54 THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG
a large ship carrying sixty-four guns and five hundred and sixty men, under the Marquis de la Maisonfort, attempted to force her way through the squadron. A fierce contest lasting several hours followed, but, after a determined resistance and the loss of eighty men, her colours were struck, to the exuberant satisfaction of the surrounding fleet. The Vigilant was carrying large stores of much-needed provisions and ammunition for her beleaguered compatriots, and these were regarded as truly providential by the pious colonial forces, whose stores at the moment had reached a perilously low ebb. The loss of this ship, whose arrival had been expected with keen hope by the garrison, proved a stunning blow, especially as she was fitted up with several others, and added to the strength of the enemy.
Two months had now elapsed since the be-ginning of operations, and Commander Warren began to grow impatient over the delay. He thought his position as a King's officer subordinated to that of the land forces, who desired all the renown for themselves. At length a decision was arrived at by which both divisions were to attack at the same time, from their different points of vantage. With dismay the besieged townspeople, who were reduced to