Tahiti - Pandora


At daylight on a fine, fair, breezy day in March, a young man in his late teens said good-bye to his wife and stepped out of his neat cottage picturesquely set amid citrus trees at the foot of a hill for a n excursion to the mountains. Darkly tanned and heavily tattooed with the traditional patterns of manhood across his backside, the youth could have passed for one of the Tahitians who met him outside. Peter Haywood, however, was an Englishman, not an 'Indian', and close observation would have revealed that one of the tattoos linked on his leg was not native, but the symbol of the Isle of Man. Young Heywood had been living here, in his idyllic garden home just beyond Matavai Bay, since September 1789, when the Bounty, under the command of Master's Mate Fletcher Christian, had deposited him and fifteen other shipmates at Tahiti - and then vanished in the night, never to be seen again.

Peter Heywood, former midshipman on the Bounty, had been only  few weeks short of seventeen on the morning the mutiny had broken out and his close friend and distant relative Fletcher Christian had taken the ship. At Christian's command, Lieutenant Bligh and eighteen loyalists had been compelled to go overboard into one of the Bounty's small boats, where they had been left, bobbing in the wide Pacific, to certain death. Fletcher Christian's control of the mutineers was to last no more than five months. When he eventually directed the Bounty back to Tahiti for what would be her final visit, he had done so because his company had disintegrated into factions. the majority of his people wished to bail out and take their chances at Tahiti even though, as they knew, a British naval ship would eventually come looking for them; some of these men had been loyal to Bligh, but had been held against their will on board the Bounty.

Peter Heywood had been one of the last men to take his farewell of Christian, whom he still regarded with affectionate sympathy. then when the bounty had departed for good, he had turned back from her beach to set about the business of building a new life. Now, on this fresh March day, a year and a half after Christian's departure, Peter was setting out for the mountains with friends. He had gone no more than a hundred yards from his home when a man came hurrying after him to announce that there was a ship in sight. running to the hill behind his house, with its convenient lookout over the sea, he spotted the ship lying to only a few miles distant. Peter would later claim that he had seen this sight 'with the utmost Joy', but it is probably that his emotions were somewhat more complicated. racing down the hill, he went to the nearby home of his close friend Midshipman George Stewart with the news. by the time he and Stewart had splashed their way out to the ship, another man, Joseph Coleman, the Bounty's armourer, was already on board. On introducing themselves as formerly of the Bounty, Heywood and Stewart had been placed under arrest and led away for confinement. The ship, Pandora, had been specifically commissioned to apprehend the mutineers and bring them to justice in England. These morning hours of 23 March 1791 were the last Peter Heywood would spend on Tahiti.

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The news of the mutiny on board His Majesty's Armed Vessel Bounty had reached England almost exactly a year before. How the news arrived was even more extraordinary than the mutiny - for the messenger had been none other than Lieutenant William Bligh himself. After Fletcher Christian had put him and the loyalists into the Bounty's launch off the island of Tofua, Bligh, against all imaginable odds, had navigated the little 23-footg-long craft 3618 miles over a period of forty-eight days to Timor, in the Dutch East Indies. Here, his starving and distressed company had been humanely received by the incredulous Dutch authorities. Eventually, passages had been found home for him and his men, and Bligh had arrived in England in a blaze of triumph and white-hot anger on 13 March 1790. 

Native of the mutiny and a description of the mutineers wee swiftly dispatched to British and Dutch ports. In Botany Bay the news inspired seventeen convicts to escape in an attempt to join the 'pirates' in Tahiti. Although it was at first supposed that two Spanish men-of-war already in the Pacific might have apprehended the bounty, the Admiralty took no chances and began to mobilize an expedition to hunt down the mutineers. the expense and responsibility of sending yet another ship to the Pacific was not appealing: England seemed poised on the verge of a new war with Spain, and all available men and ships were being pressed into service. However, putting a British naval officer overboard in the middle of the Pacific, and running away with His Majesty's property were outrages that could not go unpunished. Eventually, a 24-gun frigate named Pandora was dispatched under the command of Captain Edward Edwards to hunt the mutineers.

