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It seems to me that imagination and reasoning have reached magnificent heights with some writers, especially poets. Among them, I strongly believe, the highest ever was Edgar Allan Poe. With Baudelaire I state that "le poete est souverainement intelligent, qu'il est l'intelligence par excellence, -et que l'imagination est la plus scientifique des facultes, parce que seule elle comprend l'analogie universelle...". One of those poets was Edgar Allan Poe. I reproduce here "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" as a gesture against what Baudelaire called "la ferocite de l'hypocrisie bourgeoise", and what I personally call mediocrity, imbecility, and comprehensive intellectual dishonesty, all of which is presented as "realistic thinking". And, as we know, contemporary development studies are full of  "realistic thinking". So, let us learn something from Edgar Allan Poe!.  (Róbinson Rojas)
The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe V. 1
Volume 1 of the Raven Edition  #6 in our series by Edgar Allan Poe

Volume III  Contents
Narrative of A. Gordon Pym
A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
The Spectacles
King Pest
Three Sundays in a Week                        BACK TO MAIN INDEX
UPON my return to the United States a few months ago, after the
extraordinary series of adventure in the South Seas and elsewhere, of
which an account is given in the following pages, accident threw me
into the society of several gentlemen in Richmond, Va., who felt deep
interest in all matters relating to the regions I had visited, and
who were constantly urging it upon me, as a duty, to give my
narrative to the public. I had several reasons, however, for
declining to do so, some of which were of a nature altogether
private, and concern no person but myself; others not so much so. One
consideration which deterred me was that, having kept no journal
during a greater portion of the time in which I was absent, I feared
I should not be able to write, from mere memory, a statement so
minute and connected as to have the _appearance _of that truth it
would really possess, barring only the natural and unavoidable
exaggeration to which all of us are prone when detailing events which
have had powerful influence in exciting the imaginative faculties.
Another reason was, that the incidents to be narrated were of a
nature so positively marvellous that, unsupported as my assertions
must necessarily be (except by the evidence of a single individual,
and he a half-breed Indian), I could only hope for belief among my
family, and those of my friends who have had reason, through life, to
put faith in my veracity-the probability being that the public at
large would regard what I should put forth as merely an impudent and
ingenious fiction. A distrust in my own abilities as a writer was,
nevertheless, one of the principal causes which prevented me from
complying with the suggestions of my advisers.
Among those gentlemen in Virginia who expressed the greatest interest
in my statement, more particularly in regard to that portion of it
which related to the Antarctic Ocean, was Mr. Poe, lately editor of
the "Southern Literary Messenger," a monthly magazine, published by
Mr. Thomas W. White, in the city of Richmond. He strongly advised me,
among others, to prepare at once a full account of what I had seen
and undergone, and trust to the shrewdness and common-sense of the
public-insisting, with great plausibility, that however roughly, as
regards mere authorship, my book should be got up, its very
uncouthness, if there were any, would give it all the better chance
of being received as truth.
Notwithstanding this representation, I did not make up my mind to do
as he suggested. He afterward proposed (finding that I would not stir
in the matter) that I should allow him to draw up, in his own words,
a narrative of the earlier portion of my adventures, from facts
afforded by myself, publishing it in the "Southern Messenger" _under
the garb of fiction. _To this, perceiving no objection, I consented,
stipulating only that my real name should be retained. Two numbers of
the pretended fiction appeared, consequently, in the "Messenger" for
January and February (1837), and, in order that it might certainly be
regarded as fiction, the name of Mr. Poe was affixed to the articles
in the table of contents of the magazine.
The manner in which this ruse was received has induced me at length
to undertake a regular compilation and publication of the adventures
in question; for I found that, in spite of the air of fable which had
been so ingeniously thrown around that portion of my statement which
appeared in the "Messenger" (without altering or distorting a single
fact), the public were still not at all disposed to receive it as
fable, and several letters were sent to Mr. P.'s address, distinctly
expressing a conviction to the contrary. I thence concluded that the
facts of my narrative would prove of such a nature as to carry with
them sufficient evidence of their own authenticity, and that I had
consequently little to fear on the score of popular incredulity.
This_ exposé _being made, it will be seen at once how much of what
follows I claim to be my own writing; and it will also be understood
that no fact is misrepresented in the first few pages which were
written by Mr. Poe. Even to those readers who have not seen the
"Messenger," it will be unnecessary to point out where his portion
ends and my own commences; the difference in point of style will be
readily perceived.
                   A. G. PYM.

    MY name is Arthur Gordon Pym. My father was a respectable trader
in sea-stores at Nantucket, where I was born. My maternal grandfather
was an attorney in good practice. He was fortunate in every thing,
and had speculated very successfully in stocks of the Edgarton New
Bank, as it was formerly called. By these and other means he had
managed to lay by a tolerable sum of money. He was more attached to
myself, I believe, than to any other person in the world, and I
expected to inherit the most of his property at his death. He sent
me, at six years of age, to the school of old Mr. Ricketts, a
gentleman with only one arm and of eccentric manners -- he is well
known to almost every person who has visited New Bedford. I stayed at
his school until I was sixteen, when I left him for Mr. E. Ronald's
academy on the hill. Here I became intimate with the son of Mr.
Barnard, a sea-captain, who generally sailed in the employ of Lloyd
and Vredenburgh -- Mr. Barnard is also very well known in New
Bedford, and has many relations, I am certain, in Edgarton. His son
was named Augustus, and he was nearly two years older than myself. He
had been on a whaling voyage with his father in the John Donaldson,
and was always talking to me of his adventures in the South Pacific
Ocean. I used frequently to go home with him, and remain all day, and
sometimes all night. We occupied the same bed, and he would be sure
to keep me awake until almost light, telling me stories of the
natives of the Island of Tinian, and other places he had visited in
his travels. At last I could not help being interested in what he
said, and by degrees I felt the greatest desire to go to sea. I owned
a sailboat called the Ariel, and worth about seventy-five dollars.
She had a half-deck or cuddy, and was rigged sloop-fashion -- I
forget her tonnage, but she would hold ten persons without much
crowding. In this boat we were in the habit of going on some of the
maddest freaks in the world; and, when I now think of them, it
appears to me a thousand wonders that I am alive to-day.
    I will relate one of these adventures by way of introduction to a
longer and more momentous narrative. One night there was a party at
Mr. Barnard's, and both Augustus and myself were not a little
intoxicated toward the close of it. As usual, in such cases, I took
part of his bed in preference to going home. He went to sleep, as I
thought, very quietly (it being near one when the party broke up),
and without saying a word on his favorite topic. It might have been
half an hour from the time of our getting in bed, and I was just
about falling into a doze, when he suddenly started up, and swore
with a terrible oath that he would not go to sleep for any Arthur Pym
in Christendom, when there was so glorious a breeze from the
southwest. I never was so astonished in my life, not knowing what he
intended, and thinking that the wines and liquors he had drunk had
set him entirely beside himself. He proceeded to talk very coolly,
however, saying he knew that I supposed him intoxicated, but that he
was never more sober in his life. He was only tired, he added, of
lying in bed on such a fine night like a dog, and was determined to
get up and dress, and go out on a frolic with the boat. I can hardly
tell what possessed me, but the words were no sooner out of his mouth
than I felt a thrill of the greatest excitement and pleasure, and
thought his mad idea one of the most delightful and most reasonable
things in the world. It was blowing almost a gale, and the weather
was very cold -- it being late in October. I sprang out of bed,
nevertheless, in a kind of ecstasy, and told him I was quite as brave
as himself, and quite as tired as he was of lying in bed like a dog,
and quite as ready for any fun or frolic as any Augustus Barnard in
    We lost no time in getting on our clothes and hurrying down to
the boat. She was lying at the old decayed wharf by the lumber-yard
of Pankey & Co., and almost thumping her side out against the rough
logs. Augustus got into her and bailed her, for she was nearly half
full of water. This being done, we hoisted jib and mainsail, kept
full, and started boldly out to sea.
    The wind, as I before said, blew freshly from the southwest. The
night was very clear and cold. Augustus had taken the helm, and I
stationed myself by the mast, on the deck of the cuddy. We flew along
at a great rate -- neither of us having said a word since casting
loose from the wharf. I now asked my companion what course he
intended to steer, and what time he thought it probable we should get
back. He whistled for a few minutes, and then said crustily: "_I_ am
going to sea -- _you_ may go home if you think proper." Turning my
eyes upon him, I perceived at once that, in spite of his assumed
_nonchalance_, he was greatly agitated. I could see him distinctly by
the light of the moon -- his face was paler than any marble, and his
hand shook so excessively that he could scarcely retain hold of the
tiller. I found that something had gone wrong, and became seriously
alarmed. At this period I knew little about the management of a boat,
and was now depending entirely upon the nautical skill of my friend.
The wind, too, had suddenly increased, as we were fast getting out of
the lee of the land -- still I was ashamed to betray any trepidation,
and for almost half an hour maintained a resolute silence. I could
stand it no longer, however, and spoke to Augustus about the
propriety of turning back. As before, it was nearly a minute before
he made answer, or took any notice of my suggestion. "By-and-by,"
said he at length -- "time enough -- home by-and-by." I had expected
a similar reply, but there was something in the tone of these words
which filled me with an indescribable feeling of dread. I again
looked at the speaker attentively. His lips were perfectly livid, and
his knees shook so violently together that he seemed scarcely able to
stand. "For God's sake, Augustus," I screamed, now heartily
frightened, "what ails you?- what is the matter?- what _are_ you
going to do?" "Matter!" he stammered, in the greatest apparent
surprise, letting go the tiller at the same moment, and falling
forward into the bottom of the boat- "matter- why, nothing is the --
matter -- going home- d--d--don't you see?" The whole truth now
flashed upon me. I flew to him and raised him up. He was drunk --
beastly drunk -- he could no longer either stand, speak, or see. His
eyes were perfectly glazed; and as I let him go in the extremity of
my despair, he rolled like a mere log into the bilge-water, from
which I had lifted him. It was evident that, during the evening, he
had drunk far more than I suspected, and that his conduct in bed had
been the result of a highly-concentrated state of intoxication- a
state which, like madness, frequently enables the victim to imitate
the outward demeanour of one in perfect possession of his senses. The
coolness of the night air, however, had had its usual effect- the
mental energy began to yield before its influence- and the confused
perception which he no doubt then had of his perilous situation had
assisted in hastening the catastrophe. He was now thoroughly
insensible, and there was no probability that he would be otherwise
for many hours.
    It is hardly possible to conceive the extremity of my terror. The
fumes of the wine lately taken had evaporated, leaving me doubly
timid and irresolute. I knew that I was altogether incapable of
managing the boat, and that a fierce wind and strong ebb tide were
hurrying us to destruction. A storm was evidently gathering behind
us; we had neither compass nor provisions; and it was clear that, if
we held our present course, we should be out of sight of land before
daybreak. These thoughts, with a crowd of others equally fearful,
flashed through my mind with a bewildering rapidity, and for some
moments paralyzed me beyond the possibility of making any exertion.
The boat was going through the water at a terrible rate- full before
the wind- no reef in either jib or mainsail- running her bows
completely under the foam. It was a thousand wonders she did not
broach to- Augustus having let go the tiller, as I said before, and I
being too much agitated to think of taking it myself. By good luck,
however, she kept steady, and gradually I recovered some degree of
presence of mind. Still the wind was increasing fearfully, and
whenever we rose from a plunge forward, the sea behind fell combing
over our counter, and deluged us with water. I was so utterly
benumbed, too, in every limb, as to be nearly unconscious of
sensation. At length I summoned up the resolution of despair, and
rushing to the mainsail let it go by the run. As might have been
expected, it flew over the bows, and, getting drenched with water,
carried away the mast short off by the board. This latter accident
alone saved me from instant destruction. Under the jib only, I now
boomed along before the wind, shipping heavy seas occasionally over
the counter, but relieved from the terror of immediate death. I took
the helm, and breathed with greater freedom as I found that there yet
remained to us a chance of ultimate escape. Augustus still lay
senseless in the bottom of the boat; and as there was imminent danger
of his drowning (the water being nearly a foot deep just where he
fell), I contrived to raise him partially up, and keep him in a
sitting position, by passing a rope round his waist, and lashing it
to a ringbolt in the deck of the cuddy. Having thus arranged every
thing as well as I could in my chilled and agitated condition, I
recommended myself to God, and made up my mind to bear whatever might
happen with all the fortitude in my power.
    Hardly had I come to this resolution, when, suddenly, a loud and
long scream or yell, as if from the throats of a thousand demons,
seemed to pervade the whole atmosphere around and above the boat.
Never while I live shall I forget the intense agony of terror I
experienced at that moment. My hair stood erect on my head -- I felt
the blood congealing in my veins -- my heart ceased utterly to beat,
and without having once raised my eyes to learn the source of my
alarm, I tumbled headlong and insensible upon the body of my fallen
    I found myself, upon reviving, in the cabin of a large
whaling-ship (the Penguin) bound to Nantucket. Several persons were
standing over me, and Augustus, paler than death, was busily occupied
in chafing my hands. Upon seeing me open my eyes, his exclamations of
gratitude and joy excited alternate laughter and tears from the
rough-looking personages who were present. The mystery of our being
in existence was now soon explained. We had been run down by the
whaling-ship, which was close-hauled, beating up to Nantucket with
every sail she could venture to set, and consequently running almost
at right angles to our own course. Several men were on the look-out
forward, but did not perceive our boat until it was an impossibility
to avoid coming in contact- their shouts of warning upon seeing us
were what so terribly alarmed me. The huge ship, I was told, rode
immediately over us with as much ease as our own little vessel would
have passed over a feather, and without the least perceptible
impediment to her progress. Not a scream arose from the deck of the
victim- there was a slight grating sound to be heard mingling with
the roar of wind and water, as the frail bark which was swallowed up
rubbed for a moment along the keel of her destroyer- but this was
all. Thinking our boat (which it will be remembered was dismasted)
some mere shell cut adrift as useless, the captain (Captain E. T. V.
Block, of New London) was for proceeding on his course without
troubling himself further about the matter. Luckily, there were two
of the look-out who swore positively to having seen some person at
our helm, and represented the possibility of yet saving him. A
discussion ensued, when Block grew angry, and, after a while, said
that "it was no business of his to be eternally watching for
egg-shells; that the ship should not put about for any such nonsense;
and if there was a man run down, it was nobody's fault but Henderson,
the first mate, now took the matter up, being justly indignant, as
well as the whole ship's crew, at a speech evincing so base a degree
of heartless atrocity. He spoke plainly, seeing himself upheld by the
men, told the captain he considered him a fit subject for the
gallows, and that he would disobey his orders if he were hanged for
it the moment he set his foot on shore. He strode aft, jostling Block
(who turned pale and made no answer) on one side, and seizing the
helm, gave the word, in a firm voice, Hard-a-lee! The men flew to
their posts, and the ship went cleverly about. All this had occupied
nearly five minutes, and it was supposed to be hardly within the
bounds of possibility that any individual could be saved- allowing
any to have been on board the boat. Yet, as the reader has seen, both
Augustus and myself were rescued; and our deliverance seemed to have
been brought about by two of those almost inconceivable pieces of
good fortune which are attributed by the wise and pious to the
special interference of Providence.
    While the ship was yet in stays, the mate lowered the jolly-boat
and jumped into her with the very two men, I believe, who spoke up as
having seen me at the helm. They had just left the lee of the vessel
(the moon still shining brightly) when she made a long and heavy roll
to windward, and Henderson, at the same moment, starting up in his
seat bawled out to his crew to back water. He would say nothing else-
repeating his cry impatiently, back water! black water! The men put
back as speedily as possible, but by this time the ship had gone
round, and gotten fully under headway, although all hands on board
were making great exertions to take in sail. In despite of the danger
of the attempt, the mate clung to the main-chains as soon as they
came within his reach. Another huge lurch now brought the starboard
side of the vessel out of water nearly as far as her keel, when the
cause of his anxiety was rendered obvious enough. The body of a man
was seen to be affixed in the most singular manner to the smooth and
shining bottom (the Penguin was coppered and copper-fastened), and
beating violently against it with every movement of the hull. After
several ineffectual efforts, made during the lurches of the ship, and
at the imminent risk of swamping the boat I was finally disengaged
from my perilous situation and taken on board- for the body proved to
be my own. It appeared that one of the timber-bolts having started
and broken a passage through the copper, it had arrested my progress
as I passed under the ship, and fastened me in so extraordinary a
manner to her bottom. The head of the bolt had made its way through
the collar of the green baize jacket I had on, and through the back
part of my neck, forcing itself out between two sinews and just below
the right ear. I was immediately put to bed- although life seemed to
be totally extinct. There was no surgeon on board. The captain,
however, treated me with every attention- to make amends, I presume,
in the eyes of his crew, for his atrocious behaviour in the previous
portion of the adventure.
    In the meantime, Henderson had again put off from the ship,
although the wind was now blowing almost a hurricane. He had not been
gone many minutes when he fell in with some fragments of our boat,
and shortly afterward one of the men with him asserted that he could
distinguish a cry for help at intervals amid the roaring of the
tempest. This induced the hardy seamen to persevere in their search
for more than half an hour, although repeated signals to return were
made them by Captain Block, and although every moment on the water in
so frail a boat was fraught to them with the most imminent and deadly
peril. Indeed, it is nearly impossible to conceive how the small
jolly they were in could have escaped destruction for a single
instant. She was built, however, for the whaling service, and was
fitted, as I have since had reason to believe, with air-boxes, in the
manner of some life-boats used on the coast of Wales.
    After searching in vain for about the period of time just
mentioned, it was determined to get back to the ship. They had
scarcely made this resolve when a feeble cry arose from a dark object
that floated rapidly by. They pursued and soon overtook it. It proved
to be the entire deck of the Ariel's cuddy. Augustus was struggling
near it, apparently in the last agonies. Upon getting hold of him it
was found that he was attached by a rope to the floating timber. This
rope, it will be remembered, I had myself tied around his waist, and
made fast to a ringbolt, for the purpose of keeping him in an upright
position, and my so doing, it appeared, had been ultimately the means
of preserving his life. The Ariel was slightly put together, and in
going down her frame naturally went to pieces; the deck of the cuddy,
as might have been expected, was lifted, by the force of the water
rushing in, entirely from the main timbers, and floated (with other
fragments, no doubt) to the surface- Augustus was buoyed up with it,
and thus escaped a terrible death.
    It was more than an hour after being taken on board the Penguin
before he could give any account of himself, or be made to comprehend
the nature of the accident which had befallen our boat. At length he
became thoroughly aroused, and spoke much of his sensations while in
the water. Upon his first attaining any degree of consciousness, he
found himself beneath the surface, whirling round and round with
inconceivable rapidity, and with a rope wrapped in three or four
folds tightly about his neck. In an instant afterward he felt himself
going rapidly upward, when, his head striking violently against a
hard substance, he again relapsed into insensibility. Upon once more
reviving he was in fuller possession of his reason- this was still,
however, in the greatest degree clouded and confused. He now knew
that some accident had occurred, and that he was in the water,
although his mouth was above the surface, and he could breathe with
some freedom. Possibly, at this period the deck was drifting rapidly
before the wind, and drawing him after it, as he floated upon his
back. Of course, as long as he could have retained this position, it
would have been nearly impossible that he should be drowned.
Presently a surge threw him directly athwart the deck, and this post
he endeavored to maintain, screaming at intervals for help. just
before he was discovered by Mr. Henderson, he had been obliged to
relax his hold through exhaustion, and, falling into the sea, had
given himself up for lost. During the whole period of his struggles
he had not the faintest recollection of the Ariel, nor of the matters
in connexion with the source of his disaster. A vague feeling of
terror and despair had taken entire possession of his faculties. When
he was finally picked up, every power of his mind had failed him;
and, as before said, it was nearly an hour after getting on board the
Penguin before he became fully aware of his condition. In regard to
myself- I was resuscitated from a state bordering very nearly upon
death (and after every other means had been tried in vain for three
hours and a half) by vigorous friction with flannels bathed in hot
oil- a proceeding suggested by Augustus. The wound in my neck,
although of an ugly appearance, proved of little real consequence,
and I soon recovered from its effects.
    The Penguin got into port about nine o'clock in the morning,
after encountering one of the severest gales ever experienced off
Nantucket. Both Augustus and myself managed to appear at Mr.
Barnard's in time for breakfast- which, luckily, was somewhat late,
owing to the party over night. I suppose all at the table were too
much fatigued themselves to notice our jaded appearance- of course,
it would not have borne a very rigid scrutiny. Schoolboys, however,
can accomplish wonders in the way of deception, and I verily believe
not one of our friends in Nantucket had the slightest suspicion that
the terrible story told by some sailors in town of their having run
down a vessel at sea and drowned some thirty or forty poor devils,
had reference either to the Ariel, my companion, or myself. We two
have since very frequently talked the matter over- but never without
a shudder. In one of our conversations Augustus frankly confessed to
me, that in his whole life he had at no time experienced so
excruciating a sense of dismay, as when on board our little boat he
first discovered the extent of his intoxication, and felt himself
sinking beneath its influence.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 1 ~~~

