THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG 43
previous, and there had not been time to employ either scout or spy. Gabarus Bay, a fine sheet of water to the west of Louisbourg, was known to afford the nearest available place for getting ashore, and the rest was perforce left to chance. The fort, in the meantime, for several days had been thoroughly on the alert. From the first appearance of Warren in the offing a watchful eye had been kept on his movements, and when the transports were seen bearing towards Flat Point on the bay, it was the signal for the hurried appearance at that spot of Captain Morpain with about eighty men, to oppose the landing. The value of a successful invasion is a proceeding well understood in all warfare, and every schoolboy is familiar with the gallant resistance given the Romans in ancient Britain, when the warriors rushed out into the surf in their determined effort to beat off the advancing boats of their foes.
On land, Captain Morpain and his company held their position, watching the lowered boats lurching on the tide, as over the sides of the transports swarmed the variously clad volunteers ; and many a mother's heart at home would have had cause to bleed with her boy as he toppled over into the water, had not a halt been ordered.