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
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
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
"I have, sir," said Silver. "I've
watered there with a trader I was
"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 your pardon."
"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
The doctor changed countenance a
little, but next moment he was
master of himself.
"Thank you, Jim," said he quite
loudly, "that was all I wanted to
know," as if he had asked me a
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 deck.
"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
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
"Now, Hawkins," said the squire,
"you have something to say. Speak
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
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
"Now, captain," said the squire,
"you were right, and I was wrong. I
own myself an ass, and I await your
"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,
"Captain," said the doctor, "with
your permission, that's Silver. A
very remarkable man."
"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
"You, sir, are the captain. It is
for you to speak," says Mr.
"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. Trelawney?"
"As upon myself," declared the
"Three," reckoned the captain;
"ourselves make seven, counting
Hawkins here. Now, about the honest
"Most likely Trelawney's own men,"
said the doctor; "those he had
picked up for himself before he lit
"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
"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.