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At the same moment, the doctor, Gray, and Ben Gunn joined
us, with smoking muskets, from among the nutmeg-trees.

“Forward!” cried the doctor. “Double quick, my lads. We must
head ‘em off the boats.”

And we set off at a great pace, sometimes plunging through the
bushes to the chest.

I tell you, but Silver was anxious to keep up with us. The work
that man went through, leaping on his crutch till the muscles of
his chest were fit to burst, was work no sound man ever equalled;
and so thinks the doctor. As it was, he was already thirty yards
behind us and on the verge of strangling when we reached the
brow of the slope.

“Doctor,” he hailed, “see there! No hurry!”
Sure enough there was no hurry. In a more open part of the
plateau, we could see the three survivors still running in the same
direction as they had started, right for Mizzen-mast Hill. We were
already between them and the boats; and so we four sat down to
breathe, while Long John, mopping his face, came slowly up with

“Thank ye kindly, doctor,” says he. “You came in in about the
nick, I guess, for me and Hawkins. And so it’s you, Ben Gunn!” he
added. “Well, you’re a nice one, to be sure.”

“I’m Ben Gunn, I am,” replied the maroon, wriggling like an eel
in his embarrassment. “And,” he added, after a long pause, “how
do, Mr. Silver? Pretty well, I thank ye, says you.”

“Ben, Ben,” murmured Silver, “to think as you’ve done me!”
The doctor sent back Gray for one of the pick-axes deserted, in
their flight, by the mutineers, and then as we proceeded leisurely

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