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Free Study Guide for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-BookNotes

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CHAPTER 14: The First Blow


Jim is thrilled as he is way ahead of Silver and his men. The strange land interests him. He is alone and makes a study of the surroundings curiously. Everything is new so him. The contorted trees, hills with craggy peaks, unknown flowing plants, deadly snakes, strange sounds of birds, everything. Amongst this the only familiar sight is that of the "Spy-glass".

Some time passes by and Jim is able to listen to human voices too. Jim is afraid when he hears the voice of Long John Silver. He trudges towards them to overhear their conversation. He listens to Silver talking to Tom. Their heated conversation is interrupted with a sudden scream at a distance. This is accompanied by the rustle of birds. Some one had been killed. On asking what the scream was all about, Silver calmly replies: "That?, Oh, I reckon that'll be Alan".

Tom is stunned to hear this and accuses Silver of killing him. He says that he will no longer be a member of his crew. He turns back and walks away. Silver wastes no time. He aims his crutch at Tomís back and hurls it at him. With a thud it strikes him and he falls. Silver quickly pounced on him and stabbed him twice in the back to kill him. Jim is dumbfounded. He had never seen a man die before. Two men from the Hispaniola were dead. He fears that he could be next.

Jim panics and runs for his life. He doesnít know where to. All he knows is he that he doesnít want to die at the hands of mutineers. But what he doesnít know is that another surprise awaits him and this brings his run to a halt.


Like any other youngster, Jim is delighted with his achievement. He starts enjoying his lonely exploration listening to the sounds of nature. Jim observes the various forms of vegetation in the island. When he hears footsteps nearing him, he knows that he is in danger. Jim recognizes Silverís voice and is reminded of the responsibility entrusted to him by his superiors. He draws near Silver to listen to his conversation, his curiosity is aroused. He hears the voice of Tom, who confronts Silver. When he expresses his disappointment, his sentence is cut with a strange noise the sound except Silver who tells them that it's the death scream of Alan. His cool and unpretentious attitude is again highlighted here. Tom is furious at this and he walks out on Silver. Silver doesnít waste any time to get rid of Tom. After knocking him down with his crutch, he stabs Tom to death.

This is for the first time that Jim witnesses the killing of a man, so ruthlessly. Jim is shocked. This incident makes it amply clear that if any body dared to turn against Silver they should get ready to kiss goodbye to their lives.

When Jim regains his composure, he observes Silver cleaning his blood stained knife. Jimís fears are again aroused when he hears Silver signaling something try blowing a whistle.

This incident brings out the fearful nature of the protagonist. He doesnít want to die and runs away. He reacts thus because he has experienced the utter ruthlessness of the mutineers. He stops when finds a strange creature moving in front if him. The childish conclusion of Jim takes the reader away from the original plot when suddenly Stevenson plants an entirely new character. He doesnít reveal the character in this chapter and forever you to turn to the next chapter.

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