    IN no affairs of mere prejudice, pro or con, do we deduce
inferences with entire certainty, even from the most simple data. It
might be supposed that a catastrophe such as I have just related
would have effectually cooled my incipient passion for the sea. On
the contrary, I never experienced a more ardent longing for the wild
adventures incident to the life of a navigator than within a week
after our miraculous deliverance. This short period proved amply long
enough to erase from my memory the shadows, and bring out in vivid
light all the pleasurably exciting points of color, all the
picturesqueness, of the late perilous accident. My conversations with
Augustus grew daily more frequent and more intensely full of
interest. He had a manner of relating his stories of the ocean (more
than one half of which I now suspect to have been sheer fabrications)
well adapted to have weight with one of my enthusiastic temperament
and somewhat gloomy although glowing imagination. It is strange, too,
that he most strongly enlisted my feelings in behalf of the life of a
seaman, when he depicted his more terrible moments of suffering and
despair. For the bright side of the painting I had a limited
sympathy. My visions were of shipwreck and famine; of death or
captivity among barbarian hordes; of a lifetime dragged out in sorrow
and tears, upon some gray and desolate rock, in an ocean
unapproachable and unknown. Such visions or desires- for they
amounted to desires- are common, I have since been assured, to the
whole numerous race of the melancholy among men- at the time of which
I speak I regarded them only as prophetic glimpses of a destiny which
I felt myself in a measure bound to fulfil. Augustus thoroughly
entered into my state of mind. It is probable, indeed, that our
intimate communion had resulted in a partial interchange of
    About eighteen months after the period of the Ariel's disaster,
the firm of Lloyd and Vredenburgh (a house connected in some manner
with the Messieurs Enderby, I believe, of Liverpool) were engaged in
repairing and fitting out the brig Grampus for a whaling voyage. She
was an old hulk, and scarcely seaworthy when all was done to her that
could be done. I hardly know why she was chosen in preference to
other good vessels belonging to the same owners -- but so it was. Mr.
Barnard was appointed to command her, and Augustus was going with
him. While the brig was getting ready, he frequently urged upon me
the excellency of the opportunity now offered for indulging my desire
of travel. He found me by no means an unwilling listener -- yet the
matter could not be so easily arranged. My father made no direct
opposition; but my mother went into hysterics at the bare mention of
the design; and, more than all, my grandfather, from whom I expected
much, vowed to cut me off with a shilling if I should ever broach the
subject to him again. These difficulties, however, so far from
abating my desire, only added fuel to the flame. I determined to go
at all hazards; and, having made known my intentions to Augustus, we
set about arranging a plan by which it might be accomplished. In the
meantime I forbore speaking to any of my relations in regard to the
voyage, and, as I busied myself ostensibly with my usual studies, it
was supposed that I had abandoned the design. I have since frequently
examined my conduct on this occasion with sentiments of displeasure
as well as of surprise. The intense hypocrisy I made use of for the
furtherance of my project- an hypocrisy pervading every word and
action of my life for so long a period of time- could only have been
rendered tolerable to myself by the wild and burning expectation with
which I looked forward to the fulfilment of my long-cherished visions
of travel.
    In pursuance of my scheme of deception, I was necessarily obliged
to leave much to the management of Augustus, who was employed for the
greater part of every day on board the Grampus, attending to some
arrangements for his father in the cabin and cabin hold. At night,
however, we were sure to have a conference and talk over our hopes.
After nearly a month passed in this manner, without our hitting upon
any plan we thought likely to succeed, he told me at last that he had
determined upon everything necessary. I had a relation living in New
Bedford, a Mr. Ross, at whose house I was in the habit of spending
occasionally two or three weeks at a time. The brig was to sail about
the middle of June (June, 1827), and it was agreed that, a day or two
before her putting to sea, my father was to receive a note, as usual,
from Mr. Ross, asking me to come over and spend a fortnight with
Robert and Emmet (his sons). Augustus charged himself with the
inditing of this note and getting it delivered. Having set out as
supposed, for New Bedford, I was then to report myself to my
companion, who would contrive a hiding-place for me in the Grampus.
This hiding-place, he assured me, would be rendered sufficiently
comfortable for a residence of many days, during which I was not to
make my appearance. When the brig had proceeded so far on her course
as to make any turning back a matter out of question, I should then,
he said, be formally installed in all the comforts of the cabin; and
as to his father, he would only laugh heartily at the joke. Vessels
enough would be met with by which a letter might be sent home
explaining the adventure to my parents.
    The middle of June at length arrived, and every thing had been
matured. The note was written and delivered, and on a Monday morning
I left the house for the New Bedford packet, as supposed. I went,
however, straight to Augustus, who was waiting for me at the corner
of a street. It had been our original plan that I should keep out of
the way until dark, and then slip on board the brig; but, as there
was now a thick fog in our favor, it was agreed to lose no time in
secreting me. Augustus led the way to the wharf, and I followed at a
little distance, enveloped in a thick seaman's cloak, which he had
brought with him, so that my person might not be easily recognized.
just as we turned the second corner, after passing Mr. Edmund's well,
who should appear, standing right in front of me, and looking me full
in the face, but old Mr. Peterson, my grandfather. "Why, bless my
soul, Gordon," said he, after a long pause, "why, why,- whose dirty
cloak is that you have on?" "Sir!" I replied, assuming, as well as I
could, in the exigency of the moment, an air of offended surprise,
and talking in the gruffest of all imaginable tones- "sir! you are a
sum'mat mistaken- my name, in the first place, bee'nt nothing at all
like Goddin, and I'd want you for to know better, you blackguard,
than to call my new obercoat a darty one." For my life I could hardly
refrain from screaming with laughter at the odd manner in which the
old gentleman received this handsome rebuke. He started back two or
three steps, turned first pale and then excessively red, threw up his
spectacles, then, putting them down, ran full tilt at me, with his
umbrella uplifted. He stopped short, however, in his career, as if
struck with a sudden recollection; and presently, turning round,
hobbled off down the street, shaking all the while with rage, and
muttering between his teeth: "Won't do -- new glasses -- thought it
was Gordon --d--d good-for-nothing salt water Long Tom."
   After this narrow escape we proceeded with greater caution, and
arrived at our point of destination in safety. There were only one or
two of the hands on board, and these were busy forward, doing
something to the forecastle combings. Captain Barnard, we knew very
well, was engaged at Lloyd and Vredenburgh's, and would remain there
until late in the evening, so we had little to apprehend on his
account. Augustus went first up the vessel's side, and in a short
while I followed him, without being noticed by the men at work. We
proceeded at once into the cabin, and found no person there. It was
fitted up in the most comfortable style- a thing somewhat unusual in
a whaling-vessel. There were four very excellent staterooms, with
wide and convenient berths. There was also a large stove, I took
notice, and a remarkably thick and valuable carpet covering the floor
of both the cabin and staterooms. The ceiling was full seven feet
high, and, in short, every thing appeared of a more roomy and
agreeable nature than I had anticipated. Augustus, however, would
allow me but little time for observation, insisting upon the
necessity of my concealing myself as soon as possible. He led the way
into his own stateroom, which was on the starboard side of the brig,
and next to the bulkheads. Upon entering, he closed the door and
bolted it. I thought I had never seen a nicer little room than the
one in which I now found myself. It was about ten feet long, and had
only one berth, which, as I said before, was wide and convenient. In
that portion of the closet nearest the bulkheads there was a space of
four feet square, containing a table, a chair, and a set of hanging
shelves full of books, chiefly books of voyages and travels. There
were many other little comforts in the room, among which I ought not
to forget a kind of safe or refrigerator, in which Augustus pointed
out to me a host of delicacies, both in the eating and drinking
    He now pressed with his knuckles upon a certain spot of the
carpet in one corner of the space just mentioned, letting me know
that a portion of the flooring, about sixteen inches square, had been
neatly cut out and again adjusted. As he pressed, this portion rose
up at one end sufficiently to allow the passage of his finger
beneath. In this manner he raised the mouth of the trap (to which the
carpet was still fastened by tacks), and I found that it led into the
after hold. He next lit a small taper by means of a phosphorous
match, and, placing the light in a dark lantern, descended with it
through the opening, bidding me follow. I did so, and be then pulled
the cover upon the hole, by means of a nail driven into the under
side- the carpet, of course, resuming its original position on the
floor of the stateroom, and all traces of the aperture being
    The taper gave out so feeble a ray that it was with the greatest
difficulty I could grope my way through the confused mass of lumber
among which I now found myself. By degrees, however, my eyes became
accustomed to the gloom, and I proceeded with less trouble, holding
on to the skirts of my friend's coat. He brought me, at length, after
creeping and winding through innumerable narrow passages, to an
iron-bound box, such as is used sometimes for packing fine
earthenware. It was nearly four feet high, and full six long, but
very narrow. Two large empty oil-casks lay on the top of it, and
above these, again, a vast quantity of straw matting, piled up as
high as the floor of the cabin. In every other direction around was
wedged as closely as possible, even up to the ceiling, a complete
chaos of almost every species of ship-furniture, together with a
heterogeneous medley of crates, hampers, barrels, and bales, so that
it seemed a matter no less than miraculous that we had discovered any
passage at all to the box. I afterward found that Augustus had
purposely arranged the stowage in this hold with a view to affording
me a thorough concealment, having had only one assistant in the
labour, a man not going out in the brig.
    My companion now showed me that one of the ends of the box could
be removed at pleasure. He slipped it aside and displayed the
interior, at which I was excessively amused. A mattress from one of
the cabin berths covered the whole of its bottom, and it contained
almost every article of mere comfort which could be crowded into so
small a space, allowing me, at the same time, sufficient room for my
accommodation, either in a sitting position or lying at full length.
Among other things, there were some books, pen, ink, and paper, three
blankets, a large jug full of water, a keg of sea-biscuit, three or
four immense Bologna sausages, an enormous ham, a cold leg of roast
mutton, and half a dozen bottles of cordials and liqueurs. I
proceeded immediately to take possession of my little apartment, and
this with feelings of higher satisfaction, I am sure, than any
monarch ever experienced upon entering a new palace. Augustus now
pointed out to me the method of fastening the open end of the box,
and then, holding the taper close to the deck, showed me a piece of
dark whipcord lying along it. This, he said, extended from my
hiding-place throughout an the necessary windings among the lumber,
to a nail which was driven into the deck of the hold, immediately
beneath the trap-door leading into his stateroom. By means of this
cord I should be enabled readily to trace my way out without his
guidance, provided any unlooked-for accident should render such a
step necessary. He now took his departure, leaving with me the
lantern, together with a copious supply of tapers and phosphorous,
and promising to pay me a visit as often as he could contrive to do
so without observation. This was on the seventeenth of June.
    I remained three days and nights (as nearly as I could guess) in
my hiding-place without getting out of it at all, except twice for
the purpose of stretching my limbs by standing erect between two
crates just opposite the opening. During the whole period I saw
nothing of Augustus; but this occasioned me little uneasiness, as I
knew the brig was expected to put to sea every hour, and in the
bustle he would not easily find opportunities of coming down to me.
At length I heard the trap open and shut. and presently he called in
a low voice, asking if all was well, and if there was any thing I
wanted. "Nothing," I replied; "I am as comfortable as can be; when
will the brig sail?" "She will be under weigh in less than half an
hour," he answered. "I came to let you know, and for fear you should
be uneasy at my absence. I shall not have a chance of coming down
again for some time- perhaps for three or four days more. All is
going on right aboveboard. After I go up and close the trap, do you
creep along by the whipcord to where the nail is driven in. You will
find my watch there -- it may be useful to you, as you have no
daylight to keep time by. I suppose you can't tell how long you have
been buried- only three days- this is the twentieth. I would bring
the watch to your box, but am afraid of being missed." With this he
went up.
    In about an hour after he had gone I distinctly felt the brig in
motion, and congratulated myself upon having at length fairly
commenced a voyage. Satisfied with this idea, I determined to make my
mind as easy as possible, and await the course of events until I
should be permitted to exchange the box for the more roomy, although
hardly more comfortable, accommodations of the cabin. My first care
was to get the watch. Leaving the taper burning, I groped along in
the dark, following the cord through windings innumerable, in some of
which I discovered that, after toiling a long distance, I was brought
back within a foot or two of a former position. At length I reached
the nail, and securing the object of my journey, returned with it in
safety. I now looked over the books which had been so thoughtfully
provided, and selected the expedition of Lewis and Clarke to the
mouth of the Columbia. With this I amused myself for some time, when,
growing sleepy, I extinguished the light with great care, and soon
fell into a sound slumber.
    Upon awakening I felt strangely confused in mind, and some time
elapsed before I could bring to recollection all the various
circumstances of my situation. By degrees, however, I remembered all.
Striking a light, I looked at the watch; but it was run down, and
there were, consequently, no means of determining how long I slept.
My limbs were greatly cramped, and I was forced to relieve them by
standing between the crates. Presently feeling an almost ravenous
appetite, I bethought myself of the cold mutton, some of which I had
eaten just before going to sleep, and found excellent. What was my
astonishment in discovering it to be in a state of absolute
putrefaction! This circumstance occasioned me great disquietude; for,
connecting it with the disorder of mind I experienced upon awakening,
I began to suppose that I must have slept for an inordinately long
period of time. The close atmosphere of the hold might have had
something to do with this, and might, in the end, be productive of
the most serious results. My head ached excessively; I fancied that I
drew every breath with difficulty; and, in short, I was oppressed
with a multitude of gloomy feelings. Still I could not venture to
make any disturbance by opening the trap or otherwise, and, having
wound up the watch, contented myself as well as possible.
    Throughout the whole of the next tedious twenty-four hours no
person came to my relief, and I could not help accusing Augustus of
the grossest inattention. What alarmed me chiefly was, that the water
in my jug was reduced to about half a pint, and I was suffering much
from thirst, having eaten freely of the Bologna sausages after the
loss of my mutton. I became very uneasy, and could no longer take any
interest in my books. I was overpowered, too, with a desire to sleep,
yet trembled at the thought of indulging it, lest there might exist
some pernicious influence, like that of burning charcoal, in the
confined air of the hold. In the meantime the roll of the brig told
me that we were far in the main ocean, and a dull humming sound,
which reached my ears as if from an immense distance, convinced me no
ordinary gale was blowing. I could not imagine a reason for the
absence of Augustus. We were surely far enough advanced on our voyage
to allow of my going up. Some accident might have happened to him-
but I could think of none which would account for his suffering me to
remain so long a prisoner, except, indeed, his having suddenly died
or fallen overboard, and upon this idea I could not dwell with any
degree of patience. It was possible that we had been baffled by head
winds, and were still in the near vicinity of Nantucket. This notion,
however, I was forced to abandon; for such being the case, the brig
must have frequently gone about; and I was entirely satisfied, from
her continual inclination to the larboard, that she had been sailing
all along with a steady breeze on her starboard quarter. Besides,
granting that we were still in the neighborhood of the island, why
should not Augustus have visited me and informed me of the
circumstance? Pondering in this manner upon the difficulties of my
solitary and cheerless condition, I resolved to wait yet another
twenty-four hours, when, if no relief were obtained, I would make my
way to the trap, and endeavour either to hold a parley with my
friend, or get at least a little fresh air through the opening, and a
further supply of water from the stateroom. While occupied with this
thought, however, I fell in spite of every exertion to the contrary,
into a state of profound sleep, or rather stupor. My dreams were of
the most terrific description. Every species of calamity and horror
befell me. Among other miseries I was smothered to death between huge
pillows, by demons of the most ghastly and ferocious aspect. Immense
serpents held me in their embrace, and looked earnestly in my face
with their fearfully shining eyes. Then deserts, limitless, and of
the most forlorn and awe-inspiring character, spread themselves out
before me. Immensely tall trunks of trees, gray and leafless, rose up
in endless succession as far as the eye could reach. Their roots were
concealed in wide-spreading morasses, whose dreary water lay
intensely black, still, and altogether terrible, beneath. And the
strange trees seemed endowed with a human vitality, and waving to and
fro their skeleton arms, were crying to the silent waters for mercy,
in the shrill and piercing accents of the most acute agony and
despair. The scene changed; and I stood, naked and alone, amidst the
burning sand-plains of Sahara. At my feet lay crouched a fierce lion
of the tropics. Suddenly his wild eyes opened and fell upon me. With
a conculsive bound he sprang to his feet, and laid bare his horrible
teeth. In another instant there burst from his red throat a roar like
the thunder of the firmament, and I fell impetuously to the earth.
Stifling in a paroxysm of terror, I at last found myself partially
awake. My dream, then, was not all a dream. Now, at least, I was in
possession of my senses. The paws of some huge and real monster were
pressing heavily upon my bosom -- his hot breath was in my ear- and
his white and ghastly fangs were gleaming upon me through the gloom.
    Had a thousand lives hung upon the movement of a limb or the
utterance of a syllable, I could have neither stirred nor spoken. The
beast, whatever it was, retained his position without attempting any
immediate violence, while I lay in an utterly helpless, and, I
fancied, a dying condition beneath him. I felt that my powers of body
and mind were fast leaving me- in a word, that I was perishing, and
perishing of sheer fright. My brain swam -- I grew deadly sick -- my
vision failed -- even the glaring eyeballs above me grew dim. Making
a last strong effort, I at length breathed a faint ejaculation to
God, and resigned myself to die. The sound of my voice seemed to
arouse all the latent fury of the animal. He precipitated himself at
full length upon my body; but what was my astonishment, when, with a
long and low whine, he commenced licking my face and hands with the
greatest eagerness, and with the most extravagant demonstration of
affection and joy! I was bewildered, utterly lost in amazement- but I
could not forget the peculiar whine of my Newfoundland dog Tiger, and
the odd manner of his caresses I well knew. It was he. I experienced
a sudden rush of blood to my temples- a giddy and overpowering sense
of deliverance and reanimation. I rose hurriedly from the mattress
upon which I had been lying, and, throwing myself upon the neck of my
faithful follower and friend, relieved the long oppression of my
bosom in a flood of the most passionate tears.
    As upon a former occasion my conceptions were in a state of the
greatest indistinctness and confusion after leaving the mattress. For
a long time I found it nearly impossible to connect any ideas; but,
by very slow degrees, my thinking faculties returned, and I again
called to memory the several incidents of my condition. For the
presence of Tiger I tried in vain to account; and after busying
myself with a thousand different conjectures respecting him, was
forced to content myself with rejoicing that he was with me to share
my dreary solitude, and render me comfort by his caresses. Most
people love their dogs -- but for Tiger I had an affection far more
ardent than common; and never, certainly, did any creature more truly
deserve it. For seven years he had been my inseparable companion, and
in a multitude of instances had given evidence of all the noble
qualities for which we value the animal. I had rescued him, when a
puppy, from the clutches of a malignant little villain in Nantucket
who was leading him, with a rope around his neck, to the water; and
the grown dog repaid the obligation, about three years afterward, by
saving me from the bludgeon of a street robber.
    Getting now hold of the watch, I found, upon applying it to my
ear, that it had again run down; but at this I was not at all
surprised, being convinced, from the peculiar state of my feelings,
that I had slept, as before, for a very long period of time, how
long, it was of course impossible to say. I was burning up with
fever, and my thirst was almost intolerable. I felt about the box for
my little remaining supply of water, for I had no light, the taper
having burnt to the socket of the lantern, and the phosphorus-box not
coming readily to hand. Upon finding the jug, however, I discovered
it to be empty -- Tiger, no doubt, having been tempted to drink it,
as well as to devour the remnant of mutton, the bone of which lay,
well picked, by the opening of the box. The spoiled meat I could well
spare, but my heart sank as I thought of the water. I was feeble in
the extreme -- so much so that I shook all over, as with an ague, at
the slightest movement or exertion. To add to my troubles, the brig
was pitching and rolling with great violence, and the oil-casks which
lay upon my box were in momentary danger of falling down, so as to
block up the only way of ingress or egress. I felt, also, terrible
sufferings from sea-sickness. These considerations determined me to
make my way, at all hazards, to the trap, and obtain immediate
relief, before I should be incapacitated from doing so altogether.
Having come to this resolve, I again felt about for the
phosphorus-box and tapers. The former I found after some little
trouble; but, not discovering the tapers as soon as I had expected
(for I remembered very nearly the spot in which I had placed them), I
gave up the search for the present, and bidding Tiger lie quiet,
began at once my journey toward the trap.
    In this attempt my great feebleness became more than ever
apparent. It was with the utmost difficulty I could crawl along at
all, and very frequently my limbs sank suddenly from beneath me;
when, falling prostrate on my face, I would remain for some minutes
in a state bordering on insensibility. Still I struggled forward by
slow degrees, dreading every moment that I should swoon amid the
narrow and intricate windings of the lumber, in which event I had
nothing but death to expect as the result. At length, upon making a
push forward with all the energy I could command, I struck my
forehead violently against the sharp corner of an iron-bound crate.
The accident only stunned me for a few moments; but I found, to my
inexpressible grief, that the quick and violent roll of the vessel
had thrown the crate entirely across my path, so as effectually to
block up the passage. With my utmost exertions I could not move it a
single inch from its position, it being closely wedged in among the
surrounding boxes and ship-furniture. It became necessary, therefore,
enfeebled as I was, either to leave the guidance of the whipcord and
seek out a new passage, or to climb over the obstacle, and resume the
path on the other side. The former alternative presented too many
difficulties and dangers to be thought of without a shudder. In my
present weak state of both mind and body, I should infallibly lose my
way if I attempted it, and perish miserably amid the dismal and
disgusting labyrinths of the hold. I proceeded, therefore, without
hesitation, to summon up all my remaining strength and fortitude, and
endeavour, as I best might, to clamber over the crate.
    Upon standing erect, with this end in view, I found the
undertaking even a more serious task than my fears had led me to
imagine. On each side of the narrow passage arose a complete wall of
various heavy lumber, which the least blunder on my part might be the
means of bringing down upon my head; or, if this accident did not
occur, the path might be effectually blocked up against my return by
the descending mass, as it was in front by the obstacle there. The
crate itself was a long and unwieldy box, upon which no foothold
could be obtained. In vain I attempted, by every means in my power,
to reach the top, with the hope of being thus enabled to draw myself
up. Had I succeeded in reaching it, it is certain that my strength
would have proved utterly inadequate to the task of getting over, and
it was better in every respect that I failed. At length, in a
desperate effort to force the crate from its ground, I felt a strong
vibration in the side next me. I thrust my hand eagerly to the edge
of the planks, and found that a very large one was loose. With my
pocket-knife, which, luckily, I had with me, I succeeded, after great
labour, in prying it entirely off; and getting it through the
aperture, discovered, to my exceeding joy, that there were no boards
on the opposite side -- in other words, that the top was wanting, it
being the bottom through which I had forced my way. I now met with no
important difficulty in proceeding along the line until I finally
reached the nail. With a beating heart I stood erect, and with a
gentle touch pressed against the cover of the trap. It did not rise
as soon as I had expected, and I pressed it with somewhat more
determination, still dreading lest some other person than Augustus
might be in his state-room. The door, however, to my astonishment,
remained steady, and I became somewhat uneasy, for I knew that it had
formerly required but little or no effort to remove it. I pushed it
strongly -- it was nevertheless firm: with all my strength -- it
still did not give way: with rage, with fury, with despair -- it set
at defiance my utmost efforts; and it was evident, from the
unyielding nature of the resistance, that the hole had either been
discovered and effectually nailed up, or that some immense weight had
been placed upon it, which it was useless to think of removing.
    My sensations were those of extreme horror and dismay. In vain I
attempted to reason on the probable cause of my being thus entombed.
I could summon up no connected chain of reflection, and, sinking on
the floor, gave way, unresistingly, to the most gloomy imaginings, in
which the dreadful deaths of thirst, famine, suffocation, and
premature interment crowded upon me as the prominent disasters to be
encountered. At length there returned to me some portion of presence
of mind. I arose, and felt with my fingers for the seams or cracks of
the aperture. Having found them, I examined them closely to ascertain
if they emitted any light from the state-room; but none was visible.
I then forced the blade of my pen-knife through them, until I met
with some hard obstacle. Scraping against it, I discovered it to be a
solid mass of iron, which, from its peculiar wavy feel as I passed
the blade along it, I concluded to be a chain-cable. The only course
now left me was to retrace my way to the box, and there either yield
to my sad fate, or try so to tranquilize my mind as to admit of my
arranging some plan of escape. I immediately set about the attempt,
and succeeded, after innumerable difficulties, in getting back. As I
sank, utterly exhausted, upon the mattress, Tiger threw himself at
full length by my side, and seemed as if desirous, by his caresses,
of consoling me in my troubles, and urging me to bear them with
    The singularity of his behavior at length forcibly arrested my
attention. After licking my face and hands for some minutes, he would
suddenly cease doing so, and utter a low whine. Upon reaching out my
hand toward him, I then invariably found him lying on his back, with
his paws uplifted. This conduct, so frequently repeated, appeared
strange, and I could in no manner account for it. As the dog seemed
distressed, I concluded that he had received some injury; and, taking
his paws in my hands, I examined them one by one, but found no sign
of any hurt. I then supposed him hungry, and gave him a large piece
of ham, which he devoured with avidity -- afterward, however,
resuming his extraordinary manoeuvres. I now imagined that he was
suffering, like myself, the torments of thirst, and was about
adopting this conclusion as the true one, when the idea occurred to
me that I had as yet only examined his paws, and that there might
possibly be a wound upon some portion of his body or head. The latter
I felt carefully over, but found nothing. On passing my hand,
however, along his back, I perceived a slight erection of the hair
extending completely across it. Probing this with my finger, I
discovered a string, and tracing it up, found that it encircled the
whole body. Upon a closer scrutiny, I came across a small slip of
what had the feeling of letter paper, through which the string had
been fastened in such a manner as to bring it immediately beneath the
left shoulder of the animal.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 2 ~~~

