Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
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Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
Anonimo - BEOWULF
Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
Austen, Jane - EMMA
Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Authors, Various - LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
Autori Vari - THE WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE
Bacon, Francis - THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Blake, William - SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
Brent, Linda - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Burckhardt, Jacob - THE CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
Chesterton, G. K. - THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
Chopin, Kate - THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES
Clark Hall, John R. - A CONCISE ANGLOSAXON DICTIONARY
Clarkson, Thomas - AN ESSAY ON THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES
Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
Coleridge, Herbert - A DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST OR OLDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Coleridge, S. T. - HINTS TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY
Coleridge, S. T. - THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
Collodi - PINOCCHIO
Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: HELL
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PARADISE
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PURGATORY
Darwin, Charles - THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN
Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Defoe, Daniel - A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PYRATES
Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
Defoe, Daniel - THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN
Defoe, Daniel - THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
Engels, Frederick - THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING-CLASS IN ENGLAND IN 1844
Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Esopo - FABLES
Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
France, Anatole - THAIS
France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
Goethe - FAUST
Gogol - DEAD SOULS
Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
Harding, A. R. - GINSENG AND OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS
Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
Hartley, Cecil B. - THE GENTLEMEN'S BOOK OF ETIQUETTE
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
Henry VIII - LOVE LETTERS TO ANNE BOLEYN
Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
Homer - THE ILIAD
Homer - THE ODYSSEY
Hornaday, William T. - THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON
Hume, David - A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE
Hume, David - AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Hume, David - DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
Joyce, James - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
Joyce, James - ULYSSES
Keats, John - ENDYMION
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
King James - THE BIBLE
Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
Leblanc, Maurice - ARSENE LUPIN VS SHERLOCK HOLMES
Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE CONFESSIONS OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
London, Jack - WHITE FANG
Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
Mill, John Stuart - PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
Mitra, S. M. - HINDU TALES FROM THE SANSKRIT
Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
More, Thomas - UTOPIA
Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Nesbit, E. - THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET
Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
Plato - THE REPUBLIC
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
Ricardo, David - ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
Rousseau, J. J. - THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF INEQUALITY AMONG MANKIND
Ruskin, John - THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Smollett, Tobias - TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
Spencer, Herbert - ESSAYS ON EDUCATION AND KINDRED SUBJECTS
Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
Swift, Jonathan - THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AND OTHER SHORT PIECES
Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
Verne, Jules - A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH
Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Voltaire - PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY
Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
Wells, H. G. - THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Wells, H. G. - THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS
Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Wilde, Oscar - THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES
Wilde, Oscar - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
Wordsworth, William - POEMS
Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN
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ISTRUZIONI D'USO DETTAGLIATE
by ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
To S.L.O., an American gentleman in accordance with whose classic taste
the following narrative has been designed, it is now, in return for
numerous delightful hours, and with the kindest wishes, dedicated by his
affectionate friend, the author.
TO THE HESITATING PURCHASER
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
1. THE OLD SEA-DOG AT THE ADMIRAL BENBOW 11
2. BLACK DOG APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS . . . . 17
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
11. WHAT I HEARD IN THE APPLE BARREL . . . . 70
12. COUNCIL OF WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
My Shore Adventure
13. HOW MY SHORE ADVENTURE BEGAN . . . . . . 82
14. THE FIRST BLOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
15. THE MAN OF THE ISLAND. . . . . . . . . . 93
16. NARRATIVE CONTINUED BY THE DOCTOR:
HOW THE SHIP WAS ABANDONED . . . . . . 100
17. NARRATIVE CONTINUED BY THE DOCTOR:
THE JOLLY-BOAT'S LAST TRIP . . . . . . 105
18. NARRATIVE CONTINUED BY THE DOCTOR:
END OF THE FIRST DAY'S FIGHTING . . . 109
19. NARRATIVE RESUMED BY JIM HAWKINS:
THE GARRISON IN THE STOCKADE . . . . . 114
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
28. IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP . . . . . . . . . . 168
29. THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN . . . . . . . . . . 176
30. ON PAROLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
31. THE TREASURE-HUNT--FLINT'S POINTER . . . 189
32. THE TREASURE-HUNT--THE VOICE AMONG
THE TREES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
33. THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN . . . . . . . . 201
34. AND LAST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
PART ONE--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
"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 commander.
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
"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 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
"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
"Dear, deary me," cried my mother, "what a disgrace upon the house! And
your poor father sick!"
In the meantime, we had no idea what to do to help the captain, nor any
other thought but that he had got his death-hurt in the scuffle with
the stranger. I got the rum, to be sure, and tried to put it down his
throat, but his teeth were tightly shut and his jaws as strong as iron.
