PART SIX: Captain Silver
Chapter 29: The Black Spot Again
"So that's the toon, is it?" cried the cook. "George,
I reckon you'll have to wait another turn, friend; and
lucky for you as I'm not a revengeful man. But that
was never my way. And now, shipmates, this black spot?
'Tain't much good now, is it? Dick's crossed his luck
and spoiled his Bible, and that's about all."
"It'll do to kiss the book on still, won't it?" growled
Dick, who was evidently uneasy at the curse he had
brought upon himself.
"A Bible with a bit cut out!" returned Silver
derisively. "Not it. It don't bind no more'n a
"Don't it, though?" cried Dick with a sort of joy.
"Well, I reckon that's worth having too."
"Here, Jim--here's a cur'osity for you," said Silver,
and he tossed me the paper.
It was around about the size of a crown piece. One
side was blank, for it had been the last leaf; the
other contained a verse or two of Revelation--these
words among the rest, which struck sharply home upon my
mind: "Without are dogs and murderers." The printed
side had been blackened with wood ash, which already
began to come off and soil my fingers; on the blank
side had been written with the same material the one
word "Depposed." I have that curiosity beside me at
this moment, but not a trace of writing now remains
beyond a single scratch, such as a man might make with
That was the end of the night's business. Soon after,
with a drink all round, we lay down to sleep, and the
outside of Silver's vengeance was to put George Merry
up for sentinel and threaten him with death if he
should prove unfaithful.
It was long ere I could close an eye, and heaven knows
I had matter enough for thought in the man whom I had
slain that afternoon, in my own most perilous position,
and above all, in the remarkable game that I saw Silver
now engaged upon--keeping the mutineers together with
one hand and grasping with the other after every means,
possible and impossible, to make his peace and save his
miserable life. He himself slept peacefully and snored
aloud, yet my heart was sore for him, wicked as he was,
to think on the dark perils that environed and the
shameful gibbet that awaited him.