Origin: "Project Gutenberg"

     To S.L.O., an American gentleman in accordance with whose classic taste
the following narrative has been designed, it is now, in return for numerous
delightful hours, and with the kindest wishes, dedicated by his affectionate
friend, the author.

     If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
     Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
     If schooners, islands, and maroons,
     And buccaneers, and buried gold,
     And all the old romance, retold
     Exactly in the ancient way,
     Can please, as me they pleased of old,
     The wiser youngsters of today:
     - So be it, and fall on! If not,
     If studious youth no longer crave,
     His ancient appetites forgot,
     Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
     Or Cooper of the wood and wave:
     So be it, also! And may I
     And all my pirates share the grave
     Where these and their creations lie!

     The Old Buccaneer
     The Sea Cook
     10. THE VOYAGE
     My Shore Adventure
     The Stockade
     21. THE ATTACK
     My Sea Adventure
     27. "PIECES OF EIGHT"
     Captain Silver
     30. ON PAROLE
     34. AND LAST

     The Old Buccaneer
     1. The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow
     SQUIRE TRELAWNEY, Dr. Livesey,  and  the rest of these gentlemen having
asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the
beginning to the end,  keeping nothing back but the bearings of  the island,
and that  only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take  up my
pen in the year  of grace 17__  and go back to the  time when my father kept
the Admiral Benbow inn and the  brown old  seaman with the  sabre  cut first
took up his lodging under our roof.
     I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he  came plodding to the inn
door, his  sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow - a tall, strong,
heavy,  nut-brown man, his  tarry pigtail falling over  the shoulder of  his
soiled blue coat,  his hands ragged and scarred, with  black,  broken nails,
and  the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty,  livid white.  I remember  him
looking round the  cover  and whistling  to himself  as he did so,  and then
breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards:
     "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest -
     Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
     in the high, old  tottering  voice that  seemed to have  been tuned and
broken at  the capstan bars. Then he rapped on the door with  a bit of stick
like  a  handspike  that  he carried,  and when  my  father appeared, called
roughly for a  glass  of rum.  This, when it  was  brought to  him, he drank
slowly, like a  connoisseur,  lingering on the taste and still looking about
him at the cliffs and up at our signboard.
     "This is a handy cove," says  he at length; "and a  pleasant  sittyated
grog-shop. Much company, mate?" My father told him  no, very little company,
the more was the pity.
     "Well, then," said he, "this is the berth for me.  Here you, matey," he
cried to the man who trundled the barrow; "bring up alongside and help up my
chest. I'll stay here  a bit," he continued. "I'm a plain man; rum and bacon
and eggs is what I want, and that head up there for to watch ships off. What
you mought call me? You mought call me  captain. Oh, I see what you're at  -
there"; and he  threw down three or four gold pieces on the  threshold. "You
can tell me when I've  worked through that," says he, looking as fierce as a
     And indeed bad as  his  clothes  were and coarsely as he  spoke, he had
none  of the appearance of a man who sailed before the mast, but seemed like
a  mate  or  skipper accustomed to be obeyed or  to strike. The man who came
with the  barrow told us the mail had set him down the morning before at the
Royal George, that he had inquired what inns there were along the coast, and
hearing ours well spoken of, I suppose,  and described as lonely, had chosen
it  from the others  for his place of residence. And that was  all  we could
learn of our guest.
     He was a very silent man by custom. All  day he  hung round the cove or
upon  the cliffs with a brass telescope; all evening  he sat in a  corner of
the parlour next the fire and  drank  rum  and water very strong.  Mostly he
would not speak when  spoken  to, only look up  sudden  and fierce and  blow
through  his nose like a fog-horn; and we and the people who came  about our
house  soon learned to let him  be. Every day when he  came  back  from  his
stroll he  would ask  if any  seafaring  men had  gone by along the road. At
first we thought it was  the want of  company of his own  kind that made him
ask  this  question, but at last we began to  see he was  desirous to  avoid
them. When a seaman did put up at the Admiral Benbow (as  now and then  some
did, making  by the coast road for Bristol)  he would look in at him through
the curtained door before  he entered the parlour; and he was always sure to
be as silent as a mouse  when  any such was present. For me, at least, there
was no secret about the matter, for I was, in a way, a sharer in his alarms.
He had  taken  me aside one  day  and promised me a silver fourpenny  on the
first  of every  month if  I  would only  keep my  "weather-eye open  for  a
seafaring man  with one  leg" and let him know the moment he appeared. Often
enough  when the first of the month  came round  and I applied to him for my
wage,  he would only  blow through his  nose at me  and stare  me down,  but
before the week  was out he  was  sure  to think better  of it, bring me  my
four-penny piece,  and repeat his  orders to look out for "the seafaring man
with one leg."
     How that personage haunted  my  dreams, I  need scarcely  tell  you. On
stormy  nights, when  the wind  shook the  four corners of the house and the
surf roared along the cove and up the cliffs, I would see him in a  thousand
forms,  and with a thousand diabolical expressions. Now the leg would be cut
off  at the knee, now at the hip; now he  was a monstrous kind of a creature
who had  never had but the one  leg, and that in the middle of his body.  To
see him leap and  run  and pursue me over hedge and ditch  was the  worst of
nightmares. And altogether  I  paid pretty  dear  for  my monthly  fourpenny
piece, in the shape of these abominable fancies.
     But though I was so terrified by the idea of the seafaring man with one
leg, I was far less afraid of the captain himself than anybody else who knew
him. There were nights when he took  a deal more rum and water than his head
would carry;  and then he would sometimes sit and sing his wicked, old, wild
sea-songs, minding nobody; but sometimes he would call for glasses round and
force all the trembling company to listen to his stories or bear a chorus to
his singing. Often I  have heard the  house shaking with  "Yo-ho-ho,  and  a
bottle  of rum," all the  neighbours joining in for dear life, with the fear
of death upon them, and each singing  louder than the other to avoid remark.
For in these fits he was the most overriding  companion ever known; he would
slap  his hand on the  table for silence all round; he  would  fly up  in  a
passion of anger at a question, or sometimes because none was put, and so he
judged the company was not following his story. Nor would he allow anyone to
leave the inn till he had drunk himself sleepy and reeled off to bed.
     His stories  were what frightened people worst of all. Dreadful stories
they were - about hanging, and walking the plank, and storms at sea, and the
Dry Tortugas,  and  wild deeds and places on  the Spanish Main. By  his  own
account he must have lived his life among some of the wickedest men that God
ever allowed upon the sea, and the language in  which he told these  stories
shocked our  plain country  people  almost as  much as  the  crimes  that he
described. My father was always saying the inn  would  be ruined, for people
would soon cease coming there to be tyrannized over  and put  down, and sent
shivering to  their  beds; but  I really  believe his presence did us  good.
People  were  frightened at the time, but on looking back they rather  liked
it; it was a fine excitement in a  quiet country life, and there was  even a
party  of the younger men who pretended to  admire  him, calling him a "true
sea-dog" and a "real old salt" and such like names, and saying there was the
sort of man that made England terrible at sea.
     In one  way,  indeed,  he bade fair to ruin  us, for he kept on staying
week after week, and at last month after month,  so that  all the money  had
been long exhausted,  and  still  my father  never  plucked up the heart  to
insist on having more. If ever he mentioned it, the captain blew through his
nose so loudly that you  might say he roared,  and stared my poor father out
of the room. I have seen  him wringing his hands after  such a rebuff, and I
am  sure the annoyance and the terror he lived in must have greatly hastened
his early and unhappy death.
     All  the time  he lived with us the captain made  no change whatever in
his dress but to buy  some stockings from a hawker.  One of the cocks of his
hat having fallen down, he let it hang from that day forth, though it  was a
great annoyance when  it blew. I remember the appearance  of his coat, which
he patched himself upstairs in  his room, and  which,  before  the  end, was
nothing but patches. He never wrote or received a letter, and he never spoke
with any but  the neighbours,  and with  these, for the most part, only when
drunk on rum. The great sea-chest none of us had ever seen open.
     He  was only  once crossed, and  that was towards the end, when my poor
father  was far gone in a decline that took him  off. Dr. Livesey  came late
one afternoon  to see  the patient, took a bit of dinner from my mother, and
went  into the parlour to smoke a pipe until his horse should come down from
the hamlet, for we had no stabling at the old Benbow. I followed him in, and
I remember observing the contrast the neat,  bright doctor, with  his powder
as white as snow and his bright, black  eyes and pleasant manners, made with
the coltish country folk,  and above all, with that  filthy,  heavy, bleared
scarecrow of  a pirate of ours, sitting,  far gone in rum, with his  arms on
the table. Suddenly he - the captain, that is - began to pipe up his eternal
     "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest -
     Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
     Drink and the devil had done for the rest -
     Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
     At first I had supposed "the dead man's chest" to be that identical big
box  of his upstairs in the front room, and the thought had been  mingled in
my nightmares with that of the one-legged seafaring man. But by this time we
had all long ceased to  pay  any particular notice to  the song; it was new,
that night, to  nobody but  Dr. Livesey, and on him I  observed  it did  not
produce an agreeable  effect, for he  looked up for  a  moment quite angrily
before he went on with his  talk to old Taylor, the gardener, on  a new cure
for the rheumatics. In  the meantime, the captain gradually brightened up at
his own music, and at last  flapped  his hand upon the table before him in a
way we all knew to  mean silence. The voices  stopped at once, all  but  Dr.
Livesey's; he  went on as before speaking clear and kind and drawing briskly
at  his pipe  between every  word or  two.  The captain  glared at him for a
while,  flapped his hand  again, glared still harder, and at last  broke out
with a villainous, low oath, "Silence, there, between decks!"
     "Were you addressing me,  sir?" says  the doctor; and when the  ruffian
had told him, with another oath, that this was so, "I have only one thing to
say to you, sir," replies the doctor, "that if you keep on drinking rum, the
world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel!"
     The old fellow's fury was awful. He sprang to his feet, drew and opened
a  sailor's  clasp-knife, and balancing it  open on the  palm  of his  hand,
threatened to pin the doctor to the wall.
     The doctor never so much as moved.  He spoke to him as before, over his
shoulder and in the  same tone of voice, rather high,  so that all  the room
might  hear, but perfectly calm and steady: "If you  do  not put that  knife
this instant  in your pocket, I  promise, upon  my honour, you shall hang at
the next assizes."
     Then followed  a battle of looks  between  them, but  the captain  soon
knuckled  under, put up his weapon, and resumed  his seat, grumbling  like a
beaten dog.
     "And now, sir," continued the doctor, "since I now know there's  such a
fellow  in  my district,  you may  count I'll have an  eye upon you day  and
night. I'm  not a doctor only; I'm a magistrate; and if I catch  a breath of
complaint  against  you,  if  it's only  for  a  piece  of  incivility  like
tonight's,  I'll take effectual means to have you hunted down and routed out
of this. Let that suffice."
     Soon after, Dr.  Livesey's horse came to the door and he rode away, but
the captain held his peace that evening, and for many evenings to come.
     2. Black Dog Appears and Disappears
     IT was not very long  after this that there  occurred the first of  the
mysterious  events  that rid us at last of the  captain, though not, as  you
will  see, of  his affairs. It  was a  bitter cold winter, with  long,  hard
frosts and heavy gales;  and it was plain from the first that my poor father
was little likely to see the spring. He sank daily,  and my mother and I had
all the inn upon  our hands, and  were kept busy enough  without paying much
regard to our unpleasant guest.
     It  was  one January morning, very early - a pinching, frosty morning -
the  cove all grey with hoar-frost, the ripple lapping softly on the stones,
the sun still low and only touching the hilltops and shining far to seaward.
The  captain  had risen  earlier than usual and  set out down the beach, his
cutlass  swinging  under  the broad skirts of the old blue  coat,  his brass
telescope under his  arm, his hat tilted  back upon his head. I remember his
breath hanging like smoke in his wake as he strode off, and the last sound I
heard of him as he turned the big rock  was a loud snort of  indignation, as
though his mind was still running upon Dr. Livesey.
     Well,  mother  was   upstairs  with  father   and  I  was  laying   the
breakfast-table against the  captain's return  when the parlour  door opened
and  a man stepped in on whom I had never set my eyes before. He was a pale,
tallowy creature, wanting two fingers of the left hand, and though he wore a
cutlass,  he did not look much like a fighter. I had always  my eye open for
seafaring men, with one leg or two, and  I remember this one puzzled me.  He
was not sailorly, and yet he had a smack of the sea about him too.
     I  asked him  what was for his service,  and he said he would take rum;
but as I was going out of the room to fetch it, he sat down upon a table and
motioned me to draw near. I paused where I was, with my napkin in my hand.
     "Come here, sonny," says he. "Come nearer here."
     I took a step nearer.
     "Is this here table for my mate Bill?" he asked with a kind of leer.
     I told him I did not know his mate Bill, and this was for a person  who
stayed in our house whom we called the captain.
     "Well," said  he, "my mate Bill would be called the captain, as like as
not. He  has  a  cut  on one  cheek and  a  mighty pleasant  way  with  him,
particularly in  drink, has my mate  Bill. We'll put it, for  argument like,
that  your captain has a  cut on  one cheek - and we'll put it, if you like,
that that cheek's the right one. Ah, well! I told you.  Now, is my mate Bill
in this here house?"
     I told him he was out walking.
     "Which way, sonny? Which way is he gone?"
     And when  I had pointed  out the rock and told him how the  captain was
likely to return, and how soon,  and answered a few other  questions,  "Ah,"
said he, "this'll be as good as drink to my mate Bill."
     The  expression  of  his  face as he said these  words was  not at  all
pleasant,  and  I had  my own  reasons for thinking  that the  stranger  was
mistaken, even supposing he  meant what he  said.  But  it  was no affair of
mine,  I  thought;  and besides, it was  difficult to know what to  do.  The
stranger  kept  hanging about just  inside the  inn door, peering  round the
corner like  a cat waiting for a mouse. Once I stepped  out myself  into the
road, but he immediately called me back, and as  I did not obey quick enough
for  his  fancy,  a most horrible change  came over his tallowy face, and he
ordered me in with an oath that made me jump. As soon as I was back again he
returned to his former manner, half fawning, half sneering, patted me on the
shoulder,  told me I was a good boy and he had taken quite a fancy to me. "I
have a son of my own," said he, "as like you as two blocks, and he's all the
pride  of my 'art. But  the great  thing  for  boys  is discipline,  sonny -
discipline.  Now, if you had sailed along of  Bill, you wouldn't have  stood
there to be spoke to twice - not you. That was never Bill's way, nor the way
of sich as sailed with him. And here, sure enough, is  my mate  Bill, with a
spy-glass  under his arm, bless his old 'art, to be sure. You and me'll just
go  back into the parlour, sonny, and get behind  the  door, and  we'll give
Bill a little surprise - bless his 'art, I say again."
     So saying, the  stranger backed along with me into the parlour and  put
me behind him in the corner so that  we were both hidden by the open door. I
was very  uneasy and  alarmed, as  you may fancy, and it rather added  to my
fears  to  observe  that the stranger was  certainly  frightened himself. He
cleared  the  hilt of his cutlass and loosened  the blade in the sheath; and
all the time we were  waiting there he kept swallowing as if he felt what we
used to call a lump in the throat.
     At last  in strode the  captain, slammed the door  behind him,  without
looking to the right or left, and marched straight  across the room to where
his breakfast awaited him.
     "Bill,"  said the stranger  in a voice  that I thought he had tried  to
make bold and big.
     The captain spun round on his heel and  fronted  us; all  the brown had
gone out of his face,  and even his nose was blue; he had the  look of a man
who sees a ghost, or the evil one, or something  worse,  if anything can be;
and upon my word,  I  felt sorry to  see him all in a moment turn so old and
     "Come, Bill, you know me; you know an old shipmate, Bill, surely," said
the stranger.
     The captain made a sort of gasp.
     "Black Dog!" said he.
     "And who  else?"  returned the other, getting  more at his ease. "Black
Dog as ever was, come  for  to  see his old shipmate Billy, at  the  Admiral
Benbow inn. Ah, Bill,  Bill, we have seen a sight of times, us two, since  I
lost them two talons," holding up his mutilated hand.
     "Now, look here,"  said the captain; "you've run me down;  here  I  am;
well, then, speak up; what is it?"
     "That's you,  Bill,"  returned Black Dog,  "you're in the right  of it,
Billy. I'll have a glass of rum from this dear child here, as I've took such
a liking  to; and  we'll  sit down, if you please, and talk square, like old
     When I returned  with the  rum, they were already seated on either side
of  the captain's breakfast-table - Black  Dog next to the door  and sitting
sideways so as to have one eye on his old shipmate and one, as I thought, on
his retreat.
     He bade me go and leave the door wide open. "None  of your keyholes for
me, sonny," he said; and I left them together and retired into the bar.
     For a long time, though I certainly did my best to listen, I could hear
nothing but a low gattling; but at last the voices began to grow higher, and
I could pick up a word or two, mostly oaths, from the captain.
     "No, no, no, no;  and an end  of it!" he cried once.  And again, "If it
comes to swinging, swing all, say I."
     Then  all  of a  sudden there  was a tremendous  explosion of oaths and
other  noises  - the chair and table went over  in  a lump, a clash of steel
followed, and  then a cry of pain, and the  next instant I saw Black  Dog in
full flight,  and the captain hotly pursuing, both with drawn cutlasses, and
the former streaming blood  from the  left shoulder.  Just  at  the door the
captain aimed at the fugitive one last tremendous cut, which would certainly
have split him to the chine had it not been intercepted by our big signboard
of Admiral Benbow. You may see the  notch on the  lower side of the frame to
this day.
     That  blow was  the last  of the battle. Once out upon  the road, Black
Dog, in spite of  his wound, showed  a  wonderful clean  pair  of  heels and
disappeared over the edge of the hill in half a minute. The captain, for his
part, stood staring at the signboard like  a bewildered man.  Then he passed
his hand over his eyes several times and at last turned back into the house.
     "Jim,"  says he, "rum"; and as he spoke, he reeled a little, and caught
himself with one hand against the wall.
     "Are you hurt?" cried I.
     "Rum," he repeated. "I must get away from here. Rum! Rum!"
     I ran to fetch it, but I was  quite  unsteadied  by all that had fallen
out, and I broke one glass and fouled the tap, and while I was still getting
in my own way, I heard  a loud fall  in the parlour, and running in,  beheld
the captain lying full length upon the floor. At the same instant my mother,
alarmed  by the  cries and  fighting,  came  running  downstairs to help me.
Between us we raised his head. He was breathing very  loud and hard, but his
eyes were closed and his face a horrible colour.
     "Dear, deary me," cried my mother, "what a disgrace upon the house! And
your poor father sick!"
     In the meantime, we had no idea what to do to help the captain, nor any
other  thought  but  that he  had got his death-hurt in the scuffle with the
stranger. I got the rum, to be  sure,  and  tried to put it down his throat,
but his  teeth were tightly  shut and his jaws  as strong as iron. It was  a
happy relief for us when  the door opened and Doctor Livesey came in, on his
visit to my father.
     "Oh, doctor," we cried, "what shall we do? Where is he wounded?"
     "Wounded? A fiddle-stick's end!" said the doctor. "No more wounded than
you or I. The man has had a stroke, as I warned him. Now, Mrs. Hawkins, just
you run  upstairs to your husband  and tell him, if  possible, nothing about
it. For my part,  I must do my  best to save this fellow's trebly  worthless
life; Jim, you get me a basin."
     When I got back with  the basin,  the doctor had already ripped up  the
captain's  sleeve and exposed  his  great sinewy  arm.  It  was tattooed  in
several places. "Here's luck," "A fair wind,"  and "Billy  Bones his fancy,"
were very neatly  and  clearly executed  on the  forearm;  and up  near  the
shoulder there was a sketch  of a gallows and a man hanging  from it - done,
as I thought, with great spirit.
     "Prophetic," said  the doctor, touching  this picture with his  finger.
"And now, Master Billy Bones, if that be your name, we'll have a look at the
colour of your blood. Jim," he said, "are you afraid of blood?"
     "No, sir," said I.
     "Well, then," said he, "you hold the basin";  and with that he took his
lancet and opened a vein.
     A great deal  of blood was taken before the captain opened his eyes and
looked   mistily  about  him.  First  he  recognized  the   doctor  with  an
unmistakable  frown;  then his glance fell upon me, and he looked  relieved.
But  suddenly his  colour  changed, and  he tried to raise himself,  crying,
"Where's Black Dog?"
     "There is no Black Dog here," said the doctor, "except what you have on
your own back. You have been drinking rum; you have had  a stroke, precisely
as I told you; and I have just, very much against  my own will, dragged  you
headforemost out of the grave. Now, Mr. Bones - "
     "That's not my name," he interrupted.
     "Much I care," returned the doctor. "It's the name of a buccaneer of my
acquaintance;  and I call you by it for  the  sake  of shortness, and what I
have to say to you is this; one glass of rum won't kill you, but if you take
one you'll take another and another,  and I stake my wig if you don't  break
off short, you'll die - do you understand  that? - die, and go  to your  own
place,  like  the man in the Bible. Come, now, make an effort. I'll help you
to your bed for once."
     Between us,  with much trouble, we  managed to hoist  him upstairs, and
laid him  on his bed,  where his head fell  back on the pillow as if he were
almost fainting.
     "Now, mind you," said the doctor, "I clear my conscience - the name  of
rum for you is death."
     And  with that he went off to see my father,  taking me with him by the
     "This is nothing," he said as soon as  he had closed the door. "I  have
drawn blood enough to keep him quiet awhile; he should lie for  a week where
he  is - that  is the best  thing for him and you; but another stroke  would
settle him."
     3. The Black Spot
     ABOUT noon I stopped at the captain's door with some cooling drinks and
medicines. He was lying very much as we had left him,  only a little higher,
and he seemed both weak and excited.
     "Jim," he said, "you're the only  one here that's worth  anything,  and
you know I've been always good  to you.  Never  a month but I've given you a
silver fourpenny for  yourself.  And now you see, mate, I'm pretty low,  and
deserted by all; and Jim, you'll bring me one noggin of rum, now, won't you,
     "The doctor - " I began.
     But  he broke  in cursing the doctor,  in  a feeble voice but heartily.
"Doctors  is all  swabs," he said;  "and that doctor there, why, what do  he
know about seafaring men? I been in places hot as pitch, and  mates dropping
round with  Yellow Jack,  and the  blessed land a-heaving like the sea  with
earthquakes - what do the doctor know of lands like that? - and I  lived  on
rum, I tell you. It's been  meat and drink, and man and wife, to  me; and if
I'm not to have  my rum now I'm a poor old hulk on a lee shore,  my blood'll
be on you, Jim, and that doctor  swab"; and he ran on again for a while with
     "Look, Jim, how my fingers fidges," he continued in the  pleading tone.
"I can't keep 'em still, not I. I haven't had a drop  this blessed day. That
doctor's a fool, I tell you. If I don't have a drain o' rum, Jim, I'll  have
the  horrors;  I seen some  on 'em already. I seen  old Flint in the  corner
there, behind you; as plain as print, I seen  him; and if I get the horrors,
I'm  a man that has  lived rough, and I'll raise  Cain. Your doctor  hisself
said one glass wouldn't hurt me. I'll give you a golden guinea for a noggin,
     He  was  growing  more  and  more excited, and  this  alarmed me for my
father, who was very low that day and needed quiet; besides, I was reassured
by the doctor's words, now quoted to me, and rather offended by the offer of
a bribe.
     "I want none of your money," said I,  "but what you owe my father. I'll
get you one glass, and no more."
     When I brought it to him, he seized it greedily and drank it out.
     "Aye, aye," said he, "that's some better, sure  enough. And now, matey,
did that doctor say how long I was to lie here in this old berth?"
     "A week at least," said I.
     "Thunder!"  he cried.  "A week! I  can't do that; they'd have the black
spot on me by then. The lubbers  is  going about  to get the wind of me this
blessed  moment; lubbers  as couldn't keep what  they got, and want to  nail
what is another's. Is that seamanly behaviour, now, I want to  know? But I'm
a saving soul. I  never wasted good money  of mine, nor lost it neither; and
I'll  trick 'em again. I'm not  afraid on 'em. I'll shake out another  reef,
matey, and daddle 'em again."
     As he  was thus speaking, he  had risen from bed with great difficulty,
holding to my shoulder with a grip that almost made  me cry out,  and moving
his legs  like  so much dead  weight.  His  words, spirited as they  were in
meaning, contrasted  sadly with the weakness of the voice in which they were
uttered. He paused when he had got into a sitting position on the edge.
     "That  doctor's done me,"  he  murmured. "My  ears is  singing. Lay  me
     Before  I could do  much to  help  him he  had fallen back again to his
former place, where he lay for a while silent.
     "Jim," he said at length, "you saw that seafaring man today?"
     "Black Dog?" I asked.
     "Ah! Black Dog,"  says he. "HE'S  a bad  un; but there's worse that put
him on. Now, if I can't get away nohow, and they tip me the black spot, mind
you, it's my old  sea-chest they're after;  you get on a  horse  -  you can,
can't you? Well, then, you get on a horse, and go  to - well, yes, I will! -
to that  eternal doctor swab, and tell  him to pipe all hands  - magistrates
and sich - and he'll lay 'em aboard at the Admiral Benbow - all  old Flint's
crew,  man  and boy, all on 'em that's  left.  I was first mate, I  was, old
Flint's first mate, and  I'm the on'y one as knows the  place. He gave it me
at Savannah, when he lay a-dying, like as  if I was to now, you see. But you
won't  peach  unless they get the black spot on me,  or unless you  see that
Black Dog again or a seafaring man with one leg, Jim - him above all."
     "But what is the black spot, captain?" I asked.
     "That's  a summons,  mate. I'll tell you if they get that. But you keep
your weather-eye open, Jim, and I'll share with you equals, upon my honour."
     He wandered a little longer, his voice growing weaker; but soon after I
had given him his medicine, which he took like a child, with the remark, "If
ever  a  seaman  wanted  drugs, it's me,"  he  fell  at last  into  a heavy,
swoon-like sleep, in which I left him. What I  should have done had all gone
well I  do not  know.  Probably  I  should have told the whole story to  the
doctor,  for I  was  in mortal  fear  lest  the captain should repent of his
confessions and make  an end of me. But as things  fell out,  my poor father
died quite suddenly that evening,  which put  all other matters on one side.
Our natural distress, the visits  of the  neighbours,  the  arranging of the
funeral, and all the work of the inn to be carried  on in the meanwhile kept
me so busy that I had scarcely time to think of  the captain, far less to be
afraid of him.
     He got downstairs next morning, to be sure, and had his meals as usual,
though  he ate little  and had more,  I am afraid, than his  usual supply of
rum, for he helped himself out of the bar,  scowling and blowing through his
nose, and no one dared to cross  him. On the night before the funeral he was
as drunk as ever; and it  was  shocking, in that house of mourning, to  hear
him singing away at his  ugly old sea-song; but weak as he was, we were  all
in  the fear of  death for him, and the doctor was suddenly  taken up with a
case many miles away and was never near the house after my father's death. I
have  said the captain was weak, and  indeed he seemed rather to grow weaker
than regain his strength. He clambered up and down stairs, and went from the
parlour to the bar and back again, and  sometimes put  his nose out of doors
to  smell the sea,  holding  on to the  walls as  he  went  for support  and
breathing  hard  and  fast  like  a  man  on  a  steep  mountain.  He  never
particularly addressed me, and it is  my belief he had as  good as forgotten
his  confidences; but  his  temper  was more  flighty,  and allowing for his
bodily weakness, more  violent than ever. He had an alarming way now when he
was drunk of drawing his cutlass and laying it bare before him on the table.
But with all  that, he minded people  less and seemed  shut  up  in  his own
thoughts and rather wandering. Once, for instance, to our extreme wonder, he
piped up to a different  air, a king of country love-song that  he must have
learned in his youth before he had begun to follow the sea.
     So  things passed until, the  day after  the funeral,  and about  three
o'clock of a bitter, foggy, frosty afternoon, I was standing at the door for
a moment, full of  sad thoughts about my father, when  I saw someone drawing
slowly near along the  road. He was plainly blind,  for he tapped before him
with a stick and wore a great green shade over his eyes and nose; and he was
hunched, as if with age or weakness, and wore  a huge old tattered sea-cloak
with a hood that made him appear positively deformed. I never saw in my life
a  more dreadful-looking figure. He  stopped a  little  from  the  inn,  and
raising  his voice in an odd sing-song, addressed the air in  front  of him,
"Will any kind  friend  inform a  poor blind  man, who has lost the precious
sight of his eyes in  the gracious defence of his native  country, England -
and  God bless King George! - where  or  in what part of this country he may
now be?"
     "You are at the Admiral Benbow, Black Hill Cove, my good man," said I.
     "I hear a voice," said he, "a young voice. Will you  give me your hand,
my kind young friend, and lead me in?"
     I  held out my  hand,  and the horrible,  soft-spoken, eyeless creature
gripped it  in a moment like a vise. I was so much startled that I struggled
to  withdraw,  but the blind man  pulled me close  up to him  with  a single
action of his arm.
     "Now, boy," he said, "take me in to the captain."
     "Sir," said I, "upon my word I dare not."
     "Oh,"  he sneered, "that's it! Take  me in straight  or I'll break your
     And he gave it, as he spoke, a wrench that made me cry out.
     "Sir," said I, "it is for yourself I  mean. The captain is not what  he
used to be. He sits with a drawn cutlass. Another gentleman - "
     "Come, now, march," interrupted he; and I never heard a voice so cruel,
and cold, and ugly  as that blind man's. It cowed me more than the pain, and
I began to obey him at once, walking straight in at the door and towards the
parlour, where our sick old buccaneer was sitting, dazed with rum. The blind
man clung close to me, holding me  in one iron fist  and leaning almost more
of his  weight on  me than  I could carry. "Lead me straight up to him,  and
when I'm in view, cry  out, 'Here's a friend for  you, Bill.' If  you don't,
I'll  do  this," and with that he gave me a twitch that I thought would have
made me  faint. Between this and  that, I was  so  utterly terrified of  the
blind  beggar that I  forgot my terror  of the captain,  and as I opened the
parlour door, cried out the words he had ordered in a trembling voice.
     The poor captain raised his eyes, and at  one  look the rum went out of
him  and left him staring sober. The expression of his face  was not so much
of  terror as of mortal  sickness. He made a movement to rise, but I  do not
believe he had enough force left in his body.
     "Now, Bill, sit where you are," said the beggar. "If I can't see, I can
hear a finger stirring. Business is business. Hold out your left hand.  Boy,
take his left hand by the wrist and bring it near to my right."
     We both obeyed him to the letter, and I saw him pass something from the
hollow of the hand that held his stick into the palm of the captain's, which
closed upon it instantly.
     "And now that's done," said the blind man; and at the words he suddenly
left hold of me, and with incredible accuracy and nimbleness, skipped out of
the parlour and into the road, where,  as I still stood motionless,  I could
hear his stick go tap-tap-tapping into the distance.
     It was  some time before either I or the  captain seemed  to gather our
senses, but at length,  and about at the same moment, I  released his wrist,
which I was still  holding, and he drew  in his hand and looked sharply into
the palm.
     "Ten o'clock!" he cried. "Six hours. We'll do them yet," and  he sprang
to his feet.
     Even as he did so, he reeled, put his hand to his throat, stood swaying
for a  moment, and  then, with a peculiar sound, fell  from his whole height
face foremost to the floor.
     I ran to him at once, calling to my  mother. But haste was all in vain.
The captain  had been struck  dead by thundering  apoplexy. It is  a curious
thing to understand, for I had certainly never liked the man, though of late
I had begun to pity him, but as soon as I saw that he was dead, I burst into
a flood of tears. It was the second death I had known, and the sorrow of the
first was still fresh in my heart.
     4. The Sea-chest
     I LOST  no time, of  course, in telling  my mother all that I knew, and
perhaps should have told her long before, and we saw ourselves at once in  a
difficult and dangerous position. Some of the man's money - if  he had any -
was certainly due to us, but it was not likely that our captain's shipmates,
above  all  the  two specimens seen  by me, Black Dog and  the blind beggar,
would be inclined to give up their booty in payment of the dead man's debts.
The captain's order  to mount at once and ride for Doctor Livesey would have
left  my  mother  alone  and  unprotected, which was  not to be  thought of.
Indeed, it seemed impossible for either of  us to remain much longer in  the
house; the  fall of  coals  in the kitchen  grate, the  very  ticking of the
clock, filled us with alarms. The neighbourhood, to our ears, seemed haunted
by approaching footsteps;  and what between the  dead body of the captain on
the parlour floor and  the thought of that detestable  blind beggar hovering
near at hand and  ready  to  return, there  were moments when, as the saying
goes, I jumped in  my skin for  terror. Something must speedily  be resolved
upon, and it  occurred to us  at last to go  forth together and seek help in
the neighbouring hamlet. No sooner said than  done.  Bare-headed as we were,
we ran out at once in the gathering evening and the frosty fog.
     The hamlet lay not many hundred yards away, though out  of view, on the
other side of the next  cove; and what  greatly encouraged me,  it was in an
opposite direction from that  whence  the blind man had  made his appearance
and  whither he  had  presumably returned. We were  not many  minutes on the
road, though we sometimes stopped to lay hold of each other and hearken. But
there was no unusual sound - nothing but the low wash  of the ripple and the
croaking of the inmates of the wood.
     It was  already candle-light when  we  reached  the hamlet, and I shall
never forget how  much I was  cheered  to see the yellow shine in  doors and
windows; but  that, as it proved, was the best of the help we were likely to
get  in  that quarter. For - you  would  have  thought  men would  have been
ashamed of  themselves - no soul would  consent  to  return with  us  to the
Admiral Benbow. The more we told of our troubles, the more - man, woman, and
child -  they clung  to the shelter  of  their houses. The  name of  Captain
Flint, though it was strange to me,  was well enough known to some there and
carried a great weight of terror. Some of the men who had been to field-work
on  the far  side of the  Admiral  Benbow remembered, besides, to  have seen
several strangers  on the  road, and  taking  them  to be smugglers, to have
bolted  away;  and one at least had seen a  little lugger  in what we called
Kitt's Hole. For that matter, anyone who was a comrade of the captain's  was
enough to frighten them to death. And the short  and  the long of the matter
was, that while we could get several who were willing enough  to ride to Dr.
Livesey's, which  lay in another direction, not one would help us to  defend
the inn.
     They say cowardice  is infectious; but  then argument  is, on the other
hand, a great emboldener; and so when each had  said his say, my mother made
them a speech. She would not, she  declared, lose money that belonged to her
fatherless boy; "If none  of  the rest of  you  dare," she said, "Jim and  I
dare. Back  we will  go, the  way  we  came,  and small  thanks to you  big,
hulking, chicken-hearted men. We'll have that chest open, if we die for  it.
And  I'll thank you for that bag,  Mrs. Crossley,  to  bring back our lawful
money in."
     Of course I  said  I would go with  my mother,  and of course  they all
cried out at our foolhardiness, but even then not a man would go along  with
us. All they would do was to give me a loaded pistol lest  we were attacked,
and to promise to have horses ready  saddled in case we were pursued on  our
return, while one lad was to ride forward to the doctor's in search of armed
     My  heart was beating finely when we two set forth  in the  cold  night
upon this  dangerous venture. A full moon was beginning  to rise  and peered
redly through the upper  edges of the fog, and this increased our haste, for
it was plain, before we  came forth again,  that all would  be as  bright as
day, and our departure exposed to the eyes of any watchers. We slipped along
the hedges, noiseless and swift, nor did we see or hear anything to increase
our terrors, till, to our relief, the  door of the Admiral Benbow had closed
behind us.
     I slipped the bolt at once, and we stood and panted for a moment in the
dark,  alone in the house with the dead captain's body. Then my mother got a
candle  in the  bar,  and holding each other's hands, we  advanced  into the
parlour. He lay as we had left him, on his back, with his eyes  open and one
arm stretched out.
     "Draw down the blind, Jim," whispered my mother; "they  might  come and
watch  outside.  And now," said she when I  had done so, "we have to get the
key off THAT; and who's to touch it, I should  like to know!" and she gave a
kind of sob as she said the words.
     I went down on my knees at once. On the floor close  to  his hand there
was a little  round of paper,  blackened on the  one side. I could not doubt
that this was the BLACK SPOT; and taking it up, I found written on the other
side, in a very  good, clear  hand, this  short message:  "You have till ten
     "He had till ten, Mother," said I; and just as I said it, our old clock
began striking.  This sudden noise startled us shockingly; but  the news was
good, for it was only six.
     "Now, Jim," she said, "that key."
     I felt in his pockets, one after another. A few small coins, a thimble,
and some thread and big needles,  a piece of pigtail  tobacco bitten away at
the end, his gully with the crooked  handle, a  pocket compass, and a tinder
box were all that they contained, and I began to despair.
     "Perhaps it's round his neck," suggested my mother.
     Overcoming a strong repugnance, I tore open his shirt at the neck,  and
there, sure  enough, hanging to a bit of  tarry string, which I cut with his
own  gully,  we found the key. At this triumph we were filled with hope  and
hurried upstairs without delay to the little room where he had slept so long
and where his box had stood since the day of his arrival.
     It was  like any  other seaman's chest on the outside, the initial  "B"
burned on the  top of it  with a hot iron, and the corners somewhat  smashed
and broken as by long, rough usage.
     "Give  me the key," said my mother; and though the lock was very stiff,
she had turned it and thrown back the lid in a twinkling.
     A  strong smell of tobacco and tar rose from the interior, but  nothing
was to  be  seen on the  top  except a suit of very good clothes,  carefully
brushed  and  folded. They had  never been worn, my mother said. Under that,
the miscellany began - a quadrant, a tin canikin, several sticks of tobacco,
two brace  of very handsome pistols, a  piece of bar  silver, an old Spanish
watch and some other trinkets of little value and mostly of foreign make,  a
pair of compasses mounted with brass, and  five or six  curious West  Indian
shells. I have often  wondered since why  he should have carried about these
shells with him in his wandering, guilty, and hunted life.
     In  the meantime,  we had found nothing of any value but the silver and
the trinkets, and neither of these were in our way. Underneath  there was an
old boat-cloak, whitened  with sea-salt  on many  a  harbour-bar. My  mother
pulled it up with impatience, and  there  lay before us, the last things  in
the chest, a bundle  tied up in oilcloth,  and  looking like  papers,  and a
canvas bag that gave forth, at a touch, the jingle of gold.
     "I'll  show these  rogues that I'm  an honest  woman,"  said my mother.
"I'll have my dues, and  not a farthing over. Hold Mrs. Crossley's bag." And
she  began to count over the amount of the captain's score from the sailor's
bag into the one that I was holding.
     It was a long, difficult business, for  the coins were of all countries
and sizes - doubloons,  and louis  d'ors, and  guineas, and pieces of eight,
and  I know not  what besides,  all  shaken together at random. The guineas,
too, were about the scarcest, and it was with these only that my mother knew
how to make her count.
     When we were  about  half-way through,  I suddenly put my hand upon her
arm, for I had heard in the silent frosty air a  sound that brought my heart
into my mouth -  the tap-tapping  of the blind man's stick  upon  the frozen
road. It drew nearer and  nearer, while we  sat holding our  breath. Then it
struck sharp on the inn door, and then we could hear the handle being turned
and the bolt rattling as  the wretched being tried to enter; and then  there
was a  long time  of  silence both  within  and without. At last the tapping
recommenced, and, to our indescribable joy  and  gratitude, died slowly away
again until it ceased to be heard.
     "Mother," said I, "take  the whole and let's  be going," for I was sure
the  bolted  door must have  seemed suspicious and  would  bring  the  whole
hornet's nest about  our ears, though how thankful I  was that I had  bolted
it, none could tell who had never met that terrible blind man.
     But my mother,  frightened  as  she was, would  not  consent  to take a
fraction  more than  was  due  to  her  and was obstinately unwilling to  be
content with less. It was not yet  seven, she said, by a long way; she  knew
her rights and she would have them; and she was still arguing with me when a
little  low whistle sounded a good way  off  upon the hill. That was enough,
and more than enough, for both of us.
     "I'll take what I have,"  she said, jumping to her feet. "And I'll take
this to square the count," said I, picking up the oilskin packet.
     Next moment we were both groping downstairs, leaving the  candle by the
empty chest; and  the next we had opened the  door and were in full retreat.
We had  not  started a  moment  too  soon.  The fog  was rapidly dispersing;
already the moon shone quite clear on the high ground on either side; and it
was only in the exact  bottom of  the dell and round the tavern  door that a
thin veil still hung unbroken to conceal  the first steps of our escape. Far
less than half-way to the hamlet, very little beyond the bottom of the hill,
we must come forth into the moonlight.  Nor was this all,  for the  sound of
several footsteps running came already to our ears, and as we looked back in
their direction,  a light tossing  to and fro  and  still  rapidly advancing
showed that one of the newcomers carried a lantern.
     "My dear," said  my mother suddenly, "take the money  and run on.  I am
going to faint."
     This  was certainly the end for both of us, I thought. How I cursed the
cowardice of the neighbours; how I blamed my poor mother for her honesty and
her greed, for her past foolhardiness and present weakness! We  were just at
the little bridge, by good  fortune; and I helped her, tottering as she was,
to the edge of the bank, where, sure  enough, she gave a sigh and fell on my
shoulder. I do not know how  I found the strength to  do it at all, and I am
afraid it was roughly done, but I managed to  drag her  down  the bank and a
little way under the arch. Farther  I could not move her, for the bridge was
too low to let me do more than  crawl below it. So there we had to stay - my
mother almost entirely exposed and both of us within earshot of the inn.
