Treasure Island Study Guide

Treasure Island By Robert Louis Stevenson

Jim Hawkins' parents own an inn with a few long-term lodgers, one of which is Billy Bones, a seaman who is afraid of a meeting with a man with one leg. One day, a sailor named Black Dog scares Billy into a stroke, and afterwards, Billy confesses to Jim that he was once the first mate of the legendary Captain Flint, and that Flint's old crewmates want the contents of Billy's sea chest. Bones dies upon the next meeting with another old crew member, and Jim finds in his chest a logbook that details the location of a massive buried treasure.

With the help of Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livesey (friends of Jim's mother), Jim ends up on a schooner called the Hispaniola. Captain Smollett and the one-legged Long John Silver run the galley, which is on its way to the island on the map, armed with a crew hand-picked by Silver. On the way, Jim overhears Silver admitting that he and several members of the crew used to be Flint's men, and he intends to kill Trelawney, Livesey, and Smollett and take the treasure for himself and Flint's old men. He runs to inform the others of the impending mutiny.

When they reach the island, Silver's men go ashore intending to grab the treasure immediately. Jim runs away on his own. As he runs, he meets Ben Gunn, who has been marooned on the island for years, and treats Jim well in the hopes of earning a trib bak to civilization. Meanwhile, Trelawney and the men overpower the few pirates left on board the ship, and sail to a fortified stockade on the island. Silver tries to negotiate, is rebuffed, and assaults the fortress.

At night, Jim takes a boat out to the Hispaniola and cuts the anchor line, setting it adrift and out of reach of the pirates on shore. The next day, he sails back out and shoots the one remaining pirate on board, then securely beaches the ship. He returns to the stockade to find that Silver has taken over while he was out. Silver takes Jim as a hostage; when the men consider mutiny, Silver reveals that he has obtained the map to the treasure. The men travel across the island only to discover that the treasure has already been pillaged.

The enraged pirates turn on Silver, but Ben Gunn, Livesey, and the (non-pirate) crew attack by surprise, killing two and driving the west away. They then go to Ben Gunn's cave, where the treasure has been waiting for some months.

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