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18. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: End of the
First Day’s Fighting
WE made our best speed across the strip of wood that now
divided us from the stockade, and at every step we took
the voices of the buccaneers rang nearer. Soon we could
hear their footfalls as they ran and the cracking of the branches as
they breasted across a bit of thicket.
I began to see we should have a brush for it in earnest and
looked to my priming.
“Captain,” said I, “Trelawney is the dead shot. Give him your
gun; his own is useless.”
They exchanged guns, and Trelawney, silent and cool as he had
been since the beginning of the bustle, hung a moment on his heel
to see that all was fit for service. At the same time, observing Gray
to be unarmed, I handed him my cutlass. It did all our hearts good
to see him spit in his hand, knit his brows, and make the blade
sing through the air. It was plain from every line of his body that
our new hand was worth his salt.
Forty paces farther we came to the edge of the wood and saw
the stockade in front of us. We struck the enclosure about the
middle of the south side, and almost at the same time, seven
mutineers--Job Anderson, the boatswain, at their head--appeared
in full cry at the southwestern corner.
They paused as if taken aback, and before they recovered, not
only the squire and I, but Hunter and Joyce from the block house,
had time to fire. The four shots came in rather a scattering volley,
but they did the business: one of the enemy actually fell, and the