     5. The Last of the Blind Man
     MY curiosity, in a sense,  was stronger  than my fear, for I could  not
remain where I was, but crept back  to the bank again, whence, sheltering my
head behind a bush of broom, I might command the road before our door. I was
scarcely in position ere my enemies began to arrive, seven or eight of them,
running hard, their feet beating out of time along the road and the man with
the lantern some paces in front. Three men ran together, hand in hand; and I
made  out, even through  the mist, that the middle man of this  trio was the
blind beggar. The next moment his voice showed me that I was right.
     "Down with the door!" he cried.
     "Aye, aye, sir!" answered two  or three; and  a rush  was made upon the
Admiral  Benbow,  the lantern-bearer following; and then I  could  see  them
pause, and hear speeches passed in a lower key, as if they were surprised to
find the door open. But  the pause was brief, for the blind man again issued
his commands. His voice sounded louder and higher, as  if he were afire with
eagerness and rage.
     "In, in, in!" he shouted, and cursed them for their delay.
     Four or five of them obeyed at once, two remaining on the road with the
formidable  beggar. There was a pause, then a cry of  surprise,  and then  a
voice shouting from the house, "Bill's dead."
     But the blind man swore at them again for their delay.
     "Search him,  some of  you  shirking lubbers, and the rest of you aloft
and get the chest," he cried.
     I could hear  their feet rattling up  our old stairs, so that the house
must  have shook with it. Promptly afterwards, fresh sounds  of astonishment
arose; the window  of  the  captain's room was thrown open with a slam and a
jingle  of broken glass,  and a man leaned out into  the moonlight, head and
shoulders, and addressed the blind beggar on the road below him.
     "Pew,"  he cried,  "they've been before us. Someone's turned the  chest
out alow and aloft."
     "Is it there?" roared Pew.
     "The money's there."
     The blind man cursed the money.
     "Flint's fist, I mean," he cried.
     "We don't see it here nohow," returned the man.
     "Here, you below there, is it on Bill?" cried the blind man again.
     At that another fellow,  probably him who had remained below  to search
the  captain's  body, came to the door  of  the inn. "Bill's been overhauled
a'ready," said he; "nothin' left."
     "It's these  people  of the inn - it's that boy.  I wish I had  put his
eyes out!" cried the blind man, Pew.
     "There  were here no time ago  - they had the door bolted  when I tried
it. Scatter, lads, and find 'em."
     "Sure enough, they left  their  glim  here,"  said the fellow from  the
     "Scatter and find 'em!  Rout the  house out!"  reiterated Pew, striking
with his stick upon the road.
     Then there followed a  great to-do through all our old  inn, heavy feet
pounding to and fro, furniture thrown over, doors  kicked in, until the very
rocks re-echoed and the men came  out again,  one after another, on the road
and declared that we were nowhere to be found.
     And  just the same whistle that had alarmed  my  mother and myself over
the dead  captain's money  was once more clearly audible through  the night,
but  this time twice  repeated. I had  thought  it to  be  the  blind  man's
trumpet,  so  to speak,  summoning his  crew to the assault, but I now found
that  it  was  a  signal from the hillside  towards the hamlet, and from its
effect upon the buccaneers, a signal to warn them of approaching danger.
     "There's Dirk again," said one. "Twice! We'll have to budge, mates."
     "Budge, you skulk!" cried Pew. "Dirk  was a  fool and a coward from the
first - you wouldn't mind him. They must be close by; they can't be far; you
have your hands on it. Scatter and look for them, dogs! Oh, shiver my soul,"
he cried, "if I had eyes!"
     This appeal seemed to produce some effect, for two of the fellows began
to look here  and there among the lumber, but half-heartedly, I thought, and
with half  an  eye to their  own danger all the time,  while  the rest stood
irresolute on the road.
     "You have your hands on thousands, you fools, and you hang a leg! You'd
be as rich as kings if  you could find it, and  you know it's here,  and you
stand there skulking. There wasn't one of you dared face  Bill, and I did it
- a blind man! And I'm to lose my chance for you! I'm to be a poor, crawling
beggar, sponging for rum, when I might be rolling in a coach! If you had the
pluck of a weevil in a biscuit you would catch them still."
     "Hang it, Pew, we've got the doubloons!" grumbled one.
     "They might have hid the blessed thing," said another.
     "Take the Georges, Pew, and don't stand here squalling."
     Squalling  was  the  word for it;  Pew's  anger  rose so high at  these
objections till at  last, his passion completely  taking the  upper hand, he
struck at them right and left in his blindness and his stick sounded heavily
on more than one.
     These, in their turn, cursed  back at  the blind miscreant,  threatened
him in horrid terms, and  tried in vain to catch the stick and wrest it from
his grasp. This quarrel was the saving of us, for while it was still raging,
another sound came from the top of the hill on  the side of the hamlet - the
tramp of horses galloping. Almost at the  same time a pistol-shot, flash and
report,  came from the hedge  side.  And that was plainly the last signal of
danger,  for  the buccaneers turned at once  and ran,  separating  in  every
direction, one seaward along the cove, one slant across the hill, and so on,
so that in half a minute  not a sign  of them remained but Pew. Him they had
deserted, whether in sheer  panic  or out of  revenge for his  ill words and
blows I know not; but there he remained behind, tapping up and down the road
in  a frenzy,  and groping and calling for his  comrades.  Finally he took a
wrong turn and ran a few steps past me, towards the hamlet, crying, "Johnny,
Black Dog, Dirk," and other names, "you won't leave old Pew, mates - not old
     Just then  the noise of horses topped the rise, and four or five riders
came in sight in the moonlight and swept at full gallop down the slope.
     At this  Pew saw his error, turned with a scream, and ran straight  for
the ditch, into which he rolled.  But he was on his feet  again in a  second
and made  another dash, now utterly  bewildered, right under  the nearest of
the coming horses.
     The rider tried to save him, but in vain. Down went Pew with a cry that
rang  high into the night; and the four  hoofs trampled and  spurned him and
passed by. He fell  on his side, then  gently  collapsed  upon his  face and
moved no more.
     I leaped to my feet and hailed the riders. They were pulling up, at any
rate, horrified at the accident; and I soon saw what they were. One, tailing
out  behind the rest,  was  a  lad  that had gone  from  the  hamlet to  Dr.
Livesey's; the  rest were revenue officers, whom he had met by the way,  and
with whom he  had had the  intelligence to return at  once. Some news of the
lugger in Kitt's  Hole had found its way  to Supervisor  Dance  and set  him
forth that night in  our direction, and to that circumstance my mother and I
owed our preservation from death.
     Pew was dead, stone dead. As for my mother, when we  had carried her up
to the hamlet,  a little cold water and salts and that soon brought her back
again, and she was none the worse for her terror, though she still continued
to deplore the balance of the money. In the meantime the supervisor rode on,
as fast as  he could, to Kitt's Hole; but his men  had to dismount and grope
down the dingle,  leading, and sometimes  supporting, their  horses,  and in
continual fear of ambushes; so it was no great matter for surprise that when
they got down  to the Hole  the lugger was already under  way,  though still
close  in. He hailed her.  A voice replied, telling him to keep  out  of the
moonlight or he  would get  some lead in him,  and at the same time a bullet
whistled close  by his arm.  Soon  after, the  lugger doubled the  point and
disappeared. Mr. Dance stood  there, as he said, "like a fish out of water,"
and all he  could do was to dispatch a man to B - to  warn  the cutter. "And
that," said he,  "is just  about as  good as nothing. They've got off clean,
and there's an end."  "Only," he  added, "I'm glad  I trod  on Master  Pew's
corns," for by this time he had heard my story. I went back with him  to the
Admiral Benbow, and you cannot imagine a house in such a state of smash; the
very clock had been thrown down by these fellows in their furious hunt after
my mother and myself; and though nothing had actually been taken away except
the  captain's money-bag and a little  silver from the till, I could see  at
once that we were ruined. Mr. Dance could make nothing of the scene.
     "They got the money, you say? Well, then, Hawkins, what in fortune were
they after? More money, I suppose?"
     "No,  sir; not money, I  think," replied I. "In fact, sir, I  believe I
have the thing in my breast pocket; and to tell you the truth, I should like
to get it put in safety."
     "To be sure, boy; quite right," said he. "I'll take it, if you like."
     "I thought perhaps Dr. Livesey - " I began.
     "Perfectly right," he interrupted  very cheerily, "perfectly right  - a
gentleman and a magistrate. And, now I  come to think of it, I might as well
ride round there myself and report to him or squire. Master Pew's dead, when
all's done; not that I  regret it,  but he's  dead, you see, and people will
make it out against an officer of his Majesty's revenue, if make it out they
can. Now, I'll tell you, Hawkins, if you like, I'll take you along."
     I thanked him heartily for the offer,  and we walked back to the hamlet
where the horses were. By the time I had told mother of my purpose they were
all in the saddle.
     "Dogger," said  Mr. Dance,  "you have  a good  horse; take  up this lad
behind you."
     As soon as I was mounted,  holding on to Dogger's belt, the  supervisor
gave  the word, and the party  struck  out at a bouncing trot on the road to
Dr. Livesey's house.
     6. The Captain's Papers
     WE rode hard all the way till we drew up before Dr. Livesey's door. The
house was all dark to the front. Mr. Dance told me  to jump down and  knock,
and Dogger  gave me a stirrup to descend by.  The  door was opened almost at
once by the maid.
     "Is Dr. Livesey in?" I asked.
     "No," she said, "he had come home in the afternoon  but had gone  up to
the hall to dine and pass the evening with the squire."
     "So there we go, boys," said Mr. Dance.
     This  time,  as  the distance was short, I did not mount,  but ran with
Dogger's stirrup-leather  to  the lodge  gates and  up  the long,  leafless,
moonlit  avenue  to where  the  white line of the hall buildings  looked  on
either hand on great old  gardens. Here Mr.  Dance dismounted, and taking me
along with him, was admitted at a word into the house.
     The servant led  us down a matted passage and showed us at the end into
a great library, all lined with  bookcases  and busts upon  the top of them,
where the  squire and  Dr. Livesey sat, pipe  in hand, on either side  of  a
bright fire.
     I had never seen the squire  so near at hand.  He was a tall  man, over
six  feet high, and broad in proportion, and he had a bluff, rough-and-ready
face, all roughened and reddened and lined in his long travels. His eyebrows
were very black, and moved readily, and this gave him a look of some temper,
not bad, you would say, but quick and high.
     "Come in, Mr. Dance," says he, very stately and condescending.
     "Good evening, Dance," says the doctor with a nod.
     "And good evening to you, friend Jim. What good wind brings you here?"
     The  supervisor stood up straight  and stiff and  told his story like a
lesson; and you should have seen how the two  gentlemen  leaned  forward and
looked  at each  other, and forgot to smoke in  their surprise and interest.
When  they heard  how my mother  went  back to the inn,  Dr.  Livesey fairly
slapped his thigh,  and the squire  cried  "Bravo!" and  broke his long pipe
against the  grate. Long before it  was done, Mr. Trelawney (that,  you will
remember, was the squire's  name) had got up from his  seat and was striding
about the room, and the doctor,  as if to hear the better, had taken off his
powdered  wig  and sat  there  looking  very strange  indeed  with  his  own
close-cropped black poll.
     At last Mr. Dance finished the story.
     "Mr. Dance,"  said the squire, "you are a very noble fellow. And as for
riding  down  that  black, atrocious  miscreant,  I regard  it as an act  of
virtue,  sir,  like stamping on a  cockroach. This lad Hawkins is a trump, I
perceive. Hawkins, will you ring that bell? Mr. Dance must have some ale."
     "And so,  Jim," said  the doctor, "you  have the thing  that  they were
after, have you?"
     "Here it is, sir," said I, and gave him the oilskin packet.
     The doctor looked it  all over,  as if his fingers were itching to open
it; but instead of doing that, he put it quietly in the pocket of his coat.
     "Squire," said he,  "when  Dance has had his ale he must, of course, be
off on his Majesty's  service; but I mean  to keep Jim Hawkins here to sleep
at my house, and with your permission, I  propose we should have up the cold
pie and let him sup."
     "As you  will, Livesey," said  the squire; "Hawkins  has  earned better
than cold pie."
     So a big pigeon pie was brought in and put on a sidetable, and I made a
hearty supper, for I was  as hungry  as a hawk, while Mr. Dance  was further
complimented and at last dismissed.
     "And now, squire," said the doctor.
     "And now, Livesey," said the squire in the same breath.
     "One at a time, one at a time," laughed Dr. Livesey.
     "You have heard of this Flint, I suppose?"
     "Heard of  him!" cried  the squire. "Heard of him, you say! He was  the
bloodthirstiest buccaneer that sailed. Blackbeard was a child  to Flint. The
Spaniards  were so prodigiously  afraid of him that, I tell you,  sir, I was
sometimes proud  he was an Englishman.  I've  seen his top-sails  with these
eyes,  off  Trinidad, and  the cowardly son of a rum-puncheon that  I sailed
with put back - put back, sir, into Port of Spain."
     "Well, I've heard of him myself, in England," said the doctor. "But the
point is, had he money?"
     "Money!"  cried the squire.  "Have you heard the story? What were these
villains after but money? What do  they care for but  money? For what  would
they risk their rascal carcasses but money?"
     "That  we  shall  soon  know," replied the  doctor.  "But  you  are  so
confoundedly  hot-headed and exclamatory that I cannot get a word in. What I
want to know is this: Supposing that I have here  in  my pocket some clue to
where Flint buried his treasure, will that treasure amount to much?"
     "Amount,  sir!" cried  the squire. "It will amount to this: If  we have
the clue you talk about, I fit  out a ship in Bristol dock, and take you and
Hawkins here along, and I'll have that treasure if I search a year."
     "Very  well," said the doctor. "Now, then, if  Jim is  agreeable, we'll
open the packet"; and he laid it before him on the table.
     The bundle  was  sewn together, and  the  doctor  had to  get  out  his
instrument case and cut the stitches with his medical scissors. It contained
two things - a book and a sealed paper.
     "First of all we'll try the book," observed the doctor.
     The  squire and I were both peering over  his shoulder as he opened it,
for Dr. Livesey had  kindly motioned me to come round  from the  side-table,
where I had been eating, to enjoy the sport of the search. On the first page
there were only some scraps of writing, such as a man with a pen in his hand
might make  for idleness or  practice. One was the same as the tattoo  mark,
"Billy Bones his fancy"; then there was "Mr. W. Bones, mate," "No more rum,"
"Off Palm Key he got itt," and some other snatches, mostly single  words and
unintelligible.  I  could  not help wondering who it was that had "got itt,"
and what "itt" was that he got. A knife in his back as like as not.
     "Not much instruction there," said Dr. Livesey as he passed on.
     The next  ten or twelve  pages were  filled  with a  curious  series of
entries. There was a date at  one end  of the line and at the other a sum of
money, as in common account-books, but  instead of explanatory writing, only
a varying  number of crosses between the two. On the 12th of June, 1745, for
instance,  a sum of  seventy pounds had plainly become  due to  someone, and
there was nothing but six crosses  to explain the cause. In a few cases,  to
be sure, the name of  a place would be  added, as "Offe Caraccas," or a mere
entry of latitude and longitude, as "62o 17' 20", 19o 2' 40"."
     The record lasted over nearly twenty years,  the amount of the separate
entries growing larger  as time went on, and  at the end a  grand  total had
been made out  after five or six wrong additions, and these words  appended,
"Bones, his pile."
     "I can't make head or tail of this," said Dr. Livesey.
     "The  thing is as clear  as noonday,"  cried the  squire. "This  is the
black-hearted hound's  account-book.  These crosses  stand for the names  of
ships  or towns  that  they sank or plundered. The sums are  the scoundrel's
share, and where he feared an ambiguity, you see he added something clearer.
'Offe Caraccas,' now; you see, here was some unhappy vessel boarded off that
coast. God help the poor souls that manned her - coral long ago."
     "Right!" said the doctor. "See what it is to be a traveller. Right! And
the amounts increase, you see, as he rose in rank."
     There was little else in the volume but a few bearings of  places noted
in the  blank  leaves  towards the  end  and  a  table for  reducing French,
English, and Spanish moneys to a common value.
     "Thrifty man!" cried the doctor. "He wasn't the one to be cheated."
     "And now," said the squire, "for the other."
     The paper had been sealed  in several places with a  thimble  by way of
seal; the very thimble, perhaps,  that I  had found in the captain's pocket.
The doctor opened  the seals with great care, and there fell out  the map of
an island,  with latitude and longitude, soundings,  names of hills and bays
and inlets, and every particular that would  be needed to bring a  ship to a
safe anchorage  upon its shores.  It  was  about nine miles  long  and  five
across, shaped, you might say, like a  fat dragon  standing up, and had  two
fine  land-locked  harbours,  and a  hill in  the  centre part  marked  "The
Spy-glass."  There were several  additions of a  later date, but above  all,
three crosses of  red ink - two on the north part of  the island, one in the
southwest - and beside this last, in the same red ink, and in  a small, neat
hand, very different  from the  captain's  tottery  characters, these words:
"Bulk of  treasure here." Over  on the  back  the same hand had written this
further information:
     Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to the N. of N.N.E.
     Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E.
     Ten feet.
     The bar silver is in the north cache; you can find  it by the  trend of
the east hummock, ten fathoms south  of the black crag with the face  on it.
The arms are easy found, in  the  sand-hill, N. point of  north inlet  cape,
bearing E. and a quarter N.

     That  was  all; but  brief as  it was, and to me  incomprehensible,  it
filled the squire and Dr. Livesey with delight.
     "Livesey," said the squire, "you will give up this wretched practice at
once. Tomorrow I  start for Bristol. In  three weeks' time -  three weeks! -
two weeks - ten days - we'll have the best ship, sir, and  the choicest crew
in England. Hawkins shall come as cabin-boy. You'll make a famous cabin-boy,
Hawkins. You, Livesey, are ship's doctor; I am admiral.  We'll take Redruth,
Joyce, and Hunter. We'll have favourable winds, a quick passage, and not the
least difficulty in finding the  spot, and money to eat, to roll in, to play
duck and drake with ever after."
     "Trelawney," said the  doctor, "I'll go with  you; and I'll go bail for
it, so  will Jim, and be a credit to  the undertaking. There's only  one man
I'm afraid of."
     "And who's that?" cried the squire. "Name the dog, sir!"
     "You," replied the doctor; "for you cannot hold your tongue. We are not
the  only men who  know of  this  paper.  These fellows who attacked the inn
tonight - bold, desperate blades,  for sure - and the rest who stayed aboard
that lugger, and  more, I dare say, not far off, are,  one  and all, through
thick and  thin, bound that they'll  get  that money. We must none  of us go
alone till we get to sea. Jim  and I shall stick together in the  meanwhile;
you'll take Joyce and  Hunter when you  ride  to Bristol, and from first  to
last, not one of us must breathe a word of what we've found."
     "Livesey," returned  the squire, "you are always  in  the right of  it.
I'll be as silent as the grave."

     The Sea-cook
     7. I Go to Bristol
     IT was longer than the squire imagined ere we were ready for  the  sea,
and none of our first plans - not even  Dr. Livesey's, of  keeping me beside
him  - could be carried out as we intended. The doctor  had to  go to London
for a physician to take charge of his practice; the squire was  hard at work
at Bristol; and I lived on at the hall under the  charge of old Redruth, the
gamekeeper, almost a prisoner, but full of sea-dreams and the most  charming
anticipations  of  strange  islands  and  adventures. I brooded by the  hour
together over the map, all the  details of which I well remembered.  Sitting
by the fire in the housekeeper's room, I approached that island in my  fancy
from  every possible direction; I  explored  every acre  of  its  surface; I
climbed a thousand times to that tall hill they call the Spy-glass, and from
the  top  enjoyed the most  wonderful and changing  prospects. Sometimes the
isle  was  thick  with savages, with  whom  we  fought,  sometimes  full  of
dangerous animals that hunted us, but in all my fancies nothing  occurred to
me so strange and tragic as our actual adventures.
     So the weeks passed on, till one fine day there came a letter addressed
to Dr.  Livesey, with  this  addition, "To  be  opened, in the case  of  his
absence, by Tom Redruth or young Hawkins." Obeying  this order, we found, or
rather I found - for the gamekeeper  was a poor hand at reading anything but
print - the following important news:
     "Old Anchor Inn, Bristol, March 1, 17 - Dear Livesey - As I do not know
whether you are  at  the hall  or still in London, I send this in  double to
both places.
     The ship is bought and fitted. She lies  at anchor, ready for sea.  You
never  imagined a sweeter  schooner  - a child might sail her -  two hundred
tons; name, HISPANIOLA.
     I  got  her  through  my  old  friend, Blandly,  who has proved himself
throughout the most surprising  trump. The admirable fellow literally slaved
in  my interest, and so, I may say, did everyone in Bristol, as soon as they
got wind of the port we sailed for - treasure, I mean."
     "Redruth," said I, interrupting  the letter, "Dr. Livesey will not like
that. The squire has been talking, after all."
     "Well, who's a better right?" growled the gamekeeper.
     "A  pretty  rum  go if squire  ain't to talk for Dr.  Livesey, I should
     At that I gave up all attempts at commentary and read straight on:
     "Blandly  himself found  the HISPANIOLA,  and  by  the  most  admirable
management got her for the merest trifle. There is a class of men in Bristol
monstrously prejudiced against Blandly. They go the length of declaring that
this  honest  creature  would  do  anything  for  money, that the HISPANIOLA
belonged to him, and that he sold it me absurdly high - the most transparent
calumnies. None of them dare, however, to deny the merits of the ship.
     So far there was not a hitch. The  workpeople, to be sure - riggers and
what not -  were most annoyingly slow; but time cured that. It  was the crew
that troubled me.
     I wished a round score of men - in case  of natives, buccaneers, or the
odious French -  and I had the  worry of the deuce itself to find so much as
half a dozen, till the most remarkable stroke of fortune brought me the very
man that I required.
     I was standing on  the dock, when,  by  the  merest accident, I fell in
talk with  him. I found he was an old sailor, kept a public-house, knew  all
the seafaring men in Bristol, had  lost his health ashore, and wanted a good
berth as cook to get to sea again. He had hobbled  down  there that morning,
he said, to  get a smell of the salt. I was  monstrously touched  - so would
you have been - and, out  of pure pity, I engaged  him  on  the  spot  to be
ship's cook. Long John Silver,  he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I
regarded as a  recommendation,  since  he  lost it in his country's service,
under the immortal Hawke. He has no pension, Livesey. Imagine the abominable
age we live in!
     Well, sir, I thought  I had only found a cook, but it  was a crew I had
discovered. Between  Silver and myself we  got  together  in a  few  days  a
company of the  toughest old salts imaginable - not  pretty to look  at, but
fellows, by their faces, of the most  indomitable spirit. I declare we could
fight a frigate.
     Long  John even got rid of two  out  of the six or  seven I had already
engaged.  He  showed me  in  a  moment  that  they were  just  the  sort  of
fresh-water swabs we had to fear in an adventure of importance.
     I am in the  most magnificent health and spirits, eating  like a  bull,
sleeping like a  tree, yet I shall not enjoy  a moment  till I hear  my  old
tarpaulins  tramping round the capstan. Seaward, ho! Hang the treasure! It's
the glory of the sea that has turned my head. So now, Livesey, come post; do
not lose an hour, if you respect me. Let young Hawkins go at once to see his
mother, with Redruth for a guard; and then both come full speed to Bristol.
     John Trelawney
     Postscript -  I did not tell you that Blandly, who, by the  way, is  to
send a consort after us if we don't turn up by the end of August, had  found
an admirable fellow for sailing master - a stiff man, which I regret, but in
all other respects a  treasure. Long John Silver  unearthed a very competent
man for a mate, a man named Arrow. I have a boatswain who pipes, Livesey; so
things shall go man-o'-war fashion on board the good ship HISPANIOLA.
     I  forgot to tell you that  Silver is  a man of substance; I know of my
own  knowledge  that  he  has  a  banker's account,  which  has  never  been
overdrawn. He  leaves his  wife to manage the inn; and  as she is a woman of
colour, a pair of old bachelors like you and  I may be excused for  guessing
that it is the wife, quite as much  as  the  health,  that sends him back to

     P.P.S. - Hawkins may stay one night with his mother.

     You can fancy  the excitement into which that letter put me. I was half
beside myself  with  glee; and if  ever  I despised a  man, it  was old  Tom
Redruth,  who  could  do  nothing  but  grumble  and  lament.  Any   of  the
under-gamekeepers would gladly  have changed  places with him; but  such was
not the squire's pleasure, and the squire's pleasure was like law among them
all. Nobody but old Redruth would have dared so much as even to grumble.
     The next morning he and I  set out  on foot for the Admiral Benbow, and
there I found my mother in good health and spirits. The  captain, who had so
long  been a  cause of so much discomfort, was gone where the  wicked  cease
from troubling. The squire had had everything repaired, and the public rooms
and the sign repainted, and had added some furniture - above all a beautiful
armchair for mother in the bar. He had found her a boy as an apprentice also
so that she should not want help while I was gone.
     It was on seeing  that  boy that I understood, for the  first time,  my
situation. I had thought up to that  moment of the adventures before me, not
at  all of the home that I was leaving; and now, at  sight  of  this  clumsy
stranger, who was to stay here in my place beside  my mother, I had my first
attack of tears. I am afraid I led that boy a dog's life, for  as he was new
to the work, I had a  hundred opportunities of setting him right and putting
him down, and I was not slow to profit by them.
     The night passed, and  the next  day, after dinner, Redruth  and I were
afoot again and on  the road. I said good-bye to Mother and the cove where I
had lived since I was born,  and the dear old Admiral  Benbow - since he was
repainted,  no  longer  quite  so  dear. One  of my last thoughts was of the
captain,  who had so often strode along the beach with his cocked  hat,  his
sabre-cut cheek, and his old brass telescope. Next moment we had turned  the
corner and my home was out of sight.
     The mail  picked us up about dusk at the  Royal George  on the heath. I
was wedged in between Redruth and a stout old gentleman, and in spite of the
swift motion and the cold night air, I must have dozed a great deal from the
very first, and then  slept like a  log up hill and down dale  through stage
after stage,  for when I was awakened at last it was by a punch in the ribs,
and I opened my eyes  to find  that we were  standing still  before a  large
building in a city street and that the day had already broken a long time.
     "Where are we?" I asked.
     "Bristol," said Tom. "Get down."
     Mr.  Trelawney  had taken up his residence at an inn far down the docks
to superintend the work upon the schooner. Thither we had now  to  walk, and
our way, to my  great  delight,  lay along  the  quays  and beside the great
multitude of ships of all sizes and rigs and  nations. In one,  sailors were
singing  at their work, in another there were men  aloft, high over my head,
hanging  to  threads that  seemed no thicker  than a spider's.  Though I had
lived  by the shore all my life, I seemed never to have  been near  the  sea
till then.  The smell  of tar and salt was  something  new. I  saw the  most
wonderful figureheads, that had all been far over the ocean. I saw, besides,
many old sailors, with rings in their ears, and whiskers curled in ringlets,
and tarry pigtails, and their swaggering, clumsy sea-walk; and if I had seen
as many kings or archbishops I could not have been more delighted.
     And I  was  going to  sea myself, to sea in a schooner, with  a  piping
boatswain  and  pig-tailed  singing  seamen, to  sea, bound  for an  unknown
island,  and  to  seek  for  buried  treasure!  While  I  was still  in this
delightful  dream, we came suddenly  in front of a large  inn and met Squire
Trelawney, all dressed out like a sea-officer,  in  stout blue cloth, coming
out of  the  door  with a  smile  on his face and  a capital  imitation of a
sailor's walk.
     "Here you are," he cried, "and the doctor  came last night from London.
Bravo! The ship's company complete!"
     "Oh, sir," cried I, "when do we sail?"
     "Sail!" says he. "We sail tomorrow!"
     8. At the Sign of the Spy-glass
     WHEN  I  had done breakfasting the squire gave  me a note  addressed to
John  Silver, at the sign of the Spy-glass, and told me I should easily find
the place by following the line of  the docks  and keeping a bright  lookout
for  a  little tavern with a  large  brass telescope  for sign.  I  set off,
overjoyed at this  opportunity to see some more of the ships and seamen, and
picked my way  among  a great crowd of  people and carts and  bales, for the
dock was now at its busiest, until I found the tavern in question.
     It was a  bright  enough  little  place of entertainment. The  sign was
newly painted;  the  windows had neat red curtains;  the floor  was  cleanly
sanded. There was a street on each side and an open door on both, which made
the large, low room pretty clear to see in,  in  spite of clouds  of tobacco
     The customers were mostly seafaring men, and they talked so loudly that
I hung at the door, almost afraid to enter. As I was waiting, a man came out
of  a side room, and at  a glance I was sure he must be Long John. His  left
leg was  cut  off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a
crutch, which he managed  with  wonderful dexterity,  hopping about  upon it
like a bird. He was  very  tall and strong, with  a face as  big as a ham  -
plain and  pale,  but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he seemed in the most
cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about among the tables, with a merry
word or a slap on the shoulder for the more favoured of his guests.
     Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long John in
Squire Trelawney's letter  I had taken a fear in my mind that he might prove
to be the very one-legged  sailor whom I  had watched for so long at the old
Benbow.  But one  look  at  the  man before me  was enough. I had  seen  the
captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man,  Pew, and I thought I knew what a
buccaneer was like  - a very different creature, according to  me, from this
clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.
     I plucked up  courage at once, crossed the  threshold, and walked right
up to the man where he stood, propped on his crutch, talking to a customer.
     "Mr. Silver, sir?" I asked, holding out the note.
     "Yes, my  lad," said he;  "such is my name, to be sure. And who may you
be?" And then  as  he saw  the  squire's  letter, he seemed to  me  to  give
something almost like a start.
     "Oh!" said he,  quite loud, and offering his hand. "I see.  You are our
new cabin-boy;  pleased I  am to see you." And he took my hand in his  large
firm grasp.
     Just then one of the  customers at the far side rose  suddenly and made
for the door. It was close by him, and he was out in the street in a moment.
But  his  hurry had attracted my notice, and  I recognized him at glance. It
was the  tallow-faced man, wanting two fingers, who  had  come first to  the
Admiral Benbow.
     "Oh," I cried, "stop him! It's Black Dog!"
     "I don't care two coppers who he is," cried Silver. "But he hasn't paid
his score. Harry, run and catch him."
     One  of the others who was nearest the door  leaped  up and started  in
     "If he were  Admiral Hawke  he shall pay his score," cried  Silver; and
then,  relinquishing my  hand,  "Who did  you say he was?"  he asked. "Black
     "Dog, sir," said I. "Has Mr. Trelawney not told you of  the buccaneers?
He was one of them."
     "So?" cried Silver. "In my house! Ben, run and help Harry. One of those
swabs, was he? Was that you drinking with him, Morgan? Step up here."
     The  man whom  he called Morgan -  an old,  grey-haired, mahogany-faced
sailor - came forward pretty sheepishly, rolling his quid.
     "Now,  Morgan," said Long John  very sternly,  "you never clapped  your
eyes on that Black - Black Dog before, did you, now?"
     "Not I, sir," said Morgan with a salute.
     "You didn't know his name, did you?"
     "No, sir."
     "By the powers,  Tom Morgan,  it's  as  good  for  you!"  exclaimed the
landlord. "If you  had  been mixed up with the like of that, you would never
have  put another  foot in my  house, you may lay to that.  And what  was he
saying to you?"
     "I don't rightly know, sir," answered Morgan.
     "Do you call  that a  head on  your shoulders, or a blessed  dead-eye?"
cried Long John. "Don't rightly know, don't you! Perhaps you don't happen to
rightly know who you was speaking to, perhaps? Come, now, what was he jawing
- v'yages, cap'ns, ships? Pipe up! What was it?"
     "We was a-talkin' of keel-hauling," answered Morgan.
     "Keel-hauling, was you? And a mighty suitable thing, too,  and  you may
lay to that. Get back to your place for a lubber, Tom."
     And then, as  Morgan rolled  back to his seat, Silver added to  me in a
confidential whisper that was  very flattering, as I thought, "He's quite an
honest  man, Tom Morgan, on'y  stupid.  And now,"  he ran on  again,  aloud,
"let's  see  - Black Dog?  No,  I don't know the name, not I.  Yet I kind of
think I've  - yes, I've seen the  swab. He used  to come here  with  a blind
beggar, he used."
     "That he did, you may be sure," said I. "I knew that blind man too. His
name was Pew."
     "It was!" cried Silver, now quite excited. "Pew! That were his name for
certain. Ah, he looked a shark, he did! If we run  down this Black Dog, now,
there'll be news  for Cap'n  Trelawney! Ben's a good runner; few seamen  run
better than Ben. He  should run him down,  hand over hand, by the powers! He
talked o' keel-hauling, did he? I'LL keel-haul him!"
     All the time  he was jerking out  these phrases  he was stumping up and
down the tavern  on his crutch,  slapping tables  with  his hand, and giving
such a show of excitement as would have convinced an Old Bailey judge  or  a
Bow  Street runner. My suspicions had  been thoroughly reawakened on finding
Black Dog at the Spy-glass,  and I watched the cook narrowly. But he was too
deep, and too  ready, and too clever for me, and by the time the two men had
come  back  out of breath and confessed that  they had lost  the track in  a
crowd,  and  been  scolded  like  thieves, I would  have gone  bail for  the
innocence of Long John Silver.
     "See here, now, Hawkins,"  said he, "here's a blessed hard thing  on  a
man  like me, now,  ain't  it? There's Cap'n Trelawney - what's he to think?
Here  I have  this confounded  son of  a  Dutchman  sitting in my  own house
drinking of my  own rum! Here you comes and tells me of it plain; and here I
let him give us all the slip before my blessed deadlights! Now, Hawkins, you
do me justice with the cap'n. You're a  lad, you are, but you're as smart as
paint. I see that when you first come in. Now, here it is: What could I  do,
with this old  timber I hobble on? When I was an A B master mariner I'd have
come up alongside of him, hand over hand, and  broached him to in a brace of
old shakes, I would; but now - "
     And then, all of a sudden, he stopped, and his jaw dropped as though he
had remembered something.
     "The  score!" he burst out. "Three goes o' rum! Why, shiver my timbers,
if I hadn't forgotten my score!"
     And falling on a bench, he laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks.
I could not help joining, and we  laughed  together, peal  after peal, until
the tavern rang again.
     "Why,  what a precious old sea-calf I am!" he  said at last, wiping his
cheeks. "You and me  should get on well, Hawkins,  for  I'll take my  davy I
should be rated ship's boy. But come  now, stand by  to go about. This won't
do.  Dooty  is dooty, messmates. I'll put on my  old cockerel hat,  and step
along of you to Cap'n Trelawney, and report  this here affair. For mind you,
it's serious,  young Hawkins; and  neither you nor  me's come out of it with
what I should make so bold as to call credit. Nor you neither, says you; not
smart - none of  the pair of us smart. But  dash my buttons! That was a good
un about my score."
     And he  began  to laugh again, and that so  heartily, that though I did
not see the joke as he did, I was again obliged to join him in his mirth.
     On  our  little  walk  along  the  quays,  he  made  himself  the  most
interesting  companion, telling  me about the different ships that we passed
by, their rig,  tonnage, and nationality, explaining the work that was going
forward - how  one  was  discharging, another taking in  cargo, and a  third
making ready  for  sea - and every  now  and  then  telling  me  some little
anecdote  of ships  or seamen or  repeating  a nautical phrase  till  I  had
learned  it  perfectly.  I began  to  see that here  was one of the  best of
possible shipmates.
     When  we got  to the  inn,  the  squire and  Dr.  Livesey  were  seated
together, finishing a quart of ale with a toast in it, before they should go
aboard the schooner on a visit of inspection.
     Long  John told  the story  from  first to last,  with a great deal  of
spirit and the most perfect truth. "That was how  it were, now, weren't  it,
Hawkins?" he would say, now and again, and I could always bear him  entirely
     The  two  gentlemen regretted that Black Dog  had got  away, but we all
agreed there  was  nothing to be  done, and  after he had been complimented,
Long John took up his crutch and departed.
     "All hands aboard by four  this  afternoon,"  shouted the  squire after
     "Aye, aye, sir," cried the cook, in the passage.
     "Well, squire," said  Dr.  Livesey, "I  don't  put  much faith in  your
discoveries, as a general thing; but I will say this, John Silver suits me."
     "The man's a perfect trump," declared the squire.
     "And now," added the doctor, "Jim may  come on board  with  us, may  he
     "To be sure he  may," says squire. "Take  your hat,  Hawkins, and we'll
see the ship."
     9. Powder and Arms
     THE  HISPANIOLA lay some way out, and we went under the figureheads and
round the sterns of many  other  ships, and their  cables  sometimes  grated
underneath our keel, and sometimes swung above us.  At last, however, we got
alongside,  and were met and saluted as  we stepped aboard  by the mate, Mr.
Arrow, a brown old sailor with earrings in his ears and a squint. He and the
squire were very thick and friendly, but  I  soon observed  that things were
not the same between Mr. Trelawney and the captain.
     This last  was a sharp-looking man who seemed angry with everything  on
board and was soon to tell us why, for we had hardly got down into the cabin
when a sailor followed us.
     "Captain Smollett, sir, axing to speak with you," said he.
     "I am always at the captain's orders. Show him in," said the squire.
     The captain, who  was close behind  his messenger, entered at  once and
shut the door behind him.
     "Well, Captain Smollett, what have  you to  say? All well, I  hope; all
shipshape and seaworthy?"
     "Well, sir," said the captain, "better speak plain, I believe, even  at
the risk of offence. I don't  like this cruise; I don't like  the men; and I
don't like my officer. That's short and sweet."
     "Perhaps,  sir, you don't like  the  ship?"  inquired  the squire, very
angry, as I could see.
     "I can't speak as to that,  sir,  not  having seen her tried," said the
captain. "She seems a clever craft; more I can't say."
     "Possibly,  sir, you may not  like  your  employer,  either?" says  the
     But here Dr. Livesey cut in.
     "Stay a bit," said he, "stay  a  bit.  No use of such questions as that
but to produce ill feeling. The captain has said too much or he has said too
little, and I'm bound to say that I require an explanation of his words. You
don't, you say, like this cruise. Now, why?"
     "I was engaged,  sir, on what we call sealed  orders, to sail this ship
for that gentleman where he should bid  me," said the captain.  "So  far  so
good. But now I find that every man before the mast knows more than  I do. I
don't call that fair, now, do you?"
     "No," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't."
     "Next," said the captain, "I  learn we are going after treasure  - hear
it from my own hands, mind you. Now, treasure is ticklish work; I don't like
treasure voyages on any account, and I don't like them, above all, when they
are secret and when (begging your pardon, Mr. Trelawney) the secret has been
told to the parrot."
     "Silver's parrot?" asked the squire.
     "It's a way of speaking," said the captain. "Blabbed, I  mean.  It's my
belief neither  of you gentlemen know what you are about, but I'll tell  you
my way of it - life or death, and a close run."
     "That is all clear, and, I dare say, true enough," replied Dr. Livesey.
"We  take the risk,  but we are not so ignorant as you believe us. Next, you
say you don't like the crew. Are they not good seamen?"
     "I  don't  like them, sir," returned Captain Smollett. "And  I think  I
should have had the choosing of my own hands, if you go to that."
     "Perhaps  you should,"  replied the doctor. "My friend should, perhaps,
have taken  you along  with  him;  but  the slight,  if  there be  one,  was
unintentional. And you don't like Mr. Arrow?"
     "I don't, sir. I believe he's a good seaman, but he's too free with the
crew to be a good officer. A mate should keep himself to himself - shouldn't
drink with the men before the mast!"
     "Do you mean he drinks?" cried the squire.
     "No, sir," replied the captain, "only that he's too familiar."
     "Well, now, and the short and  long of  it, captain?" asked the doctor.
"Tell us what you want."
     "Well, gentlemen, are you determined to go on this cruise?"
     "Like iron," answered the squire.
     "Very  good,"  said  the  captain.  "Then,  as  you've  heard  me  very
patiently, saying things that  I could  not prove, hear me a few words more.
They are putting the powder and  the arms  in the fore hold. Now, you have a
good place under the cabin; why not put them there? - first point. Then, you
are bringing four of your own people with you, and they tell me some of them
are to be berthed forward.  Why not give  them the  berths  here beside  the
cabin? - second point."
     "Any more?" asked Mr. Trelawney.
     "One more," said the captain. "There's been too much blabbing already."
     "Far too much," agreed the doctor.
     "I'll  tell  you what I've  heard myself,"  continued Captain Smollett:
"that  you have a map of an island, that there's crosses on the map to  show
where treasure is,  and  that the island lies  -  "  And then  he  named the
latitude and longitude exactly.
     "I never told that," cried the squire, "to a soul!"
     "The hands know it, sir," returned the captain.
     "Livesey, that must have been you or Hawkins," cried the squire.