It was a happy relief for us when the door opened and Doctor Livesey
came in, on his visit to my father.
"Oh, doctor," we cried, "what shall we do? Where is he wounded?"
"Wounded? A fiddle-stick's end!" said the doctor. "No more wounded than
you or I. The man has had a stroke, as I warned him. Now, Mrs. Hawkins,
just you run upstairs to your husband and tell him, if possible, nothing
about it. For my part, I must do my best to save this fellow's trebly
worthless life; Jim, you get me a basin."
When I got back with the basin, the doctor had already ripped up the
captain's sleeve and exposed his great sinewy arm. It was tattooed
in several places. "Here's luck," "A fair wind," and "Billy Bones his
fancy," were very neatly and clearly executed on the forearm; and up
near the shoulder there was a sketch of a gallows and a man hanging from
it--done, as I thought, with great spirit.
"Prophetic," said the doctor, touching this picture with his finger.
"And now, Master Billy Bones, if that be your name, we'll have a look at
the colour of your blood. Jim," he said, "are you afraid of blood?"
"No, sir," said I.
"Well, then," said he, "you hold the basin"; and with that he took his
lancet and opened a vein.
A great deal of blood was taken before the captain opened his eyes
and looked mistily about him. First he recognized the doctor with
an unmistakable frown; then his glance fell upon me, and he looked
relieved. But suddenly his colour changed, and he tried to raise
himself, crying, "Where's Black Dog?"
"There is no Black Dog here," said the doctor, "except what you have
on your own back. You have been drinking rum; you have had a stroke,
precisely as I told you; and I have just, very much against my own will,
dragged you headforemost out of the grave. Now, Mr. Bones--"
"That's not my name," he interrupted.
"Much I care," returned the doctor. "It's the name of a buccaneer of my
acquaintance; and I call you by it for the sake of shortness, and what I
have to say to you is this; one glass of rum won't kill you, but if
you take one you'll take another and another, and I stake my wig if you
don't break off short, you'll die--do you understand that?--die, and go
to your own place, like the man in the Bible. Come, now, make an effort.
I'll help you to your bed for once."
Between us, with much trouble, we managed to hoist him upstairs, and
laid him on his bed, where his head fell back on the pillow as if he
were almost fainting.
"Now, mind you," said the doctor, "I clear my conscience--the name of
rum for you is death."
And with that he went off to see my father, taking me with him by the
"This is nothing," he said as soon as he had closed the door. "I have
drawn blood enough to keep him quiet awhile; he should lie for a week
where he is--that is the best thing for him and you; but another stroke
would settle him."
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 to 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
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 kind of country love-song that he must have learned in
his youth before he had begun to follow the sea.
So things passed until, the day after the funeral, and about three
o'clock of a bitter, foggy, frosty afternoon, I was standing at the door
for a moment, full of sad thoughts about my father, when I saw someone
drawing slowly near along the road. He was plainly blind, for he tapped
before him with a stick and wore a great green shade over his eyes and
nose; and he was hunched, as if with age or weakness, and wore a huge
old tattered sea-cloak with a hood that made him appear positively
deformed. I never saw in my life a more dreadful-looking figure.
He stopped a little from the inn, and raising his voice in an odd
sing-song, addressed the air in front of him, "Will any kind friend
inform a poor blind man, who has lost the precious sight of his eyes in
the gracious defence of his native country, England--and God bless King
George!--where or in what part of this country he may now be?"
"You are at the Admiral Benbow, Black Hill Cove, my good man," said I.
"I hear a voice," said he, "a young voice. Will you give me your hand,
my kind young friend, and lead me in?"
I held out my hand, and the horrible, soft-spoken, eyeless creature
gripped it in a moment like a vise. I was so much startled that I
struggled to withdraw, but the blind man pulled me close up to him with
a single action of his arm.
"Now, boy," he said, "take me in to the captain."
"Sir," said I, "upon my word I dare not."
"Oh," he sneered, "that's it! Take me in straight or I'll break your
And he gave it, as he spoke, a wrench that made me cry out.
"Sir," said I, "it is for yourself I mean. The captain is not what he
used to be. He sits with a drawn cutlass. Another gentleman--"
"Come, now, march," interrupted he; and I never heard a voice so cruel,
and cold, and ugly as that blind man's. It cowed me more than the pain,
and I began to obey him at once, walking straight in at the door and
towards the parlour, where our sick old buccaneer was sitting, dazed
with rum. The blind man clung close to me, holding me in one iron fist
and leaning almost more of his weight on me than I could carry. "Lead me
straight up to him, and when I'm in view, cry out, 'Here's a friend
for you, Bill.' If you don't, I'll do this," and with that he gave me a
twitch that I thought would have made me faint. Between this and that, I
was so utterly terrified of the blind beggar that I forgot my terror of
the captain, and as I opened the parlour door, cried out the words he
had ordered in a trembling voice.
