The seaman, known as "the Captain," comes to the Inn to hide from his shipmates. The Inn seems to be a good place because of its remote location and proximity to the sea. When the Captain asks if many people come to the Inn, Jim's father explains that he has few customers, which seems to please the Captain. He pays in advance for room and board without bothering to ask how much. He simply throws some gold coins at Jim's father, and tells him to let him know when he's spent it.
For a man on the run, the Captain cuts a conspicuous figure at the Inn. The man dominates the Inn, drinking to excess and singing loud pirate songs, even sometimes demanding that everyone else join in. He even gains a sort of notoriety in the surrounding area; people begin to claim him as belonging to the place, treating him as an "old salt" and real man of the sea. In reality, the Captain is hiding from certain death at the hands of the pirates he has betrayed. While he seems very tough, he is actually quite scared and easily cowed by anyone with authority, such as Dr. Livesey, or, worse yet, Blind Pew, who finds him out and delivers the dreaded Black Spot.