Fate Of The Castaways

My first determination was to seek a supply of breadfruit and water at

Tofoa, and afterwards to sail for Tongataboo, and there risk a

solicitation to Poulaho, the king, to equip our boat, and grant us a

supply of water and provisions, so as to enable us to reach the East

Indies. The quantity of provisions I found in the boat was a hundred and

fifty pounds of bread, sixteen pieces of pork, each piece weighing two

pounds, six quarts of rum, six bottles of wine, with twenty-eight gallons

of water, and four empty barrecoes.

We got to Tofoa when it was dark, but found the shore so steep and rocky

that we could not land. We were obliged, therefore, to remain all night

in the boat, keeping it on the lee-side of the island, with two oars.

Next day (Wednesday, April 29) we found a cove, where we landed. I

observed the latitude of this cove to be 19 degrees 41 minutes south.

This is the northwest part of Tofoa, the north-westernmost of the

Friendly Islands. As I was resolved to spare the small stock of

provisions we had in the boat, we endeavored to procure something towards

our support on the island itself. For two days we ranged through the

island in parties, seeking for water, and anything in the shape of

provisions, subsisting, meanwhile, on morsels of what we had brought with

us. The island at first seemed uninhabited, but on Friday, May 1, one of

our exploring parties met with two men, a woman, and a child: the men

came with them to the cove, and brought two cocoanut shells of water. I

endeavored to make friends of these people, and sent them away for

bread-fruit, plantains, and water. Soon after, other natives came to us;

and by noon there were thirty about us, from whom we obtained a small

supply. I was much puzzled in what manner to account to the natives for

the loss of my ship: I knew they had too much sense to be amused with a

story that the ship was to join me, when she was not in sight from the

hills. I was at first doubtful whether I should tell the real fact, or

say that the ship had overset and sunk, and that we only were saved: the

latter appeared to be the most proper and advantageous for us, and I

accordingly instructed my people, that we might all agree in one story.

As I expected, inquiries were made about the ship, and they seemed

readily satisfied with our account; but there did not appear the least

symptom of joy or sorrow in their faces, although I fancied I discovered

some marks of surprise. Some of the natives were coming and going the

whole afternoon.

Towards evening, I had the satisfaction to find our stock of provisions

somewhat increased; but the natives did not appear to have much to spare.

What they brought was in such small quantities, that I had no reason to

hope we should be able to procure from them sufficient to stock us for

our voyage. At night, I served a quarter of a breadfruit and a cocoanut

to each person for supper; and a good fire being made, all but the watch

went to sleep.

_Saturday, 2d._--As there was no certainty of our being supplied with

water by the natives, I sent a party among the gullies in the mountains,

with empty shells, to see what could be found. In their absence the

natives came about us, as I expected, and in greater numbers; two canoes

also came in from round the north side of the island. In one of them was

an elderly chief, called Macca-ackavow. Soon after, some of our foraging

party returned, and with them came a good-looking chief, called

Egijeefow, or Eefow.

Their affability was of short duration, for the natives began to increase

in number, and I observed some symptoms of a design against us. Soon

after, they attempted to haul the boat on shore, on which I brandished my

cutlass in a threatening manner, and spoke to Eefow to desire them to

desist: which they did, and everything became quiet again. My people,

who had been in the mountains, now returned with about three gallons of

water. I kept buying up the little bread-fruit that was brought to us,

and likewise some spears to arm my men with, having only four cutlasses,

two of which were in the boat. As we had no means of improving our

situation, I told our people I would wait till sunset, by which time,

perhaps, something might happen in our favor; for if we attempted to go

at present, we must fight our way through, which we could do more

advantageously at night; and that, in the meantime, we would endeavor to

get off to the boat what we had bought. The beach was lined with the

natives, and we heard nothing but the knocking of stones together, which

they had in each hand. I knew very well this was the sign of an attack.

At noon I served a cocoanut and a bread-fruit to each person for dinner,

and gave some to the chiefs, with whom I continued to appear intimate and

friendly. They frequently importuned me to sit down, but I as constantly

refused; for it occurred both to Nelson and myself that they intended to

seize hold of me, if I gave them such an opportunity. Keeping,

therefore, constantly on our guard, we were suffered to eat our

uncomfortable meal in some quietness.

