PART ONE: The Old Buccaneer
Chapter 6: The Captain's Papers
WE rode hard all the way till we drew up before Dr.
Livesey's door. The house was all dark to the front.
Mr. Dance told me to jump down and knock, and Dogger
gave me a stirrup to descend by. The door was opened
almost at once by the maid.
"Is Dr. Livesey in?" I asked.
No, she said, he had come home in the afternoon but had gone
up to the hall to dine and pass the evening with the squire.
"So there we go, boys," said Mr. Dance.
This time, as the distance was short, I did not mount,
but ran with Dogger's stirrup-leather to the lodge
gates and up the long, leafless, moonlit avenue to
where the white line of the hall buildings looked on
either hand on great old gardens. Here Mr. Dance
dismounted, and taking me along with him, was admitted
at a word into the house.
The servant led us down a matted passage and showed us
at the end into a great library, all lined with
bookcases and busts upon the top of them, where the
squire and Dr. Livesey sat, pipe in hand, on either
side of a bright fire.
I had never seen the squire so near at hand. He was a
tall man, over six feet high, and broad in proportion,
and he had a bluff, rough-and-ready face, all roughened
and reddened and lined in his long travels. His
eyebrows were very black, and moved readily, and this
gave him a look of some temper, not bad, you would say,
but quick and high.
"Come in, Mr. Dance," says he, very stately and condescending.
"Good evening, Dance," says the doctor with a nod.
"And good evening to you, friend Jim. What good wind
brings you here?"