PART TWO: The Sea-cook
Chapter 8: At the Sign of the Spy-glass
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 lookout 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.