In the mean time there was no doubt of one thing—they kept an infamous bad watch. If it had been Silver and his lads that were now creeping in on them not a soul would have seen daybreak. That was what it was, thought I, to have the captain wounded; and again I blamed myself sharply for leaving them in that danger with so few to mount guard.
By this time I had got to the door and stood up. All was dark within, so that I could distinguish nothing by the eye. As for sounds, there was the steady drone of the snorers, and a small occasional noise, a flickering or pecking that I could in no way account for.
With my arms before me I walked steadily in. I should lie down in my own place (I thought, with a silent chuckle) and enjoy their faces when they found me in the morning.
My foot struck something yielding—it was a sleeper's leg; and he turned and groaned, but without awaking.
And then, all of a sudden, a shrill voice broke forth out of the darkness:
"Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!" and so forth, without pause or change, like the clacking of a tiny mill.
Silver's green parrot, Captain Flint! It was she whom I had heard pecking at a piece of bark; it was she, keeping better watch than any human being, who thus announced my arrival with her wearisome refrain.
I had no time left me to recover. At the sharp, clipping tone of the parrot the sleepers awoke and sprang up; and with a mighty oath the voice of Silver cried:
I turned to run, struck violently against one person, recoiled, and ran full into the arms of a second, who, for his part, closed upon and held me tight.
"Bring a torch, Dick," said Silver, when my capture was thus assured.
And one of the men left the log house and presently returned with a lighted brand.