The Old Buccaneer

The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow

SquireTrelawney,Dr.Livesey,andtherestofthesegentlemenhavingaskedmetowritedownthewholeparticularsaboutTreasureIsland,fromthebeginningtotheend,keepingnothingbackbutthebearingsoftheisland,andthatonlybecausethereisstilltreasurenotyetlifted,Itakeupmypenintheyearofgrace17andgobacktothetimewhenmyfatherkepttheAdmiralBenbowinnandthebrownoldseamanwiththesabrecutfirsttookuphislodgingunderourroof.

Irememberhimasifitwereyesterday,ashecameploddingtotheinndoor,hissea-chestfollowingbehindhiminahand-barrowatall,strong,heavy,nut-brownman,histarrypigtailfallingovertheshoulderofhissoiledbluecoat,hishandsraggedandscarred,withblack,brokennails,andthesabrecutacrossonecheek,adirty,lividwhite.Irememberhimlookingroundthecoverandwhistlingtohimselfashedidso,andthenbreakingoutinthatoldsea-songthathesangsooftenafterwards:

“Fifteenmenonthedeadman’schest

Yo-ho-ho,andabottleofrum!”

inthehigh,oldtotteringvoicethatseemedtohavebeentunedandbrokenatthecapstanbars.Thenherappedonthedoorwithabitofsticklikeahandspikethathecarried,andwhenmyfatherappeared,calledroughlyforaglassofrum.This,whenitwasbroughttohim,hedrankslowly,likeaconnoisseur,lingeringonthetasteandstilllookingabouthimatthecliffsandupatoursignboard.

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