PART THREE: My Shore Adventure
Chapter 13: How My Shore Adventure Began
At last, however, the party was made up. Six fellows
were to stay on board, and the remaining thirteen,
including Silver, began to embark.
Then it was that there came into my head the first of
the mad notions that contributed so much to save our
lives. If six men were left by Silver, it was plain
our party could not take and fight the ship; and since
only six were left, it was equally plain that the cabin
party had no present need of my assistance. It occurred
to me at once to go ashore. In a jiffy I had slipped over
the side and curled up in the fore-sheets of the nearest
boat, and almost at the same moment she shoved off.
No one took notice of me, only the bow oar saying, "Is
that you, Jim? Keep your head down." But Silver, from
the other boat, looked sharply over and called out to
know if that were me; and from that moment I began to
regret what I had done.
The crews raced for the beach, but the boat I was in,
having some start and being at once the lighter and the
better manned, shot far ahead of her consort, and the
bow had struck among the shore-side trees and I had
caught a branch and swung myself out and plunged into
the nearest thicket while Silver and the rest were
still a hundred yards behind.
"Jim, Jim!" I heard him shouting.
But you may suppose I paid no heed; jumping, ducking,
and breaking through, I ran straight before my nose
till I could run no longer.