PART FIVE: My Sea Adventure
Chapter 27: "Pieces of Eight"
By this time I had got to the door and stood up. All
was dark within, so that I could distinguish nothing by
the eye. As for sounds, there was the steady drone of
the snorers and a small occasional noise, a flickering
or pecking that I could in no way account for.
With my arms before me I walked steadily in. I should
lie down in my own place (I thought with a silent chuckle)
and enjoy their faces when they found me in the morning.
My foot struck something yielding--it was a sleeper's
leg; and he turned and groaned, but without awaking.
And then, all of a sudden, a shrill voice broke forth
out of the darkness:
"Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!
Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! and so forth, without
pause or change, like the clacking of a tiny mill.
Silver's green parrot, Captain Flint! It was she whom
I had heard pecking at a piece of bark; it was she,
keeping better watch than any human being, who thus
announced my arrival with her wearisome refrain.
I had no time left me to recover. At the sharp,
clipping tone of the parrot, the sleepers awoke and
sprang up; and with a mighty oath, the voice of Silver
cried, "Who goes?"
I turned to run, struck violently against one person,
recoiled, and ran full into the arms of a second, who
for his part closed upon and held me tight.
"Bring a torch, Dick," said Silver when my capture was
And one of the men left the log-house and presently
returned with a lighted brand.