Summary of Treasure Island
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson tells the story of Jim, a young boy who watches over an inn in an English seaside town with his mother and his gravely ill father. A new guest at the inn, Bill, terrifies everyone at the inn with his raunchy sea songs and threats of violence.
Bill falls ill and dies just as pirates descend on the inn to kill Bill and to ransack his things. Just before the pirates can burst in and find Jim and his mom, the two of them escape with a number of coins and a pouch. Jim finds out that there is a treasure map hidden in the pouch.
After showing this map to the doctor that waited on his father and Bill, Dr. Livesey, the doctor and his friend Squire Trelawney decide to set sail to uncover the treasure. Jim goes along as a member of the crew.
The squire and doctor hire a number of men to head the voyage, including Long John Silver as the ship’s cook. Along the journey at sea, Jim falls asleep inside a barrel and awakes to hear that Long John Silver has planned a mutiny along with most of the crew!
Once they reach the island with the treasure, Jim slips onshore with Silver and some of the mutineers. After the mutineers kill two men that don’t want to join the mutiny, Jim runs away into the jungle on the island. While there, he meets an abandoned man, Ben Gunn.
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Meanwhile, Trelawney, the doctor, and the other men get ashore and find a stockade, or a giant wooden enclosure, something like a mini-fort. Eventually, after a meeting between Silver and the captain of the ship in the stockade, there is a battle. While a number of mutineers are killed, two men die and one is injured within the stockade, and Dr. Livesey goes out to find Ben Gunn and enlist his help.
Jim sneaks out of the stockade and cuts the ship loose, crashing it on the beach, securing it for the crew, and killing a pirate left on the ship in self-defense. Jim sneaks back to the stockade where, to his surprise, Long John Silver and his men are now staying! Silver explains that the captain and Dr. Livesey agreed to give up the map and the stockade for free passage. However, when the mutineers get to the treasure, they find that someone has already dug it up! Before the angry mutineers can attack Silver and Jim, the original crew pop up and ambush them with guns, having already dug up and hid the treasure.
Though Silver slips away from the crew during the journey back to England, evading a trial and hanging, Jim still has terrifying dreams of him for many months afterward.
- Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
- Illustrator: N. C. Wyeth
- Genre: Adventure
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
- Publication date: November 14, 1883
- Number of pages: 302