    THE thought instantly occurred to me that the paper was a note
from Augustus, and that some unaccountable accident having happened
to prevent his relieving me from my dungeon, he had devised this
method of acquainting me with the true state of affairs. Trembling
with eagerness, I now commenced another search for my phosphorus
matches and tapers. I had a confused recollection of having put them
carefully away just before falling asleep; and, indeed, previously to
my last journey to the trap, I had been able to remember the exact
spot where I had deposited them. But now I endeavored in vain to call
it to mind, and busied myself for a full hour in a fruitless and
vexatious search for the missing articles; never, surely, was there a
more tantalizing state of anxiety and suspense. At length, while
groping about, with my head close to the ballast, near the opening of
the box, and outside of it, I perceived a faint glimmering of light
in the direction of the steerage. Greatly surprised, I endeavored to
make my way toward it, as it appeared to be but a few feet from my
position. Scarcely had I moved with this intention, when I lost sight
of the glimmer entirely, and, before I could bring it into view
again, was obliged to feel along by the box until I had exactly
resumed my original situation. Now, moving my head with caution to
and fro, I found that, by proceeding slowly, with great care, in an
opposite direction to that in which I had at first started, I was
enabled to draw near the light, still keeping it in view. Presently I
came directly upon it (having squeezed my way through innumerable
narrow windings), and found that it proceeded from some fragments of
my matches lying in an empty barrel turned upon its side. I was
wondering how they came in such a place, when my hand fell upon two
or three pieces of taper wax, which had been evidently mumbled by the
dog. I concluded at once that he had devoured the whole of my supply
of candles, and I felt hopeless of being ever able to read the note
of Augustus. The small remnants of the wax were so mashed up among
other rubbish in the barrel, that I despaired of deriving any service
from them, and left them as they were. The phosphorus, of which there
was only a speck or two, I gathered up as well as I could, and
returned with it, after much difficulty, to my box, where Tiger had
all the while remained.
     What to do next I could not tell. The hold was so intensely dark
that I could not see my hand, however close I would hold it to my
face. The white slip of paper could barely be discerned, and not even
that when I looked at it directly; by turning the exterior portions
of the retina toward it- that is to say, by surveying it slightly
askance, I found that it became in some measure perceptible. Thus the
gloom of my prison may be imagined, and the note of my friend, if
indeed it were a note from him, seemed only likely to throw me into
further trouble, by disquieting to no purpose my already enfeebled
and agitated mind. In vain I revolved in my brain a multitude of
absurd expedients for procuring light- such expedients precisely as a
man in the perturbed sleep occasioned by opium would be apt to fall
upon for a similar purpose- each and all of which appear by turns to
the dreamer the most reasonable and the most preposterous of
conceptions, just as the reasoning or imaginative faculties flicker,
alternately, one above the other. At last an idea occurred to me
which seemed rational, and which gave me cause to wonder, very
justly, that I had not entertained it before. I placed the slip of
paper on the back of a book, and, collecting the fragments of the
phosphorus matches which I had brought from the barrel, laid them
together upon the paper. I then, with the palm of my hand, rubbed the
whole over quickly, yet steadily. A clear light diffused itself
immediately throughout the whole surface; and had there been any
writing upon it, I should not have experienced the least difficulty,
I am sure, in reading it. Not a syllable was there, however- nothing
but a dreary and unsatisfactory blank; the illumination died away in
a few seconds, and my heart died away within me as it went.
     I have before stated more than once that my intellect, for some
period prior to this, had been in a condition nearly bordering on
idiocy. There were, to be sure, momentary intervals of perfect
sanity, and, now and then, even of energy; but these were few. It
must be remembered that I had been, for many days certainly, inhaling
the almost pestilential atmosphere of a close hold in a whaling
vessel, and for a long portion of that time but scantily supplied
with water. For the last fourteen or fifteen hours I had none- nor
had I slept during that time. Salt provisions of the most exciting
kind had been my chief, and, indeed, since the loss of the mutton, my
only supply of food, with the exception of the sea-biscuit; and these
latter were utterly useless to me, as they were too dry and hard to
be swallowed in the swollen and parched condition of my throat. I was
now in a high state of fever, and in every respect exceedingly ill.
This will account for the fact that many miserable hours of
despondency elapsed after my last adventure with the phosphorus,
before the thought suggested itself that I had examined only one side
of the paper. I shall not attempt to describe my feelings of rage
(for I believe I was more angry than any thing else) when the
egregious oversight I had committed flashed suddenly upon my
perception. The blunder itself would have been unimportant, had not
my own folly and impetuosity rendered it otherwise- in my
disappointment at not finding some words upon the slip, I had
childishly torn it in pieces and thrown it away, it was impossible to
say where.
     From the worst part of this dilemma I was relieved by the
sagacity of Tiger. Having got, after a long search, a small piece of
the note, I put it to the dog's nose, and endeavored to make him
understand that he must bring me the rest of it. To my astonishment,
(for I had taught him none of the usual tricks for which his breed
are famous,) he seemed to enter at once into my meaning, and,
rummaging about for a few moments, soon found another considerable
portion. Bringing me this, he paused awhile, and, rubbing his nose
against my hand, appeared to be waiting for my approval of what he
had done. I patted him on the head, when he immediately made off
again. It was now some minutes before he came back- but when he did
come, he brought with him a large slip, which proved to be all the
paper missing- it having been torn, it seems, only into three pieces.
Luckily, I had no trouble in finding what few fragments of the
phosphorus were left- being guided by the indistinct glow one or two
of the particles still emitted. My difficulties had taught me the
necessity of caution, and I now took time to reflect upon what I was
about to do. It was very probable, I considered, that some words were
written upon that side of the paper which had not been examined- but
which side was that? Fitting the pieces together gave me no clew in
this respect, although it assured me that the words (if there were
any) would be found all on one side, and connected in a proper
manner, as written. There was the greater necessity of ascertaining
the point in question beyond a doubt, as the phosphorus remaining
would be altogether insufficient for a third attempt, should I fail
in the one I was now about to make. I placed the paper on a book as
before, and sat for some minutes thoughtfully revolving the matter
over in my mind. At last I thought it barely possible that the
written side might have some unevenness on its surface, which a
delicate sense of feeling might enable me to detect. I determined to
make the experiment and passed my finger very carefully over the side
which first presented itself. Nothing, however, was perceptible, and
I turned the paper, adjusting it on the book. I now again carried my
forefinger cautiously along, when I was aware of an exceedingly
slight, but still discernable glow, which followed as it proceeded.
This, I knew, must arise from some very minute remaining particles of
the phosphorus with which I had covered the paper in my previous
attempt. The other, or under side, then, was that on which lay the
writing, if writing there should finally prove to be. Again I turned
the note, and went to work as I had previously done. Having rubbed in
the phosphorus, a brilliancy ensued as before- but this time several
lines of MS. in a large hand, and apparently in red ink, became
distinctly visible. The glimmer, although sufficiently bright, was
but momentary. Still, had I not been too greatly excited, there would
have been ample time enough for me to peruse the whole three
sentences before me- for I saw there were three. In my anxiety,
however, to read all at once, I succeeded only in reading the seven
concluding words, which thus appeared- "blood- your life depends upon
lying close."
     Had I been able to ascertain the entire contents of the note-the
full meaning of the admonition which my friend had thus attempted to
convey, that admonition, even although it should have revealed a
story of disaster the most unspeakable, could not, I am firmly
convinced, have imbued my mind with one tithe of the harrowing and
yet indefinable horror with which I was inspired by the fragmentary
warning thus received. And "blood," too, that word of all words- so
rife at all times with mystery, and suffering, and terror- how trebly
full of import did it now appear- how chilly and heavily (disjointed,
as it thus was, from any foregoing words to qualify or render it
distinct) did its vague syllables fall, amid the deep gloom of my
prison, into the innermost recesses of my soul!
     Augustus had, undoubtedly, good reasons for wishing me to remain
concealed, and I formed a thousand surmises as to what they could be-
but I could think of nothing affording a satisfactory solution of the
mystery. just after returning from my last journey to the trap, and
before my attention had been otherwise directed by the singular
conduct of Tiger, I had come to the resolution of making myself heard
at all events by those on board, or, if I could not succeed in this
directly, of trying to cut my way through the orlop deck. The half
certainty which I felt of being able to accomplish one of these two
purposes in the last emergency, had given me courage (which I should
not otherwise have had) to endure the evils of my situation. The few
words I had been able to read, however, had cut me off from these
final resources, and I now, for the first time, felt all the misery
of my fate. In a paroxysm of despair I threw myself again upon the
mattress, where, for about the period of a day and night, I lay in a
kind of stupor, relieved only by momentary intervals of reason and
     At length I once more arose, and busied myself in reflection
upon the horrors which encompassed me. For another twenty-four hours
it was barely possible that I might exist without water- for a longer
time I could not do so. During the first portion of my imprisonment I
had made free use of the cordials with which Augustus had supplied
me, but they only served to excite fever, without in the least degree
assuaging thirst. I had now only about a gill left, and this was of a
species of strong peach liqueur at which my stomach revolted. The
sausages were entirely consumed; of the ham nothing remained but a
small piece of the skin; and all the biscuit, except a few fragments
of one, had been eaten by Tiger. To add to my troubles, I found that
my headache was increasing momentarily, and with it the species of
delirium which had distressed me more or less since my first falling
asleep. For some hours past it had been with the greatest difficulty
I could breathe at all, and now each attempt at so doing was attended
with the most depressing spasmodic action of the chest. But there was
still another and very different source of disquietude, and one,
indeed, whose harassing terrors had been the chief means of arousing
me to exertion from my stupor on the mattress. It arose from the
demeanor of the dog.
     I first observed an alteration in his conduct while rubbing in
the phosphorus on the paper in my last attempt. As I rubbed, he ran
his nose against my hand with a slight snarl; but I was too greatly
excited at the time to pay much attention to the circumstance. Soon
afterward, it will be remembered, I threw myself on the mattress, and
fell into a species of lethargy. Presently I became aware of a
singular hissing sound close at my ears, and discovered it to proceed
from Tiger, who was panting and wheezing in a state of the greatest
apparent excitement, his eyeballs flashing fiercely through the
gloom. I spoke to him, when he replied with a low growl, and then
remained quiet. Presently I relapsed into my stupor, from which I was
again awakened in a similar manner. This was repeated three or four
times, until finally his behaviour inspired me with so great a degree
of fear, that I became fully aroused. He was now lying close by the
door of the box, snarling fearfully, although in a kind of undertone,
and grinding his teeth as if strongly convulsed. I had no doubt
whatever that the want of water or the confined atmosphere of the
hold had driven him mad, and I was at a loss what course to pursue. I
could not endure the thought of killing him, yet it seemed absolutely
necessary for my own safety. I could distinctly perceive his eyes
fastened upon me with an expression of the most deadly animosity, and
I expected every instant that he would attack me. At last I could
endure my terrible situation no longer, and determined to make my way
from the box at all hazards, and dispatch him, if his opposition
should render it necessary for me to do so. To get out, I had to pass
directly over his body, and he already seemed to anticipate my
design- missing himself upon his fore. legs (as I perceived by the
altered position of his eyes), and displayed the whole of his white
fangs, which were easily discernible. I took the remains of the
ham-skin, and the bottle containing the liqueur, and secured them
about my person, together with a large carving-knife which Augustus
had left me- then, folding my cloak around me as closely as possible,
I made a movement toward the mouth of the box. No sooner did I do
this, than the dog sprang with a loud growl toward my throat. The
whole weight of his body struck me on the right shoulder, and I fell
violently to the left, while the enraged animal passed entirely over
me. I had fallen upon my knees, with my head buried among the
blankets, and these protected me from a second furious assault,
during which I felt the sharp teeth pressing vigorously upon the
woollen which enveloped my neck- yet, luckily, without being able to
penetrate all the folds. I was now beneath the dog, and a few moments
would place me completely in his power. Despair gave me strength, and
I rose boldly up, shaking him from me by main force, and dragging
with me the blankets from the mattress. These I now threw over him,
and before he could extricate himself, I had got through the door and
closed it effectually against his pursuit. In this struggle, however,
I had been forced to drop the morsel of ham-skin, and I now found my
whole stock of provisions reduced to a single gill of liqueur, As
this reflection crossed my mind, I felt myself actuated by one of
those fits of perverseness which might be supposed to influence a
spoiled child in similar circumstances, and, raising the bottle to my
lips, I drained it to the last drop, and dashed it furiously upon the
     Scarcely had the echo of the crash died away, when I heard my
name pronounced in an eager but subdued voice, issuing from the
direction of the steerage. So unexpected was anything of the kind,
and so intense was the emotion excited within me by the sound, that I
endeavoured in vain to reply. My powers of speech totally failed, and
in an agony of terror lest my friend should conclude me dead, and
return without attempting to reach me, I stood up between the crates
near the door of the box, trembling convulsively, and gasping and
struggling for utterance. Had a thousand words depended upon a
syllable, I could not have spoken it. There was a slight movement now
audible among the lumber somewhere forward of my station. The sound
presently grew less distinct, then again less so, and still less.
Shall I ever forget my feelings at this moment? He was going- my
friend, my companion, from whom I had a right to expect so much- he
was going- he would abandon me- he was gone! He would leave me to
perish miserably, to expire in the most horrible and loathesome of
dungeons- and one word, one little syllable, would save me- yet that
single syllable I could not utter! I felt, I am sure, more than ten
thousand times the agonies of death itself. My brain reeled, and I
fell, deadly sick, against the end of the box.
     As I fell the carving-knife was shaken out from the waist-band
of my pantaloons, and dropped with a rattling sound to the floor.
Never did any strain of the richest melody come so sweetly to my
ears! With the intensest anxiety I listened to ascertain the effect
of the noise upon Augustus- for I knew that the person who called my
name could be no one but himself. All was silent for some moments. At
length I again heard the word "Arthur!" repeated in a low tone, and
one full of hesitation. Reviving hope loosened at once my powers of
speech, and I now screamed at the top of my voice, "Augustus! oh,
Augustus!" "Hush! for God's sake be silent!" he replied, in a voice
trembling with agitation; "I will be with you immediately- as soon as
I can make my way through the hold." For a long time I heard him
moving among the lumber, and every moment seemed to me an age. At
length I felt his hand upon my shoulder, and he placed, at the same
moment, a bottle of water to my lips. Those only who have been
suddenly redeemed from the jaws of the tomb, or who have known the
insufferable torments of thirst under circumstances as aggravated as
those which encompassed me in my dreary prison, can form any idea of
the unutterable transports which that one long draught of the richest
of all physical luxuries afforded.
     When I had in some degree satisfied my thirst, Augustus produced
from his pocket three or four boiled potatoes, which I devoured with
the greatest avidity. He had brought with him a light in a dark
lantern, and the grateful rays afforded me scarcely less comfort than
the food and drink. But I was impatient to learn the cause of his
protracted absence, and he proceeded to recount what had happened on
board during my incarceration.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 3 ~~~

    THE brig put to sea, as I had supposed, in about an hour after he
had left the watch. This was on the twentieth of June. It will be
remembered that I had then been in the hold for three days; and,
during this period, there was so constant a bustle on board, and so
much running to and fro, especially in the cabin and staterooms, that
he had had no chance of visiting me without the risk of having the
secret of the trap discovered. When at length he did come, I had
assured him that I was doing as well as possible; and, therefore, for
the two next days be felt but little uneasiness on my account- still,
however, watching an opportunity of going down. It was not until the
fourth day that he found one. Several times during this interval he
had made up his mind to let his father know of the adventure, and
have me come up at once; but we were still within reaching distance
of Nantucket, and it was doubtful, from some expressions which had
escaped Captain Barnard, whether he would not immediately put back if
he discovered me to be on board. Besides, upon thinking the matter
over, Augustus, so he told me, could not imagine that I was in
immediate want, or that I would hesitate, in such case, to make
myself heard at the trap. When, therefore, he considered everything
he concluded to let me stay until he could meet with an opportunity
of visiting me unobserved. This, as I said before, did not occur
until the fourth day after his bringing me the watch, and the seventh
since I had first entered the hold. He then went down without taking
with him any water or provisions, intending in the first place merely
to call my attention, and get me to come from the box to the trap,-
when he would go up to the stateroom and thence hand me down a sup.
ply. When he descended for this purpose he found that I was asleep,
for it seems that I was snoring very loudly. From all the
calculations I can make on the subject, this must have been the
slumber into which I fell just after my return from the trap with the
watch, and which, consequently, must have lasted for more than three
entire days and nights at the very least. Latterly, I have had reason
both from my own experience and the assurance of others, to be
acquainted with the strong soporific effects of the stench arising
from old fish-oil when closely confined; and when I think of the
condition of the hold in which I was imprisoned, and the long period
during which the brig had been used as a whaling vessel, I am more
inclined to wonder that I awoke at all, after once falling asleep,
than that I should have slept uninterruptedly for the period
specified above.
     Augustus called to me at first in a low voice and without
closing the trap- but I made him no reply. He then shut the trap, and
spoke to me in a louder, and finally in a very loud tone- still I
continued to snore. He was now at a loss what to do. It would take
him some time to make his way through the lumber to my box, and in
the meanwhile his absence would be noticed by Captain Barnard, who
had occasion for his services every minute, in arranging and copying
papers connected with the business of the voyage. He determined,
therefore, upon reflection, to ascend, and await another opportunity
of visiting me. He was the more easily induced to this resolve, as my
slumber appeared to be of the most tranquil nature, and he could not
suppose that I had undergone any inconvenience from my incarceration.
He had just made up his mind on these points when his attention was
arrested by an unusual bustle, the sound of which proceeded
apparently from the cabin. He sprang through the trap as quickly as
possible, closed it, and threw open the door of his stateroom. No
sooner had he put his foot over the threshold than a pistol flashed
in his face, and he was knocked down, at the same moment, by a blow
from a handspike.
     A strong hand held him on the cabin floor, with a tight grasp
upon his throat; still he was able to see what was going on around
him. His father was tied hand and foot, and lying along the steps of
the companion-way, with his head down, and a deep wound in the
forehead, from which the blood was flowing in a continued stream. He
spoke not a word, and was apparently dying. Over him stood the first
mate, eyeing him with an expression of fiendish derision, and
deliberately searching his pockets, from which he presently drew
forth a large wallet and a chronometer. Seven of the crew (among whom
was the cook, a negro) were rummaging the staterooms on the larboard
for arms, where they soon equipped themselves with muskets and
ammunition. Besides Augustus and Captain Barnard, there were nine men
altogether in the cabin, and these among the most ruffianly of the
brig's company. The villains now went upon deck, taking my friend
with them after having secured his arms behind his back. They
proceeded straight to the forecastle, which was fastened down- two of
the mutineers standing by it with axes- two also at the main hatch.
The mate called out in a loud voice: "Do you hear there below? tumble
up with you, one by one- now, mark that- and no grumbling!" It was
some minutes before any one appeared:- at last an Englishman, who had
shipped as a raw hand, came up, weeping piteously, and entreating the
mate, in the most humble manner, to spare his life. The only reply
was a blow on the forehead from an axe. The poor fellow fell to the
deck without a groan, and the black cook lifted him up in his arms as
he would a child, and tossed him deliberately into the sea. Hearing
the blow and the plunge of the body, the men below could now be
induced to venture on deck neither by threats nor promises, until a
proposition was made to smoke them out. A general rush then ensued,
and for a moment it seemed possible that the brig might be retaken.
The mutineers, however, succeeded at last in closing the forecastle
effectually before more than six of their opponents could get up.
These six, finding themselves so greatly outnumbered and without
arms, submitted after a brief struggle. The mate gave them fair
words- no doubt with a view of inducing those below to yield, for
they had no difficulty in hearing all that was said on deck. The
result proved his sagacity, no less than his diabolical villainy. All
in the forecastle presently signified their intention of submitting,
and, ascending one by one, were pinioned and then thrown on their
backs, together with the first six- there being in all, of the crew
who were not concerned in the mutiny, twenty-seven.
     A scene of the most horrible butchery ensued. The bound seamen
were dragged to the gangway. Here the cook stood with an axe,
striking each victim on the head as he was forced over the side of
the vessel by the other mutineers. In this manner twenty-two
perished, and Augustus had given himself up for lost, expecting every
moment his own turn to come next. But it seemed that the villains
were now either weary, or in some measure disgusted with their bloody
labour; for the four remaining prisoners, together with my friend,
who had been thrown on the deck with the rest, were respited while
the mate sent below for rum, and the whole murderous party held a
drunken carouse, which lasted until sunset. They now fell to
disputing in regard to the fate of the survivors, who lay not more
than four paces off, and could distinguish every word said. Upon some
of the mutineers the liquor appeared to have a softening effect, for
several voices were heard in favor of releasing the captives
altogether, on condition of joining the mutiny and sharing the
profits. The black cook, however (who in all respects was a perfect
demon, and who seemed to exert as much influence, if not more, than
the mate himself), would listen to no proposition of the kind, and
rose repeatedly for the purpose of resuming his work at the gangway.
Fortunately he was so far overcome by intoxication as to be easily
restrained by the less bloodthirsty of the party, among whom was a
line-manager, who went by the name of Dirk Peters. This man was the
son of an Indian squaw of the tribe of Upsarokas, who live among the
fastnesses of the Black Hills, near the source of the Missouri. His
father was a fur-trader, I believe, or at least connected in some
manner with the Indian trading-posts on Lewis river. Peter himself
was one of the most ferocious-looking men I ever beheld. He was short
in stature, not more than four feet eight inches high, but his limbs
were of Herculean mould. His hands, especially, were so enormously
thick and broad as hardly to retain a human shape. His arms, as well
as legs, were bowed in the most singular manner, and appeared to
possess no flexibility whatever. His head was equally deformed, being
of immense size, with an indentation on the crown (like that on the
head of most negroes), and entirely bald. To conceal this latter
deficiency, which did not proceed from old age, he usually wore a wig
formed of any hair-like material which presented itself- occasionally
the skin of a Spanish dog or American grizzly bear. At the time
spoken of, he had on a portion of one of these bearskins; and it
added no little to the natural ferocity of his countenance, which
betook of the Upsaroka character. The mouth extended nearly from ear
to ear, the lips were thin, and seemed, like some other portions of
his frame, to be devoid of natural pliancy, so that the ruling
expression never varied under the influence of any emotion whatever.
This ruling expression may be conceived when it is considered that
the teeth were exceedingly long and protruding, and never even
partially covered, in any instance, by the lips. To pass this man
with a casual glance, one might imagine him to be convulsed with
laughter, but a second look would induce a shuddering acknowledgment,
that if such an expression were indicative of merriment, the
merriment must be that of a demon. Of this singular being many
anecdotes were prevalent among the seafaring men of Nantucket. These
anecdotes went to prove his prodigious strength when under
excitement, and some of them had given rise to a doubt of his sanity.
But on board the Grampus, it seems, he was regarded, at the time of
the mutiny, with feelings more of derision than of anything else. I
have been thus particular in speaking of Dirk Peters, because,
ferocious as he appeared, he proved the main instrument in preserving
the life of Augustus, and because I shall have frequent occasion to
mention him hereafter in the course of my narrative- a narrative, let
me here say, which, in its latter portions, will be found to include
incidents of a nature so entirely out of the range of human
experience, and for this reason so far beyond the limits of human
credulity, that I proceed in utter hopelessness of obtaining credence
for all that I shall tell, yet confidently trusting in time and
progressing science to verify some of the most important and most
improbable of my statements.
     After much indecision and two or three violent quarrels, it was
determined at last that all the prisoners (with the exception of
Augustus, whom Peters insisted in a jocular manner upon keeping as
his clerk) should be set adrift in one of the smallest whaleboats.
The mate went down into the cabin to see if Captain Barnard was still
living- for, it will be remembered, he was left below when the
mutineers came up. Presently the two made their appearance, the
captain pale as death, but somewhat recovered from the effects of his
wound. He spoke to the men in a voice hardly articulate, entreated
them not to set him adrift, but to return to their duty, and
promising to land them wherever they chose, and to take no steps for
bringing them to justice. He might as well have spoken to the winds.
Two of the ruffians seized him by the arms and hurled him over the
brig's side into the boat, which had been lowered while the mate went
below. The four men who were lying on the deck were then untied and
ordered to follow, which they did without attempting any resistance-
Augustus being still left in his painful position, although he
struggled and prayed only for the poor satisfaction of being
permitted to bid his father farewell. A handful of sea-biscuit and a
jug of water were now handed down; but neither mast, sail, oar, nor
compass. The boat was towed astern for a few minutes, during which
the mutineers held another consultation- it was then finally cut
adrift. By this time night had come on- there were neither moon nor
stars visible- and a short and ugly sea was running, although there
was no great deal of wind. The boat was instantly out of sight, and
little hope could be entertained for the unfortunate sufferers who
were in it. This event happened, however, in latitude 35 degrees 30'
north, longitude 61 degrees 20' west, and consequently at no very
great distance from the Bermuda Islands. Augustus therefore
endeavored to console himself with the idea that the boat might
either succeed in reaching the land, or come sufficiently near to be
fallen in with by vessels off the coast.
     All sail was now put upon the brig, and she continued her
original course to the southwest- the mutineers being bent upon some
piratical expedition, in which, from all that could be understood, a
ship was to be intercepted on her way from the Cape Verd Islands to
Porto Rico. No attention was paid to Augustus, who was untied and
suffered to go about anywhere forward of the cabin companion-way.
Dirk Peters treated him with some degree of kindness, and on one
occasion saved him from the brutality of the cook. His situation was
still one of the most precarious, as the men were continually
intoxicated, and there was no relying upon their continued good-humor
or carelessness in regard to himself. His anxiety on my account be
represented, however, as the most distressing result of his
condition; and, indeed, I had never reason to doubt the sincerity of
his friendship. More than once he had resolved to acquaint the
mutineers with the secret of my being on board, but was restrained
from so doing, partly through recollection of the atrocities he had
already beheld, and partly through a hope of being able soon to bring
me relief. For the latter purpose he was constantly on the watch;
but, in spite of the most constant vigilance, three days elapsed
after the boat was cut adrift before any chance occurred. At length,
on the night of the third day, there came on a heavy blow from the
eastward, and all hands were called up to take in sail. During the
confusion which ensued, he made his way below unobserved, and into
the stateroom. What was his grief and horror in discovering that the
latter had been rendered a place of deposit for a variety of
sea-stores and ship-furniture, and that several fathoms of old
chain-cable, which had been stowed away beneath the companion-ladder,
had been dragged thence to make room for a chest, and were now lying
immediately upon the trap! To remove it without discovery was
impossible, and he returned on deck as quickly as he could. As be
came up, the mate seized him by the throat, and demanding what he had
been doing in the cabin, was about flinging him over the larboard
bulwark, when his life was again preserved through the interference
of Dirk Peters. Augustus was now put in handcuffs (of which there
were several pairs on board), and his feet lashed tightly together.
He was then taken into the steerage, and thrown into a lower berth
next to the forecastle bulkheads, with the assurance that he should
never put his foot on deck again "until the brig was no longer a
brig." This was the expression of the cook, who threw him into the
berth- it is hardly possible to say what precise meaning intended by
the phrase. The whole affair, however, proved the ultimate means of
my relief, as will presently appear.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 4 ~~~

