like as many sheep. And while they were still staring I broke out again:
"And now, Mr. Silver," I said, "I believe you're the best man here, and if things go the worst I'll take it kind of you to let the doctor know the way I took it."
"I'll bear it in mind," said Silver, with an accent so curious that I could not, for the life of me, decide whether he were laughing at my request, or had been favorably affected by my courage.
"I'll put one to that," cried the old mahogany-faced seaman-Morgan by name—whom I had seen in Long John's public-house upon the quays of Bristol. "It was him that knowed Black Dog."
"Well, and see here," added the sea-cook. "I'll put another again to that, by thunder! for it was this same boy that faked the chart from Billy Bones. First and last, we've split upon Jim Hawkins!"
"Then here goes!" said Morgan, with an oath.
And he sprang up, drawing his knife as if he had been twenty.
"Avast there!" cried Silver. "Who are you, Tom Morgan? Maybe you thought you was cap'n here, perhaps. By the powers, but I'll teach you better! Cross me, and you'll go where many a good man's gone before you, first and last, these thirty year back—some to the yard-arm, shiver my sides! and some by the board, and all to feed the fishes. There's never a man looked me between the eyes and seen a good day a'terwards, Tom Morgan, you may lay to that."
Morgan paused, but a hoarse murmur rose from the others.
"Tom's right," said one.
"I stood hazing long enough from one," added another. "I'll be hanged if I'll be hazed by you, John Silver."
"Did any of you gentlemen want to have it out with me?" roared Silver, bending far forward from his position on the keg, with his pipe still glowing in his right hand. "Put a name on what you're at; you ain't dumb, I reckon. Him that wants shall get it. Have I lived this many years, and a son of a rum-puncheon cock his hat athwart my hawse at the latter end of it? 16 [ 233 1