THE next morning we fell early to work, for the transportation
of this great mass of gold near a mile by land to the beach,
and thence three miles by boat to the HISPANIOLA,
was a considerable task for so small a number of workmen.
The three fellows still abroad upon the island did not
trouble us; a single sentry on the shoulder of the hill
to ensure us against any sudden onslaught, and we thought,
besides, they had had more than enough of fighting.
Therefore the work was pushed on briskly. Gray and Ben
came and went with the boat, while the rest during their
piled treasure on the beach. Two of the bars, slung in
a rope's end,
made a good load for a grown man--one that he was glad
slowly with. For my part, as I was not much use at carrying,
I was kept busy all day in the cave packing the minted
It was a strange collection, like Billy Bones's hoard for
of coinage, but so much larger and so much more varied
that I think I never had more pleasure than in sorting
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Georges, and
doubloons and double guineas and moidores and sequins,
the pictures of all the kings of Europe for the last hundred
strange Oriental pieces stamped with what looked like wisps
of string or bits of spider's web, round pieces and square
and pieces bored through the middle, as if to wear them
round your neck--nearly every variety of money in the world
I think, have found a place in that collection; and for
I am sure they were like autumn leaves, so that my back
with stooping and my fingers with sorting them out.
Day after day this work went on; by every evening a fortune
had been stowed aboard, but there was another fortune waiting
for the morrow; and all this time we heard nothing of the
At last--I think it was on the third night--the doctor
were strolling on the shoulder of the hill where it overlooks
the lowlands of the isle, when, from out the thick darkness
the wind brought us a noise between shrieking and singing.
It was only a snatch that reached our ears, followed by
"Heaven forgive them," said the doctor; "'tis
"All drunk, sir," struck in the voice of Silver
from behind us.
Silver, I should say, was allowed his entire liberty, and
of daily rebuffs, seemed to regard himself once more as
a privileged and friendly dependent. Indeed, it was remarkable
how well he bore these slights and with what unwearying
politeness he kept on trying to ingratiate himself with
Yet, I think, none treated him better than a dog, unless
Ben Gunn, who was still terribly afraid of his old quartermaster,
or myself, who had really something to thank him for;
although for that matter, I suppose, I had reason to think
even worse of him than anybody else, for I had seen him
meditating a fresh treachery upon the plateau. Accordingly,
it was pretty gruffly that the doctor answered him.
"Drunk or raving," said he.
"Right you were, sir," replied Silver;
"and precious little odds which, to you and me."
"I suppose you would hardly ask me to call you a humane
returned the doctor with a sneer, "and so my feelings
surprise you, Master Silver. But if I were sure they were
--as I am morally certain one, at least, of them is down
I should leave this camp, and at whatever risk to my own
take them the assistance of my skill."
"Ask your pardon, sir, you would be very wrong,"
"You would lose your precious life, and you may lay
I'm on your side now, hand and glove; and I shouldn't wish
to see the party weakened, let alone yourself, seeing as
what I owes you. But these men down there, they couldn't
their word--no, not supposing they wished to; and what's
they couldn't believe as you could."
"No," said the doctor.
"You're the man to keep your word, we know that."
Well, that was about the last news we had of the three
Only once we heard a gunshot a great way off and supposed
to be hunting. A council was held, and it was decided
that we must desert them on the island --to the huge glee,
I must say, of Ben Gunn, and with the strong approval of
We left a good stock of powder and shot, the bulk of the
a few medicines, and some other necessaries, tools, clothing,
a spare sail, a fathom or two of rope, and by the particular
of the doctor, a handsome present of tobacco.
That was about our last doing on the island. Before that,
we had got the treasure stowed and had shipped enough water
and the remainder of the goat meat in case of any distress;
and at last, one fine morning, we weighed anchor, which
about all that we could manage, and stood out of North
the same colours flying that the captain had flown and
at the palisade.
The three fellows must have been watching us closer
than we thought for, as we soon had proved. For coming
through the narrows, we had to lie very near the southern
and there we saw all three of them kneeling together
on a spit of sand, with their arms raised in supplication.
