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6. The Captain’s Papers
WE rode hard all the way till we drew up before Dr.
Livesey’s door. The house was all dark to the front.
Mr. Dance told me to jump down and knock, and
Dogger gave me a stirrup to descend by. The door was opened
almost at once by the maid.
“Is Dr. Livesey in?” I asked.
No, she said, he had come home in the afternoon but had gone
up to the hall to dine and pass the evening with the squire.
“So there we go, boys,” said Mr. Dance.
This time, as the distance was short, I did not mount, but ran
with Dogger’s stirrup-leather to the lodge gates and up the long,
leafless, moonlit avenue to where the white line of the hall
buildings looked on either hand on great old gardens. Here Mr.
Dance dismounted, and taking me along with him, was admitted
at a word into the house.
The servant led us down a matted passage and showed us at the
end into a great library, all lined with bookcases and busts upon
the top of them, where the squire and Dr. Livesey sat, pipe in
hand, on either side of a bright fire.
I had never seen the squire so near at hand. He was a tall man,
over six feet high, and broad in proportion, and he had a bluff,
rough-and-ready face, all roughened and reddened and lined in
his long travels. His eyebrows were very black, and moved readily,
and this gave him a look of some temper, not bad, you would say,
but quick and high.
“Come in, Mr. Dance,” says he, very stately and condescending.
“Good evening, Dance,” says the doctor with a nod. “And good