PART SIX: Captain Silver
Chapter 31: The Treasure-hunt--Flint's Pointer
We made a curious figure, had anyone been there to see
us--all in soiled sailor clothes and all but me armed
to the teeth. Silver had two guns slung about him--one
before and one behind--besides the great cutlass at his
waist and a pistol in each pocket of his square-tailed
coat. To complete his strange appearance, Captain
Flint sat perched upon his shoulder and gabbling odds
and ends of purposeless sea-talk. I had a line about
my waist and followed obediently after the sea-cook,
who held the loose end of the rope, now in his free
hand, now between his powerful teeth. For all the
world, I was led like a dancing bear.
The other men were variously burthened, some carrying
picks and shovels--for that had been the very first
necessary they brought ashore from the HISPANIOLA--
others laden with pork, bread, and brandy for the
midday meal. All the stores, I observed, came from our
stock, and I could see the truth of Silver's words the
night before. Had he not struck a bargain with the doctor,
he and his mutineers, deserted by the ship, must have been
driven to subsist on clear water and the proceeds of their
hunting. Water would have been little to their taste; a
sailor is not usually a good shot; and besides all that,
when they were so short of eatables, it was not likely
they would be very flush of powder.
Well, thus equipped, we all set out--even the fellow
with the broken head, who should certainly have kept in
shadow--and straggled, one after another, to the beach,
where the two gigs awaited us. Even these bore trace
of the drunken folly of the pirates, one in a broken
thwart, and both in their muddy and unbailed condition.
Both were to be carried along with us for the sake of
safety; and so, with our numbers divided between them,
we set forth upon the bosom of the anchorage.
As we pulled over, there was some discussion on the
chart. The red cross was, of course, far too large to
be a guide; and the terms of the note on the back, as
you will hear, admitted of some ambiguity. They ran,
the reader may remember, thus:
Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to
the N. of N.N.E.
Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E.