treasure island chapter 10


And Long John threw a map on the floor. It was Billy Bones’s map, with the three red crosses. When I saw it, I thought, ‘Why did the doctor give it to Silver?’

The pirates ran quickly towards it. They took it and they laughed and shouted. But George said:

‘How can we take the treasure with us? We haven’t got the ship.’

‘And who lost the ship?’ Silver shouted at him. ‘I got the map and you lost the ship! But I did things badly — eh? Speak to me politely, George Merry, or I’ll kill you!’

‘He’s right,’ said Morgan.

‘Of course I’m right. But I don’t want to be your cap’n. Find another cap’n.’

‘No!’ the pirates shouted. ‘We want you, John!’

‘Well, mates, what shall I do with this black spot? I don’t want it. Jim, you have it — a present from old John.’ That was the end of the conversation. After we all drank some brandy, we were ready to sleep. But I didn’t sleep immediately. I thought about Silver and his difficult game. He didn’t want to die on the gallows; he wanted to save his own life. He was a bad man but I was sorry for him. His situation was very dangerous.

I woke up when I heard the guard’s voice outside early next morning. Dr Livesey was coming! I was happy; but I couldn’t look at his face. I remembered that he didn’t want to see me again.

‘Good morning, doctor, sir!’ said Long John with a big smile. ‘Jim Hawkins is here.’

‘Not Jim!’ said the doctor, and he stopped, surprised. Then he came into the cabin. He looked at me quickly; and he didn’t smile. He helped the man with the wound.

‘Did you take your medicine?’ he asked George Merry.

‘Ay, ay, sir,’ said Merry.

‘Good. I’m a pirates’ doctor now and I don’t want to lose any of you for the trial in London. Well, I’ve finished for today. And now I want to talk with that boy, please.’

‘No!’ shouted George Merry, red with anger.

‘Silence!’ Silver shouted. ‘Doctor, thank you for your help. Hawkins, will you give me your word that you will not run away?’

I gave Silver my word.

‘Doctor, go outside the stockade. Jim will stay inside and stand near the wall. Then you can talk to him.’

When the doctor left the cabin the men were very angry with Silver. They told him that they understood his game very well.

‘We made peace with the doctor and his friends,’ he said. ‘But when we’re ready we can break it. Then I’ll kill that doctor — believe me!’

So we went to the wall of the stockade. The other pirates watched us angrily.

At the wall Silver said, ‘Do you see this, doctor?’ I’m helping Jim. He’ll tell you that I saved his life. This game is very dangerous for me. Remember that, and help me when you can.’

Silver’s voice trembled. I saw that his face was white.

‘Are you frightened, John?’ the doctor asked.

‘Doctor, I’m not frightened of anything. But I don’t want to die on the gallows in London. You’re an honest man.

You won’t forget that Long John helped you.’

Then he went away and sat down on the sand.

The doctor began sadly, ‘Hello, Jim. You’re with these pirates now and you can see what happens when you do stupid things. You ran away when the captain was ill and wounded. That was bad!’

Then I began to cry. ‘I’m very sorry! I know that I did a stupid thing, and now I’m a prisoner. Oh doctor! I’m really frightened…!’

Now the doctor wasn’t angry. ‘Jim! Climb over the wall quickly and we’ll run!’

‘But I gave Silver my word.’

‘It doesn’t matter now. You mustn’t stay here. Come on, jump!’

‘No, you know I can’t, doctor. But listen. I took the ship to North Inlet. She’s on the southern beach.’

I told the doctor quickly about my adventure. When I finished, he said:

‘Oh Jim! You always save our lives! And now we must save yours. Listen, Ben Gunn told us something…’ But then the doctor stopped and called Silver. He said to him, ‘You must look for the treasure slowly. And you must be very careful when you find it. There will be problems.’

‘Sir, I don’t understand you. What is your game? Why did you leave the cabin? Why did you give me the map? And now you say look for the treasure slowly. Why? You say there’ll be problems when we find it. What do you mean?’

T can’t tell you now, Silver. I’m sorry. But I can tell you that I’ll help you a lot when we return to London. I’ll save your life if I can.’

John Silver looked very happy. ‘Thank you, sir!’

‘But you must help Jim now. He’s your responsibility, Silver. Do you understand? Now I must go. Good-bye, Jim.’

And Dr Livesey went away.


next page