Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 3

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 3

The Black Spot

  • Jim comes in with medicine for the captain.
  • The captain begs Jim for some rum.
  • Jim agrees because he doesn't want the captain to make a fuss and disturb Jim's poor father.
  • The captain keeps raving about getting "the black spot" (3.16) because Black Dog and some other friends of his want the captain's old sea-chest.
  • The black spot is a summons – a demand to appear.
  • The captain was actually a first mate (the second in command on a ship) to someone he calls "old Flint" (3.16). He adds that he's the only one who knows the place – what place, we don't know yet.
  • The captain also drops a hint about "a seafaring man with one leg" (3.16) who is the worst of all.
  • Jim's father dies suddenly that night, and Jim forgets all about the captain's confessions.
  • The captain comes downstairs the next day and continues on just as usual, drinking even more rum than before his stroke.
  • The day after Jim's father's funeral, a blind man appears at the inn.
  • The blind man asks Jim for his hand to guide him inside.
  • Once the blind man has hold of Jim, he grips him hard and demands to be taken to the captain.
  • The blind man is twisting Jim's arm so hard Jim is afraid it will break.
  • Jim leads the blind man to the captain.
  • The blind man demands that the captain hold his left hand out.
  • The blind man presses something into the palm of the captain's left hand. Then he leaves the inn.
  • The captain exclaims, "Ten o'clock [...] Six hours" (3.36). The captain wants to go find Doctor Livesey.
  • The captain jumps up, grabs his throat, then falls to the ground.
  • Jim runs for his mother, but it's too late: the captain has died.

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