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

By Anna De Koven | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
THE LANDAIS COURT-MARTIAL

THE story of how the Alliance got to America reads like a farce. Everything, and more, which might have been imagined as most likely to happen occurred to fulfil Franklin's apprehensions of trouble and to convince Lee that he had committed the gravest error of his life.

Before the ship got out of the harbor Captain Parke, of the marines, was put under arrest. A few days later Lieutenant Degge was also in active personal conflict with Landais. Dissensions of all sorts arose daily between the irascible and vacillating commander, his officers, and passengers.

In the middle of the voyage, with sails bent to a full breeze, Landais suddenly ordered them down and the vessel steered out of her course to America. Whereupon the officers declared that they would refuse to defend themselves against any enemy if the course was not set again for home.

Off the Banks of Newfoundland the hungry crew were forbidden to fish, and on another occasion violent quarrels arose as to the killing and ownership of the officers' live-stock provided for food. Mr. Lee himself, rashly reaching into the platter for a first helping of choice morsels, found his life threatened by the furious Landais, who, brandishing the carving-knife, asserted his right as

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