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 142

too, were now quickly filled
with natives, starting up from the bushes at the head of the bay, and
put off swiftly to join the other parties. Thus, in less time than I
have taken to tell it, and as if by magic, the Jane saw herself
surrounded by an immense multitude of desperadoes evidently bent upon
capturing her at all hazards.

That they would succeed in so doing could not be doubted for an
instant. The six men left in the vessel, however resolutely they might
engage in her defence, were altogether unequal to the proper management
of the guns, or in any manner to sustain a contest at such odds. I
could hardly imagine that they would make resistance at all, but in
this was deceived; for presently I saw them get springs upon the cable,
and bring the vessel's starboard broadside to bear upon the canoes,
which by this time were within pistol range, the rafts being nearly a
quarter of a mile to windward. Owing to some cause unknown, but most
probably to the agitation of our poor friends at seeing themselves in
so hopeless a situation, the discharge was an entire failure. Not a
canoe was hit or a single savage injured, the shots striking short and
_ricochĂȘting_ over their heads. The only effect produced upon them was
astonishment at the unexpected report and smoke, which was so excessive
that for some moments I almost thought they would abandon their design
entirely, and return to the shore. And this they would most likely have
done had our men followed up their broadside by a discharge of small
arms, in which, as the canoes were now so near at hand, they could not
have failed in doing some execution, sufficient, at least, to deter
this party from a farther advance, until they could have given the
rafts also a broadside. But, in place of this, they left the canoe
party to recover from their panic, and, by looking about them, to see
that no injury had been sustained, while they flew to the larboard to
get ready for the rafts.

The discharge to larboard produced the most terrible effect. The star
and double-headed shot of the large guns cut seven or eight of the
rafts completely asunder, and killed, perhaps, thirty or forty of the
savages outright, while a hundred of them, at least, were thrown into
the water, the most of them dreadfully wounded. The remainder,
frightened out of their senses, commenced at once a precipitate
retreat, not even waiting to pick up their maimed companions, who were
swimming about in every

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