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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTER 29: The Black Spot Again
One of the buccaneers shows up later to borrow the light. Silver, by this time, has started talking to Jim in a friendly tone. Jim sees the group of buccaneers proceeding towards the stockade. Unlike Jim, Silver is hardly concerned. When the door opens, one of the men is pushed ahead to hand over a piece of paper to Silver. It's the Black Spot again. Silver condemns their act, as he recognizes the paper as having been cut out of a bible. He taunts Dick for doing this. At this, George is furious and asks Silver to do his part of his duty by reading it. He asks Silver to step down from his position for a common note. In the heated conversation that followed, Silver is accused of releasing the prisoners and saving the life of Jim.
Now it is Silver's turn to lash out at their arguments and prove his superiority. He answers their arguments one by one. Firstly, he accuses Anderson, Hands, George and Davy Jones for crossing him. He goes on to tell them that they will be better off as tailors than sailors. As for Jim, he says he is a hostage and killing him would be a waste. He reminds them about the consort. He also reminds them that he was the one who bargained for food without which they would have been, by now, crawling on the floor.
Much to their surprise, he then throws the original treasure map in front of them. The men are dumb founded. Silver gives a final warning to George and asks him to shut his mouth if he wants to live. To prove his supremacy once again, Silver asks who the Captain is.
Silver throws the piece of paper to Jim. The paper contains two verses of the Bible. This is blackened with wood ash which soiled out as Jim took it in his hand. `Deposed' was written on the blank side. Jim is unable to comprehend any thing. That ends the night's activity. Jim lies down admiring the remarkable tactics Silver used to control the mutineers and save his life.
The atmosphere inside the stockade had changed drastically. Jim and Silver are alone. A buccaneer comes in and borrows the torch and they are now stranded in the dark. Silver by now adopts a friendly tone while conversing with Jim. The reader may remember that both of them had agreed to stick together and Silver is now on the Squire's side.
Jim turns restless as he can't see what the other men are doing, so he peeps out through the peep-hole. Though Jim can see the men discussing things with each other he is not able to guess their next move. The only thing he notices is the men are armed. When the men proceed towards the stockade Jim is terrified. They enter the room and one of them hands over a piece of paper to Silver. When he looks at it Jim hears a familiar term from Silver- 'The Black Spot'. It was Billy Bones who, the reader may remember, had mentioned the term for the first time.
Silver is furious when he finds out that the piece of paper is cut out from the Bible and tells the man who tore it- Dick - that he will have a curse on him for doing so. Silver, like all pirates is obviously superstitious. However, Silver is opposed by his men. They are on the verge of rebelling against him. Silver counters all the misgivings of his men, giving valid reasons. He accuses Hands, George, and others of double-crossing him. As for Jim, he says that he is held as a hostage. He reminds them of the deal whereby a doctor came to attend to them. He also reminds them of the consort that is expected to arrive and of the bargain with the doctor for food.
Saying this, to the great surprise of the men, he chucks a paper on floor. It's the original map of the treasure island. Jim wonders how it has got into the hands of Silver. They learn that it is the original map of Flint. Silver reconfirms his position as the Captain. At the end of the day, Jim lies down admiring Silver's commander, but what Jim admires most in Silver is his calm and composed nature even during worst times.