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Free Study Guide-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER 32: The Treasure Hunt - The Voice among the Trees


The men are exhausted by the time they reach the plateau. So they rest for a while. Talking in soft tones they discuss Flint and his men. Suddenly from the middle of the trees, the famous song of Billy Bones are heard.

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

Jim says, he had never seen the six men more terrified. The song stops. Silver tries to recognize the voice. Once again the voice breaks out. This time, instead of the song it says "Darby McGrow". Dick takes out his Bible and starts praying. But Silver is still not disturbed. He says that he is here to get the seven hundred thousand pounds from the Island and that he shall get it. This doesn't charge up this crew. Morgan feels that it is the spirit's voice and stops Silver from crossing it. Silver reasons out that spirit's voice doesn't echo and that it is human. Nudging his memory, Silver cries out that its Ben Gunn. Soon they are back in their original spirits. Without minding the presence of Ben Gunn, they proceed towards the treasure. Dick is still terrified and Silver's taunt terrifies him more.

They reach the first of the tall trees and then the second and the third. Jim says the only thing that kept them going was the thought of the seven hundred thousand pounds. Finally they reach the edge of the thicket. Overjoyed, they shout `huzza'. All of a sudden Silver increases his pace. Jim follows him. They stop when they see the most unexpected sight.

The treasure has gone. It has already been excavated and the only thing that is left is the nameplate of Flint's ship - WALRUS.


The men are tired when they ascend the slopes. They sit down to rest and start talking about Flint. Silver as usual, is in control of the conversation. Their conversation had taken a lower tone after they had found the skeleton.

Then a terrifying incident occurs. From the middle of trees, they hear a voice singing the famous Billy Bones' song. Suddenly it stops. Then it is heard again. The pirates are sure that it is sign of evil spirits.

Silver in the meanwhile recognizes the voice as Ben Gunn's. Once confirmed that it is the voice of a Man, the men are no longer terrified. The only thing that keeps them going is the thought of getting rich, their high spirits are portrayed when they shout.

As they reach the edge of the thicket, Stevenson adds an unbelievable twist to the whole plot. The Treasure has gone. All the promises, dreams and expectations are shattered by the promises made by Silver. The world for the pirates has come to an end. The only thing they find, is the name board of Flint's ship - Walrus. Nothing can be more disappointing. All their efforts, their hard work has been paid off in the most unexpected way. Silver's position as a leader is now in jeopardy.

CHAPTER 33: The Fall of a Chieftain


The world had come to an end for the pirates. The treasure for which they had sailed all the way has gone. Silver is quick to recall to this. He passes a double barrel pistol to Jim. He asks Jim to get into cover and cautions Jim. Jim hears the buccaneers saying that Silver had changed sides again.

The pirates dig the pit to see if they can find the already unearthed treasure. Morgan finds two gold guineas. Merry holds it aloft pointing it at Silver asking him if it is the seven hundred thousand pounds he had promised.

Silver, unperturbed by his taunt, asks them to dig hard to find some pig-nuts. He asks if George is again attempting to Captain the crew. But by now the crew is against Silver. George Merry gets ready to make a speech.

He slowly raises his arm to signal an attack on Silver when three bullet shots from the thicket hit him. His men flee for life. Silver gives the final touches to the body as he empties two barrels of pistol into the fallen man. The Doctor, Gray and Ben Gunn appears from the thicket. They think that the other pirates had fled towards the boat. Dr. Livesey and the gang follow. Silver keeps pace with them. They slow down when they find out that the men are not running towards the boat.

The Doctor narrates the story of Ben Gunn finding the treasure long ago and that it was safe. He tells them that he had traded the map only after he met Ben Gunn.

Silver thanks his stars to have Jim by his side. Failing which, the Doctor accepts, he would have been dead. When they reach the sea, they get in a gig boat and make their way to the North Dulet. They see the Squire standing by Ben Gunn. When they reach the north inlet, they see the Hispaniola cruising by herself. Gray handles the ship alone and after pulling it over to Ben Gunn's cave, guarded it the whole night.

They enter the cave. Captain Smollet is lying beside the fire and the light from the blaze flickers the pile of Flint's treasure. Jim is dumbstruck to see the amount of wealth accumulated in the form of gold bars and coins. The Captain welcomes Jim. Silver is asked what he was up to this time, to which he promptly replies that he is back to his old duty.

They sit down and have supper. Jim recalls this moment as the happiest one he has had in the whole journey.


This chapter starts with Silver getting into the attacking position to defend himself and Jim. The treasure has gone. The men are disappointed and furious. Knowing their mind set and temperament, they would surely kill Silver and Jim. As Silver's behavior towards Jim has already made them suspicious, Silver expects the worst from them. He passes a double barrel pistol to Jim and points to a safe corner. Just as Silver suspected, the buccaneers are heard saying that he has changed sides and has cheated them.

The buccaneers leap into the pit to search for the treasure. They start digging even though they know that it is of no use. Morgan finds a piece of gold. They pass it on to everybody in the gang. When Morgan gets it he asks Silver sarcastically if it were the seven hundred thousand pounds they were made to dream about. Silver as always is undisturbed and replies to them in the same tone. He asks them to try hard to find some pig-nuts. When he questions Merry if he is exercising his old tactics to Captain the crew, the readers are able to conclude that Silver is on the defensive.

When George goes on to make a speech and signals to the mutineers by raising his hand, three bullet shots from the bushes hit him and another man. As the situation suddenly takes a twist, the mutineers flee.

Silver takes his revenge on George and shoots him. The men from the thicket Dr. Livesey, Abraham Gray and Ben Gunn appear on the scene suspecting that the buccaneers may take off with their boats. The Doctor and his men follow them. Silver tries to keep pace with them as he is one of them now. They stop when they find out that the buccaneers are not after the gigs. This is an exciting finish to the treasure hunt.

As the day ends they sit down and have supper. Jim finds this moment as the happiest moment of the voyage. Victory ultimately crowns the just. This seems to be the message Stevenson has for all his readers

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