The sinking of the Pandora, engraving
by Lieutenant Colonel Barry, based on a sketch by Peter Haywood

Departing in early November 1790, the Pandora made a swift and uneventful passage to Tahiti, avoiding the horrendous storms that had afflicted the bounty three years before. Whereas the Bounty had carried a complement of 46 men, the Pandora bore 140. The Pandora's commander, Captain Edwards, had suffered a near mutiny of his own nine years earlier, when in command of the Narcissus off the northeast coast of America. Eventually, five of the would-be mutineers in this thwarted plot had been hanged, and two more sentenced to floggings of two hundred and five hundred lashes, respectively, while the leader of the mutiny had been hanged in chains. As events would show, Captain Edwards never forgot that he, the near victim of a mutiny, was now in pursuit of actual mutineers.

Also on the Pandora, newly promoted to third lieutenant, was Thomas Hayward, a Bounty midshipman who had accompanied Bligh on his epic open-boat journey. With memories of the thirst, near starvation, exposure and sheer horror of that voyage still fresh in his mind, Hayward was eager to assist in running to ground those responsible for his ordeal. His familiarity with Tahitian waters and people would assist navigation and island diplomacy; his familiarity with his old shipmates would identify the mutineers. So it was that March 1791, under cloudless skies and mild breezes, the Pandora sighted the lush, dramatic peaks of Tahiti. closer in, and the mountain cascades, the graceful palms, and the sparkling volcanic black beaches could be seen beyond thundering breakers and surf. The few ships that had anchored here had all attempted to describe the vision-like beauty of the first sight of this island rising into view from the blue Pacific. Bligh had called Tahiti 'the Paradise of the World'. 

Now, as the Pandora cruised serenely through the clear blue waters bearing justice and vengeance, she was greeted by men canoeing or swimming towards her. 'Before we Anchored,' wrote Edwards in his official report to the Admiralty, 'Joseph Coleman Armourer of the bounty and several of the Natives came on board.' Coleman was one of four men whom Bligh had specifically identified as being innocent of the mutiny and detained against his will. Once on board, Coleman immediately volunteered what had become of the different factions. Of the sixteen men left by Christian on Tahiti, two had already been responsible for each other's deaths. Charles Churchill, the master-at-arms and the man described as 'the most murderous' of the mutineers, had in fact been murdered by his messmate Mathew Thompson, an able seaman from the Isle of Wight. Churchill's death had in turn been avenged by his Tahitian friends, who had murdered Thompson and then offered him 'as a Sacrifice to their Gods', as Edwards dispassionately reported.  

Meanwhile, on his way to the anchored ship, Peter Heywood had learned from another Tahitian friend that his former shipmate Thomas Hayward was on board. the result of this friendly enquiry, as Peter reported in a long letter he wrote to his mother, was no what he had ingenuously expected. 'We ask'd for him, supposing he might prove our Assertions,' Peter wrote; 'but he like all other Worldlings when raised a little in Life received us very coolly & pretended Ignorance of our Affairs. . . . so that Appearances being so much against us, we were order'd in Irons & look'd upon - infernal Words! - as piratical Villains.'

As the Pandora's company moved in, inexorably bent upon their mission, it became clear that no distinction would be made among the captured men. Coleman, noted as innocent by Bligh himself and the first man to surrender voluntarily, was clapped in irons along with the indignant midshipman,. Edwards had determined that his job was simply to take hold of everyone he could, indiscriminately, and let the court-martial sort them out once back in England. From the Tahitians who crowded curiously on board, Edwards quickly ascertained the likely whereabouts of the other eleven fugitives. some were still around Matavai, others had by coincidence sailed only the day before, in a thirty-foot-long decked schooner they themselves had built, with much effort and ingenuity, for Papara, a region on the south coast where the remainder of the Bounty men had settled. With the zealous assistance of the local authorities, the roundup began and by three o'clock of the second day, Richard Skinner, able seaman of the bounty was on board Pandora.   

A party under the command of Lieutenants Robert corner and Hayward was now dispatched to intercept the remaining men. aiding them to their search was one John Brown, an Englishman deposited on Tahiti some ways, which had included carving up the face of shipmate with a knife. the Mercury had departed Tahiti only weeks before Christian's final return with the boat - she had even seen fires burning on the island of Tubuai, where the mutineers had first settled, but decided not to investigate. Brown, it became clear, had not been on terms of friendship with his compatriots. At Papara, Edwards's men discovered that the mutineers, hearing of their approach, had abandoned their schooner and fled to the mountain forest. 'Under cover of night they had taken shelter in a hut in the woods,' wrote the Pandora's surgeon, George Hamilton, in his account of this adventure, 'but were discovered by Brown, who creeping up to the place where they were asleep, distinguished them from the natives by feeling their toes.' British toes apparently lacked the telltale spread of unshod Tahitians'. 

