Among Becke's books are: Paperback , pages. Published June 26th by Dodo Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Mutineer , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. To avoid detection and prevent desertion, the mutineers then settled on Pitcairn Island and burned the Bounty off Pitcairn. The book tells of the events prior to and during the mutiny. Then focuses on the finding and settling on Pitcairn and the following disintegration of the mixed society.
Sep 13, Zuzana rated it liked it Shelves: According to accounts, the sailors were attracted to the "idyllic" life and sexual opportunities afforded on the Pacific island of Tahiti. It has also been argued that they were motivated by Bligh's allegedly harsh treatment of them. Eighteen mutineers set Bligh afloat in a small boat with eighteen of the twenty-two crew loyal to him. To avoid detection and prevent desertion, the mutineers then variously settled on Pitcairn Island or on Tahiti and burned the Bounty off Pitcairn.
I wonder about the title as the account of the mutiny is as unromantic as can be. Mario Meola rated it really liked it May 12, Dr V rated it did not like it Jun 27, Carol Becker rated it really liked it Mar 05, Caroline rated it liked it Sep 10, The Ultimate Robinson Crusoe Bundle.
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Moby Dick, Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street, Typee: A Romance of the South Sea, and Redburn: It was dark and rainy and no one else was to be seen on deck but the sentry--John Millward. Presently Young felt a hand on his shoulder, and heard the voice of Churchill, the ship's corporal--"Mr. Muspratt is in her. We've eight muskets and six bags of powder and ball. Five of the muskets and some ammunition will be hidden by Alrema, who will be watching for you to escape.
The Mutineer. A Romance of Pitcairn Island
Why don't you come now, sir? There are half a dozen others ready to do so! The midshipman pressed his hand, and the corporal stepped softly along the deck, till he reached the spot where Millward the sentry stood, peering anxiously out into the gloom which enveloped the ship. A quick gesture from Churchill, and the two figures dropped quietly over the side and were gone. For some minutes Young looked for the boat through the darkness, as those in her pulled with muffled oars towards the shore. Lieutenant Bligh did think over it at breakfast; and soon Young was in irons and awaiting a promised flogging for "being asleep on his watch and allowing the damned scoundrels to desert," as his commander forcibly expressed it.
Four days afterwards, as Christian made his rounds of the ship he came upon Young, still in leg irons, waiting, with deadly hatred in his heart, for Bligh to visit him. In the bosom of his shirt lay Tina's pistol, and as the figures of Christian and a seaman darkened the entrance to the stuffy cabin his fingers clutched the weapon savagely. I wish with all my heart I could set you free, for Bligh swears he will flog you. Christian shook his head gloomingly, and with a pitying look at the young man, went on deck, passing on his way the manacled figures of the three captured men.
They lay together in the sail locker, their backs raw and bleeding from the four dozen lashes which they had each received in the morning. Their dreams of and dash for liberty had been brief. Landing at the spot agreed upon, Nuia and her two friends, Ohuna and Ahi, met them with the warmest demonstrations of affection and loyalty; then they learned with alarm that Oripah and Tamiri, two of Tina's subsidiary chiefs, had forbidden the people in any way to aid or shelter them; and that Tina himself had bitterly reproached his sister Nuia for her share in the conspiracy--for by some means the whole plan of escape had been made known to him.
Then after a hurried discussion the three deserters, accompanied by Ahi and another girl named Tahinia, set out again for Tetuaroa, a group of low-lying coral islands twenty-eight miles from where the Bounty lay. There they hoped to be free from interference; for the chief of the islands, Miti, was related to Tahinia. But when half-way across a furious squall drove them back to the mainland. Landing at a village called Tetaha the deserters remained hidden till they were surprised by Bligh and a boat's crew; and although they were prepared to fight to the last, the girls, to their surprise, begged them to surrender.
Yield--and I, Nuia, swear that the ship shall not take thee away. Relying on the repeated assurances of the girls, who wept in the earnestness of their beseechings, the three deserters came out of the house and stood before Bligh and his party. When the men were brought on board, Bligh, whose face was livid with passion, turned to Fletcher Christian. I'll show you and the others like you whether I will tolerate this spirit of mutiny and disregard of my orders. Then in sullen silence the ship's company were mustered on the main deck to witness the flogging of the deserters. As the bleeding form of Muspratt, the last to be punished, and the greatest sufferer, was led away from the gratings, one of the boatswain's mates named Morrison said to the midshipman Stewart in a low voice: My God, sir, how long is this to go on?
