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
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
"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
"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
"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
"Any more?" asked Mr. Trelawney.
"One more," said the captain.
"There's been too much blabbing
"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
"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
"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 John Silver."
"Silver, if you like," cried the
squire; "but as for that intolerable
humbug, I declare I think his
conduct unmanly, unsailorly, and
"Well," says the doctor, "we shall
When we came on deck, the men had
begun already to take out the arms
and powder, yo-ho-ing at their work,
while the captain and Mr. Arrow
stood by superintending.
The new arrangement was quite to my
liking. The whole schooner had been
overhauled; six berths had been made
astern out of what had been the
after-part of the main hold; and
this set of cabins was only joined
to the galley and forecastle by a
sparred passage on the port side. It
had been originally meant that the
captain, Mr. Arrow, Hunter, Joyce,
the doctor, and the squire were to
occupy these six berths. Now Redruth
and I were to get two of them and
Mr. Arrow and the captain were to
sleep on deck in the companion,
which had been enlarged on each side
till you might almost have called it
a round-house. Very low it was
still, of course; but there was room
to swing two hammocks, and even the
mate seemed pleased with the
arrangement. Even he, perhaps, had
been doubtful as to the crew, but
that is only guess, for as you shall
hear, we had not long the benefit of
We were all hard at work, changing
the powder and the berths, when the
last man or two, and Long John along
with them, came off in a shore-boat.
The cook came up the side like a
monkey for cleverness, and as soon
as he saw what was doing, "So ho,
mates!" says he. "What's this?"
"We're a-changing of the powder,
Jack," answers one.
"Why, by the powers," cried Long
John, "if we do, we'll miss the
"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
"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
And then as I was hurrying off I
heard him say, quite loudly, to the
doctor, "I'll have no favourites on
I assure you I was quite of the
squire's way of thinking, and hated
the captain deeply.