The poor captain raised his eyes, and at one look the rum went out of
him and left him staring sober. The expression of his face was not so
much of terror as of mortal sickness. He made a movement to rise, but I
do not believe he had enough force left in his body.
"Now, Bill, sit where you are," said the beggar. "If I can't see, I can
hear a finger stirring. Business is business. Hold out your left hand.
Boy, take his left hand by the wrist and bring it near to my right."
We both obeyed him to the letter, and I saw him pass something from the
hollow of the hand that held his stick into the palm of the captain's,
which closed upon it instantly.
"And now that's done," said the blind man; and at the words he suddenly
left hold of me, and with incredible accuracy and nimbleness,
skipped out of the parlour and into the road, where, as I still stood
motionless, I could hear his stick go tap-tap-tapping into the distance.
It was some time before either I or the captain seemed to gather our
senses, but at length, and about at the same moment, I released his
wrist, which I was still holding, and he drew in his hand and looked
sharply into the palm.
"Ten o'clock!" he cried. "Six hours. We'll do them yet," and he sprang
to his feet.
Even as he did so, he reeled, put his hand to his throat, stood swaying
for a moment, and then, with a peculiar sound, fell from his whole
height face foremost to the floor.
I ran to him at once, calling to my mother. But haste was all in vain.
The captain had been struck dead by thundering apoplexy. It is a curious
thing to understand, for I had certainly never liked the man, though of
late I had begun to pity him, but as soon as I saw that he was dead, I
burst into a flood of tears. It was the second death I had known, and
the sorrow of the first was still fresh in my heart.
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
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
"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
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 no time ago--they had the
door bolted when I tried it. Scatter, lads, and find 'em."
"Sure enough, they left their glim here," said the fellow from the
"Scatter and find 'em! Rout the house out!" reiterated Pew, striking
with his stick upon the road.
Then there followed a great to-do through all our old inn, heavy feet
pounding to and fro, furniture thrown over, doors kicked in, until the
very rocks re-echoed and the men came out again, one after another, on
the road and declared that we were nowhere to be found. And just
the same whistle that had alarmed my mother and myself over the dead
captain's money was once more clearly audible through the night,
but this time twice repeated. I had thought it to be the blind man's
trumpet, so to speak, summoning his crew to the assault, but I now found
that it was a signal from the hillside towards the hamlet, and from its
effect upon the buccaneers, a signal to warn them of approaching danger.
"There's Dirk again," said one. "Twice! We'll have to budge, mates."
"Budge, you skulk!" cried Pew. "Dirk was a fool and a coward from the
first--you wouldn't mind him. They must be close by; they can't be far;
you have your hands on it. Scatter and look for them, dogs! Oh, shiver
my soul," he cried, "if I had eyes!"
This appeal seemed to produce some effect, for two of the fellows began
to look here and there among the lumber, but half-heartedly, I thought,
and with half an eye to their own danger all the time, while the rest
stood irresolute on the road.
"You have your hands on thousands, you fools, and you hang a leg! You'd
be as rich as kings if you could find it, and you know it's here, and
you stand there skulking. There wasn't one of you dared face Bill, and
I did it--a blind man! And I'm to lose my chance for you! I'm to be a
poor, crawling beggar, sponging for rum, when I might be rolling in a
coach! If you had the pluck of a weevil in a biscuit you would catch
"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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"Right!" said the doctor. "See what it is to be a traveller. Right! And
the amounts increase, you see, as he rose in rank."
There was little else in the volume but a few bearings of places noted
in the blank leaves towards the end and a table for reducing French,
English, and Spanish moneys to a common value.
"Thrifty man!" cried the doctor. "He wasn't the one to be cheated."
"And now," said the squire, "for the other."
The paper had been sealed in several places with a thimble by way of
seal; the very thimble, perhaps, that I had found in the captain's
pocket. The doctor opened the seals with great care, and there fell out
the map of an island, with latitude and longitude, soundings, names of
hills and bays and inlets, and every particular that would be needed
to bring a ship to a safe anchorage upon its shores. It was about nine
miles long and five across, shaped, you might say, like a fat dragon
standing up, and had two fine land-locked harbours, and a hill in the
centre part marked "The Spy-glass." There were several additions of a
later date, but above all, three crosses of red ink--two on the north
part of the island, one in the southwest--and beside this last, in
the same red ink, and in a small, neat hand, very different from the
captain's tottery characters, these words: "Bulk of treasure here."
