Treasure Island
Robert Louis

by

Karim Chandra

Plot Summary
Summary

This story is set in the eighteenth century. A young boy named Jim Hawkins lives at an inn called the Admiral Benbow. It belongs to his parents and is located near Bristol, England. Billy Bones, an old sea captain, passes away in the inn after he is presented with a black spot. A black spot is an official pirate verdict, declaring guilt or judgment. The spot and its mysterious and accurate prediction of Billy’s death are what propel Jim into action. Jim and his mother hastily explore Billy’s sea chest. They discover a map and a logbook within it. When they hear steps outside, they depart with the documents before Billy’s pursuers have a chance to search the inn.

Jim recognizes that the contents he has taken from the sea chest are probably valuable. He brings one of the documents he discovered to Dr. Livesay and Squire Trelawney, a couple of loyal acquaintances. These acquaintances are excited when they realize that the document as a map for a large treasure buried by Captain Flint, an infamous figure, on a distant island. Trelawney quickly begins planning an expedition. He is naïve in the way he negotiates in outfitting his ship, the Hispaniola. This is why he is tricked into hiring Long John Silver, one of Flint’s former mates, as well as several of Flint’s crew. Smollett, the captain, is the only trustworthy one. There is nothing amiss as the ship sets off for Treasure Island. This is true, anyway, until Jim finds out about how Silver is planning for mutiny. Jim informs the captain about Silver and the remainder of the crew, every one of them rebellious.

Upon reaching the island, Captain Smollett comes up with a plan to make most of the mutineers get off the ship, giving them leisure time on shore. Jim decides to sneak into the pirates’ boat. He ventures ashore with them. He finds himself afraid of the pirates and runs off by himself. While in a hiding place, he sees Silver murder a sailor who says he will not take part in the mutiny. Jim runs off into a more remote part of the island. It is there that he meets a man named Ben Gunn. Ben is half-crazed. Having once been part of Flint’s crew, he was marooned on the island a number of years before. Smollett and his men in the meantime have gone ashore. They have found shelter in a stockade built by pirates. Jim comes back to the stockade. He brings Ben with him. Silver visits the captain and tries to negotiate with him. However, the captain is wary. He refuses to speak to Jim. The next day, the pirates attack the stockade. They wound the captain. Jim is eager to take action. On yet another whim, he deserts his mates. He goes off to look for the boat that Ben made by hand. It is concealed in the woods.

After Jim finds Ben’s boat, he sails in it to the ship, which is anchored. He intends to cut the ship adrift. This would make the pirates unable to escape. Upon cutting the rope, he realizes that his tiny boat has moved near the pirates’ camp. He is worried that he will be discovered. Luckily, the pirates do not see him. He floats around the island’s waters until he finally sees the ship moving. It is drifting dramatically. He struggles to get aboard. Once he does, he finds that Israel Hands, one of the watchmen, has murdered another watchman in a fit of drunkenness. Israel turns against Jim when the latter attempts to take control of the ship. Although Jim is wounded, he manages to kill Israel.

When Jim goes back to the stockade, he discovers that it is occupied by the pirates. He is taken hostage by Silver. Silver tells him that the captain gave the pirates a treasure map, as well as provisions and the use of the stockage, in order to preserve their lives. Jim knows, though, that Silver is finding it hard to manage the men, who say he is guilty of treachery. Silver suggests to Jim that they could assist one another by pretending that Jim is being kept as a hostage. The men, however, present a black spot to Silver. They tell him that they are deposing him as their commander.

Desperate to bring his crew under control, Silver tries to appease them by showing them the treasure map. Silver brings Jim and the men to the site of the treasure. They are surprised, however, to see that it has already been excavated. The treasure is gone. The men become so angry that they are again near mutiny. At this moment, Ben Gunn, Dr. Livesay, and the others fire on the band of pirates. The pirates scatter all over the island. Silver and Jim flee. Others guide them to Ben’s cave. Ben has concealed the treasure there, which he found months earlier.

It takes three days for the men to carry the loot to the ship. They then get ready to travel home. There is some argument about what will happen to the remaining mutineers. Even though the pirates submissively plea not to be left behind, they are left marooned. Silver is permitted to come along on the voyage, but he sneaks off the vessel one evening with some of the treasure. He is never heard from again. The ships reaches home. Captain Smollett eventually decides to retire from his life at sea. Ben opts to become a lodge-keeper. Jim decides never to hunt for treasure again. He has nightmares about gold coins and the sea.

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