PART ONE: The Old Buccaneer
Chapter 1: The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow
SQUIRE TRELAWNEY, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these
gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole
particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning
to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the
island, and that only because there is still treasure not
yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17__
and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral
Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut
first took up his lodging under our roof.
I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came
plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following
behind him in a hand-barrow--a tall, strong, heavy,
nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over the
shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and
scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut
across one cheek, a dirty, livid white. I remember him
looking round the cover and whistling to himself as he
did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that
he sang so often afterwards:
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have
been tuned and broken at the capstan bars. Then he
rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike
that he carried, and when my father appeared, called
roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was brought
to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering
on the taste and still looking about him at the cliffs
and up at our signboard.
"This is a handy cove," says he at length; "and a
pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate?"
My father told him no, very little company, the more
was the pity.
"Well, then," said he, "this is the berth for me.
Here you, matey," he cried to the man who trundled the
barrow; "bring up alongside and help up my chest. I'll
stay here a bit," he continued. "I'm a plain man; rum
and bacon and eggs is what I want, and that head up
there for to watch ships off. What you mought call me?
You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what you're at--
there"; and he threw down three or four gold pieces on
the threshold. "You can tell me when I've worked
through that," says he, looking as fierce as a