"Why, where might you suppose it was?" asked Silver, derisively.
"At Bristol, in banks and places," answered his companion.
"It were," said the cook; "it were when we weighed anchor. But my old missis has it all by now. And the 'Spy-glass' is sold, lease and good-will and rigging; and the old girl's off to meet me. I would tell you where, for I trust you; but it 'u'd make jealousy among the mates."
"And can you trust your missis?" asked the other.
"Gentlemen of fortune," returned the cook, "usually trust little among themselves, and right they are, you may lay to it. But I have a way with me, I have. When a mate brings a slip on his cable—one as knows me, I mean—it won't be in the same world with old John. There was some that was feared of Pew, and some that was feared of Flint; and Flint his own self was feared of me. Feared he was, and proud. They was the roughest crew afloat, was Flint's; the devil himself would have been feared to go to sea with them. Well, now, I tell you, I'm not a boasting man, and you seen yourself how easy I keep company; but when I was quartermaster, lambs wasn't the word for Flint's old bucaneers. Ah, you may be sure of yourself in old John's ship."
"Well, I tell you now," replied the lad, "I didn't half a quarter like the job till I had this talk with you, John; but there's my hand on it now."
"And a brave lad you were, and smart, too," answered Silver, shaking hanas so heartily that all the barrel shook, "and a finer figurehead for a gentleman of fortune I never clapped my eyes on."
By this time I had begun to understand the meaning of their terms. By a "gentleman of fortune" they plainly meant neither more nor less than a common pirate, and the little scene that I had overheard was the last act in the corruption of one of the honest hands—perhaps of the last one left aboard. But on this point I was soon to be relieved, for, Silver giving a little whistle, a third man strolled up and sat down by the party.