The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Part 1 out of 5

[Redactor's Note: This is Volume III of the "Raven Edition" of the
Works of Poe. The notes to PYM are at the end of that novella. There
are no other notes in this volume. III. Figures in Chapter 23 are
included as "tiff" and "jpeg" files, as are the hieroglyphics in
chapter 25. Notes as usual are in braces {} as are images "{image}".]



Contents Volume III

Narrative of A. Gordon Pym
A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
The Spectacles
King Pest
Three Sundays in a Week



UPON my return to the United States a few months ago, after the
extraordinary series of adventure in the South Seas and elsewhere, of
which an account is given in the following pages, accident threw me
into the society of several gentlemen in Richmond, Va., who felt deep
interest in all matters relating to the regions I had visited, and
who were constantly urging it upon me, as a duty, to give my
narrative to the public. I had several reasons, however, for
declining to do so, some of which were of a nature altogether
private, and concern no person but myself; others not so much so. One
consideration which deterred me was that, having kept no journal
during a greater portion of the time in which I was absent, I feared
I should not be able to write, from mere memory, a statement so
minute and connected as to have the _appearance _of that truth it
would really possess, barring only the natural and unavoidable
exaggeration to which all of us are prone when detailing events which
have had powerful influence in exciting the imaginative faculties.
Another reason was, that the incidents to be narrated were of a
nature so positively marvellous that, unsupported as my assertions
must necessarily be (except by the evidence of a single individual,
and he a half-breed Indian), I could only hope for belief among my
family, and those of my friends who have had reason, through life, to
put faith in my veracity-the probability being that the public at
large would regard what I should put forth as merely an impudent and
ingenious fiction. A distrust in my own abilities as a writer was,
nevertheless, one of the principal causes which prevented me from
complying with the suggestions of my advisers.

Among those gentlemen in Virginia who expressed the greatest interest
in my statement, more particularly in regard to that portion of it
which related to the Antarctic Ocean, was Mr. Poe, lately editor of
the "Southern Literary Messenger," a monthly magazine, published by
Mr. Thomas W. White, in the city of Richmond. He strongly advised me,
among others, to prepare at once a full account of what I had seen
and undergone, and trust to the shrewdness and common-sense of the
public-insisting, with great plausibility, that however roughly, as
regards mere authorship, my book should be got up, its very
uncouthness, if there were any, would give it all the better chance
of being received as truth.

Notwithstanding this representation, I did not make up my mind to do
as he suggested. He afterward proposed (finding that I would not stir
in the matter) that I should allow him to draw up, in his own words,
a narrative of the earlier portion of my adventures, from facts
afforded by myself, publishing it in the "Southern Messenger" _under
the garb of fiction. _To this, perceiving no objection, I consented,
stipulating only that my real name should be retained. Two numbers of
the pretended fiction appeared, consequently, in the "Messenger" for
January and February (1837), and, in order that it might certainly be
regarded as fiction, the name of Mr. Poe was affixed to the articles
in the table of contents of the magazine.

The manner in which this ruse was received has induced me at length
to undertake a regular compilation and publication of the adventures
in question; for I found that, in spite of the air of fable which had
been so ingeniously thrown around that portion of my statement which
appeared in the "Messenger" (without altering or distorting a single
fact), the public were still not at all disposed to receive it as
fable, and several letters were sent to Mr. P.'s address, distinctly
expressing a conviction to the contrary. I thence concluded that the
facts of my narrative would prove of such a nature as to carry with
them sufficient evidence of their own authenticity, and that I had
consequently little to fear on the score of popular incredulity.

This_ exposť _being made, it will be seen at once how much of what
follows I claim to be my own writing; and it will also be understood
that no fact is misrepresented in the first few pages which were
written by Mr. Poe. Even to those readers who have not seen the
"Messenger," it will be unnecessary to point out where his portion
ends and my own commences; the difference in point of style will be
readily perceived.

A. G. PYM.


MY name is Arthur Gordon Pym. My father was a respectable trader
in sea-stores at Nantucket, where I was born. My maternal grandfather
was an attorney in good practice. He was fortunate in every thing,
and had speculated very successfully in stocks of the Edgarton New
Bank, as it was formerly called. By these and other means he had
managed to lay by a tolerable sum of money. He was more attached to
myself, I believe, than to any other person in the world, and I
expected to inherit the most of his property at his death. He sent
me, at six years of age, to the school of old Mr. Ricketts, a
gentleman with only one arm and of eccentric manners -- he is well
known to almost every person who has visited New Bedford. I stayed at
his school until I was sixteen, when I left him for Mr. E. Ronald's
academy on the hill. Here I became intimate with the son of Mr.
Barnard, a sea-captain, who generally sailed in the employ of Lloyd
and Vredenburgh -- Mr. Barnard is also very well known in New
Bedford, and has many relations, I am certain, in Edgarton. His son
was named Augustus, and he was nearly two years older than myself. He
had been on a whaling voyage with his father in the John Donaldson,
and was always talking to me of his adventures in the South Pacific
Ocean. I used frequently to go home with him, and remain all day, and
sometimes all night. We occupied the same bed, and he would be sure
to keep me awake until almost light, telling me stories of the
natives of the Island of Tinian, and other places he had visited in
his travels. At last I could not help being interested in what he
said, and by degrees I felt the greatest desire to go to sea. I owned
a sailboat called the Ariel, and worth about seventy-five dollars.
She had a half-deck or cuddy, and was rigged sloop-fashion -- I
forget her tonnage, but she would hold ten persons without much
crowding. In this boat we were in the habit of going on some of the
maddest freaks in the world; and, when I now think of them, it
appears to me a thousand wonders that I am alive to-day.

I will relate one of these adventures by way of introduction to a
longer and more momentous narrative. One night there was a party at
Mr. Barnard's, and both Augustus and myself were not a little
intoxicated toward the close of it. As usual, in such cases, I took
part of his bed in preference to going home. He went to sleep, as I
thought, very quietly (it being near one when the party broke up),
and without saying a word on his favorite topic. It might have been
half an hour from the time of our getting in bed, and I was just
about falling into a doze, when he suddenly started up, and swore
with a terrible oath that he would not go to sleep for any Arthur Pym
in Christendom, when there was so glorious a breeze from the
southwest. I never was so astonished in my life, not knowing what he
intended, and thinking that the wines and liquors he had drunk had
set him entirely beside himself. He proceeded to talk very coolly,
however, saying he knew that I supposed him intoxicated, but that he
was never more sober in his life. He was only tired, he added, of
lying in bed on such a fine night like a dog, and was determined to
get up and dress, and go out on a frolic with the boat. I can hardly
tell what possessed me, but the words were no sooner out of his mouth
than I felt a thrill of the greatest excitement and pleasure, and
thought his mad idea one of the most delightful and most reasonable
things in the world. It was blowing almost a gale, and the weather
was very cold -- it being late in October. I sprang out of bed,
nevertheless, in a kind of ecstasy, and told him I was quite as brave
as himself, and quite as tired as he was of lying in bed like a dog,
and quite as ready for any fun or frolic as any Augustus Barnard in

We lost no time in getting on our clothes and hurrying down to
the boat. She was lying at the old decayed wharf by the lumber-yard
of Pankey & Co., and almost thumping her side out against the rough
logs. Augustus got into her and bailed her, for she was nearly half
full of water. This being done, we hoisted jib and mainsail, kept
full, and started boldly out to sea.

The wind, as I before said, blew freshly from the southwest. The
night was very clear and cold. Augustus had taken the helm, and I
stationed myself by the mast, on the deck of the cuddy. We flew along
at a great rate -- neither of us having said a word since casting
loose from the wharf. I now asked my companion what course he
intended to steer, and what time he thought it probable we should get
back. He whistled for a few minutes, and then said crustily: "_I_ am
going to sea -- _you_ may go home if you think proper." Turning my
eyes upon him, I perceived at once that, in spite of his assumed
_nonchalance_, he was greatly agitated. I could see him distinctly by
the light of the moon -- his face was paler than any marble, and his
hand shook so excessively that he could scarcely retain hold of the
tiller. I found that something had gone wrong, and became seriously
alarmed. At this period I knew little about the management of a boat,
and was now depending entirely upon the nautical skill of my friend.
The wind, too, had suddenly increased, as we were fast getting out of
the lee of the land -- still I was ashamed to betray any trepidation,
and for almost half an hour maintained a resolute silence. I could
stand it no longer, however, and spoke to Augustus about the
propriety of turning back. As before, it was nearly a minute before
he made answer, or took any notice of my suggestion. "By-and-by,"
said he at length -- "time enough -- home by-and-by." I had expected
a similar reply, but there was something in the tone of these words
which filled me with an indescribable feeling of dread. I again
looked at the speaker attentively. His lips were perfectly livid, and
his knees shook so violently together that he seemed scarcely able to
stand. "For God's sake, Augustus," I screamed, now heartily
frightened, "what ails you?- what is the matter?- what _are_ you
going to do?" "Matter!" he stammered, in the greatest apparent
surprise, letting go the tiller at the same moment, and falling
forward into the bottom of the boat- "matter- why, nothing is the --
matter -- going home- d--d--don't you see?" The whole truth now
flashed upon me. I flew to him and raised him up. He was drunk --
beastly drunk -- he could no longer either stand, speak, or see. His
eyes were perfectly glazed; and as I let him go in the extremity of
my despair, he rolled like a mere log into the bilge-water, from
which I had lifted him. It was evident that, during the evening, he
had drunk far more than I suspected, and that his conduct in bed had
been the result of a highly-concentrated state of intoxication- a
state which, like madness, frequently enables the victim to imitate
the outward demeanour of one in perfect possession of his senses. The
coolness of the night air, however, had had its usual effect- the
mental energy began to yield before its influence- and the confused
perception which he no doubt then had of his perilous situation had
assisted in hastening the catastrophe. He was now thoroughly
insensible, and there was no probability that he would be otherwise
for many hours.

It is hardly possible to conceive the extremity of my terror. The
fumes of the wine lately taken had evaporated, leaving me doubly
timid and irresolute. I knew that I was altogether incapable of
managing the boat, and that a fierce wind and strong ebb tide were
hurrying us to destruction. A storm was evidently gathering behind
us; we had neither compass nor provisions; and it was clear that, if
we held our present course, we should be out of sight of land before
daybreak. These thoughts, with a crowd of others equally fearful,
flashed through my mind with a bewildering rapidity, and for some
moments paralyzed me beyond the possibility of making any exertion.
The boat was going through the water at a terrible rate- full before
the wind- no reef in either jib or mainsail- running her bows
completely under the foam. It was a thousand wonders she did not
broach to- Augustus having let go the tiller, as I said before, and I
being too much agitated to think of taking it myself. By good luck,
however, she kept steady, and gradually I recovered some degree of
presence of mind. Still the wind was increasing fearfully, and
whenever we rose from a plunge forward, the sea behind fell combing
over our counter, and deluged us with water. I was so utterly
benumbed, too, in every limb, as to be nearly unconscious of
sensation. At length I summoned up the resolution of despair, and
rushing to the mainsail let it go by the run. As might have been
expected, it flew over the bows, and, getting drenched with water,
carried away the mast short off by the board. This latter accident
alone saved me from instant destruction. Under the jib only, I now
boomed along before the wind, shipping heavy seas occasionally over
the counter, but relieved from the terror of immediate death. I took
the helm, and breathed with greater freedom as I found that there yet
remained to us a chance of ultimate escape. Augustus still lay
senseless in the bottom of the boat; and as there was imminent danger
of his drowning (the water being nearly a foot deep just where he
fell), I contrived to raise him partially up, and keep him in a
sitting position, by passing a rope round his waist, and lashing it
to a ringbolt in the deck of the cuddy. Having thus arranged every
thing as well as I could in my chilled and agitated condition, I
recommended myself to God, and made up my mind to bear whatever might
happen with all the fortitude in my power.

