The cabin! Peter was in the cabin! The children gazed at each other.
"Ay, ay," said Jukes blithely, and he strode into the cabin. They followed him with their eyes; they scarce knew that Hook had resumed his song, his dogs joining in with him:
"Yo ho, yo ho, the scratching cat, Its tails are nine, you know, And when they're writ upon your back -- "
What was the last line will never be known, for of a sudden the song was stayed by a dreadful screech from the cabin. It wailed through the ship, and died away. Then was heard a crowing sound which was well understood by the boys, but to the pirates was almost more eerie than the screech.
The Italian Cecco hesitated for a moment and then swung into the cabin. He tottered out, haggard.
"What's the matter with Bill Jukes, you dog?" hissed Hook, towering over him.
"The matter wi' him is he's dead, stabbed," replied Cecco in a hollow voice.
"Bill Jukes dead!" cried the startled pirates.