The death of Tom Redruth is one of the most emotional moments in Treasure Island. Squire Trelawney, who was cool and collected during the fighting, bursts into tears and begs Tom's forgiveness. Dr. Livesey, more reserved in his feelings, tells Redruth that he is going home. Captain Smollett's reaction is similar to the doctor's. He behaves with respect and compassion but has the attitude of a man who has often seen death before, and he refuses to allow it to interfere with his duty.
The captain covers Tom's body with a flag and then attempts to comfort the squire, telling him that they need not fear for the soul of a man who died in the line of duty. Moments later, however, he is pragmatically remarking to Dr. Livesey that their stores are running so low that they may be better off without an extra mouth to feed.
Later, Smollett records Redruth's death meticulously in his logbook. When there is a danger of the men sinking into despondency, the captain allots various tasks to them, including that of digging a grave for Tom. As always, he is depicted as a man who is a commander first and foremost and does not allow any emotion to interfere with his effectiveness in this capacity.