Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 31

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 31

The Treasure-Hunt – Flint's Pointer

  • Long John Silver admits that he saw Doctor Livesey gesturing for Jim to make a run for it. Since Jim kept his promise, Long John Silver feels that Jim has saved his life, so he owes him.
  • The pirates beckon Jim and Long John Silver over – they have breakfast going.
  • Long John Silver tells the group that the Doctor and his fellows have the ship, but once the pirates get the treasure, they'll have the upper hand, since the pirates are the ones who have the boats to row out to the ship.
  • Long John Silver tells them all of these half-truths to build up the pirates' confidence and to keep them from getting violent.
  • Long John Silver reminds them of Jim's value as a hostage.
  • Jim is worried: what if Long John Silver goes back to working for the other pirates? What did Doctor Livesey mean by warning Long John Silver not to go after the treasure?
  • They all set off looking for the treasure. All the sailors are armed, and Long John Silver is carrying Captain Flint (the parrot, not the dead pirate) on his shoulder. Jim is tied to Long John Silver with a rope around his waist (like a toddler harness!).
  • They walk over to the rowboats and set off after the treasure.
  • They follow the directions on the map until, suddenly, the man on the furthest left lets out a shout.
  • There's a skeleton lying on the ground covered in scraps of cloth.
  • Long John Silver realizes that the skeleton is a pointer, indicating the direction of the treasure.
  • He shakes his head – it's just the kind of dark joke Captain Flint would have liked.
  • Long John Silver figures out that the bones must have belonged to a pirate named Allardyce.
  • The pirates exchange memories about Flint – his wickedness and his bad temper.
  • Even though Long John Silver tells them to be quiet and keep going, finding this dead pirate skeleton has clearly freaked out his men.

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