Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/206

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uation was miserable, always wet and suffering extreme cold in the night, without the least shelter from the weather. Being constantly compelled to bale the boat to keep her from filling perhaps should not have been reckoned an evil because it gave us exercise. Our appearance was shocking and several of my people seemed half-dead. I could look no way without catching the eye of some one in distress. The little sleep we got was in the midst of water and we always awoke with severe cramps and pains in our bones.

This was on May 22, or eighteen days after they had left the island of Tofa, during most of which time there had been drenching rains and somber skies and heavy seas, which broke into the boat and almost swamped her time and again. The seventeen men were still existing on the morsels of bread and pork carefully weighed out with the musket-ball, which they said was "little better than starving," but Bligh held them in hand, and there was no rebellion even when he explained that the system of rationing would permit them to exist for twenty-nine days longer, though he was not at all certain that they could fetch Timor in that time, and he purposed to make the stores hold out for six weeks.

In order to do that they would have to omit their supper and get along on two meals of a twenty-fifth of a pound of bread. "I was apprehensive that a proposal on this head would be ill received," Lieu-