After dinner, we began, by little and little, to get our things into the

boat, which was a troublesome business, on account of the surf. I

carefully watched the motions of the natives, who continued to increase

in number; and found that, instead of their intention being to leave us,

fires were made, and places fixed on for their stay during the night.

Consultations were also held among them, and everything assured me we

should be attacked. I sent orders to the master that, when he saw us

coming down, he should keep the boat close to the shore, that we might

the more readily embark.

The sun was near setting when I gave the word, on which every person who

was on shore with me boldly took up his proportion of things and carried

them to the boat. The chiefs asked me if I would not stay with them all

night. I said "No, I never sleep out of my boat; but in the morning we

will again trade with you, and I shall remain till the weather is

moderate, that we may go, as we have agreed, to see Poulaho, at

Tongataboo." Macca-ackavow then got up and said, "You will not sleep on

shore, then, Mattie?" (which directly signifies, we will kill you); and

he left me. The onset was now preparing: every one, as I have described

before, kept knocking stones together; and Eefow quitted me. All but two

or three things were in the boat, when we walked down the beach, every

one in a silent kind of horror. We all got into the boat, except one

man, who, while I was getting on board, quitted it, and ran up the beach

to cast the stern-fast off, notwithstanding the master and others called

to him to return, while they were hauling me out of the water.

I was no sooner in the boat than the attack began by about two hundred

men; the unfortunate poor man who had run up the beach was knocked down,

and the stones flew like a shower of shot. Many Indians got hold of the

stern rope, and were near hauling the boat on shore, which they would

certainly have effected, if I had not had a knife in my pocket, with

which I cut the rope. We then hauled off to the grapnel, every one being

more or less hurt. At this time I saw five of the natives about the poor

man they had killed, and two of them were beating him about the head with

stones in their hands.

We had no time to reflect, for, to my surprise, they filled their canoes

with stones, and twelve men came off after us to renew the attack; which

they did so effectually, as to nearly disable us all. We were obliged to

sustain the attack without being able to return it, except with such

stones as lodged in the boat. I adopted the expedient of throwing

overboard some clothes, which, as I expected, they stopped to pick up;

and as it was by this time almost dark, they gave over the attack, and

returned towards the shore, leaving us to reflect on our unhappy


The poor man killed by the natives was John Norton: this was his second

voyage with me as a quarter-master, and his worthy character made me

lament his loss very much. He has left an aged parent, I am told, whom

he supported.

We set our sails, and steered along shore by the west side of the island

of Tofoa, the wind blowing fresh from the eastward. My mind was employed

in considering what was best to be done, when I was solicited by all

hands to take them towards home; and when I told them that no hopes of

relief for us remained, except what might be found at New Holland, till I

came to Timor, a distance of full twelve hundred leagues, where there was

a Dutch settlement, but in what part of the Island I knew not, they all

agreed to live on one ounce of bread and a quarter of a pint of water per

day. Therefore, after examining our stock of provisions, and

recommending to them, in the most solemn manner, not to depart from their

promise, we bore away across a sea where the navigation is but little

known, in a small boat, twenty-three feet long from stem to stern, deep

laden with eighteen men. I was happy, however, to see that every one

seemed better satisfied with our situation than myself.

Our stock of provisions consisted of about one hundred and fifty pounds

of bread, twenty-eight gallons of water, twenty pounds of pork, three

bottles of wine, and five quarts of rum. The difference between this and

the quantity we had on leaving the ship was principally owing to our loss

in the bustle and confusion of the attack. A few cocoanuts were in the

boat, and some bread-fruit, but the latter was trampled to pieces.

_Sunday, 3d._--At daybreak the gale increased; the sun rose very fiery

and red--a sure indication of a severe gale of wind. At eight it blew a

violent storm, and the sea ran very high, so that between the seas the

sail was becalmed, and when on the top of the sea, it was too much to

have set; but we could not venture to take in the sail, for we were in

very imminent danger and distress, the sea curling over the stern of the

boat, which obliged us to bail with all our might. A situation more

distressing has perhaps seldom been experienced.

