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me back, and as I did not obey quick enough for his fancy, a most
horrible change came over his tallowy face, and he ordered me in
with an oath that made me jump. As soon as I was back again he
returned to his former manner, half fawning, half sneering, patted
me on the shoulder, told me I was a good boy and he had taken
quite a fancy to me. “I have a son of my own,” said he, “as like you
as two blocks, and he’s all the pride of my ‘art. But the great thing
for boys is discipline, sonny--discipline. Now, if you had sailed
along of Bill, you wouldn’t have stood there to be spoke to twice--
not you. That was never Bill’s way, nor the way of sich as sailed
with him. And here, sure enough, is my mate Bill, with a spy-glass
under his arm, bless his old ‘art, to be sure. You and me’ll just go
back into the parlour, sonny, and get behind the door, and we’ll
give Bill a little surprise--bless his ‘art, I say again.

So saying, the stranger backed along with me into the parlour
and put me behind him in the corner so that we were both hidden
by the open door. I was very uneasy and alarmed, as you may
fancy, and it rather added to my fears to observe that the stranger
was certainly frightened himself. He cleared the hilt of his cutlass
and loosened the blade in the sheath; and all the time we were
waiting there he kept swallowing as if he felt what we used to call
a lump in the throat.

At last in strode the captain, slammed the door behind him,
without looking to the right or left, and marched straight across
the room to where his breakfast awaited him.

“Bill,” said the stranger in a voice that I thought he had tried to
make bold and big.

The captain spun round on his heel and fronted us; all the
brown had gone out of his face, and even his nose was blue; he had

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