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Jim Hawkins is a young boy who lives at his parents’ sleepy sea-side inn, the Admiral Benbow, near Bristol, England, in the 18th century. In 1761, an old and menacing sea captain referred to as Billy Bones appears one day, but dies of a stroke in the inn after being presented with "The Black Spot", a secret pirate message which officially pronounced a verdict of guilt and promised a death sentence for the recipient . An old Pirate named Blind Pew gave it to Billy Bones but escaped after. Hastily, Jim and his mother unlock Billy’s sea chest (under pretense of payment for his inn tab), finding a account book and map inside. Hearing steps outside, they quickly leave with the documents before Billy’s pursuers ransack the inn looking for the same.
Jim realizes that the contents he has snatched from the sea chest must be valuable, so he takes the documents he has found to some local aristocratic acquaintances, Dr. Livesey and Squire John Trelawney. Excited, they recognize it as a map leading to the fabled treasure of the infamous pirate Captain Flint buried on Skeleton Island in the West Indies. Trelawney immediately starts planning an expedition. Naïve in his negotiations to outfit his ship, the Hispaniola, Trelawney is tricked into hiring one of Flint’s former mates, Long John Silver as a cook, as well as many of Flint’s old crew. Only the captain, Smollett, is trustworthy, but Trelawney has fallen under the charismatic spell of Silver and believes him to be the better man. The ship sets sail for Skeleton Island with nothing amiss, until Jim overhears Silver’s plans for mutiny. Jim tells the captain about Silver and the rest of the rebellious crew. Captain Smollett is vindicated in the eyes of the others and becomes the leader of the "faithful crew".
Landing at the island, Captain Smollett devises a plan to get most of the mutineers off the ship, allowing them leisure time on shore. Without telling his companions, Jim sneaks into the pirates’ boat and goes ashore with them. Frightened of the pirates, Jim runs off alone into the forest. From a hiding place, he witnesses Silver’s murder of a sailor who refuses to join the mutiny. Jim flees deeper into the heart of the island, where he encounters a half-crazed man named Ben Gunn. Ben had once served in Flint’s crew but was marooned alone on the island three years earlier.
Jim Hawkins meeting Ben Gunn
Jim Hawkins meeting Ben Gunn
Meanwhile, Smollett and his men have gone ashore and taken shelter in a stockade they found which Flint had built years earlier. Jim returns to the stockade and tells of his encounter with Ben. Silver visits under a white flag of truce and attempts a negotiation with the captain, but this merely leads to a shouting match. The pirates attack the stockade the next day, and the captain is wounded. Eager to take action, Jim follows another whim and deserts his companions, sneaking off to hunt for Ben’s handmade coracle hidden in the woods.
After finding Ben’s boat, Jim sails out to the anchored ship with the intention of cutting it adrift, thereby depriving the pirates of a means of escape. He cuts the rope, but he realizes his small boat has drifted near the pirates’ camp and fears he will be discovered. By chance, the pirates do not spot Jim, and he floats around the island until he catches sight of the ship drifting wildly. Struggling aboard, he discovers that one of the two watchmen left aboard, Israel Hands, has killed the other watchman in a drunken fit and is seriously injured himself. Jim takes control of the ship, but Israel turns against him in a fight in the rigging. Jim is wounded but kills Israel.
Jim returns to the stockade at night not realizing it has since been occupied by the pirates. Silver takes Jim hostage, telling the boy that the captain has given the pirates the treasure map, provisions, and the use of the stockade in exchange for their lives. Silver is having trouble managing his men, who accuse him of treachery. Silver proposes to Jim that they help each other survive by pretending Jim is a hostage. However, the men present Silver with a black spot and inform him that he has been deposed as their commander. In a skilled attempt to gain control of his crew, Silver slyly shows them the treasure map to appease them, narrowly saving Jim's life (and Silver's) from the fickle pirates. Silver is unanimously re-elected as captain to cries of, "Silver for captain!" and "Barbecue forever!"
The next day Silver leads Jim and the last five pirates to the treasure site, but they are shocked to find it already excavated and the treasure removed except for a few stray coins. The pirates are angered and ready to kill Silver and Jim once and for all. At that moment Dr. Livesey, Squire Trelawney, Ben Gunn, and the others appear from the bushes and fire on the pirate band, killing two and scattering three others throughout the island. Silver at this point has switched sides yet again, and because he saved Jim's life earlier, is accepted warily back into the group.
Jim Hawkins and the treasure of Treasure Island
Jim Hawkins and the treasure of Treasure Island
After spending three days carrying the loot from Ben's cave to the ship, the men prepare to set sail for home. There is a debate about the fate of the remaining mutineers. Despite the three pirates’ pleas, they are left marooned on the island, perhaps a kinder fate then returning them home to the gallows, and much to the glee of Ben Gunn. Silver is allowed to join the voyage to a nearby Spanish American port, where he sneaks off the ship one night with the help of Ben Gunn carrying a small portion of the treasure and is never heard of again. The voyage home is uneventful.
Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey resume their business as usual despite being thousands of pounds richer. Captain Smollett retires from the sea on his share and lives peacefully in the country. Ben Gunn spends all of his money within a fortnight and soon falls back upon begging. However, he is given a small pension by the Squire and quieted down, "...despite being quite a butt among the village boys, he is now a regular attendant and a notable singer at church on Sundays."
Jim Hawkins is able to run the Admiral Benbow on his own, but suffers in a deeper way from his time on the island. "The bar silver and arms are still where Flint buried them...but oxen and wain ropes would not be able to drag me back to that accursed island...and sometimes I still awaken at night in a cold sweat, with the shill voice of Captain Flint (Silver's talking parrot) ringing in my ears, "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!""
First Appearance: None listed.
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
100 Meisterwerke der Weltliteratur (2009)
Classics Illustrated (1941)
Classics Illustrated (1990)
#17 Classics Illustrated Deluxe (2008)
- 'Robert Louis Stevenson: Treasure Island'
Classics Illustrated Study Guides (1997)
Four Color Comics (1942)
#624 Illustrierte Bestseller von Pelikan (1979)
- 'Walt Disney's Treasure Island'
L'Île au trésor, de Robert Louis Stevenson (2007)
#1 Lullaby (2005)
- 'Volume 1'#2
- 'Volume 2'#3
- 'Volume 3'
Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker (2005)
Marvel Classics Comics Series Featuring... (1976)
Marvel Illustrated: Treasure Island (2007)
Moga Mobo (1994)
#86 Pendulum's Illustrated Stories (1990)
- '100 Meisterwerke der Weltliteratur'
Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island: The Graphic Novel (2005)
Treasure Island (1973)
Treasure Island (1999)
Weltliteratur für junge Leser (1983)
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