     "It doesn't much matter who it  was," replied the doctor. And  I  could
see that  neither he  nor  the  captain paid much  regard to Mr. Trelawney's
protestations. Neither did I, to be sure, he  was so loose  a talker; yet in
this case  I  believe  he  was  really  right and that nobody had  told  the
situation of the island.
     "Well, gentlemen,"  continued  the captain, "I don't  know who has this
map;  but I  make it a point, it shall be kept secret  even  from me and Mr.
Arrow. Otherwise I would ask you to let me resign."
     "I see," said the  doctor. "You wish us to keep this matter dark and to
make a garrison of the  stern part of  the ship, manned with my friend's own
people, and provided with all the arms  and powder on board. In other words,
you fear a mutiny."
     "Sir," said Captain  Smollett, "with no  intention  to take  offence, I
deny your  right  to  put  words into my  mouth.  No captain, sir,  would be
justified in going to sea at all if he had ground enough to say that. As for
Mr. Arrow, I believe him thoroughly  honest; some  of the  men are the same;
all may  be for what I know. But I am responsible for  the ship's safety and
the life of every man Jack  aboard of  her. I see things  going, as I think,
not quite right. And I ask you  to take certain precautions or let me resign
my berth. And that's all."
     "Captain Smollett," began the doctor with a smile, "did ever  you  hear
the fable of the  mountain and the mouse? You'll excuse me, I dare say,  but
you remind me of that fable. When  you  came in here, I'll stake my wig, you
meant more than this."
     "Doctor," said the captain, "you are smart. When I came in here I meant
to get discharged. I had no thought that Mr. Trelawney would hear a word."
     "No more  I would," cried  the squire.  "Had  Livesey  not  been here I
should have seen  you to the deuce. As it is, I have heard you. I will do as
you desire, but I think the worse of you."
     "That's as you please,  sir,"  said the  captain.  "You'll find I do my
     And with that he took his leave.
     "Trelawney," said the doctor, "contrary to all my  notions,  I believed
you have managed to get two honest men on board with you - that man and John
     "Silver, if you like," cried the squire;  "but as for  that intolerable
humbug, I declare I think  his conduct  unmanly,  unsailorly, and  downright
     "Well," says the doctor, "we shall see."
     When we came on deck, the  men had begun  already to take out the  arms
and powder, yo-ho-ing at their work, while the captain  and  Mr. Arrow stood
by superintending.
     The new arrangement was quite to my liking. The whole schooner had been
overhauled;  six  berths had  been  made  astern out  of what  had  been the
after-part of the main  hold; and this set of cabins was only joined  to the
galley  and forecastle by a  sparred  passage on the port  side. It had been
originally meant that the captain, Mr. Arrow, Hunter, Joyce, the doctor, and
the  squire were to occupy these six berths.  Now Redruth and  I were to get
two  of them and Mr.  Arrow and the  captain were to sleep  on deck  in  the
companion, which had been enlarged on  each side till  you might almost have
called it a round-house.  Very  low it  was still, of course;  but there was
room  to  swing two  hammocks,  and even  the mate  seemed  pleased with the
arrangement. Even he, perhaps, had been doubtful as to the crew, but that is
only  guess, for as  you  shall hear, we had not long  the  benefit  of  his
     We were all  hard at work, changing the powder and the berths, when the
last man or two, and Long John along with them, came off in a shore-boat.
     The cook came up the side like a  monkey for cleverness, and as soon as
he saw what was doing, "So ho, mates!" says he. "What's this?"
     "We're a-changing of the powder, Jack," answers one.
     "Why, by  the  powers," cried  Long John,  "if we  do, we'll  miss  the
morning tide!"
     "My orders!" said the captain shortly. "You may go below, my man. Hands
will want supper."
     "Aye,  aye, sir,"  answered the  cook,  and touching  his  forelock, he
disappeared at once in the direction of his galley.
     "That's a good man, captain," said the doctor.
     "Very  likely, sir," replied Captain  Smollett.  "Easy with that, men -
easy," he  ran  on, to the  fellows who  were shifting the powder; and  then
suddenly observing  me  examining the swivel  we  carried amidships,  a long
brass nine, "Here you, ship's boy,"  he cried, "out o' that! Off with you to
the cook and get some work."
     And  then as I was hurrying off  I heard him say,  quite loudly, to the
doctor, "I'll have no favourites on my ship."
     I assure you I was quite of the squire's way of thinking, and hated the
captain deeply.
     10. The Voyage
     ALL that night we were in a great bustle getting things stowed in their
place, and boatfuls  of  the  squire's  friends,  Mr. Blandly and the  like,
coming off to wish him a good voyage and a safe return. We never had a night
at the Admiral Benbow when I had half the work; and  I was dog-tired when, a
little before dawn, the boatswain sounded his pipe and the crew began to man
the capstan-bars.  I might have been twice as weary, yet  I  would  not have
left the deck, all was so new and  interesting  to me  - the brief commands,
the  shrill  note  of the whistle, the men  bustling to their places in  the
glimmer of the ship's lanterns.
     "Now, Barbecue, tip us a stave," cried one voice.
     "The old one," cried another.
     "Aye, aye, mates," said Long John, who was standing by, with his crutch
under his arm, and at once broke out in the air and words I knew so well:
     "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest" -
     And then the whole crew bore chorus: -
     "Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
     And at the third "Ho!" drove the bars before them with a will.
     Even  at that exciting moment it carried  me back  to  the  old Admiral
Benbow in a  second, and I seemed to hear the voice of the captain piping in
the chorus. But soon  the anchor  was short up; soon it was hanging dripping
at the bows; soon the sails began to draw, and the land and shipping to flit
by on either side; and before I could  lie down to snatch an hour of slumber
the HISPANIOLA had begun her voyage to the Isle of Treasure.
     I am  not  going  to  relate  that  voyage  in detail.  It  was  fairly
prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship, the crew were capable seamen,
and the captain  thoroughly understood his business. But before  we came the
length of Treasure Island, two or three things had happened which require to
be known.
     Mr. Arrow,  first of all,  turned out  even worse than  the captain had
feared.  He  had no  command among the men, and people did what they pleased
with him. But that was by no means the worst of it,  for after  a day or two
at  sea  he began  to  appear on deck with  hazy eye, red cheeks, stuttering
tongue, and other marks of drunkenness. Time after time he was ordered below
in disgrace. Sometimes  he fell and  cut himself;  sometimes he  lay all day
long in his little bunk at one side of the companion; sometimes for a day or
two he would  be almost sober and attend to his work  at  least passably. In
the meantime, we could never make out  where he got the drink. That was  the
ship's mystery. Watch  him as we  pleased, we  could do nothing to solve it;
and when we asked him to his face, he would only laugh if he were drunk, and
if he were sober deny solemnly that he ever tasted anything but water.
     He was  not only useless as an  officer and a bad influence amongst the
men, but it was plain that at this rate he  must soon kill himself outright,
so  nobody was much surprised, nor  very sorry, when one dark night, with  a
head sea, he disappeared entirely and was seen no more.
     "Overboard!" said the captain. "Well, gentlemen, that saves the trouble
of putting him in irons."
     But there we were, without a mate; and it was  necessary, of course, to
advance one  of the men. The boatswain, Job Anderson,  was the likeliest man
aboard, and though he kept  his old title, he  served in  a way as mate. Mr.
Trelawney had  followed the sea, and his knowledge made him very useful, for
he  often  took a watch  himself in  easy weather. And  the coxswain, Israel
Hands, was a careful, wily, old, experienced seaman  who could be trusted at
a pinch with almost anything.
     He was a great confidant of Long John Silver, and so the mention of his
name leads me on to speak of our ship's  cook,  Barbecue, as the  men called
     Aboard ship he carried his crutch by a lanyard round his  neck, to have
both  hands as free as possible. It was something to see him wedge  the foot
of the  crutch against a bulkhead, and propped against it, yielding to every
movement  of  the  ship, get on  with his cooking like someone safe  ashore.
Still more strange was it  to see him in  the  heaviest of weather cross the
deck. He had a line or  two rigged up to help him across the widest spaces -
Long John's earrings,  they were called; and he would hand himself  from one
place to another, now using the  crutch, now  trailing  it alongside by  the
lanyard, as quickly as another man could  walk.  Yet some of the men who had
sailed with him before expressed their pity to see him so reduced.
     "He's no common man, Barbecue," said the  coxswain to me. "He  had good
schooling in his young days and can speak like  a book when so  minded;  and
brave - a lion's nothing alongside of Long John! I seen him grapple four and
knock their heads together - him unarmed."
     All the crew respected and even obeyed him. He had a  way of talking to
each and doing everybody some  particular service. To me  he was unweariedly
kind, and always glad to see me  in the galley, which he  kept as clean as a
new pin,  the  dishes  hanging up  burnished and his parrot in a cage in one
     "Come  away, Hawkins," he would say;  "come  and have a yarn with John.
Nobody more welcome than  yourself, my son.  Sit you down and hear the news.
Here's  Cap'n  Flint  - I  calls my  parrot  Cap'n Flint, after  the  famous
buccaneer - here's Cap'n Flint predicting success to our v'yage. Wasn't you,
     And the parrot would say, with great rapidity, "Pieces of eight! Pieces
of eight! Pieces of eight!" till you wondered that it was not out of breath,
or till John threw his handkerchief over the cage.
     "Now,  that  bird,"  he would say,  "is, maybe, two hundred  years old,
Hawkins - they live forever  mostly;  and if anybody's seen more wickedness,
it must be the  devil  himself. She's sailed  with England,  the great Cap'n
England, the pirate. She's been at Madagascar, and at Malabar,  and Surinam,
and  Providence, and Portobello. She was at  the fishing  up of  the wrecked
plate ships. It's  there she  learned 'Pieces of  eight,' and little wonder;
three hundred and fifty thousand of 'em, Hawkins! She was at the boarding of
the viceroy of the Indies out of Goa, she was; and  to look at her you would
think she was a babby. But you smelt powder - didn't you, cap'n?"
     "Stand by to go about," the parrot would scream.
     "Ah, she's a handsome craft, she is," the cook  would say, and give her
sugar from his pocket, and then the bird  would  peck at the bars and  swear
straight on, passing belief for wickedness.  "There," John  would add,  "you
can't touch pitch and not be mucked, lad. Here's this poor old innocent bird
o'  mine  swearing blue fire, and none the  wiser, you may  lay to that. She
would swear the same, in  a manner  of speaking, before chaplain."  And John
would touch  his forelock with a solemn way he had that made me think he was
the best of men.
     In the meantime, the squire and  Captain Smollett  were still on pretty
distant terms  with one  another. The squire made no bones about the matter;
he despised the captain.  The captain, on his  part, never spoke but when he
was spoken to,  and then  sharp and short and dry, and not a word wasted. He
owned,  when driven into  a corner, that  he seemed to have been wrong about
the crew, that some of them were as brisk as  he wanted  to see  and all had
behaved fairly well. As for the ship, he had taken a downright fancy to her.
"She'll lie  a point nearer the wind than a man has a right to expect of his
own married wife, sir.  But,"  he would  add, "all I  say is, we're not home
again, and  I don't like the cruise." The squire, at this,  would turn  away
and march up and down the deck, chin in air.
     "A trifle more of that man," he would say, "and I shall explode."
     We  had  some heavy weather,  which only  proved the qualities  of  the
HISPANIOLA. Every man on board seemed well content, and  they must have been
hard to please if  they had been otherwise, for  it is  my belief  there was
never  a ship's  company so spoiled since Noah put to sea.  Double grog  was
going on the  least excuse; there was duff on odd days, as, for instance, if
the squire heard it was any  man's birthday,  and  always a barrel of apples
standing broached in the waist for anyone to help himself that had a fancy.
     "Never knew  good come  of  it yet," the  captain said  to Dr. Livesey.
"Spoil forecastle hands, make devils. That's my belief."
     But good did come of the apple barrel, as you shall hear, for if it had
not been for  that, we should have had no note of warning and might all have
perished by the hand of treachery.
     This was how it came about.
     We had run up the trades to get the wind  of the island we were after -
I am not allowed to be more plain - and now we were running down for it with
a  bright  lookout day and night. It was about the  last  day of our outward
voyage by the largest computation; some time that night, or at latest before
noon of the  morrow, we should sight  the  Treasure  Island. We were heading
S.S.W. and had a steady breeze abeam and a quiet sea.  The HISPANIOLA rolled
steadily, dipping  her bowsprit now  and then with a whiff of spray. All was
drawing alow and  aloft; everyone was in the bravest spirits because we were
now so near an end of the first part of our adventure.
     Now, just after sundown, when all my work was  over and I was on my way
to my berth, it occurred  to me that I should like an apple. I ran  on deck.
The watch was  all forward looking out for  the island.  The man at the helm
was watching the luff of the sail and whistling away gently to himself,  and
that was the only sound excepting the swish of the sea  against the bows and
around the sides of the ship.
     In I  got bodily into the apple barrel,  and found there was  scarce an
apple left; but sitting down there  in  the dark, what with the sound of the
waters and the rocking movement of  the ship, I had  either fallen asleep or
was on the point of  doing so when  a heavy man sat down with rather a clash
close by. The barrel shook as he  leaned his shoulders against it, and I was
just  about to  jump up when the man began to speak. It was  Silver's voice,
and before I had heard a dozen words, I would not have shown  myself for all
the world,  but lay there, trembling and listening, in the  extreme  of fear
and curiosity, for from these dozen words I understood that the lives of all
the honest men aboard depended upon me alone.
     11. What I Heard in the Apple Barrel
     "NO,  not I," said Silver. "Flint was cap'n; I was quartermaster, along
of  my  timber leg.  The  same  broadside I lost my leg,  old  Pew lost  his
deadlights. It was a master surgeon, him that  ampytated me - out of college
and all -  Latin  by the bucket, and what not; but he was hanged like a dog,
and sun-dried like the rest, at  Corso Castle. That  was Roberts' men,  that
was, and comed of  changing names to their ships - ROYAL FORTUNE and so  on.
Now, what a ship was christened, so let her stay, I says. So it was with the
CASSANDRA,  as brought us all safe home from Malabar, after England took the
viceroy of the Indies;  so it was with  the old WALRUS, Flint's old ship, as
I've seen amuck with the red blood and fit to sink with gold."
     "Ah!"  cried  another voice, that  of the  youngest  hand on board, and
evidently full of admiration. "He was the flower of the flock, was Flint!"
     "Davis  was  a man too, by all accounts," said Silver. "I never  sailed
along of him; first with  England, then with Flint, that's my story; and now
here  on my  own account,  in a manner of speaking.  I laid by nine  hundred
safe, from  England, and two thousand  after Flint. That ain't bad for a man
before  the  mast -  all safe in bank. 'Tain't earning now, it's saving does
it, you may lay to  that. Where's all England's men  now?  I dunno.  Where's
Flint's?  Why,  most on  'em aboard  here, and glad to  get the duff  - been
begging before that, some on 'em. Old Pew,  as had lost his sight, and might
have  thought shame, spends twelve hundred pound in a year, like a  lord  in
Parliament. Where is  he now? Well, he's dead now and under hatches; but for
two year before that, shiver  my timbers,  the man was starving!  He begged,
and he stole, and he cut throats, and starved at that, by the powers!"
     "Well, it ain't much use, after all," said the young seaman.
     "'Tain't  much  use for fools, you may lay to it  - that, nor nothing,"
cried Silver. "But now, you look here: you're  young, you are, but you're as
smart as paint. I  see that when I set my eyes on you, and I'll  talk to you
like a man."
     You may  imagine how I  felt  when I heard  this  abominable old  rogue
addressing another in  the very  same  words of flattery  as he  had used to
myself. I  think, if I had been able,  that I  would have killed him through
the barrel. Meantime, he ran on, little supposing he was overheard.
     "Here it is about gentlemen of fortune. They lives rough, and they risk
swinging, but  they eat and drink  like fighting-cocks, and when a cruise is
done, why, it's hundreds of pounds instead of hundreds of farthings in their
pockets. Now, the most  goes for  rum and a good fling,  and to sea again in
their  shirts.  But  that's not the course I lay. I puts  it all away,  some
here, some there, and  none too much anywheres,  by reason of suspicion. I'm
fifty, mark you; once back from this cruise, I set  up gentleman in earnest.
Time enough too, says you.  Ah,  but I've lived easy in the meantime,  never
denied myself o' nothing heart desires, and slep' soft and ate dainty all my
days but when at sea. And how did I begin? Before the mast, like you!"
     "Well," said the  other, "but all the other money's gone now, ain't it?
You daren't show face in Bristol after this."
     "Why, where might you suppose it was?" asked Silver derisively.
     "At Bristol, in banks and places," answered his companion.
     "It were," said the cook; "it  were when we weighed anchor. But  my old
missis  has it all by now. And the Spy-glass is sold, lease and goodwill and
rigging; and  the old girl's off to meet me. I would tell  you where,  for I
trust you, but it'd make jealousy among the mates."
     "And can you trust your missis?" asked the other.
     "Gentlemen of fortune," returned the cook, "usually trusts little among
themselves, and right they are, you may lay to it. But I have a way with me,
I have. When a mate  brings a slip on his cable - one as knows me, I mean  -
it  won't be in the same world with old John. There was some that was feared
of Pew, and some that was feared of Flint; but Flint his own self was feared
of  me. Feared he was, and proud.  They  was the roughest crew  afloat,  was
Flint's;  the devil himself would  have  been feared to go to sea with them.
Well now, I tell you, I'm not a boasting man, and you seen yourself how easy
I keep  company, but when  I was quartermaster, LAMBS wasn't  the  word  for
Flint's old buccaneers. Ah, you may be sure of yourself in old John's ship."
     "Well, I tell you now,"  replied the lad, "I didn't half a quarter like
the job till I had this talk with you, John; but there's my hand on it now."
     "And  a  brave  lad  you were, and smart too," answered Silver, shaking
hands so  heartily that all the barrel shook, "and a finer  figurehead for a
gentleman of fortune I never clapped my eyes on."
     By this time I had begun to understand the meaning of their terms. By a
"gentleman  of  fortune" they  plainly meant neither more  nor less  than  a
common pirate, and the little scene that I had overheard was the last act in
the corruption of  one of the honest hands - perhaps of the  last  one  left
aboard.  But on this  point I was soon  to be relieved,  for Silver giving a
little whistle, a third man strolled up and sat down by the party.
     "Dick's square," said Silver.
     "Oh, I know'd Dick  was  square," returned the  voice of  the coxswain,
Israel Hands. "He's no fool, is Dick." And he turned his quid and spat. "But
look here," he went on, "here's what I want to know, Barbecue: how long  are
we a-going  to stand off  and on  like  a  blessed bumboat? I've  had a'most
enough o' Cap'n Smollett; he's hazed me long enough, by  thunder! I  want to
go into that cabin, I do. I want their pickles and wines, and that."
     "Israel," said Silver, "your head ain't much account, nor ever was. But
you're  able  to  hear, I reckon; leastways, your  ears  is big enough. Now,
here's what I say: you'll  berth forward, and  you'll live hard,  and you'll
speak soft, and you'll keep sober till I  give the  word; and you may lay to
that, my son."
     "Well,  I don't say no, do I?" growled  the coxswain. "What  I  say is,
when? That's what I say."
     "When! By the  powers!" cried  Silver. "Well now, if you  want to know,
I'll tell you when.  The last moment I can manage, and that's when. Here's a
first-rate seaman, Cap'n Smollett,  sails the blessed ship  for  us.  Here's
this squire and doctor with a map and such - I don't know where it is, do I?
No more do  you,  says you.  Well then, I mean this squire  and doctor shall
find the stuff, and help us to get it aboard, by the powers. Then we'll see.
If I was sure  of  you all, sons of double Dutchmen, I'd have Cap'n Smollett
navigate us half-way back again before I struck."
     "Why, we're all seamen aboard here, I should think," said the lad Dick.
     "We're all forecastle hands, you mean," snapped Silver. "We can steer a
course, but who's to set  one? That's what all you gentlemen split on, first
and  last. If  I had  my  way, I'd have Cap'n Smollett work us back into the
trades at least; then we'd have no blessed miscalculations and a spoonful of
water  a  day.  But I know  the sort you are. I'll finish with  'em  at  the
island,  as  soon's the blunt's on board, and a pity it is. But you're never
happy till you're drunk. Split my sides, I've a sick heart  to sail with the
likes of you!"
     "Easy all, Long John," cried Israel. "Who's a-crossin' of you?"
     "Why, how many tall ships, think ye, now,  have I seen laid aboard? And
how many brisk lads drying in the sun at Execution Dock?" cried Silver. "And
all for this same hurry and hurry and hurry. You hear me? I seen  a thing or
two  at  sea, I have.  If  you would on'y lay your  course,  and  a p'int to
windward,  you would ride in carriages, you would. But not you!  I know you.
You'll have your mouthful of rum tomorrow, and go hang."
     "Everybody  knowed  you was a kind  of  a chapling,  John;  but there's
others as could hand and steer as well  as you," said Israel.  "They liked a
bit o'  fun,  they  did. They wasn't so high  and dry, nohow, but took their
fling, like jolly companions every one."
     "So?" says Silver.  "Well, and where are they  now? Pew was that  sort,
and he  died a beggar-man. Flint  was, and  he died of rum  at Savannah. Ah,
they was a sweet crew, they was! On'y, where are they?"
     "But," asked Dick, "when we do lay 'em  athwart, what are we to do with
'em, anyhow?"
     "There's  the man for me!" cried the cook admiringly.  "That's  what  I
call business. Well, what would you think? Put 'em ashore like maroons? That
would have been  England's way. Or cut  'em down like  that  much pork? That
would have been Flint's, or Billy Bones's."
     "Billy was the man for that," said Israel. "'Dead men don't bite,' says
he. Well, he's dead  now hisself; he knows the long and short on it now; and
if ever a rough hand come to port, it was Billy."
     "Right you are," said Silver; "rough and ready. But mark  you here, I'm
an easy man - I'm quite the gentleman, says you; but this time it's serious.
Dooty  is  dooty, mates. I give my vote -  death. When I'm in  Parlyment and
riding  in my  coach,  I don't want none of these sea-lawyers in  the  cabin
a-coming home, unlooked for, like the devil  at prayers. Wait is what I say;
but when the time comes, why, let her rip!"
     "John," cries the coxswain, "you're a man!"
     "You'll say  so, Israel when  you  see," said Silver. "Only one thing I
claim - I claim Trelawney. I'll wring his  calf's head  off  his  body  with
these hands, Dick!"  he added, breaking off. "You just jump up, like a sweet
lad, and get me an apple, to wet my pipe like."
     You may fancy the terror I was in! I should have leaped out and run for
it if I had found  the strength, but my limbs  and heart alike misgave me. I
heard Dick  begin  to  rise, and then someone seemingly stopped him, and the
voice of  Hands  exclaimed,  "Oh, stow that! Don't you  get sucking  of that
bilge, John. Let's have a go of the rum."
     "Dick," said  Silver,  "I trust  you. I've a  gauge  on the keg,  mind.
There's the key; you fill a pannikin and bring it up."
     Terrified as I was, I  could not help thinking to myself that this must
have been how Mr. Arrow got the strong waters that destroyed him.
     Dick  was gone but a little  while, and during his absence Israel spoke
straight on in the cook's ear. It was but a word or two that I  could catch,
and yet I gathered some important news, for besides other scraps that tended
to  the same  purpose,  this whole  clause  was audible: "Not another man of
them'll jine." Hence there were still faithful men on board.
     When Dick returned, one after another of the trio took the pannikin and
drank - one  "To luck," another with a "Here's  to  old  Flint," and  Silver
himself saying, in a kind of song, "Here's to ourselves, and hold your luff,
plenty of prizes and plenty of duff."
     Just then a sort of brightness fell upon me in the barrel, and  looking
up, I found the moon had risen and was silvering the  mizzen-top and shining
white on the luff of the fore-sail; and almost at the same time the voice of
the lookout shouted, "Land ho!"
     12. Council of War
     THERE  was a great rush of  feet across the deck.  I  could hear people
tumbling up from  the cabin and the forecastle, and  slipping in  an instant
outside my barrel, I  dived behind the fore-sail,  made a double towards the
stern,  and came  out upon  the open  deck in time to join  Hunter  and  Dr.
Livesey in the rush for the weather bow.
     There all  hands  were  already  congregated.  A belt of fog had lifted
almost  simultaneously  with  the  appearance  of  the  moon.  Away  to  the
south-west of us we saw two  low  hills, about a couple  of miles apart, and
rising  behind  one of them  a  third and higher hill, whose peak  was still
buried in the fog. All three seemed sharp and conical in figure.
     So much I saw, almost in  a  dream, for I had not yet recovered from my
horrid fear of a minute or two before. And then I heard the voice of Captain
Smollett issuing orders. The HISPANIOLA was  laid a  couple of points nearer
the  wind and  now sailed a course that would just clear the  island  on the
     "And now, men," said  the captain, when all was  sheeted home, "has any
one of you ever seen that land ahead?"
     "I have, sir,"  said Silver.  "I've watered  there with a  trader I was
cook in."
     "The anchorage is  on the south, behind an islet, I  fancy?"  asked the
     "Yes,  sir; Skeleton  Island they calls  it. It were a  main place  for
pirates once, and a hand we had on board knowed all their names for it. That
hill to the nor'ard they calls the Fore-mast Hill;  there are three hills in
a row running south'ard - fore, main, and mizzen, sir. But the main - that's
the big un, with  the cloud on  it  - they  usually calls the Spy-glass,  by
reason  of a lookout they kept when they  was in the anchorage cleaning, for
it's there they cleaned their ships, sir, asking your pardon."
     "I  have a  chart  here," says  Captain  Smollett. "See  if  that's the
     Long John's  eyes burned in his  head  as he took the chart, but by the
fresh look of the paper I knew he was doomed to disappointment. This was not
the map we found in  Billy Bones's chest, but an accurate copy, complete  in
all things -  names and heights and soundings - with the single exception of
the  red  crosses  and  the  written  notes.  Sharp  as  must have been  his
annoyance, Silver had the strength of mind to hide it.
     "Yes, sir," said he,  "this  is the spot, to be sure, and very prettily
drawed  out.  Who  might  have  done that,  I wonder? The pirates  were  too
ignorant, I reckon. Aye,  here  it is: 'Capt. Kidd's Anchorage'  - just  the
name my shipmate called it. There's a  strong current runs along  the south,
and then away nor'ard up the west coast.  Right  you was, sir," says he, "to
haul your  wind and keep the weather of the island. Leastways,  if such  was
your  intention as to enter and careen, and there  ain't no better place for
that in these waters."
     "Thank  you, my man," says Captain Smollett. "I'll ask you later on  to
give us a help. You may go."
     I was surprised at the coolness with which John avowed his knowledge of
the island, and I own I was half-frightened when I saw him drawing nearer to
myself. He  did not know, to be  sure, that I had overheard his council from
the apple  barrel,  and  yet I  had by this time taken such a horror  of his
cruelty,  duplicity, and power that I could scarce conceal a shudder when he
laid his hand upon my arm.
     "Ah," says he, "this here is a sweet spot,  this island -  a sweet spot
for a lad to get ashore on. You'll bathe, and you'll climb trees, and you'll
hunt  goats,  you  will; and  you'll get aloft on  them hills  like  a  goat
yourself. Why, it makes me young again. I was going to forget my timber leg,
I was. It's a pleasant thing to be young and have ten toes, and you may  lay
to that. When you want to go a bit of  exploring, you just ask old John, and
he'll put up a snack for you to take along."
     And clapping me in the friendliest way upon  the  shoulder, he  hobbled
off  forward  and went below. Captain Smollett, the squire, and Dr.  Livesey
were talking together on the quarter-deck, and anxious as I was to tell them
my story, I durst not interrupt them openly. While I was still casting about
in my  thoughts to find some probable  excuse, Dr.  Livesey called me to his
side. He  had left his pipe below, and being a  slave to tobacco, had  meant
that I should fetch it; but as soon as I was near enough to speak and not to
be overheard, I  broke immediately, "Doctor, let me  speak.  Get the captain
and squire down to the cabin, and then make some pretence to  send for me. I
have terrible news."
     The doctor changed countenance a little, but next moment he  was master
of himself.
     "Thank  you, Jim,"  said  he quite loudly, "that  was all  I wanted  to
know," as if he had asked me a question.
     And with that  he  turned on  his heel and rejoined the other two. They
spoke together for a little, and though  none of them started, or raised his
voice, or so much  as whistled,  it  was plain enough that  Dr. Livesey  had
communicated my request, for the  next  thing that I heard  was  the captain
giving an order to Job Anderson, and all hands were piped on deck.
     "My lads," said Captain Smollett, "I've a word to say to you. This land
that we have  sighted is the place we  have been sailing for. Mr. Trelawney,
being a very open-handed gentleman, as we all know, has just asked me a word
or two, and as I was able to tell him that every man  on board had done  his
duty, alow and aloft, as I never ask to  see it  done better, why,  he and I
and the doctor are going below to  the  cabin to drink YOUR health and luck,
and you'll have grog served out  for you to drink OUR health and luck.  I'll
tell  you what I think of this: I think it handsome.  And if you think  as I
do, you'll give a good sea-cheer for the gentleman that does it."
     The cheer followed  - that was a matter of  course; but it rang out  so
full and  hearty that I confess I could hardly believe  these same men  were
plotting for our blood.
     "One more cheer for Cap'n Smollett," cried Long John when the first had
     And this also was given with a will.
     On the top of that the three  gentlemen went below, and not long after,
word was sent forward that Jim Hawkins was wanted in the cabin.
     I found them all three seated round the table, a bottle of Spanish wine
and some raisins before  them,  and the doctor smoking away, with his wig on
his lap, and that, I knew, was a sign that he was agitated. The stern window
was open, for it was a warm night, and you could see the moon shining behind
on the ship's wake.
     "Now, Hawkins," said the squire, "you have something to say. Speak up."
     I did as  I was  bid, and as short  as I could make  it, told the whole
details of Silver's conversation. Nobody interrupted me till I was done, nor
did any one of the three of them make  so  much as a movement, but they kept
their eyes upon my face from first to last.
     "Jim," said Dr. Livesey, "take a seat."
     And  they made me sit down  at table beside them, poured me out a glass
of wine, filled my hands with raisins,  and all  three, one after the other,
and each with  a bow, drank my good health, and their service  to me, for my
luck and courage.
     "Now,  captain," said  the squire, "you were right, and  I was wrong. I
own myself an ass, and I await your orders."
     "No more an ass than I, sir," returned the captain. "I never heard of a
crew that meant to mutiny but what showed signs before, for any man that had
an eye in his  head to see the  mischief  and take steps according. But this
crew," he added, "beats me."
     "Captain," said the doctor, "with  your  permission, that's  Silver.  A
very remarkable man."
     "He'd look remarkably well from a yard-arm, sir," returned the captain.
"But this is  talk; this don't lead to anything. I see three or four points,
and with Mr. Trelawney's permission, I'll name them."
     "You, sir, are the captain. It is for you to speak," says Mr. Trelawney
     "First  point,"  began  Mr. Smollett. "We  must go on, because we can't
turn  back. If I gave the word to go about, they  would rise at once. Second
point, we have time before us  - at least until this treasure's found. Third
point, there are faithful hands. Now, sir, it's got to come to blows  sooner
or later, and what I propose is to  take time by the forelock, as the saying
is, and come to blows some fine day when they least expect it. We can count,
I take it, on your own home servants, Mr. Trelawney?"
     "As upon myself," declared the squire.
     "Three,"  reckoned the captain; "ourselves make seven, counting Hawkins
here. Now, about the honest hands?"
     "Most  likely Trelawney's  own  men," said the doctor;  "those  he  had
picked up for himself before he lit on Silver."
     "Nay," replied the squire. "Hands was one of mine."
     "I did think I could have trusted Hands," added the captain.
     "And to think that they're all Englishmen!" broke out the squire. "Sir,
I could find it in my heart to blow the ship up."
     "Well,  gentlemen," said the  captain, "the best  that I can say is not
much. We must  lay to, if you please, and keep a bright lookout. It's trying
on a man, I  know. It would be pleasanter to come  to blows.  But there's no
help for it till we know our men. Lay to, and whistle for a wind,  that's my
     "Jim here," said the doctor, "can help us more than anyone. The men are
not shy with him, and Jim is a noticing lad."
     "Hawkins, I put prodigious faith in you," added the squire.
     I  began  to feel  pretty  desperate  at  this,  for I felt  altogether
helpless; and yet, by an odd  train of circumstances,  it was indeed through
me that  safety came. In the meantime, talk as we pleased,  there  were only
seven out of the twenty-six on whom we knew we  could rely; and out of these
seven one was a  boy, so that the grown  men on  our side  were six to their

     My Shore Adventure
     13. How My Shore Adventure Began
     THE  appearance of  the island  when I came  on deck  next morning  was
altogether  changed. Although the breeze had now utterly ceased, we had made
a great deal of way during the  night and were now lying becalmed about half
a  mile to the  south-east of the  low eastern  coast.  Grey-coloured  woods
covered a large part of the surface.  This even tint was indeed broken up by
streaks of yellow sand-break in the lower lands, and by  many  tall trees of
the pine family, out-topping  the others - some  singly, some in clumps; but
the general colouring was uniform and sad. The  hills ran up clear above the
vegetation  in spires  of naked  rock. All  were  strangely shaped, and  the
Spy-glass, which  was  by  three  or  four  hundred feet  the tallest on the
island, was  likewise the strangest in configuration, running  up sheer from
almost  every side and then suddenly  cut off  at the top like a pedestal to
put a statue on.
     The HISPANIOLA was rolling scuppers under in the ocean swell. The booms
were tearing at the blocks, the rudder was banging to and fro, and the whole
ship  creaking,  groaning,  and jumping  like a manufactory. I  had to cling
tight  to the  backstay, and  the world turned  giddily before my  eyes, for
though I was a good enough sailor when there was way on, this standing still
and  being rolled about  like a bottle was a thing I never  learned to stand
without a qualm or so, above all in the morning, on an empty stomach.
     Perhaps it was this - perhaps it was the  look  of the island, with its
grey, melancholy woods, and  wild  stone spires, and  the surf that we could
both see  and hear foaming and  thundering on the steep  beach  -  at least,
although the sun shone bright  and hot, and the shore birds were fishing and
crying all around us, and you would have thought anyone would have been glad
to get to land after being so long at sea, my heart sank, as the  saying is,
into my boots; and  from the first look onward,  I hated the very thought of
Treasure Island.
     We had a dreary morning's work before us, for there was  no sign of any
wind,  and the boats had to be got out and manned, and the ship warped three
or  four miles round the corner of the island and  up the  narrow passage to
the haven behind Skeleton Island. I volunteered for one  of the boats, where
I had, of course, no business. The heat was sweltering, and the men grumbled
fiercely over their work. Anderson was in command of my boat, and instead of
keeping the crew in order, he grumbled as loud as the worst.
     "Well," he said with an oath, "it's not forever."
     I thought this was a very bad sign, for up to that day the men had gone
briskly and willingly about their business; but the very sight of the island
had relaxed the cords of discipline.
     All the way in, Long John stood by  the steersman and  conned the ship.
He  knew the  passage like  the palm  of his hand, and though the man in the
chains got everywhere more  water  than  was down in the  chart,  John never
hesitated once.
     "There's a strong scour with the ebb,"  he said, "and this here passage
has been dug out, in a manner of speaking, with a spade."
     We brought up just where the anchor  was in the chart, about a third of
a mile from each  shore, the mainland on one side and Skeleton Island on the
other. The bottom was clean sand. The plunge of our anchor sent up clouds of
birds  wheeling and crying  over the woods, but in less than  a  minute they
were down again and all was once more silent.
     The place was entirely  land-locked, buried in woods, the trees  coming
right  down to  high-water mark,  the shores mostly flat,  and  the hilltops
standing round at a distance in a sort of amphitheatre, one here, one there.
Two  little rivers, or rather two swamps, emptied out into this pond, as you
might call it; and  the foliage round that part  of the shore  had a kind of
poisonous  brightness. From the ship we  could see nothing  of the house  or
stockade, for they were quite buried among trees; and if it had not been for
the  chart on the companion, we  might  have been  the first  that had  ever
anchored there since the island arose out of the seas.
     There was not a breath of air moving, nor a sound but that of the  surf
booming half a mile away along the beaches and against  the rocks outside. A
peculiar stagnant smell hung over the anchorage - a  smell  of sodden leaves
and rotting tree trunks. I observed the doctor  sniffing and  sniffing, like
someone tasting a bad egg.
     "I don't know about treasure," he said,  "but I'll stake my wig there's
fever here."
     If the conduct  of the  men had  been alarming in the  boat,  it became
truly  threatening  when  they  had  come aboard.  They  lay about the  deck
growling together in talk. The slightest order  was  received  with a  black
look and grudgingly and  carelessly obeyed. Even the honest  hands must have
caught  the infection, for  there was not one man  aboard to  mend  another.
Mutiny, it was plain, hung over us like a thunder-cloud.
     And it was  not only we of  the cabin party who perceived  the  danger.
Long  John was hard at work going from group  to group, spending himself  in
good advice, and as for example no man  could have shown a better. He fairly
outstripped  himself in  willingness and  civility;  he  was  all  smiles to
everyone. If an order were given, John would be on his crutch in an instant,
with the cheeriest "Aye, aye, sir!" in the world; and when there was nothing
else to  do,  he  kept up one song  after  another,  as if  to  conceal  the
discontent of the rest. Of all the gloomy features of that gloomy afternoon,
this obvious anxiety on the part of Long John appeared the worst. We held  a
council in the cabin.
     "Sir," said the  captain,  "if I risk another order, the  whole ship'll
come  about our ears  by the run. You see, sir, here it is.  I  get  a rough
answer, do I not? Well,  if I speak back, pikes will be going in two shakes;
if I don't, Silver will see there's something under that, and the game's up.
Now, we've only one man to rely on."
     "And who is that?" asked the squire.
     "Silver, sir," returned the  captain; "he's as anxious as you and  I to
smother  things up. This is  a tiff; he'd soon talk 'em  out of it if he had
the chance, and what I propose to do is to  give him the chance. Let's allow
the  men an afternoon ashore. If they  all go, why we'll  fight the ship. If
they  none of them go, well then, we  hold  the  cabin, and God  defend  the
right. If some go, you mark my words, sir, Silver'll  bring 'em aboard again
as mild as lambs."
     It was so decided; loaded pistols were served out to all the sure  men;
Hunter, Joyce,  and Redruth were taken into our confidence and received  the
news with less surprise and a better spirit than we had looked for, and then
the captain went on deck and addressed the crew.
     "My lads," said he, "we've had a  hot day and are all tired and  out of
sorts. A turn ashore'll hurt nobody - the boats are still in the water;  you
can  take the gigs,  and as many as please may go ashore  for the afternoon.
I'll fire a gun half an hour before sundown."
     I  believe the silly fellows  must have thought they would  break their
shins  over treasure  as soon as they were landed, for they all  came out of
their sulks in a moment and gave a cheer that started the echo in a far-away
hill and sent the birds once more flying and squalling round the anchorage.
     The captain was too bright to be in the way. He whipped out of sight in
a moment, leaving Silver to arrange the party, and I fancy it was as well he
did  so. Had  he been on deck, he could  no longer so much as have pretended
not to understand  the situation. It was as  plain  as  day.  Silver was the
captain, and a mighty rebellious crew he had of it. The honest hands - and I
was soon  to  see it  proved that  there were such on board - must have been
very stupid fellows. Or rather, I suppose the truth was this, that all hands
were disaffected by  the  example of the  ringleaders - only some more, some
less; and a few, being good fellows  in the  main, could neither be  led nor
driven any further. It is one thing to be idle and skulk  and quite  another
to take a ship  and murder a number of innocent men.  At last, however,  the
party was made up.  Six  fellows were to stay on  board,  and  the remaining
thirteen, including Silver, began to embark.
     Then it was that  there came into my head the first of the mad  notions
that contributed so much to save our lives. If six men  were left by Silver,
it was plain our party could not take and fight the ship; and since only six
were left, it was equally plain that the cabin party had  no present need of
my  assistance. It occurred  to me at once to go  ashore. In a  jiffy I  had
slipped over the side and curled up in the fore-sheets of  the nearest boat,
and almost at the same moment she shoved off.
     No one took notice of me, only the bow oar saying,  "Is  that you, Jim?
Keep your  head down." But Silver, from the other  boat, looked sharply over
and called out to  know if  that were  me; and from  that moment I  began to
regret what I had done.
     The crews raced for the beach, but the boat I was in, having some start
and being at once  the lighter and the better manned, shot far ahead  of her
consort, and the bow  had struck among the shore-side trees and I had caught
a  branch and swung  myself  out and plunged into the nearest thicket  while
Silver and the rest were still a hundred yards behind.
     "Jim, Jim!" I heard him shouting.
     But  you may suppose  I  paid no heed; jumping,  ducking, and  breaking
through, I ran straight before my nose till I could run no longer.
     14. The First Blow
     I WAS so pleased  at having given the slip to Long John that I began to
enjoy myself and look around me with some  interest on the strange land that
I was in. I had crossed a marshy tract  full of willows, bulrushes, and odd,
outlandish, swampy trees; and I had now come out upon the skirts  of an open
piece of  undulating, sandy country,  about  a mile long,  dotted with a few
pines and a great  number of  contorted trees, not unlike the oak in growth,
but pale in the foliage, like willows. On the far side of the open stood one
of the hills, with two quaint, craggy peaks shining vividly in the sun.
