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AT RISE, BEN GUNN APPEARS FROM SOME OBSCURE PART OF THE THEATRE. BEN IS A SCRAWNY, TOOTHLESS, RAGGED SAILOR WITH A WILD MANE OF HAIR. HE CACKLES WHEN HE TALKS, AND HIS LAUGH WOULD SHATTER GLASS. HE IS SPRY AND AGILE AND TREMENDOUSLY ENERGETIC. HE MOST LIKELY LEAPS INTO VIEW.

GUNN
I knew it! 
(he laughs) 
I knew once the story got around that people would come from far and wide to see with their own eyes where it all happened! I knew it! AHOY, MATEYS ! 
(gets minimal response) 
What kind of puny-tonsiled, land-lubbin', weak-kneed hollerin' is that? I said, AHOY, MATEYS!!! 
(they respond)
That's better! One thing you have to learn if you plan to last long on this island is to holler when you're hollered at, and holler hearty! Yell up loud and strong! You get me? Say "AYE!" 
(they do) 
Louder! Say "AYE!!" 
(they do) 
That's the way to do it! Now I'll tell you the story of the meanest, most evil buccaneer to ever sail the Seven Seas--Long John Silver!

THERE IS A HUGE, FRIGHTENING GUN BLAST FROM THE REAR OF THE THEATRE. BEN AND THE AUDIENCE MEMBERS TURN TO SEE LONG JOHN SILVER STANDING OMINOUSLY IN THE BACK, HIS PISTOL POINTING HIGH IN THE AIR. HE IS IN FULL SEA DOG REGALIA, THE EPITOME OF THE DASTARDLY PIRATE. HE HAS ONE LEG, AND A PEG FOR THE OTHER LEG, AND HE SUPPORTS HIMSELF WITH A CRUTCH. ON HIS SHOULDER IS A PARROT, CAP'N FLINT. SILVER BELLOWS.

SILVER
Ben Gunn ! Ben Gunn, is that you!! You toothless sack of bones!
CAP ' N FLINT
(echoing)
Awk! Toothless sack of bones! Awk!
GUNN
(frightened)
By gum ! It's Silver in the flesh! And that noisy parrot of his, Cap'n Flint!
SILVER
Named him after me old commander, I did!
GUNN
Silver! I thought you'd run away forever after the battle, like the mangy dog you are!
SILVER
You can afford to call me names with all these bilge rats sittin' between us, Ben Gunn.
GUNN
Why did you come back, Silver!
SILVER
I come back because I knew you'd only be tellin' your side of the story.
GUNN
I got my story from the mouth of young Jim Hawkins himself!
SILVER
Young Jim Hawkins? Why, young Jim Hawkins is my good friend!
GUNN
Young Jim Hawkins is my good friend !
SILVER
He's my friend!
GUNN
He's my friend!
CAP'N FLINT
Awk! He's my friend! Awk!
SILVER
(to parrot)
QUIET, YOU! 
(to Ben) 
All right, Ben Gunn. But I'll be listenin' in to make sure you're tellin' the truth to these good people. 
GUNN
Good people? You just this minute called them bilge rats.
SILVER
You're daffy, Ben Gunn. I never once in my life called these fine specimens of humanity bilge rats. Now, did I?
(the audience responds)
CAP'N FLINT
Awk! Yes, you did! Awk! Bilge rats! Awk!
SILVER 
(to parrot)
SHUT UP, I TELL YA ! 
(to Ben & audience) 
Well...then...I meant...nice, pleasant, kindly and sweet-smellin' bilge rats. 
(nastily) 
Tell the story, Gunn! And tell it true! 
(draws pistol)
I'll be hearin' every word!
CAP'N FLINT
Awk! Every word! Awk!