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 127

through a precipitous ravine, we at length reached what we
were told was the only collection of habitations upon the island. As we
came in sight of them, the chief set up a shout, and frequently
repeated the word _Klock-Klock_; which we supposed to be the name of
the village, or perhaps the generic name for villages.

The dwellings were of the most miserable description imaginable, and,
unlike those of even the lowest of the savage races with which mankind
are acquainted, were of no uniform plan. Some of them (and these we
found belonged to the _Wampoos_ or _Yampoos_, the great men of the
land) consisted of a tree cut down at about four feet from the root,
with a large black skin thrown over it, and hanging in loose folds upon
the ground. Under this the savage nestled. Others were formed by means
of rough limbs of trees, with the withered foliage upon them, made to
recline, at an angle of forty-five degrees, against a bank of clay,
heaped up, without regular form, to the height of five or six feet.
Others, again, were mere holes dug in the earth perpendicularly, and
covered over with similar branches, these being removed when the tenant
was about to enter, and pulled on again when he had entered. A few were
built among the forked limbs of trees as they stood, the upper limbs
being partially cut through, so as to bend over upon the lower, thus
forming thicker shelter from the weather. The greater number, however,
consisted of small shallow caverns, apparently scratched in the face of
a precipitous ledge of dark stone, resembling fuller's earth, with
which three sides of the village was bounded. At the door of each of
these primitive caverns was a small rock, which the tenant carefully
placed before the entrance upon leaving his residence, for what purpose
I could not ascertain, as the stone itself was never of sufficient size
to close up more than a third of the opening.

This village, if it were worthy of the name, lay in a valley of some
depth, and could only be approached from the southward, the precipitous
ledge of which I have already spoken cutting off all access in other
directions. Through the middle of the valley ran a brawling stream of
the same magical-looking water which has been described. We saw several
strange animals about the dwellings, all appearing to be thoroughly
domesticated. The largest of these creatures resembled our common hog
in the structure of the body and snout; the tail, however, was bushy,
and the legs slender as

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_ IV.
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