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cocked and bayonets fixed. Particular people 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.
The boatswain and seamen who were to go in the boat were allowed to collect twine, canvas, lines, sails, cordage, an eight-and-twenty-gallon cask of water, and Mr. Samuel got a hundred and fifty pounds of bread, with a small quantity of rum and wine, also a quadrant and compass; but he was forbidden, on pain of death, to touch either map, ephemeris, book of astronomical observations, sextant, time-keeper, or any of my surveys or drawings.
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 mizzen-mast.
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 me. 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 armorer, Joseph Coleman, and two of the carpenters, M’Intosh and Norman, were also kept contrary to their inclination; and they begged of me, after I was astern in the boat, to remember that they declared that they had no hand in the transaction. Michael Byrne, I am told, likewise wanted to leave the ship.
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. The officers
and men being in the boat, they only waited for me, of which the master-at-arms informed Christian; who then said, “Come, Captain Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and you must go with them; if you attempt to make the least resistance, you will instantly be put to death: " and without further ceremony, with a tribe of armed ruffians about me, I was forced over the side, where they untied my hands. Being in the boat, we were veered astern by a rope. A few pieces of pork were thrown to us, and some clothes, also four cutlasses; and it was then that the armorer and carpenters called out to me to remember that they had no hand in the transaction. After having undergone a great deal of ridicule, and having been kept some time to make sport for these unfeeling wretches, we were at length cast adrift in the open ocean.
I had eighteen persons with me in the boat. There remained on board the Bounty twenty-five hands, the most able men of the ship's company. Having little or no wind, we rowed pretty fast towards Tofoa, which bore northeast about ten leagues from us. While the ship was in sight, she steered to the west-north-west; but I considered this only as a feint; for when we were sent away, Huzza for Otaheite!” was frequently heard among the mutineers.
It will very naturally be asked, What could be the reason for such a revolt? In answer to which, I can only conjecture that the mutineers had flattered themselves with the hopes of a more happy life among the Otaheitans than they could possibly enjoy in England; and this, joined to some female connections, most probably occasioned the whole transaction. The women at Otaheite are handsome, , mild and cheerful in their manners and conversation, possessed of great sensibility, and have sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved. The chiefs were so much attached to our people, that they rather encouraged
their stay among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of large possessions. Under these, and many other attendant circumstances equally desirable, it is now perhaps not so much to be wondered at, though scarcely possible to have been foreseen, that a set of sailors, most of them void of connections, should be led away: especially when, in addition to such powerful inducements, they imagined it in their power to fix themselves in the midst of plenty, on one of the finest islands in the world, where they need not labor, and where the allurements of dissipation are beyond anything that can be conceived.
FATE OF THE CASTAWAYS My first determination was to seek a supply of breadfruit and water at Tofoa, and afterwards to sail for Tongataboo, and there risk a solicitation to Poulaho, the king, to equip our boat, and grant us a supply of water and provisions, so as to enable us to reach the East Indies. The quantity of provisions I found in the boat was a hundred and fifty pounds of bread, sixteen pieces of pork, each piece weighing two pounds, six quarts of rum, six bottles of wine, with twenty-eight gallons of water, and four empty barrecoes.
We got to Tofoa when it was dark, but found the shore so steep and rocky that we could not land. We were obliged, therefore, to remain all night in the boat, keeping it on the lee-side of the island, with two oars. Next day (Wednesday, April 29) we found a cove, where we landed. I observed the latitude of this cove to be 19 degrees 41 minutes south. This is the northwest part of Tofoa, the north-westernmost of the Friendly Islands. As I was resolved to spare the small stock of provisions we had in the boat, we endeavored to procure something towards our support on the island itself. For two days we ranged through the island in parties, seeking for water,
and anything in the shape of provisions, subsisting, meanwhile, on morsels of what we had brought with us. The island at first seemed uninhabited, but on Friday, May 1, one of our exploring parties met with two men, a woman, and a child: the men came with them to the cove, and brought two cocoanut shells of water. I endeavored to make friends of these people, and sent them away
for bread-fruit, plantains, and water. Soon after, other natives came to us; and by noon there were thirty about us, from whom we obtained a small supply. I was much puzzled in what manner to account to the natives for the loss of my ship: I knew they had too much sense to be amused with a story that the ship was to join me, when she was not in sight from the hills. I was at first doubtful whether I should tell the real fact, or say that the ship had overset and sunk, and that we only were saved: the latter appeared to be the most proper and advantageous for us, and I accordingly instructed my people, that we might all agree in one story. As I expected, inquiries were made about the ship, and they seemed readily satisfied with our account; but there did not appear the least symptom of joy or sorrow in their faces, although I fancied I discovered some marks of surprise. Some of the natives were coming and going the whole afternoon.
Towards evening, I had the satisfaction to find our stock of provisions somewhat increased; but the natives did not appear to have much to spare. What they brought was in such small quantities, that I had no reason to hope we should be able to procure from them sufficient to stock us for our voyage. At night, I served a quarter of a breadfruit and a cocoanut to each person for supper; and a good fire being made, all but the watch went to sleep.
Saturday, 2d. — As there was no certainty of our being supplied with water by the natives, I sent a party among the gullies in the mountains, with empty shells, to see what
could be found. In their absence the natives came about us, as I expected, and in greater numbers; two canoes also came in from round the north side of the island. In one of them was an elderly chief, called Macca-ackavow. Soon after, some of our foraging party returned, and with them came a good-looking chief, called Egijeefow, or Eefow.
Their affability was of short duration, for the natives began to increase in number, and I observed some symptoms of a design against us. Soon after, they attempted to haul the boat on shore, on which I brandished my cutlass in a threatening manner, and spoke to Eefow to desire them to desist: which they did, and everything became quiet again. My people, who had been in the mountains, now returned with about three gallons of water.
I kept buying up the little bread-fruit that was brought to us, and likewise some spears to arm my men with, having only four cutlasses, two of which were in the boat. As we had no means of improving our situation, I told our people I would wait till sunset, by which time, perhaps, something might happen in our favor; for if we attempted to go at present, we must fight our way through, which we could do more advantageously at night; and that, in the meantime, we would endeavor to get off to the boat what we had bought. The beach was lined with the natives, and we heard nothing but the knocking of stones together, which they had in each hand. I knew very well this was the sign of an attack. At noon I served a cocoanut and a bread-fruit to each person for dinner, and gave some to the chiefs, with whom I continued to appear intimate and friendly. They frequently importuned me to sit down, but I as constantly refused; for it occurred both to Nelson and myself that they intended to seize hold of me, if I gave them such an opportunity. Keeping, therefore, constantly on our guard, we were suffered to eat our uncomfortable meal in some quietness.