After a frustrating delay in preparations for the journey to Treasure Island, Jim is pleased to hear that Dr. Livesey has received a letter from Squire Trelawney describing the ship and crew that he has obtained. The ship has been procured through one of Trelawney’s acquaintances in Bristol, a man who seems all too ready to help him and has a poor reputation in the city.
The ship is called the Hispaniola. Trelawney relates that he had some trouble finding a crew for the voyage until he had the good fortune to meet up with an old one- legged sailor named Long John Silver. Silver tells Trelawney that he misses the sea and wishes to set sail again as the ship’s cook. Trelawney hires him, and Silver helps arrange the rest of the crew as well.
After a sad farewell with his mother, Jim sets out the next morning for Bristol, accompanied by Tom Redruth, another man who will be on the ship’s crew. At the inn in Bristol, they meet up with Trelawney, newly clothed in a sea officer’s outfit. Trelawney informs them that they will sail the next day.
I don’t put much faith in your discoveries . . . but I will say this, John Silver suits me.See Important Quotations Explained
Trelawney gives Jim a note to pass on to Long John Silver at the Spy-glass, a tavern in the town. Jim sets off happily to find the sailor. Silver is more clean-cut than Jim expects, but Jim recognizes him and introduces himself. Just then, another customer in the bar suddenly gets up to leave, attracting Jim’s attention. Jim recognizes the man as Black Dog and informs Silver. Jim is pleased to learn that Silver shares his negative view of Black Dog and Pew. Silver wins over Jim’s trust, and they stroll by the docks as Silver tells Jim about ships and sea life. Silver is introduced to Dr. Livesey and treats him with respect. Likewise, Livesey is quite pleased to have Silver as the ship’s new cook.
While boarding the ship, Jim, Silver, and the others meet Mr. Arrow, the first mate, with whom Trelawney gets along well. There is some animosity, however, between Trelawney and the captain, whose name is Smollett. Smollett is very opinionated, and speaks openly about his dislike of most of the crew and about the fact that he has a bad feeling about the voyage. Smollett also adds that there has been too much blabbing about the map and the treasure, though Trelawney protests that he has told no one. After the captain leaves, Livesey asserts that he trusts Silver and Smollett completely.
The voyage begins on an ominous note, as the first mate, Mr. Arrow, turns out to be a hopeless drunk who is useless on board. He disappears mysteriously one night, leading the others to presume that he fell overboard in his drunkenness. The boatswain, Job Anderson, replaces Arrow. Jim continues to be entranced by Silver, impressed by his swift one-legged maneuverings around the deck. Jim is also fascinated by Silver’s two-hundred-year-old parrot, which is named Cap’n Flint, after the famed buccaneer. Relations between Trelawney and Smollett are still somewhat strained, but the voyage proceeds normally. One evening, Jim gets hungry for an apple and climbs into an apple barrel on board, where, unsuspected, he overhears an important conversation.