Saturday, May 3, 2014

What Caused the Mutiny on the Bounty?

What Caused the Mutiny on the Bounty? 

I mean, what really caused it? You know the answer, at least the one given by popular opinion and the especially by the film of that name. Captain Bligh was a monster, the revolt was well-justified, and the mutineers were noble men.
The evidence actually seems to be that Bligh was unusually liberal with his men, and that was partly what did him in. In an era when flogging at sea was a common punishment, Bligh flogged fewer of his crew than any other commander at that time. He scolded a great deal instead, and avoided hanging when other commanders would have done so. He took a modern approach to his crew and insisted on a good diet, exercise, and general sanitation. 

The Bounty was on an expedition to Tahiti to bring home breadfruit plants, when Bligh and his men had  to stay  five months for the plants to mature. When the Bounty was ready to sail with its cargo, the crew mutinied. After all, they’d thoroughly enjoyed Tahiti. Many of them had wives they were loathe to leave. In fact they’d never had it so good! 

Bligh was put adrift on a small launch with food for five days. He managed somehow to navigate to Timor, in forty-eight days, a journey of over 3600 miles. And all this without charts or compass. When he returned to Britain he was cleared of all wrong-doing, having himself notified the Admiralty of the mutiny. 

If he had any faults it seems he was too nice!

Excerpt: From Fearless Pursuit, the latest book released by Ellora's Cave in my Passionate Pursuit series on sexy, gorgeous, pointed-eared elves.
"The stranger bowed to the ladies and addressed Arden.

“I believe you are the head of this household, sir? It is a great pleasure to meet you. I am Antonio Bartolini, a superior voice coach. I have had the privilege of teaching Miss Mackenzie all she knows.”

The one good result of this ridiculous speech was that Reina grew rigid with anger, her eyes flashing and her fear forgotten.

“Sir, I’m sure you remember I was a trained singer before I met you.”

Bartolini’s oily smile showed this was exactly the response he wanted.

“Oh yes, my dear girl. You’d had enough training to interest me. Not enough to be successful though, until I took you in hand. In fact, your former teacher left you with many mistakes for me to correct.”

Rurik had both his hands in his pockets. They were clenched so tightly he was sure his white fingers would betray his concern for his love. He didn’t need to know much more before he ushered this despicable character out with any necessary force. He wanted him to condemn himself a little more though.

Certainly the lout was no gentleman, and Rurik shuddered at the thought of Reina having ever had contact with him.

The lout smirked at them all.

“I found her singing in a seedy nightclub and brought her home to my wife. She lived with us for six months, until she suddenly disappeared. Fortunately now that I’ve found her she can return with me. Tommy misses you painfully, my dear.”

Rurik had no understanding of the words but he knew Reina turned even more pale. He wouldn’t have thought it possible. A look of agony twisted her face as she shut her eyes. Why did the thought of this Tommy terrify her so?

Damn, how he wished his love for her forbade reading her mind.

Arden spoke for the first time, his thoughtful, low voice dominating the room as he walked to Reina and stood behind her chair. He laid one hand on her shoulder.

“Oh we can’t possibly let Reina go, my dear man. I’m sure you can elucidate on your relationship with her and I’m looking forward to hearing more. She has an engagement two days from now to sing at my sister’s ball. Would you like to attend, sir, and we can further discuss this at that time?”

Bartolini’s face grew red. He evidently wasn’t stupid. He’d caught the challenge in Arden’s words and gestures.

He forced another oily, unpleasant smile.

“Very tempting, my lord. But I fear I must insist on taking her home tonight. My son Tommy will be bitterly sorry if she does not come.”

Rurik heard his father’s voice in his elfin mind. “Transport yourself and bring the boy Tommy to me, Rurik. We can do nothing without him under our protection. I’ll stall this brute a little longer and you’ll have plenty of time to get the boy while Bartolini is driving home.”

Rurik had never transported himself but he knew it was a talent all elves possessed. And he was an elf, wasn’t he?

“But I don’t know here he lives.”

“Concentrate on the boy’s name. Think of nothing else at all.”
Rurik shut his eyes and concentrated. "Tommy, Tommy, Tommy."
Hope this catches your interest.... would be delighted to have comments.
You can find my books at Ellora's Cave, Kindle, Amazon, etc, all the usual places. And of course at my own website.  www.jeanhartstewart.com
Would love to know what you're thinking...


Tina Donahue said...

Fascinating, Jean - never knew that about Bligh. Wonder why Hollywood opted for the 'he's a creep' version.

Great excerpt! :)

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, tina. I love obscure stuff like that. As for Hollywood, they're crazy for sure.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, tina. I love obscure stuff like that. As for Hollywood, they're crazy for sure.

Fiona McGier said...

Sounds great! And I didn't know all of that about Bligh either. But why confuse the Hollywood folks with facts? They generally ignore them in favor of what they think will sell more tickets!