The men are bordering on mutiny. Last night the captain took away every present of food given to us by the natives and said that it was his, and that every one on the ship, from the master down, was a damned thief. Stewart gave him a warning glance as he answered in a whisper: Ten minutes later, as Christian was employed in hoisting in the cutter, Bligh's imperious tones were heard asking for him.
Christian," said the captain, walking up to where the master's mate stood, and his voice quivered with rage, "I find that you had the audacity to send a coconut to that scoundrel Young to drink just now. By the Lord, sir, do you want me to send you to join him? The master's mate, with blazing eyes and face white with anger, turned and looked at the seamen who stood around him with their hands on the boat-falls. Not a word escaped his lips, but in their eyes he read their dangerous sympathy. That night Bligh slept ashore at Tina's house, and when all but the anchor watch were asleep a canoe glided gently alongside, and Mahina and Alrema stepped on deck and were met by their lovers.
Young had secretly been released from his irons by Christian the moment Bligh had left the ship. For some hours the four conversed earnestly together, then just as the first grey streaks of dawn began to pierce the horizon the girls embraced the two men tenderly and went quietly back to their canoe.
Down below, as Christian was replacing the handcuffs on Young's wrists, the midshipman gripped his companion's arm. Can you leave Mahina--to lead such a life as we are made to live? The master's mate dashed Young's arm aside. My brain is on fire," and for a minute or two he walked quickly to and fro, seemingly oblivious of the other's presence.
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Then he stopped suddenly and faced Young with a short, bitter laugh. If Bligh treats me as a man I will pocket his past insults If he does not THE time to say farewell had come at last, and from early dawn the beach was crowded with natives. For two days the genial, kindhearted people had entertained their white friends with their simple sports, and the crew of the Bounty--save for those who lay ironed and sweltering in her 'tween decks--were given liberty by their stern captain.
Sometimes in the midst of the mirth and song that prevailed during the hivas or dancing of the natives, strange spells of silence would fall, and Tina the chief and his stately wife would, with tears streaming from their eyes, leave the assembled throng and retire to their house. Tender-hearted, simple, and affectionate, they had conceived for Bligh, despite his occasional outbursts of passion and his severe treatment of the ship's company, a sincere and lasting respect; and that evening, when he came ashore dressed in his full uniform, with his sword by his side, smiling in that engaging manner which seemed so natural to him at times, even those few of the natives who feared and disliked him for his tyranny, demonstrated at least their respect for his rank and position in the most marked and earnest manner.
Long past midnight the singing and dancing continued, and Bligh, as he stood on the beach, grasping the hands of Tina and Aitia in his, was content. Nearly two--thirds of his crew were ashore, and now as he stood there watching he saw them taking farewell of their native friends, who with the most extravagant demonstrations of sorrow, begged them to remain till the morning.
He had no suspicion that this was assumed and that nearly half of his men had whispered to some taio male friend or pretty girl, "We will return soon. Remember that to-morrow, soon after daylight, we sail. Yet I shall be pleased to see you in the morning. Then the boatswain's whistle sounded for the men to return to the boats, and amid the weeping of those of the islanders who did not know what Mahina and the other women knew, Bligh and his men called out their farewells and pulled towards the ship.
But with the first signs of dawn, those on board, looking shoreward, saw a vast concourse of natives on that part of the beach nearest the Bounty; and every few minutes numbers of people of both sexes were arriving through the palm-groves from inland villages, carrying gifts of fruit and native clothing, intended as parting presents for the voyagers.
The waters, too, of the little bay were alive with canoes; many of them had come from the distant villages of Taiarapu, a day's journey, laden to the water's edge with simple tokens of affection for Bligh and his crew. As the canoes passed under the Bounty's stern on their way to the shore the people in them were much affected when they noted the unmistakable signs of the ship's departure. They had daily heard for a month past from Bligh himself that he hoped to sail on the following day, but the continued delays seemed to have inspired them with hope; the Bounty's people, they believed, had become so attached to their island friends that they could not part from them, and it was even possible, to their simple minds, that Bligh would abandon the mission on which he was sent by the unknown King of England.
Sitting a little apart from the others and apparently taking no heed of the bustle around them, the girls Mahina and Nuia conversed with each other in low tones. Alrema, although accused by Tina of helping his sister in aiding the seamen to desert, had been forgiven, and was just then, with Aitia, conveying to Bligh a farewell present of two handsome parais or mourning dresses, which were to be given to King George.
