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Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson







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,


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



3. THE BLACK SPOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

4. THE SEA-CHEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

5. THE LAST OF THE BLIND MAN . . . . . . . 36

6. THE CAPTAIN'S PAPERS . . . . . . . . . . 41


The Sea Cook

7. I GO TO BRISTOL . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

8. AT THE SIGN OF THE SPY-GLASS . . . . . . 54

9. POWDER AND ARMS . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

10. THE VOYAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64


12. COUNCIL OF WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76


My Shore Adventure


14. THE FIRST BLOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

15. THE MAN OF THE ISLAND. . . . . . . . . . 93


The Stockade




THE JOLLY-BOAT'S LAST TRIP . . . . . . 105





20. SILVER'S EMBASSY . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

21. THE ATTACK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125


My Sea Adventure

22. HOW MY SEA ADVENTURE BEGAN . . . . . . . 132

23. THE EBB-TIDE RUNS . . . . . . . . . . . 138

24. THE CRUISE OF THE CORACLE . . . . . . . 143

25. I STRIKE THE JOLLY ROGER . . . . . . . . 148

26. ISRAEL HANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

27. "PIECES OF EIGHT" . . . . . . . . . . . 161


Captain Silver

28. IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP . . . . . . . . . . 168

29. THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN . . . . . . . . . . 176

30. ON PAROLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182



THE TREES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

33. THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN . . . . . . . . 201

34. AND LAST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207









The Old Buccaneer




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 song:

"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.




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 sick.

"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 shipmates."

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 arm.

"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."




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, matey?"

"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 curses.

"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, Jim."

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 back."

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 arm."

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.




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 assistance.

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 tonight."

"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.




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 window.

"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 Pew!"

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.




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


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




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 think."

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


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


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


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 roving.

J. T.

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


J. T.

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!"




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 smoke.

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 pursuit.

"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 what?"

"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 out.

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 him.

"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 not?"

"To be sure he may," says squire. "Take your hat,

Hawkins, and we'll see the ship."




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 squire.

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 duty."

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."

"Silver, if you like," cried the squire; "but as for

that intolerable humbug, I declare I think his conduct

unmanly, unsailorly, and downright un-English."

"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 opinion.

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.




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 him.

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 corner.

"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, cap'n?"

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.




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!"




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 east.

"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 captain.

"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 place."

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 subsided.

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 grandly.

"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 view."

"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 nineteen.






My Shore Adventure




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.




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 conversation.

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 mutineers.

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 marsh.

And here a fresh alarm brought me to a standstill with

a thumping heart.




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 were."

"If ever I can get aboard again," said I, "you shall

have cheese by the stone."

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, mate?"

"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 wring.

"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 remark?"

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


"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


"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 that?"

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 lightly.

"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 answer.

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.






The Stockade




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 safety.

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 second."

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.




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 shore."

"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 fell.

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 gun.

"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 disaster.

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 provisions.




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 child.

"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 consort?"

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.




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 Gunn!"

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 week.

"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 wall.




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 spot.

"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 promotion!"

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 fired."

"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 side.

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.




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 is.

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 west."

"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 captain.

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




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 bargain.

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 it."

"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 companions.

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.




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 Benbow.




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 wonder.

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 face.

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 great.

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.




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 there."

"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.




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 head."

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 end.

"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 solemnity.

"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 behold.

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


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 shore.

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 disappointment.

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.




"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 beam-ends.

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 tight.

"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




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 sides!"

"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 see."

"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 are."

"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 swinging."

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.




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 dark.

"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 bungling."

"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


"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 thumb-nail.

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.




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 silence.

"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 that!"

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 antelopes."

"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 silence.

"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.




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 kindness."

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.




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 first."

"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 words:

"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 relieved.

"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 him."

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 higher.

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 oracle.

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!




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 treasure-hunters.

"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, doctor."

"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.




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 that."

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!"