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possession of the evil ones abroad.
“Israel was Flint’s gunner,” said Gray hoarsely.
At any risk, we put the boat’s head direct for the landing-place.
By this time we had got so far out of the run of the current that we
kept steerage way even at our necessarily gentle rate of rowing,
and I could keep her steady for the goal. But the worst of it was
that with the course I now held we turned our broadside instead of
our stern to the Hispaniola and offered a target like a barn door.
I could hear as well as see that brandy-faced rascal Israel
Hands plumping down a round-shot on the deck.
“Who’s the best shot?” asked the captain.
“Mr. Trelawney, out and away,” said I.
“Mr. Trelawney, will you please pick me off one of these men,
sir? Hands, if possible,” said the captain.
Trelawney was as cool as steel. He looked to the priming of his
“Now,” cried the captain, “easy with that gun, sir, or you’ll
swamp the boat. All hands stand by to trim her when he aims.”
The squire raised his gun, the rowing ceased, and we leaned
over to the other side to keep the balance, and all was so nicely
contrived that we did not ship a drop.
They had the gun, by this time, slewed round upon the swivel,
and Hands, who was at the muzzle with the rammer, was in
consequence the most exposed. However, we had no luck, for just
as Trelawney fired, down he stooped, the ball whistled over him,
and it was one of the other four who fell.
The cry he gave was echoed not only by his companions on
board but by a great number of voices from the shore, and looking
in that direction I saw the other pirates trooping out from among