Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 2

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 2

Black Dog Appears and Disappears

  • The winter is bitter cold, and Jim's father is dying.
  • One January morning, the captain is sitting at the beach with his telescope on his arm.
  • Jim is setting the breakfast table when a pale man missing two fingers on his left hand comes in.
  • The man sits down, orders a rum, and asks Jim about a friend of his named Bill, who has a cut on his right cheek.
  • Jim answers that they know a man like that, whom they call the captain.
  • The man asks where the captain is and Jim says he'll be coming back to the inn soon.
  • The man physically pushes Jim into another room and makes him hide behind a door.
  • The man half draws his sword and stands waiting in silence for the captain.
  • The captain walks in at last, strolling straight for the breakfast table.
  • The man calls out, "Bill," and the captain whirls around, paling.
  • The captain gasps out the man's name: "Black Dog!"
  • Black Dog invites the captain to sit down and share some rum like proper shipmates.
  • Jim clears out of the room, but soon he hears a few things: the captain says if anyone's going to hang, they should all hang.
  • Then Jim hears the captain swearing a lot, and Black Dog comes running out with the captain hot on his heels. Their swords are both drawn, and Black Dog is bleeding.
  • Black Dog is fast enough to run away, leaving the captain looking confused.
  • The captain orders rum and collapses on the floor.
  • Jim's mother is worried that the inn is going to be disgraced by this fight.
  • Doctor Livesey has arrived at the inn to treat Jim's father. He realizes that the captain has had a stroke.
  • Doctor Livesey bleeds the captain to try to improve his circulation.
  • The captain wakes up and asks where Black Dog is.
  • Doctor Livesey says there's no Black Dog there, and then warns the captain that he'll die if he keeps drinking so much rum.
  • Doctor Livesey leaves after recommending that the captain stay in bed for a week.

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