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me? Who forced my hand, as was the lawful cap’n? Who tipped me
the black spot the day we landed and began this dance? Ah, it’s a
fine dance--I’m with you there--and looks mighty like a hornpipe
in a rope’s end at Execution Dock by London town, it does. But
who done it? Why, it was Anderson, and Hands, and you, George
Merry! And you’re the last above board of that same meddling
crew; and you have the Davy Jones’s insolence to up and stand for
cap’n over me--you, that sank the lot of us! By the powers! But this
tops the stiffest yarn to nothing.”

Silver paused, and I could see by the faces of George and his
late comrades that these words had not been said in vain.

“That’s for number one,” cried the accused, wiping the sweat
from his brow, for he had been talking with a vehemence that
shook the house. “Why, I give you my word, I’m sick to speak to
you. You’ve neither sense nor memory, and I leave it to fancy
where your mothers was that let you come to sea. Sea! Gentlemen
o’ fortune! I reckon tailors is your trade.”

“Go on, John,” said Morgan. “Speak up to the others.”
“Ah, the others!” returned John. “They’re a nice lot, ain’t they?
You say this cruise is bungled. Ah! By gum, if you could
understand how bad it’s bungled, you would see! We’re that near
the gibbet that my neck’s stiff with thinking on it. You’ve seen ‘em,
maybe, hanged in chains, birds about ‘em, seamen p’inting ‘em out
as they go down with the tide. ‘Who’s that?’ says one. ‘That! Why,
that’s John Silver. I knowed him well,’ says another. And you can
hear the chains a-jangle as you go about and reach for the other
buoy. Now, that’s about where we are, every mother’s son of us,
thanks to him, and Hands, and Anderson, and other ruination
fools of you. And if you want to know about number four, and that

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