“Mr Hearne, there are three ships in the bay,” a messenger reported breathlessly.
“And?” Samuel Hearne, the governor of Prince of Wales Fort, replied.
“They are flying French colours,” the man responded.
Hearne climbed the ramparts and looked at the three warships. He then considered his options. He had thirty nine Hudson Bay Company men, and no soldiers. Oh, the Inuits might help, but even with the walls he had no chance to resist the La Pérouse’s French.
“Well let’s go meet our guests,” Hearne said.
Shortly afterwards, he and thirty one British civilians were on their way back to England on the sloop Severn. The French meanwhile were dismantling the fort.
*Based on events in 1782