Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 29

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 29

The Black Spot Again

  • The pirate council outside takes a long time.
  • Finally, the five pirates come back inside.
  • The youngest one is holding something in his hand, which he gives fearfully to Long John Silver.
  • It's the black spot (see Chapter 3), but it's been cut out of a Bible, which Long John Silver says is awful luck.
  • It was Dick Johnson who cut the circle of paper out of the Bible. Long John Silver says he's doomed.
  • George Merry (one of the remaining pirates) points to the reverse side of the spot, where it says, "Deposed" (29.17). (To be deposed is to be removed from office – so Long John Silver is no longer the official captain of the pirates.)
  • Long John Silver says he's still captain until he hears the crew's problems with him and has a chance to answer.
  • George answers that: 1) Long John Silver has messed up the whole plan; 2) he let their enemies leave their fort just because they wanted to; 3) he prevented the pirates from attacking their enemies as they were leaving the fort; and 4) he let Jim Hawkins live.
  • George says they'll all be hanged thanks to Long John Silver and his mistakes.
  • Long John Silver replies that it's not him who messed up the plan. He wanted to play everything more carefully. It was Job Anderson, Israel Hands, and George Merry who blundered into this mess.
  • Why should they kill Jim when he's a readymade hostage?
  • And the final point: Long John Silver let their enemies live and leave the fort because he's gotten the treasure map in exchange.
  • The pirates are deeply impressed by this revelation. They're all immediately on Long John Silver's side again.
  • Long John Silver says the only thing the black spot has done is spoiled Dick Johnson's Bible.
  • Johnson asks if his Bible will still be good to pray with.
  • Long John Silver says it's no more than a songbook now, but Dick Johnson seems to feel that even that's something.
  • Long John Silver gives Jim the black spot to keep as a memento.
  • They all go to bed, except for one guard. Jim has trouble falling asleep. He can't stop thinking about Long John Silver and the dangerous game he's playing.

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