The Mutineer: A Romance of Pitcairn Island
Why look so sad? Dost thou doubt our lovers' promises? See, only a little while ago, Alrema went on board to see her lover Etuati--he who is now bound with iron rings on his hands and feet--and this he said to her: By this time the Bounty was surrounded by hundreds of canoes, and her decks were thronged with natives who, each man singling out his particular taio, or white friend, pressed upon his acceptance some farewell gift.
Bligh, standing on the quarter deck, was conversing with Aitia and her husband, and behind him stood a boatswain's mate holding in his arms two muskets and two pistols, with bags of powder and ball. These were a gift from the commander to Aitia, whose skill as a markswoman rendered the gift specially pleasing and valuable. Raising his hat, and addressing her as if she were some great English lady, the captain of the Bounty said that the gifts were in token of his own personal liking for her and her husband, and as a proof of the friendship of the king of Great Britain. Then, while a respectful silence fell upon every one on board, the stately Aitia touched her forehead with the weapons one after another, and flinging herself at Bligh's feet clasped them in her hands and wept.
Gently disengaging her hands the commander straightened his slender figure, and his sharp tones rang out: Christian; and you, Tina, ask your people to get into their canoes. Aitia, goodbye; Tina, goodbye. Christian, who had just bidden a hurried, passionate farewell to Mahina, sprang to the ship's forecastle and then some of the seamen manned the little capstan; the fiddler took his seat upon its head and scraped a dismal tune, every now and then breaking off in the middle of a bar to wave his bow to some Tahitian friend whom he knew, as he or she went over the side to a canoe.
The ship was already hove short; and a few fathoms of the great hemp cable flaked upon the deck soon brought the anchor to the cathead. The topsails bellied out as the wind filled them; the men sprang aloft to man the yards at the word of command from Bligh, who had explained to Tina that with this ceremony and the firing of guns the ships of King George saluted the sovereigns of other nations; but as the gun-firing might injure the breadfruit plants on board it would be omitted.
The sailors aloft gave a last cheer, the water began to ripple and bubble under the bluff bows of the Bounty and from the crowd of sorrowing people burst a cry of "Ioarana no ti atua ti" "May the gods protect thee for ever and ever". A puff rippled across the bay, the ship lay over to it and sped quickly towards the passage between the roaring lines of surf which leapt and seethed upon the shelving ledges of coral reef. In another five minutes the vessel's bows rose and fell to the sweep of the ocean swell, and the Bounty stood out into the open sea.
Then those who watched from the shore saw her square her yards and head to the south, for Bligh intended to call at the Friendly Islands before proceeding to the West Indies. Hour after hour, and still the people watched the lessening canvas of the ship sink below the horizon. Towards noon the breeze failed, and not till the green shadows of the mountains turned into a soft purple under the rays of the setting sun was the white speck lost to sight. Then Mahina and Nuia, who were the last to go, turned sadly away and went home to their dwellings of thatch to wait and hope.
FOR thirteen days the Bounty had sailed westward over a placid sea, the light south-east trades which filled her canvas scarce causing more than a noiseless ripple under her forefoot. On the morning of the fourteenth day she sailed through a cluster of low-lying, richly- verdured islands--the Namuka Group, and dropped her anchor in ten fathoms, in the clear, motionless waters of a reef-enclosed spot off the main island. The day was beautifully fine but intensely hot, and the dying wind gave the ship scarcely way enough to bring her to an anchor.
In a very short time Bligh had opened communication with the natives of Namuka--a fierce, muscular race, who, however, professed friendship, agreeing to let him procure such supplies as he wanted from the island, and promising their assistance in wooding and watering the ship. The calm and dignified manner of the commander seemed to impress the savage, intractable, and treacherous Tongans as it had the gentle and kindly-natured Tahitians; and Bligh again showed those peculiar phases of his character which made him treat even the most dangerous natives with humanity and forbearance, and yet toward his officers and crew behave with undeserved, terrible severity.
As soon as the captain returned on board, in sharp, fretful tones he ordered the boats away; one under the command of Mr. Nelson, the botanist, and another with Christian in charge, to wood and water the ship. For some hours the work went on without interference, till the natives, all of whom were armed with spears, clubs, and slings, began to surround the white men and steal everything they could lay their hands upon. Some of them actually took the casks of water from Christian's men and rolled them away into the coconut groves. Every moment their demeanour became more threatening and their insulting gestures and language were so unmistakable that Christian got his men together in order to cover the boats, and then paused irresolutely as to his next course of action.
