PART TWO: The Sea-cook
Chapter 10: The Voyage
Mr. Arrow, first of all, turned out even worse than the
captain had feared. He had no command among the men,
and people did what they pleased with him. But that
was by no means the worst of it, for after a day or two
at sea he began to appear on deck with hazy eye, red
cheeks, stuttering tongue, and other marks of
drunkenness. Time after time he was ordered below in
disgrace. Sometimes he fell and cut himself; sometimes
he lay all day long in his little bunk at one side of
the companion; sometimes for a day or two he would be
almost sober and attend to his work at least passably.
In the meantime, we could never make out where he got
the drink. That was the ship's mystery. Watch him as
we pleased, we could do nothing to solve it; and when
we asked him to his face, he would only laugh if he
were drunk, and if he were sober deny solemnly that he
ever tasted anything but water.
He was not only useless as an officer and a bad
influence amongst the men, but it was plain that at this
rate he must soon kill himself outright, so nobody was
much surprised, nor very sorry, when one dark night, with
a head sea, he disappeared entirely and was seen no more.
"Overboard!" said the captain. "Well, gentlemen, that
saves the trouble of putting him in irons."
But there we were, without a mate; and it was
necessary, of course, to advance one of the men. The
boatswain, Job Anderson, was the likeliest man aboard,
and though he kept his old title, he served in a way as
mate. Mr. Trelawney had followed the sea, and his
knowledge made him very useful, for he often took a watch
himself in easy weather. And the coxswain, Israel Hands,
was a careful, wily, old, experienced seaman who could be
trusted at a pinch with almost anything.
He was a great confidant of Long John Silver, and so
the mention of his name leads me on to speak of our
ship's cook, Barbecue, as the men called him.