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they were like autumn leaves, so that my back ached with stooping
and my fingers with sorting them out.

Day after day this work went on; by every evening a fortune
had been stowed aboard, but there was another fortune waiting
for the morrow; and all this time we heard nothing of the three
surviving mutineers.

At last--I think it was on the third night--the doctor and I were
strolling on the shoulder of the hill where it overlooks the lowlands
of the isle, when, from out the thick darkness below, the wind
brought us a noise between shrieking and singing. It was only a
snatch that reached our ears, followed by the former silence.

“Heaven forgive them,” said the doctor; “‘tis the mutineers!”
“All drunk, sir,” struck in the voice of Silver from behind us.
Silver, I should say, was allowed his entire liberty, and in spite
of daily rebuffs, seemed to regard himself once more as quite a
privileged and friendly dependent. Indeed, it was remarkable how
well he bore these slights and with what unwearying politeness he
kept on trying to ingratiate himself with all. Yet, I think, none
treated him better than a dog, unless it was Ben Gunn, who was
still terribly afraid of his old quartermaster, or myself, who had
really something to thank him for; although for that matter, I
suppose, I had reason to think even worse of him than anybody
else, for I had seen him meditating a fresh treachery upon the
plateau. Accordingly, it was pretty gruffly that the doctor
answered him.

“Drunk or raving,” said he. “Right you were, sir,” replied
Silver; “and precious little odds which, to you and me.”

“I suppose you would hardly ask me to call you a humane
man,” returned the doctor with a sneer, “and so my feelings may

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