PART TWO: The Sea-cook
Chapter 7: I Go to Bristol
The mail picked us up about dusk at the Royal George on
the heath. I was wedged in between Redruth and a stout
old gentleman, and in spite of the swift motion and the
cold night air, I must have dozed a great deal from the
very first, and then slept like a log up hill and down
dale through stage after stage, for when I was awakened
at last it was by a punch in the ribs, and I opened my
eyes to find that we were standing still before a large
building in a city street and that the day had already
broken a long time.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"Bristol," said Tom. "Get down."
Mr. Trelawney had taken up his residence at an inn far
down the docks to superintend the work upon the
schooner. Thither we had now to walk, and our way, to
my great delight, lay along the quays and beside the
great multitude of ships of all sizes and rigs and
nations. In one, sailors were singing at their work,
in another there were men aloft, high over my head,
hanging to threads that seemed no thicker than a
spider's. Though I had lived by the shore all my life,
I seemed never to have been near the sea till then.
The smell of tar and salt was something new. I saw the
most wonderful figureheads, that had all been far over
the ocean. I saw, besides, many old sailors, with
rings in their ears, and whiskers curled in ringlets,
and tarry pigtails, and their swaggering, clumsy sea-walk;
and if I had seen as many kings or archbishops I
could not have been more delighted.
And I was going to sea myself, to sea in a schooner, with
a piping boatswain and pig-tailed singing seamen, to sea,
bound for an unknown island, and to seek for buried treasure!
While I was still in this delightful dream, we came
suddenly in front of a large inn and met Squire
Trelawney, all dressed out like a sea-officer, in stout
blue cloth, coming out of the door with a smile on his
face and a capital imitation of a sailor's walk.