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The Old Buccaneer

1. The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow

SQUIRE TRELAWNEY, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these
gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole
particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to
the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and
that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my
pen in the year of grace 17__ and go back to the time when my
father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman
with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.

I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to
the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow-
-a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over
the shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred,
with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a
dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the cover and
whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old
sea-song that he sang so often afterwards:

“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest--

Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”

in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned
and broken at the capstan bars. Then he rapped on the door with
a bit of stick like a handspike that he carried, and when my father
appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was
brought to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering on
the taste and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our

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