Chapter 10 Summary
The Siege of the Roadhouse
On deck, everyone is waiting anxiously for David to appear; when he does not return, Captain Hoseason finally appears at the open door of the roundhouse. Stewart draws his sword but Hoseason does not move or flinch. When Stewart tells Hoseason he intends to fight, the captain simply gives David an ugly look and tells the boy he will remember this. The sound of his voice goes through the boy with a jolt, and then Hoseason leaves.
Stewart prepares for battle and David climbs into the berth with an armload of pistols and a heavy heart. Though he can only protect a small part of the cabin, it is enough for this battle. The deck is quiet until David hears some murmuring voices and then a clash of steel as cutlasses are being distributed to the sailors. David is not particularly afraid, but the anticipation has his heart racing. He has no hope, but he does pray. He just wants it all to be over.
Soon it begins and Stewart engages Shuan in a battle of swords; David is forced to shoot into a cluster of five men who are trying to ram the door he is guarding. After he fires two more shots, the sailors quit trying. When the smoke from his pistols clears, David sees that Shuan is dead; Stewart says he has killed two others and David wounded one other. On deck, the remaining sailors plan their next attack. While Stewart fights several soldiers, one man shatters the skylight and drops into the cabin. Before the man gets up, David places his pistol to his back and would have shot the sailor if he could have made himself do it. The man grabs David and this is enough to shock the boy into firing his pistol. The first man is dead and the second man is just dropping through the hole in the roof. David shoots and then hears Stewart call for help.
One sailor has sneaked past and is fighting Stewart from inside the cabin; however, David cannot help much and he fears all is lost. Suddenly, though, all the sailors are gone. Stewart has driven them out along the deck. Stewart returns and the men outside hastily shut themselves into the forecastle. Many sailors are dead, and Stewart is proud both of David and his own swordsmanship. Now David is overwhelmed with what they have done and begins to “cry like any child.” Stewart says the boy was quit brave and just needs some sleep.
Stewart takes the first watch and wakes David to relieve him three hours later. The morning is quiet except for the heavy rain falling outside. So many of the sailors were hurt, dead, or angry that Hoseason and Riach had to take turns steering the ship overnight or it might have struck shore. The Covenant is near the Hebrides Islands.