    FOR some minutes after the cook had left the forecastle, Augustus
abandoned himself to despair, never hoping to leave the berth alive.
He now came to the resolution of acquainting the first of the men who
should come down with my situation, thinking it better to let me take
my chance with the mutineers than perish of thirst in the hold,- for
it had been ten days since I was first imprisoned, and my jug of
water was not a plentiful supply even for four. As he was thinking on
this subject, the idea came all at once into his head that it might
be possible to communicate with me by the way of the main hold. In
any other circumstances, the difficulty and hazard of the undertaking
would have pre. vented him from attempting it; but now he had, at all
events, little prospect of life, and consequently little to lose, he
bent his whole mind, therefore, upon the task.
    His handcuffs were the first consideration. At first he saw no
method of removing them, and feared that he should thus be baffled in
the very outset; but upon a closer scrutiny he discovered that the
irons could be slipped off and on at pleasure, with very little
effort or inconvenience, merely by squeezing his hands through them,-
this species of manacle being altogether ineffectual in confining
young persons, in whom the smaller bones readily yield to pressure.
He now untied his feet, and, leaving the cord in such a manner that
it could easily be readjusted in the event of any person's coming
down, proceeded to examine the bulkhead where it joined the berth.
The partition here was of soft pine board, an inch thick, and he saw
that he should have little trouble in cutting his way through. A
voice was now heard at the forecastle companion-way, and he had just
time to put his right hand into its handcuff (the left had not been
removed) and to draw the rope in a slipknot around his ankle, when
Dirk Peters came below, followed by Tiger, who immediately leaped
into the berth and lay down. The dog had been brought on board by
Augustus, who knew my attachment to the animal, and thought it would
give me pleasure to have him with me during the voyage. He went up to
our house for him immediately after first taking me into the hold,
but did not think of mentioning the circumstance upon his bringing
the watch. Since the mutiny, Augustus had not seen him before his
appearance with Dirk Peters, and had given him up for lost, supposing
him to have been thrown overboard by some of the malignant villains
belonging to the mate's gang. It appeared afterward that he had
crawled into a hole beneath a whale-boat, from which, not having room
to turn round, he could not extricate himself. Peters at last let him
out, and, with a species of good feeling which my friend knew well
how to appreciate, had now brought him to him in the forecastle as a
companion, leaving at the same time some salt junk and potatoes, with
a can of water, he then went on deck, promising to come down with
something more to eat on the next day.
    When he had gone, Augustus freed both hands from the manacles and
unfastened his feet. He then turned down the head of the mattress on
which he had been lying, and with his penknife (for the ruffians had
not thought it worth while to search him) commenced cutting
vigorously across one of the partition planks, as closely as possible
to the floor of the berth. He chose to cut here, because, if suddenly
interrupted, he would be able to conceal what had been done by
letting the head of the mattress fall into its proper position. For
the remainder of the day, however, no disturbance occurred, and by
night he had completely divided the plank. It should here be observed
that none of the crew occupied the forecastle as a sleeping-place,
living altogether in the cabin since the mutiny, drinking the wines
and feasting on the sea-stores of Captain Barnard, and giving no more
heed than was absolutely necessary to the navigation of the brig.
These circumstances proved fortunate both for myself and Augustus;
for, had matters been otherwise, he would have found it impossible to
reach me. As it was, he proceeded with confidence in his design. It
was near daybreak, however, before he completed the second division
of the board (which was about a foot above the first cut), thus
making an aperture quite large enough to admit his passage through
with facility to the main orlop deck. Having got here, he made his
way with but little trouble to the lower main hatch, although in so
doing he had to scramble over tiers of oil-casks piled nearly as high
as the upper deck, there being barely room enough left for his body.
Upon reaching the hatch he found that Tiger had followed him below,
squeezing between two rows of the casks. It was now too late,
however, to attempt getting to me before dawn, as the chief
difficulty lay in passing through the close stowage in the lower
hold. He therefore resolved to return, and wait till the next night.
With this design, he proceeded to loosen the hatch, so that he might
have as little detention as possible when he should come again. No
sooner had he loosened it than Tiger sprang eagerly to the small
opening produced, snuffed for a moment, and then uttered a long
whine, scratching at the same time, as if anxious to remove the
covering with his paws. There could be no doubt, from his behaviour,
that he was aware of my being in the hold, and Augustus thought it
possible that he would be able to get to me if he put him down. He
now hit upon the expedient of sending the note, as it was especially
desirable that I should make no attempt at forcing my way out at
least under existing circumstances, and there could be no certainty
of his getting to me himself on the morrow as he intended.
After-events proved how fortunate it was that the idea occurred to
him as it did; for, had it not been for the receipt of the note, I
should undoubtedly have fallen upon some plan, however desperate, of
alarming the crew, and both our lives would most probably have been
sacrificed in consequence.
    Having concluded to write, the difficulty was now to procure the
mate. rials for so doing. An old toothpick was soon made into a pen;
and this by means of feeling altogether, for the between-decks was as
dark as pitch. Paper enough was obtained from the back of a letter- a
duplicate of the forged letter from Mr. Ross. This had been the
original draught; but the handwriting not being sufficiently well
imitated, Augustus had written another, thrusting the first, by good
fortune, into his coat-pocket, where it was now most opportunely
discovered. Ink alone was thus wanting, and a substitute was
immediately found for this by means of a slight incision with the
pen-knife on the back of a finger just above the nail- a copious flow
of blood ensuing, as usual, from wounds in that vicinity. The note
was now written, as well as it could be in the dark and under the
circumstances. It briefly explained that a mutiny had taken place;
that Captain Barnard was set adrift; and that I might expect
immediate relief as far as provisions were concerned, but must not
venture upon making any disturbance. It concluded with these words:
"_I have scrawled this with blood- your life depends upon lying
    This slip of paper being tied upon the dog, he was now put down
the hatchway, and Augustus made the best of his way back to the
forecastle, where be found no reason to believe that any of the crew
had been in his absence. To conceal the hole in the partition, he
drove his knife in just above it, and hung up a pea-jacket which he
found in the berth. His handcuffs were then replaced, and also the
rope around his ankles.
    These arrangements were scarcely completed when Dirk Peters came
below, very drunk, but in excellent humour, and bringing with him my
friend's allowance of provision for the day. This consisted of a
dozen large Irish potatoes roasted, and a pitcher of water. He sat
for some time on a chest by the berth, and talked freely about the
mate and the general concerns of the brig. His demeanour was
exceedingly capricious, and even grotesque. At one time Augustus was
much alarmed by odd conduct. At last, however, he went on deck,
muttering a promise to bring his prisoner a good dinner on the
morrow. During the day two of the crew (harpooners) came down,
accompanied by the cook, all three in nearly the last stage of
intoxication. Like Peters, they made no scruple of talking
unreservedly about their plans. It appeared that they were much
divided among themselves as to their ultimate course, agreeing in no
point, except the attack on the ship from the Cape Verd Islands, with
which they were in hourly expectation of meeting. As far as could be
ascertained, the mutiny had not been brought about altogether for the
sake of booty; a private pique of the chief mate's against Captain
Barnard having been the main instigation. There now seemed to be two
principal factions among the crew- one headed by the mate, the other
by the cook. The former party were for seizing the first suitable
vessel which should present itself, and equipping it at some of the
West India Islands for a piratical cruise. The latter division,
however, which was the stronger, and included Dirk Peters among its
partisans, were bent upon pursuing the course originally laid out for
the brig into the South Pacific; there either to take whale, or act
otherwise, as circumstances should suggest. The representations of
Peters, who had frequently visited these regions, had great weight,
apparently, with the mutineers, wavering, as they were, between
half-engendered notions of profit and pleasure. He dwelt on the world
of novelty and amusement to be found among the innumerable islands of
the Pacific, on the perfect security and freedom from all restraint
to be enjoyed, but, more particularly, on the deliciousness of the
climate, on the abundant means of good living, and on the voluptuous
beauty of the women. As yet, nothing had been absolutely determined
upon; but the pictures of the hybrid line-manager were taking strong
hold upon the ardent imaginations of the seamen, and there was every
possibility that his intentions would be finally carried into effect.
    The three men went away in about an hour, and no one else entered
the forecastle all day. Augustus lay quiet until nearly night. He
then freed himself from the rope and irons, and prepared for his
attempt. A bottle was found in one of the berths, and this he filled
with water from the pitcher left by Peters, storing his pockets at
the same time with cold potatoes. To his great joy he also came
across a lantern, with a small piece of tallow candle in it. This he
could light at any moment, as be had in his possession a box of
phosphorus matches. When it was quite dark, he got through the hole
in the bulkhead, having taken the precaution to arrange the
bedclothes in the berth so as to convey the idea of a person covered
up. When through, he hung up the pea-jacket on his knife, as before,
to conceal the aperture- this manoeuvre being easily effected, as he
did not readjust the piece of plank taken out until afterward. He was
now on the main orlop deck, and proceeded to make his way, as before,
between the upper deck and the oil-casks to the main hatchway. Having
reached this, he lit the piece of candle, and descended, groping with
extreme difficulty among the compact stowage of the hold. In a few
moments he became alarmed at the insufferable stench and the
closeness of the atmosphere. He could not think it possible that I
had survived my confinement for so long a period breathing so
oppressive an air. He called my name repeatedly, but I made him no
reply, and his apprehensions seemed thus to be confirmed. The brig
was rolling violently, and there was so much noise in consequence,
that it was useless to listen for any weak sound, such as those of my
breathing or snoring. He threw open the lantern, and held it as high
as possible, whenever an opportunity occurred, in order that, by
observing the light, I might, if alive, be aware that succor was
approaching. Still nothing was heard from me, and the supposition of
my death began to assume the character of certainty. He determined,
nevertheless, to force a passage, if possible, to the box, and at
least ascertain beyond a doubt the truth of his surmises. He pushed
on for some time in a most pitiable state of anxiety, until, at
length, he found the pathway utterly blocked up, and that there was
no possibility of making any farther way by the course in which he
had set out. Overcome now by his feelings, he threw himself among the
lumber in despair, and wept like a child. It was at this period that
he heard the crash occasioned by the bottle which I had thrown down.
Fortunate, indeed, was it that the incident occurred- for, upon this
incident, trivial as it appears, the thread of my destiny depended.
Many years elapsed, however, before I was aware of this fact. A
natural shame and regret for his weakness and indecision prevented
Augustus from confiding to me at once what a more intimate and
unreserved communion afterward induced him to reveal. Upon finding
his further progress in the hold impeded by obstacles which he could
not overcome, he had resolved to abandon his attempt at reaching me,
and return at once to the forecastle. Before condemning him entirely
on this head, the harassing circumstances which embarrassed him
should be taken into consideration. The night was fast wearing away,
and his absence from the forecastle might be discovered; and indeed
would necessarily be so, if be should fail to get back to the berth
by daybreak. His candle was expiring in the socket, and there would
be the greatest difficulty in retracing his way to the hatchway in
the dark. It must be allowed, too, that he had every good reason to
believe me dead; in which event no benefit could result to me from
his reaching the box, and a world of danger would be encountered to
no purpose by himself. He had repeatedly called, and I had made him
no answer. I had been now eleven days and nights with no more water
than that contained in the jug which he had left with me- a supply
which it was not at all probable I had boarded in the beginning of my
confinement, as I had every cause to expect a speedy release. The
atmosphere of the hold, too, must have appeared to him, coming from
the comparatively open air of the steerage, of a nature absolutely
poisonous, and by far more intolerable than it had seemed to me upon
my first taking up my quarters in the box- the hatchways at that time
having been constantly open for many months previous. Add to these
considerations that of the scene of bloodshed and terror so lately
witnessed by my friend; his confinement, privations, and narrow
escapes from death, together with the frail and equivocal tenure by
which he still existed- circumstances all so well calculated to
prostrate every energy of mind- and the reader will be easily
brought, as I have been, to regard his apparent falling off in
friendship and in faith with sentiments rather of sorrow than of
    The crash of the bottle was distinctly heard, yet Augustus was
not sure that it proceeded from the hold. The doubt, however, was
sufficient inducement to persevere. He clambered up nearly to the
orlop deck by means of the stowage, and then, watching for a lull in
the pitchings of the vessel, he called out to me in as loud a tone as
he could command, regardless, for the moment, of being overheard by
the crew. It will be remembered that on this occasion the voice
reached me, but I was so entirely overcome by violent agitation as to
be incapable of reply. Confident, now, that his worst apprehensions
were well founded, be descended, with a view of getting back to the
forecastle without loss of time. In his haste some small boxes were
thrown down, the noise occasioned by which I heard, as will be
recollected. He had made considerable progress on his return when the
fall of the knife again caused him to hesitate. He retraced his steps
immediately, and, clambering up the stowage a second time, called out
my name, loudly as before, having watched for a lull. This time I
found voice to answer. Overjoyed at discovering me to be still alive,
he now resolved to brave every difficulty and danger in reaching me.
Having extricated himself as quickly as possible from the labyrinth
of lumber by which he was hemmed in, he at length struck into an
opening which promised better, and finally, after a series of
struggles, arrived at the box in a state of utter exhaustion.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 5 ~~~

    THE leading particulars of this narration were all that Augustus
communicated to me while we remained near the box. It was not until
afterward that he entered fully into all the details. He was
apprehensive of being missed, and I was wild with impatience to leave
my detested place of confinement. We resolved to make our way at once
to the hole in the bulkhead, near which I was to remain for the
present, while he went through to reconnoiter. To leave Tiger in the
box was what neither of us could endure to think of, yet, how to act
otherwise was the question. He now seemed to be perfectly quiet, and
we could not even distinguish the sound of his breathing upon
applying our ears closely to the box. I was convinced that he was
dead, and determined to open the door. We found him lying at full
length, apparently in a deep stupor, yet still alive. No time was to
be lost, yet I could not bring myself to abandon an animal who had
now been twice instrumental in saving my life, without some attempt
at preserving him. We therefore dragged him along with us as well as
we could, although with the greatest difficulty and fatigue;
Augustus, during part of the time, being forced to clamber over the
impediments in our way with the huge dog in his arms- a feat to which
the feebleness of my frame rendered me totally inadequate. At length
we succeeded in reaching the hole, when Augustus got through, and
Tiger was pushed in afterward. All was found to be safe, and we did
not fail to return sincere thanks to God for our deliverance from the
imminent danger we had escaped. For the present, it was agreed that I
should remain near the opening, through which my companion could
readily supply me with a part of his daily provision, and where I
could have the advantages of breathing an atmosphere comparatively
    In explanation of some portions of this narrative, wherein I have
spoken of the stowage of the brig, and which may appear ambiguous to
some of my readers who may have seen a proper or regular stowage, I
must here state that the manner in which this most important duty had
been per formed on board the Grampus was a most shameful piece of
neglect on the part of Captain Barnard, who was by no means as
careful or as experienced a seaman as the hazardous nature of the
service on which he was employed would seem necessarily to demand. A
proper stowage cannot be accomplished in a careless manner, and many
most disastrous accidents, even within the limits of my own
experience, have arisen from neglect or ignorance in this particular.
Coasting vessels, in the frequent hurry and bustle attendant upon
taking in or discharging cargo, are the most liable to mishap from
the want of a proper attention to stowage. The great point is to
allow no possibility of the cargo or ballast shifting position even
in the most violent rollings of the vessel. With this end, great
attention must be paid, not only to the bulk taken in, but to the
nature of the bulk, and whether there be a full or only a partial
cargo. In most kinds of freight the stowage is accomplished by means
of a screw. Thus, in a load of tobacco or flour, the whole is screwed
so tightly into the hold of the vessel that the barrels or hogsheads,
upon discharging, are found to be completely flattened, and take some
time to regain their original shape. This screwing, however, is
resorted to principally with a view of obtaining more room in the
hold; for in a full load of any such commodities as flour or tobacco,
there can be no danger of any shifting whatever, at least none from
which inconvenience can result. There have been instances, indeed,
where this method of screwing has resulted in the most lamentable
consequences, arising from a cause altogether distinct from the
danger attendant upon a shifting of cargo. A load of cotton, for
example, tightly screwed while in certain conditions, has been known,
through the expansion of its bulk, to rend a vessel asunder at sea.
There can be no doubt either that the same result would ensue in the
case of tobacco, while undergoing its usual course of fermentation,
were it not for the interstices consequent upon the rotundity of the
    It is when a partial cargo is received that danger is chiefly to
be apprehended from shifting, and that precautions should be always
taken to guard against such misfortune. Only those who have
encountered a violent gale of wind, or rather who have experienced
the rolling of a vessel in a sudden calm after the gale, can form an
idea of the tremendous force of the plunges, and of the consequent
terrible impetus given to all loose articles in the vessel. It is
then that the necessity of a cautious stowage, when there is a
partial cargo, becomes obvious. When lying-to (especially with a
small bead sail), a vessel which is not properly modelled in the bows
is frequently thrown upon her beam-ends; this occurring even every
fifteen or twenty minutes upon an average, yet without any serious
consequences resulting, provided there be a proper stowage. If this,
however, has not been strictly attended to, in the first of these
heavy lurches the whole of the cargo tumbles over to the side of the
vessel which lies upon the water, and, being thus prevented from
regaining her equilibrium, as she would otherwise necessarily do, she
is certain to fill in a few seconds and go down. It is not too much
to say that at least one-half of the instances in which vessels have
foundered in heavy gales at sea may be attributed to a shifting of
cargo or of ballast.
    When a partial cargo of any kind is taken on board, the whole,
after being first stowed as compactly as may be, should be covered
with a layer of stout shifting-boards, extending completely across
the vessel. Upon these boards strong temporary stanchions should be
erected, reaching to the timbers above, and thus securing every thing
in its place. In cargoes consisting of grain, or any similar matter,
additional precautions are requisite. A hold filled entirely with
grain upon leaving port will be found not more than three fourths
full upon reaching its destination -- this, too, although the
freight, when measured bushel by bushel by the consignee, will
overrun by a vast deal (on account of the swelling of the grain) the
quantity consigned. This result is occasioned by settling during the
voyage, and is the more perceptible in proportion to the roughness of
the weather experienced. If grain loosely thrown in a vessel, then,
is ever so well secured by shifting-boards and stanchions, it will be
liable to shift in a long passage so greatly as to bring about the
most distressing calamities. To prevent these, every method should be
employed before leaving port to settle the cargo as much as possible;
and for this there are many contrivances, among which may be
mentioned the driving of wedges into the grain. Even after all this
is done, and unusual pains taken to secure the shifting-boards, no
seaman who knows what he is about will feel altogether secure in a
gale of any violence with a cargo of grain on board, and, least of
all, with a partial cargo. Yet there are hundreds of our coasting
vessels, and, it is likely, many more from the ports of Europe, which
sail daily with partial cargoes, even of the most dangerous species,
and without any precaution whatever. The wonder is that no more
accidents occur than do actually happen. A lamentable instance of
this heedlessness occurred to my knowledge in the case of Captain
Joel Rice of the schooner Firefly, which sailed from Richmond,
Virginia, to Madeira, with a cargo of corn, in the year 1825. The
captain had gone many voyages without serious accident, although he
was in the habit of paying no attention whatever to his stowage, more
than to secure it in the ordinary manner. He had never before sailed
with a cargo of grain, and on this occasion had the corn thrown on
board loosely, when it did not much more than half fill the vessel.
For the first portion of the voyage he met with nothing more than
light breezes; but when within a day's sail of Madeira there came on
a strong gale from the N. N. E. which forced him to lie-to. He
brought the schooner to the wind under a double-reefed foresail
alone, when she rode as well as any vessel could be expected to do,
and shipped not a drop of water. Toward night the gale somewhat
abated, and she rolled with more unsteadiness than before, but still
did very well, until a heavy lurch threw her upon her beam-ends to
starboard. The corn was then heard to shift bodily, the force of the
movement bursting open the main hatchway. The vessel went down like a
shot. This happened within hail of a small sloop from Madeira, which
picked up one of the crew (the only person saved), and which rode out
the gale in perfect security, as indeed a jolly boat might have done
under proper management.
    The stowage on board the Grampus was most clumsily done, if
stowage that could be called which was little better than a
promiscuous huddling together of oil-casks {*1} and ship furniture. I
have already spoken of the condition of articles in the hold. On the
orlop deck there was space enough for my body (as I have stated)
between the oil-casks and the upper deck; a space was left open
around the main hatchway; and several other large spaces were left in
the stowage. Near the hole cut through the bulkhead by Augustus there
was room enough for an entire cask, and in this space I found myself
comfortably situated for the present.
    By the time my friend had got safely into the berth, and
readjusted his handcuffs and the rope, it was broad daylight. We had
made a narrow escape indeed; for scarcely had he arranged all
matters, when the mate came below, with Dirk Peters and the cook.
They talked for some time about the vessel from the Cape Verds, and
seemed to be excessively anxious for her appearance. At length the
cook came to the berth in which Augustus was lying, and seated
himself in it near the head. I could see and hear every thing from my
hiding-place, for the piece cut out had not been put back, and I was
in momentary expectation that the negro would fall against the
pea-jacket, which was hung up to conceal the aperture, in which case
all would have been discovered, and our lives would, no doubt, have
been instantly sacrificed. Our good fortune prevailed, however; and
although he frequently touched it as the vessel rolled, he never
pressed against it sufficiently to bring about a discovery. The
bottom of the jacket had been carefully fastened to the bulkhead, so
that the hole might not be seen by its swinging to one side. All this
time Tiger was lying in the foot of the berth, and appeared to have
recovered in some measure his faculties, for I could see him
occasionally open his eyes and draw a long breath.
    After a few minutes the mate and cook went above, leaving Dirk
Peters behind, who, as soon as they were gone, came and sat himself
down in the place just occupied by the mate. He began to talk very
sociably with Augustus, and we could now see that the greater part of
his apparent intoxication, while the two others were with him, was a
feint. He answered all my companion's questions with perfect freedom;
told him that he had no doubt of his father's having been picked up,
as there were no less than five sail in sight just before sundown on
the day he was cut adrift; and used other language of a consolatory
nature, which occasioned me no less surprise than pleasure. Indeed, I
began to entertain hopes, that through the instrumentality of Peters
we might be finally enabled to regain possession of the brig, and
this idea I mentioned to Augustus as soon as I found an opportunity.
He thought the matter possible, but urged the necessity of the
greatest caution in making the attempt, as the conduct of the hybrid
appeared to be instigated by the most arbitrary caprice alone; and,
indeed, it was difficult to say if be was at any moment of sound
mind. Peters went upon deck in about an hour, and did not return
again until noon, when he brought Augustus a plentiful supply of junk
beef and pudding. Of this, when we were left alone, I partook
heartily, without returning through the hole. No one else came down
into the forecastle during the day, and at night, I got into
Augustus' berth, where I slept soundly and sweetly until nearly
daybreak, when he awakened me upon hearing a stir upon deck, and I
regained my hiding-place as quickly as possible. When the day was
fully broke, we found that Tiger had recovered his strength almost
entirely, and gave no indications of hydrophobia, drinking a little
water that was offered him with great apparent eagerness. During the
day he regained all his former vigour and appetite. His strange
conduct had been brought on, no doubt, by the deleterious quality of
the air of the hold, and had no connexion with canine madness. I
could not sufficiently rejoice that I had persisted in bringing him
with me from the box. This day was the thirtieth of June, and the
thirteenth since the Grampus made sad from Nantucket.
    On the second of July the mate came below drunk as usual, and in
an excessively good-humor. He came to Augustus's berth, and, giving
him a slap on the back, asked him if he thought he could behave
himself if he let him loose, and whether he would promise not to be
going into the cabin again. To this, of course, my friend answered in
the affirmative, when the ruffian set him at liberty, after making
him drink from a flask of rum which he drew from his coat-pocket.
Both now went on deck, and I did not see Augustus for about three
hours. He then came below with the good news that he had obtained
permission to go about the brig as be pleased anywhere forward of the
mainmast, and that he had been ordered to sleep, as usual, in the
forecastle. He brought me, too, a good dinner, and a plentiful supply
of water. The brig was still cruising for the vessel from the Cape
Verds, and a sail was now in sight, which was thought to be the one
in question. As the events of the ensuing eight days were of little
importance, and had no direct bearing upon the main incidents of my
narrative, I will here throw them into the form of a journal, as I do
not wish to omit them altogether.
    July 3. Augustus furnished me with three blankets, with which I
contrived a comfortable bed in my hiding-place. No one came below,
except my companion, during the day. Tiger took his station in the
berth just by the aperture, and slept heavily, as if not yet entirely
recovered from the effects of his sickness. Toward night a flaw of
wind struck the brig before sail could be taken in, and very nearly
capsized her. The puff died away immediately, however, and no damage
was done beyond the splitting of the foretopsail. Dirk Peters treated
Augustus all this day with great kindness and entered into a long
conversation with him respecting the Pacific Ocean, and the islands
he had visited in that region. He asked him whether be would not like
to go with the mutineers on a kind of exploring and pleasure voyage
in those quarters, and said that the men were gradually coming over
to the mate's views. To this Augustus thought it best to reply that
he would be glad to go on such an adventure, since nothing better
could be done, and that any thing was preferable to a piratical life.
    July 4th. The vessel in sight proved to be a small brig from
Liverpool, and was allowed to pass unmolested. Augustus spent most of
his time on deck, with a view of obtaining all the information in his
power respecting the intentions of the mutineers. They had frequent
and violent quarrels among themselves, in one of which a harpooner,
Jim Bonner, was thrown overboard. The party of the mate was gaining
ground. Jim Bonner belonged to the cook's gang, of which Peters was a
    July 5th. About daybreak there came on a stiff breeze from the
west, which at noon freshened into a gale, so that the brig could
carry nothing more than her trysail and foresail. In taking in the
foretopsail, Simms, one of the common hands, and belonging also to
the cook's gang, fell overboard, being very much in liquor, and was
drowned- no attempt being made to save him. The whole number of
persons on board was now thirteen, to wit: Dirk Peters; Seymour, the
of the cook's party; the mate, whose name I never learned; Absalom
party;- besides Augustus and myself.
    July 6th. The gale lasted all this day, blowing in heavy squalls,
accompanied with rain. The brig took in a good deal of water through
her seams, and one of the pumps was kept continually going, Augustus
being forced to take his turn. just at twilight a large ship passed
close by us, without having been discovered until within hail. The
ship was supposed to be the one for which the mutineers were on the
lookout. The mate hailed her, but the reply was drowned in the
roaring of the gale. At eleven, a sea was shipped amidships, which
tore away a great portion of the larboard bulwarks, and did some
other slight damage. Toward morning the weather moderated, and at
sunrise there was very little wind.
    July 7th. There was a heavy swell running all this day, during
which the brig, being light, rolled excessively, and many articles
broke loose in the hold, as I could hear distinctly from my
hiding-place. I suffered a great deal from sea-sickness. Peters had a
long conversation this day with Augustus, and told him that two of
his gang, Greely and Allen, had gone over to the mate, and were
resolved to turn pirates. He put several questions to Augustus which
he did not then exactly understand. During a part of this evening the
leak gained upon the vessel; and little could be done to remedy it,
as it was occasioned by the brigs straining, and taking in the water
through her seams. A sail was thrummed, and got under the bows, which
aided us in some measure, so that we began to gain upon the leak.
    July 8th. A light breeze sprang up at sunrise from the eastward,
when the mate headed the brig to the southwest, with the intention of
making some of the West India islands in pursuance of his piratical
designs. No opposition was made by Peters or the cook- at least none
in the hearing of Augustus. All idea of taking the vessel from the
Cape Verds was abandoned. The leak was now easily kept under by one
pump going every three quarters of an hour. The sail was drawn from
beneath the bows. Spoke two small schooners during the day.
    July 9th. Fine weather. All hands employed in repairing bulwarks.
Peters had again a long conversation with Augustus, and spoke more
plainly than he had done heretofore. He said nothing should induce
him to come into the mate's views, and even hinted his intention of
taking the brig out of his hands. He asked my friend if he could
depend upon his aid in such case, to which Augustus said, "Yes,"
without hesitation. Peters then said he would sound the others of his
party upon the subject, and went away. During the remainder of the
day Augustus had no opportunity of speaking with him privately.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 6 ~~~

