A Glance at Papeetee-We are sent aboard the Frigate
The village of Papeetee struck us all very pleasantly. Lying in a semicircle round the bay, the tasteful mansions of the chiefs and foreign residents impart an air of tropical elegance, heightened by the palmtrees waving here and there, and the deepgreen groves of the BreadFruit in the background. The squalid huts of the common people are out of sight, and there is nothing to mar the prospect.
All round the water extends a wide, smooth beach of mixed pebbles and fragments of coral. This forms the thoroughfare of the village; the handsomest houses all facing itthe fluctuation of the tides1being so inconsiderable that they cause no inconvenience.
The Pritchard residencea fine large buildingoccupies a site on one side of the bay: a green lawn slopes off to the sea: and in front waves the English flag. Across the water, the tricolour also, and the stars and stripes, distinguish the residences of the other consuls.
What greatly added to the picturesqueness of the bay at this time was the condemned hull of a large ship, which, at the farther end of the harbour, lay bilged upon the beach, its stern settled low in the water, and the other end high and dry. From where we lay, the trees behind seemed to lock their leafy boughs over its bowsprit; which, from its position, looked nearly upright.
She was an American whaler, a very old craft. Having sprung a leak at sea, she had made all sail for the island, to heave down for repairs. Found utterly unseaworthy, however, her oil was taken out and sent home in another vessel; the hull was then stripped and sold for a trifle.
Before leaving Tahiti, I had the curiosity to go over this poor old ship, thus stranded on a strange shore. What were my emotions, when I saw upon her stern the name of a small town on the river Hudson! She was from the noble stream on whose banks I was born; in whose waters I had a hundred times bathed. In an instant, palmtrees and elmscanoes and skiffschurch spires and bamboosall mingled in one vision of the present and the past.
But we must not leave little Jule.
At last the wishes of many were gratified; and like an aeronauts grapnel, her rusty little anchor was caught in the coral groves at the bottom of Papeetee Bay. This must have been more than forty days after leaving the Marquesas.
The sails were yet unfurled, when a boat came alongside with our esteemed friend Wilson, the consul.
Hows this, hows this, Mr. Jermin? he began, looking very savage as he touched the deck. What brings you in without orders?
You did not come off to us, as you promised, sir; and there was no hanging on longer with nobody to work the ship, was the blunt reply.
So the infernal scoundrels held outdid they? Very good; Ill make them sweat for it, and he eyed the scowling men with unwonted intrepidity. The truth was, he felt safer now, than when outside the reef.
Muster the mutineers on the quarterdeck, he continued. Drive them aft, sir, sick and well: I have a word to say to them.
Now, men, said he, you think its all well with you, I suppose. You wished the ship in, and here she is. Captain Guys ashore, and you think you must go too: but well see about thatIll miserably disappoint you. (These last were his very words.) Mr. Jermin, call off the names of those who did not refuse duty, and let them go over to the starboard side.
This done, a list was made out of the mutineers, as he was pleased to call the rest. Among these, the doctor and myself were included; though the former stepped forward, and boldly pleaded the office held by him when the vessel left Sydney. The mate alsowho had always been friendlystated the service
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