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THE BLENDEN HALL

the sailors. They were expected to pay for their keep by working as farm-hands. This rubbed the long-suffering tars the wrong way, and as the diary explains it:

 

"The passengers walking about at their ease was a sight to which Jack could not long submit; at last they all struck, declaring that they would not work unless their 'mortal enemies' were compelled to do the same. Upon this, the captain begged Governor Glass to be firm with them and on no account to serve out any provisions unless they returned to their duty. Consequently several meetings with a great deal of ill feeling took place upon the subject, and when prayers were read the following Sunday at Government House, every sailor absented himself."

 

Food was refused the striking seamen until they threatened to break into the potato sheds and then burn the settlement. The boatswain and his lash tamed the mutiny after Joseph Fowler had been tied up and his back cut to ribbons with nine dozen blows of the rope's-end. After this the seamen marched off to another part of the island and fed themselves by fishing and hunting wild goats and pigs. To their simple minds there was no good reason why they should sweat at building stone walls and digging potatoes while Captain Miles and the six assistant surgeons of the Honorable