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“Would that be respectful like, from me to you, squire?” was
the answer. “Howsoever, so be it, amen!”
After a little while of silence, he said he thought somebody
might read a prayer. “It’s the custom, sir,” he added
apologetically. And not long after, without another word, he
In the meantime the captain, whom I had observed to be
wonderfully swollen about the chest and pockets, had turned out a
great many various stores--the British colours, a Bible, a coil of
stoutish rope, pen, ink, the log-book, and pounds of tobacco. He
had found a longish fir-tree lying felled and trimmed in the
enclosure, and with the help of Hunter he had set it up at the
corner of the log-house where the trunks crossed and made an
angle. Then, climbing on the roof, he had with his own hand bent
and run up the colours.
This seemed mightily to relieve him. He re-entered the log-
house and set about counting up the stores as if nothing else
existed. But he had an eye on Tom’s passage for all that, and as
soon as all was over, came forward with another flag and
reverently spread it on the body.
“Don’t you take on, sir,” he said, shaking the squire’s hand.
“All’s well with him; no fear for a hand that’s been shot down in
his duty to captain and owner. It mayn’t be good divinity, but it’s a
Then he pulled me aside.
“Dr. Livesey,” he said, “in how many weeks do you and squire
expect the consort?”
I told him it was a question not of weeks but of months, that if
we were not back by the end of August Blandly was to send to find