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closed and his face a horrible colour.
“Dear, deary me,” cried my mother, “what a disgrace upon the
house! And your poor father sick!”
In the meantime, we had no idea what to do to help the captain,
nor any other thought but that he had got his death-hurt in the
scuffle with the stranger. I got the rum, to be sure, and tried to put
it down his throat, but his teeth were tightly shut and his jaws as
strong as iron. It was a happy relief for us when the door opened
and Doctor Livesey came in, on his visit to my father.
“Oh, doctor,” we cried, “what shall we do? Where is he
“Wounded? A fiddle-stick’s end!” said the doctor. “No more
wounded than you or I. The man has had a stroke, as I warned
him. Now, Mrs. Hawkins, just you run upstairs to your husband
and tell him, if possible, nothing about it. For my part, I must do
my best to save this fellow’s trebly worthless life; Jim, you get me a
When I got back with the basin, the doctor had already ripped
up the captain’s sleeve and exposed his great sinewy arm. It was
tattooed in several places. “Here’s luck,” “A fair wind,” and “Billy
Bones his fancy,” were very neatly and clearly executed on the
forearm; and up near the shoulder there was a sketch of a gallows
and a man hanging from it--done, as I thought, with great spirit.
“Prophetic,” said the doctor, touching this picture with his
finger. “And now, Master Billy Bones, if that be your name, we’ll
have a look at the colour of your blood. Jim,” he said, “are you
afraid of blood?”
“No, sir,” said I.
“Well, then,” said he, “you hold the basin”; and with that he