Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 6

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 6

The Captain's Papers

  • Doctor Livesey isn't at home.
  • Jim and Mr. Dance find Doctor Livesey at the squire's house.
  • The squire is named Mr. Trelawney.
  • Mr. Dance tells Squire Trelawney the whole story about the men who invaded the Admiral Benbow Inn, Jim and his mother running away, both of them heading back on their own when the villagers wouldn't help, and the fortunate arrival of Mr. Dance and his men.
  • Doctor Livesey asks Jim to hand over the packet of papers.
  • He takes it and puts it unopened in his coat pocket.
  • Doctor Livesey suggests that Mr. Dance head back to his duties. He wants Jim to spend the night at his house.
  • When Mr. Dance leaves, Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney start talking.
  • They've both heard of Captain Flint: "the bloodthirstiest buccaneer that sailed" (6.22). (A buccaneer is a pirate.)
  • Doctor Livesey is the first to come out and say that he thinks the packet of papers includes a treasure map.
  • Squire Trelawney promises that, if there is a map, he'll hire a ship to take Doctor Livesey, Jim, and himself on a treasure hunt.
  • Doctor Livesey opens the packet. It contains a book and a sealed piece of paper.
  • The book doesn't seem to offer much in terms of obvious directions.
  • Squire Trelawney is the one who figures out that it's an account book: it has all of the captain's wages from when he first started as a pirate to much larger sums now.
  • The sealed paper includes something much more promising: a map of an island with three crosses of red ink, two on the northern part and one in the southwest. Next to the southwest cross it says: "Bulk of treasure here" (6.40).
  • The handwriting on the map is different from the captain's. It also contains some more specific directions that Jim can't understand.
  • Squire Trelawney tells Doctor Livesey to give up his medical practice right now: they're going to sail away looking for treasure in three weeks' time. Jim gets to come too, as cabin boy.
  • Doctor Livesey agrees happily, but he warns Squire Trelawney under no circumstances to tell anyone where they're going.
  • Squire Trelawney promises not to breathe a word.

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