, that Captain Jones had determined to sink her if at any time he deemed her in great danger of recapture by the enemy, because her loss would “ distress the enemy more than can be easily imagined.”

The service which John Paul Jones had rendered the colonies during the fall of 1776 was greater than that of

any

other man who had been afloat.

Nevertheless, on reaching port, instead of finding rewards and promotions awaiting him,

"he was mortified by degradation and injustice." Commodore Hopkins, though about to be dismissed from the service, was still commander-in-chief of the navy. Jealous of the growing fame of John Paul Jones, he placed Captain Hinman in command of the Alfred and ordered Jones back to the little brig Providence. Nor was that the worst of the trouble that Captain Jones had to face. The politicians in Congress had kept the distribution of rank in their own hands—they had, in fact, declared on April 17, 1776, that rank should not be regulated by the date of original appointments, but at the discretion of the Congress. So it was that the men in the navy who had influence in Congress could get promotion regardless of the quality of their services, while men without influence had to suffer. While John Paul Jones was on the high seas gathering supplies for the American army the Congress made out a new list of naval captains, and Jones, who had been the first of the lieutenants after a list of five captains, found himself the eighteenth in the new list of captains, although none of those ahead of him had rendered more distinguished services than he or showed greater ability

as a commander, and but three or four at most had done as well. And John Paul Jones always wrote the word rank with a capital R.

CHAPTER IV

HE SAW “THE COUNTENANCE OF THE ENEMY”

THE STORY OF ARNOLD'S EXTRAORDINARY FIGHT AGAINST OVER

WHELMING ODDS ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN—A THOUSAND SAILORS, OF WHOM SEVEN-TENTHS WERE PICKED MEN, ARMED WITH THE HEAVIEST GUNS, WERE PITTED UNDER A COURAGEOUS LEADER AGAINST 700 YANKEES, CHIEFLY HAYMAKERS, POORLY ARMED AND WITH INSUFFICIENT AMMUNITION-SAVAGES WITH

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If the naval Lexington—the first battle of the Revolution afloat—was fought on the bar at Providence, Rhode Island, the naval Bunker Hill, a battle wherein glory and renown were gained in defeat, was fought on Lake Champlain. Not only was the moral effect of this battle quite as great in the courage it gave the Americans, and the pause for thought it gave the enemy; it served to head off a victorious invading British army bound for Albany and the subjugation of northern New York.

The American troops had invaded Canada, some under Benedict Arnold going through the Maine woods, and some under Montgomery going by way of Lake Champlain. The

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From an old engraving in the collection of Mr. W. C. Crane.

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