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though we sometimes stopped to lay hold of each other and
hearken. But there was no unusual sound--nothing but the low
wash of the ripple and the croaking of the inmates of the wood.

It was already candle-light when we reached the hamlet, and I
shall never forget how much I was cheered to see the yellow shine
in doors and windows; but that, as it proved, was the best of the
help we were likely to get in that quarter. For--you would have
thought men would have been ashamed of themselves--no soul
would consent to return with us to the Admiral Benbow. The more
we told of our troubles, the more--man, woman, and child-- they
clung to the shelter of their houses. The name of Captain Flint,
though it was strange to me, was well enough known to some
there and carried a great weight of terror. Some of the men who
had been to field-work on the far side of the Admiral Benbow
remembered, besides, to have seen several strangers on the road,
and taking them to be smugglers, to have bolted away; and one at
least had seen a little lugger in what we called Kitt’s Hole. For that
matter, anyone who was a comrade of the captain’s was enough to
frighten them to death. And the short and the long of the matter
was, that while we could get several who were willing enough to
ride to Dr. Livesey’s, which lay in another direction, not one would
help us to defend the inn.

They say cowardice is infectious; but then argument is, on the
other hand, a great emboldener; and so when each had said his
say, my mother made them a speech. She would not, she declared,
lose money that belonged to her fatherless boy; “If none of the rest
of you dare,” she said, “Jim and I dare. Back we will go, the way
we came, and small thanks to you big, hulking, chicken-hearted
men. We’ll have that chest open, if we die for it. And I’ll thank you

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