Our bread was in bags, and in danger of being spoiled by the wet: to be

starved to death was inevitable, if this could not be prevented. I

therefore began to examine what clothes there were in the boat, and what

other things could be spared; and having determined that only two suits

should be kept for each person, the rest was thrown overboard, with some

rope and spare sails, which lightened the boat considerably, and we had

more room to bail the water out.

Fortunately the carpenter had a good chest in the boat, in which we

secured the bread the first favorable moment. His tool-chest also was

cleared, and the tools stowed in the bottom of the boat, so that this

became a second convenience.

I served a teaspoonful of rum to each person (for we were very wet and

cold), with a quarter of a bread-fruit, which was scarce eatable, for

dinner. Our engagement was now strictly to be carried into execution,

and I was fully determined to make our provisions last eight weeks, let

the daily proportion be ever so small.

_Monday, 4th._--At daylight our limbs were so benumbed, that we could

scarcely find the use of them. At this time I served a teaspoonful of

rum to each person, from which we all found great benefit. Just before

noon, we discovered a small flat island, of a moderate height, bearing

west-south-west four or five leagues. I observed our latitude to be 18

degrees 58 minutes south; our longitude was, by account, 3 degrees 4

minutes west from the island of Tofoa, having made a north 72 degrees

west course, distance ninety-five miles, since yesterday noon, I divided

five small cocoanuts for our dinner, and every one was satisfied. During

the rest of that day we discovered ten or twelve other islands, none of

which we approached. At night I served a few broken pieces of breadfruit

for supper, and performed prayers.

_Tuesday, 5th._--The night having been fair, we awoke after a tolerable

rest, and contentedly breakfasted on a few pieces of yams that were found

in the boat. After breakfast we examined our bread, a great deal of

which was damaged and rotten; this, nevertheless, we were glad to keep

for use. We passed two islands in the course of the day. For dinner I

served some of the damaged bread, and a quarter of a pint of water.

_Wednesday, 6th._--We still kept our course in the direction of the North

of New Holland, passing numerous islands of various sizes, at none of

which I ventured to land. Our allowance for the day was a quarter of a

pint of cocoanut milk, and the meat, which did not exceed two ounces to

each person. It was received very contentedly, but we suffered great

drought. To our great joy we hooked a fish, but we were miserably

disappointed by its being lost in trying to get it into the boat.

As our lodgings were very miserable, and confined for want of room, I

endeavored to remedy the latter defect by putting ourselves at watch and

watch; so that one-half always sat up while the other lay down on the

boat's bottom, or upon a chest, with nothing to cover us but the heavens.

Our limbs were dreadfully cramped, for we could not stretch them out; and

the nights were so cold, and we so constantly wet, that after a few

hours' sleep, we could scarcely move.

_Thursday, 7th._--Being very wet and cold, I served a spoonful of rum and

a morsel of bread for breakfast. We still kept sailing among the

islands, from one of which two large canoes put out in chase of us; but

we left them behind. Whether these canoes had any hostile intention

against us must remain a doubt: perhaps we might have benefited by an

intercourse with them; but, in our defenceless situation, to have made

the experiment would have been risking too much.

I imagine these to be the islands called Feejee, as their extent,

direction, and distance from the Friendly Islands answer to the

description given of them by those islanders. Heavy rain came on at four

o'clock, when every person did their utmost to catch some water, and we

increased our stock to thirty-four gallons, besides quenching our thirst

for the first time since we had been at sea; but an attendant consequence

made us pass the night very miserably, for, being extremely wet, and

having no dry things to shift or cover us, we experienced cold shiverings

scarcely to be conceived. Most fortunately for us, the forenoon, Friday

8th, turned out fair, and we stripped and dried our clothes. The

allowance I issued to-day was an ounce and a half of pork, a teaspoonful

of rum, half a pint of cocoanut milk, and an ounce of bread. The rum,

though so small in quantity, was of the greatest service. A fishing-line

was generally towing from the stern of the boat, but though we saw great

numbers of fish, we could never catch one.