Hardly had I come to this resolution, when, suddenly, a loud and
long scream or yell, as if from the throats of a thousand demons,
seemed to pervade the whole atmosphere around and above the boat.
Never while I live shall I forget the intense agony of terror I
experienced at that moment. My hair stood erect on my head -- I felt
the blood congealing in my veins -- my heart ceased utterly to beat,
and without having once raised my eyes to learn the source of my
alarm, I tumbled headlong and insensible upon the body of my fallen

I found myself, upon reviving, in the cabin of a large
whaling-ship (the Penguin) bound to Nantucket. Several persons were
standing over me, and Augustus, paler than death, was busily occupied
in chafing my hands. Upon seeing me open my eyes, his exclamations of
gratitude and joy excited alternate laughter and tears from the
rough-looking personages who were present. The mystery of our being
in existence was now soon explained. We had been run down by the
whaling-ship, which was close-hauled, beating up to Nantucket with
every sail she could venture to set, and consequently running almost
at right angles to our own course. Several men were on the look-out
forward, but did not perceive our boat until it was an impossibility
to avoid coming in contact- their shouts of warning upon seeing us
were what so terribly alarmed me. The huge ship, I was told, rode
immediately over us with as much ease as our own little vessel would
have passed over a feather, and without the least perceptible
impediment to her progress. Not a scream arose from the deck of the
victim- there was a slight grating sound to be heard mingling with
the roar of wind and water, as the frail bark which was swallowed up
rubbed for a moment along the keel of her destroyer- but this was
all. Thinking our boat (which it will be remembered was dismasted)
some mere shell cut adrift as useless, the captain (Captain E. T. V.
Block, of New London) was for proceeding on his course without
troubling himself further about the matter. Luckily, there were two
of the look-out who swore positively to having seen some person at
our helm, and represented the possibility of yet saving him. A
discussion ensued, when Block grew angry, and, after a while, said
that "it was no business of his to be eternally watching for
egg-shells; that the ship should not put about for any such nonsense;
and if there was a man run down, it was nobody's fault but his own,
he might drown and be dammed" or some language to that effect. Henderson,
the first mate, now took the matter up, being justly indignant, as
well as the whole ship's crew, at a speech evincing so base a degree
of heartless atrocity. He spoke plainly, seeing himself upheld by the
men, told the captain he considered him a fit subject for the
gallows, and that he would disobey his orders if he were hanged for
it the moment he set his foot on shore. He strode aft, jostling Block
(who turned pale and made no answer) on one side, and seizing the
helm, gave the word, in a firm voice, Hard-a-lee! The men flew to
their posts, and the ship went cleverly about. All this had occupied
nearly five minutes, and it was supposed to be hardly within the
bounds of possibility that any individual could be saved- allowing
any to have been on board the boat. Yet, as the reader has seen, both
Augustus and myself were rescued; and our deliverance seemed to have
been brought about by two of those almost inconceivable pieces of
good fortune which are attributed by the wise and pious to the
special interference of Providence.

While the ship was yet in stays, the mate lowered the jolly-boat
and jumped into her with the very two men, I believe, who spoke up as
having seen me at the helm. They had just left the lee of the vessel
(the moon still shining brightly) when she made a long and heavy roll
to windward, and Henderson, at the same moment, starting up in his
seat bawled out to his crew to back water. He would say nothing else-
repeating his cry impatiently, back water! black water! The men put
back as speedily as possible, but by this time the ship had gone
round, and gotten fully under headway, although all hands on board
were making great exertions to take in sail. In despite of the danger
of the attempt, the mate clung to the main-chains as soon as they
came within his reach. Another huge lurch now brought the starboard
side of the vessel out of water nearly as far as her keel, when the
cause of his anxiety was rendered obvious enough. The body of a man
was seen to be affixed in the most singular manner to the smooth and
shining bottom (the Penguin was coppered and copper-fastened), and
beating violently against it with every movement of the hull. After
several ineffectual efforts, made during the lurches of the ship, and
at the imminent risk of swamping the boat I was finally disengaged
from my perilous situation and taken on board- for the body proved to
be my own. It appeared that one of the timber-bolts having started
and broken a passage through the copper, it had arrested my progress
as I passed under the ship, and fastened me in so extraordinary a
manner to her bottom. The head of the bolt had made its way through
the collar of the green baize jacket I had on, and through the back
part of my neck, forcing itself out between two sinews and just below
the right ear. I was immediately put to bed- although life seemed to
be totally extinct. There was no surgeon on board. The captain,
however, treated me with every attention- to make amends, I presume,
in the eyes of his crew, for his atrocious behaviour in the previous
portion of the adventure.

In the meantime, Henderson had again put off from the ship,
although the wind was now blowing almost a hurricane. He had not been
gone many minutes when he fell in with some fragments of our boat,
and shortly afterward one of the men with him asserted that he could
distinguish a cry for help at intervals amid the roaring of the
tempest. This induced the hardy seamen to persevere in their search
for more than half an hour, although repeated signals to return were
made them by Captain Block, and although every moment on the water in
so frail a boat was fraught to them with the most imminent and deadly
peril. Indeed, it is nearly impossible to conceive how the small
jolly they were in could have escaped destruction for a single
instant. She was built, however, for the whaling service, and was
fitted, as I have since had reason to believe, with air-boxes, in the
manner of some life-boats used on the coast of Wales.

After searching in vain for about the period of time just
mentioned, it was determined to get back to the ship. They had
scarcely made this resolve when a feeble cry arose from a dark object
that floated rapidly by. They pursued and soon overtook it. It proved
to be the entire deck of the Ariel's cuddy. Augustus was struggling
near it, apparently in the last agonies. Upon getting hold of him it
was found that he was attached by a rope to the floating timber. This
rope, it will be remembered, I had myself tied around his waist, and
made fast to a ringbolt, for the purpose of keeping him in an upright
position, and my so doing, it appeared, had been ultimately the means
of preserving his life. The Ariel was slightly put together, and in
going down her frame naturally went to pieces; the deck of the cuddy,
as might have been expected, was lifted, by the force of the water
rushing in, entirely from the main timbers, and floated (with other
fragments, no doubt) to the surface- Augustus was buoyed up with it,
and thus escaped a terrible death.

It was more than an hour after being taken on board the Penguin
before he could give any account of himself, or be made to comprehend
the nature of the accident which had befallen our boat. At length he
became thoroughly aroused, and spoke much of his sensations while in
the water. Upon his first attaining any degree of consciousness, he
found himself beneath the surface, whirling round and round with
inconceivable rapidity, and with a rope wrapped in three or four
folds tightly about his neck. In an instant afterward he felt himself
going rapidly upward, when, his head striking violently against a
hard substance, he again relapsed into insensibility. Upon once more
reviving he was in fuller possession of his reason- this was still,
however, in the greatest degree clouded and confused. He now knew
that some accident had occurred, and that he was in the water,
although his mouth was above the surface, and he could breathe with
some freedom. Possibly, at this period the deck was drifting rapidly
before the wind, and drawing him after it, as he floated upon his
back. Of course, as long as he could have retained this position, it
would have been nearly impossible that he should be drowned.
Presently a surge threw him directly athwart the deck, and this post
he endeavored to maintain, screaming at intervals for help. Just
before he was discovered by Mr. Henderson, he had been obliged to
relax his hold through exhaustion, and, falling into the sea, had
given himself up for lost. During the whole period of his struggles
he had not the faintest recollection of the Ariel, nor of the matters
in connexion with the source of his disaster. A vague feeling of
terror and despair had taken entire possession of his faculties. When
he was finally picked up, every power of his mind had failed him;
and, as before said, it was nearly an hour after getting on board the
Penguin before he became fully aware of his condition. In regard to
myself- I was resuscitated from a state bordering very nearly upon
death (and after every other means had been tried in vain for three
hours and a half) by vigorous friction with flannels bathed in hot
oil- a proceeding suggested by Augustus. The wound in my neck,
although of an ugly appearance, proved of little real consequence,
and I soon recovered from its effects.

