Treasure Island


Chapter 13 to Chapter 15

Part III: My Shore Adventure

Chapter 13

How I Began My Shore Adventure

In the morning, the island’s appearance has changed, an effect that mirrors the change in the spirit of the crew (now understood to be made of mutinous pirates). The Spy-glass hill is the largest of the rocky spires that towers over the island. Its top is flat like a pedestal awaiting a statue. Its name recalls the name of Silver’s tavern back in Bristol.

The thought of the island is now hateful to Jim. Nonetheless, Jim volunteers to go aboard one of the boats. Job Anderson commands the boats and grumbles as loudly as the worst of the men. The men have obviously lost their civility and sense of duty.

The place of anchorage is completely landlocked and has no sight of the stockade built by Flint some years ago, hidden by the woods. The doctor sniffs the air that hangs over the swampy interior and surmises that the place crawls with fever. The feverish air reflects the feverish longing of the pirates to cast off their submissive roles and mutiny. They now receive their orders with spite.

Silver continues to encourage his men and attempts to corrupt whatever honest men are still among the crew. He is the only one of the pirates to keep up a cheerful ruse.

Smollett realizes that he must do something or else risk tipping Silver to the fact that he knows the latter’s intentions. He decides to give the crew the afternoon off, allowing them free rein to do as they please ashore. That way he won’t have to give them orders and react as would befit a captain when they fail to obey them. He promises to fire a gun when it is time to return. As soon as he gives the crew a day’s rest, he disappears out of sight so as to appear to take no notice of their plans.

Indeed, plans are arranged. Silver leaves six men behind aboard the ship and the rest go to land. Jim has a notion to go ashore. In hindsight he considers it (like some of his later...

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