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8. At the Sign of the Spy-glass
WHEN I had done breakfasting the squire gave me a note
addressed to John Silver, at the sign of the Spy-glass,
and told me I should easily find the place by following
the line of the docks and keeping a bright lookout for a little tavern
with a large brass telescope for sign. I set off, overjoyed at this
opportunity to see some more of the ships and seamen, and picked
my way among a great crowd of people and carts and bales, for the
dock was now at its busiest, until I found the tavern in question.
It was a bright enough little place of entertainment. The sign
was newly painted; the windows had neat red curtains; the floor
was cleanly sanded. There was a street on each side and an open
door on both, which made the large, low room pretty clear to see
in, in spite of clouds of tobacco smoke.
The customers were mostly seafaring men, and they talked so
loudly that I hung at the door, almost afraid to enter.
As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and at a
glance I was sure he must be Long John. His left leg was cut off
close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch,
which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon
it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a
ham--plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he
seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about
among the tables, with a merry word or a slap on the shoulder for
the more favoured of his guests.
Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long
John in Squire Trelawney’s letter I had taken a fear in my mind