PART FOUR: The Stockade
Chapter 21: The Attack
AS soon as Silver disappeared, the captain, who had
been closely watching him, turned towards the interior
of the house and found not a man of us at his post but
Gray. It was the first time we had ever seen him angry.
"Quarters!" he roared. And then, as we all slunk back
to our places, "Gray," he said, "I'll put your name in
the log; you've stood by your duty like a seaman. Mr.
Trelawney, I'm surprised at you, sir. Doctor, I thought
you had worn the king's coat! If that was how you served
at Fontenoy, sir, you'd have been better in your berth."
The doctor's watch were all back at their loopholes,
the rest were busy loading the spare muskets, and
everyone with a red face, you may be certain, and a
flea in his ear, as the saying is.
The captain looked on for a while in silence. Then
"My lads," said he, "I've given Silver a broadside. I
pitched it in red-hot on purpose; and before the hour's
out, as he said, we shall be boarded. We're
outnumbered, I needn't tell you that, but we fight in
shelter; and a minute ago I should have said we fought
with discipline. I've no manner of doubt that we can
drub them, if you choose."
Then he went the rounds and saw, as he said, that all
On the two short sides of the house, east and west,
there were only two loopholes; on the south side where
the porch was, two again; and on the north side, five.
There was a round score of muskets for the seven of us;
the firewood had been built into four piles--tables,
you might say--one about the middle of each side, and
on each of these tables some ammunition and four loaded
muskets were laid ready to the hand of the defenders.
In the middle, the cutlasses lay ranged.
"Toss out the fire," said the captain; "the chill is
past, and we mustn't have smoke in our eyes."