The Penguin got into port about nine o'clock in the morning,
after encountering one of the severest gales ever experienced off
Nantucket. Both Augustus and myself managed to appear at Mr.
Barnard's in time for breakfast- which, luckily, was somewhat late,
owing to the party over night. I suppose all at the table were too
much fatigued themselves to notice our jaded appearance- of course,
it would not have borne a very rigid scrutiny. Schoolboys, however,
can accomplish wonders in the way of deception, and I verily believe
not one of our friends in Nantucket had the slightest suspicion that
the terrible story told by some sailors in town of their having run
down a vessel at sea and drowned some thirty or forty poor devils,
had reference either to the Ariel, my companion, or myself. We two
have since very frequently talked the matter over- but never without
a shudder. In one of our conversations Augustus frankly confessed to
me, that in his whole life he had at no time experienced so
excruciating a sense of dismay, as when on board our little boat he
first discovered the extent of his intoxication, and felt himself
sinking beneath its influence.

~~~ End of Text of Chapter 1 ~~~


IN no affairs of mere prejudice, pro or con, do we deduce
inferences with entire certainty, even from the most simple data. It
might be supposed that a catastrophe such as I have just related
would have effectually cooled my incipient passion for the sea. On
the contrary, I never experienced a more ardent longing for the wild
adventures incident to the life of a navigator than within a week
after our miraculous deliverance. This short period proved amply long
enough to erase from my memory the shadows, and bring out in vivid
light all the pleasurably exciting points of color, all the
picturesqueness, of the late perilous accident. My conversations with
Augustus grew daily more frequent and more intensely full of
interest. He had a manner of relating his stories of the ocean (more
than one half of which I now suspect to have been sheer fabrications)
well adapted to have weight with one of my enthusiastic temperament
and somewhat gloomy although glowing imagination. It is strange, too,
that he most strongly enlisted my feelings in behalf of the life of a
seaman, when he depicted his more terrible moments of suffering and
despair. For the bright side of the painting I had a limited
sympathy. My visions were of shipwreck and famine; of death or
captivity among barbarian hordes; of a lifetime dragged out in sorrow
and tears, upon some gray and desolate rock, in an ocean
unapproachable and unknown. Such visions or desires- for they
amounted to desires- are common, I have since been assured, to the
whole numerous race of the melancholy among men- at the time of which
I speak I regarded them only as prophetic glimpses of a destiny which
I felt myself in a measure bound to fulfil. Augustus thoroughly
entered into my state of mind. It is probable, indeed, that our
intimate communion had resulted in a partial interchange of

About eighteen months after the period of the Ariel's disaster,
the firm of Lloyd and Vredenburgh (a house connected in some manner
with the Messieurs Enderby, I believe, of Liverpool) were engaged in
repairing and fitting out the brig Grampus for a whaling voyage. She
was an old hulk, and scarcely seaworthy when all was done to her that
could be done. I hardly know why she was chosen in preference to
other good vessels belonging to the same owners -- but so it was. Mr.
Barnard was appointed to command her, and Augustus was going with
him. While the brig was getting ready, he frequently urged upon me
the excellency of the opportunity now offered for indulging my desire
of travel. He found me by no means an unwilling listener -- yet the
matter could not be so easily arranged. My father made no direct
opposition; but my mother went into hysterics at the bare mention of
the design; and, more than all, my grandfather, from whom I expected
much, vowed to cut me off with a shilling if I should ever broach the
subject to him again. These difficulties, however, so far from
abating my desire, only added fuel to the flame. I determined to go
at all hazards; and, having made known my intentions to Augustus, we
set about arranging a plan by which it might be accomplished. In the
meantime I forbore speaking to any of my relations in regard to the
voyage, and, as I busied myself ostensibly with my usual studies, it
was supposed that I had abandoned the design. I have since frequently
examined my conduct on this occasion with sentiments of displeasure
as well as of surprise. The intense hypocrisy I made use of for the
furtherance of my project- an hypocrisy pervading every word and
action of my life for so long a period of time- could only have been
rendered tolerable to myself by the wild and burning expectation with
which I looked forward to the fulfilment of my long-cherished visions
of travel.

In pursuance of my scheme of deception, I was necessarily obliged
to leave much to the management of Augustus, who was employed for the
greater part of every day on board the Grampus, attending to some
arrangements for his father in the cabin and cabin hold. At night,
however, we were sure to have a conference and talk over our hopes.
After nearly a month passed in this manner, without our hitting upon
any plan we thought likely to succeed, he told me at last that he had
determined upon everything necessary. I had a relation living in New
Bedford, a Mr. Ross, at whose house I was in the habit of spending
occasionally two or three weeks at a time. The brig was to sail about
the middle of June (June, 1827), and it was agreed that, a day or two
before her putting to sea, my father was to receive a note, as usual,
from Mr. Ross, asking me to come over and spend a fortnight with
Robert and Emmet (his sons). Augustus charged himself with the
inditing of this note and getting it delivered. Having set out as
supposed, for New Bedford, I was then to report myself to my
companion, who would contrive a hiding-place for me in the Grampus.
This hiding-place, he assured me, would be rendered sufficiently
comfortable for a residence of many days, during which I was not to
make my appearance. When the brig had proceeded so far on her course
as to make any turning back a matter out of question, I should then,
he said, be formally installed in all the comforts of the cabin; and
as to his father, he would only laugh heartily at the joke. Vessels
enough would be met with by which a letter might be sent home
explaining the adventure to my parents.

The middle of June at length arrived, and every thing had been
matured. The note was written and delivered, and on a Monday morning
I left the house for the New Bedford packet, as supposed. I went,
however, straight to Augustus, who was waiting for me at the corner
of a street. It had been our original plan that I should keep out of
the way until dark, and then slip on board the brig; but, as there
was now a thick fog in our favor, it was agreed to lose no time in
secreting me. Augustus led the way to the wharf, and I followed at a
little distance, enveloped in a thick seaman's cloak, which he had
brought with him, so that my person might not be easily recognized.
just as we turned the second corner, after passing Mr. Edmund's well,
who should appear, standing right in front of me, and looking me full
in the face, but old Mr. Peterson, my grandfather. "Why, bless my
soul, Gordon," said he, after a long pause, "why, why,- whose dirty
cloak is that you have on?" "Sir!" I replied, assuming, as well as I
could, in the exigency of the moment, an air of offended surprise,
and talking in the gruffest of all imaginable tones- "sir! you are a
sum'mat mistaken- my name, in the first place, bee'nt nothing at all
like Goddin, and I'd want you for to know better, you blackguard,
than to call my new obercoat a darty one." For my life I could hardly
refrain from screaming with laughter at the odd manner in which the
old gentleman received this handsome rebuke. He started back two or
three steps, turned first pale and then excessively red, threw up his
spectacles, then, putting them down, ran full tilt at me, with his
umbrella uplifted. He stopped short, however, in his career, as if
struck with a sudden recollection; and presently, turning round,
hobbled off down the street, shaking all the while with rage, and
muttering between his teeth: "Won't do -- new glasses -- thought it
was Gordon --d--d good-for-nothing salt water Long Tom."

After this narrow escape we proceeded with greater caution, and
arrived at our point of destination in safety. There were only one or
two of the hands on board, and these were busy forward, doing
something to the forecastle combings. Captain Barnard, we knew very
well, was engaged at Lloyd and Vredenburgh's, and would remain there
until late in the evening, so we had little to apprehend on his
account. Augustus went first up the vessel's side, and in a short
while I followed him, without being noticed by the men at work. We
proceeded at once into the cabin, and found no person there. It was
fitted up in the most comfortable style- a thing somewhat unusual in
a whaling-vessel. There were four very excellent staterooms, with
wide and convenient berths. There was also a large stove, I took
notice, and a remarkably thick and valuable carpet covering the floor
of both the cabin and staterooms. The ceiling was full seven feet
high, and, in short, every thing appeared of a more roomy and
agreeable nature than I had anticipated. Augustus, however, would
allow me but little time for observation, insisting upon the
necessity of my concealing myself as soon as possible. He led the way
into his own stateroom, which was on the starboard side of the brig,
and next to the bulkheads. Upon entering, he closed the door and
bolted it. I thought I had never seen a nicer little room than the
one in which I now found myself. It was about ten feet long, and had
only one berth, which, as I said before, was wide and convenient. In
that portion of the closet nearest the bulkheads there was a space of
four feet square, containing a table, a chair, and a set of hanging
shelves full of books, chiefly books of voyages and travels. There
were many other little comforts in the room, among which I ought not
to forget a kind of safe or refrigerator, in which Augustus pointed
out to me a host of delicacies, both in the eating and drinking

He now pressed with his knuckles upon a certain spot of the
carpet in one corner of the space just mentioned, letting me know
that a portion of the flooring, about sixteen inches square, had been
neatly cut out and again adjusted. As he pressed, this portion rose
up at one end sufficiently to allow the passage of his finger
beneath. In this manner he raised the mouth of the trap (to which the
carpet was still fastened by tacks), and I found that it led into the
after hold. He next lit a small taper by means of a phosphorous
match, and, placing the light in a dark lantern, descended with it
through the opening, bidding me follow. I did so, and he then pulled
the cover upon the hole, by means of a nail driven into the under
side--the carpet, of course, resuming its original position on the
floor of the stateroom, and all traces of the aperture being

The taper gave out so feeble a ray that it was with the greatest
difficulty I could grope my way through the confused mass of lumber
among which I now found myself. By degrees, however, my eyes became
accustomed to the gloom, and I proceeded with less trouble, holding
on to the skirts of my friend's coat. He brought me, at length, after
creeping and winding through innumerable narrow passages, to an
iron-bound box, such as is used sometimes for packing fine
earthenware. It was nearly four feet high, and full six long, but
very narrow. Two large empty oil-casks lay on the top of it, and
above these, again, a vast quantity of straw matting, piled up as
high as the floor of the cabin. In every other direction around was
wedged as closely as possible, even up to the ceiling, a complete
chaos of almost every species of ship-furniture, together with a
heterogeneous medley of crates, hampers, barrels, and bales, so that
it seemed a matter no less than miraculous that we had discovered any
passage at all to the box. I afterward found that Augustus had
purposely arranged the stowage in this hold with a view to affording
me a thorough concealment, having had only one assistant in the
labour, a man not going out in the brig.

My companion now showed me that one of the ends of the box could
be removed at pleasure. He slipped it aside and displayed the
interior, at which I was excessively amused. A mattress from one of
the cabin berths covered the whole of its bottom, and it contained
almost every article of mere comfort which could be crowded into so
small a space, allowing me, at the same time, sufficient room for my
accommodation, either in a sitting position or lying at full length.
Among other things, there were some books, pen, ink, and paper, three
blankets, a large jug full of water, a keg of sea-biscuit, three or
four immense Bologna sausages, an enormous ham, a cold leg of roast
mutton, and half a dozen bottles of cordials and liqueurs. I
proceeded immediately to take possession of my little apartment, and
this with feelings of higher satisfaction, I am sure, than any
monarch ever experienced upon entering a new palace. Augustus now
pointed out to me the method of fastening the open end of the box,
and then, holding the taper close to the deck, showed me a piece of
dark whipcord lying along it. This, he said, extended from my
hiding-place throughout an the necessary windings among the lumber,
to a nail which was driven into the deck of the hold, immediately
beneath the trap-door leading into his stateroom. By means of this
cord I should be enabled readily to trace my way out without his
guidance, provided any unlooked-for accident should render such a
step necessary. He now took his departure, leaving with me the
lantern, together with a copious supply of tapers and phosphorous,
and promising to pay me a visit as often as he could contrive to do
so without observation. This was on the seventeenth of June.

I remained three days and nights (as nearly as I could guess) in
my hiding-place without getting out of it at all, except twice for
the purpose of stretching my limbs by standing erect between two
crates just opposite the opening. During the whole period I saw
nothing of Augustus; but this occasioned me little uneasiness, as I
knew the brig was expected to put to sea every hour, and in the
bustle he would not easily find opportunities of coming down to me.
At length I heard the trap open and shut, and presently he called in
a low voice, asking if all was well, and if there was any thing I
wanted. "Nothing," I replied; "I am as comfortable as can be; when
will the brig sail?" "She will be under weigh in less than half an
hour," he answered. "I came to let you know, and for fear you should
be uneasy at my absence. I shall not have a chance of coming down
again for some time- perhaps for three or four days more. All is
going on right aboveboard. After I go up and close the trap, do you
creep along by the whipcord to where the nail is driven in. You will
find my watch there -- it may be useful to you, as you have no
daylight to keep time by. I suppose you can't tell how long you have
been buried- only three days- this is the twentieth. I would bring
the watch to your box, but am afraid of being missed." With this he
went up.

In about an hour after he had gone I distinctly felt the brig in
motion, and congratulated myself upon having at length fairly
commenced a voyage. Satisfied with this idea, I determined to make my
mind as easy as possible, and await the course of events until I
should be permitted to exchange the box for the more roomy, although
hardly more comfortable, accommodations of the cabin. My first care
was to get the watch. Leaving the taper burning, I groped along in
the dark, following the cord through windings innumerable, in some of
which I discovered that, after toiling a long distance, I was brought
back within a foot or two of a former position. At length I reached
the nail, and securing the object of my journey, returned with it in
safety. I now looked over the books which had been so thoughtfully
provided, and selected the expedition of Lewis and Clarke to the
mouth of the Columbia. With this I amused myself for some time, when,
growing sleepy, I extinguished the light with great care, and soon
fell into a sound slumber.

Upon awakening I felt strangely confused in mind, and some time
elapsed before I could bring to recollection all the various
circumstances of my situation. By degrees, however, I remembered all.
Striking a light, I looked at the watch; but it was run down, and
there were, consequently, no means of determining how long I slept.
My limbs were greatly cramped, and I was forced to relieve them by
standing between the crates. Presently feeling an almost ravenous
appetite, I bethought myself of the cold mutton, some of which I had
eaten just before going to sleep, and found excellent. What was my
astonishment in discovering it to be in a state of absolute
putrefaction! This circumstance occasioned me great disquietude; for,
connecting it with the disorder of mind I experienced upon awakening,
I began to suppose that I must have slept for an inordinately long
period of time. The close atmosphere of the hold might have had
something to do with this, and might, in the end, be productive of
the most serious results. My head ached excessively; I fancied that I
drew every breath with difficulty; and, in short, I was oppressed
with a multitude of gloomy feelings. Still I could not venture to
make any disturbance by opening the trap or otherwise, and, having
wound up the watch, contented myself as well as possible.

Throughout the whole of the next tedious twenty-four hours no
person came to my relief, and I could not help accusing Augustus of
the grossest inattention. What alarmed me chiefly was, that the water
in my jug was reduced to about half a pint, and I was suffering much
from thirst, having eaten freely of the Bologna sausages after the
loss of my mutton. I became very uneasy, and could no longer take any
interest in my books. I was overpowered, too, with a desire to sleep,
yet trembled at the thought of indulging it, lest there might exist
some pernicious influence, like that of burning charcoal, in the
confined air of the hold. In the meantime the roll of the brig told
me that we were far in the main ocean, and a dull humming sound,
which reached my ears as if from an immense distance, convinced me no
ordinary gale was blowing. I could not imagine a reason for the
absence of Augustus. We were surely far enough advanced on our voyage
to allow of my going up. Some accident might have happened to him-
but I could think of none which would account for his suffering me to
remain so long a prisoner, except, indeed, his having suddenly died
or fallen overboard, and upon this idea I could not dwell with any
degree of patience. It was possible that we had been baffled by head
winds, and were still in the near vicinity of Nantucket. This notion,
however, I was forced to abandon; for such being the case, the brig
must have frequently gone about; and I was entirely satisfied, from
her continual inclination to the larboard, that she had been sailing
all along with a steady breeze on her starboard quarter. Besides,
granting that we were still in the neighborhood of the island, why
should not Augustus have visited me and informed me of the
circumstance? Pondering in this manner upon the difficulties of my
solitary and cheerless condition, I resolved to wait yet another
twenty-four hours, when, if no relief were obtained, I would make my
way to the trap, and endeavour either to hold a parley with my
friend, or get at least a little fresh air through the opening, and a
further supply of water from the stateroom. While occupied with this
thought, however, I fell in spite of every exertion to the contrary,
into a state of profound sleep, or rather stupor. My dreams were of
the most terrific description. Every species of calamity and horror
befell me. Among other miseries I was smothered to death between huge
pillows, by demons of the most ghastly and ferocious aspect. Immense
serpents held me in their embrace, and looked earnestly in my face
with their fearfully shining eyes. Then deserts, limitless, and of
the most forlorn and awe-inspiring character, spread themselves out
before me. Immensely tall trunks of trees, gray and leafless, rose up
in endless succession as far as the eye could reach. Their roots were
concealed in wide-spreading morasses, whose dreary water lay
intensely black, still, and altogether terrible, beneath. And the
strange trees seemed endowed with a human vitality, and waving to and
fro their skeleton arms, were crying to the silent waters for mercy,
in the shrill and piercing accents of the most acute agony and
despair. The scene changed; and I stood, naked and alone, amidst the
burning sand-plains of Sahara. At my feet lay crouched a fierce lion
of the tropics. Suddenly his wild eyes opened and fell upon me. With
a conculsive bound he sprang to his feet, and laid bare his horrible
teeth. In another instant there burst from his red throat a roar like
the thunder of the firmament, and I fell impetuously to the earth.
Stifling in a paroxysm of terror, I at last found myself partially
awake. My dream, then, was not all a dream. Now, at least, I was in
possession of my senses. The paws of some huge and real monster were
pressing heavily upon my bosom -- his hot breath was in my ear- and
his white and ghastly fangs were gleaming upon me through the gloom.

Had a thousand lives hung upon the movement of a limb or the
utterance of a syllable, I could have neither stirred nor spoken. The
beast, whatever it was, retained his position without attempting any
immediate violence, while I lay in an utterly helpless, and, I
fancied, a dying condition beneath him. I felt that my powers of body
and mind were fast leaving me- in a word, that I was perishing, and
perishing of sheer fright. My brain swam -- I grew deadly sick -- my
vision failed -- even the glaring eyeballs above me grew dim. Making
a last strong effort, I at length breathed a faint ejaculation to
God, and resigned myself to die. The sound of my voice seemed to
arouse all the latent fury of the animal. He precipitated himself at
full length upon my body; but what was my astonishment, when, with a
long and low whine, he commenced licking my face and hands with the
greatest eagerness, and with the most extravagant demonstration of
affection and joy! I was bewildered, utterly lost in amazement- but I
could not forget the peculiar whine of my Newfoundland dog Tiger, and
the odd manner of his caresses I well knew. It was he. I experienced
a sudden rush of blood to my temples- a giddy and overpowering sense
of deliverance and reanimation. I rose hurriedly from the mattress
upon which I had been lying, and, throwing myself upon the neck of my
faithful follower and friend, relieved the long oppression of my
bosom in a flood of the most passionate tears.

As upon a former occasion my conceptions were in a state of the
greatest indistinctness and confusion after leaving the mattress. For
a long time I found it nearly impossible to connect any ideas; but,
by very slow degrees, my thinking faculties returned, and I again
called to memory the several incidents of my condition. For the
presence of Tiger I tried in vain to account; and after busying
myself with a thousand different conjectures respecting him, was
forced to content myself with rejoicing that he was with me to share
my dreary solitude, and render me comfort by his caresses. Most
people love their dogs -- but for Tiger I had an affection far more
ardent than common; and never, certainly, did any creature more truly
deserve it. For seven years he had been my inseparable companion, and
in a multitude of instances had given evidence of all the noble
qualities for which we value the animal. I had rescued him, when a
puppy, from the clutches of a malignant little villain in Nantucket
who was leading him, with a rope around his neck, to the water; and
the grown dog repaid the obligation, about three years afterward, by
saving me from the bludgeon of a street robber.

Getting now hold of the watch, I found, upon applying it to my
ear, that it had again run down; but at this I was not at all
surprised, being convinced, from the peculiar state of my feelings,
that I had slept, as before, for a very long period of time, how
long, it was of course impossible to say. I was burning up with
fever, and my thirst was almost intolerable. I felt about the box for
my little remaining supply of water, for I had no light, the taper
having burnt to the socket of the lantern, and the phosphorus-box not
coming readily to hand. Upon finding the jug, however, I discovered
it to be empty -- Tiger, no doubt, having been tempted to drink it,
as well as to devour the remnant of mutton, the bone of which lay,
well picked, by the opening of the box. The spoiled meat I could well
spare, but my heart sank as I thought of the water. I was feeble in
the extreme -- so much so that I shook all over, as with an ague, at
the slightest movement or exertion. To add to my troubles, the brig
was pitching and rolling with great violence, and the oil-casks which
lay upon my box were in momentary danger of falling down, so as to
block up the only way of ingress or egress. I felt, also, terrible
sufferings from sea-sickness. These considerations determined me to
make my way, at all hazards, to the trap, and obtain immediate
relief, before I should be incapacitated from doing so altogether.
Having come to this resolve, I again felt about for the
phosphorus-box and tapers. The former I found after some little
trouble; but, not discovering the tapers as soon as I had expected
(for I remembered very nearly the spot in which I had placed them), I
gave up the search for the present, and bidding Tiger lie quiet,
began at once my journey toward the trap.

In this attempt my great feebleness became more than ever
apparent. It was with the utmost difficulty I could crawl along at
all, and very frequently my limbs sank suddenly from beneath me;
when, falling prostrate on my face, I would remain for some minutes
in a state bordering on insensibility. Still I struggled forward by
slow degrees, dreading every moment that I should swoon amid the
narrow and intricate windings of the lumber, in which event I had
nothing but death to expect as the result. At length, upon making a
push forward with all the energy I could command, I struck my
forehead violently against the sharp corner of an iron-bound crate.
The accident only stunned me for a few moments; but I found, to my
inexpressible grief, that the quick and violent roll of the vessel
had thrown the crate entirely across my path, so as effectually to
block up the passage. With my utmost exertions I could not move it a
single inch from its position, it being closely wedged in among the
surrounding boxes and ship-furniture. It became necessary, therefore,
enfeebled as I was, either to leave the guidance of the whipcord and
seek out a new passage, or to climb over the obstacle, and resume the
path on the other side. The former alternative presented too many
difficulties and dangers to be thought of without a shudder. In my
present weak state of both mind and body, I should infallibly lose my
way if I attempted it, and perish miserably amid the dismal and
disgusting labyrinths of the hold. I proceeded, therefore, without
hesitation, to summon up all my remaining strength and fortitude, and
endeavour, as I best might, to clamber over the crate.

Upon standing erect, with this end in view, I found the
undertaking even a more serious task than my fears had led me to
imagine. On each side of the narrow passage arose a complete wall of
various heavy lumber, which the least blunder on my part might be the
means of bringing down upon my head; or, if this accident did not
occur, the path might be effectually blocked up against my return by
the descending mass, as it was in front by the obstacle there. The
crate itself was a long and unwieldy box, upon which no foothold
could be obtained. In vain I attempted, by every means in my power,
to reach the top, with the hope of being thus enabled to draw myself
up. Had I succeeded in reaching it, it is certain that my strength
would have proved utterly inadequate to the task of getting over, and
it was better in every respect that I failed. At length, in a
desperate effort to force the crate from its ground, I felt a strong
vibration in the side next me. I thrust my hand eagerly to the edge
of the planks, and found that a very large one was loose. With my
pocket-knife, which, luckily, I had with me, I succeeded, after great
labour, in prying it entirely off; and getting it through the
aperture, discovered, to my exceeding joy, that there were no boards
on the opposite side -- in other words, that the top was wanting, it
being the bottom through which I had forced my way. I now met with no
important difficulty in proceeding along the line until I finally
reached the nail. With a beating heart I stood erect, and with a
gentle touch pressed against the cover of the trap. It did not rise
as soon as I had expected, and I pressed it with somewhat more
determination, still dreading lest some other person than Augustus
might be in his state-room. The door, however, to my astonishment,
remained steady, and I became somewhat uneasy, for I knew that it had
formerly required but little or no effort to remove it. I pushed it
strongly -- it was nevertheless firm: with all my strength -- it
still did not give way: with rage, with fury, with despair -- it set
at defiance my utmost efforts; and it was evident, from the
unyielding nature of the resistance, that the hole had either been
discovered and effectually nailed up, or that some immense weight had
been placed upon it, which it was useless to think of removing.

My sensations were those of extreme horror and dismay. In vain I
attempted to reason on the probable cause of my being thus entombed.
I could summon up no connected chain of reflection, and, sinking on
the floor, gave way, unresistingly, to the most gloomy imaginings, in
which the dreadful deaths of thirst, famine, suffocation, and
premature interment crowded upon me as the prominent disasters to be
encountered. At length there returned to me some portion of presence
of mind. I arose, and felt with my fingers for the seams or cracks of
the aperture. Having found them, I examined them closely to ascertain
if they emitted any light from the state-room; but none was visible.
I then forced the blade of my pen-knife through them, until I met
with some hard obstacle. Scraping against it, I discovered it to be a
solid mass of iron, which, from its peculiar wavy feel as I passed
the blade along it, I concluded to be a chain-cable. The only course
now left me was to retrace my way to the box, and there either yield
to my sad fate, or try so to tranquilize my mind as to admit of my
arranging some plan of escape. I immediately set about the attempt,
and succeeded, after innumerable difficulties, in getting back. As I
sank, utterly exhausted, upon the mattress, Tiger threw himself at
full length by my side, and seemed as if desirous, by his caresses,
of consoling me in my troubles, and urging me to bear them with

The singularity of his behavior at length forcibly arrested my
attention. After licking my face and hands for some minutes, he would
suddenly cease doing so, and utter a low whine. Upon reaching out my
hand toward him, I then invariably found him lying on his back, with
his paws uplifted. This conduct, so frequently repeated, appeared
strange, and I could in no manner account for it. As the dog seemed
distressed, I concluded that he had received some injury; and, taking
his paws in my hands, I examined them one by one, but found no sign
of any hurt. I then supposed him hungry, and gave him a large piece
of ham, which he devoured with avidity -- afterward, however,
resuming his extraordinary manoeuvres. I now imagined that he was
suffering, like myself, the torments of thirst, and was about
adopting this conclusion as the true one, when the idea occurred to
me that I had as yet only examined his paws, and that there might
possibly be a wound upon some portion of his body or head. The latter
I felt carefully over, but found nothing. On passing my hand,
however, along his back, I perceived a slight erection of the hair
extending completely across it. Probing this with my finger, I
discovered a string, and tracing it up, found that it encircled the
whole body. Upon a closer scrutiny, I came across a small slip of
what had the feeling of letter paper, through which the string had
been fastened in such a manner as to bring it immediately beneath the
left shoulder of the animal.

