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months, seeking the Bounty and her people, Captain Edwards was obliged to relinquish the search, and sailed from the Friendly Islands in the middle of August for the Island of Timor.
The sufferings of the prisoners during this cruise had been intolerable. They had no means of steadying themselves when the ship lurched, and being thrown together, unavoidably wounded themselves and each other with their irons. At the request of Lieutenant Corner, who always evinced much kindness and consideration towards them, Captain Edwards allowed short pieces of plank to be secured to the deck, to remedy these frequent collisions and consequent suffering. We shall now recur again to Morrison's journal:
“On the 22d of August, 1791, we approached Endeavor Strait, and narrowly escaped running on a reef in it, obliging us to be working to windward for some days without finding any opening. On Sunday, the 28th, the second lieutenant was sent with the yawl to make a closer examination, while the ship was hove to. At 7 P.M. on Sunday, the 28th of August, the current running strongly on the reef, the ship was forced on it in the midst of a heavy surf, at the moment the returning yawl had come within hail, and was warning the people of the danger, but in vain. The ship was forced farther on the reef with violent and repeated shocks, and we expected every surge that the masts would go by the board. Seeing her in this situation, we judged she would not hold long together. As we were in danger at every shock of killing each other with our irons, we broke them, that we might be ready to assist ourselves, and informed the officers of what we had done. When Mr. Corner was acquainted with it he came aft, and we told him we should attempt nothing further, as we only wanted a chance for our lives, which he promised we should have, telling us not to fear.
“In the mean time the ship lost her rudder, and with it part of the stern-post, and having beat over the reef be tween 11 and 12 P.M., she was brought up in fifteen fathoms water with both anchors, and the first news was, "nine feet of water in the hold! Coleman, Norman, and MʻIntosh were ordered out of the box to the pumps, and the boats were got out. As soon as Captain Edwards was informed that we had broken our iróns, he ordered us to be handcuffed and leg-ironed again with all the irons that could be mustered, though ře begged for mercy, and desired leave to go to the pumps, but to no purpose. His orders were put into execution, though the water in the hold had increased to eleven feet, and one of the chainpumps was broken. The master-at-arms and corporal were now armed with a brace of pistols each, and placed as additional sentinels over us, with orders to fire among us if we made any motion. The master-at-arms told us that the captain had said he would either shoot or hang to the yard-arm those who should make any further attempt to break the irons. There was no remedy but prayer, as we expected never to see daylight, and having recommended ourselves to Almighty protection, we lay down, and seemed for a while to forget our miserable situation. We could hear the officers busy getting their things into the boats, which were hauled under the stern for that purpose, and heard some of the men on deck say, “They shall not go without us.' This made some of us start, and, moving the irons, the master-at-arms said, 'Fire upon the rascals.” As he was just then over the scuttle I spoke to him, and said, 'For God's sake, don't fire ! what is the matter? there is no one here moving. In a few minutes after, one of the boats broke adrift, and having but two men in her, she could not reach the ship again till another was sent with hands to bring her back. And now we began to think they would set off together, as it was but natural to suppose that every one would first think of saving his own life. However, they returned, and were secured with better warps. , “We learnt that, the boom being cut loose for the pur
pose of making a raft, one of the topmasts fell into the waist, and killed a man, who was busy heaving the guns overboard ; and every thing seemed to be in great confusion. At daylight, August 29th, the boats were hauled up,
and most of the officers being aft on the top of the .box,' we observed that they were armed, and preparing to go into the boats by the stern ladders. We begged that we might not be forgotten, when, by Captain Edwards's order, Joseph Hodges, the armorer's mate, was sent down to take the irons off Muspratt and Skinner, and send them and Byrne (who was then out of irons) up; but Skinner, being too eager to get out, was hauled up with his handcuffs on, and the other two following him close, the scuttle was shut and barred before Hodges could get to it, and he in the mean time knocked off my hand-irons and Stewart's. I begged of the master-at-arms to leave the scuttle open, when he answered, “Never fear, my boys, we will all go down together.' The words were scarcely out of his mouth when the ship took a sally, and a general cry of “There she goes !' was heard.
