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distressed by what I heard.

“I don’t say nothing as to your being in our hands,” continued
Silver, “though there you are, and you may lay to it. I’m all for
argyment; I never seen good come out o’ threatening. If you like
the service, well, you’ll jine; and if you don’t, Jim, why, you’re free
to answer no--free and welcome, shipmate; and if fairer can be
said by mortal seaman, shiver my sides!”

“Am I to answer, then?” I asked with a very tremulous voice.
Through all this sneering talk, I was made to feel the threat of
death that overhung me, and my cheeks burned and my heart beat
painfully in my breast.

“Lad,” said Silver, “no one’s a-pressing of you. Take your
bearings. None of us won’t hurry you, mate; time goes so pleasant
in your company, you see.”

“Well,” says I, growing a bit bolder, “if I’m to choose, I declare I
have a right to know what’s what, and why you’re here, and where
my friends are.”

“Wot’s wot?” repeated one of the buccaneers in a deep growl.
“Ah, he’d be a lucky one as knowed that!”

“You’ll perhaps batten down your hatches till you’re spoke to,
my friend,” cried Silver truculently to this speaker. And then, in
his first gracious tones, he replied to me, “Yesterday morning, Mr.
Hawkins,” said he, “in the dog-watch, down came Doctor Livesey
with a flag of truce. Says he, ‘Cap’n Silver, you’re sold out. Ship’s
gone.’ Well, maybe we’d been taking a glass, and a song to help it
round. I won’t say no. Leastways, none of us had looked out. We
looked out, and by thunder, the old ship was gone! I never seen a
pack o’ fools look fishier; and you may lay to that, if I tells you that
looked the fishiest. ‘Well,’ says the doctor, ‘let’s bargain.’ We

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