Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 4

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 4

The Sea-chest

  • Jim tells his mother all about the captain's last words.
  • They decide to go together into town to look for help.
  • They're shocked that no one will go back with them to the Admiral Benbow. They are all too afraid, especially hearing the name of Captain Flint.
  • The most anyone is willing to do is to ride to Doctor Livesey's to let him know what has happened.
  • Jim's mother tells them they're all cowards and announces her intention to go back to the inn and open the captain's sea-chest.
  • Jim's mother expects the chest to be full of treasure, at least some of which the captain owes her for his lodgings.
  • They creep slowly into the parlor of the inn, where they find the captain lying exactly where they left him.
  • Jim finds a piece of paper blackened on one side (the black spot!), which says that the captain has until ten that night.
  • The clock has only just struck six.
  • Jim finds the key to the chest hanging around the dead captain's neck.
  • Jim's mother unlocks the chest.
  • They find a bunch of random things – clothes, a compass, a few trinkets, and coins from many different places.
  • Jim's mother starts counting out the amount she's owed from these spare bits of change.
  • Suddenly Jim hears the tapping of the blind man's stick outside; it approaches and then seems to go away.
  • Jim's mother is afraid, but she won't stop carefully counting the money. She refuses to just take it all.
  • Then both Jim and his mother hear a low whistle.
  • Jim's mother decides to take what she has. Jim also grabs a bunch of what seem to be papers.
  • They both sneak downstairs and out the back door.
  • They can see a lantern and hear approaching footsteps.
  • Jim's mother tells Jim to take the money because she's going to faint.
  • Jim is sure they are both going to be murdered.
  • Jim grabs his mother and helps her down underneath a nearby bridge to hide from sight.

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