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of hope now shining in my bosom. Silver leant back against the
wall, his arms crossed, his pipe in the corner of his mouth, as calm
as though he had been in church; yet his eye kept wandering
furtively, and he kept the tail of it on his unruly followers. They, on
their part, drew gradually together towards the far end of the
block house, and the low hiss of their whispering sounded in my
ear continuously, like a stream. One after another, they would look
up, and the red light of the torch would fall for a second on their
nervous faces; but it was not towards me, it was towards Silver
that they turned their eyes.

“You seem to have a lot to say,” remarked Silver, spitting far
into the air. “Pipe up and let me hear it, or lay to.”

“Ax your pardon, sir,” returned one of the men; “you’re pretty
free with some of the rules; maybe you’ll kindly keep an eye upon
the rest. This crew’s dissatisfied; this crew don’t vally bullying a
marlin-spike; this crew has its rights like other crews, I’ll make so
free as that; and by your own rules, I take it we can talk together. I
ax your pardon, sir, acknowledging you for to be captaing at this
present; but I claim my right, and steps outside for a council.”

And with an elaborate sea-salute, this fellow, a long, ill-looking,
yellow-eyed man of five and thirty, stepped coolly towards the
door and disappeared out of the house. One after another the rest
followed his example, each making a salute as he passed, each
adding some apology. “According to rules,” said one. “Forecastle
council,” said Morgan. And so with one remark or another all
marched out and left Silver and me alone with the torch.

The sea-cook instantly removed his pipe.
“Now, look you here, Jim Hawkins,” he said in a steady whisper
that was no more than audible, “you’re within half a plank of

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