In July 1842, at Nukuheva in the Marquesas Islands, he and shipmate Richard Tobias "Toby" Greene deserted ship to avoid intolerable conditions and a meager diet of hardtack and occasional fruit. They lived for a month under benign house arrest among the cannibalistic Typees. With his Polynesian mistress, Melville enjoyed a few carefree months as a beach bum. During this sojourn, he distanced himself from the Western world's philosophies as well as nineteenth-century faith in "progress."Melville escaped the Typees aboard the Lucy Ann, an Australian whaler not much better than his former berth. He became embroiled in a mutiny, was jailed for a few weeks in a British prison, and deserted ship a second time in September 1842 at Papeete, Tahiti, along with the ship's doctor, Long Ghost. For a time, he worked as a field laborer and enjoyed the relaxed island lifestyle.
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Melville, benign house arrest, brave seaman intervened., manofwar United States