Study Guide

Treasure Island Chapter 7

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 7

I Go To Bristol

  • So preparations begin for their sea voyage, but nothing goes quite as planned.
  • Doctor Livesey goes to London to find another doctor to cover for him while he's away, and Squire Trelawney goes to Bristol to arrange for their ship.
  • Jim is left behind to imagine what the map is going to lead them to.
  • Finally he gets a letter from Squire Trelawney.
  • The letter is addressed to Doctor Livesey, but there's a note that says Jim can open it if Doctor Livesey is away.
  • Squire Trelawney has found them a ship. It's called the Hispaniola, named after the Caribbean island that's home to the modern states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • Unfortunately, in hiring this ship, Squire Trelawney has also told everyone in Bristol that he's on a treasure hunt.
  • Jim knows that Squire Trelawney's chattiness won't make Doctor Livesey happy.
  • Tom Redruth, one of the squire's servants, who is reading the letter alongside Jim, thinks Squire Trelawney should be allowed to do whatever he wants since he's a squire.
  • Jim reads on: Squire Trelawney has had some trouble finding a crew for the ship.
  • One day, Squire Trelawney got lucky: an elderly sailor with one leg approached him.
  • The man is a cook and wants to go out on one last sea voyage.
  • The man tells Squire Trelawney that his name is Long John Silver.
  • Squire Trelawney is impressed that the sailor has lost his leg in a British naval battle. He's sure that Long John Silver is honest.
  • Long John Silver helps Squire Trelawney find the rest of the necessary crew, all tough-looking guys.
  • In fact, Long John Silver is so very helpful that he convinces Squire Trelawney to fire two of the guys he had already hired because they seem to be "fresh-water swabs" (7.7) – in other words, bad sailors.
  • Squire Trelawney seems to be in a great mood. He encourages Doctor Livesey to come down to Bristol as soon as possible, along with Jim and Tom Redruth, the servant.
  • Squire Trelawney adds one small detail: his servant Blandly is going to send a search party after the Hispaniola if he doesn't hear from the squire and Doctor Livesey by August. It's now March.
  • All in all, Squire Trelawney seems to be regarding this whole thing as a kind of game on the high seas, and he's very excited to get going.
  • Finishing the letter, Jim is also thrilled. He's so excited that he despises the servant, Tom Redruth, for grumbling next to him.
  • The next morning, Jim goes (with Tom Redruth as a guard) to the Admiral Benbow Inn to visit his mother one last time.
  • Squire Trelawney has had the whole inn repainted, and his mother looks happy and comfortable.
  • The next morning, Jim sets out on his first real trip away from home.
  • Tom and Jim arrive at Bristol the following morning.
  • Squire Trelawney is staying at an inn near the docks.
  • The smell of the sea fills Jim with exciting dreams of sailors and voyages and distant places.
  • Squire Trelawney appears in front of Jim all dressed up like a naval officer.
  • He announces that they are going to set sail the next day.

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