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“Cap’n Silver! Don’t know him. Who’s he?” cried the captain.
And we could hear him adding to himself, “Cap’n, is it? My heart,
and here’s promotion!”

Long John answered for himself. “Me, sir. These poor lads have
chosen me cap’n, after your desertion, sir”-- laying a particular
emphasis upon the word “desertion.” “We’re willing to submit, if
we can come to terms, and no bones about it. All I ask is your
word, Cap’n Smollett, to let me safe and sound out of this here
stockade, and one minute to get out o’ shot before a gun is fired.”

“My man,” said Captain Smollett, “I have not the slightest
desire to talk to you. If you wish to talk to me, you can come, that’s
all. If there’s any treachery, it’ll be on your side, and the Lord help

“That’s enough, cap’n,” shouted Long John cheerily. “A word
from you’s enough. I know a gentleman, and you may lay to that.”

We could see the man who carried the flag of truce attempting
to hold Silver back. Nor was that wonderful, seeing how cavalier
had been the captain’s answer. But Silver laughed at him aloud
and slapped him on the back as if the idea of alarm had been
absurd. Then he advanced to the stockade, threw over his crutch,
got a leg up, and with great vigour and skill succeeded in
surmounting the fence and dropping safely to the other side.

I will confess that I was far too much taken up with what was
going on to be of the slightest use as sentry; indeed, I had already
deserted my eastern loophole and crept up behind the captain,
who had now seated himself on the threshold, with his elbows on
his knees, his head in his hands, and his eyes fixed on the water as
it bubbled out of the old iron kettle in the sand. He was whistling
“Come, Lasses and Lads.”

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