In the afternoon we cleaned out the boat, and it employed us till sunset

to get everything dry and in order. Hitherto I had issued the allowance

by guess, but I now made a pair of scales with two cocoanut shells, and

having accidentally some pistol-balls in the boat, twenty-five of which

weighed one pound, or sixteen ounces, I adopted one ball as the

proportion of weight that each person should receive of bread at the

times I served it. I also amused all hands with describing the situation

of New Guinea and New Holland, and gave them every information in my

power, that, in case any accident happened to me, those who survived

might have some idea of what they were about, and be able to find their

way to Timor, which at present they knew nothing of more than the name,

and some not even that. At night I served a quarter of a pint of water

and half an ounce of bread for supper.

_Saturday, 9th._--About nine in the evening the clouds began to gather,

and we had a prodigious fall of rain, with severe thunder and lightning.

By midnight we caught about twenty gallons of water. Being miserably wet

and cold, I served to the people a teaspoonful of rum each, to enable

them to bear with their distressed situation. The weather continued

extremely bad, and the wind increased; we spent a very miserable night,

without sleep, except such as could be got in the midst of rain. The day

brought no relief but its light. The sea broke over us so much, that two

men were constantly bailing; and we had no choice how to steer, being

obliged to keep before the waves, for fear of the boat filling.

The allowance now regularly served to each person was 1-25th of a pound

of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, at eight in the morning, at

noon, and at sunset. To-day I gave about half an ounce of pork for

dinner, which, though any moderate person would have considered only as a

mouthful, was divided into three or four.

All Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the wet

weather continued, with heavy seas and squalls. As there was no prospect

of getting our clothes dried, my plan was to make every one strip, and

wring them through the salt water, by which means they received a warmth

that, while wet with rain, they could not have. We were constantly

shipping seas and bailing, and were very wet and cold during the night.

The sight of the islands which we were always passing served only to

increase the misery of our situation. We were very little better than

starving, with plenty in view; yet to attempt procuring any relief was

attended with so much danger, that prolonging of life, even in the midst

of misery, was thought preferable, while there remained hopes of being

able to surmount our hardships. For my own part, I consider the general

run of cloudy weather to be a blessing of Providence. Hot weather would

have caused us to have died with thirst, and probably being so constantly

covered with rain or sea protected us from that dreadful calamity.

_Saturday, 16th._--The sun breaking out through the clouds gave us hopes

of drying our wet clothes; but the sunshine was of short duration. We

had strong breezes at south-east by south, and dark gloomy weather, with

storms of thunder, lightning, and rain. The night was truly horrible,

and not a star to be seen, so that our steerage was uncertain.

_Sunday, 17th._--At dawn of day I found every person complaining, and

some of them solicited extra allowance, which I positively refused. Our

situation was miserable; always wet, and suffering extreme cold during

the night, without the least shelter from the weather. Being constantly

obliged to bail, to keep the boat from filling, was perhaps not to be

reckoned an evil as it gave us exercise.

The little rum we had was of great service. When our nights were

particularly distressing, I generally served a teaspoonful or two to each

person; and it was always joyful tidings when they heard of my intentions.

The night was dark and dismal, the sea constantly breaking over us, and

nothing but the wind and waves to direct our steerage. It was my

intention, if possible, to make to New Holland, to the southwest of

Endeavor Straits, being sensible that it was necessary to preserve such a

situation as would make a southerly wind a fair one; that we might range

along the reefs till an opening should be found into smooth water, and we

the sooner be able to pick up some refreshments.

Monday and Tuesday were terrible days, heavy rain with lightning. We

were always bailing. On Wednesday the 20th, at dawn of day, some of my

people seemed half dead. Our appearance was horrible, and I could look

no way but I caught the eye of some one in distress. Extreme hunger was

now too evident; but no one suffered from thirst, nor had we much

inclination to drink--that desire, perhaps, being satisfied through the

skin. The little sleep we got was in the midst of water, and we

constantly awoke with severe cramps and pains in our bones.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we were in the same distressed condition,

and I began to fear that such another night or two would put an end to

us. On Saturday, however, the wind moderated in the evening, and the

weather looked much better, which rejoiced all hands, so that they ate

their scanty allowance with more satisfaction than for some time past.

