The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones - Vol. 2

By Anna De Koven | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XVI
PARIS

ALTHOUGH the Alliance had served Jones to make his escape from the British squadrons, he found her sailing so exceedingly defective that he decided to bring his cruise to an immediate conclusion. He captured but one prize, a small Guernsey bark, which sank in a storm, and meeting with an American merchant-ship, the Livingston, he took it under his protection and steered without further delay for L'Orient, where he arrived on February the 10th, greatly exhausted by the suspense and trials of his winter in the Texel, and with eyes so inflamed that he "could scarce look on paper."

He left the Alliance in the road of Groix, and went up to L'Orient to rest at the house of his friend Moylan.

He discovered upon investigation the cause of the unaccountably bad sailing of the Alliance, which was due to Landais's extraordinary disposal of the ballast, which he had ordered to be suspended along the transoms from stem to stern, "an idea," he wrote in a letter to Franklin, a few days after his arrival, "which Landais might without vanity call his own."

In addition to the necessity of altering this arrangement, without which he said the trim of the ship could not be regained, he sent to Franklin an extensive list of repairs which he believed the ship was in need of and

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