from the waves against the side of the vessel, told
him that the danger was imminent, even if escape were
possible. He drew on his trousers, and rushed
to the door of his cabin. Merciful Heaven! what
was his surprise, his horror, to find that it was
fastened outside. A moment’s thought at
the malignity of the wretch (for it was indeed Jackson,
who, during the night, had taken such steps for his
destruction) was followed by exertions to escape.
Placing his shoulders against his sea-chest, and his
feet against the door, his body in nearly a horizontal
position, he made a violent effort to break open the
door. The lock gave way, but the door did not
open more than one or two inches; for Jackson, to make
sure, had coiled down against it a hawser which lay
a few yards further forward in the steerage, the weight
of which the strength of no five men could remove.
Maddened with the idea of perishing by such treachery,
Newton again exerted his frantic efforts—again
and again, without success. Between each pause,
the voices of the seamen asking for the oars and other
articles belonging to the long-boat, proved to him
that every moment of delay was a nail in his coffin
Again and again were his efforts repeated with almost
superhuman strength; but the door remained fixed as
ever. At last, it occurred to him that the hawser,
which he had previously ascertained by passing his
hand through the small aperture which he had made,
might only lay against the lower part of the door,
and that the upper part might be free. He applied
his strength above, and found the door to yield:
by repeated attempts he at last succeeded in kicking
the upper panels to pieces, and having forced his
body through the aperture, Newton rushed on deck with
the little strength he had remaining.
The men—the boat—were not there:
he hailed, but they heard him not; he strained his
eyes—but they had disappeared in the gloom
of the night; and Newton, overcome with exhaustion
and disappointment, fell down senseless on the deck.
Have read bold fables of enormity,
Devised to make men wonder, and confirm
The abhorrence of our nature; but this
Transcends all fiction.”
“Law of Lombardy.”
We must now relate what had occurred on deck during
the struggle of Newton to escape from his prison.
At one o’clock Jackson had calculated that in
an hour, or less, the brig would strike on the reef.
He took the helm from the man who was steering, and
told him that he might go below. Previous to
this, he had been silently occupied in coiling the
hawser before the door of Newton’s cabin, it
being his intention to desert the brig, with the seamen,
in the long-boat, and leave Newton to perish.
When the brig dashed upon the reef, which she did with
great violence, and the crew hurried upon deck, Jackson,