Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/92

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
64
LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

halliards of the sail, and the mast, deprived of support, fell upon a captain of infantry and broke his thigh. He was instantly seized by the soldiers and thrown into the sea, but the officers saved him. A furious assault was now made upon the mutineers, many of whom were cut down.

At length this fit of desperation subsided into weeping cowardice. They cried out for mercy and asked for forgiveness upon their knees. It was now midnight and order appeared to be restored, but after an hour of deceitful calm the insurrection burst forth anew. The mutineers ran upon the officers like madmen, each having a knife or sabre in his hand, and such was the fury of the assailants that they tore with their teeth the flesh and even the clothing of their adversaries. There was no time for hesitation, a general slaughter took place, and the raft was strewn with dead bodies.
 

There was one woman on the raft, and the villains had thrown her overboard during the struggle, together with her husband, who had heroically defended her. M. Correard, gashed with saber-wounds as he was, leaped into the sea with a rope and rescued the wife, while Lavilette, the head workman, swam after the husband and hauled him to the raft.

 
The first thing the poor woman did, after recovering her senses, was to acquaint herself with the name of the person who had saved her and to express to him her liveliest gratitude. Finding that her words but ill reflected her feelings, she recollected that she had in her pocket a little snuff and instantly offered it to him. Touched with