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tral scene, it showed the dead bodies of twelve persons, who had expired during the night; and all these, with the exception of one, were thrown into the sea.
The number on board was now reduced to forty-eight.
This day passed like the preceding. The weather continued fine, and despondency again gave way to feelings of hope. About four o'clock in the afternoon a joyful event occurred. A shoal of flying-fish passed under the raft, and a great number got entangled in the spaces between the timbers. All threw themselves eagerly upon them, and captured about two hundred, which they placed in an empty cask, removing only the milts. These fish were about the size of a herring, and, to men who were famishing, they were delicious. Several of the party returned thanks to God for the relief. To render the fish fit for eating, an attempt was made to boil them by means of a barrel, which served as a pot; fire being procured by a flint, steel, and a little dried gunpowder. This was the last meal they were able to cook, for the barrel took fire; and though it was soon extinguished, they were not able to save as much of it as would answer the purpose again. There was also no more gunpowder.
Night again came on, the sun set, and still there was no appearance of relief. The calm having
continued, there was a prospect of a little rest, even although the greater number stood or sat constantly in water. It is distressing to know that human passions again interfered to render the scene of misery a battle-field. Some Spaniards, Italians, and negroes, who had hitherto taken no part with the mutineers, and who had been inclined to the side of the officers, formed a plot to throw all into the sea; the negroes persuading them that land was near, and that, if once there, they could conduct them in safety through Africa. It is not improbable that a wish to get possession of a small bag of money, which was tied to the mast as a common fund, to be made use of on landing, tempted them to the crime. The officers, and some sailors who refused to join the conspirators, were obliged to take arms. They seized the Spaniard who was the ringleader, and threw him into the sea; another, when he saw that all was discovered, plunged into the water, and was drowned. The remaining conspirators now rushed forward to revenge their comrades; a desperate combat ensued; and the raft was strewn with the dead and wounded. It was evident, during the fight, that the mutineers were affected by the same delusions as before; they were, in fact, partially deranged in mind. They called for Lieutenant Danglas, in order
to kill him for having deserted them, and they could not be persuaded that that person was not on the raft. During the fray the woman was again thrown into the sea, but was a second time rescued by the intrepid Coudin, assisted by some workmen. At length the battle ceased; the mutineers were repulsed ; and the remainder of the night was passed without disturbance.
The morning of the fifth day dawned, and revealed the slaughter that had taken place. Since the previous morning, eighteen had, by one means or other, perished, and their number was now reduced to thirty. Among the dead were five sailors, whom the officers deeply lamented; for they were trustworthy and tractable. Of the thirty who remained alive on the raft, only twenty could stand upright or move about. The sea-water had stripped the skin from the feet and legs of nearly the whole, and every one was in a state of deplorable emaciation. If no vessel came to their assistance, they did not expect to survive more than four days, for there was wine only for that time, and scarcely a dozen fish. The fifth day passed over in melancholy mood; night came, and still there was no relief. The sixth day passed, and so did the succeeding night, in a condition equally disconsolate. The seventh day was more eventful.
soldiers were discovered drinking wine clandestinely from the cask, by means of a pipe. As this had been declared to be a crime punishable with death, they were immediately seized, and thrown into the sea. One of them was a sergeant, who had fomented the last conspiracy, and had contrived to escape detection; his fate, therefore, did not cause any regret.
In the course of the day died also the young boy, Leon, to whom M. Coudin had shown so much kindness. Exhausted from hunger, and delirious, he could no longer support the dreadful fatigues to which he was exposed. Before his death, his mind took the direction of his home in France; he thought his mother was near him, and till the last he cried to her for food and water. He died in the arms of his kind friend, M. Coudin.
The party were now reduced to twenty-seven; of these, twelve were so ill that there was no hope of their surviving even a few days; they had almost entirely lost their reason, and were covered with wounds; nevertheless an equal ration of the declining quantity of wine was served out to them. A consultation was now held respecting these unfortunate beings. It was represented that, as they could not possibly survive, and as their consumption of wine was daily diminishing the stock, already too low, it would
be no crime to put an end to their sufferings by throwing them into the sea. This was a horrible and painful expedient, and such it was felt to be; for those who proposed and assented to it had not the cruelty to put it into execution, or see it done. Three soldiers and a sailor were commissioned to act as executioners; and while they cleared the raft of their dying companions, the others turned their backs, not to witness the afflicting spectacle. Among those thrown overboard were the woman and her husband already mentioned. Both had been grievously wounded in the different combats. The woman had a thigh broken between the beams of the raft, and the stroke of a saber had made a deep wound in the head of her husband. In terminating the existence of these hapless individuals, M. Correard observes that all felt themselves to be under a terrible necessity which knew no law. “Ye,” he continues, " who shudder at the cry of outraged humanity, recollect that it was other men, fellow-countrymen, who had placed us in this awful situation.” The expedient of throwing overboard their apparently-dying comrades, reduced the number on the raft to fifteen, and gave
the means of subsistence for a few additional days. When the dreadful sacrifice was completed, all cast their swords into the sea, reserving but one saber, for cutting a piece