PART SIX: Captain Silver
Chapter 28: In the Enemy's Camp
To all this, as may be well supposed, I made no answer.
They had set me with my back against the wall, and I
stood there, looking Silver in the face, pluckily
enough, I hope, to all outward appearance, but with
black despair in my heart.
Silver took a whiff or two of his pipe with great
composure and then ran on again.
"Now, you see, Jim, so be as you ARE here," says
he, "I'll give you a piece of my mind. I've always
liked you, I have, for a lad of spirit, and the picter
of my own self when I was young and handsome. I always
wanted you to jine and take your share, and die a
gentleman, and now, my cock, you've got to. Cap'n
Smollett's a fine seaman, as I'll own up to any day,
but stiff on discipline. 'Dooty is dooty,' says he,
and right he is. Just you keep clear of the cap'n.
The doctor himself is gone dead again you--'ungrateful
scamp' was what he said; and the short and the long of
the whole story is about here: you can't go back to
your own lot, for they won't have you; and without you
start a third ship's company all by yourself, which
might be lonely, you'll have to jine with Cap'n Silver."
So far so good. My friends, then, were still alive,
and though I partly believed the truth of Silver's
statement, that the cabin party were incensed at me for
my desertion, I was more relieved than distressed by
what I heard.
"I don't say nothing as to your being in our hands,"
continued Silver, "though there you are, and you may
lay to it. I'm all for argyment; I never seen good
come out o' threatening. If you like the service,
well, you'll jine; and if you don't, Jim, why, you're
free to answer no--free and welcome, shipmate; and if
fairer can be said by mortal seaman, shiver my sides!"
"Am I to answer, then?" I asked with a very tremulous
voice. Through all this sneering talk, I was made to
feel the threat of death that overhung me, and my
cheeks burned and my heart beat painfully in my breast.