'Tuesday, March 29th,' Edward recorded in the Pandora's log. 'At 9 the Launch retuned with James Morrison, Charles Norman and Thomas Ellison belonging to His Majesty's Ship Bounty - prisoners.' Also taken in tow was the mutineers' schooner, the Resolution, an object for them of great pride and now requisitioned by the Pandora as a tender, or service vessel. the three newcomers were at first housed under the half-deck, and kept under around-the-clock sentry. meanwhile, the ship's carpenters were busy constructing a proper prison, a kind of low hut to the rear of the quarterdeck, where the prisoners would be placed, as Edwards reported to the Admiralty, 'for their more effectual security airy & healthy situation.' the prisoners in their turn assessed their circumstances somewhat differently, referring sardonically to the shallow cramped structure, with its narrow scuttle, as 'Pandora' Box'.

At some point during the pursuit of James Morrison and the men on the Resolution, Michael Byrn, the almost blind fiddler of the bounty, either was captured or came on board of his own accord. Insignificant at every juncture of the Bounty saga, Byrn, alone of the fugitives, arrived on the Pandora unrecorded. Eight men had now been apprehended and were firmly held in irons, six men remained at large, reported to have taken flight in the hill country around Papara. over the next week and a half, while searches were made for the fugitives under the guidance of the ever helpful Brown, Captain Edwards and his officers got a taste of life in Tahiti. Their immediate host was Tynah, the stately king whose girth was proportionate to his outstanding nearly six-foot-four-inch height. Around forty yars of age, he could remember William Bligh from his visit to the island in 1777, with Captain Cook, as well as his return eleven years later with the Bounty. Upon the Pandora's arrival, Edwards and his men had been greeted by the islanders with their characteristic generosity, with streams of gifts, food, feasts, dances and offers of their women. 

'The English are allowed by the rest of the world ... to be a generous, charitable people,' observed Dr Hamilton. 'But the Otaheiteans could not help bestowing the most contemptuous word in their language upon us, which is, Peery, Peery, or Stingy.' Generous, loyal, sensual, uninhibited - the handsome people of Tahiti had won over most who visited them. by now the bounty men were no longer strangers, but had lived among them, taken wives, had children. . . .

'Sure Friendship's there, & Gratitude, & Love,' young Peter Heywood would later write, exhibiting a poetic bent:

Sure Friendship's there,  & Gratitude, & Love,
Such as ne'er reigns in European Blood
In these degen'rate Days; tho' from above
We Precepts have, & know what's right and good ...

Now, sitting shackled in the weltering heat of Pandora's box, Heywood and his shipmates had more than usual cause, and time, to contemplate this disparity of cultures. On Saturday the last fugitives began to trickle in. Henr Hilbrant, an able seaman from Hanover, Germany, and Thomas McIntosh, a young carpenter's mate from the north of England, were delivered on board; as predicted, they had been captured in the hill country above Papara. By the following evening, the roundup was complete. Able seamen Thomas Burkett, John Millward and John Sumner, and William Muspratt, the cook's assistant, were brought in, also from Papara.

As the 'pirates' were led into Pandora's Box, ship activities bustled around them. Carpenters and sailmakers were busy making repairs for the next state of their long voyage and routine disciplinary activities continued. On Sunday, the ship's company was assembled for the weekly reading of the Articles of War; 'Article XIX: If any Person in or belonging to the Fleet shall make or endeavour to make any mutinous Assembly upon any Pretence whatsoever, every Person offending herein, and being convicted thereof by the Sentence of the court-martial, shall suffer Death.' After the reading, three seam were punished with a dozen lashes each 'for theft and drunkenness'. It was a cloudy evening and had rained the day before. this was the last the Bounty men would see of Pacific skies for several months. fourteen men were now crowded into the eleven-by-eighteen-foot space that was their prison. Onshore, they had kept themselves in different factions and were by no means all on good terms with one another. Strikingly, both Thomas McIntosh and Charles Norman, who had been among those who fled from the Pandora's men, had been exonerated by Bligh. Perhaps family attachments on the island had made them think twice about leaving' or it may be, less trusting than Coleman who had so quickly surrendered, they did not believe that innocence would count for much in the Admiralty's eyes.

