In Treasure Island, why does the doctor consider rum and the climate to be their allies?

The doctor in Treasure Island considers rum and the climate to be their allies, as they will severely weaken the pirates and impair their ability to fight. The rum will get them drunk, and the fact that they're camped in the marsh, without medicine, will guarantee that most of them will get sick.

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Jim Hawkins has just come back from a reconnaissance mission and has discovered a group of drunken pirates rampaging around the beach and smashing things up.

In the meantime, the other men in his group are getting ready to hunker down in the stockade for a potentially long and bloody...

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Jim Hawkins has just come back from a reconnaissance mission and has discovered a group of drunken pirates rampaging around the beach and smashing things up.

In the meantime, the other men in his group are getting ready to hunker down in the stockade for a potentially long and bloody skirmish with the pirates, even though they're not in the best of shape. Tom Redruth is dead, stores are running low, and many of the men are injured. Overall, it's not looking good.

Even so, the men are determined to see off the pirates. The plan is to engage them in battle until they either surrender or sail off in the Hispaniola. It's a bold plan, to be sure, and unlikely to work, but Jim and his mates have a couple of able allies on their side: rum and climate.

Rum is an ally because it will make the pirates drunk. When Jim saw them earlier, they were already in an advanced stage of intoxication. Inevitably, their penchant for a drop or three of the hard stuff will severely impair their fighting ability.

The second ally, climate, will be even more helpful to Jim and the men. The doctor is certain—in fact, he's prepared to stake his wig on the claim—that because the pirates are camped out in a marsh and have no medicine, half of them will get sick before the week is out. Then they'll be in no shape to fight.

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