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Chapters 22, 23, and 24

Chapter 22 - How I Began My Sea Adventure

Dr. Livesey treats all the wounded, including a dying pirate; the captain is seriously wounded, but will recover; Hunter's wounds are fatal. After seeing to these men, the doctor takes a gun and heads off into the woods - to seek out Ben Gunn, Jim thinks. Jim grows restless in the hot, bloody cabin and begins to envy the doctor, walking in the cool woods. Grabbing some biscuits and two pistols, he sneaks off to see if he can find the boat Ben Gunn mentioned to him. Jim wanders along the coast for a while and watches a rowboat heading from the Hispaniola to join the main group of pirates on shore, leaving just two men to guard the ship. Jim then heads to the base of the Spy-glass, where he finds a tiny boat made of goatskin and wood. Jim decides to wait for dark, and then paddles his boat out to the Hispaniola, where he will cut its anchor-rope and set it adrift, leaving the pirates stranded.

Chapter 23 - The Ebb-Tide Runs

Jim tries out his new boat and finds that, while it is very stable, it's almost impossible to steer; fortunately, the tide carries him toward the Hispaniola. Reaching the ship, Jim begins cutting one of the hawsers, or anchor lines, but realizes that this will make the ship lurch violently and probably smash into his own boat. He decides to wait for the wind to bring some slack into the line and, while waiting, he hears the two watchmen aboard the Hispaniola arguing drunkenly. Finally, Jim gets his opportunity and cuts the cord, then, on a sudden impulse, grabs the rope and is towed along by the ship. Looking onto the deck, he sees Israel Hands and the other crewman struggling fiercely with each other, oblivious to the motion of the ship. The Hispaniola and Jim's boat begin to drift out to sea and become separated, and the pirates finally notice their position. Jim, feeling certain that his little boat will be destroyed by the rough waters of the open sea, lies down hopelessly in the tossing boat and falls asleep.

Chapter 24 - The Cruise of the Coracle

When Jim wakes up it is daylight and his boat has drifted with the tide to a forbidding corner of the island; he will not be able to land here. Jim is overcome with a feeling of helplessness as he realizes he is unable to steer his little boat in the heavy seas. However, remembering what Silver has told him about the prevailing currents, he guesses that the current will carry him part way around the island, to a better landing spot. He devises a way to ride the waves, paddling only in smooth water to avoid capsizing, and gradually make progress toward the shore. Still unable to land, and tortured by thirst, he changes tactics and heads toward the Hispaniola, which is drifting nearby. The unsteered ship is blown in one direction, then another, by the wind, turning violently on the waves. As the Hispaniola bears down on him, crushing the little boat, Jim makes a desperate leap and lands on the ship's deck.

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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