but I know my pulse went dot and carry one. "Jim Hawkins is gone" was my first thought.
It is something to have been an old soldier, but more still to have been a doctor. There is no time to dilly-dally in our work. And so now I made up my mind instantly; and with no time lost returned to the shore and jumped on board the jolly-boat.
By good fortune Hunter pulled a good oar. We made the water fly; and the boat was soon alongside and I aboard the schooner.
I found them all shaken, as was natural. The squire was sitting down, as white as a sheet, thinking of the harm he had led us to, the good soul! and one of the six forecastle hands was little better.
"There's a man," says Captain Smollett, nodding toward him, "new to this work. He came nigh-hand fainting, Doctor, when he heard the cry. Another touch of the rudder and that man would join us."
I told my plan to the captain, and between us we settled on the details of its accomplishment.
We put old Redruth in the gallery between the cabin and the forecastle, with three or four loaded muskets and a mattress for protection. Hunter brought the boat round under the stern port, and Joyce and I set to work loading her with powder-tins, muskets, bags of biscuits, kegs of pork, a cask of cognac, and my invaluable medicine-chest.
In the mean time the squire and the captain stayed on deck, and the latter hailed the coxswain, who was the principal man aboard.
"Mr. Hands," he said, "here are two of us with a brace of pistols each. If any one of you six make a signal of any description, that man's dead."
They were a good deal taken aback, and, after a little consultation, one and all tumbled down the fore companion, thinking, no doubt, to take us on the rear. But when they saw Redruth waiting for them in the sparred gallery they went about ship at once, and a head popped out again on deck.