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muskets were laid ready to the hand of the defenders. In the
middle, the cutlasses lay ranged.

“Toss out the fire,” said the captain; “the chill is past, and we
mustn’t have smoke in our eyes.”

The iron fire-basket was carried bodily out by Mr. Trelawney,
and the embers smothered among sand.

“Hawkins hasn’t had his breakfast. Hawkins, help yourself, and
back to your post to eat it,” continued Captain Smollett. “Lively,
now, my lad; you’ll want it before you’ve done. Hunter, serve out a
round of brandy to all hands.”

And while this was going on, the captain completed, in his own
mind, the plan of the defence.

“Doctor, you will take the door,” he resumed. “See, and don’t
expose yourself; keep within, and fire through the porch. Hunter,
take the east side, there. Joyce, you stand by the west, my man.
Mr. Trelawney, you are the best shot--you and Gray will take this
long north side, with the five loopholes; it’s there the danger is. If
they can get up to it and fire in upon us through our own ports,
things would begin to look dirty. Hawkins, neither you nor I are
much account at the shooting; we’ll stand by to load and bear a

As the captain had said, the chill was past. As soon as the sun
had climbed above our girdle of trees, it fell with all its force upon
the clearing and drank up the vapours at a draught. Soon the sane
was baking and the resin melting in the logs of the block house.
Jackets and coats were flung aside, shirts thrown open at the neck
and rolled up to the shoulders; and we stood there, each at his
post, in a fever of heat and anxiety.

An hour passed away.

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