Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 19

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 19

Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade

  • Ben Gunn sees the British flag and stops Jim before he can run and join his friends.
  • Ben explains that he doesn't want to go straight to meet the Squire and everyone else until he has their word of honor that they'll strike a deal with him.
  • Ben tells Jim to bring Doctor Livesey or Squire Trelawney to meet with him at the same place where Jim first met Ben.
  • He says he'll be around between noon and six the following day watching the forest.
  • Ben also makes Jim promise he won't tell Long John Silver that Ben is still alive and on the island.
  • Just then, a cannonball lands about a hundred feet away from them.
  • Ben and Jim run in different directions.
  • Jim is afraid, and takes a long time to creep over to the fort.
  • Finally he manages to catch sight of the Hispaniola: the Jolly Roger, the pirate flag, is flying on the mast.
  • Jim sees the pirates breaking something apart with axes – the tiny rowboat the Captain and his party used to come ashore – and partying on the beach.
  • Jim goes back in the direction of the fort. He catches sight of a white rock where, he remembers, Ben Gunn mentioned keeping a boat.
  • Jim joins his friends and tells his story.
  • He learns that Tom Redruth is dead.
  • Captain Smollett divides the group up for guard duty: Doctor Livesey, Abraham Gray, and Jim are one group and Squire Trelawney, Hunter, and Joyce are another.
  • Jim is put on sentry duty at the door of the fort.
  • Doctor Livesey comes over several times to chat. He asks Jim about Ben Gunn. Jim says he doesn't think Ben is sane.
  • Doctor Livesey says that since Jim is unsure, Ben is probably sane – he's just odd because he's been alone for three years.
  • Doctor Livesey explains that he has a piece of Parmesan cheese in his snuff box and he'll gladly give it to Ben (who has been craving cheese) in exchange for his help.
  • They eat dinner and bury Tom Redruth.
  • Doctor Livesey, Squire Trelawney, and Captain Smollett get together to discuss plans.
  • They decide they have to kill off as many of the pirates as they can in the hopes that they'll either surrender or leave the island in the Hispaniola. (Remember, they're expecting one of Squire Trelawney's servants to come after them in August, so it won't be the end of the world if the pirates leave with the ship.)
  • Jim is exhausted and goes to sleep.
  • When he wakes up, he hears a shout: someone is approaching the fort with a white flag.
  • It's Long John Silver!

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