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 57

during the
morning, having been attacked two days before with spasms after
drinking some spirits and water. Peters had expressed to us his opinion
that this man had been poisoned by the mate, and for this belief he had
reasons, so he said, which were incontrovertible, but which he could
not be prevailed upon to explain to us--this wayward refusal being only
in keeping with other points of his singular character. But whether or
not he had any better grounds for suspecting the mate than we had
ourselves, we were easily led to fall in with his suspicion, and
determined to act accordingly.

Rogers had died about eleven in the forenoon, in violent convulsions;
and the corpse presented in a few minutes after death one of the most
horrid and loathsome spectacles I ever remember to have seen. The
stomach was swollen immensely, like that of a man who has been drowned
and lain under water for many weeks. The hands were in the same
condition, while the face was shrunken, shrivelled, and of a chalky
whiteness, except where relieved by two or three glaring red splotches,
like those occasioned by the erysipelas: one of these splotches
extended diagonally across the face, completely covering up an eye as
if with a band of red velvet. In this disgusting condition the body had
been brought up from the cabin at noon to be thrown overboard, when the
mate getting a glimpse of it (for he now saw it for the first time),
and being either touched with remorse for his crime or struck with
terror at so horrible a sight, ordered the men to sew the body up in
its hammock, and allow it the usual rites of sea-burial. Having given
these directions he went below, as if to avoid any further sight of his
victim. While preparations were making to obey his orders, the gale
came on with great fury, and the design was abandoned for the present.
The corpse, left to itself, was washed into the larboard scuppers,
where it still lay at the time of which I speak, floundering about with
the furious lurches of the brig.

Having arranged our plan, we set about putting it in execution as
speedily as possible. Peters went upon deck, and, as he had
anticipated, was immediately accosted by Allen, who appeared to be
stationed more as a watch upon the forecastle than for any other
purpose. The fate of this villain, however, was speedily and silently
decided; for Peters, approaching him in a careless manner, as if about
to address him, seized him by the throat, and, before

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By all I hold most sacred and most solemn- By all my wishes now--my fears hereafter- By all I scorn on earth and hope in heaven- There is no deed I would more glory in, Than in thy cause to scoff at this same glory And trample it under foot.
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