In the Wrong Paradise eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about In the Wrong Paradise.
of the storm which wrecked the Blackbird, the account of the destruction of the steamer with all hands (not, let us try to hope, with all souls) on board, and everything that transpired till Mr. Gowles found himself alone, the sole survivor, and bestriding the mast in the midst of a tempestuous sea.  What follows is from the record kept on pieces of skin, shards of pottery, plates of metal, papyrus leaves, and other strange substitutes for paper, used by Mr. Gowles during his captivity.


“I must now, though in sore straits for writing materials, and having entirely lost count of time, post up my diary, or rather commence my narrative.  So far as I can learn from the jargon of the strange and lost people among whom Providence has cast me, this is, in their speech, the last of the month, Thargeelyun, as near as I can imitate the sound in English.  Being in doubt as to the true time, I am resolved to regard to-morrow, and every seventh day in succession, as the Sabbath.  The very natives, I have observed with great interest, keep one day at fixed intervals sacred to the Sun-god, whom they call Apollon, perhaps the same word as Apollyon.  On this day they do no manner of work, but that is hardly an exception to their usual habits.  A less industrious people (slaves and all) I never met, even in the Pacific.  As to being more than common idle on one day out of seven, whether they have been taught so much of what is essential by some earlier missionary, or whether they may be the corrupted descendants of the Lost Tribes (whom they do not, however, at all resemble outwardly, being, I must admit, of prepossessing appearance), I can only conjecture.  This Apollon of theirs, in his graven images (of which there are many), carries a bow and arrows, fiery darts of the wicked, another point in common between him and Apollyon, in the Pilgrim’s Progress.  May I, like Christian, turn aside and quench his artillery!

To return to my narrative.  When I recovered consciousness, after the sinking of the Blackbird, I found myself alone, clinging to the mast.  Now was I tossed on the crest of the wave, now the waters opened beneath me, and I sank down in the valleys of the sea.  Cold, numbed, and all but lifeless, I had given up hope of earthly existence, and was nearly insensible, when I began to revive beneath the rays of the sun.

The sea, though still moved by a swell, was now much smoother, and, but for a strange vision, I might have believed that I was recovering my strength.  I must, however, have been delirious or dreaming, for it appeared to me that a foreign female, of prepossessing exterior, though somewhat indelicately dressed, arose out of the waters close by my side, as lightly as if she had been a sea-gull on the wing.  About her head there was wreathed a kind of muslin scarf, which she unwound and offered to me, indicating that

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In the Wrong Paradise from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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