     I now  felt  for the first time  the joy of  exploration. The  isle was
uninhabited; my shipmates I had left behind, and  nothing lived in front  of
me but dumb brutes  and fowls. I turned hither and  thither among the trees.
Here and there were  flowering plants, unknown to me; here  and  there I saw
snakes, and one raised his head from a ledge of rock and hissed at me with a
noise not unlike the spinning of a top. Little did  I suppose that he  was a
deadly enemy and that the noise was the famous rattle.
     Then  I  came  to  a  long  thicket of these  oaklike trees -  live, or
evergreen, oaks, I  heard afterwards they should be called  - which grew low
along the sand like brambles,  the  boughs  curiously  twisted, the  foliage
compact, like  thatch. The thicket stretched down from the top of one of the
sandy knolls, spreading and growing taller as it went, until it  reached the
margin  of the broad,  reedy  fen, through which the nearest of  the  little
rivers  soaked  its way into the anchorage.  The marsh  was  steaming in the
strong sun, and the outline of the Spy-glass trembled through the haze.
     All at once there began  to go a sort of bustle among the  bulrushes; a
wild duck flew up with  a quack, another  followed, and soon  over the whole
surface of the marsh a  great cloud of birds hung screaming  and circling in
the air.  I judged  at once that some of my shipmates  must be  drawing near
along the borders of the fen. Nor was  I deceived, for soon I heard the very
distant and low tones of  a human  voice, which, as I continued to give ear,
grew steadily louder and nearer. This put me in a great fear, and  I crawled
under  cover  of  the  nearest live-oak and  squatted there, hearkening,  as
silent as a mouse.
     Another  voice  answered,  and  then  the  first  voice,  which  I  now
recognized to be Silver's, once more took up the story and ran on for a long
while in a stream, only now and again interrupted by the other. By the sound
they must have been talking earnestly, and almost fiercely; but  no distinct
word came to my hearing.
     At last the  speakers seemed  to  have paused  and perhaps to have  sat
down,  for not  only did  they  cease  to  draw  any  nearer, but the  birds
themselves began to  grow more quiet  and to settle again to their places in
the swamp. And now I began  to feel  that I was neglecting my business, that
since I had been so foolhardy as to come ashore with  these desperadoes, the
least I could do was  to overhear them  at their councils, and that my plain
and  obvious  duty  was  to  draw as  close  as  I could  manage, under  the
favourable ambush of the crouching trees.
     I could tell the direction of  the speakers pretty exactly, not only by
the sound of their voices but by the behaviour of  the few birds that  still
hung in alarm above the heads of the intruders.
     Crawling on all fours, I made steadily but slowly towards them, till at
last,  raising my head  to  an aperture  among the leaves, I could see clear
down into a little green dell beside  the marsh, and closely set  about with
trees, where Long John Silver and another of the  crew stood face to face in
     The sun beat  full upon them. Silver had thrown his hat  beside  him on
the  ground, and his great, smooth, blond  face, all shining  with heat, was
lifted to the other man's in a kind of appeal.
     "Mate," he was saying,  "it's  because I thinks gold dust of you - gold
dust, and  you may lay to that! If I hadn't took  to you  like pitch, do you
think I'd  have  been here  a-warning of you? All's up - you can't  make nor
mend; it's to save your neck that I'm a-speaking, and if one of the wild uns
knew it, where'd I be, Tom - now, tell me, where'd I be?"
     "Silver," said  the other man  - and  I observed he was not only red in
the face,  but  spoke as hoarse  as a crow, and his voice shook too, like  a
taut  rope - "Silver,"  says he, "you're old, and you're honest,  or has the
name for it; and you've money  too, which  lots of poor  sailors hasn't; and
you're brave, or I'm mistook. And  will you tell me you'll  let yourself  be
led away with that kind of a mess of swabs? Not you! As sure as God sees me,
I'd sooner lose my hand. If I turn agin my dooty - "
     And then all of a sudden he was interrupted by a noise. I had found one
of the honest hands - well, here, at that same moment, came news of another.
Far away out in the marsh there arose, all of a sudden, a sound like the cry
of anger, then another on the back of it;  and then  one horrid,  long-drawn
scream. The rocks of the Spy-glass re-echoed it a score of times;  the whole
troop of  marsh-birds  rose  again,  darkening heaven,  with a  simultaneous
whirr; and long after that death yell was still ringing in my brain, silence
had re-established its empire, and only the rustle of the redescending birds
and the boom of the distant surges disturbed the languor of the afternoon.
     Tom  had leaped at the sound, like a horse at the  spur, but Silver had
not winked an eye. He stood  where he  was,  resting lightly on  his crutch,
watching his companion like a snake about to spring.
     "John!" said the sailor, stretching out his hand.
     "Hands  off!"  cried Silver, leaping  back a yard, as it seemed  to me,
with the speed and security of a trained gymnast.
     "Hands off, if you like, John Silver," said the other.
     "It's a  black  conscience that  can make  you  feared of  me.  But  in
heaven's name, tell me, what was that?"
     "That?" returned Silver, smiling away,  but warier than ever, his eye a
mere pin-point in his big face, but gleaming  like a  crumb of glass. "That?
Oh, I reckon that'll be Alan."
     And at this point Tom flashed out like a hero.
     "Alan!" he  cried. "Then rest  his soul for  a true seaman! And  as for
you, John Silver, long you've been  a mate of mine, but you're mate of  mine
no more. If I die like a dog, I'll die in my dooty. You've killed Alan, have
you? Kill me too, if you can. But I defies you."
     And with that, this  brave fellow turned his back directly on the  cook
and set off walking for the beach. But he was not destined to go far. With a
cry John seized the branch of a tree, whipped the crutch out of  his armpit,
and sent that uncouth missile hurtling through the  air. It struck poor Tom,
point foremost,  and with stunning violence, right between the  shoulders in
the middle of his back. His hands flew up, he gave a sort of gasp, and fell.
     Whether  he were injured much  or  little, none could  ever tell.  Like
enough, to judge from the sound, his back was broken on the spot. But he had
no time given him to recover. Silver, agile as a monkey even without  leg or
crutch, was on the top of him next moment and had twice buried his knife  up
to the hilt in that defenceless body. From my place  of ambush, I could hear
him pant aloud as he struck the blows.
     I do not know  what it rightly is to faint,  but I do know that for the
next  little while the whole world swam away  from before  me in a  whirling
mist; Silver and the birds, and  the tall Spy-glass hilltop, going round and
round and  topsy-turvy before my  eyes, and  all manner of bells ringing and
distant voices shouting in my ear.
     When I came again to  myself the  monster had pulled himself  together,
his crutch under his arm,  his hat upon his  head.  Just before him Tom  lay
motionless upon the sward; but the murderer minded him not a whit, cleansing
his blood-stained knife the  while upon a wisp of grass. Everything else was
unchanged, the sun still shining mercilessly on the  steaming marsh and  the
tall pinnacle  of the mountain,  and I  could  scarce  persuade myself  that
murder had been actually done  and a human life  cruelly cut  short a moment
since before my eyes.
     But now John put his  hand  into his pocket, brought out a whistle, and
blew upon it several modulated blasts that rang far across the heated air. I
could not tell, of course, the meaning of the signal, but it instantly awoke
my fears. More men would be coming. I might be discovered. They had  already
slain two of  the honest people; after Tom and Alan, might  not I come next?
Instantly  I began to extricate myself and crawl back again, with what speed
and silence I could manage, to  the more open portion of the wood. As I  did
so, I could hear  hails  coming and  going between the old buccaneer and his
comrades, and this sound of danger lent me wings. As soon as  I was clear of
the thicket, I ran as I never ran before, scarce minding the direction of my
flight, so long as it led me from the murderers; and as I ran, fear grew and
grew upon me until it turned into a kind of frenzy.
     Indeed, could anyone  be more entirely lost than I? When the gun fired,
how should I dare to  go down to the boats among those fiends, still smoking
from their  crime? Would not the first of them who saw me wring my neck like
a snipe's? Would not my absence itself be  an evidence to them  of my alarm,
and therefore of my fatal knowledge? It was all over, I thought. Good-bye to
the HISPANIOLA;  good-bye to the  squire, the doctor, and the captain! There
was nothing left for me but death by starvation or death by the hands of the
     All this  while,  as I say, I was still running, and without taking any
notice, I had drawn near to the foot of the  little hill with the  two peaks
and had got into a part of the island  where the live-oaks  grew more widely
apart  and seemed more like forest  trees in  their  bearing and dimensions.
Mingled  with these were  a few  scattered  pines, some fifty,  some  nearer
seventy, feet high.  The  air too smelt  more freshly than  down beside  the
     And here  a fresh  alarm  brought me to a standstill  with  a  thumping
     15. The Man of the Island
     FROM  the side of  the hill, which was here steep and stony, a spout of
gravel was dislodged and  fell  rattling and bounding  through the trees. My
eyes  turned instinctively in that direction,  and I  saw a figure leap with
great rapidity behind the trunk of a pine.  What it was, whether bear or man
or monkey,  I could in no  wise tell. It seemed dark and shaggy; more I knew
not. But the terror of this new apparition brought me to a stand.
     I was now, it seemed, cut off upon both sides; behind me the murderers,
before  me this lurking nondescript.  And immediately I began to prefer  the
dangers that I  knew  to  those I knew  not.  Silver  himself appeared  less
terrible in  contrast with this  creature of  the woods, and I turned on  my
heel,  and looking sharply behind me over my shoulder, began  to  retrace my
steps in the direction of the boats.
     Instantly the  figure  reappeared, and making a wide  circuit, began to
head me off.  I was tired, at  any rate; but had I  been  as fresh as when I
rose, I could see  it was in vain for  me to contend  in speed with  such an
adversary.  From trunk to trunk  the  creature flitted like a deer,  running
manlike  on two  legs,  but unlike  any man  that I  had ever seen, stooping
almost  double as it ran. Yet a man  it was, I could  no longer be in  doubt
about that.
     I began to recall what I had heard of cannibals. I was within an ace of
calling  for help. But the mere fact that  he was  a man, however wild,  had
somewhat reassured me, and my fear of Silver began to  revive in proportion.
I stood still, therefore, and cast about for some method of escape; and as I
was so thinking, the recollection of my pistol flashed into my mind. As soon
as I remembered I was not defenceless, courage glowed again in my  heart and
I set my face  resolutely  for this man of  the  island  and walked  briskly
towards him.
     He was concealed by this time  behind  another tree trunk;  but he must
have  been  watching me  closely,  for  as  soon as  I began to  move in his
direction he  reappeared and took a step to meet me. Then he hesitated, drew
back,  came  forward again, and at  last, to  my wonder and confusion, threw
himself on his knees and held out his clasped hands in supplication. At that
I once more stopped.
     "Who are you?" I asked.
     "Ben Gunn," he answered, and his voice sounded hoarse and awkward, like
a rusty lock. "I'm poor Ben Gunn, I am; and I haven't spoke with a Christian
these three years." I could now see that he was a white man  like myself and
that his features were even pleasing. His skin, wherever it was exposed, was
burnt by the sun;  even  his lips were black, and his fair eyes looked quite
startling  in  so dark a face.  Of  all the  beggar-men  that I had seen  or
fancied, he was the chief for raggedness. He was clothed with tatters of old
ship's  canvas and  old sea-cloth, and  this extraordinary patchwork was all
held together by  a system  of  the most various and incongruous fastenings,
brass buttons, bits of stick, and loops of tarry gaskin. About his waist  he
wore an old brass-buckled leather belt, which was the one thing solid in his
whole accoutrement.
     "Three years!" I cried. "Were you shipwrecked?"
     "Nay, mate," said he; "marooned."
     I had heard the word,  and  I  knew  it stood  for a horrible  kind  of
punishment common  enough among the buccaneers, in which the offender is put
ashore  with a little powder and  shot and left behind  on some desolate and
distant island.
     "Marooned three  years agone,"  he continued, "and lived on goats since
then, and berries, and oysters.  Wherever a man is, says I, a man can do for
himself. But, mate, my heart is sore for Christian diet. You mightn't happen
to have a piece of cheese about you, now?  No? Well,  many's the long  night
I've dreamed of  cheese - toasted,  mostly - and woke up  again, and here  I
     "If ever I can get aboard again," said I, "you shall have cheese by the
     All  this time he had been feeling the stuff of my jacket, smoothing my
hands,  looking at my boots, and generally, in the intervals  of his speech,
showing a  childish pleasure in the presence of a fellow creature. But at my
last words he perked up into a kind of startled slyness.
     "If ever you can get aboard  again, says you?" he repeated. "Why,  now,
who's to hinder you?"
     "Not you, I know," was my reply.
     "And right you  was," he cried. "Now you -  what do you  call yourself,
     "Jim," I told him.
     "Jim,  Jim," says he, quite pleased  apparently. "Well,  now, Jim, I've
lived that rough as you'd  be  ashamed to hear of.  Now,  for instance,  you
wouldn't think I had had a pious mother - to look at me?" he asked.
     "Why, no, not in particular," I answered.
     "Ah, well," said  he, "but I had - remarkable pious. And I was a civil,
pious boy, and could rattle off my catechism that fast, as you couldn't tell
one word from another. And here's  what it come to,  Jim, and it  begun with
chuck-farthen on the blessed grave-stones! That's what it begun with, but it
went further'n that; and so my  mother told me, and predicked the whole, she
did,  the pious woman! But it were Providence that put me here. I've thought
it all out in this here  lonely island, and  I'm  back  on piety.  You don't
catch me tasting rum so much, but just a thimbleful for luck, of course, the
first chance I have. I'm bound I'll be good, and I see the way to. And, Jim"
- looking all round him and lowering his voice to a whisper - "I'm rich."
     I now felt sure that  the poor fellow  had gone  crazy in his solitude,
and I suppose I must have shown the feeling in my face, for he repeated  the
statement hotly: "Rich!  Rich! I  says. And I'll tell you what:  I'll make a
man of you, Jim.  Ah, Jim, you'll bless  your stars,  you will, you  was the
first that found me!"
     And at this there came suddenly a lowering shadow over his face, and he
tightened  his grasp upon  my  hand  and raised  a  forefinger threateningly
before my eyes.
     "Now, Jim, you tell me true: that ain't Flint's ship?" he asked.
     At this I had a happy inspiration. I began to believe that I  had found
an ally, and I answered him at once.
     "It's not Flint's ship, and Flint is  dead; but I'll tell you  true, as
you ask me - there are some of Flint's hands aboard; worse luck for the rest
of us."
     "Not a man - with one - leg?" he gasped.
     "Silver?" I asked.
     "Ah, Silver!" says he. "That were his name."
     "He's the cook, and the ringleader too."
     He was still holding me by the wrist,  and  at that  he give it quite a
     "If you was sent by  Long  John," he  said, "I'm as good as pork, and I
know it. But where was you, do you suppose?"
     I had made my  mind up in a moment, and by way of  answer told  him the
whole story of our  voyage and the predicament in which we  found ourselves.
He heard me with the keenest  interest, and when I had done he patted  me on
the head.
     "You're a good lad, Jim," he  said; "and you're all in a  clove  hitch,
ain't you? Well, you just put your trust in Ben Gunn - Ben Gunn's the man to
do  it.  Would  you think it likely, now,  that  your  squire would  prove a
liberal-minded one in  case  of help  - him  being in a clove hitch,  as you
     I told him the squire was the most liberal of men.
     "Aye, but you see," returned  Ben Gunn, "I didn't mean giving me a gate
to keep, and  a  suit of livery clothes, and  such; that's not my mark, Jim.
What  I mean is,  would  he be likely to come  down to the toon of, say  one
thousand pounds out of money that's as good as a man's own already?"
     "I am sure he would," said I. "As it was, all hands were to share."
     "AND a passage home?" he added with a look of great shrewdness.
     "Why," I  cried, "the squire's a  gentleman. And besides, if we got rid
of the others, we should want you to help work the vessel home."
     "Ah," said he, "so you would." And he seemed very much relieved.
     "Now,  I'll tell you what," he went on. "So much I'll tell  you, and no
more. I were in Flint's ship when he buried the treasure; he and six along -
six strong seamen. They  was ashore nigh on a week, and us standing  off and
on in the old  WALRUS. One  fine day up went the signal, and here come Flint
by himself in a little  boat, and his  head done up in a blue scarf. The sun
was getting up, and mortal white he looked about the cutwater. But, there he
was, you mind, and the six all dead - dead and buried. How he done it, not a
man aboard  us could make  out.  It  was battle, murder, and  sudden  death,
leastways -  him against six.  Billy Bones  was the mate; Long  John, he was
quartermaster;  and they  asked him where the treasure  was. 'Ah,' says  he,
'you can go ashore, if  you  like, and stay,' he says; 'but as for the ship,
she'll beat up for more, by thunder!' That's what he said.
     "Well, I  was  in another ship  three years back, and  we  sighted this
island. 'Boys,' said I, 'here's  Flint's treasure;  let's land and find it.'
The  cap'n was displeased  at that, but my messmates were all of a  mind and
landed. Twelve days they looked for it, and  every day they  had  the  worse
word  for  me, until  one fine morning all  hands went aboard.  'As for you,
Benjamin Gunn,'  says  they, 'here's a musket,' they says, 'and a spade, and
pick-axe. You can stay here and find Flint's money for yourself,' they says.
     "Well, Jim, three years have I  been here, and not  a bite of Christian
diet  from that  day to this.  But now, you look here; look at me. Do I look
like  a man before  the mast? No, says you. Nor I weren't, neither, I says."
And with that he winked and pinched me hard.
     "Just you mention them  words to your squire, Jim," he went on. "Nor he
weren't, neither -  that's the words. Three  years he were  the  man of this
island, light and dark, fair and  rain; and sometimes he  would maybe  think
upon a  prayer  (says you),  and  sometimes he would maybe think of  his old
mother,  so be as she's alive (you'll say); but the most part of Gunn's time
(this is  what you'll say) -  the  most  part of his  time was took up  with
another matter. And then you'll give him a nip, like I do."
     And he pinched me again in the  most  confidential  manner.  "Then," he
continued, "then  you'll up, and you'll say this: Gunn is a good man (you'll
say),  and he puts a precious sight more confidence - a precious sight, mind
that - in a  gen'leman born than in  these gen'leman of fortune, having been
one hisself."
     "Well," I said, "I don't understand one word that  you've  been saying.
But that's neither here nor there; for how am I to get on board?"
     "Ah," said he, "that's the hitch, for sure. Well, there's my boat, that
I made with my two hands. I keep her under the white rock. If the worst come
to  the  worst, we  might  try  that after dark. Hi!" he broke out.  "What's
     For  just then,  although the sun had still an hour  or two to run, all
the echoes of the island awoke and bellowed to the thunder of a cannon.
     "They have begun to fight!" I cried. "Follow me."
     And I  began to run  towards the anchorage, my terrors  all  forgotten,
while close at my side the  marooned man in his goatskins trotted easily and
     "Left,  left," says he;  "keep to your left  hand,  mate Jim! Under the
trees with  you! Theer's where I killed my first goat. They don't come  down
here  now; they're all mastheaded on them mountings for the fear of Benjamin
Gunn. Ah! And there's the cetemery" - cemetery, he must have meant. "You see
the mounds? I  come here and prayed, nows and  thens, when I thought maybe a
Sunday would be about  doo.  It  weren't quite a chapel, but  it seemed more
solemn like; and then, says  you,  Ben Gunn was  short-handed - no chapling,
nor so much as a Bible and a flag, you says."
     So he  kept talking  as  I  ran, neither  expecting  nor  receiving any
     The cannon-shot was followed after a considerable interval  by a volley
of small arms.
     Another  pause,  and  then, not a quarter of a  mile in front  of me, I
beheld the Union Jack flutter in the air above a wood.

     PART FOUR The Stockade
     16. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the Ship Was Abandoned
     IT  was about half past one - three bells in the  sea phrase - that the
two boats  went  ashore from  the HISPANIOLA. The captain, the squire, and I
were talking matters over in the cabin. Had there been  a breath of wind, we
should have  fallen  on  the  six  mutineers who  were left aboard  with us,
slipped  our cable,  and  away  to sea. But  the  wind  was  wanting; and to
complete our helplessness, down came  Hunter with the news  that Jim Hawkins
had slipped into a boat and was gone ashore with the rest.
     It never occurred to  us to  doubt Jim Hawkins, but we were alarmed for
his  safety. With  the  men  in the temper they  were in,  it seemed an even
chance  if we  should  see  the lad again. We  ran  on  deck.  The pitch was
bubbling in the seams; the nasty stench of the place turned me sick; if ever
a man smelt fever and dysentery,  it was in that  abominable  anchorage. The
six scoundrels were sitting grumbling under a sail in the forecastle; ashore
we could see the gigs made fast and a man sitting in each, hard by where the
river runs in. One of them was whistling "Lillibullero."
     Waiting was a strain, and it was  decided that  Hunter and  I should go
ashore with the jolly-boat in quest of information.
     The gigs  had  leaned to  their right, but Hunter and I pulled straight
in, in  the direction of the stockade upon the chart. The two who were  left
guarding  their boats seemed  in a bustle at  our appearance; "Lillibullero"
stopped off, and I could see the  pair discussing what they ought to do. Had
they  gone and told Silver, all might have turned out differently;  but they
had their orders, I suppose, and decided to sit quietly where  they were and
hark back again to "Lillibullero."
     There was a  slight bend in  the coast, and I  steered so as  to put it
between us; even  before we landed we  had thus  lost  sight of the gigs.  I
jumped out and came as near running as I durst, with a big silk handkerchief
under my hat for  coolness'  sake  and a brace of pistols  ready  primed for
     I  had  not gone a hundred yards when  I reached the stockade. This was
how it was: a spring of clear water rose almost at the top of a knoll. Well,
on the knoll, and enclosing  the spring, they had clapped  a stout log-house
fit to hold two  score  of people on  a pinch and loopholed for musketry  on
either  side. All round this they had  cleared a  wide  space, and  then the
thing was completed by a paling  six feet high, without door or opening, too
strong to pull  down  without  time and labour and  too open to  shelter the
besiegers. The  people in the log-house had  them  in every way; they  stood
quiet in shelter and shot the others like partridges.  All they wanted was a
good watch and food; for, short of a complete surprise, they might have held
the place against a regiment.
     What particularly took my fancy was the spring.  For though  we  had  a
good enough place of  it in the cabin of the HISPANIOLA, with plenty of arms
and ammunition, and things to eat,  and  excellent wines, there had been one
thing overlooked - we had no water. I was thinking this over when there came
ringing  over the island  the cry of a man at the point of death.  I was not
new  to violent death -  I  have  served  his  Royal  Highness  the  Duke of
Cumberland, and  got a wound myself at Fontenoy - but I  know my pulse  went
dot and carry one. "Jim Hawkins is gone," was my first thought.
     It is something to have  been an  old soldier,  but more still  to have
been a doctor. There  is  no time to dilly-dally in  our work.  And so now I
made up my mind instantly, and  with no time lost returned to the shore  and
jumped on board the jolly-boat.
     By  good fortune  Hunter pulled a good oar. We made the water fly,  and
the boat was soon alongside and I aboard the schooner.
     I found  them all shaken, as  was natural. The squire was sitting down,
as white as a sheet, thinking of the harm  he had led us  to, the good soul!
And one of the six forecastle hands was little better.
     "There's  a man,"  says Captain Smollett, nodding  towards him, "new to
this  work.  He  came  nigh-hand fainting, doctor, when he  heard  the  cry.
Another touch of the rudder and that man would join us."
     I told my plan to the captain, and between us we settled on the details
of its accomplishment.
     We put old Redruth in the gallery between the cabin and the forecastle,
with three  or  four loaded muskets  and a  mattress for  protection. Hunter
brought  the  boat  round under the stern-port, and Joyce and I  set to work
loading her with powder  tins, muskets, bags of  biscuits, kegs  of pork,  a
cask of cognac, and my invaluable medicine chest.
     In the meantime,  the  squire  and the captain stayed on  deck, and the
latter hailed the coxswain, who was the principal man aboard.
     "Mr. Hands," he said, "here are two of us with a brace of pistols each.
If any one of you six make a signal of any description, that man's dead."
     They were a  good deal taken aback, and after a little consultation one
and all tumbled down the fore companion, thinking no doubt to take us on the
rear. But when they saw Redruth waiting for them in the sparred galley, they
went about ship at once, and a head popped out again on deck.
     "Down, dog!" cries the captain.
     And the head popped back again; and we  heard no more, for the time, of
these six very  faint-hearted  seamen. By  this time, tumbling  things in as
they came, we had the jolly-boat loaded as much as we dared. Joyce and I got
out  through the stern-port, and we  made for  shore  again  as fast as oars
could take us.
     This   second  trip   fairly   aroused   the   watchers   along  shore.
"Lillibullero" was  dropped  again; and just before  we  lost sight of  them
behind the little point, one of them whipped  ashore  and disappeared. I had
half a  mind to  change  my plan  and destroy their boats, but I feared that
Silver and the others  might be close at hand, and  all might  very well  be
lost  by trying for too much. We had soon touched land in  the same place as
before and set  to  provision the  block  house.  All  three made  the first
journey, heavily  laden,  and  tossed our  stores  over the  palisade. Then,
leaving Joyce to guard  them - one  man,  to be sure, but with half a  dozen
muskets - Hunter and I returned to the jolly-boat and loaded ourselves  once
more. So we proceeded without pausing to  take breath,  till the whole cargo
was  bestowed, when  the  two  servants took up  their position in the block
house, and I, with all my power, sculled back to the HISPANIOLA.
     That we should have risked a second boat load seems more daring than it
really was.  They  had the advantage  of numbers, of course, but we had  the
advantage of arms.  Not one  of the men ashore had a musket, and before they
could get within range for pistol shooting, we flattered ourselves we should
be able to give a good account of a half-dozen at least.
     The  squire  was waiting for me at the  stern window, all his faintness
gone  from him. He caught the  painter  and  made it  fast, and  we fell  to
loading  the boat  for our  very lives.  Pork,  powder, and biscuit  was the
cargo,  with  only a musket and a cutlass  apiece for  the squire and me and
Redruth  and  the  captain.  The  rest  of the  arms  and powder we  dropped
overboard  in two fathoms  and  a  half of water,  so that we could  see the
bright steel shining far below us in the sun, on the clean, sandy bottom. By
this  time the tide was beginning to ebb, and the ship was swinging round to
her anchor.  Voices were heard faintly halloaing in the direction of the two
gigs;  and though this reassured us for Joyce  and  Hunter, who were well to
the eastward, it warned our party to be off.
     Redruth retreated from his place in  the gallery and dropped  into  the
boat, which we then  brought round  to the ship's counter, to be handier for
Captain Smollett.
     "Now, men," said he, "do you hear me?"
     There was no answer from the forecastle.
     "It's to you, Abraham Gray - it's to you I am speaking."
     Still no reply.
     "Gray," resumed Mr. Smollett, a little louder, "I am leaving this ship,
and I order you to follow your captain. I know you are a good man at bottom,
and I dare say not one of the lot of you's as bad as he makes out. I have my
watch here in my hand; I give you thirty seconds to join me in."
     There was a pause.
     "Come, my  fine fellow,"  continued the captain; "don't hang so long in
stays.  I'm  risking  my life and the lives of  these good  gentlemen  every
     There was a  sudden scuffle, a sound of blows,  and out  burst  Abraham
Gray  with a knife  cut on the side of  the cheek, and came  running to  the
captain like a dog to the whistle.
     "I'm with you, sir," said he.
     And the next moment he and the captain had dropped aboard of us, and we
had shoved  off and given way. We  were clear out of  the ship,  but not yet
ashore in our stockade.
     17. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: The Jolly-boat's Last Trip
     THIS  fifth trip was quite different from any  of  the others.  In  the
first  place, the  little gallipot  of a boat  that we were  in  was gravely
overloaded. Five grown  men, and three of them - Trelawney, Redruth, and the
captain -  over six feet high, was already more than she was meant to carry.
Add  to  that  the  powder,  pork, and  bread-bags. The gunwale  was lipping
astern.  Several times we shipped a little water,  and  my breeches and  the
tails of my coat were all soaking wet before we had gone a hundred yards.
     The captain made us trim the boat, and we got her  to lie a little more
evenly. All the same, we were afraid to breathe.
     In the second place, the ebb was now making - a strong rippling current
running westward through the basin, and then south'ard and seaward down  the
straits  by which we had  entered  in the  morning. Even the ripples  were a
danger to our  overloaded craft, but the worst of it was that we were  swept
out of our  true course and  away from our  proper landing-place  behind the
point. If we let the current have its way we should come ashore  beside  the
gigs, where the pirates might appear at any moment.
     "I cannot keep her head for  the stockade, sir," said I to the captain.
I was  steering, while he and Redruth, two fresh men, were at the oars. "The
tide keeps washing her down. Could you pull a little stronger?"
     "Not without swamping  the  boat," said he. "You must bear up, sir,  if
you please - bear up until you see you're gaining."
     I tried and found by experiment that the tide kept sweeping us westward
until I had laid her head due east, or just about right angles to the way we
ought to go.
     "We'll never get ashore at this rate," said I.
     "If it's  the only  course that  we can lie, sir, we must even lie it,"
returned the captain. "We must keep upstream. You see, sir," he went on, "if
once we dropped to leeward of the landing-place, it's  hard to say where  we
should get ashore, besides the chance of being boarded by the gigs; whereas,
the way we go the current must slacken, and then we can dodge back along the
     "The current's  less a'ready, sir," said the man  Gray, who was sitting
in the fore-sheets; "you can ease her off a bit."
     "Thank you, my man," said I,  quite as if nothing had  happened, for we
had all quietly made up our minds to treat him like one of ourselves.
     Suddenly  the  captain spoke  up again, and I thought  his voice  was a
little changed.
     "The gun!" said he.
     "I have  thought of that," said I, for I made sure he was thinking of a
bombardment of  the fort. "They could  never get the gun ashore, and if they
did, they could never haul it through the woods."
     "Look astern, doctor," replied the captain.
     We had entirely forgotten the long nine; and there, to our horror, were
the five rogues busy about  her, getting  off her jacket, as they called the
stout tarpaulin cover under  which she sailed. Not only that, but it flashed
into my  mind  at the same moment that the round-shot and the powder for the
gun had been left behind, and a stroke with an axe would put it all into the
possession of the evil ones abroad.
     "Israel was Flint's gunner," said Gray hoarsely.
     At  any  risk, we put  the boat's head direct for the landing-place. By
this  time we  had  got so far out of the  run of  the current that we  kept
steerage way even at our necessarily gentle rate of rowing, and I could keep
her steady for the goal. But  the worst of it was that with the course I now
held  we turned our broadside  instead  of our stern to the  HISPANIOLA  and
offered a target like a barn door.
     I could  hear  as  well  as  see that brandy-faced rascal Israel  Hands
plumping down a round-shot on the deck.
     "Who's the best shot?" asked the captain.
     "Mr. Trelawney, out and away," said I.
     "Mr.  Trelawney, will you  please pick  me off one of these  men,  sir?
Hands, if possible," said the captain.
     Trelawney was as cool as steel. He looked to the priming of his gun.
     "Now," cried the captain, "easy with that gun, sir, or you'll swamp the
boat. All hands stand by to trim her when he aims."
     The squire raised his gun, the rowing ceased, and we leaned over to the
other side  to keep the balance, and all was so nicely contrived that we did
not ship a drop.
     They  had the gun,  by  this  time, slewed round  upon the swivel,  and
Hands, who was at the  muzzle with the rammer,  was in consequence the  most
exposed. However, we had  no  luck, for  just  as Trelawney fired,  down  he
stooped, the  ball whistled over him, and it  was one  of the other four who
     The cry he gave was echoed not only by his companions on board but by a
great number of  voices from the shore, and looking  in that direction I saw
the other pirates trooping out from among the trees and tumbling  into their
places in the boats.
     "Here come the gigs, sir," said I.
     "Give way,  then," cried the captain. "We mustn't  mind if we swamp her
now. If we can't get ashore, all's up."
     "Only one of the gigs is being manned, sir," I  added; "the crew of the
other most likely going round by shore to cut us off."
     "They'll have a hot run, sir," returned the captain.
     "Jack ashore,  you know.  It's not them I mind;  it's  the  round-shot.
Carpet bowls! My lady's maid  couldn't miss.  Tell us, squire, when  you see
the match, and we'll hold water."
     In the meanwhile we had been making  headway at a  good pace for a boat
so  overloaded, and  we had shipped but little water in the process. We were
now close in; thirty or  forty  strokes and we should beach her, for the ebb
had already disclosed a narrow belt  of sand below the clustering trees. The
gig was no longer  to be feared; the  little point had  already concealed it
from our eyes. The ebb-tide, which had so cruelly delayed us, was now making
reparation and delaying  our assailants.  The one  source of  danger was the
     "If I durst," said the captain, "I'd stop and pick off another man."
     But it was plain that they meant  nothing should delay their shot. They
had never so much as looked at their fallen comrade, though he was not dead,
and I could see him trying to crawl away.
     "Ready!" cried the squire.
     "Hold!" cried the captain, quick as an echo.
     And he and Redruth backed with a great heave that sent her stern bodily
under water. The  report fell in  at  the same instant of time. This was the
first that Jim heard, the sound of the squire's shot not having reached him.
Where the ball  passed, not  one  of us precisely  knew, but I fancy it must
have been over our heads and that the wind of it may have contributed to our
     At any rate, the boat sank by the stern, quite gently, in three feet of
water, leaving the captain and myself,  facing each other,  on our feet. The
other  three took complete headers, and came up again drenched and bubbling.
So far there was no great harm. No lives were lost, and we could wade ashore
in safety. But  there were all our stores at the bottom, and to  make things
worse, only two guns out of five remained in a state for service. Mine I had
snatched from my  knees and held over my head, by a sort of instinct. As for
the captain, he had carried his over his shoulder by a bandoleer, and like a
wise man, lock uppermost. The other three had gone down with the boat.
     To  add to  our concern, we heard voices already drawing near us in the
woods along shore, and we had  not only the danger of being cut off from the
stockade  in  our  half-crippled state but the fear before  us  whether,  if
Hunter and Joyce were  attacked by  half a dozen, they would  have the sense
and conduct to stand firm.  Hunter was  steady,  that we knew;  Joyce  was a
doubtful  case  - a  pleasant, polite man  for  a valet  and to  brush one's
clothes, but not entirely fitted for a man of war.
     With all  this  in  our minds,  we  waded ashore as fast as  we  could,
leaving behind us the poor  jolly-boat and a good half of all our powder and
     18. Narrative Continued by the Doctor:
     End of the First Day's Fighting
     WE made our  best speed  across the strip  of wood  that now divided us
from  the stockade, and  at  every step we took the voices of the buccaneers
rang nearer. Soon we could hear their footfalls as they ran and the cracking
of the branches as they breasted across a bit  of thicket. I began to see we
should have a brush for it in earnest and looked to my priming.
     "Captain," said I, "Trelawney is  the dead shot. Give him your gun; his
own is useless."
     They exchanged guns, and  Trelawney,  silent  and cool as  he  had been
since the beginning of the bustle, hung a moment on his heel to see that all
was fit for service.  At  the same  time,  observing  Gray  to be unarmed, I
handed him my cutlass. It  did all our hearts good to  see  him spit in  his
hand, knit his brows, and make the blade sing through the air. It  was plain
from every line of his body that our new hand was worth his salt.
     Forty paces  farther  we came  to  the  edge of  the  wood and  saw the
stockade in front  of us.  We  struck the  enclosure about the middle of the
south side, and almost at the same time, seven mutineers - Job Anderson, the
boatswain, at their head - appeared in full cry at the southwestern corner.
     They paused as if taken aback, and before they recovered, not only  the
squire and I, but Hunter and Joyce  from the block  house, had time to fire.
The  four  shots  came  in  rather  a  scattering  volley, but they did  the
business: one of  the enemy actually fell, and the rest, without hesitation,
turned  and  plunged  into the trees.  After  reloading, we walked  down the
outside of the palisade to see to the fallen enemy. He was stone dead - shot
through the heart.
     We  began to  rejoice over our good success when  just at that moment a
pistol cracked in  the bush, a ball whistled close past my ear, and poor Tom
Redruth  stumbled and fell his length on the ground.  Both  the squire and I
returned the shot, but as we had nothing  to  aim at, it is probable we only
wasted powder. Then we  reloaded  and turned our attention to poor  Tom. The
captain and Gray were already examining him, and I saw with half an eye that
all was over.
     I  believe  the  readiness  of our  return  volley  had  scattered  the
mutineers once more, for we were suffered without further molestation to get
the poor old gamekeeper hoisted over the stockade and carried, groaning  and
bleeding, into the log-house.
     Poor  old fellow, he had  not uttered one word of  surprise, complaint,
fear, or even acquiescence from the very beginning of our troubles till now,
when we had laid him down in the log-house to die. He had lain like a Trojan
behind his mattress in the  gallery; he  had followed every order  silently,
doggedly, and well; he was the oldest of our party by a score  of years; and
now, sullen, old, serviceable servant, it was he that was to die. The squire
dropped down beside  him on his knees  and kissed  his hand, crying  like  a
     "Be I going, doctor?" he asked.
     "Tom, my man," said I, "you're going home."
     "I wish I had had a lick at them with the gun first," he replied.
     "Tom," said the squire, "say you forgive me, won't you?"
     "Would  that  be  respectful like,  from  me to  you, squire?" was  the
answer. "Howsoever, so be it, amen!"
     After a little while of silence, he said he thought somebody might read
a  prayer.  "It's  the custom, sir," he added apologetically. And  not  long
after, without another word, he passed away.
     In the meantime  the captain, whom I  had  observed  to  be wonderfully
swollen about  the chest  and pockets, had  turned out  a great many various
stores  -  the British colours, a Bible,  a coil of stoutish rope, pen, ink,
the log-book, and pounds  of  tobacco. He had found a longish fir-tree lying
felled and trimmed in the  enclosure, and with the help of Hunter he had set
it up at the corner of the log-house  where the  trunks crossed  and made an
angle. Then, climbing on the roof, he had with his own hand  bent and run up
the colours.
     This  seemed mightily  to relieve him. He  re-entered the log-house and
set about counting up the stores as  if nothing else existed.  But he had an
eye on Tom's passage for all that, and as soon as all was over, came forward
with another flag and reverently spread it on the body.
     "Don't you  take on, sir," he said, shaking  the squire's hand.  "All's
well with him;  no  fear  for a hand that's been shot  down  in  his duty to
captain and owner. It mayn't be good divinity, but it's a fact."
     Then he pulled me aside.
     "Dr. Livesey," he said, "in how many weeks do you and squire expect the
     I told him it was a question  not of weeks but  of  months,  that if we
were  not back by the end of  August Blandly was  to  send  to find us,  but
neither sooner nor later. "You can calculate for yourself," I said.
     "Why,  yes,"  returned the captain, scratching his head;  "and making a
large allowance, sir, for all the  gifts of Providence, I should say we were
pretty close hauled."
     "How do you mean?" I asked.
     "It's a pity, sir, we lost  that  second load.  That's  what  I  mean,"
replied the captain. "As for powder and shot,  we'll do. But the rations are
short,  very  short  -  so short, Dr.  Livesey, that  we're perhaps as  well
without that extra mouth."
     And he pointed to the dead body under the flag. Just then, with  a roar
and a  whistle, a round-shot passed high above the roof of the log-house and
plumped far beyond us in the wood.
     "Oho!"  said the  captain. "Blaze  away!  You've  little  enough powder
already, my lads."
     At the  second trial, the aim was better, and the ball descended inside
the stockade, scattering a cloud of sand but doing no further damage.
     "Captain,"  said  the  squire, "the  house is quite  invisible from the
ship. It must be the  flag they are aiming at. Would it not be wiser to take
it in?"
     "Strike my colours!" cried the captain.  "No, sir, not I"; and as  soon
as  he had said  the words,  I think we  all agreed with him. For it was not
only  a piece of  stout, seamanly, good feeling; it was good policy  besides
and showed our enemies that we despised their cannonade.
     All through the evening they kept thundering away. Ball after ball flew
over or fell  short  or kicked up the sand in the enclosure, but they had to
fire so high that the  shot fell dead and buried itself in the soft sand. We
had  no ricochet to fear, and though one popped in through the  roof of  the
log-house and out again through  the floor, we soon got used to that sort of
horse-play  and minded  it no  more  than cricket. "There  is one good thing
about all this," observed the captain; "the  wood in front of  us  is likely
clear.  The  ebb  has made  a  good while;  our stores should be  uncovered.
Volunteers to go and  bring in pork." Gray and Hunter were the first to come
forward. Well armed, they stole out of the stockade, but it proved a useless
mission. The mutineers were bolder than we fancied or they put more trust in
Israel's gunnery. For four or five of them were busy carrying off our stores
and wading out with them  to one of the gigs that lay  close  by, pulling an
oar  or  so  to  hold  her steady against  the  current.  Silver was  in the
stern-sheets  in command; and  every  man of  them was now  provided with  a
musket from some secret magazine of  their own. The captain sat down  to his
log, and here is the beginning of the entry:
     Alexander Smollett, master; David Livesey, ship's doctor; Abraham Gray,
carpenter's  mate;  John  Trelawney, owner;  John  Hunter and Richard Joyce,
owner's servants,  landsmen - being all that is left faithful  of the ship's
company  - with stores for ten days at  short rations, came ashore this  day
and  flew  British  colours  on the  log-house  in  Treasure  Island. Thomas
Redruth, owner's  servant, landsman, shot  by the mutineers; James  Hawkins,
cabin-boy -
     And at the same time, I was wondering over poor Jim Hawkins' fate.
