From old "Treasure Island". Captain in grog-shop, just got cup of rum and says:

"Oh, I see what you’re at — there"; and he threw down three or four gold pieces on the threshold.

1) What does "I see what you’re at — there" means?

2) What does "threshold" also means? Feels like top of bar counter.

When I looked up the meaning of threshold, I found this: "A strip of wood or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room,” which doesn't seem to fit in context.

  • 1
    @Gets - When you do a search like that, include the results in your question. Our Details, Please... meta post explains why. Also, notice how, when you hover over the upvote button next to your question, the tool tip says: This question shows research effort.... – J.R. Apr 13 at 19:56
  • To follow up on J.R.'s comment: Is the quote from a video fragment? You may have misheard it... – Jan Doggen Apr 14 at 20:32

I see what you're at means "I understand what you're doing" or perhaps "I understand what you intend". There may be a hint that the other character was trying to hide his purpose or action, i'd need to reread the passage, i haven't read Treasure Island in at least 40 years.

"Threshold" here is the doorway, or the raised frame into which the door fits. This is the original and basic meaning of "Threshold", the meanings more often seen now are derived from it, mostly by extension or metaphor.

"There" is perhaps short for "there you are", it would have accompanied the action of tossing down the coins. (Here I quite agree with the answer by StoneyB)

  • Thanks, very helpful answer. – Gets Apr 13 at 21:34

I see what you're at = "I understand the meaning you intend". (Note that here Stevenson only gives the seaman's side of the conversation.) There refers to the coins he tosses in front of Jim's father

threshold - At this point the seaman has not actually entered the Admiral Benbow: he rapped on the door and was brought his rum there.

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