PART SIX: Captain Silver
Chapter 31: The Treasure-hunt--Flint's Pointer
"JIM," said Silver when we were alone, "if I saved your
life, you saved mine; and I'll not forget it. I seen
the doctor waving you to run for it--with the tail of
my eye, I did; and I seen you say no, as plain as hearing.
Jim, that's one to you. This is the first glint of hope
I had since the attack failed, and I owe it you. And now,
Jim, we're to go in for this here treasure-hunting, with
sealed orders too, and I don't like it; and you and me
must stick close, back to back like, and we'll save our
necks in spite o' fate and fortune."
Just then a man hailed us from the fire that breakfast
was ready, and we were soon seated here and there about
the sand over biscuit and fried junk. They had lit a
fire fit to roast an ox, and it was now grown so hot
that they could only approach it from the windward, and
even there not without precaution. In the same
wasteful spirit, they had cooked, I suppose, three
times more than we could eat; and one of them, with an
empty laugh, threw what was left into the fire, which
blazed and roared again over this unusual fuel. I
never in my life saw men so careless of the morrow;
hand to mouth is the only word that can describe their
way of doing; and what with wasted food and sleeping
sentries, though they were bold enough for a brush and
be done with it, I could see their entire unfitness for
anything like a prolonged campaign.
Even Silver, eating away, with Captain Flint upon his
shoulder, had not a word of blame for their recklessness.
And this the more surprised me, for I thought he had
never shown himself so cunning as he did then.
"Aye, mates," said he, "it's lucky you have Barbecue to
think for you with this here head. I got what I wanted,
I did. Sure enough, they have the ship. Where they have
it, I don't know yet; but once we hit the treasure, we'll
have to jump about and find out. And then, mates, us that
has the boats, I reckon, has the upper hand."