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Treasure Island. 6: The stockade and the pirates attack

Treasure Island. 6: The stockade and the pirates attack

The pirates are advancing on a wooden stockade where the Squire and the others have taken shelter. Jim races down the hillside and bangs on the door of the stockade.

Jim is admitted to the stockade just before the pirates arrive, guns blazing.

It turns out the stockade was built by Captain Flint at the time of burying the treasure horde. The Squire and the others have been able to make use of the guns stored there and the initial pirate attack is repelled.

Later Long John Silver arrives at the stockade, holding a flag of truce. He is admitted to the stockade and the others listen to his terms: Silver wants the treasure and he means to have it; if they will give him the treasure map he will spare their lives.

Silver is expelled from the stockade his terms rejected. Immediately the pirates launch another attack and at the end of the battle crew members on both sides have been killed and Captain Smollet has been badly wounded.

Treasure Island - supporting resources:

  1. Teacher's Notes (3.1 MB)
  2. Treasure Island - text of Part 6 to print

Treasure Island - text of Part 6

Narrator: On Treasure Island you might be forgiven for thinking a war was taking place. Anchored in the bay, the Hispaniola is firing her cannon deep into the woods. And through the trees, the pirates advance, muskets blazing. Oblivious to the danger, young Jim Hawkins races through the undergrowth heading for the Union Jack that flies bravely atop the trees. When he gets there, it’s a relief to find there’s shelter. A tall wooden stockade stands in a clearing – and inside it, his old friends Squire Trelawney, Doctor Livesey, Captain Smollet and a handful of faithful sailors, are fending off a full-blown attack from the pirates.

Jim: Doctor! Squire! Captain! Let down the drawbridge! It’s me!

Dr Livesey: Quickly, men, let the boy in!

Squire: Jim – we thought we’d lost you!

Hunter: Happen as still might unless we keep them muskets firing.

Squire: Ah, yes, good thinking my man. Repel the blackguards! A sovereign for every man we put down!

Narrator: But the pirates give up the fight - for now. Jim and the others exchange news. It turns out that the stockade they’re in was built many years ago by Captain Flint as a stronghold if ever he should be attacked. Squire Trelawney and the others just beat Silver and the pirates to it – though they lost a couple of good men in so doing. They managed to salvage enough guns, ammunition and food from the ship to keep them going for a couple of weeks but not much more.

Jim: So - we're still outnumbered.

Captain Smollet: Ay The laddy's right.

Hunter: Who goes there? Stand or we fire!

Silver: Flag of truce!

Dr Livesey: What do you want with your flag of truce?

Silver: Cap’n Silver, sir, to come on board and make terms.

Captain Smollet: Cap’n Silver! Never heard of him. Who’s he?

Silver: Me, sir. These poor lads have chosen me to be their cap’n, after your...desertion...sir.

Captain Smollet: Ha! Desertion! I’ll show you desertion!

Doctor Livesey: Smollet! Smollet. We’ll hear you, Silver. But just you mind, now.

Silver: Why thankee, sir. I knew you were a reasonable gent.

Narrator: Captain Smollet and Long John Silver face each other sullenly. Each man sits and lights a pipe. Neither speaks until...

Silver: So here we are all together like a happy family, in a manner of speaking.

Captain Smollet: If you have anything to say, man, say it and be off with you.

Narrator: So Silver lays down his terms. He wants the treasure – and he means to have it. But he needs the map to find it. So if they’ll just give him the map, he promises to let them be and not to kill them all.

Silver: A handsomer deal you couldn’t look to get now, could you?

Narrator: Silver smiles. But Smollet’s face is dark. He in turn makes Silver an offer.

Captain Smollet: Give yourselves up now, and I'll make sure you get a fair trial back home. That – or die here on the island. Now off with you mister Silver before you get a bullet in your back!

Narrator: Silver's face darkened and his eyes grow cold.

Silver: Give me a hand up!

Narrator: The Captain turns his back.

Silver: Who'll give me a hand up?

Narrator: Not a man moves to help him. Silver has no choice. He crawls along the sand till he can grab hold of the porch and then hoists himself up against his crutch. Jim holds his breath. Jim holds his breath.

Silver: That’s what I think of ye! Laugh by thunder, laugh! Before an hour’s out I’ll stove in your old block-house like a rum-puncheon! Them that die’ll be the lucky ones!

Narrator: And off he stumbles into the trees.

Squire: Well said Smollet! That’ll take the wind out of his sails.

Jim: I’m not sure, sir - Isn’t that the pirates now...?

Narrator: And before they can say another word there’s the scream of cannon ball and the crack of musket ball and the wild swearing of blood-thirsty pirates as Silver’s men hurl themselves upon the stockade.

The fight is long and gruelling – and when it’s over, five more pirates lie dead; the rest are scattered. Smollet is badly wounded and two more loyal sailors are dead too.

Exhausted, Jim, the Squire and Doctor Livesey settle down for a grim and fearful night. Whilst, up on the hill above the stockade, mad Ben Gunn sniffs the air, listens to the island's night time noises and begins to plot his revenge.

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