FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN
T HERE never was such an overturn in this world. Each of these six men was as though he had been struck. But with Silver the blow passed almost instantly. Every thought of his soul had been set full-stretch, like a racer, on that money; well, he was brought up in a single second, dead; and he kept his head, found his temper, and changed his plan before the others had had time to realize the disappointment.
" Jim," he whispered, "take that, and stand by for trouble."
And he passed me a double-barreled pistol.
At the same time he began quietly moving northward, and in a few steps had put the hollow between us two and the other five. Then he looked at me and nodded, as much as to say: "Here is a narrow corner," as, indeed, I thought it was. His looks were now quite friendly, and I was so revolted at these constant changes that I could not forbear whispering: "So you've changed sides again."
There was no time left for him to answer in. The buccaneers, with oaths and cries, began to leap, one after another, into the pit, and to dig with their fingers, throwing the boards aside as they did so.