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 5

its usual effect--the mental energy began to yield before its
influence--and the confused perception which he no doubt then had of
his perilous situation had assisted in hastening the catastrophe. He
was now thoroughly insensible, and there was no probability that he
would be otherwise for many hours.

It is hardly possible to conceive the extremity of my terror. The fumes
of the wine lately taken had evaporated, leaving me doubly timid and
irresolute. I knew that I was altogether incapable of managing the
boat, and that a fierce wind and strong ebb tide were hurrying us to
destruction. A storm was evidently gathering behind us; we had neither
compass nor provisions; and it was clear that, if we held our present
course, we should be out of sight of land before daybreak. These
thoughts, with a crowd of others equally fearful, flashed through my
mind with a bewildering rapidity, and for some moments paralyzed me
beyond the possibility of making any exertion. The boat was going
through the water at a terrible rate--full before the wind--no reef in
either jib or mainsail--running her bows completely under the foam. It
was a thousand wonders she did not broach to--Augustus having let go
the tiller, as I said before, and I being too much agitated to think of
taking it myself. By good luck, however, she kept steady, and gradually
I recovered some degree of presence of mind. Still the wind was
increasing fearfully; and whenever we rose from a plunge forward, the
sea behind fell combing over our counter, and deluged us with water. I
was so utterly benumbed, too, in every limb, as to be nearly
unconscious of sensation. At length I summoned up the resolution of
despair, and rushing to the mainsail, let it go by the run. As might
have been expected, it flew over the bows, and, getting drenched with
water, carried away the mast short off by the board. This latter
accident alone saved me from instant destruction. Under the jib only, I
now boomed along before the wind, shipping heavy seas occasionally over
the counter, but relieved from the terror of immediate death. I took
the helm, and breathed with greater freedom as I found that there yet
remained to us a chance of ultimate escape. Augustus still lay
senseless in the bottom of the boat; and as there was imminent danger
of his drowning (the water being nearly a foot deep just where he
fell), I contrived to raise him partially up, and keep him in a sitting
position, by passing a rope round his waist, and lashing it

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