PART FOUR: The Stockade
Chapter 19: Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade
I lay for some time watching the bustle which succeeded
the attack. Men were demolishing something with axes
on the beach near the stockade--the poor jolly-boat, I
afterwards discovered. Away, near the mouth of the
river, a great fire was glowing among the trees, and
between that point and the ship one of the gigs kept
coming and going, the men, whom I had seen so gloomy,
shouting at the oars like children. But there was a
sound in their voices which suggested rum.
At length I thought I might return towards the
stockade. I was pretty far down on the low, sandy spit
that encloses the anchorage to the east, and is joined
at half-water to Skeleton Island; and now, as I rose to
my feet, I saw, some distance further down the spit and
rising from among low bushes, an isolated rock, pretty
high, and peculiarly white in colour. It occurred to
me that this might be the white rock of which Ben Gunn
had spoken and that some day or other a boat might be
wanted and I should know where to look for one.
Then I skirted among the woods until I had regained the
rear, or shoreward side, of the stockade, and was soon
warmly welcomed by the faithful party.
I had soon told my story and began to look about me.
The log-house was made of unsquared trunks of pine--
roof, walls, and floor. The latter stood in several
places as much as a foot or a foot and a half above the
surface of the sand. There was a porch at the door,
and under this porch the little spring welled up into
an artificial basin of a rather odd kind--no other than
a great ship's kettle of iron, with the bottom knocked
out, and sunk "to her bearings," as the captain said,
among the sand.
Little had been left besides the framework of the
house, but in one corner there was a stone slab laid
down by way of hearth and an old rusty iron basket to
contain the fire.