PART SIX: Captain Silver
Chapter 33: The Fall of a Chieftain
THERE never was such an overturn in this world. Each
of these six men was as though he had been struck. But
with Silver the blow passed almost instantly. Every
thought of his soul had been set full-stretch, like a
racer, on that money; well, he was brought up, in a
single second, dead; and he kept his head, found his
temper, and changed his plan before the others had had
time to realize the disappointment.
"Jim," he whispered, "take that, and stand by for trouble."
And he passed me a double-barrelled pistol.
At the same time, he began quietly moving northward,
and in a few steps had put the hollow between us two
and the other five. Then he looked at me and nodded,
as much as to say, "Here is a narrow corner," as,
indeed, I thought it was. His looks were not quite
friendly, and I was so revolted at these constant
changes that I could not forbear whispering, "So you've
changed sides again."
There was no time left for him to answer in. The
buccaneers, with oaths and cries, began to leap, one
after another, into the pit and to dig with their fingers,
throwing the boards aside as they did so. Morgan found a
piece of gold. He held it up with a perfect spout of oaths.
It was a two-guinea piece, and it went from hand to hand
among them for a quarter of a minute.
"Two guineas!" roared Merry, shaking it at Silver.
"That's your seven hundred thousand pounds, is it?
You're the man for bargains, ain't you? You're him
that never bungled nothing, you wooden-headed lubber!"
"Dig away, boys," said Silver with the coolest insolence;
"you'll find some pig-nuts and I shouldn't wonder."
"Pig-nuts!" repeated Merry, in a scream. "Mates, do
you hear that? I tell you now, that man there knew it
all along. Look in the face of him and you'll see it
"Ah, Merry," remarked Silver, "standing for cap'n
again? You're a pushing lad, to be sure."