Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/203

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After watching the faithless Bounty until she gleamed like a bit of cloud, the refugees shoved out their oars and pulled in the direction of the nearest island, Tofa, about forty miles distant. A slant of wind presently favored them, and they hoisted sail, bowling along until they were able to drop anchor outside the barrier of surf soon after nightfall of the same day.

Next morning they landed in a cove and found natives who seemed amiable enough and who supplied them with cocoanuts, plantains, breadfruit, and water. The humor of these temperamental islanders changed without warning, however, and in a sudden attack with stones and spears they killed one of the quartermasters. This dissuaded Bligh from his plan of cruising from one island to another and so making his way to civilization. He told his men that he purposed to attempt to make no more landings, but to steer for the Dutch East Indies and the port of Timor, almost four thousand miles away. In those wild seas there was no nearer haven where they might hope to find Europeans and a ship to carry them home to England.

In the confusion of escaping from Tofa, they lost most of the fruit which had been taken on there, and so they set sail with just about the amount of stores with which they had been set adrift from the