Within the box, the prisoners wallowed in their own sweat and vermin. 'What I have suffer'd I have not power to describe,' wrote Heywood to his mother' he had characterized himself to her as one 'long inured to the Frowns of Fortune' and now waxed philosophical about his situation. 'I am young in years, but old in what the World calls Adversity,' he wrote; Peter Heywood was not quite nineteen. 'It has made me acquainted with three Things, which are little known,' he continued, doggedly. 'First, the villainy & Censoriousness of Mankind - second, the Futility of all human Hopes, - & third, the Enjoyment of being content in whatever station it pleases Providence to place me in.'

Among the possessions confiscated from the mutineers were journals kept by Stewart and Heywood in their sea chests, and from these Edwards was able to piece together the history of the bounty following the mutiny, up to her final return to Tahiti. Two days after Bligh and his loyalists had been left in the Pacific, Fletcher Christian and his men had cut up the ship's topsails to make jackets for the entire company - they were well aware of the impression made by a uniformed crew. soon all the breadfruit - 1015 little pots and tubs of carefully nurtured seedlings, all, as Bligh had wistfully reported, 'in the most flourishing state' - were thrown overboard. More sails were cut up for uniform jackets, and the possessions of those who had been forced into the boat with Bligh were divided by lot among the ship's company. But in telling report made by James Morrison, the Bounty boatswain's mate and the mastermind behind the ambitious Resolution, 'it always happened that Mr. Christians party were always better served than these who were thought to be disaffected.'

Tensions among the men already threatened to undermine Christian's tenuous control. In this state of affairs, the Bounty made for Tubuai, an island lying some 350 miles south of Tahiti, and anchored there on May 24, nearly a month after the mutiny. 'Notwithstanding they met with some opposition from the Natives they intended to settle on this Island.' Edwards wrote in his official report, gleaning the diaries of Heywood and Stewart. 'But after some time they perceived they were in want of several things Necessary for a settlement & which was the cause of disagreements & quarrels amongst themselves.' One of the things they most quarrelled about was women. 

Consequently, only a week after landing at Tubuai, the bounty sailed back to Tahiti, where they had lived and loved for five memorable months while gathering Bligh's breadfruit. Here, as the men knew, their loyal friends would give them all they required. The story they prepared was that they had fallen in with the great Captain Cook (in reality long dead), who was planning to found a settlement on the island of Whytootackee (Aitutaki), and that Bligh had remained with his old commander and delegated Christian to sail with the Bounty for supplies. The 'Tahitians, ever generous and overjoyed at the news that Cook, whom they regarded with worshipful esteem, would be so close to them, give freely of hogs, goats, chickens, a variety of plants, cats and dogs. More important, nine women, eight men, seven boys and one young girl left with the Bounty when she returned to Tubuai.

For three months the mutineers struggled to make a settlement on the tiny island. construction was begun on a defensive fort that measured some fifty yards square, surrounded by a kind of dry moat or ditch. A drawbridge was planned for the entrance facing the beach, while the walls were surmounted by the Bounty's four-pounder cannons and swivel guns. Patriotically, the mutineers had christened their fortress Fort George, after their king.  Again, there were early signs that this would not be a successful experiment.

'On 5th July some of the people began to be mutinous,' according to an extract made by Edwards from Peter Heywood's journal. '& on 6th 2 of the men were put in Irons by a Majority of Votes - & drunkenness, fighting & threatening each other's life was so common tghat those abaft were obliged to arm themselves with Pistols.' The following day, an attempt was made to heal the growing breach and 'Articles wee drawn up by Christian and Churchill specifying a mutual forgiveness of all past grievances which every Man was obliged to wear to & sign,' according to an extract from Stewart's journal. 'Mathew Thompson excepted who refused to comply.' Despite this gesture, an inner circle evolved around Christian. when John Sumner and Matthew ?Quintal spent the night onshore without leave, declaring that they wee now their own masters and would do as they pleased, Christian clapped the pistol he now always carried to the head of one, and had both placed in leg irons.

Violence also escalated without as well as within this fractious company, erupting as the bounty men fought with the Tubuaians over property and women. In one particularly bloody encounter, Thomas Burkett was stabbed in the side by a spear and Christian wounded himself on his own bayonet. when the dust settled, sixty-six Tubuaians were dead, including six women, and the bounty men were masters of the field. One of the gentle Tahitian youths who had journeyed to Tubuai with his English friends, according to James Morrison, 'desired leave to cut out the jaw bones of the kill'd to hang around the quarters of the ship as 'Trophies,' and was much displeased when this request was denied. In September, in recognition that the different factions could not co-exist, a collective decision was made to return once more to Tahiti. Here the ship's company would divide. those who chose to remain on the island could do so' the rest would depart with Christian, taking to sea once again in the Bounty. Each man remaining onshore was given a musket, a pistol, a cutlass, a bayonet, a box of cartridges and seventeen pounds of powder from ship's arms and lead for ball - everyone save Michael Byrn, that is, who, as Morrison stated, 'being blind and of a very troublesome disposition it was thought that arms put into his hands would be only helping him to do some mischief.'

