Captain Jaggery puts down the mutiny by fatally shooting Mr. Cranick, the man he believes to be the ringleader. Everyone is shocked into silence by this cold-blooded act. Intimidated by Jaggery's brutality, the rebellious crew-mates drop their weapons. The mutiny is over.
In order to restore his authority, Jaggery orders Cranick's second in command to be punished. No one speaks a word; everyone's still in shock over what's just happened. So Jaggery asks Charlotte to pick out someone for punishment. Charlotte, of course, refuses: she wants no part of what's about to happen. She's as heartily sickened by Jaggery's cruelty as anyone aboard ship.
Jaggery then turns his attentions to Zachariah and declares that he will be the one to be punished. As the only black man on board, Zachariah is an easy target for Jaggery's unhinged sadism. The captain orders Zachariah to be given fifty lashes and forces Charlotte to watch. But Charlotte can't stand to see such wanton cruelty, and she grabs the whip from Mr. Hollybrass, who's carrying out the punishment, and flicks it at Jaggery, cutting his face. Jaggery angrily grabs the whip from Charlotte and starts lashing Zachariah himself, beating him so badly that everyone assumes he's dead.