It went to all our hearts, I think, to leave them in that
state; but we could not risk another mutiny; and to take
for the gibbet would have been a cruel sort of kindness.
The doctor hailed them and told them of the stores we had
and where they were to find them. But they continued to
by name and appeal to us, for God's sake, to be merciful
leave them to die in such a place.
At last, seeing the ship still bore on her course and was
drawing out of earshot, one of them--I know not which it
leapt to his feet with a hoarse cry, whipped his musket
to his shoulder, and sent a shot whistling over Silver's
and through the main-sail.
After that, we kept under cover of the bulwarks, and when
next I looked out they had disappeared from the spit, and
itself had almost melted out of sight in the growing distance.
That was, at least, the end of that; and before noon,
to my inexpressible joy, the highest rock of Treasure Island
had sunk into the blue round of sea.
We were so short of men that everyone on board had to bear
a hand--only the captain lying on a mattress in the stern
and giving his orders, for though greatly recovered he
in want of quiet. We laid her head for the nearest port
in Spanish America, for we could not risk the voyage home
without fresh hands; and as it was, what with baffling
and a couple of fresh gales, we were all worn out before
we reached it.
It was just at sundown when we cast anchor in a most beautiful
land-locked gulf, and were immediately surrounded by shore
full of Negroes and Mexican Indians and half-bloods
selling fruits and vegetables and offering to dive for
bits of money.
The sight of so many good-humoured faces (especially the
the taste of the tropical fruits, and above all the lights
to shine in the town made a most charming contrast to our
and bloody sojourn on the island; and the doctor and the
taking me along with them, went ashore to pass the early
of the night. Here they met the captain of an English man-of-war,
fell in talk with him, went on board his ship, and, in
had so agreeable a time that day was breaking when we came
alongside the HISPANIOLA.
Ben Gunn was on deck alone, and as soon as we came on board
he began, with wonderful contortions, to make us a confession.
Silver was gone. The maroon had connived at his escape
a shore boat some hours ago, and he now assured us he had
done so to preserve our lives, which would certainly have
forfeit if "that man with the one leg had stayed aboard."
But this was not all. The sea-cook had not gone empty-handed.
He had cut through a bulkhead unobserved and had removed
one of the sacks of coin, worth perhaps three or four hundred
guineas, to help him on his further wanderings.
I think we were all pleased to be so cheaply quit of him.
Well, to make a long story short, we got a few hands on
made a good cruise home, and the HISPANIOLA reached Bristol
just as Mr. Blandly was beginning to think of fitting out
Five men only of those who had sailed returned with her.
"Drink and the devil had done for the rest,"
with a vengeance,
although, to be sure, we were not quite in so bad a case
as that other ship they sang about:
With one man of her crew alive,
What put to sea with seventy-five.
All of us had an ample share of the treasure and used it
or foolishly, according to our natures. Captain Smollett
retired from the sea. Gray not only saved his money, but
suddenly smit with the desire to rise, also studied his
and he is now mate and part owner of a fine full-rigged
married besides, and the father of a family. As for Ben
he got a thousand pounds, which he spent or lost in three
or to be more exact, in nineteen days, for he was back
on the twentieth. Then he was given a lodge to keep,
exactly as he had feared upon the island; and he still
a great favourite, though something of a butt, with the
boys, and a notable singer in church on Sundays and saints'
Of Silver we have heard no more. That formidable seafaring
with one leg has at last gone clean out of my life; but
I dare say
he met his old Negress, and perhaps still lives in comfort
with her and Captain Flint. It is to be hoped so, I suppose,
for his chances of comfort in another world are very small.
The bar silver and the arms still lie, for all that I know,
where Flint buried them; and certainly they shall lie there
Oxen and wain-ropes would not bring me back again
to that accursed island; and the worst dreams that ever
are when I hear the surf booming about its coasts
or start upright in bed with the sharp voice of Captain
still ringing in my ears: "Pieces of eight! Pieces
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