firing, under cover, at an exposed enemy; now it was we who lay uncovered, and could not return a blow.
The log house was full of smoke, to which we owed our comparative safety. Cries and confusion, the flashes and reports of pistol-shots, and one loud groan, rang in my ears.
"Out, lads, out, and fight 'em in the open! Cutlasses!" cried the captain.
I snatched a cutlass from the pile, and some one, at the same time snatching another, gave me a cut across the knuckles which I hardly felt. I dashed out of the door into the clear sunlight. Some one was close behind, I knew not whom. Right in front, the doctor was pursuing his assailant down the hill, and, just as my eyes fell upon him, beat down his guard, and sent him sprawling on his back, with a great slash across the face.
"Round the house, lads! round the house!" cried the captain; and even in the hurly-burly I perceived a change in his voice.
Mechanically I obeyed, turned eastward, and, with my cutlass raised, ran round the corner of the house. Next moment I was face to face with Anderson. He roared aloud, and his hanger went up above his head, flashing in the sunlight. I had not time to be afraid, but, as the blow still hung impending, leaped in a trice upon one side, and, missing my foot in the soft sand, rolled headlong down the slope.
When I had first sallied from the door the other mutineers had been already swarming up the palisade to make an end of us. One man, in a red nightcap, with his cutlass in his mouth, had even got upon the top and thrown a leg across. Well, so short had been the interval, that when I found my feet again all were in the same posture, the fellow with the red nightcap still half-way over, another still just showing his head above the top of the stockade. And yet, in this breath of time, the fight was over and the victory was ours.
Gray, following close behind me, had cut down the big boatswain ere he had time to recover from his lost blow. Another had been shot at a loophole in the very act of firing into the house, and now lay in agony, the pistol still smoking in his hand.