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
and a safe return. We never had a night at the Admiral
when I had half the work; and I was dog-tired when,
a little before dawn, the boatswain sounded his pipe and
began to man the capstan-bars. I might have been twice
yet I would not have left the deck, all was so new and
to me--the brief commands, the shrill note of the whistle,
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
with his crutch under his arm, and at once broke out in
and words I knew so well:
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--"
And then the whole crew bore chorus:--
"Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
And at the third "Ho!" drove the bars before
them with a will.
Even at that exciting moment it carried me back to the
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
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
prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship, the crew
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
had feared. He had no command among the men, and people
what they pleased with him. But that was by no means the
of it, for after a day or two at sea he began to appear
with hazy eye, red cheeks, stuttering tongue, and other
of drunkenness. Time after time he was ordered below in
Sometimes he fell and cut himself; sometimes he lay all
in his little bunk at one side of the companion; sometimes
for a day or two he would be almost sober and attend to
at least passably.
In the meantime, we could never make out where he got the
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
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,
to advance one of the men. The boatswain, Job Anderson,
was the likeliest man aboard, and though he kept his old
he served in a way as mate. Mr. Trelawney had followed
and his knowledge made him very useful, for he often took
a watch himself in easy weather. And the coxswain, Israel
was a careful, wily, old, experienced seaman who could
at a pinch with almost anything.
He was a great confidant of Long John Silver, and so the
of his name leads me on to speak of our ship's cook, Barbecue,
as the men called him.
Aboard ship he carried his crutch by a lanyard round his
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
get on with his cooking like someone safe ashore. Still
strange was it to see him in the heaviest of weather cross
He had a line or two rigged up to help him across the widest
-- Long John's earrings, they were called; and he would
himself from one place to another, now using the crutch,
now trailing it alongside by the lanyard, as quickly as
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
"He had good schooling in his young days and can speak
like a book when so minded; and brave--a lion's nothing
of Long John! I seen him grapple four and knock their heads
All the crew respected and even obeyed him. He had a way
of talking to each and doing everybody some particular
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
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
Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" till you wondered
that it was not
out of breath, or till John threw his handkerchief over
"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
at Madagascar, and at Malabar, and Surinam, and Providence,
and Portobello. She was at the fishing up of the wrecked
ships. It's there she learned 'Pieces of eight,' and little
three hundred and fifty thousand of 'em, Hawkins! She was
at the boarding of the viceroy of the Indies out of Goa,
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
and give her sugar from his pocket, and then the bird would
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
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
In the meantime, the squire and Captain Smollett were still
on pretty distant terms with one another. The squire made
about the matter; he despised the captain. The captain,
on his part,
never spoke but when he was spoken to, and then sharp and
and dry, and not a word wasted. He owned, when driven
into a corner, that he seemed to have been wrong about
that some of them were as brisk as he wanted to see and
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 squire, at this, would turn away and march up and down
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
for it is my belief there was never a ship's company so
since Noah put to sea. Double grog was going on the least
there was duff on odd days, as, for instance, if the squire
it was any man's birthday, and always a barrel of apples
broached in the waist for anyone to help himself that had
"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
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
by the largest computation; some time that night, or at
before noon of the morrow, we should sight the Treasure
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
because we were now so near an end of the first part of
Now, just after sundown, when all my work was over and
on my way to my berth, it occurred to me that I should
an apple. I ran on deck. The watch was all forward looking
for the island. The man at the helm was watching the luff
of the sail and whistling away gently to himself, and that
the only sound excepting the swish of the sea against the
and around the sides of the ship.
In I got bodily into the apple barrel, and found there
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
so when a heavy man sat down with rather a clash close
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
trembling and listening, in the extreme of fear and curiosity,
for from these dozen words I understood that the lives
the honest men aboard depended upon me alone.
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Room | TREASURE