     A hail on the land side.
     "Somebody hailing us," said Hunter, who was on guard.
     "Doctor! Squire! Captain! Hullo, Hunter, is that you?" came the cries.
     And I ran to the  door in time to see Jim Hawkins, safe and sound, come
climbing over the stockade.
     19. Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins:
     The Garrison in the Stockade
     AS soon as Ben  Gunn saw the colours he  came  to a halt, stopped me by
the arm, and sat down.
     "Now," said he, "there's your friends, sure enough."
     "Far more likely it's the mutineers," I answered.
     "That!" he cried. "Why, in a place like this,  where nobody puts in but
gen'lemen of  fortune, Silver would fly the  Jolly Roger,  you don't make no
doubt of that. No, that's your friends. There's been blows too, and I reckon
your friends has had the best  of it;  and  here they are ashore in  the old
stockade, as was made years and years  ago by Flint. Ah, he  was the  man to
have a headpiece, was Flint! Barring rum, his match were never seen. He were
afraid of none, not he; on'y Silver - Silver was that genteel."
     "Well," said I, "that may be so, and so be it; all the more reason that
I should hurry on and join my friends."
     "Nay, mate," returned Ben, "not you. You're a good boy, or I'm mistook;
but you're on'y a boy, all told. Now, Ben Gunn is fly. Rum wouldn't bring me
there, where you're going - not rum wouldn't, till I see your born gen'leman
and  gets  it  on  his  word  of honour.  And you won't forget my words;  'A
precious sight (that's what you'll say), a precious sight more confidence' -
and then nips him."
     And he pinched me the third time with the same air of cleverness.
     "And  when Ben  Gunn is wanted, you  know where to find  him, Jim. Just
where you found him today. And him that comes  is to have a  white  thing in
his hand, and he's to come alone. Oh! And you'll say this: 'Ben  Gunn,' says
you, 'has reasons of his own.'"
     "Well," said I, "I believe I understand. You have something to propose,
and you wish to see the squire or the doctor, and you're to be found where I
found you. Is that all?"
     "And when? says you," he  added. "Why, from about  noon observation  to
about six bells."
     "Good," said I, "and now may I go?"
     "You won't forget?" he inquired anxiously. "Precious sight, and reasons
of  his own,  says you.  Reasons of his own; that's the mainstay; as between
man  and man. Well,  then"  -  still holding me - "I reckon you can go, Jim.
And, Jim, if you was to see  Silver, you wouldn't go for to sell  Ben  Gunn?
Wild  horses  wouldn't draw it  from you? No, says you. And if  them pirates
camp ashore, Jim, what would you say but there'd be widders in the morning?"
     Here he was interrupted by a loud report, and a cannonball came tearing
through the trees  and pitched in the sand not a hundred yards from where we
two  were talking. The next moment each  of us had taken to his  heels in  a
different direction.
     For  a good hour to come frequent reports  shook  the island, and balls
kept crashing through the woods. I moved from hiding-place  to hiding-place,
always  pursued, or so  it seemed  to me, by  these terrifying missiles. But
towards the end of the bombardment, though still I durst not venture  in the
direction of the stockade, where the balls fell oftenest, I  had begun, in a
manner, to pluck up  my  heart again, and after a long  detour to  the east,
crept down among the shore-side trees.
     The sun had just  set, the sea  breeze was rustling and tumbling in the
woods and ruffling the grey surface of the anchorage; the tide, too, was far
out, and  great tracts of sand lay uncovered; the air, after the heat of the
day, chilled me through my jacket.
     The HISPANIOLA still lay  where she  had anchored;  but,  sure  enough,
there was the Jolly Roger - the black flag of piracy - flying from her peak.
Even  as I looked, there came another red flash and another report that sent
the echoes clattering, and one more round-shot whistled through the  air. It
was the last of the cannonade.
     I lay for some time watching the bustle which succeeded the attack. Men
were demolishing  something with axes on the beach near  the stockade -  the
poor jolly-boat, I afterwards discovered. Away, near the mouth of the river,
a great  fire was  glowing among the trees, and between that  point and  the
ship one of the gigs  kept  coming  and going, the men, whom  I had seen  so
gloomy, shouting at the oars like children. But there  was a sound in  their
voices which suggested rum.
     At length I thought I might  return towards the  stockade. I was pretty
far down on the low, sandy spit that encloses the anchorage to the east, and
is joined at half-water to Skeleton Island; and now, as I rose to my feet, I
saw, some distance further down the  spit and rising from  among low bushes,
an  isolated rock, pretty  high, and peculiarly white in colour. It occurred
to  me  that this might  be  the white rock of which Ben Gunn had spoken and
that  some  day or other a  boat might be wanted and I should know  where to
look for one. Then I skirted among the  woods until I had regained the rear,
or shoreward  side, of the  stockade,  and  was soon warmly welcomed  by the
faithful party.
     I  had soon told my story and began to look about me. The log-house was
made of unsquared  trunks of pine - roof, walls, and floor. The latter stood
in several places as much  as a foot  or a foot and a half above the surface
of the sand. There was a porch at  the door, and under this porch the little
spring welled  up into an artificial basin of a rather odd kind -  no  other
than  a great ship's kettle of iron,  with the  bottom knocked out, and sunk
"to her bearings," as the captain said, among the sand.
     Little had  been left  besides the  framework of  the house, but in one
corner there was a stone slab  laid  down by way of hearth  and an old rusty
iron basket to contain the fire.
     The  slopes of the  knoll and all the inside  of  the stockade had been
cleared of timber to build the house, and  we could see by the stumps what a
fine  and  lofty grove had been destroyed. Most  of the soil had been washed
away  or buried in  drift after the  removal of  the trees;  only where  the
streamlet  ran down from the kettle a thick bed of moss  and  some ferns and
little creeping bushes were still green among  the sand.  Very  close around
the stockade  - too close for defence, they said - the wood still flourished
high  and  dense,  all of fir on  the land side,  but towards the sea with a
large admixture of live-oaks.
     The cold evening breeze, of which I have spoken, whistled through every
chink of the  rude building and sprinkled the floor with a continual rain of
fine sand.  There was  sand in our  eyes, sand in  our  teeth,  sand  in our
suppers, sand dancing in the spring at the bottom of the kettle, for all the
world like porridge beginning to boil. Our chimney was  a square hole in the
roof; it was but a little part of the smoke that found its way out, and  the
rest eddied about the house and kept us coughing and piping the eye.
     Add to this that Gray,  the new man, had his face tied up  in a bandage
for a cut he had got in  breaking away from the mutineers and that  poor old
Tom Redruth, still unburied, lay along the wall,  stiff and stark, under the
Union Jack.
     If we had been  allowed to sit idle,  we should  all have fallen in the
blues, but  Captain Smollett was  never  the  man for  that. All  hands were
called up  before  him, and he divided us into watches. The doctor and  Gray
and I for one; the squire, Hunter, and Joyce upon the other. Tired though we
all were, two were sent out for firewood; two more were set to  dig a  grave
for  Redruth; the doctor was named  cook;  I was put sentry at the door; and
the  captain  himself  went  from one to another, keeping up our spirits and
lending a hand wherever it was wanted.
     From time to time the doctor came to the door  for a  little air and to
rest his eyes, which were almost smoked out of his head, and whenever he did
so, he  had a word for me.  "That  man Smollett," he said once, "is a better
man than I am.  And when I say that it  means a deal,  Jim." Another time he
came and was  silent  for a while. Then he  put  his  head  on one side, and
looked at me.
     "Is this Ben Gunn a man?" he asked.
     "I do not know, sir," said I. "I am not very sure whether he's sane."
     "If there's any doubt about the matter, he is," returned the doctor. "A
man who has been three years biting his nails on a desert island, Jim, can't
expect  to appear as sane as you  or me. It doesn't lie in human nature. Was
it cheese you said he had a fancy for?"
     "Yes, sir, cheese," I answered.
     "Well, Jim," says he,  "just see the good that comes of being dainty in
your food. You've seen my snuff-box, haven't you? And  you never saw me take
snuff, the reason  being that in my snuff-box I carry  a piece  of  Parmesan
cheese - a  cheese made in  Italy,  very  nutritious.  Well,  that's for Ben
     Before supper was eaten we  buried old Tom in the sand  and stood round
him for a  while bare-headed in the breeze. A good deal of firewood had been
got in, but not  enough for  the captain's fancy, and he shook his head over
it  and told us we  "must get back  to this tomorrow rather livelier." Then,
when we had eaten our  pork and each had a good stiff glass of  brandy grog,
the three chiefs got together in a corner to discuss our prospects.
     It appears they were at their wits' end what to do, the stores being so
low that we must have been starved into surrender long before help came. But
our best hope,  it was decided, was to kill off  the  buccaneers  until they
either hauled down their flag or ran away with the HISPANIOLA. From nineteen
they were already reduced  to  fifteen,  two others were wounded, and one at
least - the man shot beside the gun - severely wounded, if he were not dead.
Every time we had a crack at them, we were to take it, saving our own lives,
with the extremest care. And besides that,  we had two able allies - rum and
the climate.
     As for the first, though we were  about half a mile away, we could hear
them roaring  and  singing late into the  night;  and as for the second, the
doctor  staked  his  wig  that,  camped where  they were  in  the marsh  and
unprovided with remedies, the half of them would be  on their backs before a
     "So," he added,  "if we are not all shot down  first they'll be glad to
be  packing  in  the  schooner.  It's  always  a ship,  and they can  get to
buccaneering again, I suppose."
     "First ship that ever I lost," said Captain Smollett.
     I was dead tired, as you may fancy;  and when I got to sleep, which was
not till after a great deal of tossing, I slept like a log of wood.
     The rest had long been up and had already breakfasted and increased the
pile of firewood by about half as much again  when I was wakened by a bustle
and the sound of voices.
     "Flag of truce!" I heard someone say; and then, immediately after, with
a cry of surprise, "Silver himself!"
     And at that, up I jumped, and rubbing my eyes, ran to a loophole in the
     20. Silver's Embassy
     SURE enough, there were two men just outside  the stockade, one of them
waving a white  cloth,  the  other,  no less a person  than Silver  himself,
standing placidly by. It was still quite early, and the coldest morning that
I think I ever was abroad in - a chill that pierced into the marrow. The sky
was bright and cloudless overhead, and the tops of the trees shone rosily in
the sun.  But where  Silver  stood with his  lieutenant,  all  was  still in
shadow,  and they  waded  knee-deep in a  low white vapour  that had crawled
during the night out of the morass. The chill and the vapour taken  together
told a  poor  tale of the island. It was plainly a damp, feverish, unhealthy
     "Keep indoors, men," said the captain. "Ten to one this is a trick."
     Then he hailed the buccaneer.
     "Who goes? Stand, or we fire."
     "Flag of truce," cried Silver.
     The captain was in  the porch, keeping himself carefully out of the way
of a treacherous shot, should any  be intended. He  turned  and spoke to us,
"Doctor's  watch  on the  lookout. Dr. Livesey take the north  side, if  you
please; Jim, the  east;  Gray,  west. The  watch below,  all  hands  to load
muskets. Lively, men, and careful."
     And then he turned again to the mutineers.
     "And what do you want with your flag of truce?" he cried.
     This time it was the other man who replied.
     "Cap'n Silver, sir, to come on board and make terms," he shouted.
     "Cap'n Silver!  Don't  know him. Who's he?" cried  the  captain. And we
could  hear him  adding  to himself, "Cap'n, is  it?  My  heart, and  here's
     Long John answered  for himself.  "Me, sir. These poor lads have chosen
me cap'n, after your desertion, sir" - laying a particular emphasis upon the
word "desertion."
     "We're willing to submit,  if we  can come to terms, and no bones about
it. All I ask is your word, Cap'n  Smollett, to let me safe and sound out of
this here  stockade, and  one  minute to get out  o' shot before  a  gun  is
     "My  man," said  Captain Smollett, "I have  not the slightest desire to
talk to you. If you wish to talk to me, you can come, that's all. If there's
any treachery, it'll be on your side, and the Lord help you."
     "That's enough, cap'n," shouted Long John cheerily. "A  word from you's
enough. I know a gentleman, and you may lay to that."
     We could  see the  man who carried the flag of truce attempting to hold
Silver  back.  Nor  was  that wonderful,  seeing  how  cavalier had been the
captain's answer. But  Silver laughed at  him aloud and slapped  him  on the
back as if  the idea of alarm  had  been  absurd. Then  he advanced  to  the
stockade, threw  over his crutch, got a  leg up, and  with great  vigour and
skill succeeded  in surmounting the fence and dropping  safely  to the other
     I will confess that I was far too much taken up with what was  going on
to  be of the  slightest  use as sentry; indeed, I had  already deserted  my
eastern loophole and crept up behind the captain, who had now seated himself
on the threshold, with his elbows  on his knees, his  head in his hands, and
his eyes fixed on the water as it bubbled out of the  old iron kettle in the
sand. He was whistling "Come, Lasses and Lads."
     Silver had  terrible hard  work  getting up the  knoll.  What with  the
steepness of the incline, the thick  tree stumps,  and the soft sand, he and
his crutch were as  helpless as a ship  in stays. But he stuck to it like  a
man in silence, and at  last arrived before the  captain, whom he saluted in
the handsomest style.  He was tricked out in his best; an immense blue coat,
thick with brass buttons, hung as low as to his knees, and a fine  laced hat
was set on the back of his head.
     "Here you are, my  man," said  the captain, raising his  head. "You had
better sit down."
     "You  ain't a-going  to  let me  inside, cap'n?" complained  Long John.
"It's a main cold morning, to be sure, sir, to sit outside upon the sand."
     "Why,  Silver," said the captain, "if  you had pleased to  be an honest
man, you might have been sitting in your galley. It's your own doing. You're
either my ship's cook  - and  then you  were treated  handsome  -  or  Cap'n
Silver, a common mutineer and pirate, and then you can go hang!"
     "Well,  well,  cap'n," returned the sea-cook, sitting down  as  he  was
bidden on the sand, "you'll have to give me a hand up  again, that's  all. A
sweet pretty place you have  of  it here. Ah, there's  Jim! The  top  of the
morning  to you, Jim. Doctor, here's my  service.  Why,  there you  all  are
together like a happy family, in a manner of speaking."
     "If you have anything to say, my man, better say it," said the captain.
     "Right  you were, Cap'n  Smollett," replied Silver. "Dooty is dooty, to
be sure. Well now, you look here, that was a good lay of yours last night. I
don't deny it was a good lay. Some of you pretty handy with a handspike-end.
And I'll not deny neither but what  some of  my people was shook - maybe all
was shook;  maybe I was  shook myself; maybe that's why I'm  here for terms.
But  you mark me,  cap'n, it won't do twice,  by thunder!  We'll have to  do
sentry-go and ease off a point or so on the rum. Maybe you think we were all
a  sheet in the wind's eye. But  I'll tell you I was sober;  I  was on'y dog
tired; and if I'd  awoke a second sooner,  I'd 'a caught you at the  act,  I
would. He wasn't dead when I got round to him, not he."
     "Well?" says Captain Smollett as cool as can be.
     All that  Silver  said  was a  riddle to him, but you would never  have
guessed it from his tone. As for me, I began to  have an inkling. Ben Gunn's
last words came back to my  mind. I  began to  suppose that he had paid  the
buccaneers a visit while they all lay drunk together round their fire, and I
reckoned up with glee that we had only fourteen enemies to deal with.
     "Well, here it is," said Silver. "We want that treasure, and we'll have
it - that's our point! You would just as soon save your lives, I reckon; and
that's yours. You have a chart, haven't you?"
     "That's as may be," replied the captain.
     "Oh, well,  you have, I know that," returned Long John. "You needn't be
so husky with a  man; there ain't a particle of service in that, and you may
lay to  it. What I mean is, we want  your  chart. Now, I never meant you  no
harm, myself."
     "That  won't  do with  me, my man,"  interrupted the captain.  "We know
exactly what you meant to do, and we don't care, for now, you see, you can't
do it." And the captain looked at him calmly and proceeded to fill a pipe.
     "If Abe Gray - " Silver broke out.
     "Avast  there!" cried Mr. Smollett. "Gray  told me nothing, and I asked
him nothing; and what's more, I would  see you and him and this whole island
blown clean out of the water into blazes first.  So there's my mind for you,
my man, on that."
     This  little whiff of  temper seemed to cool Silver  down. He  had been
growing nettled before, but now he pulled himself together.
     "Like enough," said he. "I would set no limits to what gentlemen  might
consider shipshape,  or might not, as  the case  were. And seein' as how you
are about to take a pipe, cap'n, I'll make so free as do likewise."
     And  he  filled a  pipe  and lighted  it; and the two men  sat silently
smoking for quite a while, now looking each other  in the face, now stopping
their tobacco, now leaning forward  to spit. It was as  good as the play  to
see them.
     "Now," resumed Silver, "here  it is. You give us the chart  to  get the
treasure  by,  and drop shooting  poor  seamen and stoving of their heads in
while asleep.  You  do that, and we'll offer you a choice. Either  you  come
aboard along of us, once  the treasure shipped,  and  then I'll give  you my
affy-davy, upon my word of honour, to clap  you somewhere safe ashore. Or if
that ain't to your fancy, some of my hands being rough and having old scores
on account of hazing,  then  you can stay here, you can. We'll divide stores
with you, man  for man; and I'll give  my affy-davy, as before  to speak the
first ship I sight, and send 'em here to pick you up. Now, you'll own that's
talking.  Handsomer you couldn't look to get, now you. And I hope" - raising
his voice - "that all hands in this here block house will overhaul my words,
for what is spoke to one is spoke to all."
     Captain Smollett  rose  from his  seat and knocked out the ashes of his
pipe in the palm of his left hand.
     "Is that all?" he asked.
     "Every last word, by thunder!" answered John. "Refuse  that, and you've
seen the last of me but musket-balls."
     "Very good," said  the captain.  "Now you'll hear me. If you'll come up
one by one, unarmed, I'll engage to clap you all in irons and take you  home
to  a fair  trial in  England. If you won't, my name  is Alexander Smollett,
I've flown my sovereign's colours,  and  I'll see you all to Davy Jones. You
can't find the treasure. You  can't sail the ship - there's not  a man among
you fit to sail the  ship. You can't fight us - Gray,  there, got away  from
five of you. Your ship's in irons, Master Silver; you're on a lee shore, and
so you'll find. I  stand  here  and tell you so;  and they're the last  good
words  you'll get from me, for in the name of heaven, I'll put  a bullet  in
your  back  when next I meet you. Tramp, my lad. Bundle out of this, please,
hand over hand, and double quick."
     Silver's face was a picture;  his eyes started in his  head with wrath.
He shook the fire out of his pipe.
     "Give me a hand up!" he cried.
     "Not I," returned the captain.
     "Who'll give me a hand up?" he roared.
     Not a man among us moved. Growling the foulest imprecations, he crawled
along  the sand till he got hold of the  porch and could hoist himself again
upon his crutch. Then he spat into the spring.
     "There!"  he cried. "That's what I think  of ye. Before  an hour's out,
I'll stove in  your old block house like a rum puncheon. Laugh,  by thunder,
laugh!  Before an hour's  out, ye'll laugh  upon  the  other side. Them that
die'll be the lucky ones."
     And with a dreadful oath he  stumbled off, ploughed down the sand,  was
helped across the stockade, after four or five failures, by the man with the
flag of truce, and disappeared in an instant afterwards among the trees.
     21. The Attack
     AS  soon as  Silver  disappeared,  the  captain,  who  had been closely
watching him, turned  towards the interior of the  house and found not a man
of  us at  his post  but Gray.  It  was the first time we had ever  seen him
angry. "Quarters!" he roared. And then,  as we all slunk back to our places,
"Gray," he said, "I'll put your name in  the  log; you've stood by your duty
like a seaman. Mr. Trelawney, I'm surprised at  you, sir.  Doctor, I thought
you had worn  the king's coat! If that was  how you served at Fontenoy, sir,
you'd have been  better in your berth." The doctor's watch were all back  at
their loopholes, the rest were busy loading the spare  muskets, and everyone
with  a red  face, you may be  certain, and a flea in his ear, as the saying
     The captain looked on for a while in silence. Then he spoke.
     "My  lads,"  said he, "I've given Silver  a broadside. I pitched  it in
red-hot on purpose;  and  before  the hour's  out, as he  said, we  shall be
boarded. We're  outnumbered,  I  needn't tell  you  that, but  we  fight  in
shelter; and a minute ago I should have said we fought with discipline. I've
no manner of doubt that we can drub them, if you choose."
     Then he went the rounds and saw, as he said, that all was clear.
     On the two short sides of the house, east and west, there were only two
loopholes;  on  the south  side where  the porch was,  two again; and on the
north side, five. There was a round score of  muskets for the seven  of  us;
the firewood had been built into four  piles -  tables, you might  say - one
about the middle of  each side, and on each  of these tables some ammunition
and four loaded muskets were laid ready to the hand of the defenders. In the
middle, the cutlasses lay ranged.
     "Toss out  the fire," said  the captain; "the chill  is  past,  and  we
mustn't have smoke in our eyes."
     The iron fire-basket was carried bodily  out by  Mr. Trelawney, and the
embers smothered among sand.
     "Hawkins hasn't  had his breakfast. Hawkins, help yourself, and back to
your  post to eat it,"  continued  Captain Smollett.  "Lively,  now, my lad;
you'll want it  before  you've done. Hunter, serve out a round of brandy  to
all hands."
     And  while this was  going on, the  captain completed, in his own mind,
the plan of the defence.
     "Doctor, you  will take the  door," he  resumed. "See, and don't expose
yourself; keep within,  and fire through the porch.  Hunter,  take the  east
side, there.  Joyce,  you stand by the west, my  man. Mr. Trelawney, you are
the  best shot -  you and Gray will take this long north side, with the five
loopholes; it's there the  danger is. If they can get up  to  it and fire in
upon  us through our own ports, things  would  begin to look dirty. Hawkins,
neither you nor I are much account at the  shooting; we'll stand  by to load
and bear a hand."
     As the  captain  had said, the chill  was past.  As soon as the sun had
climbed  above  our  girdle of  trees, it fell  with all its force  upon the
clearing and drank up the vapours at a draught. Soon the sand was baking and
the resin  melting in the  logs of the  block house. Jackets and  coats were
flung aside, shirts thrown open at  the neck and rolled up to the shoulders;
and we  stood there,  each at his post, in a  fever  of heat and anxiety. An
hour passed away.
     "Hang them!"  said the captain. "This is as dull as the doldrums. Gray,
whistle for a wind."
     And just at that moment came the first news of the attack.
     "If you please, sir," said Joyce, "if I see anyone, am I to fire?"
     "I told you so!" cried the captain.
     "Thank you, sir," returned Joyce with the same quiet civility.
     Nothing  followed for a time,  but the remark had  set  us  all on  the
alert, straining ears and eyes - the  musketeers with their pieces  balanced
in their hands, the captain  out  in the middle of the block house with  his
mouth very tight and a frown on his face.
     So some seconds passed, till suddenly Joyce  whipped up his musket  and
fired. The  report had scarcely  died away  ere it was repeated and repeated
from without  in a scattering  volley, shot  behind  shot,  like a string of
geese,  from  every  side  of  the  enclosure. Several  bullets  struck  the
log-house, but not one entered; and as the smoke cleared away  and vanished,
the stockade  and the woods  around it looked as quiet and  empty as before.
Not a bough waved, not the gleam of a musket-barrel betrayed the presence of
our foes.
     "Did you hit your man?" asked the captain.
     "No, sir," replied Joyce. "I believe not, sir."
     "Next  best thing to tell the truth," muttered Captain Smollett.  "Load
his gun, Hawkins. How many should say there were on your side, doctor?"
     "I  know precisely,"  said Dr. Livesey. "Three shots were fired on this
side. I  saw the three  flashes - two close  together -  one  farther to the
     "Three!" repeated the captain. "And how many on yours, Mr. Trelawney?"
     But this was not so easily answered. There had come many from the north
- seven by the squire's computation, eight or nine according  to  Gray. From
the east  and  west  only  a  single  shot had  been fired.  It  was  plain,
therefore, that the attack would be developed from the north and that on the
other three sides we were  only to be annoyed by  a show of hostilities. But
Captain  Smollett  made  no change  in his  arrangements.  If the  mutineers
succeeded in crossing the stockade, he argued, they would take possession of
any unprotected loophole and shoot us down  like rats in our own stronghold.
Nor had we much time left to us for thought. Suddenly, with  a loud huzza, a
little cloud of pirates leaped from  the  woods  on the north side  and  ran
straight on the stockade. At  the same moment, the fire was once more opened
from the woods, and a rifle ball sang through  the  doorway and  knocked the
doctor's musket into bits.
     The boarders swarmed over the fence like monkeys. Squire and Gray fired
again and yet  again; three  men  fell, one forwards into the enclosure, two
back on  the outside. But of these, one was  evidently  more frightened than
hurt, for  he was on  his  feet again  in a  crack and instantly disappeared
among  the  trees. Two had bit  the dust,  one had fled, four had made  good
their footing inside our defences, while from the shelter of the woods seven
or eight men, each evidently supplied  with several  muskets, kept  up a hot
though useless fire on the log-house.
     The four who  had boarded made  straight before them  for the building,
shouting as they ran, and the men among the trees shouted  back to encourage
them. Several shots were fired,  but such was the hurry of the marksmen that
not  one appears to have taken effect.  In  a moment,  the four  pirates had
swarmed  up the mound  and were upon  us. The  head  of  Job  Anderson,  the
boatswain, appeared at the middle loophole.
     "At 'em, all hands - all hands!" he roared in a voice of thunder.
     At  the same moment,  another  pirate  grasped  Hunter's musket  by the
muzzle, wrenched it  from his hands,  plucked it  through the  loophole, and
with  one  stunning  blow,  laid the  poor  fellow  senseless on the  floor.
Meanwhile a third, running unharmed all around  the house, appeared suddenly
in the doorway and fell with his cutlass on the doctor.
     Our position was utterly reversed. A moment since we were firing, under
cover, at an exposed enemy; now it  was we who lay  uncovered  and could not
return  a  blow. The  log-house was  full of  smoke,  to  which  we owed our
comparative  safety.  Cries  and  confusion,  the  flashes  and  reports  of
pistol-shots, and one loud groan rang in my ears.
     "Out,  lads, out,  and  fight  'em in  the open!  Cutlasses!" cried the
     I  snatched  a cutlass from  the pile,  and  someone, at the  same time
snatching another, gave me a cut across the knuckles which I  hardly felt. I
dashed out of  the door into the clear sunlight. Someone was close behind, I
knew not whom. Right  in front, the doctor  was pursuing  his assailant down
the hill, and  just as my eyes fell upon  him, beat down his guard and  sent
him sprawling on his back with a great slash across the face.
     "Round  the house, lads!  Round the house!" cried the captain; and even
in the hurly-burly, I perceived a change in his voice.
     Mechanically, I  obeyed,  turned eastwards, and with my cutlass raised,
ran round the  corner  of the house. Next  moment  I was face  to  face with
Anderson. He roared aloud, and his  hanger went up above  his head, flashing
in the  sunlight. I had not  time to be afraid, but  as the blow still  hung
impending, leaped in a trice upon one side,  and missing my foot in the soft
sand, rolled headlong down the slope.
     When I had  first sallied from the door, the  other mutineers had  been
already swarming up the palisade  to make  an end of  us. One  man, in a red
night-cap,  with his cutlass in  his mouth,  had  even got upon the  top and
thrown a leg across. Well, so short  had been the interval that when I found
my feet again all was in the same posture, the fellow with the red night-cap
still half-way  over, another  still just  showing his head above the top of
the stockade. And  yet, in this breath of time, the fight  was over  and the
victory was  ours. Gray, following  close  behind me, had cut  down the  big
boatswain ere he had  time to recover from  his last blow. Another  had been
shot at a loophole in the very act of firing into  the house and  now lay in
agony,  the  pistol  still smoking in his hand. A third, as  I had seen, the
doctor  had disposed of at a  blow. Of the four who had scaled the palisade,
one only  remained unaccounted for,  and he, having left  his cutlass on the
field, was now clambering out again with the fear of death upon him.
     "Fire - fire from the  house!" cried the  doctor.  "And you, lads, back
into cover."
     But his words  were unheeded, no shot  was fired, and  the last boarder
made good his escape  and disappeared with the rest into  the wood. In three
seconds nothing remained of the attacking party but the five who had fallen,
four on the inside and one on the outside of the palisade.
     The doctor and Gray  and  I ran  full speed for  shelter. The survivors
would soon be back where they had left their muskets,  and at any moment the
fire might recommence. The house was by this time somewhat cleared of smoke,
and we saw at a glance the price we had paid for victory. Hunter lay  beside
his loophole, stunned; Joyce by his, shot  through  the  head, never to move
again; while right in the centre, the squire was supporting the captain, one
as pale as the other.
     "The captain's wounded," said Mr. Trelawney.
     "Have they run?" asked Mr. Smollett.
     "All that could,  you may be bound," returned the doctor;  "but there's
five of them will never run again."
     "Five!"  cried the captain.  "Come, that's  better.  Five against three
leaves us four to nine. That's better  odds than we had at starting. We were
seven to nineteen then, or thought we were, and that's as bad to bear."*
     *The mutineers were soon only eight in number, for the man shot by  Mr.
Trelawney  on board the schooner died that same  evening of his  wound.  But
this was, of course, not known till after by the faithful party.

     My Sea Adventure
     22. How My Sea Adventure Began
     THERE was no return of the mutineers -  not so much as another shot out
of the woods. They  had "got their rations for that day," as the captain put
it, and we had the  place  to  ourselves  and a quiet  time  to overhaul the
wounded  and get dinner. Squire and I cooked outside in spite of the danger,
and  even outside we  could hardly  tell  what we were at, for horror of the
loud groans that reached us from the doctor's patients.
     Out of the eight men  who had fallen  in the action,  only three  still
breathed -  that  one of  the  pirates  who  had been shot at the  loophole,
Hunter, and  Captain  Smollett; and of these, the first two were as  good as
dead; the mutineer indeed died under the doctor's knife, and Hunter, do what
we could, never recovered  consciousness in this world. He lingered all day,
breathing  loudly like the old buccaneer at home in his  apoplectic fit, but
the bones of his chest had been  crushed by the blow and his skull fractured
in falling, and some time in  the following night, without sign or sound, he
went to his Maker.
     As for the captain, his wounds were grievous indeed, but not dangerous.
No organ was fatally injured. Anderson's ball - for it was Job that shot him
first - had  broken his shoulder-blade and touched the lung, not  badly; the
second had only torn and  displaced some muscles in the calf. He was sure to
recover, the doctor said,  but in the  meantime, and for weeks  to  come, he
must not walk nor move his arm, nor so much as speak when he could help it.
     My own accidental cut  across  the  knuckles  was  a  flea-bite. Doctor
Livesey patched  it up with plaster  and pulled  my  ears for  me  into  the
     After dinner the squire and the doctor sat by the captain's side awhile
in consultation; and when they had talked to their hearts' content, it being
then a little  past noon, the doctor took up his hat and pistols, girt on  a
cutlass,  put the chart in his pocket,  and with a  musket over his shoulder
crossed the palisade  on  the  north side  and set off briskly  through  the
trees. Gray and  I were sitting together at the far  end of the block house,
to be out  of earshot of our officers consulting; and Gray took his pipe out
of his mouth and  fairly forgot  to put it back again, so  thunder-struck he
was at this occurrence.
     "Why, in the name of Davy Jones," said he, "is Dr. Livesey mad?"
     "Why no," says I. "He's about the last  of this  crew for that,  I take
     "Well, shipmate," said Gray, "mad he  may not be; but if  HE'S not, you
mark my words, I am."
     "I take it," replied  I, "the doctor has his idea; and  if I am  right,
he's going now to see Ben Gunn."
     I was right, as appeared  later; but in the  meantime, the house  being
stifling  hot  and the little patch of  sand inside the palisade ablaze with
midday  sun, I began to  get another thought into  my head, which was not by
any means so right. What I began to do was to envy the doctor walking in the
cool shadow of the woods with the birds about him and  the pleasant smell of
the pines, while I sat grilling, with my clothes stuck to the hot resin, and
so much blood about me and so many poor dead bodies lying  all around that I
took a disgust of the place that was almost as strong as fear.
     All the time I was washing out the block house, and then washing up the
things  from  dinner,  this  disgust  and  envy kept  growing  stronger  and
stronger,  till at last, being  near a bread-bag,  and no one then observing
me, I took the first step towards my escapade and filled both pockets of  my
coat with biscuit.
     I was a fool, if  you like, and certainly  I was going to do a foolish,
over-bold act; but I was determined to  do it with all the precautions in my
power. These biscuits, should  anything befall me, would keep  me, at least,
from starving till far on in the next day. The next thing I laid hold of was
a brace of pistols,  and  as I already had a powder-horn and bullets, I felt
myself well supplied with arms.
     As for the scheme I had in  my head, it was not a bad one in itself.  I
was to  go down the sandy spit that  divides  the anchorage on the east from
the open sea, find the white rock I had observed last evening, and ascertain
whether it was there or not that Ben Gunn had hidden his boat, a thing quite
worth doing,  as I  still  believe.  But as  I  was certain I  should not be
allowed to leave the  enclosure, my only plan was  to take  French leave and
slip out when nobody was watching, and that was so bad a way of doing it  as
made  the thing itself wrong.  But I was only a boy, and I had made my  mind
up. Well, as  things at last fell out, I found an admirable opportunity. The
squire and Gray  were busy helping  the captain with his bandages, the coast
was clear, I made a  bolt for it over  the stockade and into the thickest of
the trees,  and  before  my  absence  was observed I  was  out of cry of  my
     This was my second folly, far worse  than the first, as  I left but two
sound  men  to guard  the house; but like  the first,  it was a help towards
saving all  of us. I took my way straight for the east  coast of the island,
for I was determined to go down the sea side of the spit to avoid all chance
of observation from  the anchorage. It  was  already late  in the afternoon,
although still  warm and sunny. As I continued  to thread the  tall woods, I
could hear from far before me  not only  the continuous thunder of the surf,
but a certain tossing of foliage and grinding of boughs which showed me  the
sea breeze  had set in higher than usual. Soon cool draughts of air began to
reach me, and  a few steps farther I came forth into the open borders of the
grove, and saw  the sea lying  blue and sunny to  the  horizon and the  surf
tumbling and tossing its foam along the beach.
     I have never seen the sea  quiet round  Treasure  Island. The sun might
blaze overhead, the air be without a breath,  the  surface smooth and  blue,
but still these great rollers would be running along all the external coast,
thundering and thundering  by day and  night;  and I scarce believe there is
one spot in the island where a man would be out of earshot of their noise.
     I walked along beside the surf with  great enjoyment,  till, thinking I
was now  got far enough to the south, I took the cover of  some thick bushes
and crept warily up to the ridge of the spit.
     Behind  me was  the sea,  in front the  anchorage.  The sea  breeze, as
though  it had  the sooner  blown  itself out by  its unusual violence,  was
already at an end; it had  been succeeded by light, variable  airs from  the
south and south-east, carrying  great banks of fog; and the anchorage, under
lee of Skeleton  Island,  lay still and leaden as when first we  entered it.
The HISPANIOLA,  in  that  unbroken mirror, was exactly portrayed  from  the
truck to the waterline, the Jolly Roger hanging from her peak. Alongside lay
one of the gigs, Silver in the stern-sheets - him I could always recognize -
while a couple of men were leaning over the stern bulwarks, one of them with
a red  cap - the very  rogue  that I had seen some hours before  stride-legs
upon the palisade. Apparently they were talking and laughing, though at that
distance - upwards of a mile - I could, of  course, hear no word of what was
said. All at once there began the most horrid, unearthly screaming, which at
first startled me badly, though  I  had soon remembered the voice of Captain
Flint and  even thought  I could  make out the bird by her bright plumage as
she sat perched upon her master's wrist.
     Soon after, the jolly-boat shoved off and pulled for shore, and the man
with the red cap and his comrade went below by the cabin companion.
     Just about the  same time, the sun had  gone down behind the Spy-glass,
and as the fog was collecting rapidly, it  began to grow dark  in earnest. I
saw I must lose no time if I were to find the boat that evening.
     The white rock, visible enough above the  brush, was still some  eighth
of a mile  further down the spit, and it took me a goodish  while  to get up
with it, crawling, often  on all fours,  among the  scrub. Night had  almost
come when I laid my hand  on  its  rough sides. Right below it  there was an
exceedingly small hollow  of  green  turf,  hidden  by  banks  and  a  thick
underwood  about knee-deep, that grew there  very  plentifully;  and  in the
centre of the dell, sure enough, a little tent of goat-skins,  like what the
gipsies carry about with  them in England. I dropped into the hollow, lifted
the side of  the  tent, and there was Ben Gunn's boat  -  home-made if  ever
anything was  home-made;  a  rude,  lop-sided framework of tough  wood,  and
stretched upon that a covering of goat-skin, with the hair inside. The thing
was  extremely small, even for me,  and I can  hardly imagine  that it could
have  floated with a full-sized  man. There  was  one thwart  set as  low as
possible,  a  kind of  stretcher in  the  bows,  and  a  double  paddle  for
propulsion. I had not then seen a coracle, such as the ancient Britons made,
but I have seen one since, and I can give you  no fairer  idea of Ben Gunn's
boat than by saying it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made by
man. But the great advantage of  the  coracle it certainly possessed, for it
was exceedingly light and portable.
     Well, now that I  had found the boat,  you would have thought I had had
enough  of truantry for once, but in the meantime I had taken another notion
and become  so obstinately  fond of it that  I would have carried  it out, I
believe, in the  teeth of Captain  Smollett himself.  This was  to slip  out
under cover of the night, cut the HISPANIOLA adrift, and  let  her go ashore
where she fancied.  I  had quite made up  my mind that the mutineers,  after
their  repulse  of the morning, had nothing nearer their hearts  than  to up
anchor  and away to  sea;  this,  I  thought, it would  be  a  fine thing to
prevent,  and now  that I had  seen how they left their watchmen  unprovided
with a boat, I thought it might be done with little risk.
     Down  I sat to wait for darkness, and made a hearty meal of biscuit. It
was a night out of ten thousand for my  purpose. The fog had now buried  all
heaven.  As the  last  rays of daylight  dwindled and  disappeared, absolute
blackness settled down on Treasure  Island. And when, at last,  I shouldered
the  coracle and groped my way  stumblingly  out of  the hollow where I  had
supped, there were but  two points visible on the whole  anchorage.  One was
the great fire on shore, by  which the defeated pirates lay carousing in the
swamp.  The other,  a mere blur of  light upon  the  darkness, indicated the
position of the anchored ship. She  had swung round to the ebb - her bow was
now towards me  - the only lights on board were in the cabin, and what I saw
was  merely a reflection on the fog of the strong  rays that flowed from the
stern window.
     The ebb had  already  run some  time,  and I had to wade through a long
belt  of swampy sand, where I sank several times  above the ankle, before  I
came to the edge of the retreating water, and wading a little  way in,  with
some strength and dexterity, set my coracle, keel downwards, on the surface.
     23. The Ebb-tide Runs
     THE coracle - as I had  ample reason to know before I was done with her
- was a very safe boat  for a person  of my  height and weight, both buoyant
and clever in a sea-way; but she was the most cross-grained, lop-sided craft
to  manage.  Do as  you pleased, she  always made  more leeway than anything
else, and turning round and round was  the manoeuvre she was  best  at. Even
Ben Gunn himself has admitted  that she was  "queer to handle till you  knew
her way."
     Certainly I did not know her way. She turned in every direction but the
one I was bound to go; the most part of the time we were broadside on, and I
am very  sure I never should have made the ship at all but for the  tide. By
good fortune,  paddle as I pleased, the tide was still sweeping me down; and
there  lay the  HISPANIOLA right in the fairway,  hardly to be missed. First
she loomed  before me like a  blot  of something  yet blacker than darkness,
then her  spars and  hull began  to  take shape, and the next moment,  as it
seemed (for, the farther I went, the brisker grew the current of the ebb), I
was alongside of her hawser and had laid  hold. The  hawser was as taut as a
bowstring, and the current so strong she  pulled upon  her anchor. All round
the hull, in the blackness, the rippling  current bubbled and chattered like
a little mountain stream. One cut with my sea-gully and the HISPANIOLA would
go humming down the tide.
     So  far so good, but it  next  occurred to my recollection that a  taut
hawser, suddenly cut,  is a thing as  dangerous as a  kicking horse.  Ten to
one, if I were so foolhardy as to cut the HISPANIOLA from her anchor,  I and
the coracle would be knocked clean out of the water.
     This  brought  me  to  a  full  stop,  and  if  fortune had  not  again
particularly favoured  me, I should have had to abandon my  design. But  the
light  airs which had begun blowing from the south-east and south had hauled
round after nightfall into the  south-west. Just  while I was  meditating, a
puff came, caught the HISPANIOLA, and forced her up into the current; and to
my great joy, I felt the hawser slacken in my grasp, and the hand by which I
held it dip for a second under water.
