PART FOUR: The Stockade
Chapter 19: Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade
"And when? says you," he added. "Why, from about noon
observation to about six bells."
"Good," said I, "and now may I go?"
"You won't forget?" he inquired anxiously. "Precious
sight, and reasons of his own, says you. Reasons of
his own; that's the mainstay; as between man and man.
Well, then"--still holding me--"I reckon you can go,
Jim. And, Jim, if you was to see Silver, you wouldn't
go for to sell Ben Gunn? Wild horses wouldn't draw it
from you? No, says you. And if them pirates camp
ashore, Jim, what would you say but there'd be widders
in the morning?"
Here he was interrupted by a loud report, and a
cannonball came tearing through the trees and pitched
in the sand not a hundred yards from where we two were
talking. The next moment each of us had taken to his
heels in a different direction.
For a good hour to come frequent reports shook the
island, and balls kept crashing through the woods. I
moved from hiding-place to hiding-place, always
pursued, or so it seemed to me, by these terrifying
missiles. But towards the end of the bombardment,
though still I durst not venture in the direction of
the stockade, where the balls fell oftenest, I had
begun, in a manner, to pluck up my heart again, and
after a long detour to the east, crept down among the
The sun had just set, the sea breeze was rustling and
tumbling in the woods and ruffling the grey surface of
the anchorage; the tide, too, was far out, and great
tracts of sand lay uncovered; the air, after the heat
of the day, chilled me through my jacket.
The HISPANIOLA still lay where she had anchored; but, sure
enough, there was the Jolly Roger--the black flag of piracy
--flying from her peak. Even as I looked, there came another
red flash and another report that sent the echoes clattering,
and one more round-shot whistled through the air. It was the
last of the cannonade.