"Well, sir," said the captain, "better speak plain, I believe, even at the risk of ofFense. I don't like this cruise; I don't like the men; and I don't like my officer. That's short and sweet."
"Perhaps, sir, }'ou don't like the ship?" inquired the squire, very angry, as I could see.
"I can't speak as to that, sir, not having seen her tried," said the captain. "She seems a clever craft; more I can't say."
"Possibly, sir, you may not like your employer, either?" says the squire.
But here Dr. Livesey cut in.
"Stay a bit," said he, "stay a bit. No use of such questions as that but to produce ill-feeling. The captain has said too much or he has said too little, and I'm bound to say that I require an explanation of his words. You don't, you say, like this cruise. Now, why?"
"I was engaged, sir, on what we call sealed orders, to sail this ship for that gentleman where he should bid me," said the captain. "So far so good. But now I find that every man before the mast knows more than I do. I don't call that fair, now, do your
"No," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't."
"Next," said the captain, "I learn we are going after treasure —hear it from my own hands, mind you. Now, treasure is ticklish work; I don't like treasure voyages on any account; and I don't like them, above all, when they are secret, and when (begging your pardon, Mr. Trelawney) the secret has been told to the parrot."
"Silver's parrot?" asked the squire.
"It's a way of speaking," said the captain. "Blabbed, I mean. It's my belief neither of you gentlemen know what you aie about; but I'll tell you my way of it—life or death, and a close run."
"That is all clear, and, I dare say, true enough," replied Dr. Livesey. "We take the risk; but we are not so ignorant as you believe us. Next, you say you don't like the crew. Are they not good seamen?"