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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTER 19: Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins - The Garrison in the Stockade
Jim resumes the narration by telling how Ben Gunn was happy to see the Union Jack fluttering on top of the stockade. He tells Jim that his friends are in control of the stockade. Ben Gunn doesn't join Jim, instead he asks Jim to first talk to them about his demand he mentioned earlier and come back to him where Jim found him first.
Their conversation comes to a halt when a cannonball lands ten yards away from them. Jim moves carefully towards the stockade. From the thicket Jim could see the Hispaniola. The black flag of the pirates-the Jolly Roger now fluttering on the mast. Jim lies there for some time observing the destruction the pirates had done to the island. He hears the pirates yelling loudly in a highly spirited mood.
Jim makes it to the stockade. He is welcomed warmly by the crew. Jim tells them what has happened since he has been on the island. Captain Smollet issues orders for everyone to proceed with their activities. Everybody is given a task. Two are sent to fetch firewood. Two more to dig a grave for Redruth; the doctor serves as the cook and Jim is appointed as a sentry. The doctor, while cooking, often comes to the door for a breath of fresh air. He inquires about Ben Gunn during these relaxing moments. After learning Ben Gunn's craving for cheese, he keeps aside his Parmesan cheese, which he always carried in his snuff box, for Ben.
They bury Redruth. The food was cooked. After supper the three leaders sit down to discuss their future plan of action. They can hear the sounds of the pirates who are just half a mile away. Jim dozes off after a long hard day. He is awakened when he hears Silver shout 'the flag of truce'. It is another day on the island.
Ben Gunn's character is further developed by Stevenson. In this chapter, he doesn't go to the stockade with Jim but he tells Jim to get back to him if his friends agree to his proposition. He is delighted to see the Union Jack flying above the stockade. Their conversation stops when a cannonball lands next to them.
Stevenson portrays the character of Ben Gunn as a person who is careful and suspicious. His experiences with different sailors provide him with enough reason for the reader to understand.
As Jim makes his every way back to the ship he is exposed to constant bombardment of cannonballs from the Hispaniola. Jim notices the pirate flag Jolly Rogers flying on its peak. The ship is now under the control of the mutineers. When Jim reaches the stockade, he narrates his experience on the island. The fact that they are one man short comes to his notice. Jim says that the events of the day could have put everyone in a bad mood had it not been for Captain Smollet. He distributes work among the new members. Everybody, including the doctor admires Captain Smollet for his objectiveness and his enthusiasm.
The doctor's asks about Ben Gunn. When he finds out that he is craving for a pick of cheese, the doctor promises him some. This is indicative of his generosity. The doctor's character as a caring human which is a prerequisite for his profession, comes to fore.
Later on, they have supper and Jim finds the three men - Captain Smollet, Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawny discussing their plan of action. Their anxiety is evident.
As Jim has had a hard day, he sleeps. His need for rest while the others discuss plans reminds the reader that the protagonist is still a child. He awakes suddenly when Long John Silver calls out for a truce. This entire adventure has been a learning process for Jim. This particular episode will teach Jim a new lesson about life.
Long Johnís move surprises Jim, for he doesnít understand what the leader of the mutineers has in mind. Neither does the reader.