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He grunted, or rather, I might say, he barked.
“If that doctor was aboard,” he said, “I’d be right enough in a
couple of turns, but I don’t have no manner of luck, you see, and
that’s what’s the matter with me. As for that swab, he’s good and
dead, he is,” he added, indicating the man with the red cap. “He
warn’t no seaman anyhow. And where mought you have come

“Well,” said I, “I’ve come aboard to take possession of this ship,
Mr. Hands; and you’ll please regard me as your captain until
further notice.”

He looked at me sourly enough but said nothing. Some of the
colour had come back into his cheeks, though he still looked very
sick and still continued to slip out and settle down as the ship
banged about.

“By the by,” I continued, “I can’t have these colours, Mr.
Hands; and by your leave, I’ll strike ‘em. Better none than these.”

And again dodging the boom, I ran to the colour lines, handed
down their cursed black flag, and chucked it overboard.

“God save the king!” said I, waving my cap. “And there’s an end
to Captain Silver!”

He watched me keenly and slyly, his chin all the while on his

“I reckon,” he said at last, “I reckon, Cap’n Hawkins, you’ll kind
of want to get ashore now. S’pose we talks.”

“Why, yes,” says I, “with all my heart, Mr. Hands. Say on.” And
I went back to my meal with a good appetite.

“This man,” he began, nodding feebly at the corpse “-- O’Brien
were his name, a rank Irelander--this man and me got the canvas
on her, meaning for to sail her back. Well, HE’S dead now, he is--

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