For Bligh had given orders that no matter how the natives behaved they were not to be molested, and on no excuse were they to be fired upon. In a few minutes their numbers had so increased that they began to show signs of making a rush upon Christian's scanty force, evidently mistaking his forbearance for fear; and soon some hundreds of them attempted to cut him off from the boats. It was only at this juncture that he gave orders to fire a volley over the heads of the now advancing and yelling body of savages. With great difficulty Christian got his men back into the boats without injury being inflicted on either side, and reported himself to Bligh, who severely reprimanded him.
Wiping the beads of perspiration from his face, the young man replied to his commander's censure: Christian, an officer in the King's Service, are afraid of a troop of savages while you and your men have firearms? Christian's face paled and his limbs shook as if in a fit of ague: So with wrath eating his heart out Christian went back to his task, and by almost superhuman endurance and forbearance managed to complete the wooding and watering of the ship.
At last the work was finished, and the Bounty once more at sea, and on the afternoon of the 26th of April she lay becalmed between Namuka and the island of Tofoa, whose sharp-pointed volcanic cone could be seen thirty miles away, with thin blue curls of smoke ascending from its hidden fires into the windless atmosphere, while the sea was of glassy calmness and the ship drifted steadily to the eastward.
Pacing to and fro upon the quarter deck, with the red fury spot showing upon his pale cheeks, the captain presently said, in his quick, angry way, as his eye glanced along the deck Christian, what has become of the pile of drinking coconuts which was stowed between the guns? Some scoundrel has taken them. I demand to know who was the person! By heavens, sir, you shall! I have no doubt that whoever took them did so with the sanction of the officers.
In a few minutes they were all assembled, and Bligh, now in a fever heat of unreasoning passion, attacked them in the same manner. For some seconds no one answered; then Fryer the master, and Christian and Young assured him each in turn that they had not seen any of the men take the coconuts. Elphinstone," turning to the junior master's mate, "bring every coconut in the ship on deck.
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The officers spoke in turn, and then but one heap of coconuts remained--that belonging to Christian. It is difficult to tell one pile of coconuts from another; but I hope you don't think me mean enough to steal yours. You must have stolen these from me or you could give a better account of them! You are all thieves alike and combine with the men to rob me. I will flog you all and make some of you jump overboard before we reach Endeavour Straits. Calling Samuel his clerk, Bligh ordered all the grog to be stopped, and only half a pound of yams to be served to each officer's mess in the future--and a quarter of a pound only if a single yam was missed.
And then, his handsome features distorted with rage, and muttering curses, he turned upon his heel and went below. The officers stood and eyed each other with anger and amazement, and began to complain audibly; but Christian, with a strange look in his dark eyes, ordered them in a hoarse and broken voice, some to their duty, others to their watch below. And Edward Young, as he watched Fletcher Christian pass him, with his hands clenched and his face blanched to a deathly white, smiled to himself and said, "It is the last straw. WHEN Christian reached his cabin he threw himself upon his sea- chest--almost the only article of furniture that the place contained-- and cursed aloud his wretched existence.
He thought of the long voyage before him, each day wearisome enough even if spent in agreeable companionship with his fellows, but a very purgatory with such a man as Bligh to goad him every hour with foul language and petty insults. His gloomy reflections were broken in upon by a voice asking permission for the speaker to enter. Christian sprang to his feet, his face flaming with passion. Alexander Smith, the sailor who had brought the message, for a moment stared in astonishment, yet waited in respectful silence.
This was the first time during all the long voyage that an officer had so far forgotten himself as to express his feelings about the commander before a common seaman. With the seamen themselves such outbursts were frequent enough, but here was an officer--the senior master's mate, the third man in rank in the ship--ordering a common sailor to tell his commander to go to the devil, the only fit company for him!
Smith was a young man of twenty-two, the son of a Thames lighterman; but he had been born with brains, and had taught himself to read and write, while his mother had brought him up to do his duty and respect his superiors in that old fashion which is good. This was his first voyage in a King's ship, but he knew what was due from Christian to his commander. So, instead of smiling, either openly or covertly, at Christian's rage, he thought for a moment, pulled awkwardly at a lock of his hair, gave a slight cough, and said Christian, did you say that I was to tell the captain you felt too poorly, and kindly asked to be excused?
