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take time by the forelock, as the saying is, and come to blows some
fine day when they least expect it. We can count, I take it, on your
own home servants, Mr. Trelawney?”

“As upon myself,” declared the squire.
“Three,” reckoned the captain; “ourselves make seven,
counting Hawkins here. Now, about the honest hands?”

“Most likely Trelawney’s own men,” said the doctor; “those he
had picked up for himself before he lit on Silver.”

“Nay,” replied the squire. “Hands was one of mine.”
“I did think I could have trusted Hands,” added the captain.
“And to think that they’re all Englishmen!” broke out the
squire. “Sir, I could find it in my heart to blow the ship up.”

“Well, gentlemen,” said the captain, “the best that I can say is
not much. We must lay to, if you please, and keep a bright lookout.
It’s trying on a man, I know. It would be pleasanter to come to
blows. But there’s no help for it till we know our men. Lay to, and
whistle for a wind, that’s my view.”

“Jim here,” said the doctor, “can help us more than anyone.
The men are not shy with him, and Jim is a noticing lad.”

“Hawkins, I put prodigious faith in you,” added the squire.
I began to feel pretty desperate at this, for I felt altogether
helpless; and yet, by an odd train of circumstances, it was indeed
through me that safety came. In the meantime, talk as we pleased,
there were only seven out of the twenty-six on whom we knew we
could rely; and out of these seven one was a boy, so that the grown
men on our side were six to their nineteen.

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