Treasure Island

Jim Hawkins, the boy hero of Stevenson's tale, had sailed with a party

of adventuresome gentlemen on the ship Hispaniola, to find the pirate

gold which, as they had private proof, lay buried on Treasure Island.

Unfortunately, the crew was largely composed of ruffians, who had

themselves been pirates, and who also knew of the buried treasure. On

reaching the island, these fellows mutinied and tried to kill brave

Captain Smollett and the party of gold-seekers. As their only means of

safety the latter went ashore and entrenched themselves in a stockade

which former visitors had built there; while the Hispaniola, anchored

in the harbor, fell into the hands of the pirates, who promptly

hoisted the black flag. One foggy night Jim, who was an adventurous

and inquisitive lad, secretly stole out from the stockade and found

hidden in a cove a tiny home-made boat, clumsy and queer. This boat

was "buoyant and clever in a sea-way, but the most cross-grained,

lopsided craft to manage. Turning round and round was the manoeuvre she

was best at." However, he managed to paddle out to the Hispaniola,

intending to cut her moorings. With some difficulty he accomplished

this design, but immediately a change of wind and current seized both

ship and coracle, and sent them spinning out through the narrows

towards open sea. Expecting to be dashed in pieces on some bar or in

the raging breakers, Jim lay down helpless, and overcome by weariness

and anxiety fell asleep. "The Cruise of the Coracle" begins at this


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