The Captain’s Papers

WerodehardallthewaytillwedrewupbeforeDr.Livesey’sdoor.Thehousewasalldarktothefront.

Mr.Dancetoldmetojumpdownandknock,andDoggergavemeastirruptodescendby.Thedoorwasopenedalmostatoncebythemaid.

“IsDr.Liveseyin?”Iasked.

No,shesaid,hehadcomehomeintheafternoonbuthadgoneuptothehalltodineandpasstheeveningwiththesquire.

“Sotherewego,boys,”saidMr.Dance.

Thistime,asthedistancewasshort,Ididnotmount,butranwithDogger’sstirrup-leathertothelodgegatesandupthelong,leafless,moonlitavenuetowherethewhitelineofthehallbuildingslookedoneitherhandongreatoldgardens.HereMr.Dancedismounted,andtakingmealongwithhim,wasadmittedatawordintothehouse.

Theservantledusdownamattedpassageandshowedusattheendintoagreatlibrary,alllinedwithbookcasesandbustsuponthetopofthem,wherethesquireandDr.Liveseysat,pipeinhand,oneithersideofabrightfire.

Ihadneverseenthesquiresonearathand.Hewasatallman,oversixfeethigh,andbroadinproportion,andhehadabluff,rough-and-readyface,allroughenedandreddenedandlinedinhislongtravels.Hiseyebrowswereveryblack,andmovedreadily,andthisgavehimalookofsometemper,notbad,youwouldsay,butquickandhigh.

“Comein,Mr.Dance,”sayshe,verystatelyandcondescending.

“Goodevening,Dance,”saysthedoctorwithanod.“Andgoodeveningtoyou,friendJim.Whatgoodwindbringsyouhere?”

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