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the right line with Skeleton Island. He had said the truth: dead or
alive, nobody minded Ben Gunn.
Dick alone still held his Bible, and looked around him as he
went, with fearful glances; but he found no sympathy, and Silver
even joked him on his precautions.
“I told you,” said he--”I told you you had sp’iled your Bible. If it
ain’t no good to swear by, what do you suppose a sperrit would
give for it? Not that!” and he snapped his big fingers, halting a
moment on his crutch.
But Dick was not to be comforted; indeed, it was soon plain to
me that the lad was falling sick; hastened by heat, exhaustion, and
the shock of his alarm, the fever, predicted by Dr. Livesey, was
evidently growing swiftly higher.
It was fine open walking here, upon the summit; our way lay a
little downhill, for, as I have said, the plateau tilted towards the
west. The pines, great and small, grew wide apart; and even
between the clumps of nutmeg and azalea, wide open spaces
baked in the hot sunshine. Striking, as we did, pretty near north-
west across the island, we drew, on the one hand, ever nearer
under the shoulders of the Spy-glass, and on the other, looked
ever wider over that western bay where I had once tossed and
trembled in the oracle.
The first of the tall trees was reached, and by the bearings
proved the wrong one. So with the second. The third rose nearly
two hundred feet into the air above a clump of underwood--a giant
of a vegetable, with a red column as big as a cottage, and a wide
shadow around in which a company could have manoeuvred. It
was conspicuous far to sea both on the east and west and might
have been entered as a sailing mark upon the chart.