TREASURE ISLAND - complete online book

The Famous Pirate Adventure by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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TREASURE ISLAND
And at the third "ho!" drove the bars before them with a will.
Even at that exciting moment it carried me back to the old "Admiral Benbow" in a second; and I seemed to hear the voice of the captain piping in the chorus. But soon the anchor was short up; soon it was hanging dripping at the bows; soon the sails began to draw, and the land and shipping to flit by on either side; and before I could lie down to snatch an hour of slumber the Hispaniola had begun her voyage to the Isle of Treasure.
I am not going to relate that voyage in detail. It was fairly prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship, the crew were capable seamen, and the captain thoroughly understood his busi­ness. But before we came the length of Treasure Island two or three things had happened which require to be known.
Mr. Arrow, first of all, turned out even worse than the captain had feared. He had no command among the men, and people did what they pleased with him. But that was by no means the worst of it; for after a day or two at sea he began to appear on deck with hazy eye, red cheeks, stuttering tongue, and other marks of drunkenness. Time after time he was ordered below in dis­grace. Sometimes he fell and cut himself; sometimes he lay all day long in his little bunk at one side of the companion; some­times for a day or two he would be almost sober and attend to his work at least passably.
In the mean time we could never make out where he got the drink. That was the ship's mystery. Watch him as we pleased, we could do nothing to solve it; and when we asked him to his face, he would only laugh, if he were drunk, and if he were sober, deny solemnly that he ever tasted anything but water.
He was not only useless as an officer, and a bad influence among the men, but it was plain that at this rate he must soon kill himself outright; so nobody was much surprised nor very sorry when one dark night, with a head sea, he disappeared en­tirely and was seen no more.
"Overboard!" said the captain. "Well, gentlemen, that saves the trouble of putting him in irons."
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