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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 12: Council of War

Summary

The call of land was the call of relief for Jim. He sneaks out of the barrel and jumps up on the open deck to join Hunter and Dr. Livesey on the bow. They look around, Jim is unable to believe his eyes considering the state he was in moments ago.

They are approaching an island and when Captain Smollet asks the crew if anybody had been here before, Silver answers positively. He tells them that the island is called Skeleton Island which was the main place for pirates. The hill to the north, Silver says, is called Foremast hill and the ones running south are fore, main and mizzen. The main one is called Spyglass. When Captain Smollet hands the map to Silver for his confirmation, he nods his agreement though he is thoroughly disappointed to find only a copy of the original map without any markings.

Jim is amazed at Silver's cool headedness, when he reveals his knowledge. Jim almost shudders when he places his hand on Jim and tells him about the good times that awaited him on shore.

Jim, without wasting anytime, sneaks next to Dr. Livesey and asks him to call a meeting with the Captain and the Squire. He makes him aware of the seriousness of the situation. Dr. Livesey acts quickly and all four assemble in the cabin.


Jim narrates the details he had overheard. All three listen to him with acute concentration. Impressed by Jim's information, Dr. Livesey offers him a seat with them and treats him as an equal. The Squire is open and accepts his mistake in front of the Captain for his wrong judgment. The Captain is equally surprised at the conduct of the crew, as he didn't suspect anyone. The Captain takes charge of the situation and tells them that they should go on with the mission as they have time and a few faithful men with them. Dr. Livesey acknowledges Jim's efforts and entrusts him with more responsibilities. Jim feels pressured and helpless at this but nevertheless realizes the important task he has on hand.

Notes

Everyone in the ship was relieved at the sight of land. Jim is able to move out of the barrel undetected, thanks to the excitement of the moment.

When Captain Smollet asks if anybody had been to the island before Silver says he has. The reader may note the crooked and tactful personality of the Sea Cook changing from the commanding tone of leader a few minutes back to a mere seaman helping his Captain.

He gives details of the island. When Captain Smollet hands him a chart for his confirmation of the island, Silver is obviously dejected on not finding the original map. But he is smart enough conceal his disappointment and continue his conversation, this is the extent of his two-facedness.

The coolness with which Sliver displays his knowledge in front of the others amazes Jim. Jim is frightened when Silver proceeds towards him to tell him about the good time that is in store for Jim on the island.

Jim doesn't waste any time in informing the Captain and his confidants about the group headed by Long John Silver. The Captain advises them to go on with the mission as they can't turn back now. He cautions them about a possible attack any moment. To counter the enemy, he groups his trusted hands. Jim's prompt action demonstrates the responsibility he has accepted. He is grown up enough to realize who is on the right side of the law and his upbringing allows him to decide on which side he is going to be.

When Jim observes the Captain planning for future moves, he feels helpless. But he feels proud when the Doctor addresses him as a helpful hand and gives credit for his perceptive abilities.

This chapter again touches upon the quality of the protagonist as a keen observer. It also reveals the mistake of Squire Trelawney in choosing Long John first as his cook and then appointing his men as the crew. But his maturity and willingness to correct himself is brought to fore when he accepts the capability of the Captain and the gap between their conflicting attitudes are bridged.

Captain's Smollett's character as a mature, intelligent, honest and true-to-work personality is revealed when he orders his men not to turn back but be constantly prepared for an attack. By the end of the chapter and the section, Stevenson involves the reader thoroughly in the plot.

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