Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 12

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 12

Council of War

  • A lot of people rush across the deck.
  • Jim slips out of the barrel without being seen.
  • He joins Doctor Livesey to look at the island coming into view.
  • Long John Silver tells Captain Smollett that he has seen this island before. There is a safe place to dock on the south side.
  • Captain Smollett hands Long John Silver a chart to show exactly where. The chart is a copy of the original treasure map, but without the marks showing the location of the treasure.
  • Long John Silver claims to be surprised that Captain Smollett has such an accurate map.
  • Jim is frightened and impressed by how carefully Long John Silver hides his feelings at seeing the map and the island.
  • Long John Silver approaches Jim and promises to pack him a snack if Jim wants to go exploring the island.
  • Doctor Livesey calls Jim over to ask him to fetch his pipe.
  • As soon as Jim gets within earshot of Doctor Livesey, Jim whispers that he has some news, but that it has to be kept a secret.
  • Doctor Livesey walks over to Squire Trelawney and Captain Smollett and, without drawing attention to himself, explains that Jim needs to talk to them in private.
  • Captain Smollett calls the men together to offer them grog (alcohol) to celebrate their arrival.
  • After several toasts, the captain, Doctor Livesey, and Squire Trelawney all go below decks to the captain's cabin.
  • They then send for Jim as though nothing were out of the ordinary.
  • Jim describes everything he overheard from Long John Silver.
  • Squire Trelawney apologizes to Captain Smollett for not taking his suspicions seriously.
  • Captain Smollett apologizes for not realizing what the crew has been up to: they've shown no signs of rebellion and mutiny until now.
  • Doctor Livesey remarks that their discipline is the result of the remarkable Long John Silver.
  • Captain Smollett declares several things: 1) they can't turn back because the men will rebel. 2) They still have some time to plan before the treasure is found. 3) Some of the sailors must still be faithful.
  • Given these three things, Captain Smollett suggests that they attack the mutineers when they least expect it.
  • Then the three men try to figure out who is still loyal. They are sure that Squire Trelawney's servants will stand by them, but who else?
  • Doctor Livesey thinks the best thing to do is to rely on Jim. The men are willing to talk around him and he notices everything. Maybe Jim can figure out who will stay loyal.
  • Jim is worried: he knows their odds of winning are bad because, at current count, it's only seven good guys against nineteen pirates.

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