Gunn is fly. Rum wouldn't bring me there, where you're going— not rum wouldn't, till I see your born gen'leman and gets it on his word of honor. And you won't forget my words! 'A precious sight' (that's what you'll say), 'a precious sight more confidence'—and then nips him."
And he pinched me the third time with the same air of cleverness.
"And when Ben Gunn is wanted, you know where to find him, Jim. Just wheer you found him to-day. And him that comes is to have a white thing in his hand; and he's to come alone. Oh! and you'll say this: 'Ben Gunn,' says you, 'has reasons of his own.
"Well," said 1, "I believe I understand. You have something to propose, and you wish to see the squire or the doctor; and you're to be found where I found you. Is that all?"
"And when? says you," he added. "Why, from about noon observation to about six bells."
"Good," said I; "and now may I go?"
"You won't forget?" he inquired, anxiously. "Precious sight, and reasons of his own, says you. Reasons of his own; that's the mainstay; as between man and man. Well, then"—still holding me—"I reckon you can go, Jim. And, Jim, if you was to see Silver, you wouldn't go for to sell Ben Gunn ? Wild horses wouldn't draw it from you? No, says you. And if them pirates camp ashore, Jim, what would you say but there'd be widders in the morning?"
Here he was interrupted by a loud report, and a cannon-ball came tearing through the trees and pitched in the sand not a hundred yards from where we two were talking. The next moment each of us had taken to his heels in a different direction.
For a good hour to come frequent reports shook the island and balls kept crashing through the woods. I moved from hiding-place to hiding-place, always pursued, or so it seemed to me, by these terrifying missiles. But toward the end of the bombardment, though still I durst not venture in the direction of the stockade, where the balls fell oftenest, I had begun, in a manner, 11