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4. The Sea-chest

ILOST no time, of course, in telling my mother all that I knew,
and perhaps should have told her long before, and we saw
ourselves at once in a difficult and dangerous position. Some of
the manís money--if he had any--was certainly due to us, but it was
not likely that our captainís shipmates, above all the two
specimens seen by me, Black Dog and the blind beggar, would be
inclined to give up their booty in payment of the dead manís debts.
The captainís order to mount at once and ride for Doctor Livesey
would have left my mother alone and unprotected, which was not
to be thought of. Indeed, it seemed impossible for either of us to
remain much longer in the house; the fall of coals in the kitchen
grate, the very ticking of the clock, filled us with alarms. The
neighbourhood, to our ears, seemed haunted by approaching
footsteps; and what between the dead body of the captain on the
parlour floor and the thought of that detestable blind beggar
hovering near at hand and ready to return, there were moments
when, as the saying goes, I jumped in my skin for terror.
Something must speedily be resolved upon, and it occurred to us
at last to go forth together and seek help in the neighbouring
hamlet. No sooner said than done. Bare-headed as we were, we
ran out at once in the gathering evening and the frosty fog.

The hamlet lay not many hundred yards away, though out of
view, on the other side of the next cove; and what greatly
encouraged me, it was in an opposite direction from that whence
the blind man had made his appearance and whither he had
presumably returned. We were not many minutes on the road,

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