A Voyage to the South Sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 274 pages of information about A Voyage to the South Sea.
of them cried bitterly.  As this distress was more than the grapnel was worth, and I had no reason to imagine that they were privy to or in any manner concerned in the theft, I could not think of detaining them longer and called their canoes alongside.  I then told them they were at liberty to go, and made each of them a present of a hatchet, a saw, with some knives, gimblets, and nails.  This unexpected present and the sudden change in their situation affected them not less with joy than they had before been with apprehension.  They were unbounded in their acknowledgments and I have little doubt but that we parted better friends than if the affair had never happened.

We stood to the northward all night with light winds.

Monday 27.

And on the next day the 27th at noon were between the islands Tofoa and
Kotoo.  Latitude observed 19 degrees 18 minutes south.

Thus far the voyage had advanced in a course of uninterrupted prosperity, and had been attended with many circumstances equally pleasing and satisfactory.  A very different scene was now to be experienced.  A conspiracy had been formed which was to render all our past labour productive only of extreme misery and distress.  The means had been concerted and prepared with so much secrecy and circumspection that no one circumstance appeared to occasion the smallest suspicion of the impending calamity.


A Mutiny in the Ship.

1789.  April.  Monday 27.

We kept near the island Kotoo all the afternoon in hopes that some canoes would come off to the ship; but in this I was disappointed.  The wind being northerly in the evening we steered to the westward to pass to the south of Tofoa.  I gave directions for this course to be continued during the night.  The master had the first watch, the gunner the middle watch, and Mr. Christian the morning watch.  This was the turn of duty for the night.

Tuesday 28.

Just before sun-rising, while I was yet asleep, Mr. Christian, with the master at arms, gunner’s mate, and Thomas Burkitt, seaman, came into my cabin, and seizing me tied my hands with a cord behind my back, threatening me with instant death if I spoke or made the least noise:  I however called as loud as I could in hopes of assistance; but they had already secured the officers who were not of their party by placing sentinels at their doors.  There were three men at my cabin door besides the four within; Christian had only a cutlass in his hand, the others had muskets and bayonets.  I was hauled out of bed and forced on deck in my shirt, suffering great pain from the tightness which with they had tied my hands.  I demanded the reason of such violence but received no other answer than abuse for not holding my tongue.  The master, the gunner, the surgeon, Mr. Elphinstone, master’s mate, and Nelson, were kept confined below; and the fore hatchway was guarded by sentinels.  The boatswain and carpenter, and also the clerk, Mr. Samuel, were allowed to come upon deck, where they saw me standing abaft the mizenmast with my hands tied behind my back under a guard with Christian at their head.  The boatswain was ordered to hoist the launch out with a threat if he did not do it instantly to take care of himself.

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A Voyage to the South Sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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