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<source><g=m><o=b><age=un><status=2><abode=un><p=nsw><r=spb><tt=mi><2-025>
A TRUE Narrative of BLOODY MUTINY, on board the CHILI Brig, INDEFATIGABLE.
Sydney, 24 September, 1828.
We hasten to present the following account of this disastrous mutiny in the dress in which it came under our view. The Chilean Brig Indefatigable was lately the English Brig Calder, formerly commanded by Captain Peter Dillon and was on its way to this Colony with a cargo of wheat.
The Indefatigable was laden with 2500 fanages of wheat, 60 fanages of walnuts and donkies. She was owned by Mr James Duncan of Valparaiso and the captain, as well as the cargo except for a small portion that belonged to Mr Loffgreen, the chief mate.
She sailed from Conception the 11th of June, but being under Chili colours, it was not known if she would be admitted into this port; accordingly it was resolved, as the mainmast was sprung and fished, to enter as in distress, to endeavour to obtain liberty to sell as much at first as would serve for the vessel's expenses, and ultimately if possible to dispose of the remainder; then to copper her and return to the coast of Chili direct.
On the 21st of July she had made her latitude about 17.5 degrees South, and longitude 129 degrees West. Here follows the declaration of William Todd, second mate, who with three of the crew, were forced into an open boat, and exposed to an uncertain navigation of above one thousand miles.
"I, William Todd, Englishman, late second mate of the brig Indefatigable, depose to the following: - "On Monday, the 21st of July, my watch was from eight to twelve at night, when over, I was relieved by the chief mate, and went below to my cabin, turned in and fell asleep; was awakened by a great noise, as of something falling down the companion hatchway, opposite to which was my cabin on the larboard side; heard Mr Loffgreen sing out, "Oh! Oh! Oh !" and heard myself called by him; tried to get out of my cabin, but found it fastened on the outside; forced it open, when the steward put a sword in my hand; coming out, trod on the body of the captain, who was lying with his head in the after cabin.
"Stepped over him, and went into the after cabin, where by the help of a lamp, that was nearly out, saw a pistol lying on the desk; took it up, and Mr Loffgreen, who had jumped down the cabin skylight, called to me to fire; I cocked it, but suppose it was not loaded, as it did not go off.
"I was immediately seized by three men, who took me into the steerage, and lashed my two elbows together; when there Mr Loffgreen desired me to beg for his life, thinking they were about to murder him, which I did to Angelia, one of the chief of the mutineers and a man who belonged to my watch.
"They then took me on deck, as well as Jouel (steward), whom they bound, and lashed both of us to the ring-bolts on the larboard side of the quarter-deck; they then brought up the mate, with his hands lashed before him and placed him on the starboard side of the quarter-deck; he begged them to let him go below again, which they did, and he was allowed to go to his bed; Angela dressed a wound in his right arm, which he had received, and they left Antonio, one of the mutineers sentry over him.
"About an hour before daylight, three of the mutineers hauled the body of the captain on deck, dragged it forward to the larboard gangway, and threw it overboard, saying in Spanish, 'Heave the donkey overboard to make food for fishes, etc.
"Just before daylight, they went forward and brought Jose (an elderly Spaniard, who had been confined below with the rest of the people in the forecastle) on deck and made him take the helm, threatening him, if he did not they would serve him out too; four of the mutineers walked the quarter-deck till daylight, when one of them relieved the man Jose from the helm, and the others took him forward, as he could speak English, to order the watch below (who had all been hastened down below in the forecastle) on deck, and they were put down the fore-hatchway, and confined in irons, viz, the cook, carpenter, Peter (a Swede), and the steward, whom they removed from the quarter-deck, and barred the hatch down.
"They then brought the chief mate up, and took him forward as far as the fore-hatchway, but appeared undetermined what to do, as he came aft with them again, and was placed below as before, with a sentry over him; they now came and asked me to navigate the ship for them, but I said I could not, and they then cast me adrift, and put me in irons with the others, down the fore-hatchway; they gave us something to eat, and nailed the hatch down; heard them firing pistols and buzzing all day long.
