timbers, son, and help Dr. Livesey over the ship's side. All a-doin' well, your patients was—all well and merry."
So he pattered on, standing on the hilltop with his crutch upon his elbow, and one hand upon the side of the log house—quite the old John in voice, manner, and expression.
"We' ve quite a surprise for you, too, sir," he continued. "We've a little stranger here—he! he! A noo boarder and lodger, sir, and looking fit and taut as a fiddle; slep' like a supercargo, he did, right alongside of John—stem to stem we was all night."
Dr. Livesey was by this time across the stockade and pretty near the cook, and I could hear the alteration in his voice as he said:
"The very same Jim as ever was," says Silver.
The doctor stopped outright, although he did not speak, and it was some seconds before he seemed able to move on.
"Well, well," he said at last, "duty first and pleasure afterward, as you might have said yourself, Silver. Let us overhaul these patients of yours."
A moment afterward he had entered the blockhouse and, with one grim nod to me, proceeded with his work among the sick. He seemed under no apprehension, though he must have known that his life, among these treacherous demons, depended on a hair; and he rattled on to his patients as if he were paying an ordinary professional visit in a quiet English family. His manner, I suppose, reacted on the men, for they behaved to him as if nothing had occurred, as if he were still ship's doctor and they still faithful hands before the mast.
"You're doing well, my friend," he said to the fellow with the bandaged head; "and if ever any person had a close shave, it was you; your head must be as hard as iron. Well, George, how goes it? You're a pretty color, certainly; why, your liver, man, is upside down! Did you take that medicine? Did he take that medicine, men?"
"Ay, ay, sir, he took it, sure enough," returned Morgan. 17 [ 249 1