wanted a good berth as cook to get to sea again. He had hobbled down there that morning, he said to
get a smell of the salt.
`I was monstrously touched - so would you have been - and, out of pure pity, I engaged him on the spot
to be ship's cook. Long John Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I regarded as a recommendation,
since he lost it in hi country's service, under the immortal Hawke. He has no pension, Livesey. Imagine
the abominable age we live in!
`Well, sir, I thought I had only found a cook, but it was a crew I had discovered. Between Silver and
myself we go together in a few days a company of the toughest old salt imaginable - not pretty to look
at, but fellows, by their faces, of the most indomitable spirit. I declare we could fight frigate.
`Long John even got rid of two out of the six or seven had already engaged. He showed me in a moment
that the were just the sort of fresh-water swabs we had to fear in an adventure of importance.
`I am in the most magnificent health and spirits, eating like a bull, sleeping like a tree, yet I shall not
enjoy a moment till I hear my old tarpaulins tramping round the capstan Seaward ho! Hang the treasure!
It's the glory of the sea that has turned my head. So now, Livesey, come post; do not lose an hour, if
you respect me.
`Let young Hawkins go at once to see his mother, wit Redruth for a guard; and then both come full speed
`Postscript. - I did not tell you that Blandly, who, by the was) is to send a consort after us if we don't
turn up by the en of August, had found an admirable fellow for sailing master - a stiff man, which I regret,
but, in all other respects, treasure. Long John Silver unearthed a very competent man for a mate, a
man named Arrow. I have a boatswain who pipes, Livesey; so things shall go man-o'-war fashion on
boar the good ship Hispaniola.
`I forgot to tell you that Silver is a man of substance; I know of my own knowledge that he has a banker's
account, which has never been overdrawn. He leaves his wife to manage the inn; and as she is a woman
of colour, a pair of old bachelors like you and I may be excused for guessing that it is the wife, quite as
much as the health, that sends him back to roving.
`P.P.S. - Hawkins may stay one night with his mother.
You can fancy the excitement into which that letter put me. I was half beside myself with glee; and if
ever I despised a man, it was old Tom Redruth, who could do nothing but grumble and lament. Any
of the under-gamekeepers would gladly have changed places with him; but such was not the squire's
pleasure, and the squire's pleasure was like law among them all. Nobody but old Redruth would have
dared so much as even to grumble.
The next morning he and I set out on foot for the `Admiral Benbow,' and there I found my mother in good
health and spirits. The captain, who had so long been a cause of so much discomfort, was gone where
the wicked cease from troubling. The squire had had everything repaired, and the public rooms and the
sign repainted, and had added some furniture - above all a beautiful arm-chair for mother in the bar. He
had found her a boy as an apprentice also, so that she should not want help while I was gone.
It was on seeing that boy that I understood, for the first time, my situation. I had thought up to that moment
of the adventures before me, not at all of the home that I was leaving; and now, at the sight of this clumsy