The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827.

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 123

remaining about
fifty yards off. Twenty of the savages now got on board, and proceeded
to ramble over every part of the deck, and scramble about among the
rigging, making themselves much at home, and examining every article
with great inquisitiveness.

It was quite evident that they had never before seen any of the white
race--from whose complexion, indeed, they appeared to recoil. They
believed the Jane to be a living creature, and seemed to be afraid of
hurting it with the points of their spears, carefully turning them up.
Our crew were much amused with the conduct of Too-wit in one instance.
The cook was splitting some wood near the galley, and, by accident,
struck his axe into the deck, making a gash of considerable depth. The
chief immediately ran up, and pushing the cook on one side rather
roughly, commenced a half whine, half howl, strongly indicative of
sympathy in what he considered the sufferings of the schooner, patting
and smoothing the gash with his hand, and washing it from a bucket of
seawater which stood by. This was a degree of ignorance for which we
were not prepared, and for my part I could not help thinking some of it

When the visiters had satisfied, as well as they could, their curiosity
in regard to our upper works, they were admitted below, when their
amazement exceeded all bounds. Their astonishment now appeared to be
far too deep for words, for they roamed about in silence, broken only
by low ejaculations. The arms afforded them much food for speculation,
and they were suffered to handle and examine them at leisure. I do not
believe that they had the least suspicion of their actual use, but
rather took them for idols, seeing the care we had of them, and the
attention with which we watched their movements while handling them. At
the great guns their wonder was redoubled. They approached them with
every mark of the profoundest reverence and awe, but forbore to examine
them minutely. There were two large mirrors in the cabin, and here was
the acme of their amazement. Too-wit was the first to approach them,
and he had got in the middle of the cabin, with his face to one and his
back to the other, before he fairly perceived them. Upon raising his
eyes and seeing his reflected self in the glass, I thought the savage
would go mad; but, upon turning short round to make a retreat, and
beholding himself a second time in the opposite direction, I was afraid
he would expire upon the spot. No persuasions could

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