and unbailed condition. Both were to be carried along with us, for the sake of safety; and so, with our numbers divided between them, we set forth upon the bosom of the anchorage.
As we pulled over there was some discussion on the chart. The red cross was, of course, far too large to be a guide; and the terms of the note on the back, as you will hear, admitted of some ambiguity. They ran, the reader may remember, thus:
Tall tree, Spy-glass Shoulder, bearing a point to the N. of N.N.E. Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E. Ten feet.
A tall tree was thus the principal mark. Now, right before us, the anchorage was bounded by a plateau from two to three hundred feet high, adjoining on the north the sloping southern shoulder of the Spy-glass, and rising again toward the south into the rough cliffy eminence called the Mizzenmast Hill. The top of the plateau was dotted thickly with pine-trees of varying height. Every here and there one of a different species rose forty or fifty feet clear above its neighbors, and which of these was the particular "tall tree" of Captain Flint could only be decided on the spot and by the readings of the compass.
Yet, although that was the case, every man on board the boats had picked a favorite of his own ere we were half-way over, Long John alone shrugging his shoulders and bidding them wait till they were there.
We pulled easily, by Silver's directions, not to weary the hands prematurely, and, after quite a long passage, landed at the mouth of the second river—that which runs down a woody cleft of the Spy-glass. Thence, bending to our left, we began to ascend the slope toward the plateau.
At the first outset heavy, miry ground and a matted, marish vegetation greatly delayed our progress; but by little and little the hill began to steepen and become stony underfoot and the wood to change its character and to grow in a more open order. It was, indeed, a most pleasant portion of the island that we were now approaching. A heavy-scented broom and many flowering shrubs had almost taken the place of grass. Thickets