Christian glanced quickly at him, and then forgot his anger. The sailor was not much to look at, a strongly-built fellow below the middle height, with his face pitted deeply from the effects of small- pox, and his naked chest disfigured with tatoo marks--a coarse, rough seaman in dress and appearance, a gentleman in instincts--and, above all, a man. Give me your hand, and deliver your own message, and accept my gratitude!
The master's mate sat down again on the chest, and leant his cheek upon his hands. The last words of Smith--"a few months longer"--had once more set his brooding mind to work. He rose to his feet again; the close, hot atmosphere of his stuffy quarters seemed to oppress and choke him, and his brain was dulled and aching with the misery in his heart. He stepped out, and, gaining the deck quietly, leant upon the bulwarks and looked moodily over the star-lit ocean to where the steep cone of Tofoa upreared its darkened form three thousand feet in the air. It was the first dog-watch, when on ship-board men sing and make merry; but on this ship came no sounds of violin or choruses of seamen, for all, officers and men alike, were sullen and gloomy, and brooded over the incidents of the past few days.
The wind was very light, and the ship scarce held steerage way; everything was still, and the grave-like silence oppressed the man. Now and then a gleam of red, smoky flame would flash in the sky to the eastward, and a strange, dulled muttering would be borne over the waters as the raging forces pent up in black Tofoa boiled and seethed within its groaning heart.
The sight possessed a fascination for him, and for nearly half an hour he stood and watched the shooting dull-red flame and listened to the awful sounds which broke from the mountain in the violence of its convulsions. By heavens, I'll risk it! Anything is better than this--better, even, the jaws of a shark! He went quietly forward and collected a number of boat-oars and some hand--spikes from the racks; these he brought to a place in the after part of the ship, where he was not likely to be seen, and began to lash them together.
You could never reach there, even if there were no sharks. There is a fearful current setting to the westward. Sharks are better company than this infernal tyrant.
The Mutineer: A Romance of Pitcairn Island by Louis Becke
Why, do you know, Young, that the damned, pitiful scoundrel actually invited me to sup with him to-night, no doubt thinking to propitiate me for the insults of this afternoon. But still, this is sheer madness, Christian. You are not, surely, such a fool as to incur all the odium of becoming a deserter, for what?
You know of my intention. If you think it your duty, tell the gentle Bligh. I'll not move in the matter, except to dissuade you from such folly. Either this, or I put an end to my life. But if your sympathies are with me, do me this favour--go to the steward and on some pretence or other get me food. Put it in a bag with some nails and hoop-iron and beads, or anything likely to take the fancy of the natives, and bring it to me.
Young at once went away, and procuring a canvas bag put in it food, some bottles of water, and a few articles for barter. But at the same time he told the boatswain's mate of Christian's watch and the officers in charge of the first and middle watches, and begged them to keep the matter secret, but on no account to give the young man an opportunity of carrying out his rash project, "for," said he earnestly, "Mr. Christian is not in a fit state to leave the ship; the man is ill in mind and body, and not responsible for his actions.
Slowly the night passed, and more than once Christian came on deck with the intention of putting his idea of escape into practice; but he always found some one ready to talk to him, and so no opportunity came. At half-past three he gave up all further attempts, and sick in mind, lay down in his bunk. Then eight bells struck, and he was called by Stewart to take the morning watch. As Stewart turned to go on deck he pressed Christian's hand sympathetically, and said in a low voice, "Mr.
Christian, I know your design. For God's sake, sir, try to have patience, and give up your intention. If you carry it out, it only means a dreadful death. For some minutes he sat upon his sea-chest, with his face buried in his hands, thinking; and the darkness of the night, the hoarse mutterings and muffled thunder from distant Tofoa, found a responsive echo in his maddened brain. The signs of dawn were reddening the horizon as Christian reached the deck; and the black pall of smoke which had hovered over Tofoa's lofty peak was vanishing before the breath of a light air which was coming over the water from the south-east but had not yet stirred the Bounty's canvas.
Thomas Hayward, the midshipman of the watch, had mustered his men; the wheel had been relieved, the look-out stationed, and those of the watch who were not needed had gone forward to lay about the deck to doze or sleep. Leaning over the forecastle rail the look-out stood watching the movement of a huge shark that swam to and fro, close to the ship's port side. Presently Young, whose attention was drawn to the monster by the seaman, leant over the waist and watched also, and shuddered as he thought of Christian and his raft; then, knowing that Christian would not disturb him, he lay down between two guns.