Over on the back the same hand had written this further information:
Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to
the N. of N.N.E.
Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E.
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
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
"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
"Livesey," returned the squire, "you are always in the right of it. I'll
be as silent as the grave."
PART TWO--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.
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.
P.P.S.--Hawkins may stay one night with his
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
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
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
The customers were mostly seafaring men, and they talked so loudly that
I hung at the door, almost afraid to enter.
As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and at a glance I was
sure he must be Long John. His left leg was cut off close by the hip,
and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with
wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall
and strong, with a face as big as a ham--plain and pale, but intelligent
and smiling. Indeed, he seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling
as he moved about among the tables, with a merry word or a slap on the
shoulder for the more favoured of his guests.
Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long John in
Squire Trelawney's letter I had taken a fear in my mind that he might
prove to be the very one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at
the old Benbow. But one look at the man before me was enough. I had seen
the captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man, Pew, and I thought I knew
what a buccaneer was like--a very different creature, according to me,
from this clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.
I plucked up courage at once, crossed the threshold, and walked right up
to the man where he stood, propped on his crutch, talking to a customer.
"Mr. Silver, sir?" I asked, holding out the note.
"Yes, my lad," said he; "such is my name, to be sure. And who may you
be?" And then as he saw the squire's letter, he seemed to me to give
something almost like a start.
"Oh!" said he, quite loud, and offering his hand. "I see. You are our
new cabin-boy; pleased I am to see you."
And he took my hand in his large firm grasp.
Just then one of the customers at the far side rose suddenly and made
for the door. It was close by him, and he was out in the street in a
moment. But his hurry had attracted my notice, and I recognized him at
glance. It was the tallow-faced man, wanting two fingers, who had come
first to the Admiral Benbow.
"Oh," I cried, "stop him! It's Black Dog!"
"I don't care two coppers who he is," cried Silver. "But he hasn't paid
his score. Harry, run and catch him."
One of the others who was nearest the door leaped up and started in
"If he were Admiral Hawke he shall pay his score," cried Silver; and
then, relinquishing my hand, "Who did you say he was?" he asked. "Black
"Dog, sir," said I. "Has Mr. Trelawney not told you of the buccaneers?
He was one of them."
"So?" cried Silver. "In my house! Ben, run and help Harry. One of those
swabs, was he? Was that you drinking with him, Morgan? Step up here."
The man whom he called Morgan--an old, grey-haired, mahogany-faced
sailor--came forward pretty sheepishly, rolling his quid.
"Now, Morgan," said Long John very sternly, "you never clapped your eyes
on that Black--Black Dog before, did you, now?"
"Not I, sir," said Morgan with a salute.
"You didn't know his name, did you?"
"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
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
"The man's a perfect trump," declared the squire.
"And now," added the doctor, "Jim may come on board with us, may he
"To be sure he may," says squire. "Take your hat, Hawkins, and we'll see
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
This last was a sharp-looking man who seemed angry with everything on
board and was soon to tell us why, for we had hardly got down into the
cabin when a sailor followed us.
"Captain Smollett, sir, axing to speak with you," said he.
"I am always at the captain's orders. Show him in," said the squire.
The captain, who was close behind his messenger, entered at once and
shut the door behind him.
"Well, Captain Smollett, what have you to say? All well, I hope; all
shipshape and seaworthy?"
"Well, sir," said the captain, "better speak plain, I believe, even at
the risk of offence. I don't like this cruise; I don't like the men; and
I don't like my officer. That's short and sweet."
"Perhaps, sir, you don't like the ship?" inquired the squire, very
angry, as I could see.
"I can't speak as to that, sir, not having seen her tried," said the
captain. "She seems a clever craft; more I can't say."
"Possibly, sir, you may not like your employer, either?" says the
But here Dr. Livesey cut in.
"Stay a bit," said he, "stay a bit. No use of such questions as that but
to produce ill feeling. The captain has said too much or he has said too
little, and I'm bound to say that I require an explanation of his words.
You don't, you say, like this cruise. Now, why?"
"I was engaged, sir, on what we call sealed orders, to sail this ship
for that gentleman where he should bid me," said the captain. "So far
so good. But now I find that every man before the mast knows more than I
do. I don't call that fair, now, do you?"
"No," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't."
"Next," said the captain, "I learn we are going after treasure--hear
it from my own hands, mind you. Now, treasure is ticklish work; I don't
like treasure voyages on any account, and I don't like them, above all,
when they are secret and when (begging your pardon, Mr. Trelawney) the
secret has been told to the parrot."