    JULY 10. Spoke a brig from Rio, bound to Norfolk. Weather hazy,
with a light baffling wind from the eastward. To-day Hartman Rogers
died, having been attacked on the eighth with spasms after drinking a
glass of grog. This man was of the cook's party, and one upon whom
Peters placed his main reliance. He told Augustus that he believed
the mate had poisoned him, and that he expected, if he did not be on
the look-out, his own turn would come shortly. There were now only
himself, Jones, and the cook belonging to his own gang- on the other
side there were five. He had spoken to Jones about taking the command
from the mate; but the project having been coolly received, he had
been deterred from pressing the matter any further, or from saying
any thing to the cook. It was well, as it happened, that he was so
prudent, for in the afternoon the cook expressed his determination of
siding with the mate, and went over formally to that party; while
Jones took an opportunity of quarrelling with Peters, and hinted that
he would let the mate know of the plan in agitation. There was now,
evidently, no time to be lost, and Peters expressed his determination
of attempting to take the vessel at all hazards, provided Augustus
would lend him his aid. My friend at once assured him of his
willingness to enter into any plan for that purpose, and, thinking
the opportunity a favourable one, made known the fact of my being on
board. At this the hybrid was not more astonished than delighted, as
he had no reliance whatever upon Jones, whom he already considered as
belonging to the party of the mate. They went below immediately, when
Augustus called to me by name, and Peters and myself were soon made
acquainted. It was agreed that we should attempt to retake the vessel
upon the first good opportunity, leaving Jones altogether out of our
councils. In the event of success, we were to run the brig into the
first port that offered, and deliver her up. The desertion of his
party had frustrated Peters' design of going into the Pacific- an
adventure which could not be accomplished without a crew, and he
depended upon either getting acquitted upon trial, on the score of
insanity (which he solemnly avowed had actuated him in lending his
aid to the mutiny), or upon obtaining a pardon, if found guilty,
through the representations of Augustus and myself. Our deliberations
were interrupted for the present by the cry of, "All hands take in
sail," and Peters and Augustus ran up on deck.
    As usual, the crew were nearly all drunk; and, before sail could
be properly taken in, a violent squall laid the brig on her
beam-ends. By keeping her away, however, she righted, having shipped
a good deal of water. Scarcely was everything secure, when another
squall took the vessel, and immediately afterward another- no damage
being done. There was every appearance of a gale of wind, which,
indeed, shortly came on, with great fury, from the northward and
westward. All was made as snug as possible, and we laid-to, as usual,
under a close-reefed foresail. As night drew on, the wind increased
in violence, with a remarkably heavy sea. Peters now came into the
forecastle with Augustus, and we resumed our deliberations.
    We agreed that no opportunity could be more favourable than the
present for carrying our designs into effect, as an attempt at such a
moment would never be anticipated. As the brig was snugly laid-to,
there would be no necessity of manoeuvring her until good weather,
when, if we succeeded in our attempt, we might liberate one, or
perhaps two of the men, to aid us in taking her into port. The main
difficulty was the great disproportion in our forces. There were only
three of us, and in the cabin there were nine. All the arms on board,
too, were in their possession, with the exception of a pair of small
pistols which Peters had concealed about his person, and the large
seaman's knife which he always wore in the waistband of his
pantaloons. From certain indications, too- such, for example, as
there being no such thing as an axe or a handspike lying in their
customary places -- we began to fear that the mate had his
suspicions, at least in regard to Peters, and that he would let slip
no opportunity of getting rid of him. It was clear, indeed, that what
we should determine to do could not be done too soon. Still the odds
were too much against us to allow of our proceeding without the
greatest caution.
    Peters proposed that he should go up on deck, and enter into
conversation with the watch (Allen), when he would be able to throw
him into the sea without trouble, and without making any disturbance,
by seizing a good opportunity, that Augustus and myself should then
come up, and endeavour to provide ourselves with some kind of weapons
from the deck, and that we should then make a rush together, and
secure the companion-way before any opposition could be offered. I
objected to this, because I could not believe that the mate (who was
a cunning fellow in all matters which did not affect his
superstitious prejudices) would suffer himself to be so easily
entrapped. The very fact of there being a watch on deck at all was
sufficient proof that he was upon the alert,- it not being usual
except in vessels where discipline is most rigidly enforced, to
station a watch on deck when a vessel is lying-to in a gale of wind.
As I address myself principally, if not altogether, to persons who
have never been to sea, it may be as well to state the exact
condition of a vessel under such circumstances. Lying-to, or, in
sea-parlance, "laying-to," is a measure resorted to for various
purposes, and effected in various manners. In moderate weather it is
frequently done with a view of merely bringing the vessel to a
stand-still, to wait for another vessel or any similar object. If the
vessel which lies-to is under full sail, the manoeuvre is usually
accomplished by throwing round some portion of her sails, so as to
let the wind take them aback, when she becomes stationary. But we are
now speaking of lying-to in a gale of wind. This is done when the
wind is ahead, and too violent to admit of carrying sail without
danger of capsizing; and sometimes even when the wind is fair, but
the sea too heavy for the vessel to be put before it. If a vessel be
suffered to scud before the wind in a very heavy sea, much damage is
usually done her by the shipping of water over her stern, and
sometimes by the violent plunges she makes forward. This manoeuvre,
then, is seldom resorted to in such case, unless through necessity.
When the vessel is in a leaky condition she is often put before the
wind even in the heaviest seas; for, when lying-to, her seams are
sure to be greatly opened by her violent straining, and it is not so
much the case when scudding. Often, too, it becomes necessary to scud
a vessel, either when the blast is so exceedingly furious as to tear
in pieces the sail which is employed with a view of bringing her head
to the wind, or when, through the false modelling of the frame or
other causes, this main object cannot be effected.
    Vessels in a gale of wind are laid-to in different manners,
according to their peculiar construction. Some lie-to best under a
foresail, and this, I believe, is the sail most usually employed.
Large square-rigged vessels have sails for the express purpose,
called storm-staysails. But the jib is occasionally employed by
itself, -- sometimes the jib and foresail, or a double-reefed
foresail, and not unfrequently the after-sails, are made use of.
Foretopsails are very often found to answer the purpose better than
any other species of sail. The Grampus was generally laid-to under a
close-reefed foresail.
    When a vessel is to be laid-to, her head is brought up to the
wind just so nearly as to fill the sail under which she lies when
hauled flat aft, that is, when brought diagonally across the vessel.
This being done, the bows point within a few degrees of the direction
from which the wind issues, and the windward bow of course receives
the shock of the waves. In this situation a good vessel will ride out
a very heavy gale of wind without shipping a drop of water, and
without any further attention being requisite on the part of the
crew. The helm is usually lashed down, but this is altogether
unnecessary (except on account of the noise it makes when loose), for
the rudder has no effect upon the vessel when lying-to. Indeed, the
helm had far better be left loose than lashed very fast, for the
rudder is apt to be torn off by heavy seas if there be no room for
the helm to play. As long as the sail holds, a well modelled vessel
will maintain her situation, and ride every sea, as if instinct with
life and reason. If the violence of the wind, however, should tear
the sail into pieces (a feat which it requires a perfect hurricane to
accomplish under ordinary circumstances), there is then imminent
danger. The vessel falls off from the wind, and, coming broadside to
the sea, is completely at its mercy: the only resource in this case
is to put her quietly before the wind, letting her scud until some
other sail can be set. Some vessels will lie-to under no sail
whatever, but such are not to be trusted at sea.
    But to return from this digression. It had never been customary
with the mate to have any watch on deck when lying-to in a gale of
wind, and the fact that he had now one, coupled with the circumstance
of the missing axes and handspikes, fully convinced us that the crew
were too well on the watch to be taken by surprise in the manner
Peters had suggested. Something, however, was to be done, and that
with as little delay as practicable, for there could be no doubt that
a suspicion having been once entertained against Peters, he would be
sacrificed upon the earliest occasion, and one would certainly be
either found or made upon the breaking of the gale.
     Augustus now suggested that if Peters could contrive to remove,
under any pretext, the piece of chain-cable which lay over the trap
in the stateroom, we might possibly be able to come upon them
unawares by means of the hold; but a little reflection convinced us
that the vessel rolled and pitched too violently for any attempt of
that nature.
    By good fortune I at length hit upon the idea of working upon the
superstitious terrors and guilty conscience of the mate. It will be
remembered that one of the crew, Hartman Rogers, had died during the
morning, having been attacked two days before with spasms after
drinking some spirits and water. Peters had expressed to us his
opinion that this man had been poisoned by the mate, and for this
belief he had reasons, so he said, which were incontrovertible, but
which he could not be pre. vailed upon to explain to us- this wayward
refusal being only in keeping with other points of his singular
character. But whether or not he had any better grounds for
suspecting the mate than we had ourselves, we were easily led to fall
in with his suspicion, and determined to act accordingly.
    Rogers had died about eleven in the forenoon, in violent
convulsions; and the corpse presented in a few minutes after death
one of the most horrid and loathsome spectacles I ever remember to
have seen. The stomach was swollen immensely, like that of a man who
has been drowned and lain under water for many weeks. The hands were
in the same condition, while the face was shrunken, shrivelled, and
of a chalky whiteness, except where relieved by two or three glaring
red blotches like those occasioned by the erysipelas: one of these
blotches extended diagonally across the face, completely covering up
an eye as if with a band of red velvet. In this disgusting condition
the body had been brought up from the cabin at noon to be thrown
overboard, when the mate getting a glimpse of it (for he now saw it
for the first time), and being either touched with remorse for his
crime or struck with terror at so horrible a sight, ordered the men
to sew the body up in its hammock, and allow it the usual rites of
sea-burial. Having given these directions, he went below, as if to
avoid any further sight of his victim. While preparations were making
to obey his orders, the gale came on with great fury, and the design
was abandoned for the present. The corpse, left to itself, was washed
into the larboard scuppers, where it still lay at the time of which I
speak, floundering about with the furious lurches of the brig.
    Having arranged our plan, we set about putting it in execution as
speedily as possible. Peters went upon deck, and, as he had
anticipated, was immediately accosted by Allen, who appeared to be
stationed more as a watch upon the forecastle than for any other
purpose. The fate of this villain, however, was speedily and silently
decided; for Peters, approaching him in a careless manner, as if
about to address him, seized him by the throat, and, before he could
utter a single cry, tossed him over the bulwarks. He then called to
us, and we came up. Our first precaution was to look about for
something with which to arm ourselves, and in doing this we had to
proceed with great care, for it was impossible to stand on deck an
instant without holding fast, and violent seas broke over the vessel
at every plunge forward. It was indispensable, too, that we should be
quick in our operations, for every minute we expected the mate to be
up to set the pumps going, as it was evident the brig must be taking
in water very fast. After searching about for some time, we could
find nothing more fit for our purpose than the two pump-handles, one
of which Augustus took, and I the other. Having secured these, we
stripped off the shirt of the corpse and dropped the body overboard.
Peters and myself then went below, leaving Augustus to watch upon
deck, where he took his station just where Allen had been placed, and
with his back to the cabin companionway, so that, if any of the mates
gang should come up, he might suppose it was the watch.
    As soon as I got below I commenced disguising myself so as to
represent the corpse of Rogers. The shirt which we had taken from the
body aided us very much, for it was of singular form and character,
and easily recognizable- a kind of smock, which the deceased wore
over his other clothing. It was a blue stockinett, with large white
stripes running across. Having put this on, I proceeded to equip
myself with a false stomach, in imitation of the horrible deformity
of the swollen corpse. This was soon effected by means of stuffing
with some bedclothes. I then gave the same appearance to my hands by
drawing on a pair of white woollen mittens, and filling them in with
any kind of rags that offered themselves. Peters then arranged my
face, first rubbing it well over with white chalk, and afterward
blotching it with blood, which he took from a cut in his finger. The
streak across the eye was not forgotten and presented a most shocking
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 7 ~~~

    AS I viewed myself in a fragment of looking-glass which hung up
in the cabin, and by the dim light of a kind of battle-lantern, I was
so impressed with a sense of vague awe at my appearance, and at the
recollection of the terrific reality which I was thus representing,
that I was seized with a violent tremour, and could scarcely summon
resolution to go on with my part. It was necessary, however, to act
with decision, and Peters and myself went upon deck.
    We there found everything safe, and, keeping close to the
bulwarks, the three of us crept to the cabin companion-way. It was
only partially closed, precautions having been taken to prevent its
being suddenly pushed to from without, by means of placing billets of
wood on the upper step so as to interfere with the shutting. We found
no difficulty in getting a full view of the interior of the cabin
through the cracks where the hinges were placed. It now proved to
have been very fortunate for us that we had not attempted to take
them by surprise, for they were evidently on the alert. Only one was
asleep, and he lying just at the foot of the companion-ladder, with a
musket by his side. The rest were seated on several mattresses, which
had been taken from the berths and thrown on the floor. They were
engaged in earnest conversation; and although they had been
carousing, as appeared from two empty jugs, with some tin tumblers
which lay about, they were not as much intoxicated as usual. All had
knives, one or two of them pistols, and a great many muskets were
lying in a berth close at hand.
    We listened to their conversation for some time before we could
make up our minds how to act, having as yet resolved on nothing
determinate, except that we would attempt to paralyze their
exertions, when we should attack them, by means of the apparition of
Rogers. They were discussing their piratical plans, in which all we
could hear distinctly was, that they would unite with the crew of a
schooner _Hornet_, and, if possible, get the schooner herself into
their possession preparatory to some attempt on a large scale, the
particulars of which could not be made out by either of us.
    One of the men spoke of Peters, when the mate replied to him in a
low voice which could not be distinguished, and afterward added more
loudly, that "he could not understand his being so much forward with
the captain's brat in the forecastle, and he thought the sooner both
of them were overboard the better." To this no answer was made, but
we could easily perceive that the hint was well received by the whole
party, and more particularly by Jones. At this period I was
excessively agitated, the more so as I could see that neither
Augustus nor Peters could determine how to act. I made up my mind,
however, to sell my life as dearly as possible, and not to suffer
myself to be overcome by any feelings of trepidation.
    The tremendous noise made by the roaring of the wind in the
rigging, and the washing of the sea over the deck, prevented us from
hearing what was said, except during momentary lulls. In one of
these, we all distinctly heard the mate tell one of the men to "go
forward, have an eye upon them, for he wanted no such secret doings
on board the brig." It was well for us that the pitching of the
vessel at this moment was so violent as to prevent this order from
being carried into instant execution. The cook got up from his
mattress to go for us, when a tremendous lurch, which I thought would
carry away the masts, threw him headlong against one of the larboard
stateroom doors, bursting it open, and creating a good deal of other
confusion. Luckily, neither of our party was thrown from his
position, and we had time to make a precipitate retreat to the
forecastle, and arrange a hurried plan of action before the messenger
made his appearance, or rather before he put his head out of the
companion-hatch, for he did not come on deck. From this station he
could not notice the absence of Allen, and he accordingly bawled out,
as if to him, repeating the orders of the mate. Peters cried out,
"Ay, ay," in a disguised voice, and the cook immediately went below,
without entertaining a suspicion that all was not right.
    My two companions now proceeded boldly aft and down into the
cabin, Peters closing the door after him in the same manner he had
found it. The mate received them with feigned cordiality, and told
Augustus that, since he had behaved himself so well of late, he might
take up his quarters in the cabin and be one of them for the future.
He then poured him out a tumbler half full of rum, and made him drink
it. All this I saw and heard, for I followed my friends to the cabin
as soon as the door was shut, and took up my old point of
observation. I had brought with me the two pump-handles, one of which
I secured near the companion-way, to be ready for use when required.
    I now steadied myself as well as possible so as to have a good
view of all that was passing within, and endeavoured to nerve myself
to the task of descending among the mutineers when Peters should make
a signal to me, as agreed upon. Presently he contrived to turn the
conversation upon the bloody deeds of the mutiny, and by degrees led
the men to talk of the thousand superstitions which are so
universally current among seamen. I could not make out all that was
said, but I could plainly see the effects of the conversation in the
countenances of those present. The mate was evidently much agitated,
and presently, when some one mentioned the terrific appearance of
Rogers' corpse, I thought he was upon the point of swooning. Peters
now asked him if he did not think it would be better to have the body
thrown overboard at once as it was too horrible a sight to see it
floundering about in the scuppers. At this the villain absolutely
gasped for breath, and turned his head slowly round upon his
companions, as if imploring some one to go up and perform the task.
No one, however, stirred, and it was quite evident that the whole
party were wound up to the highest pitch of nervous excitement.
Peters now made me the signal. I immediately threw open the door of
the companion-way, and, descending, without uttering a syllable,
stood erect in the midst of the party.
    The intense effect produced by this sudden apparition is not at
all to be wondered at when the various circumstances are taken into
consideration. Usually, in cases of a similar nature, there is left
in the mind of the spectator some glimmering of doubt as to the
reality of the vision before his eyes; a degree of hope, however
feeble, that he is the victim of chicanery, and that the apparition
is not actually a visitant from the old world of shadows. It is not
too much to say that such remnants of doubt have been at the bottom
of almost every such visitation, and that the appalling horror which
has sometimes been brought about, is to be attributed, even in the
cases most in point, and where most suffering has been experienced,
more to a kind of anticipative horror, lest the apparition might
possibly be real, than to an unwavering belief in its reality. But,
in the present instance, it will be seen immediately, that in the
minds of the mutineers there was not even the shadow of a basis upon
which to rest a doubt that the apparition of Rogers was indeed a
revivification of his disgusting corpse, or at least its spiritual
image. The isolated situation of the brig, with its entire
inaccessibility on account of the gale, confined the apparently
possible means of deception within such narrow and definite limits,
that they must have thought themselves enabled to survey them all at
a glance. They had now been at sea twenty-four days, without holding
more than a speaking communication with any vessel whatever. The
whole of the crew, too- at least all whom they had the most remote
reason for suspecting to be on board- were assembled in the cabin,
with the exception of Allen, the watch; and his gigantic stature (be
was six feet six inches high) was too familiar in their eyes to
permit the notion that he was the apparition before them to enter
their minds even for an instant. Add to these considerations the
awe-inspiring nature of the tempest, and that of the conversation
brought about by Peters; the deep impression which the loathsomeness
of the actual corpse had made in the morning upon the imaginations of
the men; the excellence of the imitation in my person, and the
uncertain and wavering light in which they beheld me, as the glare of
the cabin lantern, swinging violently to and fro, fell dubiously and
fitfully upon my figure, and there will be no reason to wonder that
the deception had even more than the entire effect which we had
anticipated. The mate sprang up from the mattress on which he was
lying, and, without uttering a syllable, fell back, stone dead, upon
the cabin floor, and was hurled to the leeward like a log by a heavy
roll of the brig. Of the remaining seven, there were but three who
had at first any degree of presence of mind. The four others sat for
some time rooted apparently to the floor, the most pitiable objects
of horror and utter despair my eyes ever encountered. The only
opposition we experienced at all was from the cook, John Hunt, and
Richard Parker; but they made but a feeble and irresolute defence.
The two former were shot instantly by Peters, and I felled Parker
with a blow on the head from the pump-handle which I had brought with
me. In the meantime, Augustus seized one of the muskets lying on the
floor now but three remaining; but by this time they had become
aroused from their lethargy, and perhaps began to see that a
deception had been practised upon them, for they fought with great
resolution and fury, and, but for the immense muscular strength of
Peters, might have ultimately got the better of us. These three men
were -- Jones, -- Greely, and Absolom Hicks. Jones had thrown
Augustus to the floor, stabbed him in several places along the right
arm, and would no doubt have soon dispatched him (as neither Peters
nor myself could immediately get rid of our own antagonists), had it
not been for the timely aid of a friend, upon whose assistance we,
surely, had never depended. This friend was no other than Tiger. With
a low growl, he bounded into the cabin, at a most critical moment for
Augustus, and throwing himself upon Jones, pinned him to the floor in
an instant. My friend, however, was now too much injured to render us
any aid whatever, and I was so encumbered with my disguise that I
could do but little. The dog would not leave his hold upon the throat
of Jones -- Peters, nevertheless, was far more than a match for the
two men who remained, and would, no doubt, have dispatched them
sooner, had it not been for the narrow space in which he had to act,
and the tremendous lurches of the vessel. Presently he was enabled to
get hold of a heavy stool, several of which lay about the floor. With
this he beat out the brains of Greely as he was in the act of
discharging a musket at me, and immediately afterward a roll of the
brig throwing him in contact with Hicks, he seized him by the throat,
and, by dint of sheer strength, strangled him instantaneously. Thus,
in far less time than I have taken to tell it, we found ourselves
masters of the brig.
    The only person of our opponents who was left alive was Richard
Parker. This man, it will be remembered, I had knocked down with a
blow from the pump-handle at the commencement of the attack. He now
lay motionless by the door of the shattered stateroom; but, upon
Peters touching him with his foot, he spoke, and entreated for mercy.
His head was only slightly cut, and otherwise he had received no
injury, having been merely stunned by the blow. He now got up, and,
for the present, we secured his hands behind his back. The dog was
still growling over Jones; but, upon examination, we found him
completely dead, the blood issuing in a stream from a deep wound in
the throat, inflicted, no doubt, by the sharp teeth of the animal.
    It was now about one o'clock in the morning, and the wind was
still blowing tremendously. The brig evidently laboured much more
than usual, and it became absolutely necessary that something should
be done with a view of easing her in some measure. At almost every
roll to leeward she shipped a sea, several of which came partially
down into the cabin during our scuffle, the hatchway having been left
open by myself when I descended. The entire range of bulwarks to
larboard had been swept away, as well as the caboose, together with
the jollyboat from the counter. The creaking and working of the
mainmast, too, gave indication that it was nearly sprung. To make
room for more stowage in the afterhold, the heel of this mast had
been stepped between decks (a very reprehensible practice,
occasionally resorted to by ignorant ship-builders), so that it was
in imminent danger of working from its step. But, to crown all our
difficulties, we plummed the well, and found no less than seven feet
of water.
    Leaving the bodies of the crew lying in the cabin, we got to work
immediately at the pumps- Parker, of course, being set at liberty to
assist us in the labour. Augustus's arm was bound up as well as we
could effect it, and he did what he could, but that was not much.
However, we found that we could just manage to keep the leak from
gaining upon us by having one pump constantly going. As there were
only four of us, this was severe labour; but we endeavoured to keep
up our spirits, and looked anxiously for daybreak, when we hoped to
lighten the brig by cutting away the mainmast.
    In this manner we passed a night of terrible anxiety and fatigue,
and, when the day at length broke, the gale had neither abated in the
least, nor were there any signs of its abating. We now dragged the
bodies on deck and threw them overboard. Our next care was to get rid
of the mainmast. The necessary preparations having been made, Peters
cut away at the mast (having found axes in the cabin), while the rest
of us stood by the stays and lanyards. As the brig gave a tremendous
lee-lurch, the word was given to cut away the weather-lanyards, which
being done, the whole mass of wood and rigging plunged into the sea,
clear of the brig, and without doing any material injury. We now
found that the vessel did not labour quite as much as before, but our
situation was still exceedingly precarious, and in spite of the
utmost exertions, we could not gain upon the leak without the aid of
both pumps. The little assistance which Augustus could render us was
not really of any importance. To add to our distress, a heavy sea,
striking the brig to the windward, threw her off several points from
the wind, and, before she could regain her position, another broke
completely over her, and hurled her full upon her beam-ends. The
ballast now shifted in a mass to leeward (the stowage had been
knocking about perfectly at random for some time), and for a few
moments we thought nothing could save us from capsizing. Presently,
however, we partially righted; but the ballast still retaining its
place to larboard, we lay so much along that it was useless to think
of working the pumps, which indeed we could not have done much longer
in any case, as our hands were entirely raw with the excessive labour
we had undergone, and were bleeding in the most horrible manner.
    Contrary to Parker's advice, we now proceeded to cut away the
foremast, and at length accomplished it after much difficulty, owing
to the position in which we lay. In going overboard the wreck took
with it the bowsprit, and left us a complete hulk.
    So far we had had reason to rejoice in the escape of our
longboat, which had received no damage from any of the huge seas
which had come on board. But we had not long to congratulate
ourselves; for the foremast having gone, and, of course, the foresail
with it, by which the brig had been steadied, every sea now made a
complete breach over us, and in five minutes our deck was swept from
stern to stern, the longboat and starboard bulwarks torn off, and
even the windlass shattered into fragments. It was, indeed, hardly
possible for us to be in a more pitiable condition.
    At noon there seemed to be some slight appearance of the gale's
abating, but in this we were sadly disappointed, for it only lulled
for a few minutes to blow with redoubled fury. About four in the
afternoon it was utterly impossible to stand up against the violence
of the blast; and, as the night closed in upon us, I had not a shadow
of hope that the vessel would hold together until morning.
    By midnight we had settled very deep in the water, which was now
up to the orlop deck. The rudder went soon afterward, the sea which
tore it away lifting the after portion of the brig entirely from the
water, against which she thumped in her descent with such a
concussion as would be occasioned by going ashore. We had all
calculated that the rudder would hold its own to the last, as it was
unusually strong, being rigged as I have never seen one rigged either
before or since. Down its main timber there ran a succession of stout
iron hooks, and others in the same manner down the stern-post.
Through these hooks there extended a very thick wrought-iron rod, the
rudder being thus held to the stern-post and swinging freely on the
rod. The tremendous force of the sea which tore it off may be
estimated by the fact, that the hooks in the stern-post, which ran
entirely through it, being clinched on the inside, were drawn every
one of them completely out of the solid wood.
    We had scarcely time to draw breath after the violence of this
shock, when one of the most tremendous waves I had then ever known
broke right on board of us, sweeping the companion-way clear off,
bursting in the hatchways, and firing every inch of the vessel with
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 8 ~~~

