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Before I could do much to help him he had fallen back again to
his former place, where he lay for a while silent.
“Jim,” he said at length, “you saw that seafaring man today?”
“Black Dog?” I asked.
“Ah! Black Dog,” says he. “He’s a bad un; but there’s worse that
put him on. Now, if I can’t get away nohow, and they tip me the
black spot, mind you, it’s my old sea-chest they’re after; you get on
a horse--you can, can’t you? Well, then, you get on a horse, and go
to-- well, yes, I will!--to that eternal doctor swab, and tell him to
pipe all hands--magistrates and sich--and he’ll lay ‘em aboard at
the Admiral Benbow--all old Flint’s crew, man and boy, all on ‘em
that’s left. I was first mate, I was, old Flint’s first mate, and I’m the
on’y one as knows the place. He gave it me at Savannah, when he
lay a-dying, like as if I was to now, you see. But you won’t peach
unless they get the black spot on me, or unless you see that Black
Dog again or a seafaring man with one leg, Jim--him above all.”
“But what is the black spot, captain?” I asked.
“That’s a summons, mate. I’ll tell you if they get that. But you
keep your weather-eye open, Jim, and I’ll share with you equals,
upon my honour.”
He wandered a little longer, his voice growing weaker; but soon
after I had given him his medicine, which he took like a child, with
the remark, “If ever a seaman wanted drugs, it’s me,” he fell at last
into a heavy, swoon-like sleep, in which I left him. What I should
have done had all gone well I do not know. Probably I should have
told the whole story to the doctor, for I was in mortal fear lest the
captain should repent of his confessions and make an end of me.
But as things fell out, my poor father died quite suddenly that
evening, which put all other matters on one side. Our natural