The Survivors of the Chancellor HTML version
Human Flesh For Bait
JANUARY 8. -- All night I remained by the side of the poor fellow's corpse, and several
times Miss Herbey joined me in my mournful watch.
Before daylight dawned, the body was quite cold, and as I knew there must be no delay in
throwing it overboard, I asked Curtis to assist me in the sad office. The body was
frightfully emaciated, and I had every hope that it would not float.
As soon as it was quite light, taking every precaution that no one should see what we
were about, Curtis and I pro- ceeded to our melancholy task. We took a few articles from
the lieutenant's pockets, which we purposed, if either of us should survive, to remit to his
mother. But as we wrapped him in his tattered garments that would have to suffice for his
winding sheet, I started back with a thrill of horror. The right foot had gone, leaving the
leg a bleeding stump.
No doubt that, overcome by fatigue, I must have fallen asleep for an interval during the
night, and some one had taken advantage of my slumber to mutilate the corpse. But who
could have been guilty of so foul a deed? Curtis looked around with anger flashing in his
eye; but all seemed as usual, and the silence was only broken by a few groans of agony.
But there was no time to be lost; perhaps we were already observed, and more horrible
scenes might be likely to occur. Curtis said a few short prayers, and we cast the body into
the sea. It sank immediately.
"They are feeding the sharks well, and no mistake," said a voice behind me.
I turned round quickly, and found that it was Jynxstrop who had spoken.
As the boatswain now approached, I asked him whether he thought it possible that any of
the wretched men could have taken the dead man's foot.
"Oh, yes, I dare say," he replied in a significant tone, "and perhaps they thought they
"Right! what do you mean?" I exclaimed.
"Well, sir," he said coldly, "isn't it better to eat a dead man than a living one?"
I was at a loss to comprehend him, and, turning away, laid myself down at the end of the
Toward eleven o'clock a most suspicious incident occurred. The boatswain, who had cast
his lines early in the morning, caught three large cod, each more than thirty inches long,
of the species which, when dried, is known by the name of stock-fish. Scarcely had he