The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 32

immediate want, or that I would hesitate,
in such case, to make myself heard at the trap. When, therefore, he
considered everything he concluded to let me stay until he could meet
with an opportunity of visiting me unobserved. This, as I said before,
did not occur until the fourth day after his bringing me the watch,
and the seventh since I had first entered the hold. He then went down
without taking with him any water or provisions, intending in the first
place merely to call my attention, and get me to come from the box to
the trap,--when he would go up to the stateroom and thence hand me down
a supply. When he descended for this purpose he found that I was asleep,
for it seems that I was snoring very loudly. From all the calculations
I can make on the subject, this must have been the slumber into which
I fell just after my return from the trap with the watch, and which,
consequently, must have lasted for more than three entire days and
nights at the very least. Latterly, I have had reason both from my own
experience and the assurance of others, to be acquainted with the strong
soporific effects of the stench arising from old fish-oil when closely
confined; and when I think of the condition of the hold in which I was
imprisoned, and the long period during which the brig had been used as a
whaling vessel, I am more inclined to wonder that I awoke at all, after
once falling asleep, than that I should have slept uninterruptedly for
the period specified above.

Augustus called to me at first in a low voice and without closing the
trap--but I made him no reply. He then shut the trap, and spoke to me in
a louder, and finally in a very loud tone--still I continued to snore.
He was now at a loss what to do. It would take him some time to make his
way through the lumber to my box, and in the meanwhile his absence would
be noticed by Captain Barnard, who had occasion for his services every
minute, in arranging and copying papers connected with the business of
the voyage. He determined, therefore, upon reflection, to ascend, and
await another opportunity of visiting me. He was the more easily induced
to this resolve, as my slumber appeared to be of the most tranquil
nature, and he could not suppose that I had undergone any inconvenience
from my incarceration. He had just made up his mind on these points
when his attention

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