PART TWO: The Sea-cook
Chapter 9: Powder and Arms
"I was engaged, sir, on what we call sealed orders, to
sail this ship for that gentleman where he should bid
me," said the captain. "So far so good. But now I
find that every man before the mast knows more than I
do. I don't call that fair, now, do you?"
"No," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't."
"Next," said the captain, "I learn we are going after
treasure--hear it from my own hands, mind you. Now,
treasure is ticklish work; I don't like treasure voyages
on any account, and I don't like them, above all, when
they are secret and when (begging your pardon, Mr.
Trelawney) the secret has been told to the parrot."
"Silver's parrot?" asked the squire.
"It's a way of speaking," said the captain. "Blabbed,
I mean. It's my belief neither of you gentlemen know
what you are about, but I'll tell you my way of it--
life or death, and a close run."
"That is all clear, and, I dare say, true enough,"
replied Dr. Livesey. "We take the risk, but we are not
so ignorant as you believe us. Next, you say you don't
like the crew. Are they not good seamen?"
"I don't like them, sir," returned Captain Smollett.
"And I think I should have had the choosing of my own
hands, if you go to that."
"Perhaps you should," replied the doctor. "My friend
should, perhaps, have taken you along with him; but the
slight, if there be one, was unintentional. And you
don't like Mr. Arrow?"
"I don't, sir. I believe he's a good seaman, but he's
too free with the crew to be a good officer. A mate
should keep himself to himself--shouldn't drink with
the men before the mast!"
"Do you mean he drinks?" cried the squire.
"No, sir," replied the captain, "only that he's too familiar."