PART ONE: The Old Buccaneer
Chapter 1: The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow
At first I had supposed "the dead man's chest" to be
that identical big box of his upstairs in the front
room, and the thought had been mingled in my nightmares
with that of the one-legged seafaring man. But by this
time we had all long ceased to pay any particular
notice to the song; it was new, that night, to nobody
but Dr. Livesey, and on him I observed it did not
produce an agreeable effect, for he looked up for a
moment quite angrily before he went on with his talk to
old Taylor, the gardener, on a new cure for the
rheumatics. In the meantime, the captain gradually
brightened up at his own music, and at last flapped his
hand upon the table before him in a way we all knew to
mean silence. The voices stopped at once, all but Dr.
Livesey's; he went on as before speaking clear and kind
and drawing briskly at his pipe between every word or
two. The captain glared at him for a while, flapped
his hand again, glared still harder, and at last broke
out with a villainous, low oath, "Silence, there,
"Were you addressing me, sir?" says the doctor; and
when the ruffian had told him, with another oath, that
this was so, "I have only one thing to say to you, sir,"
replies the doctor, "that if you keep on drinking rum,
the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel!"
The old fellow's fury was awful. He sprang to his
feet, drew and opened a sailor's clasp-knife, and
balancing it open on the palm of his hand, threatened
to pin the doctor to the wall.
The doctor never so much as moved. He spoke to him as
before, over his shoulder and in the same tone of
voice, rather high, so that all the room might hear,
but perfectly calm and steady: "If you do not put that
knife this instant in your pocket, I promise, upon my
honour, you shall hang at the next assizes."
Then followed a battle of looks between them, but the
captain soon knuckled under, put up his weapon, and
resumed his seat, grumbling like a beaten dog.