PART SIX: Captain Silver
Chapter 29: The Black Spot Again
THE council of buccaneers had lasted some time, when
one of them re-entered the house, and with a repetition
of the same salute, which had in my eyes an ironical
air, begged for a moment's loan of the torch. Silver
briefly agreed, and this emissary retired again,
leaving us together in the dark.
"There's a breeze coming, Jim," said Silver, who had by
this time adopted quite a friendly and familiar tone.
I turned to the loophole nearest me and looked out.
The embers of the great fire had so far burned
themselves out and now glowed so low and duskily that I
understood why these conspirators desired a torch.
About half-way down the slope to the stockade, they
were collected in a group; one held the light, another
was on his knees in their midst, and I saw the blade of
an open knife shine in his hand with varying colours in
the moon and torchlight. The rest were all somewhat
stooping, as though watching the manoeuvres of this last.
I could just make out that he had a book as well as a
knife in his hand, and was still wondering how anything
so incongruous had come in their possession when the
kneeling figure rose once more to his feet and the whole
party began to move together towards the house.
"Here they come," said I; and I returned to my former
position, for it seemed beneath my dignity that they
should find me watching them.
"Well, let 'em come, lad--let 'em come," said Silver
cheerily. "I've still a shot in my locker."
The door opened, and the five men, standing huddled
together just inside, pushed one of their number
forward. In any other circumstances it would have been
comical to see his slow advance, hesitating as he set
down each foot, but holding his closed right hand in
front of him.
"Step up, lad," cried Silver. "I won't eat you. Hand
it over, lubber. I know the rules, I do; I won't hurt
Thus encouraged, the buccaneer stepped forth more
briskly, and having passed something to Silver, from
hand to hand, slipped yet more smartly back again to