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 38

the ultimate means of my relief, as will presently appear.


For some minutes after the cook had left the forecastle, Augustus
abandoned himself to despair, never hoping to leave the berth alive. He
now came to the resolution of acquainting the first of the men who
should come down with my situation, thinking it better to let me take
my chance with the mutineers than perish of thirst in the hold--for it
had been ten days since I was first imprisoned, and my jug of water was
not a plentiful supply even for four. As he was thinking on this
subject, the idea came all at once into his head that it might be
possible to communicate with me by the way of the main hold. In any
other circumstances, the difficulty and hazard of the undertaking would
have prevented him from attempting it; but now he had, at all events,
little prospect of life, and consequently little to lose--he bent his
whole mind, therefore, upon the task.

His handcuffs were the first consideration. At first he saw no method
of removing them, and feared that he should thus be baffled in the very
outset; but, upon a closer scrutiny, he discovered that the irons could
be slipped off and on at pleasure with very little effort or
inconvenience, merely by squeezing his hands through them--this species
of manacle being altogether ineffectual in confining young persons, in
whom the smaller bones readily yield to pressure. He now untied his
feet, and, leaving the cord in such a manner that it could easily be
readjusted in the event of any person's coming down, proceeded to
examine the bulkhead where it joined the berth. The partition here was
of soft pine board, an inch thick, and he saw that he should have
little trouble in cutting his way through. A voice was now heard at the
forecastle companion-way, and he had just time to put his right hand
into its handcuff (the left had not been removed), and to draw the rope
in a slipknot around his ankle, when Dirk Peters came below, followed
by Tiger, who immediately leaped into the berth and lay down. The dog
had been brought on board by Augustus, who knew my attachment to the
animal, and thought it would give me pleasure to have him with me
during the voyage. He went up to our house for him immediately after
first taking me into the hold, but did not think of mentioning the
circumstance upon his bringing the watch. Since the mutiny, Augustus
had not seen him before his appearance

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