ONCE more were the white men welcomed with unaffected joy by th_imple—hearted Tahitians, who yet wondered at their second return and mad_any inquiries as to its cause. Among those who thronged on board were th_elatives of Pipiri the Areoi; these told enigmatically by Mahina that th_riest would be long in returning, were at first angry and then suspicious;
but when in answer to a direct question put to Christian, they learned that h_ad been killed in a fight against his countrymen and their white friends,
they were seized with shame and retired with downcast faces. Later on in th_ay came Tina and his beautiful wife, who welcomed Christian and his comrade_ith every demonstration of affection and esteem, though they too marvelled a_he second return of the Bounty; this Christian did not attempt to explain,
knowing that those Tahitians who accompanied the ship would not fail to tel_heir countrymen of all the events that had transpired since they sailed fro_ahiti. But Tina expressed his delight at hearing from Christian that many o_he Bounty's crew had returned for the purpose of living among his people, an_eadily gave assistance to land the stores belonging to the shore party.
For the third time the ship was now wooded and watered and prepared for sea.
When everything was in readiness, Christian mustered the hands, and desire_ll those who wished to remain on shore to go to the larboard side of th_hip, and all those who intended to remain by him to the starboard. The firs_o step over to the larboard were Stewart and Heywood, who were at onc_ollowed by thirteen seamen. His own party Christian found to consist o_dward Young, his next in command; Mills, the gunner's mate; Brown, th_ardener; Martin, McCoy, Williams, Quintal, and, of course, the faithfu_lexander Smith; besides these there stepped over to starboard Tarioa-Maina,
the young Tubuaian chief, his two friends, and three Tahitian men with thei_ives, one of whom bore in her arms a female infant. Each of Christian's whit_ollowers had with him a native wife, and thus the whole of his party totalle_wenty-eight persons.
For a moment or two Christian looked from one to another of those ranged o_he larboard side, then told them in an unmoved voice to get into the boat. I_ few minutes they were gone, and the boat was being pulled shorewards.
Turning to those of the ship's company who were still standing on th_tarboard side, he informed them of his intention to sail in a day or two, an_aid he would be pleased if they would not visit the shore again. This the_nhesitatingly promised.
That night—the 22nd of September—he went on shore in a canoe and, landing _hort distance from the village, made his way to the house of the chie_ipa'uu, the father of Nuia, Stewart's wife.
Entering quietly he found the two youths in conversation with the old chief.
"I have come," he said, "to say goodbye again. Let us now speak together fo_he last time, and bury the past. I can never forget that until that mornin_n April we were always good friends. Shake hands then, my lads, for the las_ime."
"I am very sorry all this has happened, sir," said young Heywood, "and onl_ust now Stewart admitted that you were sorely tempted," and he held out hi_and.
"God knows, Christian," said Stewart, "I bear you no malice, for I canno_orget that after we gave you our promise not to interfere with your plans _nduced Heywood to join me in breaking that promise. I can only plead as m_xcuse that I never intended to be false to that pledge; but seeing many o_he men were ripe to join me in the attempt to retake the ship I fel_ustified in breaking it. I can only say again that although you have damne_ur prospects in life I freely forgive you."
"Not so, Stewart," said the mutineer, "your reputation as a loyal office_hall not suffer, nor shall this boy's. You are both innocent of participatin_n my crime. Be guided by me. Bligh will probably reach England; whether h_oes so or not a ship will be sent out to search for us. When she arrive_ere, go off at once to her and give yourselves up to the commander. Tell him,
as I tell you now, that this disaster was brought about entirely by me, and _lone am responsible for the act."
"I fear that we shall have difficulty in clearing ourselves," answere_tewart, moodily.
"Not if you give yourselves up at once and tell the exact truth. No one, no_ven my followers, not even I myself, thought of mutiny until I came on dec_n the morning watch, and then the temptation suddenly came upon me. You bot_now what a life that damned scoundrel—God forgive me if I speak of a dea_an—led us all, and how he picked me out particularly for his insults an_naccountable malice."
"That is true enough; the wonder is that you bore with him so long. But it i_oo late to talk of that now," said Stewart, with a ring of sympathy in hi_oice; "when do you sail, and where are you going?"
"My dear lads," he answered mournfully, "where I am going is a question _annot answer, and if I could it would be better unanswered, for you will b_sked what has become of me. I shall leave at daylight and probably search fo_ome uninhabited island on which to spend the remainder of my life."
"The natives say you do not intend sailing for a day or two."
"No, Stewart. I gave that out on purpose; every one is on board and all i_eady, and I hope to be clear of the bay to-morrow morning, before even _ative is awake, and so by that means avoid the fuss of another leave-taking."
He was silent for a while, then turning to Heywood, earnestly besought him t_ee his relatives in England and tell them the truth. "Remember," said he,
"when you reach England my people will have learned to hate and despise me a_ mutineer. Tell them what you have seen of my sufferings and my provocation,
and ask them to forgive me."
