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The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow

“Thisisahandycove,”saysheatlength; “andapleasantsittyatedgrog-shop. Muchcompany,mate?”  

Myfathertoldhimno,verylittlecompany,themorewasthepity.  

“Well,then,”saidhe, “thisistheberthforme. Hereyou,matey,”hecriedtothemanwhotrundledthebarrow; “bringupalongsideandhelpupmychest. I’llstayhereabit,”hecontinued. “I’maplainman;rumandbaconandeggsiswhatIwant, andthatheaduptherefortowatchshipsoff. Whatyoumoughtcallme? Youmoughtcallmecaptain. Oh,Iseewhatyou’reatthere”; andhethrewdownthreeorfourgoldpiecesonthethreshold. “YoucantellmewhenI’veworkedthroughthat,” sayshe,lookingasfierceasacommander.  

Andindeedbadashisclotheswereandcoarselyashespoke, hehadnoneoftheappearanceofamanwhosailedbeforethemast, butseemedlikeamateorskipperaccustomedtobeobeyed ortostrike. ThemanwhocamewiththebarrowtoldusthemailhadsethimdownthemorningbeforeattheRoyalGeorge, thathehadinquiredwhatinnstherewerealongthecoast, andhearingourswellspokenof,Isuppose,anddescribedaslonely, hadchosenitfromtheothersforhisplaceofresidence. Andthatwasallwecouldlearnofourguest.  

Hewasaverysilentmanbycustom. Alldayhehungroundthecoveoruponthecliffswithabrasstelescope; alleveninghesatinacorneroftheparlournextthefire anddrankrumandwaterverystrong. Mostlyhewouldnotspeakwhenspokento, onlylookupsuddenandfierceandblowthroughhisnoselikeafog-horn; andweandthepeoplewhocameaboutourhousesoonlearnedtolethimbe. 

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