by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island Criminality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Davis was a man too, by all accounts," said Silver. "I never sailed along of him; first with England, then with Flint, that's my story; and now here on my own account, in a manner of speaking. I laid by nine hundred safe, from England, and two thousand after Flint. That ain't bad for a man before the mast--all safe in bank. 'Tain't earning now, it's saving does it, you may lay to that. Where's all England's men now? I dunno. Where's Flint's? Why, most on 'em aboard here, and glad to get the duff--been begging before that, some on 'em. " (11.3)
This is the key point that distinguishes Long John Silver from other pirates: he has vision for the future. He puts aside money to keep himself financially secure. In what other ways does Long John Silver's unusual ability to plan demonstrate itself?
"Well," said the other, "but all the other money's gone now, ain't it? You daren't show face in Bristol after this."
"Why, where might you suppose it was?" asked Silver derisively.
"At Bristol, in banks and places," answered his companion.
"It were," said the cook; "it were when we weighed anchor. But my old missis has it all by now. And the Spy-glass is sold, lease and goodwill and rigging; and the old girl's off to meet me. I would tell you where, for I trust you, but it'd make jealousy among the mates." (11.7-11)
Long John Silver is also the only pirate in the novel who is not alone in the world: his "old missis," his wife, is helping him take his money out of Bristol to some unknown location. We would give a million dollars to meet the woman who married Long John Silver. She must be amazingly patient. Do we see any signs of Long John Silver's personal loyalty or ability to form emotional attachments beyond these vague references to his "old missis"?
"Gentlemen of fortune," returned the cook, "usually trusts little among themselves, and right they are, you may lay to it. But I have a way with me, I have. When a mate brings a slip on his cable--one as knows me, I mean--it won't be in the same world with old John. There was some that was feared of Pew, and some that was feared of Flint; but Flint his own self was feared of me." (11.14)
It's because pirates have so little trust among themselves that they are constantly ruining their own plans: witness O'Brien the pirate, killed by one of his own comrades. This is why pirate "democracy" can be possible in name only; the most feared pirate will always be elected captain, regardless of merit.