The night also was fair; but being always wet with the sea, we suffered

much from the cold.

_Sunday, 24th._--A fine morning, I had the pleasure to see produce some

cheerful countenances; and the first time, for fifteen days past, we

experienced comfort from the warmth of the sun. We stripped, and hung

our clothes up to dry, which were by this time become so threadbare, that

they would not keep out either wet or cold.

This afternoon we had many birds about us which are never seen far from

land, such as boobies and noddies. As the sea began to run fair, and we

shipped but little water, I took the opportunity to examine into the

state of our bread, and found that, according to the present mode of

issuing, there was a sufficient quantity remaining for twenty-nine days'

allowance, by which time I hoped we should be able to reach Timor; but as

this was very uncertain, and it was possible that, after all, we might be

obliged to go to Java, I determined to proportion the allowance so as to

make our stock hold out six weeks. I was apprehensive that this would be

ill received, and that it would require my utmost resolution to enforce

it; for small as the quantity was which I intended to take away for our

future good, yet it might appear to my people like robbing them of life;

and some, who were less patient than their companions, I expected would

very ill brook it. However, on my representing the necessity of guarding

against delays that might be occasioned in our voyage by contrary winds

or other causes, and promising to enlarge upon the allowance as we got

on, they cheerfully agreed to my proposal. It was accordingly settled

that every person should receive 1-25th of a pound of bread for

breakfast, and the same quantity for dinner; so that, by omitting the

proportion for supper, we had forty-three days' allowance.

_Monday, 25th._--At noon some noddies came so near to us, that one of

them was caught by hand. This bird was about the size of a small pigeon.

I divided it, with its entrails, into eighteen portions and by a

well-known method at sea, of "Who shall have this?" [1] it was

distributed, with the allowance of bread and water for dinner, and ate

up, bones and all, with salt water for sauce. I observed the latitude 13

degrees 32 minutes south; longitude made 35 degrees 19 minutes west,

course north 89 degrees west, distance one hundred and eight miles.

In the evening, several boobies flying very near to us, we had the good

fortune to catch one of them. This bird is as large as a duck. I

directed the bird to be killed for supper, and the blood to be given to

three of the people who were most distressed for want of food. The body,

with the entrails, beak, and feet, I divided into eighteen shares, and,

with an allowance of bread, which I made a merit of granting, we made a

good supper, compared with our usual fare.

Sailing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I at length became satisfied

that we were approaching New Holland. This was actually the case; and

after passing the reefs which bound that part of the coast, we found

ourselves in smooth water. Two islands lay about four miles to the west

by north, and appeared eligible for a resting-place, if for nothing more;

but on our approach to the nearest island, it proved to be only a heap of

stones, and its size too inconsiderable to shelter the boat. We

therefore proceeded to the next, which was close to it, and towards the

main. We landed to examine if there were any signs of the natives being

near us: we saw some old fireplaces, but nothing to make me apprehend

that this would be an unsafe situation for the night. Every one was

anxious to find something to eat and it was soon discovered that there

were oysters on these rocks, for the tide was out; but it was nearly

dark, and only a few could be gathered. I determined, therefore, to wait

till the morning, when I should know better how to proceed.

_Friday, 29th._--As there were no appearances to make me imagine that any

of the natives were near us, I sent out parties in search of supplies,

while others of the people were putting the boat in order. The parties

returned, highly rejoiced at having found plenty of oysters and fresh

water. I had also made a fire by the help of a small magnifying glass;

and, what was still more fortunate, we found among a few things which had

been thrown into the boat, and saved, a piece of brimstone and a

tinder-box, so that I secured fire for the future.

One of the people had been so provident as to bring away with him from

the ship a copper pot: by being in possession of this article, we were

enabled to make a proper use of the supply we now obtained; for, with a

mixture of bread, and a little pork, we made a stew that might have been

relished by people of far more delicate appetites, and of which each

person received a full pint. The general complaints of disease among us

were a dizziness in the head, great weakness of the joints, and violent


The oysters which we found grew so fast to the rocks, that it was with

difficulty they could be broken off, and at length we discovered it to be

the most expeditious way to open them where they were fixed. They were

of a good size, and well tasted. To add to this happy circumstance, in

the hollow of the land there grew some wire-grass, which indicated a

moist situation. On forcing a stick about three feet long into the

ground, we found water, and with little trouble dug a well, which

produced as much as our necessities required.

