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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

strength which they had so amazingly displayed. Surgeon Ledward and Lawrence Lebogue, a hardy old salt, seemed to have come to the end, and Bligh nursed them with teaspoonfuls of wine and crumbs of bread that he had been saving for such emergencies. He now began to fear that the party could not survive to finish the voyage, and mentioned that

 

extreme weakness, swelled legs, hollow and ghastly countenances, with an apparent debility of understanding, seemed to me the melancholy presages of approaching dissolution. The boatswain very innocently told me that he really thought I looked worse than any one in the boat. I was amused by the simplicity with which he uttered such an opinion and returned him a better compliment.

 

It was not decreed by destiny that courage and endurance so heroic should be thwarted in the last gasp. Forty-one days after they had so boldly set out from Tofa in the South Seas they made a landfall on the dim and misty shore of the island of Timor. The log recorded a total distance sailed of 3618 nautical miles, which in round numbers amounts to four thousand land, or statute, miles. No wonder that the feat appeared scarcely credible to these castaways themselves whom the mutineers of the Bounty had turned adrift with no more than a fortnight's provisions in a fearfully overcrowded open boat. And every man of the seventeen was