A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 661 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.

These being a desperate and factious set, did not distress us much by their departure, but rather added to our future security.  One in particular, James Mitchell by name, we had all the reason in the world to think had committed no less than two murders since the loss of our ship, one on the person found strangled on board, another on the body of a man whom we discovered among some bushes upon Mount Misery, stabbed in several places, and shockingly mangled.  This diminution of our number was succeeded by an unfortunate accident much more affecting in its consequences, I mean the death of Mr Cozens, midshipman; in relating which with the necessary impartiality and exactness, I think myself obliged to be more than ordinary particular.  Having one day among other things, got a cask of pease out of the wreck, about which I was almost constantly employed, I brought it to shore in the yawl, when having landed it, the captain came down upon the beach, and bid me to go up to some of the tents and order hands to come down and roll it up; but finding none except Mr Cozens, I delivered him the orders, who immediately came down to the captain, where I left them when I returned to the wreck.  Upon my coming on shore again, I found that Mr Cozens was put under confinement by the captain for being drunk and giving him abusive language; however, he was soon after released.  A day or two after he had some dispute with the surgeon, and came to blows:  all these things incensed the captain greatly against him.  I believe this unfortunate man was kept warm with liquor, and set on by some ill-designing persons; for, when sober, I never knew a better-natured man, or one more inoffensive.  Some little time after, at the hour of serving provisions, Mr Cozens was at the store-tent; and having, it seems, lately had a quarrel with the purser, and now some words arising between them, the latter told him he was come to mutiny; and without any further ceremony fired a pistol at his head, which narrowly missed him.  The captain, hearing the report of the pistol, and perhaps the purser’s words, that Cozens was come to mutiny, ran out of his hut with a cocked pistol in his hand, and, without asking any questions, immediately shot him through the head.  I was at this time in my hut, as the weather was extremely bad, but running out upon the alarm of this firing, the first thing I saw was Mr Cozens on the ground weltering in his blood:  he was sensible, and took me by the hand, as he did several others, shaking his head, as if he meant to take leave of us.  If Mr Cozens’ behaviour to his captain was indecent and provoking, the captain’s, on the other hand, was rash and hasty.  If the first was wanting in that respect and observance which is due from a petty officer to his commander, the latter was still more unadvised in the method he took for the enforcement of his authority; of which, indeed, he was jealous to the last degree, and which he saw daily declining, and ready to be

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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