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 87

placed in a situation precisely similar to my own.

At length delay was no longer possible, and, with a heart almost
bursting from my bosom, I advanced to the region of the forecastle,
where my companions were awaiting me. I held out my hand with the
splinters, and Peters immediately drew. He was free--_his_, at least,
was not the shortest; and there was now another chance against my
escape. I summoned up all my strength, and passed the lots to Augustus.
He also drew immediately, and he also was free; and now, whether I
should live or die, the chances were no more than precisely even. At
this moment all the fierceness of the tiger possessed my bosom, and I
felt towards my poor fellow-creature, Parker, the most intense, the
most diabolical hatred. But the feeling did not last; and, at length,
with a convulsive shudder and closed eyes, I held out the two remaining
splinters towards him. It was full five minutes before he could summon
resolution to draw, during which period of heartrending suspense I
never once opened my eyes. Presently one of the two lots was quickly
drawn from my hand. The decision was then over, yet I knew not whether
it was for me or against me. No one spoke, and still I dared not
satisfy myself by looking at the splinter I held. Peters at length took
me by the hand, and I forced myself to look up, when I immediately saw
by the countenance of Parker that I was safe, and that he it was who
had been doomed to suffer. Gasping for breath, I fell senseless to the

I recovered from my swoon in time to behold the consummation of the
tragedy in the death of him who had been chiefly instrumental in
bringing it about. He made no resistance whatever, and was stabbed in
the back by Peters, when he fell instantly dead. I must not dwell upon
the fearful repast which immediately ensued. Such things may be
imagined, but words have no power to impress the mind with the
exquisite horror of their reality. Let it suffice to say that, having
in some measure appeased the raging thirst which consumed us by the
blood of the victim, and having by common consent taken off the hands,
feet, and head, throwing them, together with the entrails, into the
sea, we devoured the rest of the body, piecemeal, during the four ever
memorable days of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and
twentieth of the month.

On the nineteenth, there coming on a smart shower which lasted fifteen
or twenty minutes,

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