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staunch. Ah, you that’s young-- you and me might have done a
power of good together!”
He drew some cognac from the cask into a tin cannikin.
“Will you taste, messmate?” he asked; and when I had refused:
“Well, I’ll take a drain myself, Jim,” said he. “I need a caulker, for
there’s trouble on hand. And talking o’ trouble, why did that
doctor give me the chart, Jim?”
My face expressed a wonder so unaffected that he saw the
needlessness of further questions.
“Ah, well, he did, though,” said he. “And there’s something
under that, no doubt--something, surely, under that, Jim--bad or
And he took another swallow of the brandy, shaking his great
fair head like a man who looks forward to the worst.