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7. I Go to Bristol

IT was longer than the squire imagined ere we were ready for
the sea, and none of our first plans--not even Dr. Livesey’s, of
keeping me beside him--could be carried out as we intended.
The doctor had to go to London for a physician to take charge of
his practice; the squire was hard at work at Bristol; and I lived on
at the hall under the charge of old Redruth, the gamekeeper,
almost a prisoner, but full of sea-dreams and the most charming
anticipations of strange islands and adventures. I brooded by the
hour together over the map, all the details of which I well
remembered. Sitting by the fire in the housekeeper’s room, I
approached that island in my fancy from every possible direction;
I explored every acre of its surface; I climbed a thousand times to
that tall hill they call the Spy-glass, and from the top enjoyed the
most wonderful and changing prospects. Sometimes the isle was
thick with savages, with whom we fought, sometimes full of
dangerous animals that hunted us, but in all my fancies nothing
occurred to me so strange and tragic as our actual adventures.

So the weeks passed on, till one fine day there came a letter
addressed to Dr. Livesey, with this addition, “To be opened, in the
case of his absence, by Tom Redruth or young Hawkins.” Obeying
this order, we found, or rather I found--for the gamekeeper was a
poor hand at reading anything but print--the following important

Old Anchor Inn, Bristol, March , --
Dear Livesey--As I do not know whether you are at the hall or

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