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Chapters 19, 20, and 21

Chapter 19 - Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade

In this chapter, Jim describes the battle between pirates and loyal crew from his perspective. After leaving Ben Gunn, Jim takes shelter from the gunfire and canon balls, and then creeps down to the shore to spy on the pirates' activities. They have taken over the Hispaniola and are flying the Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones); a group on shore is smashing up the rowboat in which Livesey and the others came ashore. Jim finds his way to the stockade and is warmly welcomed by his friends. He tells them about Ben Gunn and the pirates' doings. Livesey, Trelawney, and the captain discuss their situation, concluding that the pirates, weakened by casualties, fever, and rum, will give up their attack and take the Hispaniola to go adventuring before too long, leaving the others to wait a month or two for help to arrive. Long John Silver arrives outside the stockade waving a white flag of truce.

Chapter 20 - Silver's Embassy

Silver and another pirate stand outside the stockade asking to negotiate with the captain's men. Thinking it might be a trick, Captain Smollett has men stationed at all the loopholes. He cautiously allows Silver to enter the fence of the stockade - refusing, however, to let him enter the cabin. Silver says he's come to seek terms and reveals that one of his men was killed in camp after the battle - Jim concludes that it was Ben Gunn who killed him. Jim and the other men who are supposed to be watching the loopholes have their eyes riveted to the exchange between Silver and Smollett. Silver wants the treasure map held by the captain and his men, and in return offers them the choice of safe passage on the Hispaniola or to stay on the island while he and his men leave. Captain Smollett defiantly refuses, and Silver storms off, shouting threats.

Chapter 21 - The Attack

Jim and the others (except for Gray) have been neglecting their sentry duty to watch the negotiations; Captain Smollett yells at them and they slink back to their loopholes in embarrassment. A tense hour passes as the daylight grows stronger. Joyce fires at an approaching pirate, but misses; the pirates return fire - uselessly, since the defenders are well-protected. Then the main attack begins as the pirates swarm over the fences and charge the little house. The defenders hold them off at first, but a few pirates eventually get inside the house, overcoming the defenders' advantage in position. The captain orders his forces to arm themselves with swords and leave the house, fighting the pirates one-on-one. Jim is nearly killed by Job Anderson, an enormous pirate, but leaps aside, and Abraham Gray cuts down the attacker. The defenders manage to hold off the pirates, but Hunter and the captain are wounded and Joyce killed: the odds now stand at four unharmed defenders to nine pirates.

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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