Long John Silver
The squire went to Bristol and I lived at the Hall with Redruth, his servant. The weeks passed. Then a letter arrived from Squire Trelawney. It said that the ship was ready. Its name was Hispaniola and it was a very good ship. But there were problems. The squire could find only four men. Then he met a man called Long John Silver, a seaman, and gave him a job as cook on the ship. The letter continued:
‘… He has only got one leg, but he’s a fine man. He found some men for me. They’re good, strong men. Now we’ve got a crew and I want to begin our voyage immediately! So come to Bristol quickly, Hawkins, with Redruth.’
The next morning Redruth and I travelled to Bristol. It was a wonderful city and a big port with lots of ships. I was very excited because I was going to sail to an island and find buried treasure!
When we saw the squire he said, ‘The doctor is here. We’re sailing tomorrow!’
Then he sent me to the «Spy-glass» inn with a note for John Silver. I knew Long John when I saw him because he had one leg. He was about fifty but very tall and strong. I remembered the old captain’s words at the «Admiral Benbow»: ‘Tell me when you see a sailor with one leg.’ Was that sailor Long John Silver?
‘Mr Silver, sir?’
‘Yes, my boy. And who are you?’ Then he saw the note in my hand. ‘Oh, you’re our new cabin boy. Hello…’
At that moment a man ran out of the inn. I knew his face.
‘Stop him!’ I shouted. ‘It’s Black Dog! He’s a pirate!’
‘What!’ Silver said. ‘A pirate here in my inn! I don’t know his name but I think I saw him here with a blind man.’
‘Yes. I know that blind man. His name was Pew.’
I looked at Long John. Black Dog was here at his inn. I thought: ‘Is Black Dog his friend? Was Pew his friend? Are the other buccaneers his friends?’ But John Silver was a clever man. He smiled at me and he said:
‘Look, Hawkins. This is bad for me. Black Dog was here and Squire Trelawney will think I’m a bad man. I’ll come with you and talk to him.’
When Long John told the squire and Dr Livesey about Black Dog they believed him and thought that he was an honest man.
‘We’re sailing at four o’clock this afternoon, Silver,’ the squire told him.
‘Aye, aye, sir!’ said the cook. And he went away.
When we went on board the Hispaniola the captain of the ship was angry. He wanted to speak to the squire.
‘What is it, Captain Smollett?’ said Mr Trelawney.
‘I must tell you that I don’t like this voyage; I don’t like the men; and I don’t like my officer.’
The squire was very angry, but Dr Livesey said:
‘Why don’t you like this voyage, captain?’
‘The squire didn’t tell me that we are going to look for treasure. I heard about it from the men. I don’t like treasure voyages. They are dangerous — very dangerous.’
‘I understand,’ the doctor said. ‘But why don’t you like the crew? Aren’t they all good seamen?’
‘Perhaps,’ replied the captain. ‘But I don’t like them.’
‘All right. In your opinion, captain, what must we do?’ ‘First, you must put the guns, the powder and the ammunition near this cabin. Second, there are four good men — your men, Squire. They can sleep here, near your cabin.’
When Captain Smollett went out, the doctor said, ‘Trelawney, you have two honest men on this ship — Captain Smollett and John Silver.’
‘John Silver — yes!’ said the squire angrily. ‘But not the captain, not him!’
When Long John Silver came on board he said. ‘What’s happening, mates?’
‘We’re putting the guns and ammunition near the squire’s cabin,’ answered one of the men.
Just then the captain arrived. ‘My orders!’ he said. ‘Now go down and cook the supper, my man!’
‘Aye, aye, sir!’ answered Long John, and he went to the kitchen.
‘He’s a good man,’ the doctor said to the captain.
‘Perhaps, sir.’ Then the captain saw me and said, ‘Go down to the kitchen and help the cook!’
I really didn’t like Captain Smollett.
Early in the morning the ship was ready and we began our voyage to the Island of Treasure.
John Silver could move very fast around the ship on his one leg. His friend Israel Hands told me, ‘He’s very courageous — like a lion!’ All the men liked him. He did his work well. To me he was always kind and he was always happy when I came to the kitchen. In one corner he had a parrot in a cage.
‘Welcome, Jim!’ he said one day. ‘My parrot Cap’n Flint says our voyage will be good.’
‘Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!’ said the parrot.
‘You know, that bird is maybe two hundred years old,’ Long John said, and he gave it some sugar. ‘She has sailed to many places — Madagascar,
And he told me wonderful stories about Captain Flint. I liked John Silver very much, and I thought he was a very good man.
Captain Smollett was happy with the Hispaniola. And now he also said that the men were good. But he didn’t like no the voyage for treasure; and he didn’t like the squire. So the squire didn’t like him.
One evening, just before we arrived at Treasure Island, I wanted to eat an apple before I went to bed. The apples were in some big barrels on deck. In one barrel there weren’t many apples, so I climbed into it. I ate an apple but I was very tired and I fell asleep. I woke up when I heard John Silver’s voice. He was very near the barrel. I heard only a few words and then I began to tremble. ‘Flint was my captain,’ said Long John to a young man called Dick. ‘We were all pirates — me and Pew and the others. I lost my leg and Pew lost his eyes. But I put a lot of money in the bank. Look at Pew: he was rich and then he became poor. And where is he now? Dead. And where are Flint’s men now? Well, a lot of them are on this ship.’
I trembled when I heard this.
‘I’m fifty years old,’ Silver continued. ‘After this voyage I’m going to live like a gentleman. You can be rich too, Dick, if you help old Long John. What do you say, my boy? Give me your hand.’
Now I understood. This young man was honest, but now he was one of Silver’s men. Then I heard the voice of Israel Hands, Silver’s friend.
‘Look, I want to know something. How long must we wait? I want to kill that Captain Smollett. But when, Silver — when?’
‘You’re not very clever, Israel,’ answered Silver. ‘You must wait. I’ll tell you when. The squire and the doctor have got the map. They’ll find the treasure and put it on the ship — for us! So we’ll wait.’
‘But,’ said Dick, ‘What will we do with the captain, the squire and the doctor?’
‘That’s a good question!’ the cook answered. ‘Well, what do you think? We can leave them on the island, or we can kill them. Flint and Billy Bones always killed people. So I say to you, mates — wait, and then… kill them! Dick, get me an apple from this barrel.’
I felt very afraid when I heard this. But I couldn’t move. Dick came near the barrel. Then Israel Hands said:
‘Don’t eat those bad apples! Let’s drink some rum!’
When Dick returned with the rum the pirates drank.
Then a voice shouted, ‘Land-ho!’