Having let discipline erode almost completely on Tahiti, Bligh made an instant transition, when the boat sailed, into a task-master impossible to please. Not with the cat o'nine tails, but with that uniquely vicious tongue, he lashed unremittingly at crew and officers alike.
Christian would have been aware that a rift had grown between them on Tahiti as a result of their very different appreciation of that enticing lifestyle. He could have been conscious of a mounting jealousy on Bligh's part. But nothing would have prepared him for scorching abuse in front of his fellow-officers.
Unbearably humiliating as Bligh's sarcasm must have been to a man of Christian's privileged background, it is unlikely that this alone would have driven him to such an irreversible step as mutiny were it not for the fact that, as Hell was mounting, Paradise was receding. And it was not purely a sensual loss - it appears highly probable that Christian's affection for Mi'Mitti was such that he had married her and - a point which has had little stress - that he had left her pregnant.
During the morning watch, within sight of the erupting Tofua volcano, Christian's smouldering sense of injustice turned into an unstoppable conviction that he must be 'rid of this man forever'.
The 'Bounty' Connection
Seeds of Mutiny
The Open Boat Journey
Starvation on Norfolk
Fate of the Bounty Mutineers
The Noble Savages
Hell in Paradise
Pitcairn to Norfolk