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Free Study Guide-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 9: Powder and Arms

Summary

They board the Hispaniola. Jim observes that Mr. Arrow (the mate) and Squire Trelawney have a good rapport. But it isn't the same with the Squire and the Captain-Captain Smollet. Smollet asks to speak with the Squire prior to the voyage. Smollet expresses his dissatisfaction without mincing words. He clearly tells the Squire that he doesn't like the planned voyage, the crew and his officer. Trelawney is offended at this.

Dr. Livesey, understanding the gravity of the situation butts in and inquires the reasons for the Captain's dissatisfaction. The Captain tells the doctor that he is not fully informed about the objective of such a voyage and finds his crew members more knowledgeable in this matter. He goes on to say that he should have been the one to choose his sailors and makes a comment on how a senior officer should conduct himself in front of his juniors. He points out that the powder and arms should be secured in the fore hold where there is enough space under the cabin and that they should provide baths to their people inside the cabin, rather than outside.

His last point leaves everybody speechless as he states that he has heard that they have a map of an island with the exact latitude and longitude and an X marking the location of treasure on the island exactly. Although the Squire protests that he hasn't let out the secret, nobody plays any attention to him. The Squire questions the Captain as to whether he fears a mutiny, but the Captain insists he does not. He just warns about taking precautions to secure the weapons in an area under the control of people that can be trusted.


He asks the Squire and the doctor to keep the secret of the map from him as well as Mrs. Arrow as he feels that the things are not right on board.

Much to the surprise of Captain Smollet, Dr. Livesey and the Squire accepts his suggestions. Even though the Squire finds him unmanly and un-English.

Based on the Captain's suggestion changes are made much to his liking and he agrees to serve as Captain. When Long John Silver inquires about the new arrangements, Captain Smollet orders him to get down to doing his work in the kitchen. The Captain also asks Dr. Livesey to remain 'easy' with the men. Jim takes a dislike to him when he announces that he has no favorites in his ship.

Notes

The men board the ship. Jim observes that the Squire and the Arrow are friends. The relationship is not the same with the Captain and the Squire.

When the Captain calls on the Squire before the voyage expressing his disagreement with a lot of things, he puts his point across briefly and clearly. When he tells the Squire that he doesn't like the cruise, the men and the officers, the Squire is offended and is in a fighting mood. The doctor controls the situation and asks the reason for his dissatisfaction. thus we see that the doctor is much more capable about handling such problems.

The Captain has, as Jim observes, some valid reasons. He doesn't like the fact that his crew members are more informed about the voyage than he is himself . He doesn't like his officers mixing freely with junior sailors. When he is asked about the changes that need to be made he tells about shifting the position of the powder and the Arms from the deck to under the cabin. He also suggests that the sermon be put up beside the cabin. The Captain is clear about his job He knows exactly how to meet the requirements of his crew

The Squire's revealing the purpose of the voyage to all the seamen is evident here. He does not strike one as a responsible person. Here the character of the Squire as a non-dependable character is established. Stevenson describes him as a loose talker.

The author develops the character of the Captain as a confident, clearheaded, experienced seaman, when he reports to the Squire and the doctor not to let out the secret of the map, to himself or to Mr. Arrow. He gives valid reasons for his strange request when he tells them that atmosphere on the ship is not right.

The foresightedness of the Captain is hinted here as the story proceeds.

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