The Attack

AssoonasSilverdisappeared,thecaptain,whohadbeencloselywatchinghim,turnedtowardstheinteriorofthehouseandfoundnotamanofusathispostbutGray.Itwasthefirsttimewehadeverseenhimangry.

“Quarters!”heroared.Andthen,asweallslunkbacktoourplaces,“Gray,”hesaid,“I’llputyournameinthelog;you’vestoodbyyourdutylikeaseaman.Mr.Trelawney,I’msurprisedatyou,sir.Doctor,Ithoughtyouhadworntheking’scoat!IfthatwashowyouservedatFontenoy,sir,you’dhavebeenbetterinyourberth.”

Thedoctor’swatchwereallbackattheirloopholes,therestwerebusyloadingthesparemuskets,andeveryonewitharedface,youmaybecertain,andafleainhisear,asthesayingis.

Thecaptainlookedonforawhileinsilence.Thenhespoke.

“Mylads,”saidhe,“I’vegivenSilverabroadside.Ipitcheditinred-hotonpurpose;andbeforethehour’sout,ashesaid,weshallbeboarded.We’reoutnumbered,Ineedn’ttellyouthat,butwefightinshelter;andaminuteagoIshouldhavesaidwefoughtwithdiscipline.I’venomannerofdoubtthatwecandrubthem,ifyouchoose.”

Thenhewenttheroundsandsaw,ashesaid,thatallwasclear.

Onthetwoshortsidesofthehouse,eastandwest,therewereonlytwoloopholes;onthesouthsidewheretheporchwas,twoagain;andonthenorthside,five.Therewasaroundscoreofmusketsforthesevenofus;thefirewoodhadbeenbuiltintofourpilestables,youmightsayoneaboutthemiddleofeachside,andoneachofthesetablessomeammunitionandfourloadedmusketswerelaidreadytothehandofthedefenders.Inthemiddle,thecutlasseslayranged.

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