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pistol shooting, we flattered ourselves we should be able to give a
good account of a half-dozen at least.
The squire was waiting for me at the stern window, all his
faintness gone from him. He caught the painter and made it fast,
and we fell to loading the boat for our very lives. Pork, powder,
and biscuit was the cargo, with only a musket and a cutlass apiece
for the squire and me and Redruth and the captain. The rest of the
arms and powder we dropped overboard in two fathoms and a half
of water, so that we could see the bright steel shining far below us
in the sun, on the clean, sandy bottom.
By this time the tide was beginning to ebb, and the ship was
swinging round to her anchor. Voices were heard faintly halloaing
in the direction of the two gigs; and though this reassured us for
Joyce and Hunter, who were well to the eastward, it warned our
party to be off.
Redruth retreated from his place in the gallery and dropped
into the boat, which we then brought round to the ship’s counter,
to be handier for Captain Smollett.
“Now, men,” said he, “do you hear me?”
There was no answer from the forecastle.
“It’s to you, Abraham Gray--it’s to you I am speaking.”
Still no reply.
“Gray,” resumed Mr. Smollett, a little louder, “I am leaving this
ship, and I order you to follow your captain. I know you are a good
man at bottom, and I dare say not one of the lot of you’s as bad as
he makes out. I have my watch here in my hand; I give you thirty
seconds to join me in.”
There was a pause.
“Come, my fine fellow,” continued the captain; “don’t hang so