The master-at-arms and corporal, with the sentinels, rolled overboard, and at the same instant we saw through the sternport Captain Edwards swimming to the pivnace, which was some distance astern, as were all the boats, which had pushed off on the first appearance of a motion in the ship. Birkett and Heildbrandt were yet handcuffed, and the ship under water as far as the mainmast. It was now beginning to flow in upon us, when Divine Providence directed James Moulter (boatswain's mate) to the place. He was scrambling up on the box,' and, hearing our cries, said,' he would either set us free, or go to the bottom with us, and took out the bolts, throwing them and the scuttle overboard, such was his presence of mind, though he was forced to follow instantly, as he was nearly drowning
“ So we all got out except Heildbrandt, and were rejoiced even in this trying scene to think that we had escaped from our prison, though it was full as much as I
could do to clear myself of the driver-boom before the ship sank. The boats were so far off that we could not distinguish one from the other; however, observing one of the gangways come up, I swam to it, and had scarcely reached it, before I perceived Muspratt on the other end, whom it had brought up; but it having fallen on the heads of several others, sent them to the bottom. Here I began to get ready for swimming, and the top of our prison having floated, I observed on it Mr. P. Heywood (who had been the last but three to jump overboard), Birkett, Coleman, and the first lieutenant of the ship; and, seeing Mr. Heywood take a short plank and set off to one of the boats,* I resolved to follow him, which I did by means of another short plank. After having been about an hour and a half in the water, I reached the blue yawl, and was taken up by Mr. Bowling, master's mate, who had also taken up Mr. Heywood. After rescuing several others, we were landed on a small sandy key,t on the reef about two and a half or three miles from the ship. Here we soon found that four of our fellow - prisoners were drowned, Skinner and Heildbrandt, who had their handcuffs on, and Stewart and Sumner, who were struck by the gangway. Birkett being landed with his handcuffs on, the captain ordered them to be taken off. We also heard that thirtyone of the Pandora's ship’s company were lost, among whom were the master-at-arms and ship’s corporal, but all the officers were saved.
“A tent was now erected for the officers, and another for the men, but we were not suffered to come near either. The captain had told us that we should be treated as well as the ship’s company; but on our requesting him to give us a spare boat's sail to shelter us from the sun, as we had but scanty clothing, it was refused, though no use was made of it; and we were ordered to keep on a part of the
* The only thing he preserved on this occasion was his prayer-book, the last gift of his mother, which he carried between his teeth.
+ See illustrations, chapter vi.
islet by ourselves, to windward of the tents, not being suffered to speak to any person but each other. The provision saved being very small, this day's allowance was only two musket-balls' weight of bread, and a glass of wine; the water being but a small quantity, none could be afforded us.
“We staid here till Wednesday morning, the 31st of August, 1791, fitting the boats, during which time the sun took such an effect on us—as we had been cooped up for five months—that we had our skin flayed off from head to foot. We kept ourselves covered in the sand during the heat of the day, this being all the shelter that the island afforded, for it was only a small bank washed up on the reef, scarcely one hundred and fifty yards in circuit, and not more than six feet above the level at high water. During the night, as we found the air very chilly, and having no covering, we threw up a bank of sand to sleep under the lee of, which proved but an indifferent barrier, as we had frequent showers of rain, sufficient to make our lodging very miserable, though not sufficient to save any to allay our thirst, which was very great. We tried for water, but found none, and Mr. Corner, making a fire, got a copper kettle, which he filled with salt-water, made it boil, and attended to it all night, saving the drops of steam condensed in the cover, which he put into a cup, till a spoonful was mustered.
“One of the Pandora's people (named Connell) went out of his senses from drinking salt-water.
“On the 30th the master went with a boat to the wreck, to see if any thing had come up, the topmast heads being out of water, the top-gallant masts struck. He returned with part of the top-gallant masts, which he sawed off to get clear of the cap, and with a cat which he found sitting on the cross-trees. One of the ship's buoys drifted past, but it was not thought worth going after, though we had no vessel to contain water when we should find it.
“The boats being ready on the 31st, at 10 A.M., we embarked in the following manner: M‘Intosh, Ellison, and