    LUCKILY, just before night, all four of us had lashed ourselves
firmly to the fragments of the windlass, lying in this manner as flat
upon the deck as possible. This precaution alone saved us from
destruction. As it was, we were all more or less stunned by the
immense weight of water which tumbled upon us, and which did not roll
from above us until we were nearly exhausted. As soon as I could
recover breath, I called aloud to my companions. Augustus alone
replied, saying: "It is all over with us, and may God have mercy upon
our souls!" By-and-by both the others were enabled to speak, when
they exhorted us to take courage, as there was still hope; it being
impossible, from the nature of the cargo, that the brig could go
down, and there being every chance that the gale would blow over by
the morning. These words inspired me with new life; for, strange as
it may seem, although it was obvious that a vessel with a cargo of
empty oil-casks would not sink, I had been hitherto so confused in
mind as to have overlooked this consideration altogether; and the
danger which I had for some time regarded as the most imminent was
that of foundering. As hope revived within me, I made use of every
opportunity to strengthen the lashings which held me to the remains
of the windlass, and in this occupation I soon discovered that my
companions were also busy. The night was as dark as it could possibly
be, and the horrible shrieking din and confusion which surrounded us
it is useless to attempt describing. Our deck lay level with the sea,
or rather we were encircled with a towering ridge of foam, a portion
of which swept over us even instant. It is not too much to say that
our heads were not fairly out of the water more than one second in
three. Although we lay close together, no one of us could see the
other, or, indeed, any portion of the brig itself, upon which we were
so tempestuously hurled about. At intervals we called one to the
other, thus endeavouring to keep alive hope, and render consolation
and encouragement to such of us as stood most in need of it. The
feeble condition of Augustus made him an object of solicitude with us
all; and as, from the lacerated condition of his right arm, it must
have been impossible for him to secure his lashings with any degree
of firmness, we were in momentary expectation of finding that he had
gone overboard -- yet to render him aid was a thing altogether out of
the question. Fortunately, his station was more secure than that of
any of the rest of us; for the upper part of his body lying just
beneath a portion of the shattered windlass, the seas, as they
tumbled in upon him, were greatly broken in their violence. In any
other situation than this (into which he had been accidentally thrown
after having lashed himself in a very exposed spot) he must
inevitably have perished before morning. Owing to the brig's lying so
much along, we were all less liable to be washed off than otherwise
would have been the case. The heel, as I have before stated, was to
larboard, about one half of the deck being constantly under water.
The seas, therefore, which struck us to starboard were much broken,
by the vessel's side, only reaching us in fragments as we lay flat on
our faces; while those which came from larboard being what are called
back-water seas, and obtaining little hold upon us on account of our
posture, had not sufficient force to drag us from our fastenings.
    In this frightful situation we lay until the day broke so as to
show us more fully the horrors which surrounded us. The brig was a
mere log, rolling about at the mercy of every wave; the gale was upon
the increase, if any thing, blowing indeed a complete hurricane, and
there appeared to us no earthly prospect of deliverance. For several
hours we held on in silence, expecting every moment that our lashings
would either give way, that the remains of the windlass would go by
the board, or that some of the huge seas, which roared in every
direction around us and above us, would drive the hulk so far beneath
the water that we should be drowned before it could regain the
surface. By the mercy of God, however, we were preserved from these
imminent dangers, and about midday were cheered by the light of the
blessed sun. Shortly afterward we could perceive a sensible
diminution in the force of the wind, when, now for the first time
since the latter part of the evening before, Augustus spoke, asking
Peters, who lay closest to him, if he thought there was any
possibility of our being saved. As no reply was at first made to this
question, we all concluded that the hybrid had been drowned where he
lay; but presently, to our great joy, he spoke, although very feebly,
saying that he was in great pain, being so cut by the tightness of
his lashings across the stomach, that he must either find means of
loosening them or perish, as it was impossible that he could endure
his misery much longer. This occasioned us great distress, as it was
altogether useless to think of aiding him in any manner while the sea
continued washing over us as it did. We exhorted him to bear his
sufferings with fortitude, and promised to seize the first
opportunity which should offer itself to relieve him. He replied that
it would soon be too late; that it would be all over with him before
we could help him; and then, after moaning for some minutes, lay
silent, when we concluded that he had perished.
    As the evening drew on, the sea had fallen so much that scarcely
more than one wave broke over the hulk from windward in the course of
five minutes, and the wind had abated a great deal, although still
blowing a severe gale. I had not heard any of my companions speak for
hours, and now called to Augustus. He replied, although very feebly,
so that I could not distinguish what he said. I then spoke to Peters
and to Parker, neither of whom returned any answer.
    Shortly after this period I fell into a state of partial
insensibility, during which the most pleasing images floated in my
imagination; such as green trees, waving meadows of ripe grain,
processions of dancing girls, troops of cavalry, and other
phantasies. I now remember that, in all which passed before my mind's
eye, motion was a predominant idea. Thus, I never fancied any
stationary object, such as a house, a mountain, or any thing of that
kind; but windmills, ships, large birds, balloons, people on
horseback, carriages driving furiously, and similar moving objects,
presented themselves in endless succession. When I recovered from
this state, the sun was, as near as I could guess, an hour high. I
had the greatest difficulty in bringing to recollection the various
circumstances connected with my situation, and for some time remained
firmly convinced that I was still in the hold of the brig, near the
box, and that the body of Parker was that of Tiger.
    When I at length completely came to my senses, I found that the
wind blew no more than a moderate breeze, and that the sea was
comparatively calm; so much so that it only washed over the brig
amidships. My left arm had broken loose from its lashings, and was
much cut about the elbow; my right was entirely benumbed, and the
hand and wrist swollen prodigiously by the pressure of the rope,
which had worked from the shoulder downward. I was also in great pain
from another rope which went about my waist, and had been drawn to an
insufferable degree of tightness. Looking round upon my companions, I
saw that Peters still lived, although a thick line was pulled so
forcibly around his loins as to give him the appearance of being cut
nearly in two; as I stiffed, he made a feeble motion to me with his
hand, pointing to the rope. Augustus gave no indication of life
whatever, and was bent nearly double across a splinter of the
windlass. Parker spoke to me when he saw me moving, and asked me if I
had not sufficient strength to release him from his situation, saying
that if I would summon up what spirits I could, and contrive to untie
him, we might yet save our lives; but that otherwise we must all
perish. I told him to take courage, and I would endeavor to free him.
Feeling in my pantaloons' pocket, I got hold of my penknife, and,
after several ineffectual attempts, at length succeeded in opening
it. I then, with my left hand, managed to free my right from its
fastenings, and afterward cut the other ropes which held me. Upon
attempting, however, to move from my position, I found that my legs
failed me altogether, and that I could not get up; neither could I
move my right arm in any direction. Upon mentioning this to Parker,
he advised me to lie quiet for a few minutes, holding on to the
windlass with my left hand, so as to allow time for the blood to
circulate. Doing this, the numbness presently began to die away so
that I could move first one of my legs, and then the other, and,
shortly afterward I regained the partial use of my right arm. I now
crawled with great caution toward Parker, without getting on my legs,
and soon cut loose all the lashings about him, when, after a short
delay, he also recovered the partial use of his limbs. We now lost no
time in getting loose the rope from Peters. It had cut a deep gash
through the waistband of his woollen pantaloons, and through two
shirts, and made its way into his groin, from which the blood flowed
out copiously as we removed the cordage. No sooner had we removed it,
however, than he spoke, and seemed to experience instant relief-
being able to move with much greater ease than either Parker or
myself- this was no doubt owing to the discharge of blood.
    We had little hopes that Augustus would recover, as he evinced no
signs of life; but, upon getting to him, we discovered that he had
merely swooned from the loss of blood, the bandages we had placed
around his wounded arm having been torn off by the water; none of the
ropes which held him to the windlass were drawn sufficiently tight to
occasion his death. Having relieved him from the fastenings, and got
him clear of the broken wood about the windlass, we secured him in a
dry place to windward, with his head somewhat lower than his body,
and all three of us busied ourselves in chafing his limbs. In about
half an hour he came to himself, although it was not until the next
morning that he gave signs of recognizing any of us, or had
sufficient strength to speak. By the time we had thus got clear of
our lashings it was quite dark, and it began to cloud up, so that we
were again in the greatest agony lest it should come on to blow hard,
in which event nothing could have saved us from perishing, exhausted
as we were. By good fortune it continued very moderate during the
night, the sea subsiding every minute, which gave us great hopes of
ultimate preservation. A gentle breeze still blew from the N. W., but
the weather was not at all cold. Augustus was lashed carefully to
windward in such a manner as to prevent him from slipping overboard
with the rolls of the vessel, as he was still too weak to hold on at
all. For ourselves there was no such necessity. We sat close
together, supporting each other with the aid of the broken ropes
about the windlass, and devising methods of escape from our frightful
situation. We derived much comfort from taking off our clothes and
wringing the water from them. When we put them on after this, they
felt remarkably warm and pleasant, and served to invigorate us in no
little degree. We helped Augustus off with his, and wrung them for
him, when he experienced the same comfort.
    Our chief sufferings were now those of hunger and thirst, and
when we looked forward to the means of relief in this respect, our
hearts sunk within us, and we were induced to regret that we had
escaped the less dreadful perils of the sea. We endeavoured, however,
to console ourselves with the hope of being speedily picked up by
some vessel and encouraged each other to bear with fortitude the
evils that might happen.
    The morning of the fourteenth at length dawned, and the weather
still continued clear and pleasant, with a steady but very light
breeze from the N. W. The sea was now quite smooth, and as, from some
cause which we could not determine, the brig did not he so much along
as she had done before, the deck was comparatively dry, and we could
move about with freedom. We had now been better than three entire
days and nights without either food or drink, and it became
absolutely necessary that we should make an attempt to get up
something from below. As the brig was completely full of water, we
went to this work despondently, and with but little expectation of
being able to obtain anything. We made a kind of drag by driving some
nails which we broke out from the remains of the companion-hatch into
two pieces of wood. Tying these across each other, and fastening them
to the end of a rope, we threw them into the cabin, and dragged them
to and fro, in the faint hope of being thus able to entangle some
article which might be of use to us for food, or which might at least
render us assistance in getting it. We spent the greater part of the
morning in this labour without effect, fishing up nothing more than a
few bedclothes, which were readily caught by the nails. Indeed, our
contrivance was so very clumsy that any greater success was hardly to
be anticipated.
    We now tried the forecastle, but equally in vain, and were upon
the brink of despair, when Peters proposed that we should fasten a
rope to his body, and let him make an attempt to get up something by
diving into the cabin. This proposition we hailed with all the
delight which reviving hope could inspire. He proceeded immediately
to strip off his clothes with the exception of his pantaloons; and a
strong rope was then carefully fastened around his middle, being
brought up over his shoulders in such a manner that there was no
possibility of its slipping. The undertaking was one of great
difficulty and danger; for, as we could hardly expect to find much,
if any, provision in the cabin itself, it was necessary that the
diver, after letting himself down, should make a turn to the right,
and proceed under water a distance of ten or twelve feet, in a narrow
passage, to the storeroom, and return, without drawing breath.
    Everything being ready, Peters now descended in the cabin, going
down the companion-ladder until the water reached his chin. He then
plunged in, head first, turning to the right as he plunged, and
endeavouring to make his way to the storeroom. In this first attempt,
however, he was altogether unsuccessful. In less than half a minute
after his going down we felt the rope jerked violently (the signal we
had agreed upon when he desired to be drawn up). We accordingly drew
him up instantly, but so incautiously as to bruise him badly against
the ladder. He had brought nothing with him, and had been unable to
penetrate more than a very little way into the passage, owing to the
constant exertions he found it necessary to make in order to keep
himself from floating up against the deck. Upon getting out he was
very much exhausted, and had to rest full fifteen minutes before he
could again venture to descend.
    The second attempt met with even worse success; for he remained
so long under water without giving the signal, that, becoming alarmed
for his safety, we drew him out without it, and found that he was
almost at the last gasp, having, as he said, repeatedly jerked at the
rope without our feeling it. This was probably owing to a portion of
it having become entangled in the balustrade at the foot of the
ladder. This balustrade was, indeed, so much in the way, that we
determined to remove it, if possible, before proceeding with our
design. As we had no means of getting it away except by main force,
we all descended into the water as far as we could on the ladder, and
giving a pull against it with our united strength, succeeded in
breaking it down.
    The third attempt was equally unsuccessful with the two first,
and it now became evident that nothing could be done in this manner
without the aid of some weight with which the diver might steady
himself, and keep to the floor of the cabin while making his search.
For a long time we looked about in vain for something which might
answer this purpose; but at length, to our great joy, we discovered
one of the weather-forechains so loose that we had not the least
difficulty in wrenching it off. Having fastened this securely to one
of his ankles, Peters now made his fourth descent into the cabin, and
this time succeeded in making his way to the door of the steward's
room. To his inexpressible grief, however, he found it locked, and
was obliged to return without effecting an entrance, as, with the
greatest exertion, he could remain under water not more, at the
utmost extent, than a single minute. Our affairs now looked gloomy
indeed, and neither Augustus nor myself could refrain from bursting
into tears, as we thought of the host of difficulties which
encompassed us, and the slight probability which existed of our
finally making an escape. But this weakness was not of long duration.
Throwing ourselves on our knees to God, we implored His aid in the
many dangers which beset us; and arose with renewed hope and vigor to
think what could yet be done by mortal means toward accomplishing our
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 9 ~~~

    SHORTLY afterward an incident occurred which I am induced to look
upon as more intensely productive of emotion, as far more replete
with the extremes first of delight and then of horror, than even any
of the thousand chances which afterward befell me in nine long years,
crowded with events of the most startling and, in many cases, of the
most unconceived and unconceivable character. We were lying on the
deck near the companion-way, and debating the possibility of yet
making our way into the storeroom, when, looking toward Augustus, who
lay fronting myself, I perceived that he had become all at once
deadly pale, and that his lips were quivering in the most singular
and unaccountable manner. Greatly alarmed, I spoke to him, but he
made me no reply, and I was beginning to think that he was suddenly
taken ill, when I took notice of his eyes, which were glaring
apparently at some object behind me. I turned my head, and shall
never forget the ecstatic joy which thrilled through every particle
of my frame, when I perceived a large brig bearing down upon us, and
not more than a couple of miles off. I sprung to my feet as if a
musket bullet had suddenly struck me to the heart; and, stretching
out my arms in the direction of the vessel, stood in this manner,
motionless, and unable to articulate a syllable. Peters and Parker
were equally affected, although in different ways. The former danced
about the deck like a madman, uttering the most extravagant
rhodomontades, intermingled with howls and imprecations, while the
latter burst into tears, and continued for many minutes weeping like
a child.
    The vessel in sight was a large hermaphrodite brig, of a Dutch
build, and painted black, with a tawdry gilt figure-head. She had
evidently seen a good deal of rough weather, and, we supposed, had
suffered much in the gale which had proved so disastrous to
ourselves; for her foretopmast was gone, and some of her starboard
bulwarks. When we first saw her, she was, as I have already said,
about two miles off and to windward, bearing down upon us. The breeze
was very gentle, and what astonished us chiefly was, that she had no
other sails set than her foremast and mainsail, with a flying jib --
of course she came down but slowly, and our impatience amounted
nearly to phrensy. The awkward manner in which she steered, too, was
remarked by all of us, even excited as we were. She yawed about so
considerably, that once or twice we thought it impossible she could
see us, or imagined that, having seen us, and discovered no person on
board, she was about to tack and make off in another direction. Upon
each of these occasions we screamed and shouted at the top of our
voices, when the stranger would appear to change for a moment her
intention, and again hold on toward us -- this singular conduct being
repeated two or three times, so that at last we could think of no
other manner of accounting for it than by supposing the helmsman to
be in liquor.
    No person was seen upon her decks until she arrived within about
a quarter of a mile of us. We then saw three seamen, whom by their
dress we took to be Hollanders. Two of these were lying on some old
sails near the forecastle, and the third, who appeared to be looking
at us with great curiosity, was leaning over the starboard bow near
the bowsprit. This last was a stout and tall man, with a very dark
skin. He seemed by his manner to be encouraging us to have patience,
nodding to us in a cheerful although rather odd way, and smiling
constantly, so as to display a set of the most brilliantly white
teeth. As his vessel drew nearer, we saw a red flannel cap which he
had on fall from his head into the water; but of this he took little
or no notice, continuing his odd smiles and gesticulations. I relate
these things and circumstances minutely, and I relate them, it must
be understood, precisely as they _appeared _to us.
    The brig came on slowly, and now more steadily than before, and
-- I cannot speak calmly of this event -- our hearts leaped up wildly
within us, and we poured out our whole souls in shouts and
thanksgiving to God for the complete, unexpected, and glorious
deliverance that was so palpably at hand. Of a sudden, and all at
once, there came wafted over the ocean from the strange vessel (which
was now close upon us) a smell, a stench, such as the whole world has
no name for -- no conception of -- hellish -- utterly suffocating --
insufferable, inconceivable. I gasped for breath, and turning to my
companions, perceived that they were paler than marble. But we had
now no time left for question or surmise- the brig was within fifty
feet of us, and it seemed to be her intention to run under our
counter, that we might board her without putting out a boat. We
rushed aft, when, suddenly, a wide yaw threw her off full five or six
points from the course she had been running, and, as she passed under
our stern at the distance of about twenty feet, we had a full view of
her decks. Shall I ever forget the triple horror of that spectacle?
Twenty-five or thirty human bodies, among whom were several females,
lay scattered about between the counter and the galley in the last
and most loathsome state of putrefaction. We plainly saw that not a
soul lived in that fated vessel! Yet we could not help shouting to
the dead for help! Yes, long and loudly did we beg, in the agony of
the moment, that those silent and disgusting images would stay for
us, would not abandon us to become like them, would receive us among
their goodly company! We were raving with horror and despair-
thoroughly mad through the anguish of our grievous disappointment.
    As our first loud yell of terror broke forth, it was replied to
by something, from near the bowsprit of the stranger, so closely
resembling the scream of a human voice that the nicest ear might have
been startled and deceived. At this instant another sudden yaw
brought the region of the forecastle for a moment into view, and we
beheld at once the origin of the sound. We saw the tall stout figure
still leaning on the bulwark, and still nodding his head to and fro,
but his face was now turned from us so that we could not behold it.
His arms were extended over the rail, and the palms of his hands fell
outward. His knees were lodged upon a stout rope, tightly stretched,
and reaching from the heel of the bowsprit to a cathead. On his back,
from which a portion of the shirt had been torn, leaving it bare,
there sat a huge sea-gull, busily gorging itself with the horrible
flesh, its bill and talons deep buried, and its white plumage
spattered all over with blood. As the brig moved farther round so as
to bring us close in view, the bird, with much apparent difficulty,
drew out its crimsoned head, and, after eyeing us for a moment as if
stupefied, arose lazily from the body upon which it had been
feasting, and, flying directly above our deck, hovered there a while
with a portion of clotted and liver-like substance in its beak. The
horrid morsel dropped at length with a sullen splash immediately at
the feet of Parker. May God forgive me, but now, for the first time,
there flashed through my mind a thought, a thought which I will not
mention, and I felt myself making a step toward the ensanguined spot.
I looked upward, and the eyes of Augustus met my own with a degree of
intense and eager meaning which immediately brought me to my senses.
I sprang forward quickly, and, with a deep shudder, threw the
frightful thing into the sea.
    The body from which it had been taken, resting as it did upon the
rope, had been easily swayed to and fro by the exertions of the
carnivorous bird, and it was this motion which had at first impressed
us with the belief of its being alive. As the gull relieved it of its
weight, it swung round and fell partially over, so that the face was
fully discovered. Never, surely, was any object so terribly full of
awe! The eyes were gone, and the whole flesh around the mouth,
leaving the teeth utterly naked. This, then, was the smile which had
cheered us on to hope! this the -- but I forbear. The brig, as I have
already told, passed under our stern, and made its way slowly but
steadily to leeward. With her and with her terrible crew went all our
gay visions of deliverance and joy. Deliberately as she went by, we
might possibly have found means of boarding her, had not our sudden
disappointment and the appalling nature of the discovery which
accompanied it laid entirely prostrate every active faculty of mind
and body. We had seen and felt, but we could neither think nor act,
until, alas! too late. How much our intellects had been weakened by
this incident may be estimated by the fact, that when the vessel had
proceeded so far that we could perceive no more than the half of her
hull, the proposition was seriously entertained of attempting to
overtake her by swimming!
    I have, since this period, vainly endeavoured to obtain some clew
to the hideous uncertainty which enveloped the fate of the stranger.
Her build and general appearance, as I have before stated, led us to
the belief that she was a Dutch trader, and the dresses of the crew
also sustained this opinion. We might have easily seen the name upon
her stern, and, indeed, taken other observations, which would have
guided us in making out her character; but the intense excitement of
the moment blinded us to every thing of that nature. From the
saffron-like hue of such of the corpses as were not entirely decayed,
we concluded that the whole of her company had perished by the yellow
fever, or some other virulent disease of the same fearful kind. If
such were the case (and I know not what else to imagine), death, to
judge from the positions of the bodies, must have come upon them in a
manner awfully sudden and overwhelming, in a way totally distinct
from that which generally characterizes even the most deadly
pestilences with which mankind are acquainted. It is possible,
indeed, that poison, accidentally introduced into some of their
sea-stores, may have brought about the disaster, or that the eating
of some unknown venomous species of fish, or other marine animal, or
oceanic bird, might have induced it -- but it is utterly useless to
form conjectures where all is involved, and will, no doubt, remain
for ever involved, in the most appalling and unfathomable mystery.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 10 ~~~

    WE spent the remainder of the day in a condition of stupid
lethargy, gazing after the retreating vessel until the darkness,
hiding her from our sight, recalled us in some measure to our senses.
The pangs of hunger and thirst then returned, absorbing all other
cares and considerations. Nothing, however, could be done until the
morning, and, securing ourselves as well as possible, we endeavoured
to snatch a little repose. In this I succeeded beyond my
expectations, sleeping until my companions, who had not been so
fortunate, aroused me at daybreak to renew our attempts at getting up
provisions from the hull.
    It was now a dead calm, with the sea as smooth as have ever known
it, -- the weather warm and pleasant. The brig was out of sight. We
commenced our operations by wrenching off, with some trouble, another
of the forechains; and having fastened both to Peters' feet, he again
made an endeavour to reach the door of the storeroom, thinking it
possible that he might be able to force it open, provided he could
get at it in sufficient time; and this he hoped to do, as the hulk
lay much more steadily than before.
    He succeeded very quickly in reaching the door, when, loosening
one of the chains from his ankle, be made every exertion to force the
passage with it, but in vain, the framework of the room being far
stronger than was anticipated. He was quite exhausted with his long
stay under water, and it became absolutely necessary that some other
one of us should take his place. For this service Parker immediately
volunteered; but, after making three ineffectual efforts, found that
he could never even succeed in getting near the door. The condition
of Augustus's wounded arm rendered it useless for him to attempt
going down, as he would be unable to force the room open should be
reach it, and it accordingly now devolved upon me to exert myself for
our common deliverance.
    Peters had left one of the chains in the passage, and I found,
upon plunging in, that I had not sufficient balance to keep me firmly
down. I determined, therefore, to attempt no more, in my first
effort, than merely to recover the other chain. In groping along the
floor of the passage for this, I felt a hard substance, which I
immediately grasped, not having time to ascertain what it was, but
returning and ascending instantly to the surface. The prize proved to
be a bottle, and our joy may be conceived when I say that it was
found to be full of port wine. Giving thanks to God for this timely
and cheering assistance, we immediately drew the cork with my
penknife, and, each taking a moderate sup, felt the most
indescribable comfort from the warmth, strength, and spirits with
which it inspired us. We then carefully recorked the bottle, and, by
means of a handkerchief, swung it in such a manner that there was no
possibility of its getting broken.
    Having rested a while after this fortunate discovery, I again
descended, and now recovered the chain, with which I instantly came
up. I then fastened it on and went down for the third time, when I
became fully satisfied that no exertions whatever, in that situation,
would enable me to force open the door of the storeroom. I therefore
returned in despair.
    There seemed now to be no longer any room for hope, and I could
perceive in the countenances of my companions that they had made up
their minds to perish. The wine had evidently produced in them a
species of delirium, which, perhaps, I had been prevented from
feeling by the immersion I had undergone since drinking it. They
talked incoherently, and about matters unconnected with our
condition, Peters repeatedly asking me questions about Nantucket.
Augustus, too, I remember, approached me with a serious air, and
requested me to lend him a pocket-comb, as his hair was full of
fish-scales, and he wished to get them out before going on shore.
Parker appeared somewhat less affected, and urged me to dive at
random into the cabin, and bring up any article which might come to
hand. To this I consented, and, in the first attempt, after staying
under a full minute, brought up a small leather trunk belonging to
Captain Barnard. This was immediately opened in the faint hope that
it might contain something to eat or drink. We found nothing,
however, except a box of razors and two linen shirts. I now went down
again, and returned without any success. As my head came above water
I heard a crash on deck, and, upon getting up, saw that my companions
had ungratefully taken advantage of my absence to drink the remainder
of the wine, having let the bottle fall in the endeavour to replace
it before I saw them. I remonstrated with them on the heartlessness
of their conduct, when Augustus burst into tears. The other two
endeavoured to laugh the matter off as a joke, but I hope never again
to behold laughter of such a species: the distortion of countenance
was absolutely frightful. Indeed, it was apparent that the stimulus,
in the empty state of their stomachs, had taken instant and violent
effect, and that they were all exceedingly intoxicated. With great
difficulty I prevailed upon them to lie down, when they fell very
soon into a heavy slumber, accompanied with loud stertorous
    I now found myself, as it were, alone in the brig, and my
reflections, to be sure, were of the most fearful and gloomy nature.
No prospect offered itself to my view but a lingering death by
famine, or, at the best, by being overwhelmed in the first gale which
should spring up, for in our present exhausted condition we could
have no hope of living through another.
    The gnawing hunger which I now experienced was nearly
insupportable, and I felt myself capable of going to any lengths in
order to appease it. With my knife I cut off a small portion of the
leather trunk, and endeavoured to eat it, but found it utterly
impossible to swallow a single morsel, although I fancied that some
little alleviation of my suffering was obtained by chewing small
pieces of it and spitting them out. Toward night my companions awoke,
one by one, each in an indescribable state of weakness and horror,
brought on by the wine, whose fumes had now evaporated. They shook as
if with a violent ague, and uttered the most lamentable cries for
water. Their condition affected me in the most lively degree, at the
same time causing me to rejoice in the fortunate train of
circumstances which had prevented me from indulging in the wine, and
consequently from sharing their melancholy and most distressing
sensations. Their conduct, however, gave me great uneasiness and
alarm; for it was evident that, unless some favourable change took
place, they could afford me no assistance in providing for our common
safety. I had not yet abandoned all idea being able to get up
something from below; but the attempt could not possibly be resumed
until some one of them was sufficiently master of himself to aid me
by holding the end of the rope while I went down. Parker appeared to
be somewhat more in possession of his senses than the others, and I
endeavoured, by every means in my power, to rouse him. Thinking that
a plunge in the sea-water might have a beneficial effect, I contrived
to fasten the end of a rope around his body, and then, leading him to
the companion-way (he remaining quite passive all the while), pushed
him in, and immediately drew him out. I had good reason to
congratulate myself upon having made this experiment; for he appeared
much revived and invigorated, and, upon getting out, asked me, in a
rational manner, why I had so served him. Having explained my object,
he expressed himself indebted to me, and said that he felt greatly
better from the immersion, afterward conversing sensibly upon our
situation. We then resolved to treat Augustus and Peters in the same
way, which we immediately did, when they both experienced much
benefit from the shock. This idea of sudden immersion had been
suggested to me by reading in some medical work the good effect of
the shower-bath in a case where the patient was suffering from _mania
a potu_.
    Finding that I could now trust my companions to hold the end of
the rope, I again made three or four plunges into the cabin, although
it was now quite dark, and a gentle but long swell from the northward
rendered the hulk somewhat unsteady. In the course of these attempts
I succeeded in bringing up two case-knives, a three-gallon jug,
empty, and a blanket, but nothing which could serve us for food. I
continued my efforts, after getting these articles, until I was
completely exhausted, but brought up nothing else. During the night
Parker and Peters occupied themselves by turns in the same manner;
but nothing coming to hand, we now gave up this attempt in despair,
concluding that we were exhausting ourselves in vain.
    We passed the remainder of this night in a state of the most
intense mental and bodily anguish that can possibly be imagined. The
morning of the sixteenth at length dawned, and we looked eagerly
around the horizon for relief, but to no purpose. The sea was still
smooth, with only a long swell from the northward, as on yesterday.
This was the sixth day since we had tasted either food or drink, with
the exception of the bottle of port wine, and it was clear that we
could hold out but a very little while longer unless something could
be obtained. I never saw before, nor wish to see again, human beings
so utterly emaciated as Peters and Augustus. Had I met them on shore
in their present condition I should not have had the slightest
suspicion that I had ever beheld them. Their countenances were
totally changed in character, so that I could not bring myself to
believe them really the same individuals with whom I had been in
company but a few days before. Parker, although sadly reduced, and so
feeble that he could not raise his head from his bosom, was not so
far gone as the other two. He suffered with great patience, making no
complaint, and endeavouring to inspire us with hope in every manner
he could devise. For myself, although at the commencement of the
voyage I had been in bad health, and was at all times of a delicate
constitution, I suffered less than any of us, being much less reduced
in frame, and retaining my powers of mind in a surprising degree,
while the rest were completely prostrated in intellect, and seemed to
be brought to a species of second childhood, generally simpering in
their expressions, with idiotic smiles, and uttering the most absurd
platitudes. At intervals, however, they would appear to revive
suddenly, as if inspired all at once with a consciousness of their
condition, when they would spring upon their feet in a momentary
flash of vigour, and speak, for a short period, of their prospects,
in a manner altogether rational, although full of the most intense
despair. It is possible, however, that my companions may have
entertained the same opinion of their own condition as I did of mine,
and that I may have unwittingly been guilty of the same extravagances
and imbecilities as themselves -- this is a matter which cannot be
    About noon Parker declared that he saw land off the larboard
quarter, and it was with the utmost difficulty I could restrain him
from plunging into the sea with the view of swimming toward it.
Peters and Augustus took little notice of what he said, being
apparently wrapped up in moody contemplation. Upon looking in the
direction pointed out, I could not perceive the faintest appearance
of the shore -- indeed, I was too well aware that we were far from
any land to indulge in a hope of that nature. It was a long time,
nevertheless, before I could convince Parker of his mistake. He then
burst into a flood of tears, weeping like a child, with loud cries
and sobs, for two or three hours, when becoming exhausted, he fell
    Peters and Augustus now made several ineffectual efforts to
swallow portions of the leather. I advised them to chew it and spit
it out; but they were too excessively debilitated to be able to
follow my advice. I continued to chew pieces of it at intervals, and
found some relief from so doing; my chief distress was for water, and
I was only prevented from taking a draught from the sea by
remembering the horrible consequences which thus have resulted to
others who were similarly situated with ourselves.
    The day wore on in this manner, when I suddenly discovered a sail
to the eastward, and on our larboard bow. She appeared to be a large
ship, and was coming nearly athwart us, being probably twelve or
fifteen miles distant. None of my companions had as yet discovered
her, and I forbore to tell them of her for the present, lest we might
again be disappointed of relief. At length upon her getting nearer, I
saw distinctly that she was heading immediately for us, with her
light sails filled. I could now contain myself no longer, and pointed
her out to my fellow-sufferers. They immediately sprang to their
feet, again indulging in the most extravagant demonstrations of joy,
weeping, laughing in an idiotic manner, jumping, stamping upon the
deck, tearing their hair, and praying and cursing by turns. I was so
affected by their conduct, as well as by what I considered a sure
prospect of deliverance, that I could not refrain from joining in
with their madness, and gave way to the impulses of my gratitude and
ecstasy by lying and rolling on the deck, clapping my hands,
shouting, and other similar acts, until I was suddenly called to my
recollection, and once more to the extreme human misery and despair,
by perceiving the ship all at once with her stern fully presented
toward us, and steering in a direction nearly opposite to that in
which I had at first perceived her.
    It was some time before I could induce my poor companions to
believe that this sad reverse in our prospects had actually taken
place. They replied to all my assertions with a stare and a gesture
implying that they were not to be deceived by such
misrepresentations. The conduct of Augustus most sensibly affected
me. In spite of all I could say or do to the contrary, he persisted
in saying that the ship was rapidly nearing us, and in making
preparations to go on board of her. Some seaweed floating by the
brig, he maintained that it was the ship's boat, and endeavoured to
throw himself upon it, howling and shrieking in the most heartrending
manner, when I forcibly restrained him from thus casting himself into
the sea.
    Having become in some degree pacified, we continued to watch the
ship until we finally lost sight of her, the weather becoming hazy,
with a light breeze springing up. As soon as she was entirely gone,
Parker turned suddenly toward me with an expression of countenance
which made me shudder. There was about him an air of self-possession
which I had not noticed in him until now, and before he opened his
lips my heart told me what he would say. He proposed, in a few words,
that one of us should die to preserve the existence of the others.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 11 ~~~

