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“This is a handy cove,” says he at length; “and a pleasant
sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate?”
My father told him no, very little company, the more was the
“Well, then,” said he, “this is the berth for me. Here you,
matey,” he cried to the man who trundled the barrow; “bring up
alongside and help up my chest. I’ll stay here a bit,” he continued.
“I’m a plain man; rum and bacon and eggs is what I want, and that
head up there for to watch ships off. What you mought call me?
You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what you’re at-- there”; and
he threw down three or four gold pieces on the threshold. “You
can tell me when I’ve worked through that,” says he, looking as
fierce as a commander.
And indeed bad as his clothes were and coarsely as he spoke, he
had none of the appearance of a man who sailed before the mast,
but seemed like a mate or skipper accustomed to be obeyed or to
strike. The man who came with the barrow told us the mail had
set him down the morning before at the Royal George, that he had
inquired what inns there were along the coast, and hearing ours
well spoken of, I suppose, and described as lonely, had chosen it
from the others for his place of residence. And that was all we
could learn of our guest.
He was a very silent man by custom. All day he hung round the
cove or upon the cliffs with a brass telescope; all evening he sat in
a corner of the parlour next the fire and drank rum and water very
strong. Mostly he would not speak when spoken to, only look up
sudden and fierce and blow through his nose like a fog-horn; and
we and the people who came about our house soon learned to let