On anchoring for the third and final time in Matavai Bay, Christian and many of the right men who had cast their lots with him did not even bother to go ashore. Arriving on 21 September 1789, they departed secretly the same night, quietly cutting the Bounty's anchor cable. Joseph Coleman, the most relentless loyalist, had been once again held against his will for his skills as an armourer, but as the ship slipped away, he dived overboard and swam to land. At dawn, the sixteen men deposited onshore saw their ship hovering off Point Venus; by midmorning she was gone.

When here with Bligh, each man had acquired a taio, or special protector and friend, and to these each now turned. Soon, the fugitives had settled down, either with their taio's families or, like Heywood and Stewart, in cottages of their own. They took wives and some had children, and so a year and half had passed, until the day the Pandora loomed out of the early morning to drag them back to England. 

Now captured and pinned inside Pandora's Box, the Bounty prisoners listened in anguish as their wives and friends wailed and grieved under the Pandora's stern. Standing in canoes around the ship, the women enacted their terrible rites of mourning, hammering at their heads with sharp shells until the blood ran. As the day of departure approached, more canoes came from across the island, filling the harbour around the ship. Men and women stripped their clothes and cut their heads in grief, and as the blood fell, cut again and cried aloud.  Tynah came on board and, with tears streaming down his cheeks, begged to be remembered to his friend, the King of England.

'This I believe was the first time that an Englishman got up his anchor, at the remotest part of the globe, with a heavy heart, to go home to his own country,' wrote Dr Hamilton - an astonishing admission from a naval official who had come in search of deserting mutineers. On 8 May 1791, under pleasant breezes, the Pandora, recaulked and overhauled, left Tahiti with the mutineers' schooner, Resolution, in tow. Edward's commission was far from fulfilled. Still missing was His Majesty's stolen ship as well as the ringleader of the mutiny and his most hard-core followers.

'Christian had been frequently heard to declare that he would search for an unknown or an uninhabited Island in which there was no harbour for Shipping, would run the Ship ashore, and get from her such things as would be useful to him and settle there,' Edwards recorded in his official report to the Admiralty, continuing with admirable understatement, 'but this information was too vague to be follow'd in an immense Ocean strew'd with an almost innumerable number of known and unknown Islands.' Specifically, the Pacific contains more than twenty thousand islands scattered over some 64 million square miles. Christian and the Bounty had departed Tahiti in September 1789 - a twenty-month head start, long enough to have taken the bounty not only as far as north or south America, but, in theory, around the globe.

Edward's instructions from the Admiralty offered some guidance if no knowledge of the mutineers had been gained at Tahiti, he was to venture west to Whytootackee (Aitutaki), 'calling in your way, at Huaheine and Uliatea.' If nothing was found here, he was to make a circuit of the neighbouring islands. If nothing here, he was to continue west to the Friendly Islands (Tonga), 'and, having succeeded, or failed, 'to return to England, through the Endeavour Strait (Torres Strait) separating New guinea from new Holland (Australia). Be mindful of prevailing winds, the Admiralty admonished, 'there being no dependence (of which we have any certain knowledge) of passing the Strait after the month of September....'

For roughly the next thee months Edwards doggedly followed the Admiralty's resdcribed itinerary in a desultory chase from island to island. At each landfall, a uniformed officer was disembarked and in the cloying heat tramped along the beach, offering presents and seeking information. Anchored offshore, the Pandora received the new customary canoe-loads of eager visitors. Spears, clubs and other curios were collected, differences among the islanders, who appeared 'ruder' and less civilized as the Pandora progressed, were duly noted, but no hint of the Bounty's whereabouts emerged. 

