Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/212

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

wreck and another sensational episode of open boats. As a sequel it is inseparable from the strange and unhappy romance of the Bounty and her people.

Captain Edwards of the Pandora frigate was a martinet of a naval officer, without sympathy or imagination, and the witchery of the South Seas held no lure for him. His errand was to run down the mutineers as outlaws who deserved no mercy and to take them home to be hanged.

First touching at Tahiti, the Pandora found that a number of the sentimental sinners still remained on that island, but that Fletcher Christian and the rest had sailed away in the Bounty to search for a retreat elsewhere. With a hundred and fifty bluejackets to rake the valleys and beaches of Tahiti, Captain Edwards soon rounded up fourteen fugitives, who were marched aboard the Pandora and clapped into irons.

A small house was knocked together on deck to serve as a jail for them, and was rightly enough dubbed "Pandora's Box" by the sailors. It was only eleven feet long, without windows or doors, and was entered by a scuttle in the roof. In this inhuman little den the fourteen mutineers were kept with their arms and legs in irons, which, were never