The Sea-cook

I Go to Bristol

Itwaslongerthanthesquireimaginederewewerereadyforthesea,andnoneofourfirstplansnotevenDr.Livesey’s,ofkeepingmebesidehimcouldbecarriedoutasweintended.ThedoctorhadtogotoLondonforaphysiciantotakechargeofhispractice;thesquirewashardatworkatBristol;andIlivedonatthehallunderthechargeofoldRedruth,thegamekeeper,almostaprisoner,butfullofsea-dreamsandthemostcharminganticipationsofstrangeislandsandadventures.Ibroodedbythehourtogetheroverthemap,allthedetailsofwhichIwellremembered.Sittingbythefireinthehousekeeper’sroom,Iapproachedthatislandinmyfancyfromeverypossibledirection;Iexploredeveryacreofitssurface;IclimbedathousandtimestothattallhilltheycalltheSpy-glass,andfromthetopenjoyedthemostwonderfulandchangingprospects.Sometimestheislewasthickwithsavages,withwhomwefought,sometimesfullofdangerousanimalsthathuntedus,butinallmyfanciesnothingoccurredtomesostrangeandtragicasouractualadventures.

Sotheweekspassedon,tillonefinedaytherecamealetteraddressedtoDr.Livesey,withthisaddition,“Tobeopened,inthecaseofhisabsence,byTomRedruthoryoungHawkins.”Obeyingthisorder,wefound,orratherIfoundforthegamekeeperwasapoorhandatreadinganythingbutprintthefollowingimportantnews:

OldAnchorInn,Bristol,March1,17

DearLiveseyAsIdonotknowwhetheryouareatthehallorstillinLondon,Isendthisindoubletobothplaces.

Theshipisboughtandfitted.Sheliesatanchor,readyforsea.Youneverimaginedasweeterschoonerachildmightsailhertwohundredtons;name,Hispaniola.

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