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Chapters 16, 17, and 18

Chapter 16 - Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the Ship Was Abandoned

The next three chapters are narrated by Dr. Livesey and describe the events of chapters 14, 15, and 19 from the perspective of the doctor and Squire Trelawney. After Jim leaves the Hispaniola with the boats carrying the mutineers, Livesey and the others fear for his safety but do not doubt his loyalty. Six of the men left on board are suspected mutineers, the others loyal to the captain. Dr. Livesey makes a trip to the island with Hunter, a loyal man, and discovers a stockade built by an earlier group of visitors. In a clearing on top of a hill, surrounded by a fence, is a small house with loopholes for guns on all sides; it seems an ideal site for his group to make a stand against the mutineers. While on the island, the doctor hears the same scream Jim heard in chapter 14 and thinks it is Jim dying. Returning to the ship, he and the others devise a plan: keeping Israel Hands and the other of Silver's men at gunpoint, they load the ship's boat with supplies to take to the stockade, leaving two loyal men, Hunter and Joyce, to guard it. After their second trip, Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett, Squire Trelawney, and Redruth the gamekeeper leave for the island: as they are leaving they call to Abraham Gray, one of the six mutineers on the Hispaniola, who breaks free from his comrades and joins them.

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

The rowboat, overloaded with men and supplies, begins a perilous crossing to the island, fighting a strong current all the way. Halfway across, the party realizes the mutineers are arming the Hispaniola's canons and taking aim at them. Gray informs them that Israel Hands, one of the men on board the ship, was Captain Flint's gunner. They row the boat around so that Trelawney, the best shooter among them, can fire at the ship, where he hits one of the mutineers just as the canon fires, missing the boat. The noise alerts the pirates on shore, who begin manning their rowboats to come and join the fight. In a desperate attempt to avoid the ship's canons, the doctor's rowboat sinks; no one is harmed, but most of their ammunition and supplies are lost.

Chapter 18 - Narrative Continued by the Doctor: End of the First Day's Fighting

Livesey and the others make their way to the stockade, but run into some of the pirates outside; there is a brief fight, in which Redruth is shot. They enter the stockade and lay Redruth down, where he dies after Squire Trelawney asks, and he gives, his forgiveness. The captain then raises a flag - the Union Jack that Jim sees. The loyal men assess the situation: they are short of vital supplies and help is not likely to arrive from England for months. The pirates begin firing the ship's canon at the stockade; the men realize the gunner is using their flag as a target, but the captain refuses to strike the flag, in order to show their defiance of the pirates. Hunter and Joyce go out to try to recover some of the lost supplies but discover the pirates have beaten them to it. Just then, Jim Hawkins calls to them from outside the stockade.

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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