The story of the wreck of the Grosvenor is supposed to be told by Mr.
Royle, the second mate of that unlucky ship. She was a small vessel
bound from England to Valparaiso with a heavy cargo and no passengers.
Captain Coxon and
his first mate, Duckling, were so brutal in their treatment of the crew, that before many days a mutiny arose, headed by Stevens the ship's carpenter. The captain and the mate were murdered, but Royle was spared to guide the ship to the West Indies. The crew were a treacherous gang, and near Bermuda they scuttled the Grosvenor and abandoned her to sink with the skipper, the boatswain, and the steward who remained faithful to him, and Mary Robertson, a girl whom Royle had rescued from a passing wreck. But the mutineers' plot had been discovered by the boatswain, who plugged up the holes in the ship's side, and when the crew deserted her the Grosvenor cheerfully sailed away. Discovering their mistake one boatload of the villains went in pursuit. In the ensuing skirmish all of this party, except Jim Cornish, were killed, and he was captured with the quarter-boat itself. But even with Cornish turned a faithful ally, the Grosvenor had not sufficient crew to man her, and she was soon crippled by a tremendous gale. Their signal of distress was disregarded by a Russian ship which might have rescued them, and the shock of this disappointment destroyed the poor steward's wits and broke the heart of Cornish. The Grosvenor was fast sinking; there was no alternative but to take to the quarter-boat which they had captured from the mutineers. The following story tells how the three men and the girl were saved from the wreck of the Grosvenor.
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