158 A MAINSAIL HAUL
such as clothes with lace upon them, and small arms, cheap jewellery, buckles, and the like, for the cruise had been lucky in a way. Two of the seamen at the rum were dicingf each other, for some uncut stones in a packet from the mines of Esmeralda.
The drinkers were silent for the most part, puffing out their tobacco like a gang of Spaniards, only speaking to call a health, such as, "A fair slant," or " Dollars," or to mark the throw of the dice. They were a rough lot of fellows, some of them branded in the cheeks. Most of them had scars about their faces, and not one of them but carried arms — pistols, or a dirk, or a seaman's hanger — in a belt of coloured leather, plaited by the wearer. One of the number had his head in a rag, and swore thickly from time to time, as though his wound were painful. He had been hurt with a knife by a mate that morning, since when he had been at the rum. His head was singing like a kettle, what with the cut, the drink, and the heat of the between decks. His name was Joe; he was a runaway from a king's ship, once a sailor trading out of Bristol.