TREASURE ISLAND - complete online book

The Famous Pirate Adventure by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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TREASURE ISLAND
I had heard the word, and I knew it stood for a horrible kind of punishment common enough among the bucaneers, in which the offender is put ashore with a little powder and shot, and left behind on some desolate and distant island.
"Marooned three years agone," he continued, "and lived on goats since then, and berries, and oysters. Wherever a man is, says I, a man can do for himself. But, mate, my heart is sore for Christian diet. You mightn't happen to have a piece of cheese about you, now? No? Well, many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese—toasted, mostly—and woke up again, and here I were.'*
"If ever I can get on board again," said I, "you shall have cheese by the stone."
All this time he had been feeling the stuff of my jacket, smooth­ing my hands, looking at my boots, and generally, in the intervals of his speech, showing a childish pleasure in the presence of a fellow-creature. But at my last words he perked up into a kind of startled shyness.
"If ever you can get on board again, says you?" he repeated. "Why, now, who's to hinder you?"
"Not you, I know," was my reply.
"And right you was," he cried. "Now you—what do you call yourself, mate?"
"Jim," I told him.
"Jim, Jim," says he, quite pleased apparently. "Well, now, Jim, I've lived that rough as you'd be ashamed to hear of. Now, for instance, you wouldn't think I had had a pious mother—to look at me?" he asked.
"Why, no, not in particular," I answered.
"Ah, well," said he, "but I had—remarkable pious. And I was a civil, pious boy, and could rattle off my catechism that fast as you couldn't tell one word from another. And here's what it come to, Jim, and it begun with chuck-farthen on the blessed gravestones! That's what it begun with, but it went further 'n that; and so my mother told me, and predicked the whole, she did, the pious woman! But it were Providence that
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