~~~ End of Text of Chapter 2 ~~~


THE thought instantly occurred to me that the paper was a note
from Augustus, and that some unaccountable accident having happened
to prevent his relieving me from my dungeon, he had devised this
method of acquainting me with the true state of affairs. Trembling
with eagerness, I now commenced another search for my phosphorus
matches and tapers. I had a confused recollection of having put them
carefully away just before falling asleep; and, indeed, previously to
my last journey to the trap, I had been able to remember the exact
spot where I had deposited them. But now I endeavored in vain to call
it to mind, and busied myself for a full hour in a fruitless and
vexatious search for the missing articles; never, surely, was there a
more tantalizing state of anxiety and suspense. At length, while
groping about, with my head close to the ballast, near the opening of
the box, and outside of it, I perceived a faint glimmering of light
in the direction of the steerage. Greatly surprised, I endeavored to
make my way toward it, as it appeared to be but a few feet from my
position. Scarcely had I moved with this intention, when I lost sight
of the glimmer entirely, and, before I could bring it into view
again, was obliged to feel along by the box until I had exactly
resumed my original situation. Now, moving my head with caution to
and fro, I found that, by proceeding slowly, with great care, in an
opposite direction to that in which I had at first started, I was
enabled to draw near the light, still keeping it in view. Presently I
came directly upon it (having squeezed my way through innumerable
narrow windings), and found that it proceeded from some fragments of
my matches lying in an empty barrel turned upon its side. I was
wondering how they came in such a place, when my hand fell upon two
or three pieces of taper wax, which had been evidently mumbled by the
dog. I concluded at once that he had devoured the whole of my supply
of candles, and I felt hopeless of being ever able to read the note
of Augustus. The small remnants of the wax were so mashed up among
other rubbish in the barrel, that I despaired of deriving any service
from them, and left them as they were. The phosphorus, of which there
was only a speck or two, I gathered up as well as I could, and
returned with it, after much difficulty, to my box, where Tiger had
all the while remained.