     With that I  made my  mind up,  took out  my  gully, opened it with  my
teeth, and cut one strand after another, till the  vessel swung only by two.
Then I lay quiet, waiting to sever these last when the strain should be once
more lightened by a breath of wind.
     All this time I had heard the sound of loud voices  from the cabin, but
to say truth, my mind had been so entirely taken up with other thoughts that
I had scarcely  given ear. Now,  however, when I had nothing else  to  do, I
began to pay more heed.
     One I  recognized  for the  coxswain's,  Israel Hands,  that  had  been
Flint's gunner in former days. The other  was, of  course, my friend  of the
red night-cap. Both men were plainly the worse of drink, and they were still
drinking, for even while  I was listening, one  of them, with a drunken cry,
opened the stern window and  threw  out something, which I divined  to be an
empty bottle.  But  they were not  only  tipsy; it was plain  that they were
furiously angry. Oaths flew like  hailstones,  and  every now and then there
came forth such an explosion as I thought was sure to end in blows. But each
time the quarrel passed off and the voices grumbled lower for a while, until
the next crisis came and in its turn passed away without result.
     On shore, I  could see  the glow of the great camp-fire burning  warmly
through  the shore-side trees.  Someone was singing, a  dull,  old,  droning
sailor's song, with a droop and a quaver  at the  end  of  every  verse, and
seemingly no end to it at all but the patience of the singer. I had heard it
on the voyage more than once and remembered these words:
     "But one man of her crew alive, What put to sea with seventy-five."
     And  I thought it was  a ditty rather too dolefully appropriate  for  a
company that  had  met  such cruel losses  in the morning. But, indeed, from
what I saw, all these buccaneers were as callous as the sea they sailed on.
     At  last the breeze came; the schooner sidled  and drew  nearer in  the
dark;  I  felt the hawser slacken once more, and  with a good, tough effort,
cut the last fibres through.
     The breeze  had but  little  action  on the coracle,  and  I was almost
instantly swept against  the bows of the HISPANIOLA.  At  the same time, the
schooner began to turn  upon  her heel, spinning slowly, end for end, across
the current.
     I wrought  like a fiend, for I expected every moment to be swamped; and
since I found  I could not  push the  coracle  directly  off,  I now  shoved
straight astern. At length I was clear  of my dangerous neighbour,  and just
as  I gave  the last impulsion, my hands came across a  light cord  that was
trailing overboard across the stern bulwarks. Instantly I grasped it.
     Why  I  should  have done  so  I can hardly  say. It was at  first mere
instinct, but  once I had it in my hands  and found it fast, curiosity began
to get  the upper hand, and I determined I should have one look through  the
cabin window.
     I pulled in hand over  hand on the cord,  and when I judged myself near
enough, rose at infinite risk to about half my height and thus commanded the
roof and a slice of the interior of the cabin.
     By this time  the schooner and her little consort were  gliding  pretty
swiftly through the water; indeed, we had already fetched up  level with the
camp-fire.  The  ship  was  talking,  as  sailors say,  loudly, treading the
innumerable ripples with an incessant weltering splash;  and  until I got my
eye above the window-sill I could not comprehend why  the watchmen had taken
no  alarm. One glance,  however,  was sufficient; and it was only one glance
that I durst take from  that  unsteady skiff. It  showed me  Hands  and  his
companion  locked together  in  deadly wrestle, each with  a  hand upon  the
other's  throat. I dropped upon the  thwart  again, none too soon, for I was
near overboard. I could see nothing for  the  moment but these  two furious,
encrimsoned faces swaying together under the  smoky lamp, and I shut my eyes
to let them grow once more familiar with the darkness.
     The endless ballad had come to an end at last, and the whole diminished
company about the camp-fire had broken into the chorus I had heard so often:
     "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest -
     Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
     Drink and the devil had done for the rest -
     Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
     I was just  thinking how busy  drink and the  devil were  at  that very
moment  in  the cabin of the HISPANIOLA,  when I was  surprised  by a sudden
lurch  of the coracle. At the  same moment, she yawed sharply and  seemed to
change her course. The speed in the meantime had strangely increased.
     I  opened my eyes  at  once. All round me  were little ripples, combing
over  with  a  sharp,  bristling  sound  and  slightly  phosphorescent.  The
HISPANIOLA herself, a few yards  in  whose wake  I was  still  being whirled
along, seemed to stagger  in her  course, and I saw her  spars toss a little
against the blackness of the night; nay, as I looked longer, I made sure she
also was wheeling to the southward.
     I glanced over my shoulder, and my heart jumped against my ribs. There,
right behind me, was  the glow of the camp-fire.  The  current had turned at
right angles, sweeping round along with it the  tall schooner and the little
dancing coracle;  ever  quickening,  ever  bubbling higher,  ever  muttering
louder, it went spinning through the narrows for the open sea.
     Suddenly  the  schooner in  front  of me gave  a violent  yaw, turning,
perhaps, through  twenty degrees; and almost at  the same  moment one  shout
followed another from on board; I could hear feet pounding on  the companion
ladder and I knew that  the  two  drunkards  had at last been interrupted in
their quarrel and awakened to a sense of their disaster.
     I  lay  down flat  in the  bottom of that  wretched  skiff and devoutly
recommended  my spirit to its Maker. At the end of  the straits, I made sure
we must fall into some bar of  raging  breakers, where all my troubles would
be ended speedily; and  though  I could,  perhaps, bear to die,  I could not
bear to look upon my fate as it approached. So  I  must have lain for hours,
continually beaten  to and fro upon the billows,  now and  again wetted with
flying sprays,  and  never  ceasing  to  expect  death at the  next  plunge.
Gradually  weariness grew upon me;  a numbness, an  occasional  stupor, fell
upon my mind even in the midst of my terrors, until sleep at last supervened
and in  my sea-tossed coracle I lay and dreamed of home and the old  Admiral
     24. The Cruise of the Coracle
     IT  was broad  day  when  I  awoke  and  found  myself tossing  at  the
south-west end of Treasure Island. The sun was  up but was still hid from me
behind the great  bulk of the Spy-glass, which on this side descended almost
to the sea in formidable cliffs.
     Haulbowline Head and Mizzen-mast  Hill  were at my elbow, the hill bare
and dark, the  head bound with  cliffs forty or  fifty feet high and fringed
with  great  masses of fallen  rock.  I was scarce  a  quarter of a mile  to
seaward, and it was my first thought to paddle in and land.
     That  notion was  soon given over. Among the  fallen rocks the breakers
spouted and bellowed; loud reverberations, heavy sprays  flying and falling,
succeeded one another from second to second; and I saw myself, if I ventured
nearer, dashed to death upon the rough shore or spending my strength in vain
to scale the beetling crags.
     Nor  was  that  all,  for  crawling together on flat  tables of rock or
letting themselves drop into the sea with loud reports  I beheld huge  slimy
monsters -  soft snails,  as  it were, of incredible bigness -  two or three
score of them together, making the rocks to echo with their barkings. I have
understood since that they were sea lions, and  entirely harmless.  But  the
look of  them,  added to the difficulty of the shore and the high running of
the surf, was  more than enough to disgust  me of that landing-place. I felt
willing rather to starve at sea than to confront such perils.
     In the meantime I had a better chance, as I supposed, before me.  North
of Haulbowline Head, the land runs in a long way, leaving at low tide a long
stretch of yellow sand. To  the  north  of that,  again, there comes another
cape - Cape of the Woods, as it  was marked upon the chart - buried  in tall
green pines, which descended to the margin of the sea.
     I remembered what Silver had said about the current that sets northward
along the whole west  coast of Treasure Island, and seeing  from my position
that I was  already under its  influence, I  preferred to leave  Haulbowline
Head  behind me and  reserve  my strength  for an attempt  to land  upon the
kindlier-looking Cape of the Woods.
     There was a great, smooth swell upon the sea.  The wind  blowing steady
and gentle from the  south, there  was no contrariety  between  that and the
current, and the billows rose and fell unbroken.
     Had it been otherwise, I must long ago have perished; but as it was, it
is surprising how easily and securely  my little and light  boat could ride.
Often, as I still lay at the  bottom and kept no more than an  eye above the
gunwale, I  would see  a big  blue summit  heaving  close above me;  yet the
coracle would but bounce  a little, dance  as if on springs, and  subside on
the other side into the trough as lightly as a bird.
     I began after a little  to grow very bold and sat up to try my skill at
paddling.  But even a  small change  in  the disposition of  the weight will
produce  violent changes in the behaviour of  a  coracle. And  I  had hardly
moved before the boat, giving up at once  her gentle  dancing movement,  ran
straight down a  slope of water so steep that  it made me  giddy, and struck
her nose, with a spout of spray, deep into the side of the next wave.
     I was drenched  and terrified,  and  fell  instantly  back into  my old
position, whereupon the coracle seemed to find her  head again and led me as
softly  as  before  among  the  billows.  It was plain she  was  not  to  be
interfered with,  and at  that  rate, since  I could in no way influence her
course, what hope had I left of reaching land?
     I began to be  horribly frightened, but I  kept my head, for all  that.
First,  moving with all care,  I gradually baled out  the  coracle  with  my
sea-cap; then, getting my eye once  more above the gunwale,  I set myself to
study how it was she managed to slip so quietly through the rollers.
     I found each wave, instead  of the big, smooth glossy mountain it looks
from shore or from a vessel's deck, was for all the world  like any range of
hills on dry land, full of peaks and smooth places and valleys. The coracle,
left  to herself, turning from side  to side, threaded, so to speak, her way
through  these lower parts and avoided the steep slopes and higher, toppling
summits of the wave.
     "Well, now," thought  I to  myself,  "it is plain I must lie where I am
and not disturb the balance; but it is  plain also that I can put the paddle
over  the side and from time to time, in  smooth places, give her a shove or
two towards  land."  No sooner  thought  upon  than  done. There I lay on my
elbows in the  most trying  attitude,  and  every  now and again gave a weak
stroke or two to turn her head to shore.
     It was very tiring and slow work, yet I did visibly gain ground; and as
we drew near the Cape of the Woods, though I saw I must infallibly miss that
point,  I had still made some hundred yards of easting. I was, indeed, close
in. I could see the cool green tree-tops swaying together in the breeze, and
I felt sure I should make the next promontory without fail.
     It was high time, for I now began to be tortured with thirst.  The glow
of  the  sun  from above,  its thousandfold reflection  from the  waves, the
sea-water  that  fell and  dried  upon me,  caking my  very  lips with salt,
combined to make my throat burn and my brain ache. The sight of the trees so
near at hand had almost made me sick with longing, but the current  had soon
carried me past the point, and as the next reach of sea opened out, I beheld
a sight that changed the nature of my thoughts.
     Right in front  of  me, not half a  mile away, I  beheld the HISPANIOLA
under  sail.  I made sure, of course, that  I should be  taken; but I was so
distressed for want of  water that I scarce knew whether to be glad or sorry
at the  thought,  and long  before I had come to a conclusion, surprise  had
taken entire possession of  my  mind and I  could  do  nothing but stare and
     The  HISPANIOLA was under her main-sail and two jibs, and the beautiful
white canvas shone in the sun like snow or silver. When I first sighted her,
all her sails were drawing; she was  lying  a course about north-west, and I
presumed  the men on board were going round the island on their way  back to
the anchorage.
     Presently she began to fetch more and more to  the westward, so  that I
thought they had sighted me and were going about in chase. At last, however,
she fell  right  into the wind's eye, was taken  dead aback, and stood there
awhile helpless, with her sails shivering.
     "Clumsy fellows," said  I;  "they must still be drunk  as owls."  And I
thought how Captain Smollett would have set them skipping.
     Meanwhile the schooner gradually fell off and filled again upon another
tack, sailed swiftly for a minute or  so,  and brought up  once more dead in
the wind's eye. Again and again was  this repeated. To and fro, up and down,
north, south, east, and  west,  the HISPANIOLA sailed by swoops and  dashes,
and at each repetition ended as she had begun, with idly flapping canvas. It
became plain to me that nobody  was steering. And if so, where were the men?
Either they were dead drunk or had deserted her, I thought, and perhaps if I
could get on board I might return the vessel to her captain.
     The current  was  bearing  coracle and  schooner southward at an  equal
rate. As for  the latter's sailing, it was so wild and intermittent, and she
hung each time so long in irons, that  she certainly gained nothing, if  she
did not even lose. If only I dared to sit up and paddle, I made sure that  I
could overhaul her. The scheme had an air of adventure that inspired me, and
the  thought of  the  water  breaker  beside the fore companion  doubled  my
growing courage.
     Up I got, was welcomed almost instantly  by another cloud of spray, but
this  time stuck  to my  purpose  and set myself, with  all  my strength and
caution, to paddle after the unsteered  HISPANIOLA.  Once I shipped a sea so
heavy that I had to stop and bail, with my heart fluttering like a bird, but
gradually I got into the way of the thing  and guided my coracle  among  the
waves, with only now and then a blow  upon her bows and a dash of foam in my
     I  was  now gaining rapidly on  the  schooner;  I could  see the  brass
glisten on the  tiller as it banged  about, and still  no soul appeared upon
her  decks. I could not choose but suppose she was deserted. If not, the men
were lying drunk below, where I might batten them down, perhaps, and do what
I chose with the ship.
     For some  time  she had  been  doing the worst  thing possible for me -
standing  still.  She headed  nearly due south, yawing,  of  course, all the
time. Each time she fell off, her sails partly filled, and these brought her
in a moment right to  the wind  again.  I have said this was the worst thing
possible for  me,  for  helpless  as she looked in this situation, with  the
canvas  cracking like  cannon and  the blocks trundling and  banging  on the
deck, she still continued to run away from  me,  not  only with the speed of
the current, but by the  whole  amount  of  her leeway, which was  naturally
     But now, at last, I  had my chance. The breeze fell  for  some seconds,
very  low, and the current gradually  turning her, the  HISPANIOLA  revolved
slowly  round her centre and at last presented me  her stern, with the cabin
window still gaping open and the lamp over  the table still burning  on into
the day. The  main-sail hung drooped like a banner. She was stock-still  but
for the current.
     For  the last  little  while  I had  even lost, but now  redoubling  my
efforts, I began once more to overhaul the chase.
     I was not a hundred yards from her when the wind came again in a  clap;
she filled on the port tack and was off again,  stooping and skimming like a
swallow. My first impulse was one of despair, but my second was towards joy.
Round  she came, till she was  broadside on to me - round still till she had
covered a half and  then two thirds and then three quarters of the  distance
that separated us. I could see the waves  boiling white under  her forefoot.
Immensely tall she looked to me from my low station in the coracle.
     And  then, of a sudden, I  began  to  comprehend. I had scarce time  to
think - scarce time to act and save myself. I was on the summit of one swell
when the  schooner came stooping over  the next.  The  bowsprit was  over my
head. I sprang to my feet and leaped, stamping the coracle under water. With
one hand I caught  the jib-boom,  while my  foot was lodged between the stay
and the brace; and as I still clung there panting,  a dull blow told me that
the schooner  had charged down upon  and  struck the coracle and  that I was
left without retreat on the HISPANIOLA.
     25. I Strike the Jolly Roger
     I  HAD scarce  gained a position on  the  bowsprit when the  flying jib
flapped and filled  upon  the  other  tack,  with a  report like a  gun. The
schooner trembled to  her keel under the reverse, but next moment, the other
sails still drawing, the jib  flapped  back again  and hung  idle.  This had
nearly  tossed me off  into the  sea; and  now I lost  no time, crawled back
along the bowsprit, and tumbled head foremost on the deck.
     I was  on the lee  side of the forecastle, and the main-sail, which was
still  drawing, concealed from me a certain portion of the after-deck. Not a
soul  was to be  seen.  The planks, which  had  not been  swabbed since  the
mutiny,  bore the print of  many  feet, and an empty  bottle, broken  by the
neck, tumbled to and fro like a live thing in the scuppers.
     Suddenly  the HISPANIOLA came right into the  wind. The jibs behind  me
cracked aloud, the rudder slammed to, the whole ship gave a  sickening heave
and shudder,  and at  the same moment the main-boom swung inboard, the sheet
groaning in the blocks, and showed me the lee after-deck. There were the two
watchmen, sure  enough:  red-cap on  his back, as stiff as a handspike, with
his  arms  stretched out  like those  of  a  crucifix  and his teeth showing
through his open lips;  Israel Hands propped against the bulwarks,  his chin
on  his chest, his hands  lying open  before  him on the deck, his  face  as
white, under its tan, as a tallow candle.
     For a while the ship kept bucking and sidling like a vicious horse, the
sails filling, now on one tack, now on another, and the boom swinging to and
fro  till the mast groaned  aloud under the strain. Now  and again too there
would come a cloud of light sprays over the bulwark and a heavy blow of  the
ship's bows against  the  swell;  so much heavier weather was made of it  by
this great  rigged ship than by my home-made, lop-sided coracle, now gone to
the bottom of the sea.
     At every jump of the schooner,  red-cap  slipped to and fro, but - what
was ghastly to behold  - neither his attitude nor his fixed teeth-disclosing
grin  was anyway  disturbed by this  rough usage.  At every jump  too, Hands
appeared still more to sink  into himself and settle down upon the deck, his
feet sliding ever the farther  out, and the  whole  body canting towards the
stern, so that his face became, little by little, hid from me; and at last I
could see nothing beyond his ear and the frayed ringlet of one whisker.
     At  the same time, I observed, around both  of  them, splashes  of dark
blood upon the planks and began to feel sure that they had killed each other
in their drunken wrath.
     While I was thus looking and wondering, in a calm moment, when the ship
was still, Israel  Hands turned partly round  and  with  a low  moan writhed
himself back to the position in which I had seen him first.  The moan, which
told  of pain and  deadly weakness, and the  way in which his jaw hung  open
went right to my heart.  But when I remembered the talk I had overheard from
the apple barrel, all pity left me.
     I walked aft until I reached the main-mast.
     "Come aboard, Mr. Hands," I said ironically.
     He  rolled his eyes round heavily, but he was too  far gone  to express
surprise. All he could do was to utter one word, "Brandy."
     It occurred to me there was no time to lose, and dodging the boom as it
once  more  lurched across the  deck, I slipped aft  and  down the companion
stairs  into the cabin.  It was such a scene of  confusion as you can hardly
fancy.  All the  lockfast places had been broken open in quest of the chart.
The floor was thick with mud where ruffians had sat down to drink or consult
after wading in the marshes round  their camp. The bulkheads, all painted in
clear  white and  beaded  round with gilt,  bore a pattern  of dirty  hands.
Dozens of empty  bottles clinked together  in corners to  the rolling of the
ship. One of the doctor's medical books lay open on  the  table, half of the
leaves gutted out, I suppose, for pipelights. In the  midst of all  this the
lamp still cast a smoky glow, obscure and brown as umber.
     I went into the cellar; all the barrels were gone, and of the bottles a
most surprising number had  been drunk out and thrown away. Certainly, since
the  mutiny began, not a man of  them  could ever  have been sober. Foraging
about, I found a bottle  with some brandy left,  for Hands; and for myself I
routed out some biscuit, some pickled fruits,  a great bunch of raisins, and
a piece of cheese. With these I came on deck,  put  down my own stock behind
the rudder head and well out  of the coxswain's  reach, went forward  to the
water-breaker, and had  a good  deep drink of water, and  then, and not till
then, gave Hands the brandy.
     He must have drunk a gill before he took the bottle from his mouth.
     "Aye," said he, "by thunder, but I wanted some o' that!"
     I had sat down already in my own corner and begun to eat.
     "Much hurt?" I asked him.
     He grunted, or rather, I might say, he barked.
     "If that doctor was aboard," he  said, "I'd be right enough in a couple
of turns, but I don't have no manner of luck, you see, and that's what's the
matter with  me.  As  for that  swab, he's good and dead, he  is," he added,
indicating the man with the red  cap. "He warn't no seaman anyhow. And where
mought you have come from?"
     "Well,"  said I, "I've come aboard to take possession of this ship, Mr.
Hands; and you'll please regard me as your captain until further notice."
     He looked at me sourly enough but said nothing. Some of  the colour had
come back  into  his cheeks,  though  he  still looked very  sick  and still
continued to slip out and settle down as the ship banged about.
     "By the by,"  I continued, "I can't have these colours, Mr. Hands;  and
by your leave, I'll strike 'em. Better none than these."
     And again  dodging the  boom, I ran  to  the colour lines, handed  down
their cursed black flag, and chucked it overboard.
     "God save  the king!" said  I, waving  my cap. "And  there's an end  to
Captain Silver!"
     He watched me keenly and slyly, his chin all the while on his breast.
     "I reckon,"  he said at last, "I reckon, Cap'n Hawkins, you'll kind  of
want to get ashore now. S'pose we talks."
     "Why, yes," says I, "with all my heart, Mr.  Hands. Say on." And I went
back to my meal with a good appetite.
     "This man," he began, nodding feebly at the corpse " - O'Brien were his
name, a rank Irelander - this man and me got the canvas on her,  meaning for
to sail her back. Well,  HE'S  dead now, he is - as dead as bilge; and who's
to sail this ship, I  don't see. Without  I gives you a hint, you ain't that
man, as far's  I can tell. Now, look here, you gives me food and drink and a
old  scarf or ankecher to tie my wound up, you do, and I'll tell you  how to
tail her, and that's about square all round, I take it."
     "I'll tell  you  one thing,"  says I: "I'm not  going  back  to Captain
Kidd's anchorage. I  mean to  get  into North  Inlet  and  beach her quietly
     "To be sure you did," he  cried. "Why, I ain't sich an infernal  lubber
after all. I can see, can't I? I've tried  my fling, I  have, and I've lost,
and it's  you has the wind of me. North Inlet? Why, I haven't no ch'ice, not
I! I'd help you sail her up to Execution Dock, by thunder! So I would."
     Well, as it seemed to me, there was  some sense in this.  We struck our
bargain  on  the spot. In three minutes I had the HISPANIOLA sailing  easily
before  the  wind along  the coast of  Treasure  Island, with good hopes  of
turning the  northern point  ere noon and beating down again as far as North
Inlet before high water, when we  might beach  her safely and wait  till the
subsiding tide permitted us to land.
     Then I lashed the tiller and went below  to my own chest, where I got a
soft  silk handkerchief of my mother's. With  this,  and with my aid,  Hands
bound up the great bleeding stab he had received in the thigh, and after  he
had eaten a little and had a swallow or two  more of the brandy, he began to
pick up visibly, sat straighter up, spoke louder and clearer,  and looked in
every way another man.
     The breeze served us admirably.  We skimmed before it like  a bird, the
coast of the island flashing by and the view changing  every minute. Soon we
were past the high  lands and bowling  beside low,  sandy  country, sparsely
dotted with  dwarf pines, and soon we  were beyond that again and had turned
the corner of the rocky hill that ends the island on the north.
     I was greatly  elated with my new command, and pleased with the bright,
sunshiny  weather  and  these  different prospects of the  coast. I had  now
plenty of water and good things to eat, and my conscience, which had smitten
me hard for my desertion, was quieted by the great  conquest  I had made.  I
should, I think, have had nothing left me to desire but for the  eyes of the
coxswain as they followed  me  derisively about the deck and the  odd  smile
that appeared  continually on  his face.  It was  a  smile that  had  in  it
something  both of pain and  weakness - a haggard old man's smile; but there
was, besides  that,  a grain  of derision,  a  shadow  of  treachery, in his
expression as he craftily watched, and watched, and watched me at my work.
     26. Israel Hands
     THE  wind,  serving us to  a desire, now hauled into the west. We could
run so much the easier from the north-east corner of the island to the mouth
of  the North Inlet. Only, as we had no power to anchor  and dared not beach
her till the  tide had flowed  a good deal  farther, time hung on our hands.
The coxswain told  me how to lay  the  ship to; after a good  many  trials I
succeeded, and we both sat in silence over another meal.
     "Cap'n," said he at length with that  same uncomfortable smile, "here's
my old  shipmate,  O'Brien;  s'pose you was to  heave him overboard. I ain't
partic'lar as a rule, and I don't take no blame for settling his hash, but I
don't reckon him ornamental now, do you?"
     "I'm not  strong enough, and I don't like the job; and  there he  lies,
for me," said I.
     "This  here's an unlucky  ship,  this  HISPANIOLA,  Jim,"  he went  on,
blinking. "There's a power of men been killed  in this HISPANIOLA - a  sight
o' poor seamen dead  and gone since you and me took ship to Bristol. I never
seen  sich  dirty luck, not I.  There was this here O'Brien now - he's dead,
ain't he? Well now, I'm no scholar, and you're a lad as can read and figure,
and to put it straight, do you take it as a dead man is dead for good, or do
he come alive again?"
     "You  can kill the  body,  Mr. Hands, but not the spirit; you must know
that already,"  I  replied. "O'Brien there is in another  world, and  may be
watching us."
     "Ah!"  says  he. "Well,  that's  unfort'nate  - appears  as if  killing
parties was a waste of time.  Howsomever, sperrits don't reckon for much, by
what I've seen. I'll chance it with the sperrits, Jim. And now, you've spoke
up free, and I'll take it  kind if you'd step down into that there cabin and
get me a - well, a - shiver my timbers!  I  can't  hit the name on 't; well,
you get me a bottle of wine,  Jim  -  this here brandy's  too strong for  my
     Now, the coxswain's  hesitation seemed to  be unnatural, and as for the
notion  of  his preferring wine to brandy,  I entirely  disbelieved  it. The
whole  story was a pretext. He  wanted me to  leave the deck  - so  much was
plain; but with what purpose I  could  in no way imagine. His eyes never met
mine; they  kept wandering to  and fro, up and down, now with a  look to the
sky, now with a flitting glance upon the  dead O'Brien. All the time he kept
smiling and putting his  tongue out in  the most guilty, embarrassed manner,
so that a  child could  have told that he was bent on some deception.  I was
prompt  with my answer, however, for I saw where my  advantage  lay and that
with a fellow so  densely stupid I could easily conceal my suspicions to the
     "Some wine?" I said. "Far better. Will you have white or red?"
     "Well,  I  reckon  it's about  the  blessed  same to  me, shipmate," he
replied; "so it's strong, and plenty of it, what's the odds?"
     "All right," I answered. "I'll bring you port, Mr. Hands. But I'll have
to dig for it."
     With  that I scuttled  down  the companion with all the noise I  could,
slipped  off  my  shoes, ran  quietly along the sparred gallery, mounted the
forecastle ladder, and popped my head out of  the  fore companion. I knew he
would not expect to see me there, yet I took  every precaution possible, and
certainly the worst of my suspicions proved too true.
     He had risen from  his position to his hands and knees, and  though his
leg obviously hurt him  pretty sharply when  he moved - for I could hear him
stifle a groan - yet it was at a good, rattling rate that he trailed himself
across the deck. In  half a minute  he  had reached  the port  scuppers  and
picked, out  of  a  coil of  rope,  a long  knife, or  rather a short  dirk,
discoloured  to  the  hilt  with  blood.  He looked upon  it  for  a moment,
thrusting forth  his under  jaw, tried the  point  upon his hand, and  then,
hastily concealing it  in the bosom of his  jacket, trundled back again into
his old place  against the  bulwark. This was all  that I required to  know.
Israel could  move  about,  he was now armed, and if he  had been at so much
trouble to get rid of me, it  was plain  that I was meant  to be the victim.
What he would do afterwards - whether he would try to crawl right across the
island from  North  Inlet to the  camp among the  swamps or whether he would
fire Long Tom, trusting that his own comrades might come first to help him -
was, of course, more than I could say.
     Yet I felt sure that I could trust him in one point, since in that  our
interests jumped together, and that was in the disposition of  the schooner.
We both desired to have her stranded safe  enough, in a sheltered place, and
so  that,  when  the  time came, she could  be got off again  with as little
labour and danger  as might be; and until that was done I considered that my
life would certainly be spared.
     While I was  thus turning the business over in my mind,  I had not been
idle with my body. I had stolen back to the cabin, slipped once more into my
shoes,  and  laid my hand at random on a bottle of wine,  and now, with this
for an excuse, I  made my reappearance on the deck. Hands lay  as I had left
him, all fallen  together in a bundle and with his eyelids lowered as though
he  were too weak  to bear  the light. He looked up, however, at  my coming,
knocked  the  neck off  the  bottle like a  man who had done  the same thing
often, and took a good swig, with his favourite toast of "Here's luck!" Then
he lay quiet for a little, and then, pulling out  a stick of tobacco, begged
me to cut him a quid.
     "Cut  me  a junk o' that," says he, "for I haven't no knife  and hardly
strength enough, so be as  I had. Ah, Jim, Jim, I  reckon I've missed stays!
Cut me a quid,  as'll likely be the last, lad, for I'm for my long home, and
no mistake."
     "Well,"  said I,  "I'll  cut you some  tobacco,  but if I  was you  and
thought myself so badly, I would go to my prayers like a Christian man."
     "Why?" said he. "Now, you tell me why."
     "Why?"  I cried. "You were asking me just  now about  the dead.  You've
broken your trust; you've lived in sin and lies and blood; there's a man you
killed lying at your feet this moment, and you ask me  why! For God's mercy,
Mr. Hands, that's why."
     I spoke with a little heat,  thinking of the bloody  dirk he had hidden
in his pocket and designed, in his ill thoughts, to end me with. He, for his
part,  took a  great  draught of the  wine  and spoke with  the most unusual
     "For thirty years," he said,  "I've sailed the  seas  and seen good and
bad, better and worse, fair weather and foul, provisions running out, knives
going,  and  what not. Well, now  I  tell you,  I never seen  good  come  o'
goodness yet. Him  as strikes first is my fancy; dead men don't bite; them's
my  views  -  amen, so be it. And  now, you look  here," he  added, suddenly
changing his tone, "we've had about enough of  this foolery. The tide's made
good enough by now. You just take  my orders, Cap'n Hawkins, and we'll  sail
slap in and be done with it."
     All  told,  we had  scarce  two miles  to  run; but the navigation  was
delicate, the  entrance  to this northern anchorage was not only narrow  and
shoal, but lay east and west, so that the schooner must be nicely handled to
be  got in. I  think I was a good, prompt subaltern, and I am very sure that
Hands was  an excellent pilot, for  we  went about and  about and dodged in,
shaving the banks, with  a certainty and a neatness that were a  pleasure to
     Scarcely had  we passed the heads before the land closed around us. The
shores  of  North Inlet  were  as thickly wooded  as those  of  the southern
anchorage,  but the space was  longer and  narrower and  more like,  what in
truth it was, the estuary  of a river. Right before us, at the southern end,
we saw the wreck of a ship in the last stages of dilapidation. It had been a
great vessel of three masts but had lain so long exposed to the injuries  of
the weather that it was hung about with great webs  of dripping seaweed, and
on the  deck of it shore bushes had taken root and now flourished thick with
flowers. It was a sad sight, but it showed us that the anchorage was calm.
     "Now," said Hands, "look there; there's  a pet bit for to beach  a ship
in. Fine  flat sand, never  a cat's paw, trees all around of it, and flowers
a-blowing like a garding on that old ship."
     "And once beached," I inquired, "how shall we get her off again?"
     "Why, so," he replied: "you take  a line ashore there on the other side
at low water, take a turn about one of them big pines; bring it back, take a
turn around the capstan, and lie to for the tide. Come high water, all hands
take a pull upon the line, and off  she comes as sweet as  natur'. And  now,
boy, you stand by.  We're near the bit now,  and she's  too much way on her.
Starboard a little - so - steady -  starboard - larboard a little - steady -
     So he issued his  commands, which I breathlessly obeyed, till, all of a
sudden, he cried, "Now,  my hearty, luff!" And  I put the  helm hard up, and
the  HISPANIOLA  swung round rapidly  and ran stem  on for  the low,  wooded
     The  excitement of  these last manoeuvres had somewhat  interfered with
the watch I had kept hitherto, sharply enough, upon the  coxswain. Even then
I was still  so much  interested, waiting for the ship to touch,  that I had
quite forgot the peril  that hung  over my  head and stood  craning over the
starboard bulwarks and watching the ripples  spreading wide before the bows.
I  might  have  fallen  without a struggle for  my life  had  not  a  sudden
disquietude seized upon me  and made me turn my head. Perhaps  I had heard a
creak or  seen his shadow moving  with the tail of my eye; perhaps it was an
instinct like a  cat's;  but,  sure  enough,  when I looked round, there was
Hands, already half-way towards me, with the dirk in his right hand.
     We must both have cried out aloud when our eyes met, but while mine was
the shrill cry of terror, his was a roar of fury like a charging bully's. At
the same instant, he threw himself forward and I leapt  sideways towards the
bows. As I  did so,  I let go of the tiller, which  sprang sharp to leeward,
and I  think this  saved my  life, for it  struck Hands across the chest and
stopped him, for the moment, dead.
     Before he could recover, I  was safe out of the  corner where he had me
trapped, with all the deck to  dodge about. Just forward of the  main-mast I
stopped,  drew a pistol  from  my pocket, took  a  cool aim, though  he  had
already turned and was  once  more coming directly  after me, and  drew  the
trigger.  The  hammer fell, but  there followed neither flash nor sound; the
priming was useless with sea-water.  I cursed myself for my neglect. Why had
not I, long before, reprimed and reloaded my only weapons? Then I should not
have  been as  now, a mere fleeing  sheep before this butcher. Wounded as he
was, it was wonderful  how  fast  he could move,  his grizzled hair tumbling
over his face, and his face itself as red as a red ensign with his haste and
fury. I had no time to try my other pistol, nor indeed much inclination, for
I was sure it would be useless. One thing  I  saw plainly: I must not simply
retreat  before him, or he would speedily  hold me boxed into the bows, as a
moment since he  had so  nearly boxed me in the stern.  Once so caught,  and
nine or ten inches of the blood-stained dirk would be my last  experience on
this side of eternity. I placed my palms against the main-mast, which was of
a goodish bigness, and waited, every nerve upon the stretch.
     Seeing that  I meant  to dodge, he  also paused; and  a  moment or  two
passed in feints on his  part  and corresponding movements upon mine. It was
such a  game as  I had  often  played at home about the rocks of  Black Hill
Cove, but never before, you may be sure, with such a wildly beating heart as
now. Still, as I say, it was a boy's game, and I thought I could hold my own
at it  against an elderly seaman with a wounded thigh. Indeed my courage had
begun to rise so high that  I allowed myself a few darting  thoughts on what
would be the end of the affair, and while I saw certainly that  I could spin
it out for long, I saw no hope of any ultimate escape.
     Well,  while  things  stood  thus,   suddenly  the  HISPANIOLA  struck,
staggered,  ground for an instant in the  sand, and then, swift as  a  blow,
canted over to the port side till the deck stood at  an angle  of forty-five
degrees and about  a puncheon of  water splashed into the scupper holes  and
lay, in a pool, between the deck and bulwark. We were both of us capsized in
a  second, and  both of  us rolled, almost  together, into the scuppers, the
dead red-cap, with his  arms still spread out, tumbling stiffly after us. So
near were we, indeed, that  my head came against the coxswain's  foot with a
crack that made my teeth rattle. Blow and  all, I was the first afoot again,
for Hands  had  got involved with  the dead body. The sudden  canting of the
ship had made the deck no place for running on; I had  to  find some new way
of escape, and that upon  the  instant, for  my foe was  almost touching me.
Quick as thought,  I  sprang into the mizzen shrouds, rattled  up hand  over
hand, and did not draw a breath  till I was seated on the cross-trees. I had
been saved by being prompt; the dirk had  struck not half a foot below me as
I pursued my upward flight; and there stood Israel Hands with his mouth open
and  his  face  upturned  to  mine,  a  perfect  statue  of   surprise   and
     Now  that I  had a  moment  to myself,  I lost no time in changing  the
priming  of my pistol, and then, having one  ready for service, and  to make
assurance  doubly  sure, I  proceeded  to draw the  load  of  the  other and
recharge it afresh from the beginning.
     My new employment struck Hands all of a heap; he began to see the  dice
going against him, and after an obvious hesitation, he also  hauled  himself
heavily into the shrouds, and with  the  dirk in his teeth, began slowly and
painfully  to mount. It  cost  him  no end of  time and groans to  haul  his
wounded leg behind him, and I had quietly finished my arrangements before he
was  much more than a  third of the way  up. Then,  with a pistol in  either
hand, I addressed him.
     "One more step,  Mr. Hands," said I,  "and I'll blow your  brains  out!
Dead men don't bite, you know," I added with a chuckle.
     He stopped instantly. I  could see by the working of his face  that  he
was trying to  think, and the process was so slow and laborious  that, in my
new-found  security,  I  laughed aloud. At last, with a swallow or  two,  he
spoke, his face still wearing the  same expression of extreme perplexity. In
order to speak he had to take the dagger from his mouth, but in all  else he
remained unmoved.
     "Jim," says  he, "I reckon  we're fouled, you and me, and we'll have to
sign articles. I'd have  had you but for that there lurch,  but I don't have
no luck, not I; and I reckon I'll have to strike, which comes hard, you see,
for a master mariner to a ship's younker like you, Jim."
     I was drinking in  his words and smiling away,  as conceited as a  cock
upon a  wall, when, all  in  a  breath, back went  his right  hand over  his
shoulder.  Something sang like an arrow through the  air; I felt a  blow and
then a sharp pang,  and there  I was pinned by the shoulder  to the mast. In
the horrid pain and surprise of  the moment - I  scarce can say it was by my
own volition, and I am sure it was without a conscious aim - both my pistols
went off, and both escaped out of  my hands. They did not fall alone; with a
choked cry, the  coxswain loosed his grasp upon the shrouds and plunged head
first into the water.
     27. "Pieces of Eight"
     OWING to the cant of the vessel, the masts hung far out over the water,
and from my perch on the cross-trees  I had nothing below me but the surface
of the bay. Hands, who was not so far up,  was  in consequence nearer to the
ship and fell between me and  the bulwarks. He rose once to the surface in a
lather of foam and blood and then sank again for good. As the water settled,
I could  see  him lying huddled together  on  the clean,  bright sand in the
shadow of  the vessel's  sides.  A  fish  or  two  whipped  past  his  body.
Sometimes, by the quivering of  the water, he appeared to move a  little, as
if he were trying to  rise. But he was dead enough, for all that, being both
shot  and  drowned, and was  food  for fish  in the very place  where he had
designed my slaughter.
     I  was no sooner  certain of this than I began to feel sick, faint, and
terrified. The hot blood was running over my back and chest. The dirk, where
it had pinned my  shoulder to the mast, seemed to burn like a hot iron;  yet
it was not so much these real sufferings that  distressed me, for  these, it
seemed to me, I could bear without a murmur; it was the horror I had upon my
mind of falling from the cross-trees into that still green water, beside the
body of the coxswain.
     I  clung with  both hands till my nails ached, and I shut my eyes as if
to cover up the peril. Gradually my mind came back again, my  pulses quieted
down to a more natural time, and I was once more in possession of myself.
     It was my first thought  to pluck forth the dirk,  but either  it stuck
too hard or my nerve failed me, and I desisted with a violent shudder. Oddly
enough, that very shudder did the business. The knife, in fact, had come the
nearest in the world to missing me altogether; it held me by a mere pinch of
skin, and this the shudder tore  away. The blood ran down the faster, to  be
sure, but I was my own master again and only tacked to the mast by  my  coat
and shirt.
     These last I broke through with a  sudden jerk,  and then  regained the
deck by  the starboard shrouds.  For nothing in the world would I have again
ventured, shaken as  I  was, upon  the  overhanging port shrouds from  which
Israel had so lately fallen.
     I went below  and did  what I could for  my wound; it pained  me a good
deal and still bled freely, but it was neither deep nor dangerous,  nor  did
it  greatly gall me  when I used my arm. Then I looked around me, and as the
ship was now, in a sense, my  own, I began to  think of clearing it from its
last passenger - the dead man, O'Brien.
     He had pitched, as I have said, against the bulwarks, where he lay like
some horrible, ungainly sort of puppet, life-size, indeed, but how different
from life's  colour or life's comeliness! In  that  position I could  easily
have my way with him, and as the habit  of tragical  adventures had worn off
almost all my terror for the dead, I took him by the waist as if he had been
a sack of bran and with one good  heave,  tumbled him overboard. He went  in
with  a sounding plunge; the red cap came off  and remained floating  on the
surface; and as  soon as the  splash  subsided,  I  could see him and Israel
lying side by side, both wavering with the tremulous  movement of the water.
O'Brien, though still quite a young man, was very bald. There  he  lay, with
that bald head across the knees of  the man who had killed him and the quick
fishes steering to and fro over both.
     I  was now alone upon the ship; the tide had  just  turned. The sun was
within so few  degrees of setting that already the shadow  of the pines upon
the  western shore  began to  reach  right across  the anchorage and fall in
patterns on  the deck. The evening breeze had  sprung up, and  though it was
well warded off  by the hill  with the two peaks  upon the east, the cordage
had begun to sing a little softly  to itself and the idle sails to rattle to
and fro.
     I began to see  a danger  to the ship. The  jibs I  speedily doused and
brought tumbling to the deck,  but  the main-sail  was a harder  matter.  Of
course, when the schooner canted over, the boom had swung out-board, and the
cap of it and a foot or  two of sail  hung  even under water. I thought this
made it still more dangerous; yet the strain was so heavy that I half feared
to meddle. At last I got  my knife and cut the  halyards.  The  peak dropped
instantly,  a great belly of loose canvas floated broad upon  the water, and
since, pull as I liked, I could not budge the downhall, that was  the extent
of what I could accomplish. For the rest, the HISPANIOLA must trust to luck,
like myself.
