Not a man of them spake a word, but all stood shifting uneasily beneath Penfeather's quick bright eye, shuffling their feet and casting furtive glances on their fellows. "Now as to this lump o' roguery," says Penfeather, spurning the still unconscious man with his foot, "have him into the yard and heave a bucket o' water over him.
Penfeather drew clenched hand across his brow, and coming to the table reached the half-emptied flagon and drank what remained of the wine thirstily, while Bym, his great body huddled in the chair, stared at the bullet hole in the shutter with starting eyes: as to me, I picked up Penfeather's fallen pistols and laid them on the table, where Godby had set the lanthorn.
And, in this moment of comparative silence while all men panted and stared, from Penfeather's grim lips there burst a string of blistering sea-oaths such as even I had scarce heard till now; for a long minute he reviled them, the smoke curling from his pistol, his black brows knit across glittering eyes, his thin nostrils a-quiver, the scar glowing on his pallid cheek, his face indeed so changed and evil that I scarce knew him.
"Who be you, bully, who and what?" he demanded, his fingers gripping at the dagger in his girdle whose silver hilt was wrought to the shape of a naked woman. "Speak, my hearty, discourse, or kiss this Silver Woman o' mine!" "I am he that cut you down when you were choking your rogue's life out in Adam Penfeather's noose along of Abnegation Mings yonder "
Now as I slept I dreamed that Penfeather's long rapier, standing in the dark corner close by, was stealthily endeavouring to free itself from its leathern scabbard with intent to skewer me to the floor as I lay; and, striving thus to draw itself, made soft, strange noises and rustlings insomuch that I presently woke, and staring motionless into the darkness above, knew that these sounds were real.
Sudden I heard the roar of one of Penfeather's ever-ready pistols followed by his voice up raised in vicious sea-curses, and glancing up saw the black ship right aboard of us and braced myself for the impact; came a shock, a quiver of creaking timbers and the groan of our straining hawsers as the black ship, falling off, drifted by in a roaring storm of oaths and blasphemy.
It needeth but for this fool Martin here, as some o' you will mind for Adam Penfeather's comrade, with a curse, it needeth but for him to speak, I say, and in that same hour each one o' you may fill your clutch wi' more treasure than ever came out o' Eldorado or Manoa so speak he must and shall eh bullies, eh?"
So having taken our leave of Bym, Godby and I followed Adam along the passage, guided by the Bo's'n's lanthorn until, turning a sudden, sharp corner, we plunged into pitchy gloom wherein I groped my way until Penfeather's voice stayed me: "Easy all!" says he, softly. "Have your pistols ready and heed how you come."
Why then what o' this?" So saying I whipped the strange dagger from my wallet and held it towards him balanced upon my palm. Now, beholding this, Penfeather's eyes opened suddenly wide, then narrowed to slits as, viewing this deadly thing, he drew back and back, and so sat huddled in his chair utterly still, only I heard his breath hiss softly 'twixt clenched teeth.
But suddenly they fell silent all for Abnegation was hailing feebly, and was come so nigh that we might see him, his face all bloody, his knees bending under him with weakness as he stumbled on. Suddenly, beholding Tressady, he stopped and hailed him in wild, gasping voice: "Roger O Roger! The devil's aboard us, Roger Penfeather's on us Penfeather's took the ship I'm all that's left alive!