Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet


(Continued.) PROFESSOR HANCOCK, of Ad elaide, author of an excellent book on Australian history, once wrote a sketch in which he described the history of the mutineers on Pit caira Island, in terms of the balance of . power. It has indeed many of the elements of world history. You have the unstable alliances of the white nmutineers, the uprising of the native race, the quarrels be tween the victorious savages, the suppression of the revolt, and the elimination of some of the victors. It ended with John Adams as the solo survivor of the bloodstained band, all of whom, with one excep tion, had met violent deaths. CHAPTER FOUR. Christian still forced his reom sand-he divided the best land on the island into nine lots, taking .the nmost fertile and largest for him self. The natives were shared as ser vants to help till the land ; salt was obtained from the small, shallow pools in the rocks, and these rocks were also shared among them. The Tahitian men and women taught the mutineers how to make fish-hooks out of the shells and coral rubble washed ashore by the tides. Christian claimed' the best tim ber for his home, which was made of sawn planks from the "Mirro" tree (a tree indigenous to the is land) and from the timber of the Bounty. Once again a strange fate willed that he should follow in the footsteps of' his ancestors, as John MacChristian, of Milnetown, Isle of Man, had made additions to his man sion with timbers from a wrecked ship of the Spanish Armada. Bit Off Ear. McCoy, who had worked in a brewery, discovered that he could distill an ardent spirit from the roots of the ti-plant which grew on the island. For a "still" he used a large kettle brought from the Boun ty, and MIatthew Quintal assisted him. Drunkenness was now added to the already long list of vices, and brawls became nightly affairs. Dur ing one of these brawls Quintal bit off one of his wife's ears. Then John Williams lost his woman, Fasto, who had fallen from a precipice while searching for birds' eggs, and Williams, wanting another woman, demanded and obtained the wife of one of the native men. The native men vowed vengeance upon the mutineers and secretly plotted to murder them all. Their secret, however, was told to a woman, who imparted Jt to the mutineers, and one of the native women killed her own man. For self-preservation, both the mutineers and the native men now waited their chance to wipe the other out. So constant was the dread of im pending massacre, and so terrible the nights of watching and waiting, that some of the women tried to I

leave the island by means of a raft secretly constructed. They had launched the raft and actually ven tured through the surf, but when at sea their hearts failed them, and they abandoned the attempt. Some time passed, and as peace seemed to have heen restored with the natives, the mutineers gave up the ceaseless waiting, and went about their every-day work. Then swiftly the natives gained posses sion of the firearms, and, attacking the mutineers while they were quietly working on their allotments, they hunted them and shot them down. Death of Christian. Fletcher- Christian was the first to be attacked, and being taken quite by surprise,' he was felled be fore he could fully realise the des perate situation, his body being bur ied where he fell. John Mills, Isaac Martin, William Brown, and John Williams were the next to be killed. William McCoy and Mat thew Quintal escaped into the woods, while Smith, who at first escaped, was later shot and severely wounded. Bleeding from his wound, and in great pain, he again ran from his pursuers, and, making for the pre cipitous cliffs, would have thrown himself into the sea, but those in pursuit decided to let him go, and later, when they found him in an un conscious condition, they carried him to one of their houses, where he was kindly treated. Edward Young, irho was a grdat favorite with the wvomen, had been hidden by them, and so escape;l. Out of the nine mutineers, only four now remained. Then the most bloody and desperate scene in the little island's history was enacted. Maddened with drink, the native men fought each other, and the four remaining mutineers, assisted by the widows of the murdered men, joined in the fray, with the inten tion of finishing off all the natives, which they were successful in doing. Quintal Killed. Shortly after this massacre, Mc Coy, in an attack of drunken delir lum, made for the rocks below the village, and, tying a stone to his body, hurled himself into the sea. His lifeless body was found floating near the 'rocks by a little girl -alled Rachael, daughter of ,Alexander Smith. ' Matthew Quintal, Mc Coy's companion, who had always been violent and troublesome, andl a constant source of trouble to Chris tian, threatened the lives of Smith and Young, and it was not long af ter the death of McCoy that those two found it necessary, for the sake of their own lives, to do away with Quintal, which they did by attacking and despatching him with an axe in the home of Smith, a scene enacted before the eyes of his wife and little children. One year after the death of Quin tal, Young died of asthma. He lad

two daughters mothered by Susan nah, his companion while onil the Bounty, and three sons Nancy, who had previously been the mistress of John Williams. The Sole Survivor. Alexander Smith .was now the sole survivor of the nmutineers. At the age of thirty-six he found himself the only man on the island. In everything the womeni and the twenty-three children of the snutin eers looked to him for advice and a'~Ssistasice.1j,:i--. ยท To his great horror, he found that the Tahitian women had secured and vero secretly keeping the skulls of their murdered lovers, and were practising and chanting the dreary i'Himineas" of idol worship. The Tahitian women were calling to their gods to come and deliver them from this grim Pacific prison. Smith felt the strange superstition that vas gripping at the balance of the little community. Smith had two remarkable dreams, which presented all his past transgressions andi the awful punishment awaiting him. I. (To be continued.)

Digitisation generously supported by
State Library of Victoria
Digitisation generously supported by