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 98

except for the disappearance of the bedclothes
by which we had been hitherto enabled to catch rainwater, and of the
jug in which we had kept it when caught; for we found the whole bottom,
from within two or three feet of the bends as far as the keel, together
with the keel itself, _thickly covered with large barnacles, which
proved to be excellent and highly nutritious food_. Thus, in two
important respects, the accident we had so greatly dreaded proved a
benefit rather than an injury; it had opened to us a supply of
provisions, which we could not have exhausted, using it moderately, in
a month; and it had greatly contributed to our comfort as regards
position, we being much more at our ease, and in infinitely less
danger, than before.

The difficulty, however, of now obtaining water blinded us to all the
benefits of the change in our condition. That we might be ready to
avail ourselves, as far as possible, of any shower which might fall, we
took off our shirts, to make use of them as we had of the sheets--not
hoping, of course, to get more in this way, even under the most
favourable circumstances, than half a gill at a time. No signs of a
cloud appeared during the day, and the agonies of our thirst were
nearly intolerable. At night Peters obtained about an hour's disturbed
sleep, but my intense sufferings would not permit me to close my eyes
for a single moment.

_August 5._ To-day, a gentle breeze springing up carried us through a
vast quantity of seaweed, among which we were so fortunate as to find
eleven small crabs, which afforded us several delicious meals. Their
shells being quite soft, we ate them entire, and found that they
irritated our thirst far less than the barnacles. Seeing no trace of
sharks among the seaweed, we also ventured to bathe, and remained in
the water for four or five hours, during which we experienced a very
sensible diminution of our thirst. Were greatly refreshed, and spent
the night somewhat more comfortably than before, both of us snatching a
little sleep.

_August 6._ This day we were blessed by a brisk and continual rain,
lasting from about noon until after dark. Bitterly did we now regret
the loss of our jug and carboy; for, in spite of the little means we
had of catching the water, we might have filled one, if not both of
them. As it was, we contrived to satisfy the cravings of thirst by
suffering the shirts to become saturated, and then wringing them so

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