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Chapter 2 At the Sign of the Spy-glass

  • When I had done breakfasting the squire gave me a note addressed to Joh_ilver, at the sign of the Spy-glass, and told me I should easily find th_lace by following the line of the docks and keeping a bright lookout for _ittle tavern with a large brass telescope for sign. I set off, overjoyed a_his opportunity to see some more of the ships and seamen, and picked my wa_mong a great crowd of people and carts and bales, for the dock was now at it_usiest, until I found the tavern in question.
  • It was a bright enough little place of entertainment. The sign was newl_ainted; the windows had neat red curtains; the floor was cleanly sanded.
  • There was a street on each side and an open door on both, which made th_arge, low room pretty clear to see in, in spite of clouds of tobacco smoke.
  • The customers were mostly seafaring men, and they talked so loudly that I hun_t the door, almost afraid to enter.
  • As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and at a glance I was sure h_ust be Long John. His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under th_eft shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face a_ig as a ham—plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he seemed i_he most cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about among the tables, wit_ merry word or a slap on the shoulder for the more favoured of his guests.
  • Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long John in Squir_relawney's letter I had taken a fear in my mind that he might prove to be th_ery one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at the old Benbow. Bu_ne look at the man before me was enough. I had seen the captain, and Blac_og, and the blind man, Pew, and I thought I knew what a buccaneer was like—_ery different creature, according to me, from this clean and pleasant- tempered landlord.
  • I plucked up courage at once, crossed the threshold, and walked right up t_he man where he stood, propped on his crutch, talking to a customer.
  • "Mr. Silver, sir?" I asked, holding out the note.
  • "Yes, my lad," said he; "such is my name, to be sure. And who may you be?" An_hen as he saw the squire's letter, he seemed to me to give something almos_ike a start.
  • "Oh!" said he, quite loud, and offering his hand. "I see. You are our ne_abin-boy; pleased I am to see you."
  • And he took my hand in his large firm grasp.
  • Just then one of the customers at the far side rose suddenly and made for th_oor. It was close by him, and he was out in the street in a moment. But hi_urry had attracted my notice, and I recognized him at glance. It was th_allow-faced man, wanting two fingers, who had come first to the Admira_enbow.
  • "Oh," I cried, "stop him! It's Black Dog!"
  • "I don't care two coppers who he is," cried Silver. "But he hasn't paid hi_core. Harry, run and catch him."
  • One of the others who was nearest the door leaped up and started in pursuit.
  • "If he were Admiral Hawke he shall pay his score," cried Silver; and then, relinquishing my hand, "Who did you say he was?" he asked. "Black what?"
  • "Dog, sir," said I. Has Mr. Trelawney not told you of the buccaneers? He wa_ne of them."
  • "So?" cried Silver. "In my house! Ben, run and help Harry. One of those swabs, was he? Was that you drinking with him, Morgan? Step up here."
  • The man whom he called Morgan—an old, grey-haired, mahogany-faced sailor—cam_orward pretty sheepishly, rolling his quid.
  • "Now, Morgan," said Long John very sternly, "you never clapped your eyes o_hat Black—Black Dog before, did you, now?"
  • "Not I, sir," said Morgan with a salute.
  • "You didn't know his name, did you?"
  • "No, sir."
  • "By the powers, Tom Morgan, it's as good for you!" exclaimed the landlord. "I_ou had been mixed up with the like of that, you would never have put anothe_oot in my house, you may lay to that. And what was he saying to you?"
  • "I don't rightly know, sir," answered Morgan.
  • "Do you call that a head on your shoulders, or a blessed dead-eye?" cried Lon_ohn. "Don't rightly know, don't you! Perhaps you don't happen to rightly kno_ho you was speaking to, perhaps? Come, now, what was he jawing—v'yages, cap'ns, ships? Pipe up! What was it?"
  • "We was a-talkin' of keel-hauling," answered Morgan.
  • "Keel-hauling, was you? And a mighty suitable thing, too, and you may lay t_hat. Get back to your place for a lubber, Tom."
  • And then, as Morgan rolled back to his seat, Silver added to me in _onfidential whisper that was very flattering, as I thought, "He's quite a_onest man, Tom Morgan, on'y stupid. And now," he ran on again, aloud, "let'_ee—Black Dog? No, I don't know the name, not I. Yet I kind of think I've—yes, I've seen the swab. He used to come here with a blind beggar, he used."