     By this time  the whole anchorage  had fallen  into  shadow -  the last
rays, I remember, falling through a  glade of the wood and shining bright as
jewels on  the flowery mantle of  the  wreck. It began to be chill; the tide
was rapidly fleeting  seaward, the schooner settling more  and  more on  her
     I scrambled  forward  and  looked over. It  seemed  shallow enough, and
holding the  cut hawser in both hands for a last security, I let myself drop
softly overboard. The water scarcely reached my waist; the sand was firm and
covered with ripple marks, and I waded ashore  in great spirits, leaving the
HISPANIOLA on her side, with her main-sail trailing wide upon the surface of
the  bay.  About  the  same  time, the  sun went fairly down and  the breeze
whistled low in the dusk among  the tossing pines. At  least, and at last, I
was off  the sea,  nor  had I returned  thence empty-handed.  There lay  the
schooner, clear at last  from buccaneers and ready  for our own men to board
and get to sea again. I had  nothing nearer my fancy than to get home to the
stockade and boast of my achievements. Possibly I might  be blamed a bit for
my truantry, but the recapture of the HISPANIOLA was a clenching answer, and
I hoped that even Captain Smollett would confess I had not lost my time.
     So thinking, and in famous spirits, I began to set my face homeward for
the block house and  my companions. I  remembered that  the most easterly of
the rivers which drain into Captain Kidd's anchorage ran from the two-peaked
hill upon my left,  and I bent my course in that direction that I might pass
the stream while it  was small. The wood  was pretty open, and keeping along
the  lower spurs, I had soon  turned the corner of that hill,  and not  long
after waded to the mid-calf across the watercourse. This brought me  near to
where   I   had  encountered  Ben  Gunn,  the  maroon;  and  I  walked  more
circumspectly,  keeping an eye  on every side. The dusk had come  nigh  hand
completely, and as I opened out the cleft between  the  two peaks,  I became
aware of a wavering glow against the sky, where, as I judged, the man of the
island was cooking his supper before a roaring fire. And yet I  wondered, in
my heart, that he should show himself so careless.  For if I could  see this
radiance, might it not reach the eyes of Silver himself where he camped upon
the shore among the marshes?
     Gradually the night fell blacker; it was all I could do to guide myself
even roughly towards  my  destination;  the double  hill  behind me  and the
Spy-glass on  my right hand loomed faint and fainter; the stars were few and
pale;  and  in the low ground where  I wandered I kept tripping among bushes
and rolling into sandy pits. Suddenly a kind of brightness fell about  me. I
looked up; a pale glimmer of moonbeams had  alighted  on  the summit  of the
Spy-glass, and soon after I  saw something broad and silvery moving low down
behind the trees, and knew the moon had risen.
     With this to  help me, I passed rapidly over what remained  to me of my
journey, and sometimes  walking, sometimes running, impatiently drew near to
the stockade. Yet, as I began to thread the grove that lies before it, I was
not so thoughtless  but  that I slacked my pace and went a trifle warily. It
would have been a poor end of my adventures to get shot down by my own party
in mistake.
     The moon was  climbing higher and higher, its light began to  fall here
and there in masses through the more open districts  of the wood, and  right
in front of me a glow of a different colour appeared among the trees. It was
red and hot, and now  and again it  was a little darkened - as  it were, the
embers  of a  bonfire smouldering. For the life of me I could not think what
it might be. At last I came right down upon the borders of the clearing. The
western end was already steeped in moon-shine; the rest, and the block house
itself, still lay in a  black shadow chequered with  long silvery streaks of
light. On the other side of the house an immense fire had burned itself into
clear embers and  shed a steady, red reverberation, contrasted strongly with
the mellow paleness  of the moon. There was not a  soul stirring nor a sound
beside the noises of the  breeze. I stopped, with much  wonder in my  heart,
and perhaps a little  terror  also. It had not  been our way to  build great
fires;  we  were,  indeed, by  the  captain's orders, somewhat niggardly  of
firewood, and  I  began to  fear that something had gone  wrong  while I was
absent. I stole round by the eastern  end, keeping close in shadow, and at a
convenient place, where the darkness was thickest, crossed the palisade.
     To make  assurance surer, I  got  upon my hands and knees  and crawled,
without a sound, towards the corner of the house. As I drew nearer, my heart
was suddenly and greatly  lightened. It is not a pleasant  noise  in itself,
and I  have often complained of it at other times, but just then it was like
music  to hear my  friends snoring together so loud  and  peaceful in  their
sleep. The sea-cry of the watch,  that  beautiful  "All's well,"  never fell
more reassuringly on my ear.
     In the meantime, there was no doubt of one thing; they kept an infamous
bad watch.  If  it had been Silver and his lads that were now creeping in on
them, not a soul would have seen daybreak.  That was what it was, thought I,
to have the captain wounded; and  again I  blamed myself sharply for leaving
them in that danger with so few to mount guard.
     By this time I had got  to the door  and stood up. All was dark within,
so that I could distinguish nothing by the eye. As for sounds, there was the
steady  drone of the snorers and a  small occasional  noise, a flickering or
pecking that I could in no way account for.
     With  my arms  before me I walked steadily in. I should lie down  in my
own place (I thought with a silent chuckle) and enjoy their  faces when they
found  me in  the  morning.  My  foot struck  something yielding - it  was a
sleeper's leg; and he turned and groaned, but without awaking. And then, all
of a sudden, a shrill voice broke forth out of the darkness:
     "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces  of  eight!  Pieces of eight!
Pieces of  eight!"  and so forth, without pause or change, like the clacking
of a tiny mill.
     Silver's green  parrot,  Captain  Flint!  It was  she whom I had  heard
pecking at a piece of  bark; it was she, keeping better watch than any human
being, who thus announced  my  arrival with her  wearisome refrain. I had no
time  left  me to recover.  At the sharp, clipping tone  of the parrot,  the
sleepers  awoke  and sprang up; and with a mighty oath, the voice  of Silver
cried, "Who goes?"
     I turned to run, struck violently against one person, recoiled, and ran
full into the arms  of  a second, who for his part  closed upon and held  me
     "Bring a torch, Dick," said Silver when my capture was thus assured.
     And  one  of the  men left the log-house and presently returned  with a
lighted brand.

     Captain Silver
     28. In the Enemy's Camp
     THE  red glare  of the torch, lighting up  the  interior  of the  block
house, showed me the worst of my apprehensions realized. The pirates were in
possession of the house and stores: there was the cask of cognac, there were
the pork and bread, as before, and  what  tenfold increased my horror, not a
sign of any prisoner. I could only judge that all had perished, and my heart
smote me sorely that I had not been there to perish with them.
     There were six of  the buccaneers,  all told; not  another man was left
alive. Five of them were on their feet, flushed and swollen, suddenly called
out of the first  sleep  of  drunkenness. The sixth had only risen upon  his
elbow; he was deadly pale, and the blood-stained bandage round his head told
that he  had recently  been  wounded, and  still more  recently  dressed.  I
remembered the man who had been shot and had run back among the woods in the
great attack, and doubted not that this was he. The parrot sat, preening her
plumage,  on Long  John's shoulder. He himself, I thought,  looked  somewhat
paler and more stern than I was used to. He still  wore the fine  broadcloth
suit in  which  he had fulfilled his mission, but it was  bitterly the worse
for wear, daubed with clay and torn with the sharp briers of the wood.
     "So," said  he,  "here's  Jim Hawkins,  shiver my timbers! Dropped  in,
like, eh? Well, come,  I take  that  friendly." And thereupon  he  sat  down
across the brandy cask and began to fill a pipe.
     "Give me a loan of the link,  Dick," said he; and then, when  he  had a
good light, "That'll do,  lad," he added; "stick the glim  in the wood heap;
and you,  gentlemen,  bring yourselves  to! You needn't  stand  up  for  Mr.
Hawkins; HE'LL excuse you, you may lay to that. And so, Jim" - stopping  the
tobacco - "here you were, and quite a pleasant surprise for poor old John. I
see you were smart when first I set  my eyes on you, but this here gets away
from me clean, it do."
     To all this, as may be well supposed, I made no answer. They had set me
with my back  against  the wall, and  I stood there,  looking  Silver in the
face,  pluckily  enough, I  hope, to all outward appearance,  but with black
despair in my heart.
     Silver took a whiff or two  of  his pipe with great  composure and then
ran on again.
     "Now, you see,  Jim, so be as you ARE here," says  he, "I'll give you a
piece of my mind.  I've always liked  you, I have, for a lad  of spirit, and
the picter of my own self when I was young and handsome. I always wanted you
to jine and take your share, and die a gentleman, and now,  my  cock, you've
got to. Cap'n Smollett's a fine seaman, as I'll own up to any day, but stiff
on  discipline. 'Dooty is dooty,' says he,  and right  he is. Just  you keep
clear of  the cap'n. The doctor himself is gone dead again you - 'ungrateful
scamp'  was what he said;  and  the short and the long of the whole story is
about here: you can't go back to  your own lot, for they won't have you; and
without you  start  a  third ship's company all by  yourself, which might be
lonely, you'll have to jine with Cap'n Silver."

     So far so good. My friends, then, were still alive, and though I partly
believed the truth of Silver's statement, that the cabin party were incensed
at me for my desertion, I was more relieved than distressed by what I heard.
     "I don't  say nothing as to your being in our hands," continued Silver,
"though there you are, and you may lay  to it. I'm all for argyment; I never
seen good come out o'  threatening. If  you like  the service,  well, you'll
jine;  and  if  you don't, Jim,  why, you're  free  to answer no  - free and
welcome, shipmate;  and if fairer can  be said by  mortal  seaman, shiver my
     "Am  I to  answer,  then?" I asked with a very tremulous voice. Through
all this sneering talk, I was made to feel the threat of death that overhung
me, and my cheeks burned and my heart beat painfully in my breast.
     "Lad,"  said Silver,  "no one's a-pressing of you.  Take your bearings.
None of us won't hurry you, mate; time goes so pleasant in your company, you
     "Well," says I, growing  a bit bolder,  "if I'm to choose, I declare  I
have a right to know what's what,  and why you're here, and where my friends
     "Wot's  wot?" repeated one of the buccaneers in a deep growl. "Ah, he'd
be a lucky one as knowed that!"
     "You'll perhaps  batten  down  your hatches  till you're  spoke to,  my
friend,"  cried Silver truculently to this speaker.  And  then, in his first
gracious tones, he replied to me, "Yesterday morning, Mr. Hawkins," said he,
"in the dog-watch, down came  Doctor  Livesey with a flag of truce. Says he,
'Cap'n Silver, you're sold out. Ship's gone.' Well, maybe we'd been taking a
glass,  and a song to help it round. I won't say no.  Leastways, none  of us
had looked  out. We looked  out,  and by  thunder, the old ship  was gone! I
never seen a pack o' fools look fishier; and you may lay to that, if I tells
you  that  looked the fishiest. 'Well,' says the doctor, 'let's bargain.' We
bargained,  him and  I, and here we are: stores,  brandy,  block  house, the
firewood you was thoughtful enough to cut,  and in a manner of speaking, the
whole  blessed  boat,  from  cross-trees to kelson.  As  for  them,  they've
tramped; I don't know where's they are."
     He drew again quietly at his pipe.
     "And  lest you should take it  into that head of  yours," he  went  on,
"that you was included in the treaty, here's  the last  word  that was said:
'How  many are you,' says I, 'to leave?' 'Four,' says  he; 'four, and one of
us wounded. As for that  boy, I don't know where he is,  confound him,' says
he, 'nor I don't much care. We're about sick of him.' These was his words.
     "Is that all?" I asked.
     "Well, it's all that you're to hear, my son," returned Silver.
     "And now I am to choose?"
     "And now you are to choose, and you may lay to that," said Silver.
     "Well," said  I, "I am not such a fool  but I  know pretty well what  I
have to look for. Let the worst come to  the worst, it's little I care. I've
seen too  many die since I fell in with  you. But there's  a thing or  two I
have to tell you," I said, and by this time I was quite  excited;  "and  the
first  is  this: here you are, in a bad way - ship lost, treasure lost,  men
lost, your  whole business gone to wreck; and if you want to know who did it
- it was I! I was in the apple barrel the night we sighted land, and I heard
you, John, and you, Dick Johnson, and Hands, who is now at the bottom of the
sea, and told every  word you said before the hour was out. And  as  for the
schooner, it  was I who cut her cable, and it was  I that killed the men you
had aboard of her,  and it was I who brought her where you'll never  see her
more,  not  one of you. The  laugh's on my  side;  I've had  the top of this
business from the first; I no  more fear you than I fear a fly. Kill  me, if
you please, or spare  me. But one thing I'll  say, and no more; if you spare
me, bygones are bygones,  and when you fellows are in court for piracy, I'll
save you  all I can. It is for you to choose. Kill another and do yourselves
no good, or spare me and keep a witness to save you from the gallows."
     I stopped, for, I tell you, I was out of breath, and  to my wonder, not
a man of them moved, but all sat staring at me like as many sheep. And while
they were still staring, I broke  out again,  "And now, Mr. Silver," I said,
"I  believe you're the best man here, and  if things go to the  worst,  I'll
take it kind of you to let the doctor know the way I took it."
     "I'll bear it in mind," said  Silver with an accent  so curious that  I
could not, for the life of me, decide whether he were laughing at my request
or had been favourably affected by my courage.
     "I'll put one to that," cried the old mahogany-faced seaman - Morgan by
name  - whom I  had  seen  in  Long John's  public-house upon  the  quays of
Bristol. "It was him that knowed Black Dog."
     "Well,  and see here,"  added the  sea-cook. "I'll put another again to
that, by thunder! For it was this  same boy that faked the chart from  Billy
Bones. First and last, we've split upon Jim Hawkins!"
     "Then here goes!" said Morgan with an oath.  And he sprang  up, drawing
his knife as if he had been twenty.
     "Avast,  there!"  cried  Silver.  "Who  are  you, Tom Morgan? Maybe you
thought you  was cap'n here, perhaps. By the  powers,  but  I'll  teach  you
better! Cross me, and you'll  go where  many  a good man's gone before  you,
first  and last,  these thirty year back - some to  the yard-arm,  shiver my
timbers, and some by the board, and all  to feed the fishes. There's never a
man looked me between the  eyes and seen a good day  a'terwards, Tom Morgan,
you may lay to that."
     Morgan paused, but a hoarse murmur rose from the others.
     "Tom's right," said one.
     "I stood hazing long enough from one," added  another.  "I'll be hanged
if I'll be hazed by you, John Silver."
     "Did  any of you gentlemen want to have it out with ME?" roared Silver,
bending  far forward from  his  position  on the keg,  with  his pipe  still
glowing in his right hand. "Put a name on  what you're at; you ain't dumb, I
reckon. Him that wants shall get it. Have I lived this many years, and a son
of a rum puncheon cock his hat athwart my hawse at the latter end of it? You
know the way; you're all  gentlemen o'  fortune, by your account. Well,  I'm
ready.  Take a  cutlass,  him  that  dares, and I'll see the colour  of  his
inside, crutch and all, before that pipe's empty."
     Not a man stirred; not a man answered.
     "That's your sort, is it?" he added, returning his  pipe to  his mouth.
"Well, you're  a  gay  lot  to look at, anyway. Not much worth to fight, you
ain't.  P'r'aps you can understand King George's  English. I'm cap'n here by
'lection.  I'm cap'n here because I'm the  best man by a long  sea-mile. You
won't fight, as gentlemen o' fortune should; then, by thunder, you'll  obey,
and you may lay to it! I  like that boy, now; I never seen a better boy than
that. He's more a man than any pair of rats  of you in this here  house, and
what I say is this: let me see him that'll lay a hand on him - that's what I
say, and you may lay to it."
     There was  a long  pause after this. I stood straight  up  against  the
wall, my heart still going like  a sledge-hammer, but with a ray of hope now
shining in my  bosom. Silver leant  back against the wall, his arms crossed,
his  pipe  in the corner of his mouth, as calm  as though  he  had  been  in
church; yet his eye kept wandering furtively, and he kept the  tail of it on
his unruly followers. They, on  their part,  drew gradually together towards
the far end of the block house, and the low hiss of their whispering sounded
in  my ear continuously, like a  stream. One  after another, they would look
up, and the red light of  the torch would fall for a second on their nervous
faces; but it  was not towards me, it was towards Silver  that  they  turned
their eyes.
     "You seem to have a lot to say," remarked Silver, spitting far into the
air. "Pipe up and let me hear it, or lay to."
     "Ax your pardon, sir," returned  one  of the men;  "you're  pretty free
with some of the rules; maybe you'll kindly keep an eye upon the  rest. This
crew's  dissatisfied;  this crew  don't vally  bullying a marlin-spike; this
crew has its rights like other crews, I'll make so free as that; and by your
own  rules,  I  take  it we  can  talk  together.  I ax  your  pardon,  sir,
acknowledging you  for to be capting at this  present; but I claim my right,
and steps outside for a council."
     And  with an  elaborate sea-salute, this  fellow, a long,  ill-looking,
yellow-eyed man of  five  and thirty, stepped  coolly towards  the door  and
disappeared out of  the  house.  One after  another  the  rest followed  his
example,  each making  a  salute  as  he passed,  each adding some  apology.
"According to rules," said one.
     "Forecastle council," said Morgan. And  so with  one  remark or another
all marched out and left Silver and me alone with the torch.
     The sea-cook instantly removed his pipe.
     "Now, look you here, Jim Hawkins," he said in a steady whisper that was
no more than audible, "you're within half  a  plank of  death, and what's  a
long sight worse, of torture. They're going to throw me  off. But, you mark,
I stand by you  through thick  and thin. I didn't mean to; no, not till  you
spoke up. I was about desperate to lose that  much blunt, and be hanged into
the bargain. But  I see you was the right sort.  I says to myself, you stand
by  Hawkins, John, and Hawkins'll stand by you. You're his last card, and by
the living thunder, John, he's yours!  Back to back, says  I. You save  your
witness, and he'll save your neck!"
     I began dimly to understand.
     "You mean all's lost?" I asked.
     "Aye, by gum, I  do!" he answered.  "Ship gone, neck gone  - that's the
size of it. Once I looked into that bay, Jim Hawkins, and seen no schooner -
well, I'm tough, but I gave out. As for that lot and their council, mark me,
they're outright fools and cowards. I'll  save your life - if so be as I can
- from them.  But, see  here, Jim -  tit for tat -  you  save Long John from
     I was bewildered; it seemed a thing so hopeless he was asking - he, the
old buccaneer, the ringleader throughout.
     "What I can do, that I'll do," I said.
     "It's  a  bargain!" cried  Long John.  "You  speak  up  plucky, and  by
thunder, I've a chance!"
     He hobbled to the torch, where it stood propped among the firewood, and
took a fresh light to his pipe.
     "Understand me, Jim," he said, returning. "I've a head on my shoulders,
I  have.  I'm on  squire's  side now.  I  know  you've got  that  ship  safe
somewheres. How you done it, I don't know, but safe it is. I guess Hands and
O'Brien turned soft. I never much believed in neither  of THEM. Now you mark
me. I ask no questions, nor I won't let  others. I know when a  game's up, I
do; and I know a lad that's staunch. Ah, you that's young - you and me might
have done a power of good  together!" He drew some cognac from the cask into
a  tin  cannikin.  "Will  you taste, messmate?"  he asked;  and  when  I had
refused: "Well, I'll take a drain myself, Jim," said  he. "I need a caulker,
for there's trouble on hand. And talking o'  trouble, why  did  that  doctor
give me the chart, Jim?"
     My face  expressed a wonder so unaffected that he  saw the needlessness
of further questions.
     "Ah, well, he did, though," said he. "And there's something under that,
no doubt - something, surely, under that, Jim - bad or good."
     And he took another swallow of the brandy,  shaking his great fair head
like a man who looks forward to the worst.
     29. The Black Spot Again
     THE  council of  buccaneers  had  lasted  some time,  when  one of them
re-entered the house, and with a repetition of the same salute, which had in
my eyes  an ironical air, begged for  a  moment's loan of  the torch. Silver
briefly agreed, and this emissary retired again, leaving  us together in the
     "There's  a  breeze  coming,  Jim," said Silver, who  had by this  time
adopted quite a friendly and familiar tone. I turned to the loophole nearest
me and looked out. The embers of the great fire had so far burned themselves
out  and  now  glowed  so  low  and  duskily  that I  understood  why  these
conspirators desired a torch. About half-way down the slope to the stockade,
they were collected in a group; one held the light, another was on his knees
in their midst, and I  saw the blade of an open knife shine in his hand with
varying  colours  in the  moon and  torchlight. The  rest were  all somewhat
stooping, as  though watching the manoeuvres of this last. I could just make
out  that  he  had  a book as well as a  knife in  his  hand, and  was still
wondering  how anything so incongruous had come in their possession when the
kneeling figure rose once more to his feet and the whole party began to move
together towards the house.
     "Here  they come," said I; and I returned to my former position, for it
seemed beneath my dignity that they should find me watching them.
     "Well, let 'em  come, lad - let 'em come,"  said Silver cheerily. "I've
still a shot in my locker."
     The  door  opened, and the  five men,  standing  huddled together  just
inside,  pushed one of their number  forward. In any other  circumstances it
would have been comical to see his slow advance, hesitating as  he  set down
each foot, but holding his closed right hand in front of him.
     "Step up, lad," cried Silver. "I won't eat you. Hand it over, lubber. I
know the rules, I do; I won't hurt a depytation."
     Thus  encouraged, the buccaneer  stepped forth more briskly, and having
passed something to Silver, from hand to hand, slipped yet more smartly back
again to his companions.
     The sea-cook looked at what had been given him.
     "The black spot! I thought so," he observed. "Where  might you have got
the paper? Why, hillo! Look here, now; this ain't lucky! You've gone and cut
this out of a Bible. What fool's cut a Bible?"
     "Ah, there!"  said  Morgan. "There! Wot did I say? No  good'll  come o'
that, I said."
     "Well, you've about fixed it now, among you," continued Silver. "You'll
all swing now, I reckon. What soft-headed lubber had a Bible?"
     "It was Dick," said one.
     "Dick, was it? Then Dick can  get to prayers," said  Silver. "He's seen
his slice of luck, has Dick, and you may lay to that."
     But here the long man with the yellow eyes struck in. "Belay that talk,
John  Silver," he said.  "This crew has tipped  you  the black spot in  full
council, as  in dooty bound; just  you turn it over,  as in dooty bound, and
see what's wrote there. Then you can talk."
     "Thanky, George," replied  the  sea-cook.  "You  always  was brisk  for
business, and  has the rules by  heart, George, as I'm pleased to see. Well,
what is  it, anyway? Ah! 'Deposed' - that's it, is it? Very pretty wrote, to
be  sure; like print, I  swear.  Your hand  o' write,  George? Why,  you was
gettin'  quite  a leadin'  man  in this here crew.  You'll be cap'n  next, I
shouldn't wonder. Just oblige me with that torch again,  will you? This pipe
don't draw."
     "Come, now," said George,  "you don't fool this crew no more.  You're a
funny man, by your account;  but you're over now, and you'll maybe step down
off that barrel and help vote."
     "I  thought   you   said  you  knowed   the  rules,"   returned  Silver
contemptuously. "Leastways, if you don't, I do; and  I  wait here  - and I'm
still your cap'n, mind  - till you outs with your grievances and I reply; in
the meantime, your black spot ain't worth a biscuit. After that, we'll see."
     "Oh,"  replied George, "you  don't  be under no  kind  of apprehension;
WE'RE all square,  we are. First, you've made a hash of this cruise - you'll
be a bold man to say no to that. Second, you let the enemy out o' this  here
trap for nothing. Why did they want out? I dunno, but it's pretty plain they
wanted it. Third, you wouldn't let us go at them upon the  march. Oh, we see
through you, John Silver; you want to play booty,  that's  what's wrong with
you. And then, fourth, there's this here boy."
     "Is that all?" asked Silver quietly.
     "Enough, too," retorted  George. "We'll all swing and sun-dry for  your
     "Well now, look here, I'll  answer these four p'ints; one after another
I'll answer 'em. I made a hash o' this cruise, did I? Well now, you all know
what I  wanted,  and you all know if that had  been done that  we'd 'a  been
aboard the HISPANIOLA this night as ever  was,  every man of  us  alive, and
fit, and  full of good plum-duff, and  the treasure in the hold  of her,  by
thunder! Well, who crossed me? Who forced my  hand, as was the lawful cap'n?
Who tipped  me  the black spot  the day we landed and began this dance?  Ah,
it's a fine dance - I'm with you there - and looks mighty like a hornpipe in
a  rope's end at Execution Dock by  London  town,  it does. But who done it?
Why, it  was Anderson, and Hands, and you, George Merry! And you're the last
above  board  of that  same  meddling crew; and you  have the  Davy  Jones's
insolence to up and stand for cap'n over me - you, that  sank the lot of us!
By the powers! But this tops the stiffest yarn to nothing."
     Silver  paused,  and I  could see by the faces of  George  and his late
comrades that these words had not been said in vain.
     "That's for number one," cried  the accused,  wiping the sweat from his
brow, for he had been talking with a vehemence that shook the house. "Why, I
give you my word, I'm sick to speak to you. You've neither sense nor memory,
and I leave  it to  fancy  where your mothers was  that let you come to sea.
Sea! Gentlemen o'fortune! I reckon tailors is your trade."
     "Go on, John," said Morgan. "Speak up to the others."
     "Ah, the others!" returned John.  "They're  a nice lot, ain't they? You
say this cruise is bungled. Ah! By gum, if you could understand how bad it's
bungled, you would see! We're that near the gibbet that my neck's stiff with
thinking on it. You've seen 'em,  maybe,  hanged in chains, birds about 'em,
seamen  p'inting 'em out as they go down  with the tide. 'Who's  that?' says
one. 'That! Why, that's  John  Silver. I knowed him well,' says another. And
you can hear  the chains a-jangle  as you  go about and reach  for the other
buoy. Now,  that's  about where we are, every mother's  son of us, thanks to
him, and Hands, and Anderson,  and other ruination fools of  you. And if you
want to know about number four, and that boy, why, shiver  my timbers, isn't
he a hostage? Are we a-going to waste a hostage? No, not us; he might be our
last chance,  and I  shouldn't  wonder. Kill that boy?  Not  me,  mates! And
number  three? Ah, well, there's a  deal to say  to number  three. Maybe you
don't count  it nothing to have a real college doctor to see you every day -
you, John,  with your head broke - or you, George Merry,  that  had the ague
shakes upon you  not six hours agone, and has your eyes  the colour of lemon
peel to this same moment  on the clock? And maybe,  perhaps, you didn't know
there was a consort coming either? But there is, and not so long  till then;
and we'll see who'll be glad to have a hostage when it comes to that. And as
for number two, and why  I made a bargain - well,  you came crawling on your
knees to me to make it  - on your knees you came, you was that downhearted -
and you'd have starved too if I hadn't - but that's a trifle! You look there
- that's why!"
     And he cast down upon  the floor a  paper that I instantly recognized -
none  other than the chart on yellow paper, with the three red crosses, that
I had found  in the oilcloth at  the bottom of the captain's chest.  Why the
doctor had given it to him was more than I could fancy.
     But if it  were inexplicable to me, the  appearance  of  the  chart was
incredible to the surviving  mutineers. They leaped upon it like cats upon a
mouse. It went  from hand to  hand, one  tearing it from another; and by the
oaths and the cries and  the  childish laughter  with which they accompanied
their examination, you would have thought, not only they were  fingering the
very gold, but were at sea with it, besides, in safety.
     "Yes," said one, "that's Flint, sure enough. J.  F., and a score below,
with a clove hitch to it; so he done ever."
     "Mighty pretty," said George. "But how are we  to get away with it, and
us no ship."
     Silver suddenly sprang  up, and supporting  himself with a hand against
the wall: "Now I give you warning, George," he cried. "One more word of your
sauce,  and  I'll call you down and fight you. How? Why, how do  I know? You
had ought to tell me that - you and the rest, that lost me my schooner, with
your interference,  burn you! But  not  you, you can't;  you hain't  got the
invention of a cockroach. But civil you can speak, and  shall, George Merry,
you may lay to that."
     "That's fair enow," said the old man Morgan.
     "Fair! I reckon so," said the sea-cook. "You lost the ship; I found the
treasure. Who's the  better man at that? And now I resign, by thunder! Elect
whom you please to be your cap'n now; I'm done with it."
     "Silver!" they cried. "Barbecue forever! Barbecue for cap'n!"
     "So  that's the toon, is it?" cried  the cook. "George, I reckon you'll
have to wait another turn, friend; and lucky for you as I'm not a revengeful
man. But that was never my way. And now, shipmates, this black spot? 'Tain't
much good now, is it?  Dick's crossed  his luck and spoiled  his  Bible, and
that's about all."
     "It'll  do to kiss the book on still, won't  it?" growled Dick, who was
evidently uneasy at the curse he had brought upon himself.
     "A Bible with a bit  cut out!" returned  Silver derisively. "Not it. It
don't bind no more'n a ballad-book."
     "Don't it, though?" cried Dick with a sort of joy.
     "Well, I reckon that's worth having too."
     "Here, Jim - here's a cur'osity for you," said Silver, and he tossed me
the paper.
     It was around about  the size of a crown piece. One side was blank, for
it had been the last leaf; the other contained a verse  or two of Revelation
-  these words  among  the rest,  which struck sharply  home  upon my  mind:
"Without are  dogs  and murderers." The printed side had been blackened with
wood ash, which already began to come off and soil  my fingers; on the blank
side had been written with the same material the one word "Depposed." I have
that curiosity  beside  me at this moment,  but not a trace  of  writing now
remains beyond  a  single scratch,  such  as  a  man  might  make  with  his
     That was the end of the night's business.  Soon after, with a drink all
round, we lay  down to sleep, and  the  outside of Silver's vengeance was to
put  George Merry up for sentinel  and threaten him with death  if he should
prove unfaithful.
     It  was long  ere I could  close an eye, and heaven knows  I had matter
enough for  thought in  the man whom I had  slain that afternoon, in  my own
most perilous  position, and above  all, in the remarkable  game  that I saw
Silver  now engaged upon -  keeping the mutineers together with one hand and
grasping with the other after every  means, possible and impossible, to make
his peace and save  his  miserable life.  He  himself  slept  peacefully and
snored aloud, yet my heart was  sore for him, wicked as he was, to  think on
the dark perils that environed and the shameful gibbet that awaited him.
     30. On Parole
     I WAS wakened  - indeed, we  were all wakened, for I could see even the
sentinel  shake  himself together  from  where  he  had  fallen  against the
door-post - by a clear, hearty voice hailing us from the margin of the wood:
     "Block house, ahoy!" it cried. "Here's the doctor."
     And the doctor it was. Although I was glad  to  hear the  sound, yet my
gladness  was  not  without  admixture.  I  remembered   with  confusion  my
insubordinate and stealthy conduct, and when I saw where it had brought me -
among what companions  and  surrounded by what dangers  - I felt ashamed  to
look him in the face.
     He must have risen in the dark, for the day had hardly come; and when I
ran  to  a loophole  and looked  out, I saw him standing, like  Silver  once
before, up to the mid-leg in creeping vapour.
     "You,  doctor! Top o'  the morning to you,  sir!"  cried Silver,  broad
awake and beaming with good nature in a  moment.  "Bright  and  early, to be
sure; and it's the  early bird, as the  saying goes, that  gets the rations.
George,  shake  up your timbers, son,  and  help Dr. Livesey over the ship's
side. All a-doin' well, your patients was - all well and merry."
     So he pattered on,  standing on the  hilltop with his  crutch under his
elbow and one hand upon the side of the log-house
     - quite the old John in voice, manner, and expression.
     "We've  quite  a surprise  for  you too, sir,"  he continued. "We've  a
little stranger here  -  he! he! A noo boarder and lodger,  sir, and looking
fit and taut  as a fiddle;  slep' like a supercargo, he did, right alongside
of John - stem to stem we was, all night."
     Dr. Livesey was by this  time across the stockade and pretty  near  the
cook, and I could hear the alteration in his voice as he said, "Not Jim?"
     "The very same Jim as ever was," says Silver.
     The doctor stopped outright, although he did not speak, and it was some
seconds  before  he seemed  able to move on. "Well, well," he said  at last,
"duty first and  pleasure  afterwards, as  you  might  have  said  yourself,
Silver. Let us overhaul these patients of yours."
     A moment afterwards he  had  entered the block house  and with one grim
nod  to  me proceeded  with  his  work among  the  sick. He seemed  under no
apprehension,  though  he  must  have  known  that  his  life,  among  these
treacherous demons, depended on a hair; and he rattled on to his patients as
if he were paying an ordinary professional visit in a  quiet English family.
His manner,  I suppose, reacted  on the men, for  they  behaved to him as if
nothing  had  occurred,  as if  he  were still  ship's doctor and they still
faithful hands before the  mast. "You're doing well,  my friend," he said to
the fellow with the bandaged  head,  "and  if  ever any person  had a  close
shave, it was you; your head must be as hard as iron. Well, George, how goes
it? You're a pretty colour, certainly; why, your liver, man, is upside down.
Did you take that medicine? Did he take that medicine, men?"
     "Aye,  aye, sir,  he took it, sure  enough," returned Morgan. "Because,
you see, since I  am mutineers' doctor, or prison doctor as I prefer to call
it,"  says Doctor  Livesey  in his  pleasantest way, "I make  it a point  of
honour not to lose a man for King George (God bless him!) and the gallows."
     The  rogues  looked  at each  other  but  swallowed the  home-thrust in
     "Dick don't feel well, sir," said one.
     "Don't he?" replied the doctor.  "Well, step  up here, Dick, and let me
see your tongue. No, I  should be  surprised if he  did! The man's tongue is
fit to frighten the French. Another fever."
     "Ah, there," said Morgan, "that comed of sp'iling Bibles."
     "That  comes -  as you  call it - of being  arrant asses," retorted the
doctor, "and not having sense enough to know honest air from poison, and the
dry land from  a vile, pestiferous slough. I think it most probable - though
of course  it's  only an opinion  - that you'll all have  the  deuce to  pay
before you get that malaria out of your systems.  Camp in a bog, would  you?
Silver, I'm surprised at you. You're  less of a fool than many, take you all
round; but you don't appear to me to have the rudiments of  a notion of  the
rules of health. "Well," he added after he had dosed them round and they had
taken  his prescriptions, with really  laughable humility, more like charity
schoolchildren  than blood-guilty mutineers and pirates - "well, that's done
for today. And now I should wish to have a talk with that boy, please."
     And he  nodded his head in my direction carelessly. George Merry was at
the door, spitting and spluttering over some bad-tasted medicine; but at the
first word of the  doctor's proposal  he  swung round with  a deep flush and
cried "No!" and swore.
     Silver struck the barrel with his open hand.
     "Si-lence!"  he roared  and looked  about him  positively  like a lion.
"Doctor," he went on in his  usual tones, "I was a-thinking of that, knowing
as  how  you  had a  fancy for  the boy. We're all humbly grateful for  your
kindness, and  as you see,  puts faith in you and  takes the drugs down like
that much grog. And I take it I've found a way as'll suit all. Hawkins, will
you give me your word of honour as a young gentleman - for a young gentleman
you are, although poor born - your word of honour not to slip your cable?"
     I readily gave the pledge required.
     "Then, doctor," said Silver,  "you just step  outside o' that stockade,
and  once you're there I'll bring the boy down on the  inside,  and I reckon
you can yarn through the spars. Good day to you, sir, and all our dooties to
the squire and Cap'n Smollett."
     The explosion of disapproval,  which  nothing  but Silver's black looks
had restrained, broke out immediately the  doctor had left the house. Silver
was roundly accused of playing  double - of  trying to make a separate peace
for himself, of sacrificing  the interests  of his accomplices  and victims,
and, in one word, of the identical, exact thing that he was doing. It seemed
to me so obvious, in this case, that I could not imagine how  he was to turn
their anger. But  he  was twice the  man the rest were, and his last night's
victory had given him a huge  preponderance on  their  minds. He called them
all the fools and dolts you can imagine, said it was necessary I should talk
to the doctor, fluttered the chart  in their faces, asked them if they could
afford to break the treaty the very day they were bound a-treasure-hunting.
     "No, by  thunder!" he cried. "It's  us  must  break the treaty when the
time comes; and till then  I'll gammon that doctor, if  I  have to  ile  his
boots  with brandy." And then he bade them get the fire lit, and stalked out
upon his crutch,  with his hand on my shoulder, leaving them  in a disarray,
and silenced by his volubility rather than convinced.
     "Slow, lad, slow,"  he  said. "They might round upon us in a twinkle of
an eye if we was seen to hurry."
     Very deliberately, then,  did we advance across  the sand to  where the
doctor awaited us on the other side of the stockade, and as soon  as we were
within easy speaking distance Silver stopped.
     "You'll  make  a note  of this here  also,  doctor," says  he, "and the
boy'll tell you  how I saved his life, and were deposed for it  too, and you
may  lay to that. Doctor, when  a man's steering as near the  wind as  me  -
playing chuck-farthing with the last breath in his body, like - you wouldn't
think it too much,  mayhap, to give him one good word? You'll please bear in
mind  it's not  my life only now  -  it's that boy's into  the  bargain; and
you'll  speak me fair, doctor, and give me a bit o'  hope to go  on, for the
sake of mercy."
     Silver was a changed man once he was out there and had  his back to his
friends and  the block house; his cheeks seemed to have fallen in, his voice
trembled; never was a soul more dead in earnest.
     "Why, John, you're not afraid?" asked Dr. Livesey.
     "Doctor, I'm no coward; no, not I  - not SO  much!"  and he snapped his
fingers. "If I was I wouldn't say  it. But  I'll own  up  fairly,  I've  the
shakes upon me for the gallows. You're a good man and a true; I never seen a
better man! And you'll not forget what I done good, not any more than you'll
forget the bad, I know. And I step aside - see  here - and leave you and Jim
alone. And  you'll put that down for me too,  for it's a  long  stretch,  is
     So saying, he stepped  back  a little  way, till he was out of earshot,
and  there sat  down upon a  tree-stump and began to whistle, spinning round
now  and again upon his seat  so as to command  a sight, sometimes of me and
the doctor and sometimes  of  his unruly ruffians as they went to and fro in
the sand between the fire - which they were busy rekindling - and the house,
from which  they  brought  forth pork and bread  to make the breakfast. "So,
Jim," said the doctor sadly, "here you are. As you have brewed, so shall you
drink, my boy.  Heaven knows, I cannot find it in my heart to blame you, but
this much I will say, be  it kind or unkind: when Captain Smollett was well,
you dared not have gone off;  and when he  was ill and couldn't help  it, by
George, it was downright cowardly!"
     I will own that I here  began to  weep. "Doctor,"  I said,  "you  might
spare  me. I  have  blamed myself  enough;  my life's forfeit anyway, and  I
should have been dead  by  now  if Silver  hadn't stood  for me; and doctor,
believe this,  I can die - and I dare say I deserve  it - but what I fear is
torture. If they come to torture me - "
     "Jim," the doctor interrupted, and his voice was quite changed, "Jim, I
can't have this. Whip over, and we'll run for it."
     "Doctor," said I, "I passed my word."
     "I know, I know," he cried. "We can't help that, Jim, now. I'll take it
on my shoulders,  holus  bolus,  blame and shame,  my boy; but stay here,  I
cannot let you. Jump! One jump, and you're out, and  we'll run for  it  like
     "No,"  I  replied;  "you  know right  well you wouldn't  do  the  thing
yourself - neither you  nor squire  nor captain; and no more  will I. Silver
trusted me; I passed my word, and back I go. But, doctor, you did not let me
finish. If they come to torture  me, I might let  slip a word  of  where the
ship is, for I got the ship, part by luck and part by risking, and  she lies
in North Inlet,  on the southern beach,  and just below high water.  At half
tide she must be high and dry."
     "The ship!" exclaimed the doctor.
     Rapidly I  described to  him my  adventures,  and  he  heard me  out in
     "There is  a kind of fate in this," he observed when I had done. "Every
step, it's you that saves our lives; and do  you suppose  by any chance that
we are going to let you lose yours? That would be a poor return, my boy. You
found out the plot; you found Ben Gunn - the best deed that ever you did, or
will do, though you live to ninety. Oh, by Jupiter, and talking of Ben Gunn!
Why,  this is the mischief in  person. Silver!" he cried. "Silver! I'll give
you a piece of advice," he continued as the cook drew near again; "don't you
be in any great hurry after that treasure."
     "Why, sir, I do my possible, which  that ain't,"  said Silver.  "I  can
only,  asking your pardon, save my  life  and the  boy's by seeking for that
treasure; and you may lay to that."
     "Well, Silver," replied the doctor, "if that  is so, I'll  go one  step
further: look out for squalls when you find it."
     "Sir,"  said Silver, "as between man  and man, that's  too much and too
little. What you're  after,  why you left the block  house, why you given me
that there chart, I don't know, now, do I? And  yet I done your bidding with
my eyes shut and never a  word of hope! But no, this here's too much. If you
won't tell me what you mean plain out, just say so and I'll leave the helm."
