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Aye, mates, said he, its lucky you have Barbecue to think for
you with this here head. I got what I wanted, I did. Sure enough,
they have the ship. Where they have it, I dont know yet; but once
we hit the treasure, well have to jump about and find out. And
then, mates, us that has the boats, I reckon, has the upper hand.

Thus he kept running on, with his mouth full of the hot bacon;
thus he restored their hope and confidence, and, I more than
suspect, repaired his own at the same time.

As for hostage, he continued, thats his last talk, I guess, with
them he loves so dear. Ive got my piece o news, and thanky to
him for that; but its over and done. Ill take him in a line when we
go treasure-hunting, for well keep him like so much gold, in case
of accidents, you mark, and in the meantime. Once we got the ship
and treasure both and off to sea like jolly companions, why then
well talk Mr. Hawkins over, we will, and well give him his share,
to be sure, for all his kindness.

It was no wonder the men were in a good humour now. For my
part, I was horribly cast down. Should the scheme he had now
sketched prove feasible, Silver, already doubly a traitor, would not
hesitate to adopt it. He had still a foot in either camp, and there
was no doubt he would prefer wealth and freedom with the pirates
to a bare escape from hanging, which was the best he had to hope
on our side.

Nay, and even if things so fell out that he was forced to keep his
faith with Dr. Livesey, even then what danger lay before us! What
a moment that would be when the suspicions of his followers
turned to certainty and he and I should have to fight for dear life--
he a cripple and I a boy--against five strong and active seamen!

Add to this double apprehension the mystery that still hung

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