"Silver's parrot?" asked the squire.
"It's a way of speaking," said the captain. "Blabbed, I mean. It's my
belief neither of you gentlemen know what you are about, but I'll tell
you my way of it--life or death, and a close run."
"That is all clear, and, I dare say, true enough," replied Dr. Livesey.
"We take the risk, but we are not so ignorant as you believe us. Next,
you say you don't like the crew. Are they not good seamen?"
"I don't like them, sir," returned Captain Smollett. "And I think I
should have had the choosing of my own hands, if you go to that."
"Perhaps you should," replied the doctor. "My friend should, perhaps,
have taken you along with him; but the slight, if there be one, was
unintentional. And you don't like Mr. Arrow?"
"I don't, sir. I believe he's a good seaman, but he's too free with
the crew to be a good officer. A mate should keep himself to
himself--shouldn't drink with the men before the mast!"
"Do you mean he drinks?" cried the squire.
"No, sir," replied the captain, "only that he's too familiar."
"Well, now, and the short and long of it, captain?" asked the doctor.
"Tell us what you want."
"Well, gentlemen, are you determined to go on this cruise?"
"Like iron," answered the squire.
"Very good," said the captain. "Then, as you've heard me very patiently,
saying things that I could not prove, hear me a few words more. They are
putting the powder and the arms in the fore hold. Now, you have a good
place under the cabin; why not put them there?--first point. Then, you
are bringing four of your own people with you, and they tell me some of
them are to be berthed forward. Why not give them the berths here beside
the cabin?--second point."
"Any more?" asked Mr. Trelawney.
"One more," said the captain. "There's been too much blabbing already."
"Far too much," agreed the doctor.
"I'll tell you what I've heard myself," continued Captain Smollett:
"that you have a map of an island, that there's crosses on the map to
show where treasure is, and that the island lies--" And then he named
the latitude and longitude exactly.
"I never told that," cried the squire, "to a soul!"
"The hands know it, sir," returned the captain.
"Livesey, that must have been you or Hawkins," cried the squire.
"It doesn't much matter who it was," replied the doctor. And I could
see that neither he nor the captain paid much regard to Mr. Trelawney's
protestations. Neither did I, to be sure, he was so loose a talker; yet
in this case I believe he was really right and that nobody had told the
situation of the island.
"Well, gentlemen," continued the captain, "I don't know who has this
map; but I make it a point, it shall be kept secret even from me and Mr.
Arrow. Otherwise I would ask you to let me resign."
"I see," said the doctor. "You wish us to keep this matter dark and to
make a garrison of the stern part of the ship, manned with my friend's
own people, and provided with all the arms and powder on board. In other
words, you fear a mutiny."
"Sir," said Captain Smollett, "with no intention to take offence, I
deny your right to put words into my mouth. No captain, sir, would be
justified in going to sea at all if he had ground enough to say that. As
for Mr. Arrow, I believe him thoroughly honest; some of the men are the
same; all may be for what I know. But I am responsible for the ship's
safety and the life of every man Jack aboard of her. I see things going,
as I think, not quite right. And I ask you to take certain precautions
or let me resign my berth. And that's all."
"Captain Smollett," began the doctor with a smile, "did ever you hear
the fable of the mountain and the mouse? You'll excuse me, I dare say,
but you remind me of that fable. When you came in here, I'll stake my
wig, you meant more than this."
"Doctor," said the captain, "you are smart. When I came in here I meant
to get discharged. I had no thought that Mr. Trelawney would hear a
"No more I would," cried the squire. "Had Livesey not been here I should
have seen you to the deuce. As it is, I have heard you. I will do as you
desire, but I think the worse of you."
"That's as you please, sir," said the captain. "You'll find I do my
And with that he took his leave.
"Trelawney," said the doctor, "contrary to all my notions, I believed
you have managed to get two honest men on board with you--that man and
"Silver, if you like," cried the squire; "but as for that intolerable
humbug, I declare I think his conduct unmanly, unsailorly, and downright
"Well," says the doctor, "we shall see."
When we came on deck, the men had begun already to take out the arms and
powder, yo-ho-ing at their work, while the captain and Mr. Arrow stood
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
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
"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
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
"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
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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"The anchorage is on the south, behind an islet, I fancy?" asked the
"Yes, sir; Skeleton Island they calls it. It were a main place for
pirates once, and a hand we had on board knowed all their names for it.
