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by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island Chapter 26 Summary
Israel Hands The Hispaniola arrives at the northern end of the island. Because they have no anchor, they have to wait until the tide goes out a bit so they can beach the ship. So Jim hangs out with Israel Hands. Israel wants Jim to throw O'Brien's body overboard because it's bad luck to have a corpse aboard, but Jim isn't strong enough. Israel wants Jim to go below deck to get a bottle of wine – he claims the brandy has become too strong for him. Jim starts to get suspicious of why Israel wants him off the deck, but he decides to play along. He says he'll go below for wine, but that he'll have to spend a long time looking for it. Jim makes a lot of noise as he goes below deck, then creeps back up to watch Israel Hands. Even though he's injured, Israel gets up and manages to find a knife hidden in a coil of rope. Jim realizes that he can move around and is now armed. Jim is sure Israel Hands means to kill him. But before that happens, he and Hands both want the same thing: they want to beach the ship in a sheltered place so that it will be safe. Jim thinks Israel Hands won't kill him until the Hispaniola is ashore. Jim slips back into the cabin, grabs a bottle of wine, and brings it to Israel Hands. Israel pretends not to have moved. He also acts like he's on his deathbed. Jim tells him he should say his prayers. Israel Hands replies that he's been at sea 30 years, and he's never seen anything good happen to a good man. Hands then tells Jim to follow his directions exactly so they can arrive at the North Inlet. Jim gets so involved in this final bit of steering that he forgets to watch Hands. It's only instinct that makes him turn around just as Hands is drawing a knife on him. Jim leaps to the side and lets go of the steering lever, which suddenly hits Hands in the chest. Jim uses this moment to reach for one of his pistols. He pulls the trigger but nothing happens – the pistol has become soaked with seawater and isn't usable. Hands leaps for Jim again, and the two start dodging back and forth. Suddenly, the Hispaniola hits ground and tips at an angle. Both Israel Hands and Jim roll straight down the deck. Jim quickly recovers and climbs up to the top of the mast. There he reloads his pistols while Hands starts climbing up the rigging with his knife in his teeth. Jim warns Hands that if he keeps climbing, Jim will blow his brains out. Hands says he and Jim will have to come to an agreement – but even as he's saying this, something comes flying through the air to pin Jim's shoulder to the mast. It's the knife: Hands has thrown it at him. As the knife hits Jim, he fires his two pistols. The bullets hit Hands, who falls dead into the sea below.
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