"About 11 a.m. four of them came below, armed with pistols, cutlasses, knives, etc, and took the cook out of irons; and brought us something more to eat, and 3 bottles of water, securing the hatch again; heard a sentry walking all the following night close to the fore-hatchway, who sung out regularly 'All's well' and during the night they kept up a continued succession of shouting and hallooing. [118]
"Wednesday morning, about 8 o'clock, three of them came down dressed in the captain's clothes, gave us something to eat, and took blocks and lines on deck, and secured the hatch; the same three men returned soon after to get up a water cask, but they were all leaky, and they returned on deck without; we soon heard them hoisting away at what we supposed was the longboat, after which three of them came down and took me out of irons, conducted me on deck with pistols pointed at me, and allowed the mate to come up to the top of the companion ladder, who told me they had obliged him on the pain of death, to navigate them; they then made me get into the boat, and one of the mutineers, who was in the boat, came out and stood at the gangway with his arm in a sling, and was ordered to inform me there was everything necessary in the boat to go to the Society isles, and that I was to persevere and reach them.
"The other three men were brought up, one by one, in the same manner, and forced into the boat; when all in they let go the painter, but while dropping astern, one of the mutineers (Angelia) came aft and threw me a bundle of fishhooks, at the same time shedding tears; one of them then stood up on the taffrel, held up the Chili flag, and they all sung out 'Viva el Rey'.
"We found in the boat all our chests and clothes, masts, sails, two bags of bread, one cask of water, four pieces of beef in a bucket, half a cheese, some bottles of aquardiente, two gun cartridges of powder, three muskets, one marlinespike, a skein of twine, a saucepan, fire-wood, and a cut pork barrel full of sand to make a fire in, tarpaulin, compass, and the mate had been allowed to give me a sextent and chart, on the back of which he had written the following: - "'My sincere friend - I am not allowed to speak to you, much less to write to you. Let me only here tell you my intentions in this present cruel situation. The murderers have obliged me to navigate them with pistols before my face - where to I don't know, but I believe Manilla. I will try to retake the vessel as soon as an opportunity happens, and then meet with you in Otaheite. Should you have an opportunity when you are let out do it, as I have secretly Jose and the cook on my side to assist you. I am trembling while I am writing this to you, my dear brother, as I fear it would be discovered. J.W.L.
(Have patience, and trust to God only).
"We experienced favourable weather till, on the 7th of August, we made Resolution Island, and procured water and cocoa nuts there of a native, who showed us a Missionary's book, and behaved very kind to us; on the 9th made Tuscan Island, then Birnie's, afterwards Adventture Island, where we were forced by a strong southerly s breeze, which broke our rudder and gudgeon, sprung the mast and broke the compass, and kept us continually wet and baling; on the 15th made Chain Island, where the natives hauled the boat up, and gave us refreshments in exchange for a musket. "We started the next day, and arrived at Tahiti on Monday the 18th, when we were surrounded by 2 or 300 natives armed with muskets, who made us prisoners thinking we were a crew of runaway convicts, who, a short time since, had arrived among the islands in a small schooner, which they had lost, and had broken open the house of the chief of Huaheine, had taken the muskets and a barrel of powder therefrom, and helping themselves to one of the Missionaries' whale-boats, some of them had left the island, but were pursued by a boat with natives, four of whom the villains shot, and it was with difficulty the others reached the land.
"To my joy, at daylight saw the Tiger, which ship we knew, having left her in the port of Conception, and Captain Richards, in the course of the forenoon, convinced the Queen she was mistaken, and we were freed immediately from all restraint. By the Tiger we were conveyed to Sydney."
Peter Erikson, native of Swedish Finland, seaman, also gave evidence, as follows: - "That after being asleep, he heard a great noise on deck, but thought it was the captain only striking the man who was looking out, and he fell asleep again; wanted to pumpship but could not get up on deck as the hatchway was fastened."
Jowel, native of Bengal, and steward of the brig, also. deposed thus: - "About four o'clock on Tuesday morning, got up and was going on deck; when nearly up the ladder, saw the mate running forward and two men running after him with swords; he was crying at the same time for help; I, at this instant received a blow with a barrel of a musket across my eyebrow, and another with a cutlass across my collar bone, and fell down the hatchway crying out; when the captain roused out and asked what was the matter; I told him, 'I don't know, Sir, somebody cut me, and I am full of blood.'
"He went back into the cabin got a pistol, and was going up the ladder, when he received a blow with a musket barrel across the skull, and one across the throat with a knife or cutlass, and tumbled down into the steerage, when one man jumped down with a piece of firewood and battered him about the head till he was dead."
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