Treasure Island | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Treasure Island | Part 5, Chapter 24 : My Sea Adventure (The Cruise of the Coracle) | Summary



It is broad daylight when Jim awakens to find he and the coracle are bobbing along the southwest end of Treasure Island. Knowing the best chance he has of beaching his boat lies to the north, he lets the current carry the craft.

As the craft draws near a promontory where Jim might safely get ashore, he spots the Hispaniola not half a mile away. The schooner seems to be sailing unmanned on a wild, erratic course. Jim is struck by the idea that he might overtake her. Carefully paddling the coracle, Jim chases the unguided Hispaniola. As soon as he is in reach of the schooner's jib boom, he leaps and clings to it, as the coracle disappears beneath the ship's bow.


Fate seems to have intervened yet again. Instead of being broken to bits by heavy sea waves, the coracle is bobbing nicely along the coast, and Jim is safe. Even so, he cannot resist giving in to another impulse. This time, he is driven in part by self-interest (thirst), but also by the nobler thought of returning the Hispaniola to her captain. He is making another self-directed decision and trying to do the right thing.

It is interesting to note that Jim thinks of returning the ship to Captain Smollett, and not to Squire Trelawney, the rightful owner, reflecting his altered view of the captain and respect for his authority.

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