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straggled, one after another, to the beach, where the two gigs
awaited us. Even these bore trace of the drunken folly of the
pirates, one in a broken thwart, and both in their muddy and
unbailed condition. Both were to be carried along with us for the
sake of safety; and so, with our numbers divided between them,
we set forth upon the bosom of the anchorage.
As we pulled over, there was some discussion on the chart. The
red cross was, of course, far too large to be a guide; and the terms
of the note on the back, as you will hear, admitted of some
ambiguity. They ran, the reader may remember, thus:
Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to the N. of
N.N.E. Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E. Ten feet.
A tall tree was thus the principal mark. Now, right before us the
anchorage was bounded by a plateau from two to three hundred
feet high, adjoining on the north the sloping southern shoulder of
the Spy-glass and rising again towards the south into the rough,
cliffy eminence called the Mizzen-mast Hill. The top of the plateau
was dotted thickly with pine-trees of varying height. Every here
and there, one of a different species rose forty or fifty feet clear
above its neighbours, and which of these was the particular “tall
tree” of Captain Flint could only be decided on the spot, and by
the readings of the compass.
Yet, although that was the case, every man on board the boats
had picked a favourite of his own ere we were half-way over, Long
John alone shrugging his shoulders and bidding them wait till
they were there.
We pulled easily, by Silver’s directions, not to weary the hands
prematurely, and after quite a long passage, landed at the mouth
of the second river--that which runs down a woody cleft of the