    I had for some time past, dwelt upon the prospect of our being
reduced to this last horrible extremity, and had secretly made up my
mind to suffer death in any shape or under any circumstances rather
than resort to such a course. Nor was this resolution in any degree
weakened by the present intensity of hunger under which I laboured.
The proposition had not been heard by either Peters or Augustus. I
therefore took Parker aside; and mentally praying to God for power to
dissuade him from the horrible purpose he entertained, I expostulated
with him for a long time, and in the most supplicating manner,
begging him in the name of every thing which he held sacred, and
urging him by every species of argument which the extremity of the
case suggested, to abandon the idea, and not to mention it to either
of the other two.
    He heard all I said without attempting to controvert any of my
arguments, and I had begun to hope that he would be prevailed upon to
do as I desired. But when I had ceased speaking, he said that he knew
very well all I had said was true, and that to resort to such a
course was the most horrible alternative which could enter into the
mind of man; but that he had now held out as long as human nature
could be sustained; that it was unnecessary for all to perish, when,
by the death of one, it was possible, and even probable, that the
rest might be finally preserved; adding that I might save myself the
trouble of trying to turn him from his purpose, his mind having been
thoroughly made up on the subject even before the appearance of the
ship, and that only her heaving in sight had prevented him from
mentioning his intention at an earlier period.
    I now begged him, if he would not be prevailed upon to abandon
his design, at least to defer it for another day, when some vessel
might come to our relief; again reiterating every argument I could
devise, and which I thought likely to have influence with one of his
rough nature. He said, in reply, that he had not spoken until the
very last possible moment, that he could exist no longer without
sustenance of some kind, and that therefore in another day his
suggestion would be too late, as regarded himself at least.
    Finding that he was not to be moved by anything I could say in a
mild tone, I now assumed a different demeanor, and told him that he
must be aware I had suffered less than any of us from our calamities;
that my health and strength, consequently, were at that moment far
better than his own, or than that either of Peters or Augustus; in
short, that I was in a condition to have my own way by force if I
found it necessary; and that if he attempted in any manner to
acquaint the others with his bloody and cannibal designs, I would not
hesitate to throw him into the sea. Upon this he immediately seized
me by the throat, and drawing a knife, made several ineffectual
efforts to stab me in the stomach; an atrocity which his excessive
debility alone prevented him from accomplishing. In the meantime,
being roused to a high pitch of anger, I forced him to the vessel's
side, with the full intention of throwing him overboard. He was saved
from his fate, however, by the interference of Peters, who now
approached and separated us, asking the cause of the disturbance.
This Parker told before I could find means in any manner to prevent
    The effect of his words was even more terrible than what I had
anticipated. Both Augustus and Peters, who, it seems, had long
secretly entertained the same fearful idea which Parker had been
merely the first to broach, joined with him in his design and
insisted upon its immediately being carried into effect. I had
calculated that one at least of the two former would be found still
possessed of sufficient strength of mind to side with myself in
resisting any attempt to execute so dreadful a purpose, and, with the
aid of either one of them, I had no fear of being able to prevent its
accomplishment. Being disappointed in this expectation, it became
absolutely necessary that I should attend to my own safety, as a
further resistance on my part might possibly be considered by men in
their frightful condition a sufficient excuse for refusing me fair
play in the tragedy that I knew would speedily be enacted.
    I now told them I was willing to submit to the proposal, merely
requesting a delay of about one hour, in order that the fog which had
gathered around us might have an opportunity of lifting, when it was
possible that the ship we had seen might be again in sight. After
great difficulty I obtained from them a promise to wait thus long;
and, as I had anticipated (a breeze rapidly coming in), the fog
lifted before the hour had expired, when, no vessel appearing in
sight, we prepared to draw lots.
    It is with extreme reluctance that I dwell upon the appalling
scene which ensued; a scene which, with its minutest details, no
after events have been able to efface in the slightest degree from my
memory, and whose stern recollection will embitter every future
moment of my existence. Let me run over this portion of my narrative
with as much haste as the nature of the events to be spoken of will
permit. The only method we could devise for the terrific lottery, in
which we were to take each a chance, was that of drawing straws.
Small splinters of wood were made to answer our purpose, and it was
agreed that I should be the holder. I retired to one end of the hulk,
while my poor companions silently took up their station in the other
with their backs turned toward me. The bitterest anxiety which I
endured at any period of this fearful drama was while I occupied
myself in the arrangement of the lots. There are few conditions into
which man can possibly fall where he will not feel a deep interest in
the preservation of his existence; an interest momentarily increasing
with the frailness of the tenure by which that existence may be held.
But now that the silent, definite, and stern nature of the business
in which I was engaged (so different from the tumultuous dangers of
the storm or the gradually approaching horrors of famine) allowed me
to reflect on the few chances I had of escaping the most appalling of
deaths- a death for the most appalling of purposes- every particle of
that energy which had so long buoyed me up departed like feathers
before the wind, leaving me a helpless prey to the most abject and
pitiable terror. I could not, at first, even summon up sufficient
strength to tear and fit together the small splinters of wood, my
fingers absolutely refusing their office, and my knees knocking
violently against each other. My mind ran over rapidly a thousand
absurd projects by which to avoid becoming a partner in the awful
speculation. I thought of falling on my knees to my companions, and
entreating them to let me escape this necessity; of suddenly rushing
upon them, and, by putting one of them to death, of rendering the
decision by lot useless- in short, of every thing but of going
through with the matter I had in hand. At last, after wasting a long
time in this imbecile conduct, I was recalled to my senses by the
voice of Parker, who urged me to relieve them at once from the
terrible anxiety they were enduring. Even then I could not bring
myself to arrange the splinters upon the spot, but thought over every
species of finesse by which I could trick some one of my
fellow-sufferers to draw the short straw, as it had been agreed that
whoever drew the shortest of four splinters from my hand was to die
for the preservation of the rest. Before any one condemn me for this
apparent heartlessness, let him be placed in a situation precisely
similar to my own.
    At length delay was no longer possible, and, with a heart almost
bursting from my bosom, I advanced to the region of the forecastle,
where my companions were awaiting me. I held out my hand with the
splinters, and Peters immediately drew. He was free- his, at least,
was not the shortest; and there was now another chance against my
escape. I summoned up all my strength, and passed the lots to
Augustus. He also drew immediately, and he also was free; and now,
whether I should live or die, the chances were no more than precisely
even. At this moment all the fierceness of the tiger possessed my
bosom, and I felt toward my poor fellow-creature, Parker, the most
intense, the most diabolical hatred. But the feeling did not last;
and, at length, with a convulsive shudder and closed eyes, I held out
the two remaining splinters toward him. It was fully five minutes
before he could summon resolution to draw, during which period of
heartrending suspense I never once opened my eyes. Presently one of
the two lots was quickly drawn from my hand. The decision was then
over, yet I knew not whether it was for me or against me. No one
spoke, and still I dared not satisfy myself by looking at the
splinter I held. Peters at length took me by the hand, and I forced
myself to look up, when I immediately saw by the countenance of
Parker that I was safe, and that he it was who had been doomed to
suffer. Gasping for breath, I fell senseless to the deck.
    I recovered from my swoon in time to behold the consummation of
the tragedy in the death of him who had been chiefly instrumental in
bringing it about. He made no resistance whatever, and was stabbed in
the back by Peters, when he fell instantly dead. I must not dwell
upon the fearful repast which immediately ensued. Such things may be
imagined, but words have no power to impress the mind with the
exquisite horror of their reality. Let it suffice to say that, having
in some measure appeased the raging thirst which consumed us by the
blood of the victim, and having by common consent taken off the
hands, feet, and head, throwing them together with the entrails, into
the sea, we devoured the rest of the body, piecemeal, during the four
ever memorable days of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and
twentieth of the month.
     On the nineteenth, there coming on a smart shower which lasted
fifteen or twenty minutes, we contrived to catch some water by means
of a sheet which had been fished up from the cabin by our drag just
after the gale. The quantity we took in all did not amount to more
than half a gallon; but even this scanty allowance supplied us with
comparative strength and hope.
    On the twenty-first we were again reduced to the last necessity.
The weather still remained warm and pleasant, with occasional fogs
and light breezes, most usually from N. to W.
    On the twenty-second, as we were sitting close huddled together,
gloomily revolving over our lamentable condition, there flashed
through my mind all at once an idea which inspired me with a bright
gleam of hope. I remembered that, when the foremast had been cut
away, Peters, being in the windward chains, passed one of the axes
into my hand, requesting me to put it, if possible, in a place of
security, and that a few minutes before the last heavy sea struck the
brig and filled her I had taken this axe into the forecastle and laid
it in one of the larboard berths. I now thought it possible that, by
getting at this axe, we might cut through the deck over the
storeroom, and thus readily supply ourselves with provisions.
    When I communicated this object to my companions, they uttered a
feeble shout of joy, and we all proceeded forthwith to the
forecastle. The difficulty of descending here was greater than that
of going down in the cabin, the opening being much smaller, for it
will be remembered that the whole framework about the cabin
companion-hatch had been carried away, whereas the forecastle-way,
being a simple hatch of only about three feet square, had remained
uninjured. I did not hesitate, however, to attempt the descent; and a
rope being fastened round my body as before, I plunged boldly in,
feet foremost, made my way quickly to the berth, and at the first
attempt brought up the axe. It was hailed with the most ecstatic joy
and triumph, and the ease with which it had been obtained was
regarded as an omen of our ultimate preservation.
    We now commenced cutting at the deck with all the energy of
rekindled hope, Peters and myself taking the axe by turns, Augustus's
wounded arm not permitting him to aid us in any degree. As we were
still so feeble as to be scarcely able to stand unsupported, and
could consequently work but a minute or two without resting, it soon
became evident that many long hours would be necessary to accomplish
our task- that is, to cut an opening sufficiently large to admit of a
free access to the storeroom. This consideration, however, did not
discourage us; and, working all night by the light of the moon, we
succeeded in effecting our purpose by daybreak on the morning of the
    Peters now volunteered to go down; and, having made all
arrangements as before, he descended, and soon returned bringing up
with him a small jar, which, to our great joy, proved to be full of
olives. Having shared these among us, and devoured them with the
greatest avidity, we proceeded to let him down again. This time he
succeeded beyond our utmost expectations, returning instantly with a
large ham and a bottle of Madeira wine. Of the latter we each took a
moderate sup, having learned by experience the pernicious
consequences of indulging too freely. The ham, except about two
pounds near the bone, was not in a condition to be eaten, having been
entirely spoiled by the salt water. The sound part was divided among
us. Peters and Augustus, not being able to restrain their appetite,
swallowed theirs upon the instant; but I was more cautious, and ate
but a small portion of mine, dreading the thirst which I knew would
ensue. We now rested a while from our labors, which had been
intolerably severe.
    By noon, feeling somewhat strengthened and refreshed, we again
renewed our attempt at getting up provisions, Peters and myself going
down alternately, and always with more or less success, until
sundown. During this interval we had the good fortune to bring up,
altogether, four more small jars of olives, another ham, a carboy
containing nearly three gallons of excellent Cape Madeira wine, and,
what gave us still more delight, a small tortoise of the Gallipago
breed, several of which had been taken on board by Captain Barnard,
as the _Grampus_ was leaving port, from the schooner _Mary Pitts_,
just returned from a sealing voyage in the Pacific.
    In a subsequent portion of this narrative I shall have frequent
occasion to mention this species of tortoise. It is found
principally, as most of my readers may know, in the group of islands
called the Gallipagos, which, indeed, derive their name from the
animal -- the Spanish word Gallipago meaning a fresh-water terrapin.
From the peculiarity of their shape and action they have been
sometimes called the elephant tortoise. They are frequently found of
an enormous size. I have myself seen several which would weigh from
twelve to fifteen hundred pounds, although I do not remember that any
navigator speaks of having seen them weighing more than eight
hundred. Their appearance is singular, and even disgusting. Their
steps are very slow, measured, and heavy, their bodies being carried
about a foot from the ground. Their neck is long, and exceedingly
slender, from eighteen inches to two feet is a very common length,
and I killed one, where the distance from the shoulder to the
extremity of the head was no less than three feet ten inches. The
head has a striking resemblance to that of a serpent. They can exist
without food for an almost incredible length of time, instances
having been known where they have been thrown into the hold of a
vessel and lain two years without nourishment of any kind- being as
fat, and, in every respect, in as good order at the expiration of the
time as when they were first put in. In one particular these
extraordinary animals bear a resemblance to the dromedary, or camel
of the desert. In a bag at the root of the neck they carry with them
a constant supply of water. In some instances, upon killing them
after a full year's deprivation of all nourishment, as much as three
gallons of perfectly sweet and fresh water have been found in their
bags. Their food is chiefly wild parsley and celery, with purslain,
sea-kelp, and prickly pears, upon which latter vegetable they thrive
wonderfully, a great quantity of it being usually found on the
hillsides near the shore wherever the animal itself is discovered.
They are excellent and highly nutritious food, and have, no doubt,
been the means of preserving the lives of thousands of seamen
employed in the whale-fishery and other pursuits in the Pacific.
    The one which we had the good fortune to bring up from the
storeroom was not of a large size, weighing probably sixty-five or
seventy pounds. It was a female, and in excellent condition, being
exceedingly fat, and having more than a quart of limpid and sweet
water in its bag. This was indeed a treasure; and, falling on our
knees with one accord, we returned fervent thanks to God for so
seasonable a relief.
    We had great difficulty in getting the animal up through the
opening, as its struggles were fierce and its strength prodigious. It
was upon the point of making its escape from Peter's grasp, and
slipping back into the water, when Augustus, throwing a rope with a
slipknot around its throat, held it up in this manner until I jumped
into the hole by the side of Peters, and assisted him in lifting it
    The water we drew carefully from the bag into the jug; which, it
will be remembered, had been brought up before from the cabin. Having
done this, we broke off the neck of a bottle so as to form, with the
cork, a kind of glass, holding not quite half a gill. We then each
drank one of these measures full, and resolved to limit ourselves to
this quantity per day as long as it should hold out.
    During the last two or three days, the weather having been dry
and pleasant, the bedding we had obtained from the cabin, as well as
our clothing, had become thoroughly dry, so that we passed this night
(that of the twenty-third) in comparative comfort, enjoying a
tranquil repose, after having supped plentifully on olives and ham,
with a small allowance of the wine. Being afraid of losing some of
our stores overboard during the night, in the event of a breeze
springing up, we secured them as well as possible with cordage to the
fragments of the windlass. Our tortoise, which we were anxious to
preserve alive as long as we could, we threw on its back, and
otherwise carefully fastened.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 12 ~~~