Pacing to and fro on the starboard side of the little poop the master's mate was waiting for the breeze to reach the ship, to give the order to brace the yards round to meet it. Perhaps had that light, cooling air which was now sweeping away sulphurous smoke from Tofoa's black sides, reached the silent ship and sent the crew hurrying about her decks, the desperate deed that was so soon to follow would never have been done.
But as Christian looked aloft, he saw the pendant topsails give a feeble flap or two and then hang limp and dead as before; a faint breath of air touched his burning temples, and then silence, deep and oppressive, fell upon the ship again. The utter impossibility of his leaving the ship unless to die by the teeth of the sharks was now forced upon his mind, for there beneath the counter he saw swimming to and fro a brute that would have made short work of him upon the fragile raft on which he had thought to venture his life.
But yet--and his hands clenched savagely--submission to his lot was not possible--better death itself than endure it longer. Madness to think of her now! Yes, he knew that; but yet she loved him--would give her life for him, even. And he a King's officer, yet a slave to a vindictive tyrant--his life one daily round of insult and shame A savage, yet a gloriously beautiful woman, whom only his duty to his King and country made him forget.
Then his face flushed hotly. What folly to try to deceive himself! He struck his clenched hand on the rail, and then his brain caught fire, his breath came in short, quick gasps, and the WAY OUT flashed into his mind. What would be his life at sea? Bligh, even if suffered until the ship returned to England, was not the only coarse, cruel tyrant in the Service. And it would be at least seven months ere the voyage was ended--seven months of torture, shame and misery. And over there, far beyond the sea-rim lay at least happiness with one who loved him. What did it matter after all? Perhaps after long, long years of service he would be put aside for other and younger men who had influence and social position.
But then, he thought, he was an officer, a man of good family. The insults he had received might be forgotten were he one of the rough, coarse seamen for'ard--such a man, for instance, as Quintal who, when brutally flogged by Bligh, swore he would kill his oppressor. But a seaman forgot and forgave a flogging, and an officer and a gentleman must forget and--no, not forgive--an insult from his superior.
So, as he paced to and fro on the little poop and as the dawn began to break he sought to get rid of the devil tempting him; but he sought in vain. Again and again Mahina's soft voice and choking sobs sounded in his ears. It was so easy of accomplishment, too. He stopped suddenly in his hurried pacing to and fro and his quick mutterings; for the man at the wheel was regarding him curiously.
Hayward jumped up from the hatch where he had been lying and came to the foot of the poop ladder. I want to go below and lash up my hammock. The midshipman looked inquiringly at him. Hallet is sleeping on deck. Let me call him to relieve you. There's been a shark swimming round the ship all night. The men of his watch lay sleeping on the fore- hatch, and among them he was quick to recognise two seamen, Quintal and McCoy, men who had been severely punished for trivial offences by Bligh. Both were good seamen, and, with Alexander Smith, had a particular liking for Christian, who had treated them with a great deal of kindness.
The master's mate, now that he had determined to take the plunge, seemed to have rapidly sketched in his mind a feasible plan of action. He stooped down and awakened both of them quietly. The men sprang to their feet and would have called the rest of the sleeping watch, but with a warning gesture Christian stopped them. Then he motioned them to follow him to the waist of the ship.
Captain Bligh is no longer fit to command her. You two know him--and you know me! The seamen, half dazed at the suddenness of the question, hesitated a moment. Why do you hesitate? Are you men or cowards? You, Quintal, will you help me? A grim smile flickered over McCoy's features.
Like Quintal he was tattooed on both chest and arms, and was a broad-shouldered, strongly- made man, with deep-set eyes and a face denoting undaunted courage and resolution. Tell him I want the key of the arm-chest to shoot a shark. You, Quintal, rouse up Churchill, Muspratt, and Millward, and remind them of the flogging Bligh gave them at Tahiti; then bring them quietly to me.
The men stepped softly below to the 'tween decks to carry out their orders. As soon as their backs were turned young Smith, who, unobserved by Christian, lay awake upon the main-hatch, rose and came towards the officer. Stop them, sir, before it is too late, for God's sake! It is too late, too late now.
Will you sail under my orders, or will you make me shoot you, as I certainly will do if you give the alarm? The young seaman's face paled. I don't like to join in a mutiny, but it is your act, sir, and not mine; and you will have to answer for it, not me.
Captain Bligh is no friend of mine; and I'll never desert a gentleman like you for him. You can count on me, sir.