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there were men aloft, high over my head, hanging to threads that
seemed no thicker than a spider’s. Though I had lived by the shore
all my life, I seemed never to have been near the sea till then. The
smell of tar and salt was something new. I saw the most wonderful
figureheads, that had all been far over the ocean. I saw, besides,
many old sailors, with rings in their ears, and whiskers curled in
ringlets, and tarry pigtails, and their swaggering, clumsy sea-
walk; and if I had seen as many kings or archbishops I could not
have been more delighted.
And I was going to sea myself, to sea in a schooner, with a
piping boatswain and pig-tailed singing seamen, to sea, bound for
an unknown island, and to seek for buried treasure!
While I was still in this delightful dream, we came suddenly in
front of a large inn and met Squire Trelawney, all dressed out like
a sea-officer, in stout blue cloth, coming out of the door with a
smile on his face and a capital imitation of a sailor’s walk.
“Here you are,” he cried, “and the doctor came last night from
London. Bravo! The ship’s company complete!”
“Oh, sir,” cried I, “when do we sail?”
“Sail!” says he. “We sail tomorrow!”