Treasure Island: Novel Summary: Part 2
Part 2: The Sea Cook
Chapter VII - Chapter XII
Chapter VII: I Go to Bristol
In Bristol, Trelawney acquires a schooner called the Hispaniola. He hires a man named Long John Silver as the ship's cook. Silver lost a leg in a naval battle serving his country. Trelawney is impressed by Silver, and describes him as a man of substance. With Silver's help, the squire also acquires a crew for the vessel. Jim takes leave of his mother, and travels with Redruth, the squire's gamekeeper, to Bristol. He is excited about his new adventure. Trelawney says they are to sail the next day.
Chapter VIII: At the Sign of the "Spyglass"
Jim meets Silver at a tavern, when he delivers a note to Silver from the squire. Like the squire, Jim forms a favorable impression of Silver. He is cheerful, pleasant and intelligent, and Jim no longer fears that he may be the one-legged man that Billy Bones told him to look out for at the "Admiral Benbow." As he and Silver exchange greetings, Jim sees the buccaneer he remembers as Black Dog fleeing the tavern. Silver claims he does not know who Black Dog is, and Jim believes him. As they talk more, Silver tells Jim he is smart. They go outside and walk along the quays together. Jim finds Silver an interesting companion.
Chapter IX: Powder and Arms
They go aboard the ship. Jim meets Arrow, the ship's mate, and Captain Smollett. Smollett tells the squire that he does not like the crew, or the planned trip, or Arrow. On being asked to explain himself, he says he has heard the voyage is for treasure, and he does not like treasure voyages. Still less does he like it when everyone else seems to know more about the matter than he does. He has heard that there is a map with the location of the treasure marked on it, and all the crew knows of it. The captain fears a mutiny. After Smollett leaves, the squire comments that he dislikes him. But he acts on the captain's precautionary suggestions, which is to place all the men they know to be loyal in the stern part of the ship, with access to all the guns and powder.
Chapter X: The Voyage The Hispaniola begins its voyage. Jim does not relate the voyage in detail, but he does tell of a few events. Arrow turns out to have no control over the men, and he is also a drunkard. One day when he is drunk he falls overboard. Job Anderson replaces him as mate. In contrast to Arrow, Silver is liked and respected by the men, who obey him. Silver is always kind to Jim. He keeps a parrot called Cap'n Flint, and claims that the parrot is two hundred years old.
Meanwhile, the squire and the captain are still on bad terms. The captain speaks little. On the last day of the voyage, Jim decides that he wants an apple. He climbs into the apple barrel, and falls asleep inside it. Then he is awakened by the thud of a man leaning up against the barrel. He hears the voice of Long John Silver, and soon realizes to his horror that the lives of all the honest men on the ship depend on him alone.
Chapter XI: What I Heard in the Apple Barrel
Jim overhears Silver talking to Dick, a young member of the crew. Silver reveals that he is a pirate. He was Captain Flint's quartermaster, and accumulated wealth from his share of the treasure they stole. He used the money wisely, unlike most pirates, by putting it in banks. He got to live like a gentleman through his ill-gotten gains. As he listens, Jim realizes that Silver is enlisting the crew for a plot to gain the treasure for themselves. Silver and Dick are then joined by Israel Hands, the coxswain, who is also a member of the conspiracy. He wants to know when they can strike. Silver says only when he gives the word, and that will be as late as possible, when the treasure has been found and loaded on to the ship. Then he intends to kill everyone other than his band of pirates. He wants to strangle the squire. Jim also learns that there are still some members of the crew who will not join the conspiracy.
Chapter XII: Council of War
The Hispaniola sails within sight of the treasure island. Jim finds a way of arranging a meeting with Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett and the squire in the cabin. He tells them everything he heard Silver say. The squire admits that Smollett was right about the crew. Smollett says that time is on their side until they find the treasure. Then he suggests that they attack first, taking the pirates by surprise. They assess who are the men they can still rely on. Jim realizes that they are outnumbered by seven to nineteen.
Analysis: Part II In Part II, as the adventure at sea begins, Stevenson cleverly manipulates the reader's perception of two of the central figures, Long John Silver and Captain Smollett. At first, Silver appears in the best possible light. He impresses the squire, and no one doubts that he lost his leg in honorable service with the English navy. When Jim first meets Silver, he gets a similarly favorable impression. Silver is warm and friendly towards him. Silver also has the respect of the ship's crew. The change, when it comes, is sudden, and therefore all the more gripping for the reader. This happens when Jim overhears Silver plotting with other members of the crew. All Jim's favorable feelings about Silver (and those of the reader too), immediately evaporate. Silver is not what he appeared to be.
The exact opposite is the case with the captain. At first, he appears to be a sullen man, ready to complain about everything. The squire makes a point of saying that he dislikes him, and Jim goes even further. After the captain gives him a brusque order, Jim remarks that he hates him deeply. But gradually it transpires that the captain is a man of sound judgment. He is right to distrust Arrow, for example, and to be wary of taking part in a treasure voyage. The squire is forced to acknowledge that he was wrong about the captain. From this point on, the captain will play an exemplary role in the adventure. He shows himself to be courageous, calm and efficient, and the others accept his authority.
At the end of Chapter X, Stevenson reveals his frequent technique of ending a chapter on a note of suspense and anticipation. From his place in the apple barrel, Jim has just realized that Silver, who he still thinks is a good man, is leaning against the barrel. Then before Jim has heard Silver speak a dozen words, he realizes that "the lives of all the honest men aboard depended upon me alone." There the chapter ends. Who could read that and not want to continue? This technique of ending on a "cliff-hanger" may be related to the fact that Treasure Island was originally published in serial form, so it was important to end each episode in a way that would make readers eager for the next installment.