    JULY 24. This morning saw us wonderfully recruited in spirits and
strength. Notwithstanding the perilous situation in which we were
still placed, ignorant of our position, although certainly at a great
distance from land, without more food than would last us for a
fortnight even with great care, almost entirely without water, and
floating about at the mercy of every wind and wave on the merest
wreck in the world, still the infinitely more terrible distresses and
dangers from which we had so lately and so providentially been
delivered caused us to regard what we now endured as but little more
than an ordinary evil- so strictly comparative is either good or ill.
    At sunrise we were preparing to renew our attempts at getting up
something from the storeroom, when, a smart shower coming on, with
some lightning, we turn our attention to the catching of water by
means of the sheet we had used before for this purpose. We had no
other means of collecting the rain than by holding the sheet spread
out with one of the forechain-plates in the middle of it. The water,
thus conducted to the centre, was drained through into our jug. We
had nearly filled it in this manner, when, a heavy squall coming on
from the northward, obliged us to desist, as the hulk began once more
to roll so violently that we could no longer keep our feet. We now
went forward, and, lashing ourselves securely to the remnant of the
windlass as before, awaited the event with far more calmness than
could have been anticipated or would have been imagined possible
under the circumstances. At noon the wind had freshened into a
two-reef breeze, and by night into a stiff gale, accompanied with a
tremendously heavy swell. Experience having taught us, however, the
best method of arranging our lashings, we weathered this dreary night
in tolerable security, although thoroughly drenched at almost every
instant by the sea, and in momentary dread of being washed off.
Fortunately, the weather was so warm as to render the water rather
grateful than otherwise.
    July 25. This morning the gale had diminished to a mere ten-knot
breeze, and the sea had gone down with it so considerably that we
were able to keep ourselves dry upon the deck. To our great grief,
however, we found that two jars of our olives, as well as the whole
of our ham, had been washed overboard, in spite of the careful manner
in which they had been fastened. We determined not to kill the
tortoise as yet, and contented ourselves for the present with a
breakfast on a few of the olives, and a measure of water each, which
latter we mixed half and half, with wine, finding great relief and
strength from the mixture, without the distressing intoxication which
had ensued upon drinking the port. The sea was still far too rough
for the renewal of our efforts at getting up provision from the
storeroom. Several articles, of no importance to us in our present
situation, floated up through the opening during the day, and were
immediately washed overboard. We also now observed that the hulk lay
more along than ever, so that we could not stand an instant without
lashing ourselves. On this account we passed a gloomy and
uncomfortable day. At noon the sun appeared to be nearly vertical,
and we had no doubt that we had been driven down by the long
succession of northward and northwesterly winds into the near
vicinity of the equator. Toward evening saw several sharks, and were
somewhat alarmed by the audacious manner in which an enormously large
one approached us. At one time, a lurch throwing the deck very far
beneath the water, the monster actually swam in upon us, floundering
for some moments just over the companion-hatch, and striking Peters
violently with his tail. A heavy sea at length hurled him overboard,
much to our relief. In moderate weather we might have easily captured
    July 26. This morning, the wind having greatly abated, and the
sea not being very rough, we determined to renew our exertions in the
storeroom. After a great deal of hard labor during the whole day, we
found that nothing further was to be expected from this quarter, the
partitions of the room having been stove during the night, and its
contents swept into the hold. This discovery, as may be supposed,
filled us with despair.
    July 27. The sea nearly smooth, with a light wind, and still from
the northward and westward. The sun coming out hotly in the
afternoon, we occupied ourselves in drying our clothes. Found great
relief from thirst, and much comfort otherwise, by bathing in the
sea; in this, however, we were forced to use great caution, being
afraid of sharks, several of which were seen swimming around the brig
during the day.
    July 28. Good weather still. The brig now began to lie along so
alarmingly that we feared she would eventually roll bottom up.
Prepared ourselves as well as we could for this emergency, lashing
our tortoise, waterjug, and two remaining jars of olives as far as
possible over to the windward, placing them outside the hull below
the main-chains. The sea very smooth all day, with little or no wind.
    July 29. A continuance of the same weather. Augustus's wounded
arm began to evince symptoms of mortification. He complained of
drowsiness and excessive thirst, but no acute pain. Nothing could be
done for his relief beyond rubbing his wounds with a little of the
vinegar from the olives, and from this no benefit seemed to be
experienced. We did every thing in our power for his comfort, and
trebled his allowance of water.
    July 30. An excessively hot day, with no wind. An enormous shark
kept close by the hulk during the whole of the forenoon. We made
several unsuccessful attempts to capture him by means of a noose.
Augustus much worse, and evidently sinking as much from want of
proper nourishment as from the effect of his wounds. He constantly
prayed to be relieved from his sufferings, wishing for nothing but
death. This evening we ate the last of our olives, and found the
water in our jug so putrid that we could not swallow it at all
without the addition of wine. Determined to kill our tortoise in the
    July 31. After a night of excessive anxiety and fatigue, owing to
the position of the hulk, we set about killing and cutting up our
tortoise. He proved to be much smaller than we had supposed, although
in good condition,- the whole meat about him not amounting to more
than ten pounds. With a view of preserving a portion of this as long
as possible, we cut it into fine pieces, and filled with them our
three remaining olive jars and the wine-bottle (all of which had been
kept), pouring in afterward the vinegar from the olives. In this
manner we put away about three pounds of the tortoise, intending not
to touch it until we had consumed the rest. We concluded to restrict
ourselves to about four ounces of the meat per day; the whole would
thus last us thirteen days. A brisk shower, with severe thunder and
lightning, came on about dusk, but lasted so short a time that we
only succeeded in catching about half a pint of water. The whole of
this, by common consent, was given to Augustus, who now appeared to
be in the last extremity. He drank the water from the sheet as we
caught it (we holding it above him as he lay so as to let it run into
his mouth), for we had now nothing left capable of holding water,
unless we had chosen to empty out our wine from the carboy, or the
stale water from the jug. Either of these expedients would have been
resorted to had the shower lasted.
    The sufferer seemed to derive but little benefit from the
draught. His arm was completely black from the wrist to the shoulder,
and his feet were like ice. We expected every moment to see him
breathe his last. He was frightfully emaciated; so much so that,
although he weighed a hundred and twenty-seven pounds upon his
leaving Nantucket, he now did not weigh more than forty or fifty at
the farthest. His eyes were sunk far in his head, being scarcely
perceptible, and the skin of his cheeks hung so loosely as to prevent
his masticating any food, or even swallowing any liquid, without
great difficulty.
    August 1. A continuance of the same calm weather, with an
oppressively hot sun. Suffered exceedingly from thirst, the water in
the jug being absolutely putrid and swarming with vermin. We
contrived, nevertheless, to swallow a portion of it by mixing it with
wine; our thirst, however, was but little abated. We found more
relief by bathing in the sea, but could not avail ourselves of this
expedient except at long intervals, on account of the continual
presence of sharks. We now saw clearly that Augustus could not be
saved; that he was evidently dying. We could do nothing to relieve
his sufferings, which appeared to be great. About twelve o'clock he
expired in strong convulsions, and without having spoken for several
days. His death filled us with the most gloomy forebodings, and had
so great an effect upon our spirits that we sat motionless by the
corpse during the whole day, and never addressed each other except in
a whisper. It was not until some time after dark that we took courage
to get up and throw the body overboard. It was then loathsome beyond
expression, and so far decayed that, as Peters attempted to lift it,
an entire leg came off in his grasp. As the mass of putrefaction
slipped over the vessel's side into the water, the glare of
phosphoric light with which it was surrounded plainly discovered to
us seven or eight large sharks, the clashing of whose horrible teeth,
as their prey was torn to pieces among them, might have been heard at
the distance of a mile. We shrunk within ourselves in the extremity
of horror at the sound.
    August 2. The same fearfully calm and hot weather. The dawn found
us in a state of pitiable dejection as well as bodily exhaustion. The
water in the jug was now absolutely useless, being a thick gelatinous
mass; nothing but frightful-looking worms mingled with slime. We
threw it out, and washed the jug well in the sea, afterward pouring a
little vinegar in it from our bottles of pickled tortoise. Our thirst
could now scarcely be endured, and we tried in vain to relieve it by
wine, which seemed only to add fuel to the flame, and excited us to a
high degree of intoxication. We afterward endeavoured to relieve our
sufferings by mixing the wine with seawater; but this instantly
brought about the most violent retchings, so that we never again
attempted it. During the whole day we anxiously sought an opportunity
of bathing, but to no purpose; for the hulk was now entirely besieged
on all sides with sharks- no doubt the identical monsters who had
devoured our poor companion on the evening before, and who were in
momentary expectation of another similar feast. This circumstance
occasioned us the most bitter regret and filled us with the most
depressing and melancholy forebodings. We had experienced
indescribable relief in bathing, and to have this resource cut off in
so frightful a manner was more than we could bear. Nor, indeed, were
we altogether free from the apprehension of immediate danger, for the
least slip or false movement would have thrown us at once within
reach of those voracious fish, who frequently thrust themselves
directly upon us, swimming up to leeward. No shouts or exertions on
our part seemed to alarm them. Even when one of the largest was
struck with an axe by Peters and much wounded, he persisted in his
attempts to push in where we were. A cloud came up at dusk, but, to
our extreme anguish, passed over without discharging itself. It is
quite impossible to conceive our sufferings from thirst at this
period. We passed a sleepless night, both on this account and through
dread of the sharks.
    August 3. No prospect of relief, and the brig lying still more
and more along, so that now we could not maintain a footing upon deck
at all. Busied ourselves in securing our wine and tortoise-meat, so
that we might not lose them in the event of our rolling over. Got out
two stout spikes from the forechains, and, by means of the axe, drove
them into the hull to windward within a couple of feet of the water,
this not being very far from the keel, as we were nearly upon our
beam-ends. To these spikes we now lashed our provisions, as being
more secure than their former position beneath the chains. Suffered
great agony from thirst during the whole day- no chance of bathing on
account of the sharks, which never left us for a moment. Found it
impossible to sleep.
   August 4. A little before daybreak we perceived that the hulk was
heeling over, and aroused ourselves to prevent being thrown off by
the movement. At first the roll was slow and gradual, and we
contrived to clamber over to windward very well, having taken the
precaution to leave ropes hanging from the spikes we had driven in
for the provision. But we had not calculated sufficiently upon the
acceleration of the impetus; for, presently the heel became too
violent to allow of our keeping pace with it; and, before either of
us knew what was to happen, we found ourselves hurled furiously into
the sea, and struggling several fathoms beneath the surface, with the
huge hull immediately above us.
    In going under the water I had been obliged to let go my hold
upon the rope; and finding that I was completely beneath the vessel,
and my strength nearly exhausted, I scarcely made a struggle for
life, and resigned myself, in a few seconds, to die. But here again I
was deceived, not having taken into consideration the natural rebound
of the hull to windward. The whirl of the water upward, which the
vessel occasioned in Tolling partially back, brought me to the
surface still more violently than I had been plunged beneath. Upon
coming up I found myself about twenty yards from the hulk, as near as
I could judge. She was lying keel up, rocking furiously from side to
side, and the sea in all directions around was much agitated, and
full of strong whirlpools. I could see nothing of Peters. An oil-cask
was floating within a few feet of me, and various other articles from
the brig were scattered about.
    My principal terror was now on account of the sharks, which I
knew to be in my vicinity. In order to deter these, if possible, from
approaching me, I splashed the water vigorously with both hands and
feet as I swam towards the hulk, creating a body of foam. I have no
doubt that to this expedient, simple as it was, I was indebted for my
preservation; for the sea all round the brig, just before her rolling
over, was so crowded with these monsters, that I must have been, and
really was, in actual contact with some of them during my progress.
By great good fortune, however, I reached the side of the vessel in
safety, although so utterly weakened by the violent exertion I had
used that I should never have been able to get upon it but for the
timely assistance of Peters, who, now, to my great joy, made his
appearance (having scrambled up to the keel from the opposite side of
the hull), and threw me the end of a rope -- one of those which had
been attached to the spikes.
    Having barely escaped this danger, our attention was now directed
to the dreadful imminency of another -- that of absolute starvation.
Our whole stock of provision had been swept overboard in spite of all
our care in securing it; and seeing no longer the remotest
possibility of obtaining more, we gave way both of us to despair,
weeping aloud like children, and neither of us attempting to offer
consolation to the other. Such weakness can scarcely be conceived,
and to those who have never been similarly situated will, no doubt,
appear unnatural; but it must be remembered that our intellects were
so entirely disordered by the long course of privation and terror to
which we had been subjected, that we could not justly be considered,
at that period, in the light of rational beings. In subsequent
perils, nearly as great, if not greater, I bore up with fortitude
against all the evils of my situation, and Peters, it will be seen,
evinced a stoical philosophy nearly as incredible as his present
childlike supineness and imbecility -- the mental condition made the
    The overturning of the brig, even with the consequent loss of the
wine and turtle, would not, in fact, have rendered our situation more
deplorable than before, except for the disappearance of the
bedclothes by which we had been hitherto enabled to catch rainwater,
and of the jug in which we had kept it when caught; for we found the
whole bottom, from within two or three feet of the bends as far as
the keel, together with the keel itself, thickly covered with large
barnacles, which proved to be excellent and highly nutritious food.
Thus, in two important respects, the accident we had so greatly
dreaded proved to be a benefit rather than an injury; it had opened
to us a supply of provisions which we could not have exhausted, using
it moderately, in a month; and it had greatly contributed to our
comfort as regards position, we being much more at ease, and in
infinitely less danger, than before.
    The difficulty, however, of now obtaining water blinded us to all
the benefits of the change in our condition. That we might be ready
to avail ourselves, as far as possible, of any shower which might
fall we took off our shirts, to make use of them as we had of the
sheets -- not hoping, of course, to get more in this way, even under
the most favorable circumstances, than half a gill at a time. No
signs of a cloud appeared during the day, and the agonies of our
thirst were nearly intolerable. At night, Peters obtained about an
hour's disturbed sleep, but my intense sufferings would not permit me
to close my eyes for a single moment.
    August 5. To-day, a gentle breeze springing up carried us through
a vast quantity of seaweed, among which we were so fortunate as to
find eleven small crabs, which afforded us several delicious meals.
Their shells being quite soft, we ate them entire, and found that
they irritated our thirst far less than the barnacles. Seeing no
trace of sharks among the seaweed, we also ventured to bathe, and
remained in the water for four or five hours, during which we
experienced a very sensible diminution of our thirst. Were greatly
refreshed, and spent the night somewhat more comfortably than before,
both of us snatching a little sleep.
    August 6. This day we were blessed by a brisk and continual rain,
lasting from about noon until after dark. Bitterly did we now regret
the loss of our jug and carboy; for, in spite of the little means we
had of catching the water, we might have filled one, if not both of
them. As it was, we contrived to satisfy the cravings of thirst by
suffering the shirts to become saturated, and then wringing them so
as to let the grateful fluid trickle into our mouths. In this
occupation we passed the entire day.
    August 7. Just at daybreak we both at the same instant descried a
sail to the eastward, and _evidently coming towards us!_ We hailed
the glorious sight with a long, although feeble shout of rapture; and
began instantly to make every signal in our power, by flaring the
shirts in the air, leaping as high as our weak condition would
permit, and even by hallooing with all the strength of our lungs,
although the vessel could not have been less than fifteen miles
distant. However, she still continued to near our hulk, and we felt
that, if she but held her present course, she must eventually come so
close as to perceive us. In about an hour after we first discovered
her, we could clearly see the people on her decks. She was a long,
low, and rakish-looking topsail schooner, with a black ball in her
foretopsail, and had, apparently, a full crew. We now became alarmed,
for we could hardly imagine it possible that she did not observe us,
and were apprehensive that she meant to leave us to perish as we were
-- an act of fiendish barbarity, which, however incredible it may
appear, has been repeatedly perpetuated at sea, under circumstances
very nearly similar, and by beings who were regarded as belonging to
the human species. {*2} In this instance, however, by the mercy of
God, we were destined to be most happily deceived; for, presently we
were aware of a sudden commotion on the deck of the stranger, who
immediately afterward ran up a British flag, and, hauling her wind,
bore up directly upon us. In half an hour more we found ourselves in
her cabin. She proved to be the Jane Guy, of Liverpool, Captain Guy,
bound on a sealing and trading voyage to the South Seas and Pacific.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 13 ~~~

      THE _Jane Guy_ was a fine-looking topsail schooner of a hundred
and eighty tons burden. She was unusually sharp in the bows, and on a
wind, in moderate weather, the fastest sailer I have ever seen. Her
qualities, however, as a rough sea-boat, were not so good, and her
draught of water was by far too great for the trade to which she was
destined. For this peculiar service, a larger vessel, and one of a
light proportionate draught, is desirable- say a vessel of from three
hundred to three hundred and fifty tons. She should be bark-rigged,
and in other respects of a different construction from the usual
South Sea ships. It is absolutely necessary that she should be well
armed. She should have, say ten or twelve twelve-pound carronades,
and two or three long twelves, with brass blunderbusses, and
water-tight arm-chests for each top. Her anchors and cables should be
of far greater strength than is required for any other species of
trade, and, above all, her crew should be numerous and efficient- not
less, for such a vessel as I have described, than fifty or sixty
able-bodied men. The Jane Guy had a crew of thirty-five, all able
seamen, besides the captain and mate, but she was not altogether as
well armed or otherwise equipped, as a navigator acquainted with the
difficulties and dangers of the trade could have desired.
    Captain Guy was a gentleman of great urbanity of manner, and of
considerable experience in the southern traffic, to which he had
devoted a great portion of his life. He was deficient, however, in
energy, and, consequently, in that spirit of enterprise which is here
so absolutely requisite. He was part owner of the vessel in which he
sailed, and was invested with discretionary powers to cruise in the
South Seas for any cargo which might come most readily to hand. He
had on board, as usual in such voyages, beads, looking-glasses,
tinder-works, axes, hatchets, saws, adzes, planes, chisels, gouges,
gimlets, files, spokeshaves, rasps, hammers, nails, knives, scissors,
razors, needles, thread, crockery-ware, calico, trinkets, and other
similar articles.
    The schooner sailed from Liverpool on the tenth of July, crossed
the Tropic of Cancer on the twenty-fifth, in longitude twenty degrees
west, and reached Sal, one of the Cape Verd islands, on the
twenty-ninth, where she took in salt and other necessaries for the
voyage. On the third of August, she left the Cape Verds and steered
southwest, stretching over toward the coast of Brazil, so as to cross
the equator between the meridians of twenty-eight and thirty degrees
west longitude. This is the course usually taken by vessels bound
from Europe to the Cape of Good Hope, or by that route to the East
Indies. By proceeding thus they avoid the calms and strong contrary
currents which continually prevail on the coast of Guinea, while, in
the end, it is found to be the shortest track, as westerly winds are
never wanting afterward by which to reach the Cape. It was Captain
Guy's intention to make his first stoppage at Kerguelen's Land- I
hardly know for what reason. On the day we were picked up the
schooner was off Cape St. Roque, in longitude thirty-one degrees
west; so that, when found, we had drifted probably, from north to
south, _not less than five-and-twenty degrees!_
    On board the Jane Guy we were treated with all the kindness our
distressed situation demanded. In about a fortnight, during which
time we continued steering to the southeast, with gentle breezes and
fine weather, both Peters and myself recovered entirely from the
effects of our late privation and dreadful sufferings, and we began
to remember what had passed rather as a frightful dream from which we
had been happily awakened, than as events which had taken place in
sober and naked reality. I have since found that this species of
partial oblivion is usually brought about by sudden transition,
whether from joy to sorrow or from sorrow to joy- the degree of
forgetfulness being proportioned to the degree of difference in the
exchange. Thus, in my own case, I now feel it impossible to realize
the full extent of the misery which I endured during the days spent
upon the hulk. The incidents are remembered, but not the feelings
which the incidents elicited at the time of their occurrence. I only
know, that when they did occur, I then thought human nature could
sustain nothing more of agony.
    We continued our voyage for some weeks without any incidents of
greater moment than the occasional meeting with whaling-ships, and
more frequently with the black or right whale, so called in
contradistinction to the spermaceti. These, however, were chiefly
found south of the twenty-fifth parallel. On the sixteenth of
September, being in the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope, the
schooner encountered her first gale of any violence since leaving
Liverpool. In this neighborhood, but more frequently to the south and
east of the promontory (we were to the westward), navigators have
often to contend with storms from the northward, which rage with
great fury. They always bring with them a heavy sea, and one of their
most dangerous features is the instantaneous chopping round of the
wind, an occurrence almost certain to take place during the greatest
force of the gale. A perfect hurricane will be blowing at one moment
from the northward or northeast, and in the next not a breath of wind
will be felt in that direction, while from the southwest it will come
out all at once with a violence almost inconceivable. A bright spot
to the southward is the sure forerunner of the change, and vessels
are thus enabled to take the proper precautions.
    It was about six in the morning when the blow came on with a
white squall, and, as usual, from the northward. By eight it had
increased very much, and brought down upon us one of the most
tremendous seas I had then ever beheld. Every thing had been made as
snug as possible, but the schooner laboured excessively, and gave
evidence of her bad qualities as a seaboat, pitching her forecastle
under at every plunge and with the greatest difficulty struggling up
from one wave before she was buried in another. just before sunset
the bright spot for which we had been on the look-out made its
appearance in the southwest, and in an hour afterward we perceived
the little headsail we carried flapping listlessly against the mast.
In two minutes more, in spite of every preparation, we were hurled on
our beam-ends, as if by magic, and a perfect wilderness of foam made
a clear breach over us as we lay. The blow from the southwest,
however, luckily proved to be nothing more than a squall, and we had
the good fortune to right the vessel without the loss of a spar. A
heavy cross sea gave us great trouble for a few hours after this, but
toward morning we found ourselves in nearly as good condition as
before the gale. Captain Guy considered that he had made an escape
little less than miraculous.
    On the thirteenth of October we came in sight of Prince Edward's
Island, in latitude 46 degrees 53' S., longitude 37 degrees 46' E.
Two days afterward we found ourselves near Possession Island, and
presently passed the islands of Crozet, in latitude 42 degrees 59'
S., longitude 48 degrees E. On the eighteenth we made Kerguelen's or
Desolation Island, in the Southern Indian Ocean, and came to anchor
in Christmas Harbour, having four fathoms of water.
    This island, or rather group of islands, bears southeast from the
Cape of Good Hope, and is distant therefrom nearly eight hundred
leagues. It was first discovered in 1772, by the Baron de Kergulen,
or Kerguelen, a Frenchman, who, thinking the land to form a portion
of an extensive southern continent carried home information to that
effect, which produced much excitement at the time. The government,
taking the matter up, sent the baron back in the following year for
the purpose of giving his new discovery a critical examination, when
the mistake was discovered. In 1777, Captain Cook fell in with the
same group, and gave to the principal one the name of Desolation
Island, a title which it certainly well deserves. Upon approaching
the land, however, the navigator might be induced to suppose
otherwise, as the sides of most of the hills, from September to
March, are clothed with very brilliant verdure. This deceitful
appearance is caused by a small plant resembling saxifrage, which is
abundant, growing in large patches on a species of crumbling moss.
Besides this plant there is scarcely a sign of vegetation on the
island, if we except some coarse rank grass near the harbor, some
lichen, and a shrub which bears resemblance to a cabbage shooting
into seed, and which has a bitter and acrid taste.
    The face of the country is hilly, although none of the hills can
be called lofty. Their tops are perpetually covered with snow. There
are several harbors, of which Christmas Harbour is the most
convenient. It is the first to be met with on the northeast side of
the island after passing Cape Francois, which forms the northern
shore, and, by its peculiar shape, serves to distinguish the harbour.
Its projecting point terminates in a high rock, through which is a
large hole, forming a natural arch. The entrance is in latitude 48
degrees 40' S., longitude 69 degrees 6' E. Passing in here, good
anchorage may be found under the shelter of several small islands,
which form a sufficient protection from all easterly winds.
Proceeding on eastwardly from this anchorage you come to Wasp Bay, at
the head of the harbour. This is a small basin, completely
landlocked, into which you can go with four fathoms, and find
anchorage in from ten to three, hard clay bottom. A ship might lie
here with her best bower ahead all the year round without risk. To
the westward, at the head of Wasp Bay, is a small stream of excellent
water, easily procured.
    Some seal of the fur and hair species are still to be found on
Kerguelen's Island, and sea elephants abound. The feathered tribes
are discovered in great numbers. Penguins are very plenty, and of
these there are four different kinds. The royal penguin, so called
from its size and beautiful plumage, is the largest. The upper part
of the body is usually gray, sometimes of a lilac tint; the under
portion of the purest white imaginable. The head is of a glossy and
most brilliant black, the feet also. The chief beauty of plumage,
however, consists in two broad stripes of a gold color, which pass
along from the head to the breast. The bill is long, and either pink
or bright scarlet. These birds walk erect; with a stately carriage.
They carry their heads high with their wings drooping like two arms,
and, as their tails project from their body in a line with the legs,
the resemblance to a human figure is very striking, and would be apt
to deceive the spectator at a casual glance or in the gloom of the
evening. The royal penguins which we met with on Kerguelen's Land
were rather larger than a goose. The other kinds are the macaroni,
the jackass, and the rookery penguin. These are much smaller, less
beautiful in plumage, and different in other respects.
    Besides the penguin many other birds are here to be found, among
which may be mentioned sea-hens, blue peterels, teal, ducks, Port
Egmont hens, shags, Cape pigeons, the nelly, sea swallows, terns, sea
gulls, Mother Carey's chickens, Mother Carey's geese, or the great
peterel, and, lastly, the albatross.
    The great peterel is as large as the common albatross, and is
carnivorous. It is frequently called the break-bones, or osprey
peterel. They are not at all shy, and, when properly cooked, are
palatable food. In flying they sometimes sail very close to the
surface of the water, with the wings expanded, without appearing to
move them in the least degree, or make any exertion with them
    The albatross is one of the largest and fiercest of the South Sea
birds. It is of the gull species, and takes its prey on the wing,
never coming on land except for the purpose of breeding. Between this
bird and the penguin the most singular friendship exists. Their nests
are constructed with great uniformity upon a plan concerted between
the two species- that of the albatross being placed in the centre of
a little square formed by the nests of four penguins. Navigators have
agreed in calling an assemblage of such encampments a rookery. These
rookeries have been often described, but as my readers may not all
have seen these descriptions, and as I shall have occasion hereafter
to speak of the penguin and albatross, it will not be amiss to say
something here of their mode of building and living.
   When the season for incubation arrives, the birds assemble in vast
numbers, and for some days appear to be deliberating upon the proper
course to be pursued. At length they proceed to action. A level piece
of ground is selected, of suitable extent, usually comprising three
or four acres, and situated as near the sea as possible, being still
beyond its reach. The spot is chosen with reference to its evenness
of surface, and that is preferred which is the least encumbered with
stones. This matter being arranged, the birds proceed, with one
accord, and actuated apparently by one mind, to trace out, with
mathematical accuracy, either a square or other parallelogram, as may
best suit the nature of the ground, and of just sufficient size to
accommodate easily all the birds assembled, and no more- in this
particular seeming determined upon preventing the access of future
stragglers who have not participated in the labor of the encampment.
One side of the place thus marked out runs parallel with the water's
edge, and is left open for ingress or egress.
    Having defined the limits of the rookery, the colony now begin to
clear it of every species of rubbish, picking up stone by stone, and
carrying them outside of the lines, and close by them, so as to form
a wall on the three inland sides. Just within this wall a perfectly
level and smooth walk is formed, from six to eight feet wide, and
extending around the encampment- thus serving the purpose of a
general promenade.
    The next process is to partition out the whole area into small
squares exactly equal in size. This is done by forming narrow paths,
very smooth, and crossing each other at right angles throughout the
entire extent of the rookery. At each intersection of these paths the
nest of an albatross is constructed, and a penguin's nest in the
centre of each square- thus every penguin is surrounded by four
albatrosses, and each albatross by a like number of penguins. The
penguin's nest consists of a hole in the earth, very shallow, being
only just of sufficient depth to keep her single egg from rolling.
The albatross is somewhat less simple in her arrangements, erecting a
hillock about a foot high and two in diameter. This is made of earth,
seaweed, and shells. On its summit she builds her nest.
    The birds take especial care never to leave their nests
unoccupied for an instant during the period of incubation, or,
indeed, until the young progeny are sufficiently strong to take care
of themselves. While the male is absent at sea in search of food, the
female remains on duty, and it is only upon the return of her partner
that she ventures abroad. The eggs are never left uncovered at all --
while one bird leaves the nest the other nestling in by its side.
This precaution is rendered necessary by the thieving propensities
prevalent in the rookery, the inhabitants making no scruple to
purloin each other's eggs at every good opportunity.
    Although there are some rookeries in which the penguin and
albatross are the sole population, yet in most of them a variety of
oceanic birds are to be met with, enjoying all the privileges of
citizenship, and scattering their nests here and there, wherever they
can find room, never interfering, however, with the stations of the
larger species. The appearance of such encampments, when seen from a
distance, is exceedingly singular. The whole atmosphere just above
the settlement is darkened with the immense number of the albatross
(mingled with the smaller tribes) which are continually hovering over
it, either going to the ocean or returning home. At the same time a
crowd of penguins are to be observed, some passing to and fro in the
narrow alleys, and some marching with the military strut so peculiar
to them, around the general promenade ground which encircles the
rookery. In short, survey it as we will, nothing can be more
astonishing than the spirit of reflection evinced by these feathered
beings, and nothing surely can be better calculated to elicit
reflection in every well-regulated human intellect.
    On the morning after our arrival in Christmas Harbour the chief
mate, Mr. Patterson, took the boats, and (although it was somewhat
early in the season) went in search of seal, leaving the captain and
a young relation of his on a point of barren land to the westward,
they having some business, whose nature I could not ascertain, to
transact in the interior of the island. Captain Guy took with him a
bottle, in which was a sealed letter, and made his way from the point
on which he was set on shore toward one of the highest peaks in the
place. It is probable that his design was to leave the letter on that
height for some vessel which he expected to come after him. As soon
as we lost sight of him we proceeded (Peters and myself being in the
mate's boat) on our cruise around the coast, looking for seal. In
this business we were occupied about three weeks, examining with
great care every nook and corner, not only of Kerguelen's Land, but
of the several small islands in the vicinity. Our labours, however,
were not crowned with any important success. We saw a great many fur
seal, but they were exceedingly shy, and with the greatest exertions,
we could only procure three hundred and fifty skins in all. Sea
elephants were abundant, especially on the western coast of the
mainland, but of these we killed only twenty, and this with great
difficulty. On the smaller islands we discovered a good many of the
hair seal, but did not molest them. We returned to the schooner: on
the eleventh, where we found Captain Guy and his nephew, who gave a
very bad account of the interior, representing it as one of the most
dreary and utterly barren countries in the world. They had remained
two nights on the island, owing to some misunderstanding, on the part
of the second mate, in regard to the sending a jollyboat from the
schooner to take them off.
~~~ End of Text of Chapter 14 ~~~

    ON the twelfth we made sail from Christmas Harbour retracing our
way to the westward, and leaving Marion's Island, one of Crozet's
group, on the larboard. We afterward passed Prince Edward's Island,
leaving it also on our left, then, steering more to the northward,
made, in fifteen days, the islands of Tristan d'Acunha, in latitude
37 degrees 8' S, longitude 12 degrees 8' W.
    This group, now so well known, and which consists of three
circular islands, was first discovered by the Portuguese, and was
visited afterward by the Dutch in 1643, and by the French in 1767.
The three islands together form a triangle, and are distant from each
other about ten miles, there being fine open passages between. The
land in all of them is very high, especially in Tristan d'Acunha,
properly so called. This is the largest of the group, being fifteen
miles in circumference, and so elevated that it can be seen in clear
weather at the distance of eighty or ninety miles. A part of the land
toward the north rises more than a thousand feet perpendicularly from
the sea. A tableland at this height extends back nearly to the centre
of the island, and from this tableland arises a lofty cone like that
of Teneriffe. The lower half of this cone is clothed with trees of
good size, but the upper region is barren rock, usually hidden among
the clouds, and covered with snow during the greater part of the
year. There are no shoals or other dangers about the island, the
shores being remarkably bold and the water deep. On the northwestern
coast is a bay, with a beach of black sand where a landing with boats
can be easily effected, provided there be a southerly wind. Plenty of
excellent water may here be readily procured; also cod and other fish
may be taken with hook and line.
    The next island in point of size, and the most westwardly of the
group, is that called the Inaccessible. Its precise situation is 37
degrees 17' S. latitude, longitude 12 degrees 24' W. It is seven or
eight miles in circumference, and on all sides presents a forbidding
and precipitous aspect. Its top is perfectly flat, and the whole
region is sterile, nothing growing upon it exce