That hill to the nor'ard they calls the Fore-mast Hill; there are three
hills in a row running south'ard--fore, main, and mizzen, sir. But the
main--that's the big un, with the cloud on it--they usually calls
the Spy-glass, by reason of a lookout they kept when they was in the
anchorage cleaning, for it's there they cleaned their ships, sir, asking
"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
"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
"My lads," said Captain Smollett, "I've a word to say to you. This
land that we have sighted is the place we have been sailing for. Mr.
Trelawney, being a very open-handed gentleman, as we all know, has just
asked me a word or two, and as I was able to tell him that every man on
board had done his duty, alow and aloft, as I never ask to see it done
better, why, he and I and the doctor are going below to the cabin to
drink YOUR health and luck, and you'll have grog served out for you to
drink OUR health and luck. I'll tell you what I think of this: I think
it handsome. And if you think as I do, you'll give a good sea-cheer for
the gentleman that does it."
The cheer followed--that was a matter of course; but it rang out so full
and hearty that I confess I could hardly believe these same men were
plotting for our blood.
"One more cheer for Cap'n Smollett," cried Long John when the first had
And this also was given with a will.
On the top of that the three gentlemen went below, and not long after,
word was sent forward that Jim Hawkins was wanted in the cabin.
I found them all three seated round the table, a bottle of Spanish wine
and some raisins before them, and the doctor smoking away, with his wig
on his lap, and that, I knew, was a sign that he was agitated. The stern
window was open, for it was a warm night, and you could see the moon
shining behind on the ship's wake.
"Now, Hawkins," said the squire, "you have something to say. Speak up."
I did as I was bid, and as short as I could make it, told the whole
details of Silver's conversation. Nobody interrupted me till I was done,
nor did any one of the three of them make so much as a movement, but
they kept their eyes upon my face from first to last.
"Jim," said Dr. Livesey, "take a seat."
And they made me sit down at table beside them, poured me out a glass of
wine, filled my hands with raisins, and all three, one after the other,
and each with a bow, drank my good health, and their service to me, for
my luck and courage.
"Now, captain," said the squire, "you were right, and I was wrong. I own
myself an ass, and I await your orders."
"No more an ass than I, sir," returned the captain. "I never heard of a
crew that meant to mutiny but what showed signs before, for any man that
had an eye in his head to see the mischief and take steps according. But
this crew," he added, "beats me."
"Captain," said the doctor, "with your permission, that's Silver. A very
"He'd look remarkably well from a yard-arm, sir," returned the captain.
"But this is talk; this don't lead to anything. I see three or four
points, and with Mr. Trelawney's permission, I'll name them."
"You, sir, are the captain. It is for you to speak," says Mr. Trelawney
"First point," began Mr. Smollett. "We must go on, because we can't turn
back. If I gave the word to go about, they would rise at once. Second
point, we have time before us--at least until this treasure's found.
Third point, there are faithful hands. Now, sir, it's got to come
to blows sooner or later, and what I propose is to take time by the
forelock, as the saying is, and come to blows some fine day when they
least expect it. We can count, I take it, on your own home servants, Mr.
"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.
PART THREE--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
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
"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
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
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
faraway hill and sent the birds once more flying and squalling round the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"If ever you can get aboard again, says you?" he repeated. "Why, now,
who's to hinder you?"
"Not you, I know," was my reply.
"And right you was," he cried. "Now you--what do you call yourself,
"Jim," I told him.
"Jim, Jim," says he, quite pleased apparently. "Well, now, Jim, I've
lived that rough as you'd be ashamed to hear of. Now, for instance, you
wouldn't think I had had a pious mother--to look at me?" he asked.
"Why, no, not in particular," I answered.
"Ah, well," said he, "but I had--remarkable pious. And I was a civil,
pious boy, and could rattle off my catechism that fast, as you couldn't
tell one word from another. And here's what it come to, Jim, and it
begun with chuck-farthen on the blessed grave-stones! That's what it
begun with, but it went further'n that; and so my mother told me, and
predicked the whole, she did, the pious woman! But it were Providence
that put me here. I've thought it all out in this here lonely island,
and I'm back on piety. You don't catch me tasting rum so much, but just
a thimbleful for luck, of course, the first chance I have. I'm bound
I'll be good, and I see the way to. And, Jim"--looking all round him and
lowering his voice to a whisper--"I'm rich."
I now felt sure that the poor fellow had gone crazy in his solitude, and
I suppose I must have shown the feeling in my face, for he repeated the
statement hotly: "Rich! Rich! I says. And I'll tell you what: I'll make
a man of you, Jim. Ah, Jim, you'll bless your stars, you will, you was
the first that found me!"
And at this there came suddenly a lowering shadow over his face, and he
tightened his grasp upon my hand and raised a forefinger threateningly
before my eyes.
