Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 15

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 15

The Man of the Island

  • Jim sees a shadow (either monkey or human) jump behind a rock.
  • Jim tries to retrace his steps back to the beach and the Hispaniola.
  • The dark figure reappears and catches up with Jim.
  • Jim is so afraid of Long John Silver that he decides not to call for help; instead, he turns to face the figure.
  • Jim is totally surprised when the figure throws himself to his knees as though begging Jim for mercy.
  • The figure introduces himself as Ben Gunn. He has been marooned alone on this island for three years, living off oysters, berries, and goat meat. All he wants is a bit of toasted cheese.
  • Ben tells Jim that he's become a god-fearing man again after all this time on the island.
  • Ben promises Jim that he'll give him riches if he helps him.
  • Ben asks Jim if he has come to the island on Flint's ship.
  • Jim says no, but some of the men on the ship were Flint's men.
  • Ben asks if one of them is a man with one leg, Long John Silver.
  • Jim says yes, and Ben asks if he is on Long John Silver's side or not.
  • Jim realizes that Ben may be an enemy of Long John Silver, so he explains the whole story of the Hispaniola's voyage.
  • Ben promises to help in exchange for 1,000 British pounds of the treasure and free passage home.
  • Ben tells Jim that he was sailing with Captain Flint when Flint buried his treasure on this island.
  • Somehow Flint managed to murder six sailors single-handedly in order to keep the treasure's burial place secret.
  • Billy Bones (the captain at the Admiral Benbow Inn from the early chapters of the novel) and Long John Silver were both on the ship at this time.
  • Three years ago, Ben was sailing aboard another ship when they passed this island.
  • Ben suggested that they stop and look for Flint's treasure.
  • The captain of the boat wasn't happy about it, but the men insisted.
  • They spent twelve days looking for the treasure but couldn't find it.
  • After wasting almost two weeks, the sailors turned on Ben Gunn.
  • They marooned him on the island along with a gun, a spade, and a pickax so that he could keep looking for Flint's treasure by himself.
  • Having spent three years on the island by himself, Ben seems to have gone a little nuts.
  • Still, he asks Jim to put in a good word for him with Squire Trelawney.
  • Jim asks how he's supposed to get back on board the Hispaniola.
  • Ben says he has a small boat and suggests that they try using it to row to the Hispaniola after dark.
  • Ben and Jim hear the sounds of a fight breaking out.
  • They run over quietly to see what's happening.
  • They hear the sound of a cannon going off, followed by gunfire.
  • There is a pause, then Jim sees the Union Jack (the British flag) flying over the forest.

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