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when you first come in. Now, here it is: What could I do, with this
old timber I hobble on? When I was an A B master mariner I’d
have come up alongside of him, hand over hand, and broached
him to in a brace of old shakes, I would; but now--”

And then, all of a sudden, he stopped, and his jaw dropped as
though he had remembered something.

“The score!” he burst out. “Three goes o’ rum! Why, shiver my
timbers, if I hadn’t forgotten my score!”

And falling on a bench, he laughed until the tears ran down his
cheeks. I could not help joining, and we laughed together, peal
after peal, until the tavern rang again.

“Why, what a precious old sea-calf I am!” he said at last, wiping
his cheeks. “You and me should get on well, Hawkins, for I’ll take
my davy I should be rated ship’s boy. But come now, stand by to
go about. This won’t do. Dooty is dooty, messmates. I’ll put on my
old cockerel hat, and step along of you to Cap’n Trelawney, and
report this here affair. For mind you, it’s serious, young Hawkins;
and neither you nor me’s come out of it with what I should make
so bold as to call credit. Nor you neither, says you; not smart--
none of the pair of us smart. But dash my buttons! That was a
good un about my score.”

And he began to laugh again, and that so heartily, that though I
did not see the joke as he did, I was again obliged to join him in his

On our little walk along the quays, he made himself the most
interesting companion, telling me about the different ships that we
passed by, their rig, tonnage, and nationality, explaining the work
that was going forward--how one was discharging, another taking
in cargo, and a third making ready for sea--and every now and

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