Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 18

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 18

Narrative Continued by the Doctor: End of the First Day's Fighting

  • The landing party reaches the stockade just as a group of seven mutineers appear, led by Job Anderson.
  • The mutineers seem really surprised, so Squire Trelawney, Doctor Livesey, Hunter, and Joyce all have time to fire first.
  • One of the mutineers drops and the rest of them scatter at the gunfire.
  • The landing party is really happy – until a bullet flies out of the trees and hits poor Tom Redruth, Squire Trelawney's loyal gamekeeper.
  • Doctor Livesey can see at once that it's curtains for Redruth.
  • Trelawney is crying like a baby. He asks Redruth for forgiveness.
  • Redruth says there's no need, and that what's meant to happen will happen.
  • Redruth asks them to read a prayer over him, then he passes away.
  • Meanwhile, Captain Smollett is unpacking all the things he brought with him stuffed in his coat: a British flag, a Bible, a coil of rope, pen, ink, the ship's log (where all the events of the voyage are recorded), and lots of tobacco.
  • Captain Smollett raises the British flag above the fort. He also has an extra flag to spread over Redruth's body.
  • Captain Smollett then pulls Doctor Livesey aside and asks how long they should expect to have to hole up in this fort.
  • Doctor Livesey admits that no one's going to come after them until August (months from now!)
  • Captain Smollett notes that they're in a tough spot – in fact, one good thing about Redruth's death is that they have one fewer mouth to feed.
  • A couple of cannons go over the stockade, but the pirates can't get good aim from the Hispaniola. (They're firing round-shots, by the way, which are cannonballs that don't explode – luckily for Doctor Livesey, Squire Trelawney, and the rest!).
  • Squire Trelawney points out that the pirates are probably aiming for the flag, which is the only thing visible in the forest from the ship.
  • Captain Smollett refuses to lower the flag, and everyone is comforted by his bravery. They start ignoring the cannons going overhead.
  • Captain Smollett says the forest is probably clear of pirates, since they're willing to fire at the trees like this.
  • Captain Smollett suggests that a couple of them go out at night to find what can be recovered of their supplies. Now that the tide has gone out, Captain Smollett hopes that the tiny rowboat will be visible again above the water.
  • Gray and Hunter steal out of the fort to take a look.
  • They find, unfortunately, that the pirates have gotten there first.
  • All the pirates also seem to be armed – apparently, they brought their own weapons aboard the ship, which Captain Smollett was unaware of.
  • Captain Smollett sits down to write a diary entry about the day, including the death of Tom Redruth.
  • Doctor Livesey wonders what has happened to Jim Hawkins.
  • Just then, they hear a voice calling out a greeting. It's none other than Jim, climbing over the fence of the fort.

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