As the day was the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II., I

named the island Restoration Island. Our short stay there, with the

supplies which it afforded us, made a visible alteration for the better

in our appearance. Next day, Saturday the 30th, at four o'clock, we were

preparing to embark, when about twenty of the natives appeared, running

and hallooing to us, on the opposite shore. They were each armed with a

spear or lance, and a short weapon which they carried in their left hand.

They made signs for us to come to them, but I thought it prudent to make

the best of our way. They were naked, and apparently black, and their

hair or wool bushy and short.

_Sunday, 31st._--Many small islands were in sight to the northeast. We

landed at one of a good height, bearing north one-half west. The shore

was rocky, but the water was smooth, and we landed without difficulty. I

sent two parties out, one to the northward, and the other to the

southward, to seek for supplies, and others I ordered to stay by the

boat. On this occasion fatigue and weakness so far got the better of

their sense of duty, that some of the people expressed their discontent

at having worked harder than their companions, and declared that they

would rather be without their dinner than go in search of it. One

person, in particular, went so far as to tell me, with a mutinous look,

that he was as good a man as myself. It was not possible for me to judge

where this might have an end, if not stopped in time; therefore, to

prevent such disputes in future, I determined either to preserve my

command, or die in the attempt; and seizing a cutlass, I ordered him to

take hold of another and defend himself, on which he called out that I

was going to kill him, and immediately made concessions. I did not allow

this to interfere further with the harmony of the boat's crew and

everything soon became quiet. We here procured some oysters and clams,

also some dog-fish caught in the holes of the rocks, and a supply of


Leaving this island, which I named Sunday Island, we continued our course

towards Endeavor Straits. During our voyage Nelson became very ill, but

gradually recovered. Next day we landed at another island, to see what

we could get. There were proofs that the island was occasionally visited

by natives from New Holland. Encamping on the shore, I sent out one

party to watch for turtle, and another to try to catch birds. About

midnight the bird party returned, with only twelve noddies, birds which I

have already described to be about the size of pigeons; but if it had not

been for the folly and obstinacy of one of the party, who separated from

the other two, and disturbed the birds, they might have caught a great

number. I was so much provoked at my plans being thus defeated, that I

gave this offender a good beating. This man afterwards confessed that,

wandering away from his companions, he had eaten nine birds raw. Our

turtling party had no success.

Tuesday and Wednesday we still kept our course northwest, touching at an

island or two for oysters and clams. We had now been six days on the

coast of New Holland, and but for the refreshment which our visit to its

shore afforded us, it is all but certain that we must have perished.

Now, however, it became clear that we were leaving it behind, and were

commencing our adventurous voyage through the open sea to Timor.

On Wednesday, June 3rd, at eight o'clock in the evening, we once more

launched into the open ocean. Miserable as our situation was in every

respect, I was secretly surprised to see that it did not appear to affect

any one so strongly as myself. I encouraged every one with hopes that

eight or ten days would bring us to a land of safety; and after praying

to God for a continuance of His most gracious protection, I served an

allowance of water for supper, and directed our course to the

west-south-west, to counteract the southerly winds in case they should

blow strong. For six days our voyage continued; a dreary repetition of

those sufferings which we had experienced before reaching New Holland.

In the course of the night we were constantly wet with the sea, and

exposed to cold and shiverings; and in the daytime we had no addition to

our scanty allowance, save a booby and a small dolphin that we caught,

the former on Friday the 5th, and the latter on Monday the 8th. Many of

us were ill, and the men complained heavily. On Wednesday the 10th,

after a very comfortless night, there was a visible alteration for the

worse in many of the people, which gave me great apprehensions. An

extreme weakness, swelled legs, hollow and ghastly countenances, a more

than common inclination to sleep, with an apparent debility of

understanding, seemed to me the melancholy presages of an approaching


_Thursday, 11th._--Every one received the customary allowance of bread

and water, and an extra allowance of water was given to those who were

most in need. At noon I observed in latitude 9 degrees 41 minutes south;

course south 77 degrees west, distance 109 miles; longitude made 13

degrees 49 minutes west. I had little doubt of having now passed the

meridian of the eastern part of Timor, which is laid down in 128 degrees

east. This diffused universal joy and satisfaction.

