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 28

could not succeed in this directly,
of trying to cut my way through the orlop deck. The half certainty
which I felt of being able to accomplish one of these two purposes in
the last emergency, had given me courage (which I should not otherwise
have had) to endure the evils of my situation. The few words I had been
able to read, however, had cut me off from these final resources, and I
now, for the first time, felt all the misery of my fate. In a paroxysm
of despair I threw myself again upon the mattress, where, for about the
period of a day and night, I lay in a kind of stupor, relieved only by
momentary intervals of reason and recollection.

At length I once more arose, and busied myself in reflection upon the
horrors which encompassed me. For another twenty-four hours it was
barely possible that I might exist without water--for a longer time I
could not do so. During the first portion of my imprisonment I had made
free use of the cordials with which Augustus had supplied me, but they
only served to excite fever, without in the least degree assuaging my
thirst. I had now only about a gill left, and this was of a species of
strong peach liqueur at which my stomach revolted. The sausages were
entirely consumed; of the ham nothing remained but a small piece of the
skin; and all the biscuit, except a few fragments of one, had been
eaten by Tiger. To add to my troubles, I found that my headache was
increasing momentarily, and with it the species of delirium which had
distressed me more or less since my first falling asleep. For some
hours past it had been with the greatest difficulty I could breathe at
all, and now each attempt at so doing was attended with the most
distressing spasmodic action of the chest. But there was still another
and very different source of disquietude, and one, indeed, whose
harassing terrors had been the chief means of arousing me to exertion
from my stupor on the mattress. It arose from the demeanour of the dog.

I first observed an alteration in his conduct while rubbing in the
phosphorus on the paper in my last attempt. As I rubbed, he ran his
nose against my hand with a slight snarl; but I was too greatly excited
at the time to pay much attention to the circumstance. Soon afterward,
it will be remembered, I threw myself on the mattress, and fell into a
species of lethargy. Presently I became aware

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