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groans were heard from the schooner; the smoke cleared; the pirate's mainsail hung on deck, his jib-boom was cut off like a carrot and the sail struggling; his foresail looked lace, lanes of dead and wounded lay still or writhing on his deck and his lee scuppers ran blood into the sea. Dodd squared his yards and bore away.
The ship rushed down the wind, leaving the schooner staggered and all abroad. But not for long; the pirate wore and fired his bow chasers at the now flying Agra, split one of the carronades in two, and killed a Lascar, and made a hole in the foresail; this done, he hoisted his mainsail again in a trice, sent his wounded below, flung his dead overboard, to the horror of their foes, and came after the flying ship, yawning and firing his bow chasers. The ship was silent. She had no shot to throw away. Not only did she take these blows like a coward, but all signs of life disappeared on her, except two men at the wheel
, and the captain on the main gangway.
Dodd had ordered the crew out of the rigging, armed them with cutlasses, and laid them flat on the forecastle. He also compelled Kenealy and Fullalove to come down out of harm's way, no wiser on the smooth-bore question than they went up.
The great patient ship ran environed by her foes; one destroyer right in her course, another in her wake, following her with yells of vengeance, and pounding away at her - but no reply.
Suddenly the yells of the pirates on both sides ceased, and there was a moment of dead silence on the sea.
Yet nothing fresh had happened.
Yes, this had happened: the pirates to windward, and the pirates to leeward, of the Agra, had found out, at one and the same moment, that the merchant captain they had lashed, and bullied, and tortured, was a patient but tremendous man. It was not only to rake the fresh schooner
he had put his ship before the wind, but also by a double, daring, master-stroke to hurl his monster ship bodily on the other. Without a foresail she could never get out of his way. Her crew had stopped the leak, and cut away and unshipped the broken foremast, and were stepping a new one, when they saw the huge ship bearing down in full sail. Nothing easier than to slip out of her way could they get the foresail to draw; but the time was short, the deadly intention manifest, the coming destruction swift. After that solemn silence came a storm of cries and curses, as their seamen went to work to fit the yard and raise the sail; while their fighting men seized their matchlocks and trained the guns. They were well commanded by an heroic able villian. Astern the consort thundered; but the Agra's response was a dead silence more awful than broadsides.
For then was seen with what majesty the enduring Anglo-Saxon fights.
One of the indomitable race on the gangway, one at the foremast, two at the wheel, conned and steered the great ship down on a hundred matchlocks, and a grinning broadside, just as they would have conned and steered her into a British harbor.
“Starboard!” said Dodd, in a deep calm voice, with a motion of his hand.
“Starboard it is."
The pirate wriggled ahead a little. The man forward made a silent signal to Dodd.
“Port!” said Dodd, quietly. “ Port it is."
But at this critical moment the pirate astern sent a mischievous shot, and knocked one of the men to atoms at the helm.
Dodd waved his hand without a word, and another man rose from the deck, and took his place in silence, and laid
his unshaking hand on the wheel stained with that man's warm blood whose place he took.
The high ship was now scarce sixty yards distant: she seemed to know: she reared her lofty figurehead with great awful shoots into the air.
But now the panting pirates got their new foresail hoisted with a joyful shout: it drew, the schooner gathered way, and their furious consort close on the Agra's heels just then scourged her deck with grape.
“ Port!” said Dodd, calmly. “Port it is."
The giant prow darted at the escaping pirate. That acre of coming canvas took the wind out of the swift schooner's foresail; it flapped: oh, then she was doomed!
CRASH! the Indiaman's cut-water in thick smoke beat in the schooner's broadside: down went her masts to leeward like fishing-rods whipping the water; there was a horrible shrieking yell; wild forms leaped off on the Agra, and were hacked to pieces almost ere they reached the deck — a surge, a chasm in the ear, filled with an instant rush of engulfing waves, a long, awful, grating, grinding noise, never to be forgotten in this world, all along under the ship's keel — and the fearful majestic monster passed on over the blank she had made, with a pale crew standing silent and awestruck on her deck; a cluster of wild heads and staring eyeballs bobbing like corks in her foaming wake, sole relic of the blotted-out Destroyer; and a wounded man staggering on the gangway, with hands uplifted and staring eyes.
NARRATIVE OF THE MUTINY OF THE
From “Chamber's Miscellany,” ANONYMOUS
BOUT the year 1786, the merchants and planters
interested in the West India Islands became anx
ious to introduce an exceedingly valuable plant, the bread-fruit tree, into these possessions, and as this could best be done by a government expedition, a request was preferred to the crown accordingly. The ministry at the time being favorable to the proposed undertaking, a vessel, named the Bounty, was selected to execute the desired object. To the command of this ship Captain W. Bligh was appointed, Aug. 16, 1787. The burden of the Bounty was nearly two hundred and fifteen tons. The establishment of men and officers for the ship was as follows:-1 lieutenant to command, 1 master, 1 boatswain, 1 gunner, 1 carpenter, 1 surgeon, 2 master's mates, 2 midshipmen, 2 quarter-masters, 1 quarter-master's mate, 1 boatswain's mate, 1 gunner's mate, 1 carpenter's mate, 1 carpenter's crew, 1 sailmaker, 1 armourer, 1 corporal, 1 clerk and steward, 23 able seamen total, 44. The addition of two men appointed to take care of the plants, made the whole ship's crew amount to 46. The ship was stored and victualled for eighteen months.
Thus prepared, the Bounty set sail on the 23d. of December, and what ensued will be best told in the language of Captain Blight.
Monday, 27th April 1789.—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.
Tuesday, 28th. — Just before sunrising, 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 pulled 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 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. 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. Hallett, two of the midshipmen, and Mr. Samuel, were ordered into it. I demanded what their intention was in giving this order, and endeavored to persuade the people near me not to persist in such acts of violence; but it was to no. effect. Christian changed the cutlass which he had in his hand for a bayonet that was brought to him, and holding me with a strong grip by the cord that tied my hands, he with many oaths threatened to kill me immediately if I would not be quiet; the villains round me had their pieces