_Friday, 12th._--At three in the morning, with an excess of joy, we

discovered Timor bearing from west-south-west to west-north-west, and I

hauled on a wind to the north-north-east till daylight, when the land

bore from south-west by south to north-east by north; our distance from

the shore two leagues. It is not possible for me to describe the

pleasure which the blessing of the sight of this land diffused among us.

It appeared scarcely credible to ourselves that, in an open boat, and so

poorly provided, we should have been able to reach the coast of Timor in

forty-one days after leaving Tofoa, having in that time run, by our log,

a distance of 3,618 miles and that, notwithstanding our extreme distress,

no one should have perished in the voyage.

I have already mentioned that I knew not where the Dutch settlement was

situated, but I had a faint idea that it was at the south-west part of

the island. I therefore, after daylight, bore away along shore to the

south-south-west, which I was the more readily induced to do, as the wind

would not suffer us to go towards the north-east without great loss of


We coasted along the island in the direction in which I conceived the

Dutch settlement to lie, and next day, about two o'clock, I came to a

grapnel in a small sandy bay, where we saw a hut, a dog, and some cattle.

Here I learned that the Dutch governor resided at a place called Coupang,

which was some distance to the north-east. I made signs for one of the

Indians who came to the beach to go in the boat and show us the way to

Coupang, intimating that I would pay him for his trouble; the man readily

complied, and came into the boat. The Indians, who were of a dark tawny

color, brought us a few pieces of dried turtle and some ears of Indian

corn. This last was the most welcome, for the turtle was so hard, that

it could not be eaten without being first soaked in hot water. They

offered to bring us some other refreshments, if I would wait; but, as the

pilot was willing, I determined to push on. It was about half-past four

when we sailed.

_Sunday, 14th._--At one o'clock in the morning, after the most happy and

sweet sleep that ever men enjoyed, we weighed, and continued to keep the

east shore on board, in very smooth water. The report of two cannon that

were fired gave new life to every one; and soon after, we discovered two

square-rigged vessels and a cutter at anchor to the eastward. After hard

rowing, we came to a grapnel near daylight, off a small fort and town,

which the pilot told me was Coupang.

On landing, I was surrounded by many people, Indians and Dutch, with an

English sailor among them. A Dutch captain, named Spikerman, showed me

great kindness, and waited on the governor, who was ill, to know at what

time I could see him. Eleven o'clock having been appointed for the

interview, I desired my people to come on shore, which was as much as

some of them could do, being scarce able to walk; they, however, were

helped to Captain Spikerman's house, and found tea, with bread and

butter, provided for their breakfast.

The abilities of a painter, perhaps, could seldom have been displayed to

more advantage than in the delineation of the two groups of figures which

at this time presented themselves to each other. An indifferent

spectator would have been at a loss which most to admire--the eyes of

famine sparkling at immediate relief, or the horror of their preservers

at the sight of so many spectres, whose ghastly countenances, if the

cause had been unknown, would rather have excited terror than pity. Our

bodies were nothing but skin and bone, our limbs were full of sores, and

we were clothed in rags: in this condition, with tears of joy and

gratitude flowing down our cheeks, the people of Timor beheld us with a

mixture of horror, surprise, and pity.

The governor, Mr. William Adrian Van Este, notwithstanding extreme ill

health, became so anxious about us, that I saw him before the appointed

time. He received me with great affection, and gave me the fullest

proofs that he was possessed of every feeling of a humane and good man.

Though his infirmity was so great that he could not do the office of a

friend himself, he said he would give such orders as I might be certain

would procure us every supply we wanted. A house should be immediately

prepared for me, and with respect to my people, he said that I might have

room for them either at the hospital or on board of Captain Spikerman's

ship, which lay in the road. . . .

El Dorado Fate Of The Mutineers--colony Of Pitcairn's Island facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail