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
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
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
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
One of them was whistling "Lillibullero."
Waiting was a strain, and it was decided that Hunter and
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
The two who were left guarding their boats seemed in a
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
where they were and hark back again to "Lillibullero."
There was a slight bend in the coast, and I steered so
to put it between us; even before we landed we had thus
of the gigs. I jumped out and came as near running as I
with a big silk handkerchief under my hat for coolness'
and a brace of pistols ready primed for safety.
I had not gone a hundred yards when I reached the stockade.
This was how it was: a spring of clear water rose almost
at the top
of a knoll. Well, on the knoll, and enclosing the spring,
they had clapped a stout log-house fit to hold two score
on a pinch and loopholed for musketry on either side.
All round this they had cleared a wide space, and then
was completed by a paling six feet high, without door or
too strong to pull down without time and labour and too
to shelter the besiegers. The people in the log-house had
in every way; they stood quiet in shelter and shot the
like partridges. All they wanted was a good watch and food;
for, short of a complete surprise, they might have held
against a regiment.
What particularly took my fancy was the spring. For though
had a good enough place of it in the cabin of the
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
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
the Duke of Cumberland, and got a wound myself at
but I know my pulse went dot and carry one. "Jim Hawkins
gone," was my first thought.
It is something to have been an old soldier, but more still
to have been a doctor. There is no time to dilly-dally
in our work.
And so now I made up my mind instantly, and with no time
returned to the shore and jumped on board the jolly-boat.
By good fortune Hunter pulled a good oar. We made the water
and the boat was soon alongside and I aboard the schooner.
I found them all shaken, as was natural. The squire was
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
"There's a man," says Captain Smollett, nodding
"new to this work. He came nigh-hand fainting, doctor,
heard the cry. Another touch of the rudder and that man
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
for protection. Hunter brought the boat round under the
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,
the latter hailed the coxswain, who was the principal man
"Mr. Hands," he said, "here are two of us
with a brace of pistols
each. If any one of you six make a signal of any description,
that man's dead."
They were a good deal taken aback, and after a little consultation
one and all tumbled down the fore companion, thinking no
to take us on the rear. But when they saw Redruth waiting
in the sparred galley, they went about ship at once, and
popped out again on deck.
"Down, dog!" cries the captain.
And the head popped back again; and we heard no more,
for the time, of these six very faint-hearted seamen.
By this time, tumbling things in as they came, we had the
jolly-boat loaded as much as we dared. Joyce and I got
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
sight of them behind the little point, one of them whipped
and disappeared. I had half a mind to change my plan
and destroy their boats, but I feared that Silver and the
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
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
jolly-boat and loaded ourselves once more. So we proceeded
without pausing to take breath, till the whole cargo was
when the two servants took up their position in the block
and I, with all my power, sculled back to the HISPANIOLA.
That we should have risked a second boat load seems more
than it really was. They had the advantage of numbers,
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
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
Pork, powder, and biscuit was the cargo, with only a musket
and a cutlass apiece for the squire and me and Redruth
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
By this time the tide was beginning to ebb, and the ship
swinging round to her anchor. Voices were heard faintly
in the direction of the two gigs; and though this reassured
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
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
a good man at bottom, and I dare say not one of the lot
as bad as he makes out. I have my watch here in my hand;
I give you thirty seconds to join me in."
There was a pause.
"Come, my fine fellow," continued the captain;
"don't hang so long
in stays. I'm risking my life and the lives of these good
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
and we had shoved off and given way.
We were clear out of the ship, but not yet ashore in our
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