What to do next I could not tell. The hold was so intensely dark
that I could not see my hand, however close I would hold it to my
face. The white slip of paper could barely be discerned, and not even
that when I looked at it directly; by turning the exterior portions
of the retina toward it- that is to say, by surveying it slightly
askance, I found that it became in some measure perceptible. Thus the
gloom of my prison may be imagined, and the note of my friend, if
indeed it were a note from him, seemed only likely to throw me into
further trouble, by disquieting to no purpose my already enfeebled
and agitated mind. In vain I revolved in my brain a multitude of
absurd expedients for procuring light- such expedients precisely as a
man in the perturbed sleep occasioned by opium would be apt to fall
upon for a similar purpose- each and all of which appear by turns to
the dreamer the most reasonable and the most preposterous of
conceptions, just as the reasoning or imaginative faculties flicker,
alternately, one above the other. At last an idea occurred to me
which seemed rational, and which gave me cause to wonder, very
justly, that I had not entertained it before. I placed the slip of
paper on the back of a book, and, collecting the fragments of the
phosphorus matches which I had brought from the barrel, laid them
together upon the paper. I then, with the palm of my hand, rubbed the
whole over quickly, yet steadily. A clear light diffused itself
immediately throughout the whole surface; and had there been any
writing upon it, I should not have experienced the least difficulty,
I am sure, in reading it. Not a syllable was there, however- nothing
but a dreary and unsatisfactory blank; the illumination died away in
a few seconds, and my heart died away within me as it went.

I have before stated more than once that my intellect, for some
period prior to this, had been in a condition nearly bordering on
idiocy. There were, to be sure, momentary intervals of perfect
sanity, and, now and then, even of energy; but these were few. It
must be remembered that I had been, for many days certainly, inhaling
the almost pestilential atmosphere of a close hold in a whaling
vessel, and for a long portion of that time but scantily supplied
with water. For the last fourteen or fifteen hours I had none- nor
had I slept during that time. Salt provisions of the most exciting
kind had been my chief, and, indeed, since the loss of the mutton, my
only supply of food, with the exception of the sea-biscuit; and these
latter were utterly useless to me, as they were too dry and hard to
be swallowed in the swollen and parched condition of my throat. I was
now in a high state of fever, and in every respect exceedingly ill.
This will account for the fact that many miserable hours of
despondency elapsed after my last adventure with the phosphorus,
before the thought suggested itself that I had examined only one side
of the paper. I shall not attempt to describe my feelings of rage
(for I believe I was more angry than any thing else) when the
egregious oversight I had committed flashed suddenly upon my
perception. The blunder itself would have been unimportant, had not
my own folly and impetuosity rendered it otherwise- in my
disappointment at not finding some words upon the slip, I had
childishly torn it in pieces and thrown it away, it was impossible to
say where.

From the worst part of this dilemma I was relieved by the
sagacity of Tiger. Having got, after a long search, a small piece of
the note, I put it to the dog's nose, and endeavored to make him
understand that he must bring me the rest of it. To my astonishment,
(for I had taught him none of the usual tricks for which his breed
are famous,) he seemed to enter at once into my meaning, and,
rummaging about for a few moments, soon found another considerable
portion. Bringing me this, he paused awhile, and, rubbing his nose
against my hand, appeared to be waiting for my approval of what he
had done. I patted him on the head, when he immediately made off
again. It was now some minutes before he came back- but when he did
come, he brought with him a large slip, which proved to be all the
paper missing- it having been torn, it seems, only into three pieces.
Luckily, I had no trouble in finding what few fragments of the
phosphorus were left- being guided by the indistinct glow one or two
of the particles still emitted. My difficulties had taught me the
necessity of caution, and I now took time to reflect upon what I was
about to do. It was very probable, I considered, that some words were
written upon that side of the paper which had not been examined- but
which side was that? Fitting the pieces together gave me no clew in
this respect, although it assured me that the words (if there were
any) would be found all on one side, and connected in a proper
manner, as written. There was the greater necessity of ascertaining
the point in question beyond a doubt, as the phosphorus remaining
would be altogether insufficient for a third attempt, should I fail
in the one I was now about to make. I placed the paper on a book as
before, and sat for some minutes thoughtfully revolving the matter
over in my mind. At last I thought it barely possible that the
written side might have some unevenness on its surface, which a
delicate sense of feeling might enable me to detect. I determined to
make the experiment and passed my finger very carefully over the side
which first presented itself. Nothing, however, was perceptible, and
I turned the paper, adjusting it on the book. I now again carried my
forefinger cautiously along, when I was aware of an exceedingly
slight, but still discernable glow, which followed as it proceeded.
This, I knew, must arise from some very minute remaining particles of
the phosphorus with which I had covered the paper in my previous
attempt. The other, or under side, then, was that on which lay the
writing, if writing there should finally prove to be. Again I turned
the note, and went to work as I had previously done. Having rubbed in
the phosphorus, a brilliancy ensued as before- but this time several
lines of MS. in a large hand, and apparently in red ink, became
distinctly visible. The glimmer, although sufficiently bright, was
but momentary. Still, had I not been too greatly excited, there would
have been ample time enough for me to peruse the whole three
sentences before me- for I saw there were three. In my anxiety,
however, to read all at once, I succeeded only in reading the seven
concluding words, which thus appeared- "blood- your life depends upon
lying close."

Had I been able to ascertain the entire contents of the note-the
full meaning of the admonition which my friend had thus attempted to
convey, that admonition, even although it should have revealed a
story of disaster the most unspeakable, could not, I am firmly
convinced, have imbued my mind with one tithe of the harrowing and
yet indefinable horror with which I was inspired by the fragmentary
warning thus received. And "blood," too, that word of all words- so
rife at all times with mystery, and suffering, and terror- how trebly
full of import did it now appear- how chilly and heavily (disjointed,
as it thus was, from any foregoing words to qualify or render it
distinct) did its vague syllables fall, amid the deep gloom of my
prison, into the innermost recesses of my soul!

Augustus had, undoubtedly, good reasons for wishing me to remain
concealed, and I formed a thousand surmises as to what they could be-
but I could think of nothing affording a satisfactory solution of the
mystery. Just after returning from my last journey to the trap, and
before my attention had been otherwise directed by the singular
conduct of Tiger, I had come to the resolution of making myself heard
at all events by those on board, or, if I could not succeed in this
directly, of trying to cut my way through the orlop deck. The half
certainty which I felt of being able to accomplish one of these two
purposes in the last emergency, had given me courage (which I should
not otherwise have had) to endure the evils of my situation. The few
words I had been able to read, however, had cut me off from these
final resources, and I now, for the first time, felt all the misery
of my fate. In a paroxysm of despair I threw myself again upon the
mattress, where, for about the period of a day and night, I lay in a
kind of stupor, relieved only by momentary intervals of reason and

At length I once more arose, and busied myself in reflection
upon the horrors which encompassed me. For another twenty-four hours
it was barely possible that I might exist without water- for a longer
time I could not do so. During the first portion of my imprisonment I
had made free use of the cordials with which Augustus had supplied
me, but they only served to excite fever, without in the least degree
assuaging thirst. I had now only about a gill left, and this was of a
species of strong peach liqueur at which my stomach revolted. The
sausages were entirely consumed; of the ham nothing remained but a
small piece of the skin; and all the biscuit, except a few fragments
of one, had been eaten by Tiger. To add to my troubles, I found that
my headache was increasing momentarily, and with it the species of
delirium which had distressed me more or less since my first falling
asleep. For some hours past it had been with the greatest difficulty
I could breathe at all, and now each attempt at so doing was attended
with the most depressing spasmodic action of the chest. But there was
still another and very different source of disquietude, and one,
indeed, whose harassing terrors had been the chief means of arousing
me to exertion from my stupor on the mattress. It arose from the
demeanor of the dog.

I first observed an alteration in his conduct while rubbing in
the phosphorus on the paper in my last attempt. As I rubbed, he ran
his nose against my hand with a slight snarl; but I was too greatly
excited at the time to pay much attention to the circumstance. Soon
afterward, it will be remembered, I threw myself on the mattress, and
fell into a species of lethargy. Presently I became aware of a
singular hissing sound close at my ears, and discovered it to proceed
from Tiger, who was panting and wheezing in a state of the greatest
apparent excitement, his eyeballs flashing fiercely through the
gloom. I spoke to him, when he replied with a low growl, and then
remained quiet. Presently I relapsed into my stupor, from which I was
again awakened in a similar manner. This was repeated three or four
times, until finally his behaviour inspired me with so great a degree
of fear, that I became fully aroused. He was now lying close by the
door of the box, snarling fearfully, although in a kind of undertone,
and grinding his teeth as if strongly convulsed. I had no doubt
whatever that the want of water or the confined atmosphere of the
hold had driven him mad, and I was at a loss what course to pursue. I
could not endure the thought of killing him, yet it seemed absolutely
necessary for my own safety. I could distinctly perceive his eyes
fastened upon me with an expression of the most deadly animosity, and
I expected every instant that he would attack me. At last I could
endure my terrible situation no longer, and determined to make my way
from the box at all hazards, and dispatch him, if his opposition
should render it necessary for me to do so. To get out, I had to pass
directly over his body, and he already seemed to anticipate my
design--missing himself upon his fore-legs (as I perceived by the
altered position of his eyes), and displayed the whole of his white
fangs, which were easily discernible. I took the remains of the
ham-skin, and the bottle containing the liqueur, and secured them
about my person, together with a large carving-knife which Augustus
had left me- then, folding my cloak around me as closely as possible,
I made a movement toward the mouth of the box. No sooner did I do
this, than the dog sprang with a loud growl toward my throat. The
whole weight of his body struck me on the right shoulder, and I fell
violently to the left, while the enraged animal passed entirely over
me. I had fallen upon my knees, with my head buried among the
blankets, and these protected me from a second furious assault,
during which I felt the sharp teeth pressing vigorously upon the
woollen which enveloped my neck- yet, luckily, without being able to
penetrate all the folds. I was now beneath the dog, and a few moments
would place me completely in his power. Despair gave me strength, and
I rose boldly up, shaking him from me by main force, and dragging
with me the blankets from the mattress. These I now threw over him,
and before he could extricate himself, I had got through the door and
closed it effectually against his pursuit. In this struggle, however,
I had been forced to drop the morsel of ham-skin, and I now found my
whole stock of provisions reduced to a single gill of liqueur. As
this reflection crossed my mind, I felt myself actuated by one of
those fits of perverseness which might be supposed to influence a
spoiled child in similar circumstances, and, raising the bottle to my
lips, I drained it to the last drop, and dashed it furiously upon the

Scarcely had the echo of the crash died away, when I heard my
name pronounced in an eager but subdued voice, issuing from the
direction of the steerage. So unexpected was anything of the kind,
and so intense was the emotion excited within me by the sound, that I
endeavoured in vain to reply. My powers of speech totally failed, and
in an agony of terror lest my friend should conclude me dead, and
return without attempting to reach me, I stood up between the crates
near the door of the box, trembling convulsively, and gasping and
struggling for utterance. Had a thousand words depended upon a
syllable, I could not have spoken it. There was a slight movement now
audible among the lumber somewhere forward of my station. The sound
presently grew less distinct, then again less so, and still less.
Shall I ever forget my feelings at this moment? He was going- my
friend, my companion, from whom I had a right to expect so much- he
was going- he would abandon me- he was gone! He would leave me to
perish miserably, to expire in the most horrible and loathesome of
dungeons- and one word, one little syllable, would save me- yet that
single syllable I could not utter! I felt, I am sure, more than ten
thousand times the agonies of death itself. My brain reeled, and I
fell, deadly sick, against the end of the box.

As I fell the carving-knife was shaken out from the waist-band
of my pantaloons, and dropped with a rattling sound to the floor.
Never did any strain of the richest melody come so sweetly to my
ears! With the intensest anxiety I listened to ascertain the effect
of the noise upon Augustus- for I knew that the person who called my
name could be no one but himself. All was silent for some moments. At
length I again heard the word "Arthur!" repeated in a low tone, and
one full of hesitation. Reviving hope loosened at once my powers of
speech, and I now screamed at the top of my voice, "Augustus! oh,
Augustus!" "Hush! for God's sake be silent!" he replied, in a voice
trembling with agitation; "I will be with you immediately- as soon as
I can make my way through the hold." For a long time I heard him
moving among the lumber, and every moment seemed to me an age. At
length I felt his hand upon my shoulder, and he placed, at the same
moment, a bottle of water to my lips. Those only who have been
suddenly redeemed from the jaws of the tomb, or who have known the
insufferable torments of thirst under circumstances as aggravated as
those which encompassed me in my dreary prison, can form any idea of
the unutterable transports which that one long draught of the richest
of all physical luxuries afforded.

