After having learned of a secret treasure on an island, the district squire named Trelawney makes the proposition of taking Livesey as ship's doctor and Jim as the cabin boy, after the ship's departure and just before the island is sighted, Jim, who hides in an apple barrel, overhears Long John Silver talking with the other pirates as they plan a mutiny. Of course, he alerts the captain and others; so, knowing that they will be outnumbered, the men decide that they must feign ignorance of this nefarious plot and not do anything until after the treasure is located, at which time they may have the element of surprise on their sides to fight the pirates.
In Part III, "How I Began My Shore Adventure," Jim feels queasy as the anchored ship rocks violently because of the waves; he considers going ashore, but he senses something ominous,
perhaps it was the look of the island, with its gray, melancholy woods, and wild stone spires, and the surf that we could both see and hear foaming and thundering on the steep beach
Because the men are complaining and recalcitrant about obeying orders, Long John Silver tries to bolster their morale. The captain decides that shore leave may help their attitude, allowing Silver to shape them up on shore while he arms the men he can trust; six stay on board while thirteen disembark. At the last minute Jim decides to go ashore, but regrets it when Silver barks out, "Is that Jim." So, he quickly hides in a thicket of trees once they land. From there he hears voices and moves closer to hear.
Long John Silver argues with Alan, an honest man, who argues against mutiny, but he is shot. Then, another sailor named Tom tells Silver that what he is doing is wrong, and he will not be a part of it. When he walks away, Long John Silver hurls his crutch into the man's back, then quickly hops to the man, driving his knife into poor Tom. Witnessing this cruelty, Jim nearly faints; when he comes to his senses, he starts to flee.
As I did so, I could hear hails coming and going between the old buccaneer and his comrades, and this sound of danger lent me wings. As soon as I was clear of the thicket, I ran as I never ran before....
As he flees, Jim runs upon a strange man who leaps and bounds around him, hiding then appearing, until finally he approaches Jim, saying his name is Benjamin Gunn, who has been marooned for three years. He has fashioned a small boat and says he will aid Jim if he can be promised safe passage back to his home. Gunn asks Jim who the other men on the island are, and tells Jim he knows Silver. He was left by other sailors when they could not find Flint's treasure after returning for it; during his three years, however, he has found the treasure and will share it if the captain will help him.