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16. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the
Ship Was Abandoned

IT was about half past one--three bells in the sea phrase--that
the two boats went ashore from the Hispaniola. The captain,
the squire, and I were talking matters over in the cabin. Had
there been a breath of wind, we should have fallen on the six
mutineers who were left aboard with us, slipped our cable, and
away to sea. But the wind was wanting; and to complete our
helplessness, down came Hunter with the news that Jim Hawkins
had slipped into a boat and was gone ashore with the rest.

It never occurred to us to doubt Jim Hawkins, but we were
alarmed for his safety. With the men in the temper they were in, it
seemed an even chance if we should see the lad again. We ran on
deck. The pitch was bubbling in the seams; the nasty stench of the
place turned me sick; if ever a man smelt fever and dysentery, it
was in that abominable anchorage. The six scoundrels were sitting
grumbling under a sail in the forecastle; ashore we could see the
gigs made fast and a man sitting in each, hard by where the river
runs in. One of them was whistling “Lillibullero.”

Waiting was a strain, and it was decided that Hunter and I
should go ashore with the jolly-boat in quest of information.

The gigs had leaned to their right, but Hunter and I pulled
straight in, in the direction of the stockade upon the chart. The
two who were left guarding their boats seemed in a bustle at our
appearance; “Lillibullero” stopped off, and I could see the pair
discussing what they ought to do. Had they gone and told Silver,
all might have turned out differently; but they had their orders, I

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