The Night Passed
Away Without Any Further Attempts On The Part Of The Natives.
When The Day Dawned, The Tonquin Still Lay At Anchor In The Bay,
Her Sails All Loose And Flapping In The Wind, And No One
Apparently On Board Of Her.
After a time, some of the canoes
ventured forth to reconnoitre, taking with them the interpreter.
They paddled about her, keeping cautiously at a distance, but
growing more and more emboldened at seeing her quiet and
lifeless. One man at length made his appearance on the deck, and
was recognized by the interpreter as Mr. Lewis. He made friendly
signs, and invited them on board. It was long before they
ventured to comply. Those who mounted the deck met with no
opposition; no one was to be seen on board; for Mr. Lewis, after
inviting them, had disappeared. Other canoes now pressed forward
to board the prize; the decks were soon crowded, and the sides
covered with clambering savages, all intent on plunder. In the
midst of their eagerness and exultation, the ship blew up with a
tremendous explosion. Arms, legs, and mutilated bodies were blown
into the air, and dreadful havoc was made in the surrounding
canoes. The interpreter was in the main-chains at the time of the
explosion, and was thrown unhurt into the water, where he
succeeded in getting into one of the canoes. According to his
statement, the bay presented an awful spectacle after the
catastrophe. The ship had disappeared, but the bay was covered
with fragments of the wreck, with shattered canoes, and Indians
swimming for their lives, or struggling in the agonies of death;
while those who had escaped the danger remained aghast and
stupefied, or made with frantic panic for the shore.
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