When I had in some degree satisfied my thirst, Augustus produced
from his pocket three or four boiled potatoes, which I devoured with
the greatest avidity. He had brought with him a light in a dark
lantern, and the grateful rays afforded me scarcely less comfort than
the food and drink. But I was impatient to learn the cause of his
protracted absence, and he proceeded to recount what had happened on
board during my incarceration.

~~~ End of Text of Chapter 3 ~~~


THE brig put to sea, as I had supposed, in about an hour after he
had left the watch. This was on the twentieth of June. It will be
remembered that I had then been in the hold for three days; and,
during this period, there was so constant a bustle on board, and so
much running to and fro, especially in the cabin and staterooms, that
he had had no chance of visiting me without the risk of having the
secret of the trap discovered. When at length he did come, I had
assured him that I was doing as well as possible; and, therefore, for
the two next days be felt but little uneasiness on my account- still,
however, watching an opportunity of going down. It was not until the
fourth day that he found one. Several times during this interval he
had made up his mind to let his father know of the adventure, and
have me come up at once; but we were still within reaching distance
of Nantucket, and it was doubtful, from some expressions which had
escaped Captain Barnard, whether he would not immediately put back if
he discovered me to be on board. Besides, upon thinking the matter
over, Augustus, so he told me, could not imagine that I was in
immediate want, or that I would hesitate, in such case, to make
myself heard at the trap. When, therefore, he considered everything
he concluded to let me stay until he could meet with an opportunity
of visiting me unobserved. This, as I said before, did not occur
until the fourth day after his bringing me the watch, and the seventh
since I had first entered the hold. He then went down without taking
with him any water or provisions, intending in the first place merely
to call my attention, and get me to come from the box to the trap,-
when he would go up to the stateroom and thence hand me down a supply.
When he descended for this purpose he found that I was asleep,
for it seems that I was snoring very loudly. From all the
calculations I can make on the subject, this must have been the
slumber into which I fell just after my return from the trap with the
watch, and which, consequently, must have lasted for more than three
entire days and nights at the very least. Latterly, I have had reason
both from my own experience and the assurance of others, to be
acquainted with the strong soporific effects of the stench arising
from old fish-oil when closely confined; and when I think of the
condition of the hold in which I was imprisoned, and the long period
during which the brig had been used as a whaling vessel, I am more
inclined to wonder that I awoke at all, after once falling asleep,
than that I should have slept uninterruptedly for the period
specified above.

Augustus called to me at first in a low voice and without
closing the trap- but I made him no reply. He then shut the trap, and
spoke to me in a louder, and finally in a very loud tone- still I
continued to snore. He was now at a loss what to do. It would take
him some time to make his way through the lumber to my box, and in
the meanwhile his absence would be noticed by Captain Barnard, who
had occasion for his services every minute, in arranging and copying
papers connected with the business of the voyage. He determined,
therefore, upon reflection, to ascend, and await another opportunity
of visiting me. He was the more easily induced to this resolve, as my
slumber appeared to be of the most tranquil nature, and he could not
suppose that I had undergone any inconvenience from my incarceration.
He had just made up his mind on these points when his attention was
arrested by an unusual bustle, the sound of which proceeded
apparently from the cabin. He sprang through the trap as quickly as
possible, closed it, and threw open the door of his stateroom. No
sooner had he put his foot over the threshold than a pistol flashed
in his face, and he was knocked down, at the same moment, by a blow
from a handspike.

A strong hand held him on the cabin floor, with a tight grasp
upon his throat; still he was able to see what was going on around
him. His father was tied hand and foot, and lying along the steps of
the companion-way, with his head down, and a deep wound in the
forehead, from which the blood was flowing in a continued stream. He
spoke not a word, and was apparently dying. Over him stood the first
mate, eyeing him with an expression of fiendish derision, and
deliberately searching his pockets, from which he presently drew
forth a large wallet and a chronometer. Seven of the crew (among whom
was the cook, a negro) were rummaging the staterooms on the larboard
for arms, where they soon equipped themselves with muskets and
ammunition. Besides Augustus and Captain Barnard, there were nine men
altogether in the cabin, and these among the most ruffianly of the
brig's company. The villains now went upon deck, taking my friend
with them after having secured his arms behind his back. They
proceeded straight to the forecastle, which was fastened down- two of
the mutineers standing by it with axes- two also at the main hatch.
The mate called out in a loud voice: "Do you hear there below? tumble
up with you, one by one- now, mark that- and no grumbling!" It was
some minutes before any one appeared:- at last an Englishman, who had
shipped as a raw hand, came up, weeping piteously, and entreating the
mate, in the most humble manner, to spare his life. The only reply
was a blow on the forehead from an axe. The poor fellow fell to the
deck without a groan, and the black cook lifted him up in his arms as
he would a child, and tossed him deliberately into the sea. Hearing
the blow and the plunge of the body, the men below could now be
induced to venture on deck neither by threats nor promises, until a
proposition was made to smoke them out. A general rush then ensued,
and for a moment it seemed possible that the brig might be retaken.
The mutineers, however, succeeded at last in closing the forecastle
effectually before more than six of their opponents could get up.
These six, finding themselves so greatly outnumbered and without
arms, submitted after a brief struggle. The mate gave them fair
words- no doubt with a view of inducing those below to yield, for
they had no difficulty in hearing all that was said on deck. The
result proved his sagacity, no less than his diabolical villainy. All
in the forecastle presently signified their intention of submitting,
and, ascending one by one, were pinioned and then thrown on their
backs, together with the first six- there being in all, of the crew
who were not concerned in the mutiny, twenty-seven.

A scene of the most horrible butchery ensued. The bound seamen
were dragged to the gangway. Here the cook stood with an axe,
striking each victim on the head as he was forced over the side of
the vessel by the other mutineers. In this manner twenty-two
perished, and Augustus had given himself up for lost, expecting every
moment his own turn to come next. But it seemed that the villains
were now either weary, or in some measure disgusted with their bloody
labour; for the four remaining prisoners, together with my friend,
who had been thrown on the deck with the rest, were respited while
the mate sent below for rum, and the whole murderous party held a
drunken carouse, which lasted until sunset. They now fell to
disputing in regard to the fate of the survivors, who lay not more
than four paces off, and could distinguish every word said. Upon some
of the mutineers the liquor appeared to have a softening effect, for
several voices were heard in favor of releasing the captives
altogether, on condition of joining the mutiny and sharing the
profits. The black cook, however (who in all respects was a perfect
demon, and who seemed to exert as much influence, if not more, than
the mate himself), would listen to no proposition of the kind, and
rose repeatedly for the purpose of resuming his work at the gangway.
Fortunately he was so far overcome by intoxication as to be easily
restrained by the less bloodthirsty of the party, among whom was a
line-manager, who went by the name of Dirk Peters. This man was the
son of an Indian squaw of the tribe of Upsarokas, who live among the
fastnesses of the Black Hills, near the source of the Missouri. His
father was a fur-trader, I believe, or at least connected in some
manner with the Indian trading-posts on Lewis river. Peter himself
was one of the most ferocious-looking men I ever beheld. He was short
in stature, not more than four feet eight inches high, but his limbs
were of Herculean mould. His hands, especially, were so enormously
thick and broad as hardly to retain a human shape. His arms, as well
as legs, were bowed in the most singular manner, and appeared to
possess no flexibility whatever. His head was equally deformed, being
of immense size, with an indentation on the crown (like that on the
head of most negroes), and entirely bald. To conceal this latter
deficiency, which did not proceed from old age, he usually wore a wig
formed of any hair-like material which presented itself- occasionally
the skin of a Spanish dog or American grizzly bear. At the time
spoken of, he had on a portion of one of these bearskins; and it
added no little to the natural ferocity of his countenance, which
betook of the Upsaroka character. The mouth extended nearly from ear
to ear, the lips were thin, and seemed, like some other portions of
his frame, to be devoid of natural pliancy, so that the ruling
expression never varied under the influence of any emotion whatever.
This ruling expression may be conceived when it is considered that
the teeth were exceedingly long and protruding, and never even
partially covered, in any instance, by the lips. To pass this man
with a casual glance, one might imagine him to be convulsed with
laughter, but a second look would induce a shuddering acknowledgment,
that if such an expression were indicative of merriment, the
merriment must be that of a demon. Of this singular being many
anecdotes were prevalent among the seafaring men of Nantucket. These
anecdotes went to prove his prodigious strength when under
excitement, and some of them had given rise to a doubt of his sanity.
But on board the Grampus, it seems, he was regarded, at the time of
the mutiny, with feelings more of derision than of anything else. I
have been thus particular in speaking of Dirk Peters, because,
ferocious as he appeared, he proved the main instrument in preserving
the life of Augustus, and because I shall have frequent occasion to
mention him hereafter in the course of my narrative- a narrative, let
me here say, which, in its latter portions, will be found to include
incidents of a nature so entirely out of the range of human
experience, and for this reason so far beyond the limits of human
credulity, that I proceed in utter hopelessness of obtaining credence
for all that I shall tell, yet confidently trusting in time and
progressing science to verify some of the most important and most
improbable of my statements.

After much indecision and two or three violent quarrels, it was
determined at last that all the prisoners (with the exception of
Augustus, whom Peters insisted in a jocular manner upon keeping as
his clerk) should be set adrift in one of the smallest whaleboats.
The mate went down into the cabin to see if Captain Barnard was still
living- for, it will be remembered, he was left below when the
mutineers came up. Presently the two made their appearance, the
captain pale as death, but somewhat recovered from the effects of his
wound. He spoke to the men in a voice hardly articulate, entreated
them not to set him adrift, but to return to their duty, and
promising to land them wherever they chose, and to take no steps for
bringing them to justice. He might as well have spoken to the winds.
Two of the ruffians seized him by the arms and hurled him over the
brig's side into the boat, which had been lowered while the mate went
below. The four men who were lying on the deck were then untied and
ordered to follow, which they did without attempting any resistance-
Augustus being still left in his painful position, although he
struggled and prayed only for the poor satisfaction of being
permitted to bid his father farewell. A handful of sea-biscuit and a
jug of water were now handed down; but neither mast, sail, oar, nor
compass. The boat was towed astern for a few minutes, during which
the mutineers held another consultation- it was then finally cut
adrift. By this time night had come on- there were neither moon nor
stars visible- and a short and ugly sea was running, although there
was no great deal of wind. The boat was instantly out of sight, and
little hope could be entertained for the unfortunate sufferers who
were in it. This event happened, however, in latitude 35 degrees 30'
north, longitude 61 degrees 20' west, and consequently at no very
great distance from the Bermuda Islands. Augustus therefore
endeavored to console himself with the idea that the boat might
either succeed in reaching the land, or come sufficiently near to be
fallen in with by vessels off the coast.

All sail was now put upon the brig, and she continued her
original course to the southwest- the mutineers being bent upon some
piratical expedition, in which, from all that could be understood, a
ship was to be intercepted on her way from the Cape Verd Islands to
Porto Rico. No attention was paid to Augustus, who was untied and
suffered to go about anywhere forward of the cabin companion-way.
Dirk Peters treated him with some degree of kindness, and on one
occasion saved him from the brutality of the cook. His situation was
still one of the most precarious, as the men were continually
intoxicated, and there was no relying upon their continued good-humor
or carelessness in regard to himself. His anxiety on my account be
represented, however, as the most distressing result of his
condition; and, indeed, I had never reason to doubt the sincerity of
his friendship. More than once he had resolved to acquaint the
mutineers with the secret of my being on board, but was restrained
from so doing, partly through recollection of the atrocities he had
already beheld, and partly through a hope of being able soon to bring
me relief. For the latter purpose he was constantly on the watch;
but, in spite of the most constant vigilance, three days elapsed
after the boat was cut adrift before any chance occurred. At length,
on the night of the third day, there came on a heavy blow from the
eastward, and all hands were called up to take in sail. During the
confusion which ensued, he made his way below unobserved, and into
the stateroom. What was his grief and horror in discovering that the
latter had been rendered a place of deposit for a variety of
sea-stores and ship-furniture, and that several fathoms of old
chain-cable, which had been stowed away beneath the companion-ladder,
had been dragged thence to make room for a chest, and were now lying
immediately upon the trap! To remove it without discovery was
impossible, and he returned on deck as quickly as he could. As be
came up, the mate seized him by the throat, and demanding what he had
been doing in the cabin, was about flinging him over the larboard
bulwark, when his life was again preserved through the interference
of Dirk Peters. Augustus was now put in handcuffs (of which there
were several pairs on board), and his feet lashed tightly together.
He was then taken into the steerage, and thrown into a lower berth
next to the forecastle bulkheads, with the assurance that he should
never put his foot on deck again "until the brig was no longer a
brig." This was the expression of the cook, who threw him into the
berth- it is hardly possible to say what precise meaning intended by
the phrase. The whole affair, however, proved the ultimate means of
my relief, as will presently appear.

