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the look of a man who sees a ghost, or the evil one, or something
worse, if anything can be; and upon my word, I felt sorry to see
him all in a moment turn so old and sick.

“Come, Bill, you know me; you know an old shipmate, Bill,
surely,” said the stranger.

The captain made a sort of gasp.
“Black Dog!” said he.

“And who else?” returned the other, getting more at his ease.
“Black Dog as ever was, come for to see his old shipmate Billy, at
the Admiral Benbow inn. Ah, Bill, Bill, we have seen a sight of
times, us two, since I lost them two talons,” holding up his
mutilated hand.

“Now, look here,” said the captain; “you’ve run me down; here I
am; well, then, speak up; what is it?”

“That’s you, Bill,” returned Black Dog, “you’re in the right of it,
Billy. I’ll have a glass of rum from this dear child here, as I’ve took
such a liking to; and we’ll sit down, if you please, and talk square,
like old shipmates.”

When I returned with the rum, they were already seated on
either side of the captain’s breakfast-table--Black Dog next to the
door and sitting sideways so as to have one eye on his old
shipmate and one, as I thought, on his retreat.

He bade me go and leave the door wide open. “None of your
keyholes for me, sonny,” he said; and I left them together and
retired into the bar.

“For a long time, though I certainly did my best to listen, I
could hear nothing but a low gattling; but at last the voices began
to grow higher, and I could pick up a word or two, mostly oaths,
from the captain.

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