Silence fell upon them again in the darkened house, and nought was heard sav_he heavy breathing of the mutineer. Suddenly he rose, grasped their hand_ithout a word, and, turning away, walked slowly down to the white line o_each whereon his canoe lay.
Old Tipa'uu awaking from his sleep a few minutes later, kindled afresh th_ying fire, and as the flame leapt up and illuminated the house he saw tha_he faces of Stewart and Heywood were wet with tears.
An hour before daylight Fletcher Christian, who had been shut up for som_ours alone in his cabin, came on deck and called the hands, and ere the mist_f Orohena had begun to float away before the chilly breaths of the lan_reeze, the Bounty's anchor was up to her bow, and, with all her canva_pread, she was slipping out of the bay.
When daylight broke the natives gave a cry of astonishment, for the ship ha_isappeared.
The story of those of the mutineers who remained at Tahiti can be told in _ew words. Who has not heard of the horrors of the Pandora's "box," the ter_pplied to the round house built by the merciless Captain Edwards of th_andora frigate on the deck of his ship as a prison for his wretched captives.
The Pandora, sent out to search for the mutineers, arrived at Tahiti on Marc_3, 1791. The sailors surrendered themselves, two seamen, Thompson an_hurchill excepted, for the last-named had been murdered sometime previousl_y Thompson, who in turn was killed by the Tahitians, not before he richl_eserved death for his atrocious crimes.
The white men had occupied their time on shore in building a schooner in whic_ome had intended to leave the island, but they were unable to put to sea fo_ant of sails.
Stewart's wife, Nuia, who was the daughter of the chief with whom he lived,
had borne a child, and her love for her white husband has formed the theme o_any a Tahitian love song. When the Pandora sailed the heart-rending grief o_his gentle girl affected even the rough seamen whose duty it was to force he_way from Stewart's side. Six weeks after she died of a broken heart.
Amid the tears and lamentations of the Tahitians, the frigate left with he_risoners on the 19th of May, the little schooner sailing with her. From th_ay the unhappy men surrendered until their arrival at the Cape of Good Hope,
they were all treated with great brutality by Edwards—Heywood and Stewart,
officers and mere youths as they were, receiving no more mercy at his hand_han did the others.
Three months were spent by the Pandora in a vain search for the Bounty an_hose on board, and then the frigate was headed for Timor; on August 28th,
while making her way through Endeavour Strait, she crashed on a reef, and o_he following day was abandoned a total wreck.
The previous inhumanity of Captain Edwards towards his prisoners was,
immediately after the ship struck, if possible, increased. For a long time h_ade no attempt to save them with the rest of the ship's company. From the bo_n which they were confined the only means of egress was by a scuttle on th_op.
Some of them, as the Pandora rolled and dashed them, heavily ironed as the_ere, from one side to the other of their dreadful prison, bruised an_leeding, cried out that they would be drowned like rats in a hole, fo_lready the vessel was breaking up fast, but their vindictive gaoler ordere_hem to be quiet or they would be fired upon. Only at the last moment did h_ive the order to take their irons off; and then, if it had not been for th_umanity of one of the Pandora's boatswain's mates, they would all have bee_rowned. He, brave fellow, hearing their cries, declared he would either fre_hem or drown with them; he dropped the keys of their irons through th_cuttle, and with the greatest difficulty (for the water was up to his waist)
forced off the iron bar which kept the scuttle closed.
When the survivors reached a small sand quay and Edwards mustered them it wa_ound that thirty-one of the frigate's crew and Stewart and three of th_ounty's seamen were drowned.
Then began a long voyage to Coupang on the island of Timor, there bein_inety—nine persons in all, divided between three boats. The story of thei_readful sufferings need not here be told; but after a voyage of ninetee_ays, on September 19th, two of the boats reached Coupang, the third arrivin_hree days later. From Coupang they were conveyed in a Dutch ship to Java,
where they found the Resolution—the schooner built by the Bounty's people a_ahiti—which had early parted company with the Pandora and had arrived si_eeks before, her crew having endured similar privations. From Batavia the_ere taken to the Cape of Good Hope, their numbers having been increased at _ormer place by the addition of more prisoners—the survivors of the Bryan_arty, eleven convicts who had escaped from Sydney.
Embarking in the Gorgon, man-of-war, at the Cape, Edwards and his unfortunat_risoners at last reached England safely, and the mutineers were tried b_ourt—martial. Bligh was not present, having sailed on a second voyage t_ahiti for another cargo of of breadfruit plants.
The trial ended in the acquittal of three seamen and the conviction of si_thers, among them Heywood. The general tenor of the evidence went to prov_orrison and Heywood innocent. But Bligh had left behind him statement_nculpating these men. The Admiralty, after the court- martial was over,
considered the evidence and ultimately unconditionally pardoned Heywood,
Morrison, and a seaman named Muspratt, and executed the others.
Heywood and Morrison were permitted to re-enter the service, and both of the_ad honourable careers, the first after attaining the rank of captain die_ull of years and honours in 1831, and Morrison became gunner of the Blenheim,
in which ship, in 1807, he was lost with all hands.