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Jim is terrified. The pirates have taken the fort and the supplies.
There are six pirates left alive. Five of them are flushed with drunkenness and one is pale – his head is bandaged, and Jim thinks it's the one who was wounded during that first battle, who ran off into the woods.
Long John Silver pulls out his pipe, settles in, and asks Jim how the heck he got there.
Jim doesn't answer. He's trying to look brave, but inside he's sure all is lost.
Long John Silver says Jim can't go back to his friends; Doctor Livesey and Captain Smollett both think he's undisciplined and ungrateful (and possibly a traitor).
Jim is relieved to hear that at least his friends are still alive.
He wants to know what's going on.
One of the other pirates pipes up that that's what they'd all like to know.
Long John Silver tells the pirate to shut up.
Then Long John Silver turns to Jim and addresses him as "Mr. Hawkins" (28.16).
He explains that Doctor Livesey approached the pirates the day before with a flag of truce.
Doctor Livesey broke it to the pirates that the ship was gone. Long John Silver admitted that they were all drunk and hadn't even noticed.
So Doctor Livesey and Long John Silver bargained.
Doctor Livesey has left the pirates the fort, supplies, and firewood, and gone off with his friends to who knows where – Long John Silver has no idea.
Jim says whatever, things couldn't get any worse. Since he's already in about as much trouble as he can be, he decides to gloat.
He tells Long John Silver that it's all thanks to him that Silver's plans have gone wrong. Jim is the one who overheard the pirates' plans and told the Captain and the squire, and he's the one who cut the schooner's lines and set the boat adrift.
Jim exclaims that he doesn't care if Long John Silver kills him now.
He does offer that, if the pirates let him go, he'll testify to try to save them from hanging back in England.
All the pirates look totally dumbstruck.
Tom Morgan pipes up that it must be true – it's Jim who identified Black Dog back in the pub at Bristol (see Chapter 2).
And Long John Silver agrees that Jim is the one who took the chart from Billy Bones (Jim's captain at the Admiral Benbow Inn).
Tom Morgan tries to stab Jim, but Long John Silver holds him back.
The other pirates agree that Tom Morgan is right.
Long John Silver wants to know if any of them dare to fight him.
No one moves.
Jim suddenly feels some hope.
The other pirates slowly draw away to the other end of the fort.
Long John Silver tells them to speak up if they have something to say.
One of the pirates tells Long John Silver that he may be captain by election, but no one is happy with the way things are going. He demands to talk to Long John Silver outside.
Eventually all the other pirates join him, waiting for Long John Silver.
Long John Silver whispers to Jim. He says he knows the game is up. Once he saw the Hispaniola gone, he knew there was nothing to be done. So he'll do his best to save Jim's life, but Jim has to promise to do his best to save him from hanging.
Jim doesn't know how he'll be able to do this when Long John Silver has been the ringleader of the whole mutiny, but he promises to try.
Long John Silver then asks if Jim can explain why Doctor Livesey has given him the treasure map.
Jim looks so astonished at this news that Long John Silver realizes Jim has no idea either.