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Chapters 1, 2, and 3

Chapter 1 - The Old Sea-Dog at the "Admiral Benbow"

Jim Hawkins, the narrator, describes the arrival of a scarred old sailor (Billy Bones) at the Admiral Benbow, an inn run by Jim's mother and ailing father. The sailor, who has nothing with him but his worn clothing and a large sea-chest, is looking for lodging at an out-of-the-way inn, and seems to want to avoid other sailors. He tells Jim to be especially on the lookout for a one-legged sailor, which gives Jim terrible nightmares about a one-legged man. The old sailor stays at the inn for months, and begins to terrorize Jim's family and the inn's guests with his loud demands and violent, drunken behavior, but Jim secretly suspects that many visitors were drawn to the inn by this unusual character and his tales of sea-adventure. Jim says that the only person who dared to confront the old sailor was Dr. Livesey, the town physician. One night at the inn, both men are sitting in the parlor, when they begin arguing and the sailor threatens Livesey with a knife. Livesey scornfully stares the sailor down, and the sailor keeps quiet for several days after the incident.

Chapter 2 - Black Dog Appears and Disappears

A stranger arrives at the Admiral Benbow, a sailor missing two fingers on his left hand. The stranger asks for the old sailor staying at the inn, whom he calls "Bill"; Jim tells the visitor that he is out walking on the beach and the stranger waits nervously, hiding behind a door, for Bill's return. When he arrives, the stranger surprises Bill, who recognizes him as Black Dog, an old shipmate of his, and the two warily sit down to talk. Jim leaves the room but tries to listen in on their conversation; he is unable to make out much, but there is a sudden outcry and Black Dog runs from the inn bleeding from a cut on his shoulder. Bill chases after Black Dog with sword drawn, but suddenly falls to the ground in a daze, calling weakly for rum. Dr. Livesey, disgusted, diagnoses a stroke and discovers a tattoo reading "Billy Bones his fancy" on the old sailor's arm; the doctor sends Bill to bed for a week and forbids him to drink.

Chapter 3 - The Black Spot

Billy Bones, in bed recovering, begs Jim for rum, which he reluctantly brings. Bill worries that his former crewmates - with whom he sailed under Captain Flint - will put "the black spot" on him before he recovers. He tells Jim that the black spot is a kind of summons that sailors make to others of their kind and warns Jim to watch out for Black Dog or the one-legged sailor. Jim's father dies while Billy Bones is recovering and there is a funeral, but Jim does not express much emotion over his father's death. The day after the funeral an ominous blind beggar arrives at the inn. Seizing Jim and twisting his arm with surprising strength, the blind man forces Jim to take him to Billy's room. Jim brings the blind man to Billy, who reacts with fear; the blind man puts something in Billy's hand and runs out. Billy jumps up, shouts that he has six hours until ten o'clock, and then collapses on the floor, dead. Billy's death triggers the flood of tears from Jim that Jim's father's death could not.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7, 8, and 9
Chapters 10, 11, and 12
Chapters 13, 14, and 15
Chapters 16, 17, and 18
Chapters 19, 20, and 21
Chapters 22, 23, and 24
Chapters 25, 26, and 27
Chapters 28, 29, and 30
Chapters 31, 32, 33, and 34


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