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out of sorts. A turn ashore’ll hurt nobody-- the boats are still in the
water; you can take the gigs, and as many as please may go ashore
for the afternoon. I’ll fire a gun half an hour before sundown.”

I believe the silly fellows must have thought they would break
their shins over treasure as soon as they were landed, for they all
came out of their sulks in a moment and gave a cheer that started
the echo in a far-away hill and sent the birds once more flying and
squalling round the anchorage.

The captain was too bright to be in the way. He whipped out of
sight in a moment, leaving Silver to arrange the party, and I fancy
it was as well he did so. Had he been on deck, he could no longer
so much as have pretended not to understand the situation. It was
as plain as day. Silver was the captain, and a mighty rebellious
crew he had of it. The honest hands--and I was soon to see it
proved that there were such on board--must have been very stupid
fellows. Or rather, I suppose the truth was this, that all hands were
disaffected by the example of the ringleaders--only some more,
some less; and a few, being good fellows in the main, could neither
be led nor driven any further. It is one thing to be idle and skulk
and quite another to take a ship and murder a number of innocent

At last, however, the party was made up. Six fellows were to
stay on board, and the remaining thirteen, including Silver, began
to embark.

Then it was that there came into my head the first of the mad
notions that contributed so much to save our lives. If six men were
left by Silver, it was plain our party could not take and fight the
ship; and since only six were left, it was equally plain that the
cabin party had no present need of my assistance. It occurred to

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