"No," said the  doctor  musingly;  "I've no right to say  more; it's  not my
secret, you see,  Silver, or, I give you my word, I'd tell  it you. But I'll
go as far with you as  I dare  go, and a step  beyond, for I'll have  my wig
sorted by the  captain  or I'm mistaken! And first, I'll  give you a bit  of
hope; Silver, if we both get alive out of this wolf-trap, I'll do my best to
save you, short of perjury."
     Silver's face  was radiant. "You  couldn't say more, I'm sure, sir, not
if you was my mother," he cried.
     "Well, that's my first concession," added the  doctor. "My second is  a
piece of advice: keep  the boy close  beside you,  and  when you  need help,
halloo. I'm off to seek it for you, and that itself will show you if I speak
at random. Good-bye, Jim."
     And  Dr. Livesey shook hands  with me  through the stockade, nodded  to
Silver, and set off at a brisk pace into the wood.
     31. The Treasure-hunt - Flint's Pointer
     "JIM," said Silver when we were alone, "if I saved your life, you saved
mine;  and I'll not forget it. I seen the doctor waving you to run for  it -
with the  tail of my eye, I did; and I seen you say no, as plain as hearing.
Jim, that's one to you.  This is the first  glint of  hope  I had  since the
attack failed, and I owe it you. And now,  Jim, we're to go in for this here
treasure-hunting, with sealed  orders too,  and I don't like it; and you and
me must stick close, back to back like, and we'll save our necks in spite o'
fate and fortune."
     Just  then a man hailed us from the fire  that breakfast was ready, and
we were soon seated  here  and there  about  the sand over biscuit and fried
junk. They had  lit a fire fit to roast an ox, and it  was now  grown so hot
that they could only  approach it from  the windward,  and  even  there  not
without precaution. In the same wasteful spirit, they had cooked, I suppose,
three times  more than we could  eat; and one of them, with  an empty laugh,
threw what was left into the fire, which blazed and roared  again  over this
unusual fuel. I never in my life saw men so careless of the morrow;  hand to
mouth is the only word that  can describe  their way of doing; and what with
wasted food and  sleeping sentries, though they were bold enough for a brush
and be  done with it, I could see their entire unfitness for anything like a
prolonged campaign.
     Even Silver, eating away, with Captain Flint upon his shoulder, had not
a word of blame for their recklessness. And this  the more surprised me, for
I thought he had never shown himself so cunning as he did then.
     "Aye,  mates," said he, "it's lucky you have Barbecue to think  for you
with  this here head. I got what I wanted, I did. Sure enough, they have the
ship. Where they have  it, I  don't know yet;  but once we hit the treasure,
we'll have to jump  about and find out.  And  then, mates,  us  that has the
boats, I reckon, has the upper hand."
     Thus he kept running on, with his mouth full of the hot  bacon; thus he
restored their hope and  confidence, and, I more than suspect,  repaired his
own at the same time.
     "As for hostage," he continued, "that's  his last talk,  I  guess, with
them he loves so  dear. I've got my  piece o'  news, and  thanky to  him for
that;  but  it's  over  and  done.  I'll take  him  in  a  line  when  we go
treasure-hunting,  for  we'll  keep  him  like  so  much  gold,  in case  of
accidents, you  mark, and in the meantime. Once we got the ship and treasure
both and off  to sea  like jolly companions, why then we'll talk Mr. Hawkins
over,  we  will, and  we'll  give him  his share, to be  sure,  for all  his
     It was no  wonder the men were in a good humour now. For my part, I was
horribly cast  down. Should  the scheme he  had now sketched prove feasible,
Silver,  already doubly a traitor,  would  not hesitate to adopt it.  He had
still a foot in  either camp, and there was  no doubt he would prefer wealth
and freedom  with the pirates  to a bare escape from hanging, which was  the
best he had to hope on our side.
     Nay, and even  if  things so fell out that he  was  forced to keep  his
faith with Dr. Livesey, even then what danger lay before us! What  a  moment
that would be when  the suspicions of his followers  turned to certainty and
he and  I  should have to fight for dear life  - he a  cripple and I a boy -
against five strong and active  seamen! Add  to this double apprehension the
mystery that still hung over  the behaviour of my friends, their unexplained
desertion  of  the stockade,  their inexplicable cession of  the  chart,  or
harder  still to understand, the doctor's last warning to Silver,  "Look out
for squalls when you find it," and you will readily believe how little taste
I found in my breakfast  and with  how uneasy a  heart I set forth behind my
captors on the quest for treasure.
     We made  a curious figure,  had anyone been there  to  see us  - all in
soiled sailor clothes and all but me armed to the teeth. Silver had two guns
slung about him - one before and  one behind - besides the great  cutlass at
his waist and a pistol in each pocket of his square-tailed coat. To complete
his  strange  appearance,  Captain  Flint sat perched  upon his shoulder and
gabbling  odds and ends of purposeless sea-talk. I had a line about my waist
and followed obediently after the  sea-cook, who held  the loose end of  the
rope, now in his  free hand,  now between  his  powerful teeth.  For all the
world, I was led like a dancing bear.
     The other men were variously burthened, some carrying picks and shovels
- for that  had been the  very  first necessary they brought ashore from the
HISPANIOLA - others laden with  pork, bread, and brandy for the midday meal.
All the stores,  I observed, came from our stock, and I could  see the truth
of Silver's  words the night before. Had he not struck  a  bargain with  the
doctor, he and his mutineers, deserted by the ship, must have been driven to
subsist  on clear water and the proceeds of their hunting. Water  would have
been little to their taste; a sailor is not usually a good shot; and besides
all that, when they were so short of eatables,  it was not likely they would
be very flush of powder.
     Well, thus equipped, we all set out - even  the  fellow with the broken
head, who should  certainly have kept  in  shadow - and straggled, one after
another, to  the beach, where the two gigs awaited us. Even these bore trace
of the drunken  folly of  the pirates, one in a broken  thwart, and both  in
their  muddy and unbailed condition. Both were  to be  carried along with us
for the sake  of safety; and so, with  our numbers  divided between them, we
set forth upon the bosom of the anchorage. As we pulled over, there was some
discussion on the chart. The red cross was, of course, far too large to be a
guide; and the terms of the note on the  back, as you will hear, admitted of
some ambiguity. They ran, the reader may remember, thus:
     Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to the N. of N.N.E.
     Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E.
     Ten feet.
     A tall  tree  was thus  the principal  mark.  Now, right  before us the
anchorage  was bounded by  a  plateau from  two to  three hundred feet high,
adjoining on the north the sloping  southern  shoulder of the  Spy-glass and
rising again towards the south into the  rough, cliffy  eminence  called the
Mizzen-mast Hill. The  top of the plateau was dotted thickly with pine-trees
of  varying height. Every  here and there, one  of a  different species rose
forty or fifty feet clear above its neighbours, and  which of  these was the
particular  "tall tree" of Captain Flint could only  be decided on the spot,
and by the readings of the compass.
     Yet, although that was  the  case, every  man  on  board  the boats had
picked  a favourite of his own ere  we  were half-way over,  Long John alone
shrugging his shoulders and bidding them wait till they were there.
     We  pulled easily,  by  Silver's directions,  not to  weary  the  hands
prematurely,  and after quite a long  passage,  landed at the mouth  of  the
second river - that which runs down a woody  cleft of the Spy-glass. Thence,
bending to our left, we began to ascend the slope towards the plateau.
     At the first outset, heavy, miry ground and a matted, marish vegetation
greatly delayed  our progress; but  by little and little  the  hill began to
steepen and  become stony  under foot, and the wood to  change its character
and to grow in a more open order. It was, indeed, a most pleasant portion of
the  island  that  we  were  now approaching. A heavy-scented broom and many
flowering shrubs had  almost  taken the  place of  grass. Thickets of  green
nutmeg-trees  were dotted here and there with the red columns  and the broad
shadow of the pines; and the first mingled their spice with the aroma of the
others.  The air, besides, was fresh and stirring, and this, under the sheer
sunbeams, was a wonderful refreshment to our senses.
     The party spread itself abroad, in a fan shape, shouting and leaping to
and  fro.  About the centre, and  a good way behind  the rest, Silver  and I
followed - I tethered by my rope, he ploughing, with deep pants,  among  the
sliding gravel. From time to time, indeed,  I had to lend him a hand,  or he
must have missed his footing and fallen backward down the hill.
     We had thus  proceeded  for  about half a mile and were approaching the
brow of the plateau when the man upon the farthest left began  to cry aloud,
as if in terror. Shout  after  shout  came from him, and the others began to
run in his direction.
     "He can't  'a found the treasure,"  said old Morgan,  hurrying  past us
from the right, "for that's clean a-top."
     Indeed,  as we  found when we  also reached the spot, it  was something
very  different. At the foot of  a pretty big pine and  involved in a  green
creeper, which had even partly  lifted  some  of the smaller bones, a  human
skeleton  lay, with a few shreds  of  clothing, on  the ground.  I believe a
chill struck for a moment to every heart.
     "He  was a seaman," said George Merry,  who,  bolder than the rest, had
gone up close and was examining  the rags  of clothing. "Leastways, this  is
good sea-cloth."
     "Aye, aye," said Silver;  "like enough; you  wouldn't look  to  find  a
bishop  here, I reckon. But  what sort of  a  way  is that for bones to lie?
'Tain't in natur'."
     Indeed, on a second glance, it seemed impossible to fancy that the body
was in a natural position.  But for some disarray (the work, perhaps, of the
birds  that had  fed  upon  him  or of  the slow-growing  creeper  that  had
gradually  enveloped his remains) the man lay perfectly straight - his  feet
pointing in one direction,  his hands, raised above his head like a diver's,
pointing directly in the opposite.
     "I've taken a notion  into my old numbskull,"  observed Silver. "Here's
the compass; there's the tip-top p'int o' Skeleton Island, stickin' out like
a tooth. Just take a bearing, will you, along the line of them bones."
     It was done. The body pointed straight in the direction of  the island,
and the compass read duly E.S.E. and by E.
     "I thought so," cried the cook; "this here is a p'inter. Right up there
is our line for  the Pole Star and the jolly dollars. But, by thunder! If it
don't  make  me cold inside to think of Flint. This is one of HIS jokes, and
no mistake. Him and these six was alone here; he killed 'em,  every man; and
this one he hauled here and laid down by compass, shiver my timbers! They're
long bones, and the hair's  been  yellow. Aye, that would be  Allardyce. You
mind Allardyce, Tom Morgan?"
     "Aye, aye," returned Morgan; "I mind him; he owed me money, he did, and
took my knife ashore with him."
     "Speaking of knives,"  said  another, "why  don't  we find  his'n lying
round?  Flint warn't the  man to  pick a seaman's pocket; and  the birds,  I
guess, would leave it be."
     "By the powers, and that's true!" cried Silver.
     "There ain't a thing left here," said Merry, still  feeling round among
the bones; "not a copper doit nor a baccy box. It don't look nat'ral to me."
     "No, by gum, it don't," agreed Silver; "not nat'ral, nor not nice, says
you. Great guns!  Messmates,  but if  Flint was living, this would be a  hot
spot for you  and me.  Six they were, and six are we; and bones is what they
are now."
     "I saw him dead with these here deadlights,"  said  Morgan. "Billy took
me in. There he laid, with penny-pieces on his eyes."
     "Dead -  aye, sure enough he's  dead  and  gone below," said the fellow
with the  bandage; "but if ever  sperrit  walked, it would be Flint's.  Dear
heart, but he died bad, did Flint!"
     "Aye,  that he  did,"  observed  another;  "now  he raged,  and now  he
hollered for the rum, and now  he  sang. 'Fifteen Men'  were his only  song,
mates; and I tell you true, I never  rightly liked to hear  it since. It was
main  hot,  and the  windy was open, and I hear that  old song comin' out as
clear as clear - and the death-haul on the man already."
     "Come,  come,"  said Silver; "stow this talk.  He's dead,  and he don't
walk, that I know; leastways, he won't walk by day, and you may lay to that.
Care killed a cat. Fetch ahead for the doubloons."
     We  started, certainly; but  in spite of  the  hot sun and  the staring
daylight, the  pirates no longer ran separate and shouting through the wood,
but kept  side by side and spoke  with bated breath. The  terror of the dead
buccaneer had fallen on their spirits.
     32. The Treasure-hunt - The Voice Among the Trees
     PARTLY from the damping  influence of this alarm, partly to rest Silver
and the sick folk, the whole party  sat down as soon as they had  gained the
brow of the ascent. The plateau being somewhat tilted towards the west, this
spot on which we had paused commanded a wide prospect on either hand. Before
us, over  the tree-tops, we  beheld the Cape of the Woods fringed with surf;
behind, we not only looked down upon the anchorage  and Skeleton Island, but
saw - clear across the spit and the eastern lowlands - a great field of open
sea  upon the  east.  Sheer above us  rose the Spy-glass,  here dotted  with
single pines, there black with precipices. There was no  sound  but  that of
the  distant  breakers, mounting from all round, and the  chirp of countless
insects in  the brush. Not  a  man, not  a  sail, upon  the  sea;  the  very
largeness of the view increased the sense of solitude.
     Silver, as he sat, took certain bearings with his compass.
     "There are three 'tall trees'"  said he, "about in the  right line from
Skeleton  Island.  'Spy-glass shoulder,' I  take  it, means that lower p'int
there. It's  child's play to find the  stuff now.  I've half a mind  to dine
     "I don't feel  sharp," growled Morgan. "Thinkin'  o' Flint - I think it
were - as done me."
     "Ah, well, my son, you praise your stars he's dead," said Silver.
     "He  were an ugly devil," cried a  third  pirate with a shudder;  "that
blue in the face too!"
     "That was how the rum took him,"  added Merry. "Blue! Well, I reckon he
was blue. That's a true word."
     Ever since they  had found the  skeleton and  got  upon  this  train of
thought,  they  had  spoken  lower and  lower,  and they had  almost got  to
whispering by now, so that the sound of  their talk  hardly interrupted  the
silence  of  the  wood.  All of a sudden,  out of the middle of the trees in
front of  us, a thin, high, trembling voice struck up the well-known air and
     "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest -
     Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
     I never have seen men more dreadfully  affected than  the pirates.  The
colour  went from their six faces  like enchantment; some  leaped  to  their
feet, some clawed hold of others; Morgan grovelled on the ground.
     "It's Flint, by - !" cried Merry.
     The song  had stopped as  suddenly as it began  - broken off, you would
have said, in the middle of a note, as though someone had laid his hand upon
the  singer's mouth.  Coming through  the  clear, sunny atmosphere among the
green tree-tops, I thought it had sounded airily and sweetly; and the effect
on my companions was the stranger.
     "Come,"  said  Silver, struggling with his  ashen lips  to get the word
out;  "this won't do. Stand by to go about. This is a rum start, and I can't
name  the voice,  but  it's someone  skylarking -  someone  that's flesh and
blood, and you may lay to that."
     His  courage  had come back as he  spoke, and some of the colour to his
face along with it. Already  the others had  begun to  lend an  ear  to this
encouragement and were  coming a little  to themselves, when the  same voice
broke  out again - not this time  singing, but in a faint distant  hail that
echoed yet fainter among the clefts of the Spy-glass.
     "Darby  M'Graw," it wailed - for  that is the word that  best describes
the sound -  "Darby M'Graw!  Darby  M'Graw!"  again and again and again; and
then rising a little  higher, and with an oath that I leave out: "Fetch  aft
the rum, Darby!"
     The  buccaneers remained rooted to the ground, their eyes starting from
their  heads.  Long after  the voice  had  died away they  still  stared  in
silence, dreadfully, before them.
     "That fixes it!" gasped one. "Let's go."
     "They was his last words," moaned Morgan, "his last words above board."
     Dick  had  his  Bible  out and was  praying volubly. He  had been  well
brought up, had Dick, before he came to sea and fell among bad companions.
     Still  Silver was  unconquered.  I  could hear his teeth rattle in  his
head, but he had not yet surrendered.
     "Nobody in this here island ever heard of Darby," he muttered; "not one
but us that's here." And then, making a great effort: "Shipmates," he cried,
"I'm here to get that stuff, and I'll not be beat by man or  devil. I  never
was feared  of  Flint in his life, and, by the powers,  I'll face him  dead.
There's seven hundred thousand pound not a quarter of a mile from here. When
did ever a  gentleman o'  fortune show his stern  to that much dollars for a
boozy old seaman with a blue mug - and him dead too?"
     But there  was no sign of reawakening courage in his followers, rather,
indeed, of growing terror at the irreverence of his words.
     "Belay there, John!" said Merry. "Don't you cross a sperrit."
     And the rest were all too terrified to  reply. They would have run away
severally had they  dared; but fear kept them together, and  kept them close
by John, as if  his daring helped them. He,  on  his part, had  pretty  well
fought his weakness down.
     "Sperrit?  Well, maybe,"  he said. "But there's one  thing not clear to
me. There was an echo. Now, no  man ever seen a sperrit with a shadow;  well
then, what's he doing with an echo to him, I should like to know? That ain't
in natur', surely?"
     This argument seemed weak enough  to  me. But you can  never tell  what
will  affect the superstitious, and to my  wonder, George Merry  was greatly
     "Well, that's  so," he said.  "You've a head upon your shoulders, John,
and no mistake. 'Bout ship, mates! This  here crew is on a wrong tack,  I do
believe.  And come to think on  it, it was like Flint's  voice, I grant you,
but not just so clear-away like it, after  all. It was liker somebody else's
voice now - it was liker - "
     "By the powers, Ben Gunn!" roared Silver.
     "Aye, and so it were," cried  Morgan, springing on his knees. "Ben Gunn
it were!"
     "It don't make much odds, do it, now?" asked Dick. "Ben Gunn's not here
in the body any more'n Flint."
     But the older hands greeted this remark with scorn.
     "Why, nobody minds Ben Gunn," cried Merry; "dead or alive, nobody minds
     It was extraordinary how their spirits had returned and how the natural
colour had revived in their faces.  Soon they  were  chatting together, with
intervals of listening; and not long after,  hearing no further  sound, they
shouldered the tools and set forth again, Merry walking first  with Silver's
compass to keep them on the right line with Skeleton Island. He had said the
truth:  dead  or alive, nobody minded Ben Gunn.  Dick  alone still held  his
Bible, and looked around him as he went, with  fearful glances; but he found
no sympathy, and Silver even joked him on his precautions.
     "I  told you," said  he - "I told you you had sp'iled your Bible. If it
ain't no good  to swear by, what do you suppose a sperrit would give for it?
Not that!" and he snapped his big fingers,  halting a moment on his  crutch.
But Dick was not to be  comforted; indeed, it was soon  plain to me that the
lad was  falling sick;  hastened  by heat, exhaustion, and the  shock of his
alarm, the fever,  predicted by Dr. Livesey, was  evidently growing  swiftly
     It was fine open walking here,  upon the summit; our way lay  a  little
downhill,  for, as  I have said, the  plateau tilted towards the  west.  The
pines,  great and small,  grew wide  apart;  and even between the clumps  of
nutmeg and azalea, wide open spaces baked in the hot sunshine. Striking,  as
we did, pretty near north-west across the island, we drew, on the  one hand,
ever nearer  under the shoulders of the Spy-glass, and on  the other, looked
ever wider over that western bay where I had once tossed and trembled in the
     The first of the tall trees was reached, and by the bearings proved the
wrong one. So  with the second. The  third rose nearly two hundred feet into
the air above a clump of  underwood - a  giant of  a  vegetable, with a  red
column as big as a cottage, and a  wide shadow around  in  which  a  company
could have manoeuvred.  It was conspicuous far to sea  both on the  east and
west and might have been entered as a sailing mark upon the chart.
     But it was not  its size that  now impressed my companions; it was  the
knowledge  that seven hundred thousand pounds  in gold  lay somewhere buried
below its spreading shadow.  The thought of the money, as they  drew nearer,
swallowed up their previous terrors. Their eyes burned in their heads; their
feet grew speedier  and  lighter;  their  whole  soul  was found up  in that
fortune, that whole lifetime  of extravagance and pleasure, that lay waiting
there  for each of  them.  Silver  hobbled,  grunting,  on  his crutch;  his
nostrils stood  out  and  quivered; he  cursed  like a madman when the flies
settled  on his hot and shiny countenance; he plucked furiously at the  line
that  held me to him  and from  time to time  turned his eyes upon me with a
deadly look. Certainly he took no pains to hide his thoughts,  and certainly
I read them like  print. In the immediate nearness of the gold, all else had
been forgotten: his promise and the doctor's warning were both things of the
past,  and I could not doubt that he hoped to  seize upon the treasure, find
and board the HISPANIOLA under cover of night, cut every honest throat about
that island, and  sail away  as he had at first intended,  laden with crimes
and riches.
     Shaken as I  was with these alarms, it was hard for me to keep up  with
the rapid pace of the treasure-hunters. Now and again I stumbled, and it was
then that  Silver plucked  so roughly at  the  rope and launched at  me  his
murderous glances. Dick, who  had dropped  behind us and  now brought up the
rear, was babbling  to  himself  both prayers and curses as  his fever  kept
rising. This also added to my  wretchedness, and to crown all, I was haunted
by the thought of the tragedy that had once been acted on that plateau, when
that ungodly buccaneer with the blue face - he who died at Savannah, singing
and shouting  for  drink - had  there, with  his own hand, cut down  his six
accomplices. This grove that was now so peaceful must  then  have  rung with
cries, I  thought;  and  even with the thought  I could believe  I heard  it
ringing still.
     We were now at the margin of the thicket.
     "Huzza,  mates, all together!"  shouted  Merry; and the foremost  broke
into a run.
     And suddenly, not  ten  yards  further, we beheld  them stop. A low cry
arose. Silver  doubled his pace,  digging  away with the foot of  his crutch
like one possessed; and next moment he and I had come also to a dead halt.
     Before us was  a great excavation, not very  recent,  for the sides had
fallen in and grass had sprouted on the bottom. In this  were the shaft of a
pick broken in two and the boards of several packing-cases strewn around. On
one  of these boards I  saw, branded with a  hot iron, the name WALRUS - the
name of Flint's ship.
     All  was clear  to probation. The CACHE had  been found and rifled; the
seven hundred thousand pounds were gone!
     33. The Fall of a Chieftain
     THERE never was such an overturn in  this world. Each of  these six men
was as though  he had been  struck.  But with Silver the blow passed  almost
instantly.  Every  thought  of his soul had  been set  full-stretch,  like a
racer, on that money; well, he was brought up, in a single second, dead; and
he kept his head, found his temper,  and changed his plan before the  others
had had time to realize the disappointment.
     "Jim,"  he whispered, "take  that, and  stand by  for trouble."  And he
passed me a double-barrelled pistol.
     At the same time, he began quietly moving northward, and in a few steps
had put the hollow between us two and the other five. Then he  looked  at me
and nodded, as much  as to  say, "Here  is a narrow corner," as,  indeed,  I
thought it was. His  looks were not quite friendly, and I was so revolted at
these  constant changes that  I could  not  forbear whispering,  "So  you've
changed sides again."
     There was no time left for him to answer in. The buccaneers, with oaths
and  cries, began  to leap, one after another, into  the pit and to dig with
their fingers,  throwing  the boards aside  as they did so.  Morgan  found a
piece  of gold.  He held  it up with  a  perfect spout  of oaths.  It  was a
two-guinea piece, and it went from  hand to hand among them for a quarter of
a minute.
     "Two  guineas!" roared Merry,  shaking it at Silver. "That's your seven
hundred thousand  pounds, is it? You're  the  man  for bargains,  ain't you?
You're him that never bungled nothing, you wooden-headed lubber!"
     "Dig away, boys," said Silver with the  coolest insolence; "you'll find
some pig-nuts and I shouldn't wonder."
     "Pig-nuts!"  repeated Merry, in a scream. "Mates, do you hear  that?  I
tell you now, that man there knew it all along. Look in the face of  him and
you'll see it wrote there."
     "Ah, Merry,"  remarked  Silver,  "standing  for cap'n  again? You're  a
pushing lad, to be sure."
     But  this time  everyone was entirely  in Merry's favour. They began to
scramble  out  of  the excavation, darting furious glances behind  them. One
thing I  observed,  which  looked well  for  us: they all  got  out upon the
opposite side from Silver.
     Well,  there  we  stood,  two  on one side, five  on the other, the pit
between  us, and  nobody screwed  up  high  enough to offer  the first blow.
Silver never moved; he watched them, very upright on his  crutch, and looked
as cool as ever  I  saw  him. He  was  brave, and no mistake. At  last Merry
seemed to think a speech might help matters.
     "Mates," says he, "there's  two  of them  alone  there;  one's the  old
cripple that brought us all here  and blundered us down to this; the other's
that cub that I mean to have the heart of. Now, mates - "
     He  was raising his  arm  and  his voice, and plainly  meant  to lead a
charge.  But  just then - crack! crack!  crack! - three musket-shots flashed
out of the thicket. Merry tumbled head foremost into the excavation; the man
with the bandage spun round like a teetotum and fell all his length upon his
side, where he lay dead, but still twitching; and the other three turned and
ran for it with all their might.
     Before you could wink, Long John had fired two barrels of a pistol into
the struggling Merry, and as the man rolled up his  eyes at  him in the last
agony, "George," said he, "I reckon I settled you."
     At  the  same  moment,  the doctor, Gray, and  Ben Gunn joined us, with
smoking muskets, from among the nutmeg-trees.
     "Forward!" cried the doctor. "Double  quick, my lads.  We must head 'em
off the boats."
     And we set off  at a great pace,  sometimes plunging through the bushes
to the chest.
     I tell  you,  but Silver was anxious  to keep up with us. The work that
man went through, leaping on  his crutch till the muscles  of his chest were
fit to burst, was work no sound man ever equalled; and so thinks the doctor.
As  it  was,  he  was already thirty yards  behind  us and  on  the verge of
strangling when we reached the brow of the slope.
     "Doctor," he hailed, "see there! No hurry!"
     Sure enough there was no hurry.  In a more open part of the plateau, we
could see  the three survivors still running in  the same  direction as they
had  started, right for Mizzen-mast Hill. We were  already between  them and
the boats; and so we four sat down to breathe,  while Long John, mopping his
face, came slowly up with us.
     "Thank ye kindly, doctor," says  he. "You came  in in about the nick, I
guess,  for me and Hawkins. And  so  it's  you,  Ben Gunn!" he added. "Well,
you're a nice one, to be sure."
     "I'm Ben  Gunn, I am," replied the maroon, wriggling like an eel in his
embarrassment.  "And," he added, after a long pause, "how  do,  Mr.  Silver?
Pretty well, I thank ye, says you."
     "Ben, Ben," murmured Silver, "to think as you've done me!"
     The  doctor sent back Gray for one  of the pick-axes deserted, in their
flight,  by the  mutineers, and then as we proceeded leisurely  downhill  to
where the boats were lying, related in a few  words what had taken place. It
was a story that  profoundly interested Silver; and Ben Gunn, the half-idiot
maroon, was the hero from beginning to end.
     Ben,  in  his long,  lonely wanderings about the  island, had found the
skeleton - it  was he that had rifled it; he had found the  treasure; he had
dug  it  up (it  was  the  haft  of  his pick-axe that  lay  broken  in  the
excavation); he had carried it on his back, in many weary journeys, from the
foot of the tall  pine  to  a cave  he  had  on the two-pointed hill  at the
north-east angle of the island, and there it had lain stored in safety since
two months before the arrival of the HISPANIOLA.
     When the doctor had wormed this secret from him on the afternoon of the
attack, and when next morning he saw the anchorage deserted, he had  gone to
Silver, given him the  chart, which was now  useless - given him the stores,
for  Ben Gunn's cave was well supplied with goats' meat  salted by himself -
given anything  and everything to get a  chance of moving in safety from the
stockade to the two-pointed hill, there to  be  clear of malaria and keep  a
guard upon the money.
     "As for you, Jim," he said, "it went against my heart, but I did what I
thought best for those who had stood by their duty; and  if you were not one
of these, whose fault was it?"
     That  morning,  finding  that  I  was  to  be  involved  in the  horrid
disappointment he  had prepared for the mutineers, he had run all the way to
the  cave, and  leaving  the squire to guard the captain, had taken Gray and
the  maroon and started, making the diagonal across the island to be at hand
beside  the pine. Soon, however, he saw that our party had the start of him;
and Ben Gunn, being fleet of foot,  had  been dispatched in  front to do his
best alone. Then it had occurred to  him to work upon  the  superstitions of
his former  shipmates, and he was so far successful that Gray and the doctor
had  come  up   and  were  already  ambushed  before  the   arrival  of  the
     "Ah," said Silver, "it  were fortunate for me  that I had Hawkins here.
You  would have let old John be  cut to bits,  and never given it a thought,
     "Not a thought," replied Dr. Livesey cheerily.
     And  by  this  time  we  had reached  the  gigs. The doctor,  with  the
pick-axe, demolished one  of them, and then  we all got aboard the other and
set out to go round by sea for North Inlet.
     This  was a  run  of eight or nine miles. Silver, though  he was almost
killed already with fatigue, was  set to an oar, like the rest of us, and we
were  soon  skimming swiftly over a smooth sea. Soon we passed  out  of  the
straits  and doubled the south-east  corner of the island, round which, four
days ago, we had towed the HISPANIOLA.
     As we passed the two-pointed hill, we could see the black  mouth of Ben
Gunn's cave  and  a figure  standing by it,  leaning on a musket. It was the
squire,  and we waved a handkerchief and gave him three cheers, in which the
voice of Silver joined as  heartily as any. Three miles farther, just inside
the mouth  of North Inlet, what should we meet but  the HISPANIOLA, cruising
by herself? The last flood had lifted her, and had there been much wind or a
strong  tide  current,  as  in the southern anchorage,  we should never have
found her more, or found her  stranded  beyond  help. As it was,  there  was
little amiss beyond the wreck of the main-sail. Another anchor was got ready
and  dropped  in a fathom and a half of water. We  all pulled round again to
Rum  Cove,  the nearest point for Ben Gunn's treasure-house;  and then Gray,
single-handed, returned with the gig to the HISPANIOLA, where he was to pass
the night on guard.
     A  gentle slope  ran up from the beach to the entrance of the  cave. At
the top, the squire met us. To me he was cordial and kind, saying nothing of
my escapade either  in the way of blame or praise. At Silver's polite salute
he somewhat flushed.
     "John Silver," he said, "you're a prodigious villain  and imposter -  a
monstrous imposter, sir. I am told I am not to prosecute you.  Well, then, I
will not. But the dead men, sir, hang about your neck like mill-stones."
     "Thank you kindly, sir," replied Long John, again saluting.
     "I dare you to thank me!" cried the squire. "It  is a gross dereliction
of my duty. Stand back."
     And thereupon we all entered the cave. It was a large, airy place, with
a little spring  and a pool  of clear water, overhung  with ferns. The floor
was sand. Before a big fire lay Captain Smollett;  and in a far corner, only
duskily flickered  over  by the  blaze,  I beheld great  heaps  of coin  and
quadrilaterals built  of bars of gold. That was Flint's treasure that we had
come so  far to seek and that had  cost  already the lives of  seventeen men
from  the HISPANIOLA.  How many it had cost in the amassing, what  blood and
sorrow,  what good ships scuttled  on the deep,  what  brave men walking the
plank blindfold, what shot of  cannon,  what shame  and  lies  and  cruelty,
perhaps no man alive could tell. Yet there were still three upon that island
- Silver, and old Morgan,  and Ben  Gunn - who had each taken  his share  in
these crimes, as each had hoped in vain to share in the reward.
     "Come in, Jim," said the captain. "You're a good boy in your line, Jim,
but I don't think you and me'll go to sea again. You're too much of the born
favourite for me. Is that you, John Silver? What brings you here, man?"
     "Come back to my dooty, sir," returned Silver.
     "Ah!" said the captain, and that was all he said.
     What a supper I had of it that  night, with all  my friends  around me;
and what a  meal it was, with Ben Gunn's salted goat and some delicacies and
a  bottle of old  wine  from the HISPANIOLA. Never,  I am sure, were  people
gayer or happier. And  there  was Silver,  sitting  back  almost out of  the
firelight, but eating heartily,  prompt to spring forward when anything  was
wanted, even joining  quietly  in our laughter  -  the same  bland,  polite,
obsequious seaman of the voyage out.
     34. And Last
     THE next morning we fell early to work, for  the transportation of this
great mass of gold near a  mile by land to the beach, and thence three miles
by boat to the HISPANIOLA, was a considerable task for so small  a number of
workmen. The  three fellows  still abroad  upon  the  island did not greatly
trouble us; a  single sentry  on  the shoulder of the hill was sufficient to
ensure us against any sudden  onslaught, and we thought,  besides, they  had
had more than enough of fighting.
     Therefore the  work  was pushed on briskly. Gray  and Ben Gunn came and
went  with the boat, while the rest  during their absences piled treasure on
the  beach. Two of the bars,  slung in a  rope's end, made a good load for a
grown  man - one that he was glad to walk slowly with. For my part, as I was
not much use at carrying,  I was kept busy all day in the cave  packing  the
minted money into bread-bags.
     It was a strange collection, like Billy Bones's hoard for the diversity
of coinage, but so much larger and so  much more varied that I think I never
had  more   pleasure  than  in   sorting  them.  English,  French,  Spanish,
Portuguese,  Georges, and Louises, doubloons and double guineas and moidores
and sequins, the pictures of all  the  kings of Europe for  the last hundred
years, strange Oriental pieces stamped with what looked like wisps of string
or  bits of spider's web,  round pieces and square  pieces, and pieces bored
through  the middle, as if to  wear  them  round your  neck  -  nearly every
variety  of money  in the world must, I  think, have  found  a place in that
collection; and for  number, I am sure they were like autumn leaves, so that
my back ached with stooping and my fingers with sorting them out.
     Day after day this  work went on; by  every evening  a fortune had been
stowed aboard, but there was another fortune waiting for the morrow; and all
this time we heard nothing of the three surviving mutineers.
     At last - I think it was  on the third  night -  the doctor and  I were
strolling on the shoulder of the hill where it overlooks the lowlands of the
isle, when, from out the thick darkness below, the  wind brought  us a noise
between shrieking and singing. It was only a  snatch  that reached our ears,
followed by the former silence.
     "Heaven forgive them," said the doctor; "'tis the mutineers!"
     "All drunk, sir," struck in the voice of Silver from behind us.
     Silver, I should say, was allowed his entire  liberty, and in  spite of
daily rebuffs, seemed to  regard himself once more as quite a privileged and
friendly dependent. Indeed, it was remarkable how well he bore these slights
and with what unwearying politeness he kept  on trying to ingratiate himself
with all.  Yet, I  think, none treated him better than a dog, unless  it was
Ben Gunn, who was still terribly afraid of his old quartermaster, or myself,
who  had  really something to thank him  for; although  for  that  matter, I
suppose, I  had reason to think even worse of him than  anybody else, for  I
had seen him meditating a  fresh treachery upon the plateau. Accordingly, it
was pretty gruffly that the doctor answered him.
     "Drunk or raving," said he.
     "Right you were, sir," replied Silver; "and precious little odds which,
to you and me."
     "I suppose you  would hardly ask me to call you a humane man," returned
the  doctor  with  a  sneer,  "and so my  feelings may surprise  you, Master
Silver. But  if I were sure they were raving -  as I am morally certain one,
at least, of them is down  with  fever -  I should  leave this camp,  and at
whatever risk to my own carcass, take them the assistance of my skill."
     "Ask  your pardon,  sir,  you would be very wrong," quoth  Silver. "You
would  lose your precious life,  and you may lay to that.  I'm  on your side
now, hand and glove; and I shouldn't wish for to see the party weakened, let
alone yourself, seeing as I know what I owes you. But these men down  there,
they couldn't keep their word - no, not supposing they wished to; and what's
more, they couldn't believe as you could."
     "No,"  said  the  doctor. "You're the  man to  keep your word,  we know
     Well,  that  was  about the last news we had of the three pirates. Only
once we heard a gunshot a great  way off and  supposed them to be hunting. A
council was held, and it was decided  that we must desert them on the island
- to the huge glee, I must say, of Ben Gunn, and with the strong approval of
Gray. We  left a good stock of powder and shot, the bulk of the salt goat, a
few medicines, and some  other necessaries, tools, clothing, a spare sail, a
fathom  or two  of rope,  and by  the  particular desire  of  the  doctor, a
handsome present of tobacco.
     That was about our  last  doing on the island. Before that, we  had got
the  treasure stowed  and had  shipped enough water and the remainder of the
goat meat in case of any distress; and at last, one fine morning, we weighed
anchor,  which was  about all  that we could  manage, and stood out of North
Inlet, the  same colours flying that the captain  had flown and fought under
at the palisade.
     The  three fellows must have been watching  us closer  than  we thought
for, as  we  soon had proved. For coming through the narrows, we  had to lie
very  near the  southern  point, and there we saw all three of them kneeling
together on a spit of sand, with their arms raised in  supplication. It went
to all our  hearts, I  think, to leave them in that  wretched state;  but we
could not risk another mutiny;  and to take  them home for  the gibbet would
have been a cruel sort of kindness. The doctor  hailed them and told them of
the stores we had left, and where they were to find them. But they continued
to call us by name and appeal  to us, for God's sake, to be merciful and not
leave them to die in such a place.
     At last, seeing the ship  still bore  on her course and was now swiftly
drawing out of earshot, one of them - I know not which it was - leapt to his
feet with a  hoarse cry, whipped his musket to his shoulder, and sent a shot
whistling  over Silver's head and through the main-sail. After that, we kept
under cover of the bulwarks, and when next I looked out they had disappeared
from the spit, and the  spit  itself  had  almost melted out of sight in the
growing distance. That was, at least, the  end  of that; and before noon, to
my inexpressible joy, the highest rock of Treasure Island had  sunk into the
blue round of sea.
     We were so short of  men that everyone on board had to  bear  a  hand -
only the captain lying on a mattress in the stern and giving his orders, for
though greatly recovered he was still in want of quiet. We laid her head for
the  nearest port in Spanish America, for we could  not risk the voyage home
without fresh hands; and as it was, what with baffling winds and a couple of
fresh gales, we were all worn out before we reached it.
     It  was just  at  sundown  when  we  cast  anchor  in a  most beautiful
land-locked gulf,  and  were  immediately  surrounded by shore boats full of
Negroes and Mexican Indians  and half-bloods  selling fruits and  vegetables
and offering  to dive for bits of money. The sight  of so many good-humoured
faces (especially  the blacks), the taste of  the tropical fruits, and above
all the lights that began to shine in the town made a most charming contrast
to our dark and bloody sojourn on the island; and the doctor and the squire,
taking me along with them, went ashore to pass the  early part of the night.
Here they met the captain of an  English man-of-war, fell in talk with  him,
went on board his ship,  and, in short, had so agreeable a time that day was
breaking when we came alongside the HISPANIOLA. Ben Gunn  was on deck alone,
and as  soon as we came on  board  he began, with wonderful  contortions, to
make us a confession. Silver was gone. The maroon had connived at his escape
in a shore boat some hours ago, and he now assured us he had only done so to
preserve  our lives, which  would certainly  have been forfeit  if "that man
with the one leg had stayed aboard." But this was not all.  The sea-cook had
not gone  empty-handed. He  had cut  through a  bulkhead unobserved and  had
removed one of the  sacks  of  coin, worth perhaps  three  or  four  hundred
guineas, to help him on his further wanderings.
     I think we were all pleased to be so cheaply quit of him. Well, to make
a  long story short, we got a few  hands  on board, made a good cruise home,
and the  HISPANIOLA reached Bristol  just  as Mr.  Blandly  was beginning to
think  of  fitting out her  consort. Five men  only of those who had  sailed
returned  with  her. "Drink and the devil  had  done  for the rest,"  with a
vengeance,  although, to be sure, we were not quite in so bad a case as that
other ship they sang about:
     With one man of her crew alive,
     What put to sea with seventy-five.
     All of us had an ample share of  the  treasure  and  used  it wisely or
foolishly, according  to our natures. Captain Smollett is  now  retired from
the sea.  Gray not only  saved his money, but  being  suddenly smit with the
desire to  rise, also  studied his profession,  and he  is now mate and part
owner of  a  fine full-rigged ship,  married  besides, and the  father of  a
family. As for Ben Gunn, he got a thousand pounds, which he spent or lost in
three weeks,  or to be more exact, in nineteen days, for he was back begging
on  the twentieth. Then  he  was given  a lodge to keep,  exactly  as he had
feared upon the  island;  and  he still lives,  a  great  favourite,  though
something of a butt, with the country boys, and  a notable  singer in church
on Sundays and saints' days.
     Of Silver we have heard no more. That formidable seafaring man with one
leg has at last gone  clean out of my life;  but I  dare  say he met his old
Negress, and perhaps still lives  in comfort with her and Captain  Flint. It
is to  be hoped so, I suppose,  for his chances of comfort  in another world
are very small.
     The bar silver and the arms still lie, for all that I know, where Flint
buried them; and certainly they shall lie there  for me. Oxen and wain-ropes
would not bring me back again to that accursed island; and  the worst dreams
that ever I have are when I  hear the surf booming about its coasts or start
upright in bed with the sharp  voice of Captain  Flint still ringing  in  my
ears: "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!"

Популярность: 30, Last-modified: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 14:29:10 GmT