Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/373

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Parr then asked whose lot it was to die, none of us knowing what number we had in our pocket, and each praying to God that it might not be his lot. It was agreed that Number 5 should die, and the lots being unfolded, M'Kinnon's was number 5. We had concluded that he, on whom the lot fell, should bleed himself to death, for which purpose we had provided ourselves with sharpened nails which were got from the boat. With one of these M'Kinnon cut himself in three places, in his foot, hand, and wrist and praying God to forgive his sins he died in about a quarter of an hour.

Three of the deserters lived to reach the South American coast, and were taken to Rio in a Portuguese ship. One might think that Private John Brown had suffered enough for his crime of running away from the Royal Artillery, but Captain Elphinstone of H. M. S. Diamond had him put in irons and sent to Cape Town. There he was pressed into the navy, but his conscience gave him no rest, and after receiving his discharge he made his way to St. Helena and gave himself up. To the officers who conducted his court martial he explained:

"I was determined to surrender myself at the first opportunity in order to relate my sufferings to the men of this garrison and to deter others from attempting so mad a scheme."