Part 2 out of 5
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
"Not I, sir," said Morgan with a salute.
"You didn't know his name, did you?"
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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.
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
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
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
"'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'
"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
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
"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
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
"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?"
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
"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.
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
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