means that lower p'int there. It's child's play to find the stuff now. I've half a mind to dine first."
"I don't feel sharp," growled Morgan. "Thinkin' o' Flint—■ I think it were—as done me."
"Ah, well, my son, you praise your stars he's dead," said Silver.
"He were an ugly devil," cried a third pirate, with a shudder; "that blue in the face, too!"
"That was how the rum took him," added Merry. "Blue! well, I reckon he was blue. That's a true word."
Ever since they had found the skeleton and got upon this train of thought they had spoken lower and lower, and they had almost got to whispering by now, so that the sound of their talk hardly interrupted the silence of the wood. All of a sudden, out of the middle of the trees in front of us, a thin, high, trembling voice struck up the well-known air and words:
"Fifteen men on the Dead Man's Chest— Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
I never have seen men more dreadfully affected than the pirates. The color went from their six faces like enchantment; some leaped to their feet, some clawed hold of others, Morgan groveled on the ground.
"It's Flint, by-----!" cried Merry.
The song had stopped as suddenly as it began—broken off, you would have said, in the middle of a note, as though some one had laid his hand upon the singer's mouth. Coming so far through the clear, sunny atmosphere among the green tree-tops, I thought it had sounded airily and sweetly; and the effect on my companions was the stranger.
"Come," said Silver, struggling with his ashen lips to get the word out, "this won't do. Stand by to go about. This is a rum start, and I can't name the voice, but it's some one skylarking—some one that's flesh and blood, and you may lay to that."
His courage had come back as he spoke, and some of the