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“There,” John would add, “you can’t touch pitch and not be
mucked, lad. Here’s this poor old innocent bird o’ mine swearing
blue fire, and none the wiser, you may lay to that. She would
swear the same, in a manner of speaking, before chaplain.” And
John would touch his forelock with a solemn way he had that
made me think he was the best of men.
In the meantime, the squire and Captain Smollett were still on
pretty distant terms with one another. The squire made no bones
about the matter; he despised the captain. The captain, on his
part, never spoke but when he was spoken to, and then sharp and
short and dry, and not a word wasted. He owned, when driven into
a corner, that he seemed to have been wrong about the crew, that
some of them were as brisk as he wanted to see and all had
behaved fairly well. As for the ship, he had taken a downright
fancy to her. “She’ll lie a point nearer the wind than a man has a
right to expect of his own married wife, sir. But,” he would add,
“all I say is, we’re not home again, and I don’t like the cruise.”
The squire, at this, would turn away and march up and down
the deck, chin in air.
“A trifle more of that man,” he would say, “and I shall explode.”
We had some heavy weather, which only proved the qualities of
the Hispaniola. Every man on board seemed well content, and
they must have been hard to please if they had been otherwise, for
it is my belief there was never a ship’s company so spoiled since
Noah put to sea. Double grog was going on the least excuse; there
was duff on odd days, as, for instance, if the squire heard it was
any man’s birthday, and always a barrel of apples standing
broached in the waist for anyone to help himself that had a fancy.
“Never knew good come of it yet,” the captain said to Dr.