The Black Spot

AboutnoonIstoppedatthecaptain’sdoorwithsomecoolingdrinksandmedicines.Hewaslyingverymuchaswehadlefthim,onlyalittlehigher,andheseemedbothweakandexcited.

“Jim,”hesaid,“you’retheonlyoneherethat’sworthanything,andyouknowI’vebeenalwaysgoodtoyou.NeveramonthbutI’vegivenyouasilverfourpennyforyourself.Andnowyousee,mate,I’mprettylow,anddesertedbyall;andJim,you’llbringmeonenogginofrum,now,won’tyou,matey?”

“ThedoctorIbegan.

Buthebrokeincursingthedoctor,inafeeblevoicebutheartily.“Doctorsisallswabs,”hesaid;“andthatdoctorthere,why,whatdoheknowaboutseafaringmen?Ibeeninplaceshotaspitch,andmatesdroppingroundwithYellowJack,andtheblessedlanda-heavingliketheseawithearthquakeswhattothedoctorknowoflandslikethat?andIlivedonrum,Itellyou.It’sbeenmeatanddrink,andmanandwife,tome;andifI’mnottohavemyrumnowI’mapooroldhulkonaleeshore,myblood’llbeonyou,Jim,andthatdoctorswab”;andheranonagainforawhilewithcurses.“Look,Jim,howmyfingersfidges,”hecontinuedinthepleadingtone.“Ican’tkeep’emstill,notI.Ihaven’thadadropthisblessedday.Thatdoctor’safool,Itellyou.IfIdon’thaveadraino’rum,Jim,I’llhavethehorrors;Iseensomeon’emalready.IseenoldFlintinthecornerthere,behindyou;asplainasprint,Iseenhim;andifIgetthehorrors,I’mamanthathaslivedrough,andI’llraiseCain.Yourdoctorhisselfsaidoneglasswouldn’thurtme.I’llgiveyouagoldenguineaforanoggin,Jim.”

Hewasgrowingmoreandmoreexcited,andthisalarmedmeformyfather,whowasverylowthatdayandneededquiet;besides,Iwasreassuredbythedoctor’swords,nowquotedtome,andratheroffendedbytheofferofabribe.

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