  • "That he did, you may be sure," said I. "I knew that blind man too. His nam_as Pew."
  • "It was!" cried Silver, now quite excited. "Pew! That were his name fo_ertain. Ah, he looked a shark, he did! If we run down this Black Dog, now, there'll be news for Cap'n Trelawney! Ben's a good runner; few seamen ru_etter than Ben. He should run him down, hand over hand, by the powers! H_alked o' keel-hauling, did he? I'll keel-haul him!"
  • All the time he was jerking out these phrases he was stumping up and down th_avern on his crutch, slapping tables with his hand, and giving such a show o_xcitement as would have convinced an Old Bailey judge or a Bow Street runner.
  • My suspicions had been thoroughly reawakened on finding Black Dog at the Spy- glass, and I watched the cook narrowly. But he was too deep, and too ready, and too clever for me, and by the time the two men had come back out of breat_nd confessed that they had lost the track in a crowd, and been scolded lik_hieves, I would have gone bail for the innocence of Long John Silver.
  • "See here, now, Hawkins," said he, "here's a blessed hard thing on a man lik_e, now, ain't it? There's Cap'n Trelawney—what's he to think? Here I hav_his confounded son of a Dutchman sitting in my own house drinking of my ow_um! Here you comes and tells me of it plain; and here I let him give us al_he slip before my blessed deadlights! Now, Hawkins, you do me justice wit_he cap'n. You're a lad, you are, but you're as smart as paint. I see tha_hen you first come in. Now, here it is: What could I do, with this old timbe_ hobble on? When I was an A B master mariner I'd have come up alongside o_im, hand over hand, and broached him to in a brace of old shakes, I would; but now—"
  • And then, all of a sudden, he stopped, and his jaw dropped as though he ha_emembered something.
  • "The score!" he burst out. "Three goes o' rum! Why, shiver my timbers, if _adn't forgotten my score!"
  • And falling on a bench, he laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks. _ould not help joining, and we laughed together, peal after peal, until th_avern rang again.
  • "Why, what a precious old sea-calf I am!" he said at last, wiping his cheeks.
  • "You and me should get on well, Hawkins, for I'll take my davy I should b_ated ship's boy. But come now, stand by to go about. This won't do. Dooty i_ooty, messmates. I'll put on my old cockerel hat, and step along of you t_ap'n Trelawney, and report this here affair. For mind you, it's serious, young Hawkins; and neither you nor me's come out of it with what I should mak_o bold as to call credit. Nor you neither, says you; not smart—none of th_air of us smart. But dash my buttons! That was a good un about my score."
  • And he began to laugh again, and that so heartily, that though I did not se_he joke as he did, I was again obliged to join him in his mirth.
  • On our little walk along the quays, he made himself the most interestin_ompanion, telling me about the different ships that we passed by, their rig, tonnage, and nationality, explaining the work that was going forward—how on_as discharging, another taking in cargo, and a third making ready for sea—an_very now and then telling me some little anecdote of ships or seamen o_epeating a nautical phrase till I had learned it perfectly. I began to se_hat here was one of the best of possible shipmates.
  • When we got to the inn, the squire and Dr. Livesey were seated together, finishing a quart of ale with a toast in it, before they should go aboard th_chooner on a visit of inspection.
  • Long John told the story from first to last, with a great deal of spirit an_he most perfect truth. "That was how it were, now, weren't it, Hawkins?" h_ould say, now and again, and I could always bear him entirely out.
  • The two gentlemen regretted that Black Dog had got away, but we all agree_here was nothing to be done, and after he had been complimented, Long Joh_ook up his crutch and departed.
  • "All hands aboard by four this afternoon," shouted the squire after him.
  • "Aye, aye, sir," cried the cook, in the passage.
  • "Well, squire," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't put much faith in your discoveries, as a general thing; but I will say this, John Silver suits me."
  • "The man's a perfect trump," declared the squire.
  • "And now," added the doctor, "Jim may come on board with us, may he not?"
  • "To be sure he may," says squire. "Take your hat, Hawkins, and we'll see th_hip."