His Narration Artur Gordon Pym begins with his acquaintance with Augustus, the son of Captain Barnard. With this young man he became friends in high school in the city of Nantucket. August already went with his father for whales to the South Pacific and told a friend a lot about sea adventures, kindling his desire to go into the sea. They were about eighteen, when Captain Barnard was once again preparing to sail to the southern seas, intending to take his son with him. The friends are developing a plan according to which Arthur must penetrate the “Dolphin” and only after a few days, when it will be impossible to turn back, to appear before the captain.
Augustus is preparing a friend a secret shelter in the hold, beforehand delivering food, water, a mattress and a lantern with a candle there. Conveniently located in an empty box, Arthur spends three days and three nights in the shelter, only occasionally getting out of the box to stretch his muscles. His friend does
not show up, and at first it does not scare Arthur. However, from the stale air, which becomes worse from hour to hour, he falls into a semi-unconscious state, having lost track of time. Food and water are coming to an end. He loses the candle. Arthur suspects that several weeks have passed.
Finally, when the young man had already bid farewell to life, Augustus appeared. It turns out that on the ship during this time there were terrible events. Part of the crew, led by the captain’s aide and a black cocoon, raised a riot. Law-abiding sailors, including Captain Barnard, were destroyed – they were killed and thrown overboard. August managed to survive because of the sympathy for him Lirk Dirk Peters – now a young man with him like a servant. Hardly seizing the moment, he went down to a friend, grabbing a little food and drink and almost not hoping to catch him alive. Promising to visit at any opportunity. August again rushes to the deck, fearing that he might miss.
Meanwhile, in the camp of the rioters a rift is ripening. Some of the rebels, led by the captain’s aide, intend to pirate,
the rest – Peters is also attached to them – would prefer to do without open robbery. Gradually, the idea of piracy attracts an increasing number of sailors, and Peters becomes uncomfortable on the ship. Then Augustus and tells him about a friend hidden in the hold, on which you can count. The three of them decide to take the ship, playing on the prejudices and unclean conscience of the rebels. Taking advantage of the fact that none of the sailors does not know Arthur’s face, Peter makes up a young man for one of the victims, and when he appears in the wardroom, the rioters embrace horror. The operation to seize the ship is going well – now only three of them on the ship and the sailor Parker who joined them.
But on this their misadventures do not end. A terrible storm is rising. Nobody washed overboard – they tied themselves to the windlass well, but there was no food or drink left on the broken ship. In addition, August was seriously wounded.
After many days of bad weather, there is a calm. Exhausted, hungry people are dumbfounded, silently waiting for death. Parker suddenly states that one of them must die so that others can live. Arthur is terrified, but the others support the sailor, and the boy can only agree with the majority. Cast lots – a small pin pulls Parker. He does not resist and after a blow knife falls on the deck dead. Hating himself for his weakness, Arthur joins the bloody feast, Augustus dies in a few days, and soon after that, Arthur and Peters pick up the English schooner “Jane Gai”.
The schooner goes to the seals fishing in the southern seas, the captain also hopes for profitable trade operations with the natives, and therefore on board the ship a large supply of beads, mirrors, lights, axes, nails, dishes, needles, calico and other goods. The captain is not alien to the research goals: he wants to go as far as possible to the south to see if there is an Antarctic continent. Arthur and Peters, who were surrounded on the schooner by care, quickly recover from the consequences of recent deprivations.
After several weeks of swimming among the drifting ice, the forward-looking man notices the land – this is an island that is part of an unknown archipelago. When the anchor is thrown from the schooner, the canoe is simultaneously sailed from the island with the natives. Savages produce the most favorable impression on sailors – they seem very peaceful and willingly change provisions for glass beads and simple economic utensils. Oddly enough, the natives are obviously afraid of white objects and therefore do not want to approach sails or, for example, to a bowl of flour. The appearance of white skin clearly disgusts them. Seeing the peacefulness of the savages, the captain decides to arrange a wintering on the island – in case the ice will delay the further advance of the schooner to the south.
The leader of the natives invites the sailors to go ashore and visit the village. Having properly armed himself and ordered no one to be allowed into the schooner in his absence, the captain with a detachment of twelve men, where Arthur entered also, landed on the island. The sight there shocks the sailors into amazement: no trees, no rocks, no further water is like what they are used to seeing. Especially striking is their water – colorless, it shimmers with all the colors of purple, like silk, splitting into a lot of streaming veins.
The first trip to the village passes safely, which can not be said about the next – when precautions are not observed so carefully. It was worthwhile for the sailors to enter the narrow gorge, like the impending rocks that the natives had previously dug up, crashing down, burying the whole detachment under them. Only Arthur and Peters manage to escape, they are behind, collecting nuts. Once on the edge, they get out of the dam and see that the plain is literally teeming with savages preparing to capture the schooner. Not being able to warn comrades, Arthur and Peter are forced to watch with sorrow how the natives gain the upper hand – just five minutes after the siege begins, the beautiful schooner is a miserable sight. Some confusion among the savages causes a stuffed animal of an unknown animal with a white skin, caught by sailors in the sea near the island – the captain wanted to bring him to England.
Hiding on the island, Arthur and Peters stumble upon stone wells leading to mines of strange shapes – drawings of the outlines of the mines Arthur Pym brings in his manuscript. But these galleries are not leading anywhere, and sailors are losing interest in them. A few days later Arthur and Peters managed to steal a savage pie and safely slip away from the pursuers, taking with them a captive. From it, the sailors learn that the archipelago consists of eight islands, that the black skins from which the garments of soldiers are made belong to some huge animals that are found on the island. When a sail of white shirts is attached to homemade masts, the prisoner flatly refuses to help – the white matter infuses him with incredible fear. Trembling, he yells: “Tekeli-li!”
The current carries the cake to the south – the water suddenly warms, resembling the color of milk. The prisoner is worried and falls into unconsciousness. Above the horizon there is a band of white fumes, the sea sometimes bubbles, and then a strange glow appears over this place, and white ash falls from the sky. The water is almost hot. On the horizon, the screams of birds are heard more often: “Tekeli-li!” The cake rushes into the white world enveloping the world, and here on its way a huge human figure in the shroud grows. And her skin is whiter than white…
At this point the manuscript ends. According to the publisher in the afterword, this is due to the sudden death of Mr. Pym.