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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTER 5: The Last Of The Blind Man
The curiosity of Jim prevails even in these testing times. Hiding behind bushes, Jim sees seven or eight men running towards the Inn. Jim spots the blind beggar who orders the men to break down the door to get inside. When the marauders find Bill dead and the sea chest already opened and cleared of its treasure, the beggar concludes that Jim is responsible and must be nearby. He tells his men to find Jim and his mother and to destroy the Inn.
A whistling sound is heard, like the one Jim and his mother had heard earlier, upon hearing it, the men stop their activity and quickly prepare to leave. Pew, the blind beggar, tries to entice them to stay with the treasure that is awaiting them. This doesn't work and much to the relief of Jim they start quarreling amongst themselves. The men hear the sound of four or five horse riders approaching, then coming into sight in full gallop. The men abandon Pew and run away. Even with his handicap, the blind man also tries his best to save himself, but he was trampled by the horses and drops dead.
Jim and his mother are saved and are relieved to find Supervisor Dance and his revenue officers making their appearance just in time. With a hope of tracking some men who were stationed at Kitt's hole, Mr. Dance goes back, only find that they have already left.
Proud that he has captured Pew, Mr. Dance returns with Jim to the ruined inn. He asks Jim what the men were after, Jim tells him that the secret is safe in his pocket and that he would like to hand it over to Dr. Livesey. Accepting Jim's decision, without any argument, Mr. Dance offers him a ride to Dr. Livesey. After telling his mother where he is going, Jim is taken to Dr. Livesay's house by one of Mr. Dance's men.
The author develops Jim's character while creating drama and tension in the plot. In this chapter Jim is introduced to some high and low points in life. While hiding behind the bush, Jim witnesses his Inn being ransacked by Pew's men. He feels helpless that he cannot save the Inn which his father built. The conversation between blind man Pew and his men makes the reader aware that Jim is in possession of a valuable secret. When the blind man rightly concludes that Jim and his mother wouldn't have gone far, he issues an order to look for them. Jim almost feels defeated. Here Stevenson reminds the reader that although Jim is presented as a mature boy, he still has some boyish characteristics.
When Supervisor Dance and revenue officers come to their help just in time, Jim is delighted at the second life he gets.
When he returns to the Inn, Jim finds out that it is destroyed. Instead of collapsing at this juncture, Jim maintains his composure and tells the superior about his secret possession to be handed over to Dr. Livesey, without offending Mr. Dance, who saved his life.