~~~ End of Text of Chapter 4 ~~~


FOR some minutes after the cook had left the forecastle, Augustus
abandoned himself to despair, never hoping to leave the berth alive.
He now came to the resolution of acquainting the first of the men who
should come down with my situation, thinking it better to let me take
my chance with the mutineers than perish of thirst in the hold,- for
it had been ten days since I was first imprisoned, and my jug of
water was not a plentiful supply even for four. As he was thinking on
this subject, the idea came all at once into his head that it might
be possible to communicate with me by the way of the main hold. In
any other circumstances, the difficulty and hazard of the undertaking
would have prevented him from attempting it; but now he had, at all
events, little prospect of life, and consequently little to lose, he
bent his whole mind, therefore, upon the task.

His handcuffs were the first consideration. At first he saw no
method of removing them, and feared that he should thus be baffled in
the very outset; but upon a closer scrutiny he discovered that the
irons could be slipped off and on at pleasure, with very little
effort or inconvenience, merely by squeezing his hands through them,-
this species of manacle being altogether ineffectual in confining
young persons, in whom the smaller bones readily yield to pressure.
He now untied his feet, and, leaving the cord in such a manner that
it could easily be readjusted in the event of any person's coming
down, proceeded to examine the bulkhead where it joined the berth.
The partition here was of soft pine board, an inch thick, and he saw
that he should have little trouble in cutting his way through. A
voice was now heard at the forecastle companion-way, and he had just
time to put his right hand into its handcuff (the left had not been
removed) and to draw the rope in a slipknot around his ankle, when
Dirk Peters came below, followed by Tiger, who immediately leaped
into the berth and lay down. The dog had been brought on board by
Augustus, who knew my attachment to the animal, and thought it would
give me pleasure to have him with me during the voyage. He went up to
our house for him immediately after first taking me into the hold,
but did not think of mentioning the circumstance upon his bringing
the watch. Since the mutiny, Augustus had not seen him before his
appearance with Dirk Peters, and had given him up for lost, supposing
him to have been thrown overboard by some of the malignant villains
belonging to the mate's gang. It appeared afterward that he had
crawled into a hole beneath a whale-boat, from which, not having room
to turn round, he could not extricate himself. Peters at last let him
out, and, with a species of good feeling which my friend knew well
how to appreciate, had now brought him to him in the forecastle as a
companion, leaving at the same time some salt junk and potatoes, with
a can of water, he then went on deck, promising to come down with
something more to eat on the next day.

When he had gone, Augustus freed both hands from the manacles and
unfastened his feet. He then turned down the head of the mattress on
which he had been lying, and with his penknife (for the ruffians had
not thought it worth while to search him) commenced cutting
vigorously across one of the partition planks, as closely as possible
to the floor of the berth. He chose to cut here, because, if suddenly
interrupted, he would be able to conceal what had been done by
letting the head of the mattress fall into its proper position. For
the remainder of the day, however, no disturbance occurred, and by
night he had completely divided the plank. It should here be observed
that none of the crew occupied the forecastle as a sleeping-place,
living altogether in the cabin since the mutiny, drinking the wines
and feasting on the sea-stores of Captain Barnard, and giving no more
heed than was absolutely necessary to the navigation of the brig.
These circumstances proved fortunate both for myself and Augustus;
for, had matters been otherwise, he would have found it impossible to
reach me. As it was, he proceeded with confidence in his design. It
was near daybreak, however, before he completed the second division
of the board (which was about a foot above the first cut), thus
making an aperture quite large enough to admit his passage through
with facility to the main orlop deck. Having got here, he made his
way with but little trouble to the lower main hatch, although in so
doing he had to scramble over tiers of oil-casks piled nearly as high
as the upper deck, there being barely room enough left for his body.
Upon reaching the hatch he found that Tiger had followed him below,
squeezing between two rows of the casks. It was now too late,
however, to attempt getting to me before dawn, as the chief
difficulty lay in passing through the close stowage in the lower
hold. He therefore resolved to return, and wait till the next night.
With this design, he proceeded to loosen the hatch, so that he might
have as little detention as possible when he should come again. No
sooner had he loosened it than Tiger sprang eagerly to the small
opening produced, snuffed for a moment, and then uttered a long
whine, scratching at the same time, as if anxious to remove the
covering with his paws. There could be no doubt, from his behaviour,
that he was aware of my being in the hold, and Augustus thought it
possible that he would be able to get to me if he put him down. He
now hit upon the expedient of sending the note, as it was especially
desirable that I should make no attempt at forcing my way out at
least under existing circumstances, and there could be no certainty
of his getting to me himself on the morrow as he intended.
After-events proved how fortunate it was that the idea occurred to
him as it did; for, had it not been for the receipt of the note, I
should undoubtedly have fallen upon some plan, however desperate, of
alarming the crew, and both our lives would most probably have been
sacrificed in consequence.

Having concluded to write, the difficulty was now to procure the
materials for so doing. An old toothpick was soon made into a pen;
and this by means of feeling altogether, for the between-decks was as
dark as pitch. Paper enough was obtained from the back of a letter- a
duplicate of the forged letter from Mr. Ross. This had been the
original draught; but the handwriting not being sufficiently well
imitated, Augustus had written another, thrusting the first, by good
fortune, into his coat-pocket, where it was now most opportunely
discovered. Ink alone was thus wanting, and a substitute was
immediately found for this by means of a slight incision with the
pen-knife on the back of a finger just above the nail- a copious flow
of blood ensuing, as usual, from wounds in that vicinity. The note
was now written, as well as it could be in the dark and under the
circumstances. It briefly explained that a mutiny had taken place;
that Captain Barnard was set adrift; and that I might expect
immediate relief as far as provisions were concerned, but must not
venture upon making any disturbance. It concluded with these words:
"_I have scrawled this with blood- your life depends upon lying

This slip of paper being tied upon the dog, he was now put down
the hatchway, and Augustus made the best of his way back to the
forecastle, where be found no reason to believe that any of the crew
had been in his absence. To conceal the hole in the partition, he
drove his knife in just above it, and hung up a pea-jacket which he
found in the berth. His handcuffs were then replaced, and also the
rope around his ankles.

These arrangements were scarcely completed when Dirk Peters came
below, very drunk, but in excellent humour, and bringing with him my
friend's allowance of provision for the day. This consisted of a
dozen large Irish potatoes roasted, and a pitcher of water. He sat
for some time on a chest by the berth, and talked freely about the
mate and the general concerns of the brig. His demeanour was
exceedingly capricious, and even grotesque. At one time Augustus was
much alarmed by odd conduct. At last, however, he went on deck,
muttering a promise to bring his prisoner a good dinner on the
morrow. During the day two of the crew (harpooners) came down,
accompanied by the cook, all three in nearly the last stage of
intoxication. Like Peters, they made no scruple of talking
unreservedly about their plans. It appeared that they were much
divided among themselves as to their ultimate course, agreeing in no
point, except the attack on the ship from the Cape Verd Islands, with
which they were in hourly expectation of meeting. As far as could be
ascertained, the mutiny had not been brought about altogether for the
sake of booty; a private pique of the chief mate's against Captain
Barnard having been the main instigation. There now seemed to be two
principal factions among the crew- one headed by the mate, the other
by the cook. The former party were for seizing the first suitable
vessel which should present itself, and equipping it at some of the
West India Islands for a piratical cruise. The latter division,
however, which was the stronger, and included Dirk Peters among its
partisans, were bent upon pursuing the course originally laid out for
the brig into the South Pacific; there either to take whale, or act
otherwise, as circumstances should suggest. The representations of
Peters, who had frequently visited these regions, had great weight,
apparently, with the mutineers, wavering, as they were, between
half-engendered notions of profit and pleasure. He dwelt on the world
of novelty and amusement to be found among the innumerable islands of
the Pacific, on the perfect security and freedom from all restraint
to be enjoyed, but, more particularly, on the deliciousness of the
climate, on the abundant means of good living, and on the voluptuous
beauty of the women. As yet, nothing had been absolutely determined
upon; but the pictures of the hybrid line-manager were taking strong
hold upon the ardent imaginations of the seamen, and there was every
possibility that his intentions would be finally carried into effect.

The three men went away in about an hour, and no one else entered
the forecastle all day. Augustus lay quiet until nearly night. He
then freed himself from the rope and irons, and prepared for his
attempt. A bottle was found in one of the berths, and this he filled
with water from the pitcher left by Peters, storing his pockets at
the same time with cold potatoes. To his great joy he also came
across a lantern, with a small piece of tallow candle in it. This he
could light at any moment, as be had in his possession a box of
phosphorus matches. When it was quite dark, he got through the hole
in the bulkhead, having taken the precaution to arrange the
bedclothes in the berth so as to convey the idea of a person covered
up. When through, he hung up the pea-jacket on his knife, as before,
to conceal the aperture- this manoeuvre being easily effected, as he
did not readjust the piece of plank taken out until afterward. He was
now on the main orlop deck, and proceeded to make his way, as before,
between the upper deck and the oil-casks to the main hatchway. Having
reached this, he lit the piece of candle, and descended, groping with
extreme difficulty among the compact stowage of the hold. In a few
moments he became alarmed at the insufferable stench and the
closeness of the atmosphere. He could not think it possible that I
had survived my confinement for so long a period breathing so
oppressive an air. He called my name repeatedly, but I made him no
reply, and his apprehensions seemed thus to be confirmed. The brig
was rolling violently, and there was so much noise in consequence,
that it was useless to listen for any weak sound, such as those of my
breathing or snoring. He threw open the lantern, and held it as high
as possible, whenever an opportunity occurred, in order that, by
observing the light, I might, if alive, be aware that succor was
approaching. Still nothing was heard from me, and the supposition of
my death began to assume the character of certainty. He determined,
nevertheless, to force a passage, if possible, to the box, and at
least ascertain beyond a doubt the truth of his surmises. He pushed
on for some time in a most pitiable state of anxiety, until, at
length, he found the pathway utterly blocked up, and that there was
no possibility of making any farther way by the course in which he
had set out. Overcome now by his feelings, he threw himself among the
lumber in despair, and wept like a child. It was at this period that
he heard the crash occasioned by the bottle which I had thrown down.
Fortunate, indeed, was it that the incident occurred- for, upon this
incident, trivial as it appears, the thread of my destiny depended.
Many years elapsed, however, before I was aware of this fact. A
natural shame and regret for his weakness and indecision prevented
Augustus from confiding to me at once what a more intimate and
unreserved communion afterward induced him to reveal. Upon finding
his further progress in the hold impeded by obstacles which he could
not overcome, he had resolved to abandon his attempt at reaching me,
and return at once to the forecastle. Before condemning him entirely
on this head, the harassing circumstances which embarrassed him
should be taken into consideration. The night was fast wearing away,
and his absence from the forecastle might be discovered; and indeed
would necessarily be so, if be should fail to get back to the berth
by daybreak. His candle was expiring in the socket, and there would
be the greatest difficulty in retracing his way to the hatchway in
the dark. It must be allowed, too, that he had every good reason to
believe me dead; in which event no benefit could result to me from
his reaching the box, and a world of danger would be encountered to
no purpose by himself. He had repeatedly called, and I had made him
no answer. I had been now eleven days and nights with no more water
than that contained in the jug which he had left with me- a supply
which it was not at all probable I had boarded in the beginning of my
confinement, as I had every cause to expect a speedy release. The
atmosphere of the hold, too, must have appeared to him, coming from
the comparatively open air of the steerage, of a nature absolutely
poisonous, and by far more intolerable than it had seemed to me upon
my first taking up my quarters in the box- the hatchways at that time
having been constantly open for many months previous. Add to these
considerations that of the scene of bloodshed and terror so lately
witnessed by my friend; his confinement, privations, and narrow
escapes from death, together with the frail and equivocal tenure by
which he still existed- circumstances all so well calculated to
prostrate every energy of mind- and the reader will be easily
brought, as I have been, to regard his apparent falling off in
friendship and in faith with sentiments rather of sorrow than of

