"Treasure Island," an adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, supplies everything desired of a pirate story: treasure maps, booty, and of course, bad guys (etext found
here). Learn this word list that focuses on Captain Long John Silver.
marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed
Silver leant back against the wall, his arms crossed, his pipe in the corner of his mouth, as calm as though he had been in church; yet his eye kept wandering furtively, and he kept the tail of it on his unruly followers.
"Now, look you here, Jim Hawkins," he said in a steady whisper that was no more than
audible, "you're within half a plank of death, and what's a long sight worse, of torture. They're going to throw me off. But, you mark, I stand by you through thick and thin.
The definition of "staunch" as a verb is "stop the flow of a liquid"--this does not fit the example sentence because Silver is using "staunch" as an adjective; however, his efforts to gain the favor of the staunch lad Jim are so that he can staunch the flow of his own blood.
I know when a game's up, I do; and I know a lad that's
the act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done) especially in the next life
Although Silver's vengeance here against George Merry was simply to verbally threaten him and make him stay up to be a lookout, this is not evidence of mercy. At the moment, Silver needs the loyalty of George and the rest of the crew. But when it is safe for him to do so, he really makes Merry pay for both insulting him and trying to take his place as captain.
Soon after, with a drink all round, we lay down to sleep, and the outside of Silver's
vengeance was to put George Merry up for sentinel and threaten him with death if he should prove unfaithful.
Even Silver, eating away, with Captain Flint upon his shoulder, had not a word of blame for their recklessness. And this the more surprised me, for I thought he had never shown himself so
cunning as he did then.
Silver's lips are ashen but his words are trying to be strong, because he needs to hide his own fear of possible ghosts in order to encourage his men to go on looking for the treasure.
"Come," said Silver, struggling with his
ashen lips to get the word out; "this won't do. Stand by to go about. This is a rum start, and I can't name the voice, but it's someone skylarking—someone that's flesh and blood, and you may lay to that."
the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British)
Silver hobbled, grunting, on his crutch; his nostrils stood out and quivered; he cursed like a madman when the flies settled on his hot and shiny
countenance; he plucked furiously at the line that held me to him and from time to time turned his eyes upon me with a deadly look.
And there was Silver, sitting back almost out of the firelight, but eating heartily, prompt to spring forward when anything was wanted, even joining quietly in our laughter—the same bland, polite,
obsequious seaman of the voyage out.