« ForrigeFortsæt »
called Tofoa, bearing north-east, I was steering to the westward, with a ship in most perfect order, all my plants in a most flourishing condition, all my men and officers in good health, and, in short, every thing to flatter and insure my most sanguine expectations. On leaving the deck I gave directions for the course to be steered 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.
“Just before sun-rising, while I was yet asleep, Mr. Christian, officer of the watch, Charles Churchill, ship's corporal, John Mills, 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 called, however, 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 cut
lass 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 with which 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 master's mate, and Nelson were kept confined below; and the fore-hatchway was guarded by sentinels. The boatswain and carpenter, and also Mr. Samuel the clerk, were allowed to come on 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.
“When the boat was out, Mr. Hayward and Mr. Hallet, two of the midshipmen, and Mr. Samuel, were ordered into it. I demanded what their intention was in giving this order, and endeavoured to persuade the people near me not to persist in such acts of violence; but it was to no effect—Hold your tongue, sir, or you are dead this instant,' was constantly repeated to me.
“I continued my endeavours to turn the tide of affairs, when Christian changed the cutlass which he had in his hand for a bayonet that was brought to him, and holding me with a strong gripe by the cord that tied my hands, he threatened, with many oaths, to kill me immediately, if I would not be quiet; the villains round me had their pieces cocked and bayonets fixed. Particular persons were called on to go into the boat, and were hurried over the side; whence I concluded that with these people I was to be set adrift. I therefore made another effort to bring about a change, but with no other effect than to be threatened with having my brains blown out.
6. The boatswain and seamen who were to go in the boat were allowed to collect twine, canvas, lines, sails, cordage, and an eight-and-twenty gallon cask of water; and Mr. Samuel got one hundred and fifty pounds of bread, with a small quantity of rum and wine, also a quadrant and com
pass; but he was forbidden, on pain of death, to touch either map, ephemeris, book of astronomical observations, sextant, timekeeper, or any of my surveys or drawings.
“The mutineers having forced into the boat those of the seamen whom they meant to get rid of, Christian directed a dram to be served to each of his own crew. I then unhappily saw that nothing could be done to effect the recovery of the ship: there was no one to assist me, and every endeavour on my part was answered with threats of death.
“ The officers were next called upon deck, and forced over the side into the boat, while I was kept apart from every one, abaft the mizenmast; Christian, armed with a bayonet, holding me by the bandage that secured my hands. The guard round me had their pieces cocked, but on my daring the ungrateful wretches to fire, they uncocked them.
“Isaac Martin, one of the guard over me,
I saw had an inclination to assist me, and as he fed me with shaddock (my lips
being quite parched) we explained our wishes to each other by our looks; but this being observed, Martin was removed from
He then attempted to leave the ship, for which purpose he got into the boat; but with many threats they obliged him to return.
“The armourer, and two of the carpenters, were also kept contrary to their inclination; and they begged of me, after I was astern in the boat, to remember that they declared they had no hand in the transaction.
"It appeared to me that Christian was some time in doubt whether he should keep the carpenter or his mates; at length he determined on the latter, and the carpenter was ordered into the boat. He was permitted, but not without some opposition, to take his tool-chest.
“Much altercation took place among the mutinous crew during the whole business; some swore that we would find our way home;' and when the carpenter's chest was carrying away, said, “he will have a vessel built in a month;' while others laughed