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 48

not much more than half fill the
vessel. For the first portion of the voyage he met with nothing more
than light breezes; but when within a day's sail of Madeira there came
on a strong gale from the N. N. E. which forced him to lie to. He
brought the schooner to the wind under a double-reefed foresail alone,
when she rode as well as any vessel could be expected to do, and
shipped not a drop of water. Towards night the gale somewhat abated,
and she rolled with more unsteadiness than before, but still did very
well, until a heavy lurch threw her upon her beam-ends to starboard.
The corn was then heard to shift bodily, the force of the movement
bursting open the main hatchway. The vessel went down like a shot. This
happened within hail of a small sloop from Madeira, which picked up one
of the crew (the only person saved), and which rode out the gale in
perfect security, as indeed a jollyboat might have done under proper

The stowage on board the Grampus was most clumsily done, if stowage
that could be called which was little better than a promiscuous
huddling together of oil-casks[1] and ship furniture. I have already
spoken of the condition of articles in the hold. On the orlop deck
there was space enough for my body (as I have stated) between the
oil-casks and the upper deck; a space was left open around the main
hatchway; and several other large spaces were left in the stowage. Near
the hole cut through the bulkhead by Augustus there was room enough for
an entire cask, and in this space I found myself comfortably situated
for the present.

[Footnote 1: Whaling vessels are usually fitted with iron
oil-tanks--why the Grampus was not I have never been able to

By the time my friend had got safely into the berth, and readjusted his
handcuffs and the rope, it was broad daylight. We had made a narrow
escape indeed; for scarcely had he arranged all matters, when the mate
came below, with Dirk Peters and the cook. They talked for some time
about the vessel from the Cape Verds, and seemed to be excessively
anxious for her appearance. At length the cook came to the berth in
which Augustus was lying, and seated himself in it near the head. I
could see and hear everything from my hiding-place, for the piece cut
out had not been put back, and I was in momentary expectation that the
negro would fall against the pea-jacket, which was hung up to conceal
the aperture,

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