Evans sat in the boat with his eyes half closed. Slowly, the beach grew nearer and nearer. It was noon and the sun was at its hottest. They were near the treasure* but Evans was not excited: he was very tired. ‘I am so tired,’ he thought, `I did not sleep in this boat last night. I need to rest.’
He thought of the treasure and of all the gold. One night a Chinaman told them all about the island, the map and the treasure. He wanted to remember that terrible night but he couldn’t: all he could think about was his dry mouth, the river and a cold drink of water. The sea moved slowly up and down, forward and back. Evans moved in the boat with it. The sea and its noise sounded good. Soon, his eyes closed and he fell asleep.
Evans had a dream about the treasure and Chang-Li.
In the dream, it was night and he and Hooker were in the forest. They wanted to find someone or something. Just then, through the trees, they saw a little fire. Three Chinamen sat around it and talked in quiet voices. The light form the fire lit up the men’s faces. They spoke in English and Hooker heard their words first. He looked excited. He told Evans to go closer. Evans did. Some things Evans understood, some he did not. Chang-Li took the gold from the galleon and hid it carefully on the island. He worked alone and it was his secret, but now he wanted help to get the gold back and gave the Chinamen a map… a fine story for two poor Englishmen to hear. Now the dream changed and Evans saw Chang-Li’s face. At first, it was friendly but then it changed. He became afraid: very, very afraid. Evans saw his own hands around Chang-Li’s neck; Chang-Li cried ‘No!’ and ‘Please!’ over and over again. Then, there was silence. Now all Evans could see was the gold – great big mountains of it. Suddenly Chang Li’s eyes opened and he smiled. Evans’s hands were still around his neck. ‘Evans…’ said Chang-Li, ‘Evans, you fool*, you fool…’
‘Evans… Wake up you fool!’
It was Hooker.
Evans was asleep. He opened his eyes again. They were nearly at the beach.
*treasure – a collection of valuable items (often hidden)
*galleon – an old type of ship
*crew – people on a ship
*fool – idiot