A week out from Tahiti, Hilbrant, one of the mutineers, volunteered that Christian had spoken to him on the day before his departure of his intention to make for an uninhabited island that he knew from earlier accounts to be 'situated to the Westward of the Islands of Danger.' This description seemed to refer to Duke of York Island (Atafu) but was to prove to be another dead nd. En route, however, Edwards topped off at Palmerston Island (Avarau) and sent his boats ashore to search that isle's bays and inlets. Two of these returned in the late afternoon full of coconuts, and nothing more. but that night the tender arrived with hopeful news: it had discovered some spars and yard marked 'Bounty's Driver yard' embossed with the Admiralty's broad arrow mark.

Over the next two days, all the ship's craft - a cutter, two yawls and the mutineers' schooner - were dispatched to examine the island as well as islets and even reefs in the vicinity. the belief that the mutineers might be at large nearby caused everyone to move with great circumspection. One party camping overnight on the island were woken abruptly when a coconut they had placed on their campfire exploded. 'Expecting muskets to be fired at them from every bush,' Dr Hamilton explained, 'they all jumped up, seized their arms, and were some time before they could undeceive themselves, that they were really not attacked.' As the various small craft tacked to and fro around the island, Edwards remained with Pandora, cruising offshore and making the occasional coconut run. On the afternoon of 24 May, one of the midshipmen, John Sival, returned in the cutter with several striking painted canoes; but after these were examined and admired, he was sent back to complete his orders. shortly after he left, thick weather closed in, obscuring the little craft as she bobbed dutifully back to shore, and was followed by an ugly squall that did not lift for four days. when the weather cleared on the twenty-eighth, the cutter had disappeared. Neither she nor her company of five men was ever seen again.

'It may be difficult to surmise what has been the fate of these unfortunate men.' Dr. Hamilton wrote, adding hopefully that they 'had a piece of salt-beef thrown into the boat to them on leaving the ship; and it rained a good deal that night and the following day, which might satiate their thirst.' By now, too, it was realized that the tantalizing clues of the Bounty's presence wee only flotsam. 'The yard and these things lay upon the beach at high water Mark & wee all eaten by the Sea Worm which is a strong presumption they were drifted thee by the Waves,' Edwards reported. It was concluded that they had drifted from Tuibuai, where the mutineers had reported that the bounty had lost most of her spars. These few odds and ends of worm-eaten wood were all that were ever found by Pandora of His Majesty's Armed Vessel Bounty.

The fruitless search apart, morale on board had been further lowered by the discovery, as Dr Hamilton put it, 'that the ladies of Otaheite had left us many warm tokens of their affection.' The men confined within Pandora's Box were also far from well. Their irons chafed them both so much so that while they wee still at Matavai Bay, Joseph Coleman's legs had swollen alarmingly and the arms of McIntosh and Ellison had become badly 'galled'. to the complaint that the irons were causing their wrists to swell, Lieutenant john Karkan had replied that they were not intended to fit like Gloves!' Edwards had an obsessive fear that the mutineers might 'taint' his crew and, under threat of severe punishment, had forbidden any communication between the parties whatsoever; but from rough memos he made, it seems he was unsuccessful. 'Great difficulty created in keeping the Mutineers from conversing with the crew,' Edwards had jotted down, elsewhere noting that one of the lieutenants suspected hat the prisoners had 'carried on a correspondence with some of our people by Letter.'

From duke of York Island down to the rest of the Union Islands (Tokelau), thence to the Samoas, the Pandora continued her futile search. to aid them in making rough landfalls, lieutenants Corner and Hayward donned cork jackets and plunged boldly into the surf ahead of the landing boats. Parakeets were purchased on one island, splendid birds resembling peacocks on another, and on others still the use of the islands' women. Striking sights were enjoyed - the large skeleton of a whale, for example, and a deserted shrine with an altar pilled with white shells. they had even discovered whole islands, whose newly bestowed names would form a satisfying addition to the reports Edwards would eventually turn over to the Admiralty. In short, the Pandora had discovered a great deal - but nothing at all that pertained to the missing mutineers and the Bounty.

Thousands of miles from England, adrift in one of the most unknown regions of the earth, Hamilton, who seems to have enjoyed this meandering sojourn, mused tellingly on the strange peoples he had seen and their distance from civilized life. 'And although that unfortunate man Christian has, in a rash unguarded moment, been tempted to swerve from his duty to his king and country, as he is in other respects of an amiable character, and respectable abilities, should be elude the hand of justice, it may be hoped he will employ his talents in humanizing the rude savages,' he wrote, in an astonishing wave of sympathy for that elusive mutineer who had, after all, consigned his captain and eighteen shipmates to what he had thought was certain death. 

Tahiti - The Pandora - Part 2

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