"Now, Jim, you tell me true: that ain't Flint's ship?" he asked.
At this I had a happy inspiration. I began to believe that I had found
an ally, and I answered him at once.
"It's not Flint's ship, and Flint is dead; but I'll tell you true, as
you ask me--there are some of Flint's hands aboard; worse luck for the
rest of us."
"Not a man--with one--leg?" he gasped.
"Silver?" I asked.
"Ah, Silver!" says he. "That were his name."
"He's the cook, and the ringleader too."
He was still holding me by the wrist, and at that he give it quite a
"If you was sent by Long John," he said, "I'm as good as pork, and I
know it. But where was you, do you suppose?"
I had made my mind up in a moment, and by way of answer told him
the whole story of our voyage and the predicament in which we found
ourselves. He heard me with the keenest interest, and when I had done he
patted me on the head.
"You're a good lad, Jim," he said; "and you're all in a clove hitch,
ain't you? Well, you just put your trust in Ben Gunn--Ben Gunn's the man
to do it. Would you think it likely, now, that your squire would prove
a liberal-minded one in case of help--him being in a clove hitch, as you
I told him the squire was the most liberal of men.
"Aye, but you see," returned Ben Gunn, "I didn't mean giving me a gate
to keep, and a suit of livery clothes, and such; that's not my mark,
Jim. What I mean is, would he be likely to come down to the toon of, say
one thousand pounds out of money that's as good as a man's own already?"
"I am sure he would," said I. "As it was, all hands were to share."
"AND a passage home?" he added with a look of great shrewdness.
"Why," I cried, "the squire's a gentleman. And besides, if we got rid of
the others, we should want you to help work the vessel home."
"Ah," said he, "so you would." And he seemed very much relieved.
"Now, I'll tell you what," he went on. "So much I'll tell you, and no
more. I were in Flint's ship when he buried the treasure; he and
six along--six strong seamen. They was ashore nigh on a week, and us
standing off and on in the old WALRUS. One fine day up went the signal,
and here come Flint by himself in a little boat, and his head done up in
a blue scarf. The sun was getting up, and mortal white he looked about
the cutwater. But, there he was, you mind, and the six all dead--dead
and buried. How he done it, not a man aboard us could make out. It was
battle, murder, and sudden death, leastways--him against six. Billy
Bones was the mate; Long John, he was quartermaster; and they asked him
where the treasure was. 'Ah,' says he, 'you can go ashore, if you like,
and stay,' he says; 'but as for the ship, she'll beat up for more, by
thunder!' That's what he said.
"Well, I was in another ship three years back, and we sighted this
island. 'Boys,' said I, 'here's Flint's treasure; let's land and find
it.' The cap'n was displeased at that, but my messmates were all of a
mind and landed. Twelve days they looked for it, and every day they had
the worse word for me, until one fine morning all hands went aboard. 'As
for you, Benjamin Gunn,' says they, 'here's a musket,' they says, 'and
a spade, and pick-axe. You can stay here and find Flint's money for
yourself,' they says.
"Well, Jim, three years have I been here, and not a bite of Christian
diet from that day to this. But now, you look here; look at me. Do I
look like a man before the mast? No, says you. Nor I weren't, neither, I
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.
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
"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.
PART FOUR--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
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 loghouse 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
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
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
"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
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
There was a pause.
"Come, my fine fellow," continued the captain; "don't hang so long in
stays. I'm risking my life and the lives of these good gentlemen every
There was a sudden scuffle, a sound of blows, and out burst Abraham
Gray with a knife cut on the side of the cheek, and came running to the
captain like a dog to the whistle.
"I'm with you, sir," said he.
And the next moment he and the captain had dropped aboard of us, and we
had shoved off and given way.
We were clear out of the ship, but not yet ashore in our stockade.
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
wheer 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
An hour passed away.
"Hang them!" said the captain. "This is as dull as the doldrums. Gray,
whistle for a wind."
And just at that moment came the first news of the attack.
"If you please, sir," said Joyce, "if I see anyone, am I to fire?"
"I told you so!" cried the captain.
"Thank you, sir," returned Joyce with the same quiet civility.
Nothing followed for a time, but the remark had set us all on the alert,
straining ears and eyes--the musketeers with their pieces balanced in
their hands, the captain out in the middle of the block house with his
mouth very tight and a frown on his face.
So some seconds passed, till suddenly Joyce whipped up his musket
and fired. The report had scarcely died away ere it was repeated and
repeated from without in a scattering volley, shot behind shot, like
a string of geese, from every side of the enclosure. Several bullets
struck the log-house, but not one entered; and as the smoke cleared away
and vanished, the stockade and the woods around it looked as quiet and
empty as before. Not a bough waved, not the gleam of a musket-barrel
betrayed the presence of our foes.
