Treasure Island: Chapter VIII

Author: Jane Austen

Format: online reading

Category: Novel

Posted on 2007-05-11, updated at 2007-05-27. By anonymous.


  • Author: Jane Austen

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 look-out 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 that he might prove to be the very
one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at the old `Benbow.' But one look at the
man before me was enough. I had seen the captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man Pew,
and I thought I knew what a buccaneer was like - a very different creature, according to
me, from this clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.

I plucked up courage at once, crossed the threshold, and walked right up to the man
where he stood, propped on his crutch, talking to a customer.

`Mr Silver, sir?' I asked, holding out the note.

`Yes, my lad,' said he; `such is my name, to be sure. And who may you be?' And then as
he saw the squire's letter, he seemed to me to give something almost like a start.

`Oh!' said he, quite loud, and offering his hand, `I see. You are our new cabin - boy;
pleased I am to see you.'

And he took my hand in his large firm grasp.

Just then one of the customers at the far side rose suddenly and made for the door. It
was close by him, and he was out in the street in a moment. But his hurry had attracted my
notice, and I recognised him at a glance. It was the tallow-faced man, wanting two
fingers, who had come first to the `Admiral Benbow.'

`Oh,' I cried, `stop him! it's Black Dog!'

`I don't care two coppers who he is,' cried Silver. `But he hasn't paid his score.
Harry, run and catch him.'

One of the others who was nearest the door leaped up, and started in pursuit.

`If he were Admiral Hawke he shall pay his score,' cried Silver; and then,
relinquishing my hand--'Who did you say he was?' he asked. `Black what?'

`Dog, sir,' said I. `Has Mr Trelawney not told you of the buccaneers? He was one of

`So?' cried Silver. `In my house! Ben, run and help Harry. One of those swabs, was he?
Was that you drinking with him, Morgan? Step up here.'

The man whom he called Morgan - an old, grey-haired, mahogany-faced sailor - came
forward pretty sheepishly, rolling his quid.

`Now, Morgan,' said Long John, very sternly; `you never clapped your eyes on that Black
- Black Dog before, did you, now?'

`Not I, sir,' said Morgan, with a salute.

`You didn't know his name, did you?'

`No, sir.'

`By the powers, Tom Morgan, it's as good for you!' exclaimed the landlord. `If you had
been mixed up with the like of that, you would never have put another foot in my house,
you may lay to that. And what was he saying to your?'

`I don't rightly know, sir,' answered Morgan.

`Do you call that a head on your shoulders, or a blessed dead-eye?' cried Long John.
`Don't rightly know, don't you! Perhaps you don't happen to rightly know who you were
speaking to, perhaps? Come, now, what was he jawing - v'yages, cap'ns, ships? Pipe up!
What was it?'

`We was a-talkin' of keel-hauling,' answered Morgan `Keel-hauling, was you? and a
mighty suitable thing, too and you may lay to that. Get back to your place for a lubber

And then, as Morgan rolled back to his seat, Silver added to me in a confidential
whisper, that was very flattering, as I thought:--

`He's quite an honest man, Tom Morgan, on'y stupid. An now,' he ran on again, aloud,
`let's see - Black Dog? No, don't know the name, not I. Yet I kind of think I've - yes,
I've seen the swab. He used to come here with a blind beggar he used.'

`That he did, you may be sure,' said I. `I knew that blind man, too. His name was Pew.'

`It was!' cried Silver, now quite excited. `Pew! That were his name for certain. Ah, he
looked a shark, he did! If we run down this Black Dog, now, there'll be news for Captain
Trelawney! Ben's a good runner; few seamen run better than Ben. He should run him down,
hand over hand, by the powers! He talked o' keel- hauling, did he? I'll keel-haul him!'

All the time he was jerking out these phrases he was stumping up and down the tavern on
his crutch, slapping tables with his hand, and giving such a show of excitement as would
have convinced an Old Bailey judge or a Bow Street runner. My suspicions had been
thoroughly re-awakened on finding Black Dog at the `Spy-glass,' and I watched the cook
narrowly. But he was too deep, and too ready, and too clever for me, and by the time the
two men had come back out of breath, and confessed that they had lost the track in a
crowd, and been scolded like thieves, I would have gone bail for the innocence of Long
John Silver.

`See here, now, Hawkins,' said he, `here's a blessed hard thing on a man like me, now,
aint it? There's Cap'n Trelawney - what's he to think? Here I have this confounded son of
a Dutchman sitting in my own house, drinking of my own rum! Here you comes and tells me of
it plain; and here I let him give us all the slip before my blessed dead-lights! Now,
Hawkins, you do me justice with the cap'n. You're a lad, you are, but you're as smart as
paint. I see that when you first came 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 drooped as though he had remembered

`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 cocked 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 mirth.

On our little walk along the quays, he made himself the most interesting companion,
telling me about the differ 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 then telling me some lit
anecdote of ships or seamen, or repeating a nautical phrase till I had learned it
perfectly. I began to see that here was one of the best of possible shipmates.

When we got to the inn, the squire and Dr Livesey was seated together, finishing a
quart of ale with a toast in it, before they should go aboard the schooner on a visit of

Long John told the story from first to last, with a great deal of spirit and the most
perfect truth. `That was how it were now, weren't it, Hawkins?' he would say, now and
again and I could always bear him entirely out.

The two gentlemen regretted that Black Dog had got away but we all agreed there was
nothing to be done, and after I had been complimented, Long John took up his crutch and

`All hands aboard by four this afternoon,' shouted the squire, after him.

`Ay, ay, sir,' cried the cook, in the passage.

`Well, squire,' said Dr Livesey, `I don't put much faith in your discoveries, as a
general thing; but I will say this, John Silver suits me.'

`The man's a perfect trump,' declared the squire.

`And now,' added the doctor, `Jim may come on board with us, may he not?'

`To be sure he may,' says squire. `Take your hat, Hawkins, and we'll see the ship.'

Sponsored High Speed Downloads
5679 dl's @ 3437 KB/s
Download Now [Full Version]
9144 dl's @ 2262 KB/s
Download Link 1 - Fast Download
9196 dl's @ 2474 KB/s
Download Mirror - Direct Download

More on This Book:
  1. Treasure Island: Chapter XXIII
  2. Treasure Island: Chapter XXII
  3. Treasure Island: Chapter XXI
  4. Treasure Island: Chapter XX
  5. Treasure Island: Chapter XIX
  6. Treasure Island: Chapter XVIII
  7. Treasure Island: Chapter XVII
  8. Treasure Island: Chapter XVI
  9. Treasure Island: Chapter XV
  10. Treasure Island: Chapter XIV
  11. Treasure Island: Chapter XIII
  12. Treasure Island: Chapter XI
  13. Treasure Island: Chapter X
  14. Treasure Island: Chapter IX
  15. Treasure Island: Chapter VII
  16. Treasure Island: Chapter VI
  17. Treasure Island: Chapter V
  18. Treasure Island: Chapter IV
  19. Treasure Island: Chapter II
  20. Treasure Island: Chapter III
  21. Treasure Island: Chapter I
  22. Treasure Island: Chapter XII
  23. Treasure Island: Chapter XXIV

Search More...
Treasure Island: Chapter VIII

Search free ebooks in!

Download this book

No active download links here?
Please check the description for download links if any or do a search to find alternative books.

Related Books


No comments for "Treasure Island: Chapter VIII".

    Add Your Comments
    1. Download links and password may be in the description section, read description carefully!
    2. Do a search to find mirrors if no download links or dead links.
    Back to Top