The crash of the bottle was distinctly heard, yet Augustus was
not sure that it proceeded from the hold. The doubt, however, was
sufficient inducement to persevere. He clambered up nearly to the
orlop deck by means of the stowage, and then, watching for a lull in
the pitchings of the vessel, he called out to me in as loud a tone as
he could command, regardless, for the moment, of being overheard by
the crew. It will be remembered that on this occasion the voice
reached me, but I was so entirely overcome by violent agitation as to
be incapable of reply. Confident, now, that his worst apprehensions
were well founded, be descended, with a view of getting back to the
forecastle without loss of time. In his haste some small boxes were
thrown down, the noise occasioned by which I heard, as will be
recollected. He had made considerable progress on his return when the
fall of the knife again caused him to hesitate. He retraced his steps
immediately, and, clambering up the stowage a second time, called out
my name, loudly as before, having watched for a lull. This time I
found voice to answer. Overjoyed at discovering me to be still alive,
he now resolved to brave every difficulty and danger in reaching me.
Having extricated himself as quickly as possible from the labyrinth
of lumber by which he was hemmed in, he at length struck into an
opening which promised better, and finally, after a series of
struggles, arrived at the box in a state of utter exhaustion.

~~~ End of Text of Chapter 5 ~~~


THE leading particulars of this narration were all that Augustus
communicated to me while we remained near the box. It was not until
afterward that he entered fully into all the details. He was
apprehensive of being missed, and I was wild with impatience to leave
my detested place of confinement. We resolved to make our way at once
to the hole in the bulkhead, near which I was to remain for the
present, while he went through to reconnoiter. To leave Tiger in the
box was what neither of us could endure to think of, yet, how to act
otherwise was the question. He now seemed to be perfectly quiet, and
we could not even distinguish the sound of his breathing upon
applying our ears closely to the box. I was convinced that he was
dead, and determined to open the door. We found him lying at full
length, apparently in a deep stupor, yet still alive. No time was to
be lost, yet I could not bring myself to abandon an animal who had
now been twice instrumental in saving my life, without some attempt
at preserving him. We therefore dragged him along with us as well as
we could, although with the greatest difficulty and fatigue;
Augustus, during part of the time, being forced to clamber over the
impediments in our way with the huge dog in his arms- a feat to which
the feebleness of my frame rendered me totally inadequate. At length
we succeeded in reaching the hole, when Augustus got through, and
Tiger was pushed in afterward. All was found to be safe, and we did
not fail to return sincere thanks to God for our deliverance from the
imminent danger we had escaped. For the present, it was agreed that I
should remain near the opening, through which my companion could
readily supply me with a part of his daily provision, and where I
could have the advantages of breathing an atmosphere comparatively

In explanation of some portions of this narrative, wherein I have
spoken of the stowage of the brig, and which may appear ambiguous to
some of my readers who may have seen a proper or regular stowage, I
must here state that the manner in which this most important duty had
been per formed on board the Grampus was a most shameful piece of
neglect on the part of Captain Barnard, who was by no means as
careful or as experienced a seaman as the hazardous nature of the
service on which he was employed would seem necessarily to demand. A
proper stowage cannot be accomplished in a careless manner, and many
most disastrous accidents, even within the limits of my own
experience, have arisen from neglect or ignorance in this particular.
Coasting vessels, in the frequent hurry and bustle attendant upon
taking in or discharging cargo, are the most liable to mishap from
the want of a proper attention to stowage. The great point is to
allow no possibility of the cargo or ballast shifting position even
in the most violent rollings of the vessel. With this end, great
attention must be paid, not only to the bulk taken in, but to the
nature of the bulk, and whether there be a full or only a partial
cargo. In most kinds of freight the stowage is accomplished by means
of a screw. Thus, in a load of tobacco or flour, the whole is screwed
so tightly into the hold of the vessel that the barrels or hogsheads,
upon discharging, are found to be completely flattened, and take some
time to regain their original shape. This screwing, however, is
resorted to principally with a view of obtaining more room in the
hold; for in a full load of any such commodities as flour or tobacco,
there can be no danger of any shifting whatever, at least none from
which inconvenience can result. There have been instances, indeed,
where this method of screwing has resulted in the most lamentable
consequences, arising from a cause altogether distinct from the
danger attendant upon a shifting of cargo. A load of cotton, for
example, tightly screwed while in certain conditions, has been known,
through the expansion of its bulk, to rend a vessel asunder at sea.
There can be no doubt either that the same result would ensue in the
case of tobacco, while undergoing its usual course of fermentation,
were it not for the interstices consequent upon the rotundity of the

It is when a partial cargo is received that danger is chiefly to
be apprehended from shifting, and that precautions should be always
taken to guard against such misfortune. Only those who have
encountered a violent gale of wind, or rather who have experienced
the rolling of a vessel in a sudden calm after the gale, can form an
idea of the tremendous force of the plunges, and of the consequent
terrible impetus given to all loose articles in the vessel. It is
then that the necessity of a cautious stowage, when there is a
partial cargo, becomes obvious. When lying-to (especially with a
small bead sail), a vessel which is not properly modelled in the bows
is frequently thrown upon her beam-ends; this occurring even every
fifteen or twenty minutes upon an average, yet without any serious
consequences resulting, provided there be a proper stowage. If this,
however, has not been strictly attended to, in the first of these
heavy lurches the whole of the cargo tumbles over to the side of the
vessel which lies upon the water, and, being thus prevented from
regaining her equilibrium, as she would otherwise necessarily do, she
is certain to fill in a few seconds and go down. It is not too much
to say that at least one-half of the instances in which vessels have
foundered in heavy gales at sea may be attributed to a shifting of
cargo or of ballast.

When a partial cargo of any kind is taken on board, the whole,
after being first stowed as compactly as may be, should be covered
with a layer of stout shifting-boards, extending completely across
the vessel. Upon these boards strong temporary stanchions should be
erected, reaching to the timbers above, and thus securing every thing
in its place. In cargoes consisting of grain, or any similar matter,
additional precautions are requisite. A hold filled entirely with
grain upon leaving port will be found not more than three fourths
full upon reaching its destination -- this, too, although the
freight, when measured bushel by bushel by the consignee, will
overrun by a vast deal (on account of the swelling of the grain) the
quantity consigned. This result is occasioned by settling during the
voyage, and is the more perceptible in proportion to the roughness of
the weather experienced. If grain loosely thrown in a vessel, then,
is ever so well secured by shifting-boards and stanchions, it will be
liable to shift in a long passage so greatly as to bring about the
most distressing calamities. To prevent these, every method should be
employed before leaving port to settle the cargo as much as possible;
and for this there are many contrivances, among which may be
mentioned the driving of wedges into the grain. Even after all this
is done, and unusual pains taken to secure the shifting-boards, no
seaman who knows what he is about will feel altogether secure in a
gale of any violence with a cargo of grain on board, and, least of
all, with a partial cargo. Yet there are hundreds of our coasting
vessels, and, it is likely, many more from the ports of Europe, which
sail daily with partial cargoes, even of the most dangerous species,
and without any precaution whatever. The wonder is that no more
accidents occur than do actually happen. A lamentable instance of
this heedlessness occurred to my knowledge in the case of Captain
Joel Rice of the schooner Firefly, which sailed from Richmond,
Virginia, to Madeira, with a cargo of corn, in the year 1825. The
captain had gone many voyages without serious accident, although he
was in the habit of paying no attention whatever to his stowage, more
than to secure it in the ordinary manner. He had never before sailed
with a cargo of grain, and on this occasion had the corn thrown on
board loosely, when it did not much more than half fill the vessel.
For the first portion of the voyage he met with nothing more than
light breezes; but when within a day's sail of Madeira there came on
a strong gale from the N. N. E. which forced him to lie-to. He
brought the schooner to the wind under a double-reefed foresail
alone, when she rode as well as any vessel could be expected to do,
and shipped not a drop of water. Toward night the gale somewhat
abated, and she rolled with more unsteadiness than before, but still
did very well, until a heavy lurch threw her upon her beam-ends to
starboard. The corn was then heard to shift bodily, the force of the
movement bursting open the main hatchway. The vessel went down like a
shot. This happened within hail of a small sloop from Madeira, which
picked up one of the crew (the only person saved), and which rode out
the gale in perfect security, as indeed a jolly boat might have done
under proper management.

The stowage on board the Grampus was most clumsily done, if
stowage that could be called which was little better than a
promiscuous huddling together of oil-casks {*1} and ship furniture. I
have already spoken of the condition of articles in the hold. On the
orlop deck there was space enough for my body (as I have stated)
between the oil-casks and the upper deck; a space was left open
around the main hatchway; and several other large spaces were left in
the stowage. Near the hole cut through the bulkhead by Augustus there
was room enough for an entire cask, and in this space I found myself
comfortably situated for the present.

By the time my friend had got safely into the berth, and
readjusted his handcuffs and the rope, it was broad daylight. We had
made a narrow escape indeed; for scarcely had he arranged all
matters, when the mate came below, with Dirk Peters and the cook.
They talked for some time about the vessel from the Cape Verds, and
seemed to be excessively anxious for her appearance. At length the
cook came to the berth in which Augustus was lying, and seated
himself in it near the head. I could see and hear every thing from my
hiding-place, for the piece cut out had not been put back, and I was
in momentary expectation that the negro would fall against the
pea-jacket, which was hung up to conceal the aperture, in which case
all would have been discovered, and our lives would, no doubt, have
been instantly sacrificed. Our good fortune prevailed, however; and
although he frequently touched it as the vessel rolled, he never
pressed against it sufficiently to bring about a discovery. The
bottom of the jacket had been carefully fastened to the bulkhead, so
that the hole might not be seen by its swinging to one side. All this
time Tiger was lying in the foot of the berth, and appeared to have
recovered in some measure his faculties, for I could see him
occasionally open his eyes and draw a long breath.

After a few minutes the mate and cook went above, leaving Dirk
Peters behind, who, as soon as they were gone, came and sat himself
down in the place just occupied by the mate. He began to talk very
sociably with Augustus, and we could now see that the greater part of
his apparent intoxication, while the two others were with him, was a
feint. He answered all my companion's questions with perfect freedom;
told him that he had no doubt of his father's having been picked up,
as there were no less than five sail in sight just before sundown on
the day he was cut adrift; and used other language of a consolatory
nature, which occasioned me no less surprise than pleasure. Indeed, I
began to entertain hopes, that through the instrumentality of Peters
we might be finally enabled to regain possession of the brig, and
this idea I mentioned to Augustus as soon as I found an opportunity.
He thought the matter possible, but urged the necessity of the
greatest caution in making the attempt, as the conduct of the hybrid
appeared to be instigated by the most arbitrary caprice alone; and,
indeed, it was difficult to say if be was at any moment of sound
mind. Peters went upon deck in about an hour, and did not return
again until noon, when he brought Augustus a plentiful supply of junk
beef and pudding. Of this, when we were left alone, I partook
heartily, without returning through the hole. No one else came down
into the forecastle during the day, and at night, I got into
Augustus' berth, where I slept soundly and sweetly until nearly
daybreak, when he awakened me upon hearing a stir upon deck, and I
regained my hiding-place as quickly as possible. When the day was
fully broke, we found that Tiger had recovered his strength almost
entirely, and gave no indications of hydrophobia, drinking a little
water that was offered him with great apparent eagerness. During the
day he regained all his former vigour and appetite. His strange
conduct had been brought on, no doubt, by the deleterious quality of
the air of the hold, and had no connexion with canine madness. I
could not sufficiently rejoice that I had persisted in bringing him
with me from the box. This day was the thirtieth of June, and the
thirteenth since the Grampus made sad from Nantucket.

On the second of July the mate came below drunk as usual, and in
an excessively good-humor. He came to Augustus's berth, and, giving
him a slap on the back, asked him if he thought he could behave
himself if he let him loose, and whether he would promise not to be
going into the cabin again. To this, of course, my friend answered in
the affirmative, when the ruffian set him at liberty, after making
him drink from a flask of rum which he drew from his coat-pocket.
Both now went on deck, and I did not see Augustus for about three
hours. He then came below with the good news that he had obtained


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