Treasure Island


Chapter 16 to chapter 21

Part IV: The Stockade

Chapter 16

Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the Ship was Abandoned

The story’s perspective now shifts from Jim’s to the doctor’s. Livesey provides an account of how he, the squire, the captain and the other honest hands escaped the Hispaniola and set up stores in the stockade built by Flint so many years ago.

Livesey asserts that had a favorable wind approached, he and the others would have “fallen on the six mutineers” and set a course for home, but there was no wind. To make matters worse, Hunter reported that Jim had gone ashore with the pirates. Livesey records that it never occurred to any of them to doubt Jim, but that they were concerned for his safety.

Livesey and Hunter go ashore in the jolly-boat. Livesey finds the stockade around the bend from the jigs where Silver has placed two watchmen. Had the watchmen told Silver of Livesey’s actions, the following narrative might never have been written, but as the watchmen held to their apparent orders, they never left the two boats and Livesey and the others were able to make half a dozen trips back and forth between the stockade and the ship, moving guns, powder and provisions.

Smollett identifies Abraham Gray, one of the six left behind by Silver, as a man new to this line of work, one who nearly fainted at the hearing of the cry from land. Smollett commands him to follow. Gray scuffles with the other five, emerges with a cut on his cheek and follows Smollett and the others to the stockade.

This chapter shows the fine thinking of both Livesey and of the captain, who sees that he can reach yet one more man and win him to the side of the good. Indeed, by offering Gray a chance to join his rightful captain, Smollett shows his willingness to stick his neck out for his men and show his love for men of honor. Gray likewise shows that he is a man of honor who will heed the call when it is given, even if it means putting up a...

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Essays About Treasure Island