one of the men, “Maynard’s out yonder in the inlet. Jack Bishop’s just come across from t’other side. He says Mr. Maynard hailed him and asked for a pilot to fetch him in.”
“Well, here’s luck to him, and he can’t come in quick enough for me!” cried out Blackbeard in his hoarse, husky voice.
“Well, Captain,” called a voice, “will ye fight him to-morrow?”
“Aye,” shouted the pirate, “if he can get in to me, I’ll try to give ’em what they seek, and all they want of it into the bargain. As for a pilot, I tell ye what ’tis—if any man hereabouts goes out there to pilot that villain in ‘twill be the worst day’s work he ever did in all of his life. ‘Twon’t be fit for him to live in these parts of America if I am living here at the same time.” There was a burst of laughter.
“Give us a toast, Captain! Give us something to drink to! Aye, Captain, a toast! A toast!” a half dozen voices were calling out at the same time.
“Well,” cried out the pirate captain, “here’s to a good, hot fight to-morrow, and the best dog on top! ‘Twill be, Bang! bang!—this way!”
He began pulling a pistol out of his pocket, but it stuck in the lining, and he struggled and tugged at it. The men ducked and scrambled away from before him, and then the next moment he had the pistol out of his pocket. He swung it around and around. There was perfect silence. Suddenly there was a flash and a stunning report, and instantly a crash and tinkle of broken glass. One of the men cried out, and began picking and jerking at the back of his neck. “He’s broken that bottle all down my neck,” he called out.
“That’s the way ‘twill be,” said Blackbeard.
“Lookee,” said the owner of the place, “I won’t serve out another drop if ’tis going to be like that. If there’s any more trouble I’ll blow out the lantern.”