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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 17: Narrative Continued by the Doctor - The Jolly Boat’s Last Trip

Summary

The last trip, the doctor says, was the most difficult trip as the boat was overloaded with five grown men and all of the supplies. The strong water currents running westward make it much more difficult for them. Sailing with the ebb, on the other hand, would have taken them to the shore but closer to the area where Silver and his men had landed.

The doctor is losing hope. Two fresh oarsmen- the Captain and Old Redruth are steering the boat. The men keep on suggesting ideas when suddenly the Captain remembers something. They had completely forgotten about the other guns and the cannon on the Hispaniola, which was now under the control of Silver's men. Looking back, they see the men uncovering the tarpaulin on the other small boat. Israel Hands is in command of the Hispaniola. He used to be Flint's gunner. The lives of Captain and his men are in danger.

In an attempt to save themselves the Captain orders Trelawney to shoot Hands on the Hispaniola. He misses him, but hits one of the other sailors. Hearing the shot, the pirates on shore man their small boats and rush towards them. The Squire doesn't give up, but their boat does. The boat goes down and all of them are drenched in three feet of water. No one is hurt, but three guns out of five were rendered useless.

They wade towards the beach, the voices of the pirates nearing them all the time. The thought of Hunter and Joyce handling the mutineers bothers them as they are held in the Stockade. More than half of their goods and provisions are left behind in the bottom of the sunken boat.


Notes

In this chapter the doctor narrates the trials and tribulations of making it to the stockade amidst the enemy attack. He says that the troubles are doubled as the boat is overloaded and moves with the water currents taking them away from their course toward the stockade.

The doctor can't handle the pressure and is depressed. Captain Smollet and Redruth are steering the boat. When the Captain suddenly remembers the guns and the cannon they had left behind on the ship, they are concerned that the men will use these guns against them. He responds to the situation by asking the Squire to take aim and gun down Israel Hands who is now in command of the Hispaniola and standing on the deck. The Squire misses him with his shot but hits another of the mutineers.

Worrying about Hunter and Joyce who were already in the stockade, they jump from sunken boat and rush to the land in between gunhots from the ship.

CHAPTER 18: Narrative Continued by the Doctor - End of the First Day’s Fighting

Summary

The crew speeds towards the stockade. They could hear the foot steps of the pirates. At the request of the doctor, the Captain hands over his gun to the Squire and the doctor gives him his cutlass.

The first glimpse of the Stockade also brings them face to face with Job Anderson and seven other men. The fighting starts. In the initial rounds of firing one among the mutineers is killed, which makes some of the others run for cover. After a brief pause, the fighting resumes and Redruth is hit. The doctor recalls the way Redruth has served them. He had never complained whenever called to perform his duties. Now he is laid on the log house, bleeding. The Squire couldn't believe that Redruth was going to die.

When Redruth asks if his end is near, the Squire bursts into tears. After requesting to read him prayers, Redruth dies. The Captain uses a fir tree as a flag pole to hoist the Union Jack above the Stockade. They spreads another flag on Redruth's body and acknowledges his service as a person who died on duty.

The Captain inquires about the consort (another ship that was to follow them later). The doctor informs his that it will be months before they can expect that help. He is informed that if the mission takes long, they would run short of ration, though there is plenty of gunpowder. Just then a gunshot passes above the roof. The Captain turns down the doctor's request to take off the Union Jack. The flag, the Captain proudly states, represents the strong feeling they have towards their duty. The gun fire continues all evening and they get used to it within the protection of the stockade.

The Captain make a note that the woods ahead would be clear and orders his men to get the provisions. Though Gray and Hunter volunteer, they meet with disappointment as they find Silver and his men in a better position to attack them.

The Captain makes a note of the day's happenings. He records Redruth's death, while the doctor wonders about what has happened to Jim Hawkins. Just then they are in for a big surprise. Hunter hears someone hailing them. The doctor rushes towards the door to see Jim Hawkins safe and sound, making his way to the stockade.

Notes

From the ship to the boat. From the boat to land. And from the land to the stockade. Stevenson progresses step by step with his adventure.

In this chapter the crew is on the island where Jim Hawkins is stranded. But at this moment they don't whether he is alive or dead. Once on land this is not the only trouble that's bothering them. As they see the stockade and proceed towards it they are attacked by the mutineers led by Job Anderson. The mutineers run for their lives when Hunter, Joyce, the Squire and the doctor open fire at them.

Just when they start rejoicing the victory, a bullet hits Redruth. He is carried to the stockade, bleeding profusely. He dies shortly afterwards. This incident makes them review their safety. There is also a solemn burial ceremony as Redruth dies on duty. The reader may note that Tom Redruth is the first character to die from the Captain's group.

The act of the Captain to fly the Union Jack on the stockade and his refusal to take it off despite heavy firing from the enemy camp shows the patriotic spirit of the Captain.

The Captain and his men are depressed, however, due to these and other losses they have faced. They are also genuinely worried about Jim. With the chapter's end, Jim appears on the scene and is ready to rejoin his group.

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