might spare me. I have blamed myself enough; my life's forfeit anyway, and I should have been dead by now if Silver hadn't stood for me; and, Doctor, believe this, I can die—and I dare say I deserve it—but what I fear is torture. If they come to torture me—"
"Jim," the doctor interrupted, and his voice was quite changed —"Jim, I can't have this. Whip over and we'll run for it."
"Doctor," said I, "I passed my word."
"I know, I know," he cried. "We can't help that, Jim, now. I'll take it on my shoulders, holus bolus, blame and shame, my boy; but stay here I cannot let you. Jump! One jump and you're out, and we'll run for it like antelopes."
"No," I replied, "you know right well you wouldn't do the thing yourself; neither you nor squire nor captain, and no more will I. Silver trusted me; I passed my word, and back I go. But, Doctor, you did not let me finish. If they come to torture me I might let slip a word of where the ship is, for I got the ship, part by luck and part by risking, and she lies in North Inlet, on the southern beach, and just below high water. At half-tide she must be high and dry."
"The ship!" exclaimed the doctor.
Rapidly I described to him my adventures, and he heard me out in silence.
"There is a kind of fate in this," he observed, when I had done. "Every step it's you that saves our lives; and do you suppose by any chance that we are going to let you lose yours? That would be a poor return, my boy. You found the plot; you found Ben Gunn—the best deed that ever you did or will do, though you live to ninety. Oh, by Jupiter! and talking of Ben Gunn, wh)', this is the mischief in person. Silver!" he cried, "Silver!—I'll give you a piece of advice," he continued as the cook drew near again; "don't you be in any great hurry after that treasure."
"Why, sir, I do my possible, which that ain't," said Silver. "I can only, asking your pardon, save my life and the boy's by seeking for that treasure; and you may lay to that."