page 1 of 2
Dr. Livesey takes over the narration at this point, beginning his story at the mutineers’ departure for the island. Discovering that Jim is with the mutineers, Livesey and Captain Smollett fear for Jim’s safety, and agree that Livesey should go ashore along with Hunter, Squire Trelawney’s servant. Once ashore, Livesey comes upon a stockade Flint’s men built years earlier, near a spring.
Returning to the ship, Livesey tells the others what he has found. The men load two boats with provisions, taking the risk that they may arouse the suspicions of the mutineers onshore. Captain Smollett gives Abraham Gray, a sailor who has fallen in with the mutineers, a last chance to join him and his crew. Gray scuffles onto the boat, and they head for shore.
The little boat carrying Captain Smollett, Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, Tom Redruth, and Abraham Gray is dangerously overloaded and thus hard to maneuver. The men begin to suspect that the mutineers might be planning an attack, aware that the pirates possess arms and gunpowder, and that Israel Hands was once Flint’s gunman. Trelawney tries to shoot Hands but hits another pirate instead, though the mutineers do not pay any -attention. Hands fires a cannonball at the men’s boat, causing it to founder. No lives are lost, as the water is shallow, but the men are forced to leave half of their provisions behind when they wade ashore.
Captain Smollett and his group make their way to the stockade and pause to reload their guns. Coming upon the pirate they have just killed, they rejoice in their success. At this instant Tom Redruth is shot. His wound is clearly fatal, and the group helps him to lie down and die nobly. Squire Trelawney kisses Tom’s hand and asks for his forgiveness. All agree that he has nothing to fear in the afterworld, as he has died in the line of duty.
Trapped in the stockade, the group is bombarded by cannon fire throughout the evening. The pirates aim at the Union Jack in particular, but Smollett refuses to take in the flag. He makes an entry in his logbook of those in the stockade, while Livesey wonders what has happened to Jim. Just at this moment, Jim suddenly enters.
Jim resumes the narration of the tale. Having seen the Union Jack flying above, he approaches the stockade along with Ben Gunn. Jim is unsure whether it is Captain Smollett’s crew or the mutineers who control the stockade, but Ben, assuring him that the pirates would never fly the Union Jack, encourages him to enter. A cannon shot makes the good sailors scatter out of the stockade.
Take a Study Break!