PART TWO: The Sea-cook
Chapter 10: The Voyage
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 voyage and a safe return. We never had a
night at the Admiral Benbow when I had half the work;
and I was dog-tired when, a little before dawn, the
boatswain sounded his pipe and the crew began to man
the capstan-bars. I might have been twice as weary,
yet I would not have left the deck, all was so new and
interesting to me--the brief commands, the shrill note
of the whistle, the men 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 by,
with his crutch under his arm, and at once broke out in
the air 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
Even at that exciting moment it carried me back to the old
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 hour 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
fairly prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship,
the crew were 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.