"Did you hit your man?" asked the captain.
"No, sir," replied Joyce. "I believe not, sir."
"Next best thing to tell the truth," muttered Captain Smollett. "Load
his gun, Hawkins. How many should say there were on your side, doctor?"
"I know precisely," said Dr. Livesey. "Three shots were fired on this
side. I saw the three flashes--two close together--one farther to the
"Three!" repeated the captain. "And how many on yours, Mr. Trelawney?"
But this was not so easily answered. There had come many from the
north--seven by the squire's computation, eight or nine according to
Gray. From the east and west only a single shot had been fired. It was
plain, therefore, that the attack would be developed from the north and
that on the other three sides we were only to be annoyed by a show of
hostilities. But Captain Smollett made no change in his arrangements. If
the mutineers succeeded in crossing the stockade, he argued, they would
take possession of any unprotected loophole and shoot us down like rats
in our own stronghold.
Nor had we much time left to us for thought. Suddenly, with a loud
huzza, a little cloud of pirates leaped from the woods on the north side
and ran straight on the stockade. At the same moment, the fire was once
more opened from the woods, and a rifle ball sang through the doorway
and knocked the doctor's musket into bits.
The boarders swarmed over the fence like monkeys. Squire and Gray fired
again and yet again; three men fell, one forwards into the enclosure,
two back on the outside. But of these, one was evidently more frightened
than hurt, for he was on his feet again in a crack and instantly
disappeared among the trees.
Two had bit the dust, one had fled, four had made good their footing
inside our defences, while from the shelter of the woods seven or eight
men, each evidently supplied with several muskets, kept up a hot though
useless fire on the log-house.
The four who had boarded made straight before them for the building,
shouting as they ran, and the men among the trees shouted back to
encourage them. Several shots were fired, but such was the hurry of the
marksmen that not one appears to have taken effect. In a moment, the
four pirates had swarmed up the mound and were upon us.
The head of Job Anderson, the boatswain, appeared at the middle
"At 'em, all hands--all hands!" he roared in a voice of thunder.
At the same moment, another pirate grasped Hunter's musket by the
muzzle, wrenched it from his hands, plucked it through the loophole,
and with one stunning blow, laid the poor fellow senseless on the floor.
Meanwhile a third, running unharmed all around the house, appeared
suddenly in the doorway and fell with his cutlass on the doctor.
Our position was utterly reversed. A moment since we were firing, under
cover, at an exposed enemy; now it was we who lay uncovered and could
not return a blow.
The log-house was full of smoke, to which we owed our comparative
safety. Cries and confusion, the flashes and reports of pistol-shots,
and one loud groan rang in my ears.
"Out, lads, out, and fight 'em in the open! Cutlasses!" cried the
I snatched a cutlass from the pile, and someone, at the same time
snatching another, gave me a cut across the knuckles which I hardly
felt. I dashed out of the door into the clear sunlight. Someone was
close behind, I knew not whom. Right in front, the doctor was pursuing
his assailant down the hill, and just as my eyes fell upon him, beat
down his guard and sent him sprawling on his back with a great slash
across the face.
"Round the house, lads! Round the house!" cried the captain; and even in
the hurly-burly, I perceived a change in his voice.
Mechanically, I obeyed, turned eastwards, and with my cutlass raised,
ran round the corner of the house. Next moment I was face to face
with Anderson. He roared aloud, and his hanger went up above his head,
flashing in the sunlight. I had not time to be afraid, but as the blow
still hung impending, leaped in a trice upon one side, and missing my
foot in the soft sand, rolled headlong down the slope.
When I had first sallied from the door, the other mutineers had been
already swarming up the palisade to make an end of us. One man, in a red
night-cap, with his cutlass in his mouth, had even got upon the top and
thrown a leg across. Well, so short had been the interval that when I
found my feet again all was in the same posture, the fellow with the red
night-cap still half-way over, another still just showing his head above
the top of the stockade. And yet, in this breath of time, the fight was
over and the victory was ours.
Gray, following close behind me, had cut down the big boatswain ere
he had time to recover from his last blow. Another had been shot at a
loophole in the very act of firing into the house and now lay in agony,
the pistol still smoking in his hand. A third, as I had seen, the doctor
had disposed of at a blow. Of the four who had scaled the palisade, one
only remained unaccounted for, and he, having left his cutlass on the
field, was now clambering out again with the fear of death upon him.
"Fire--fire from the house!" cried the doctor. "And you, lads, back into
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.
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