Chapter 16 Summary

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At this point, the story leaves Jim Hawkins behind for a little while. Dr. Livesey takes over the narration and explains what happens on the Hispaniola while Jim is gone.

The captain strongly considers launching an attack on the six mutineers who are still on board the ship. His men would probably win because they control the weapons and because they have the advantage of surprise. However, there is no wind, so the captain’s men have no chance of sailing away after their victory. Also, Captain Smollett and his friends soon learn that Jim Hawkins has left the ship. They cannot leave Jim behind, so they watch and wait instead.

After a while, Dr. Livesey and one of Mr. Trelawney’s friends, Hunter, go ashore to explore. They find a stockade, probably built by Captain Flint. This is a low house on top of a hill, with the land around it cleared of any bushes that might provide cover for attackers. There is a tall fence around the compound, and there are plenty of holes in the walls of the house so that the people inside can shoot muskets from positions of relative safety. Dr. Livesey is particularly pleased to see a small spring filled with fresh drinking water nearby. He immediately decides to move his friends to the spot.

Just as Dr. Livesey makes this decision, he hears the cry of Alan, the first man who gets murdered by the mutineers. The doctor thinks he is hearing Jim’s murder, but he refuses to allow himself to succumb to his grief and fear. As a doctor, he has plenty of experience making decisions during times of death. He sticks to his decision to move to the stockade, and he immediately puts the plan into action.

Dr. Livesey goes back to the Hispaniola and explains his plan. The first thing the captain’s men do is subdue the six mutineers on board. The mutineers are unarmed, so the captain and Mr. Trelawney threaten them with pistols. To avoid getting shot, the mutineers decide to wait quietly in the cabin. Meanwhile, the doctor and a couple of other loyal men load a boat with weapons and food. They take these supplies to shore and carry them to the stockade.

Dr. Livesey leaves a man in the stockade with six loaded muskets and goes back to get the captain and another load of food and weapons. They do not have time to carry a third load, so they sink all of the remaining weapons and ammunition to the bottom of the sea. This will prevent Long John Silver and the other mutineers from using them.

Before leaving the Hispaniola, Captain Smollett shouts through the doorway of the room where the six mutineers are sitting. He offers them a chance to come over and fight for the right side. There is the sound of a scuffle, and then one man, Abraham Gray, emerges. He has a cut on his cheek, but he is otherwise unharmed. “I’m with you, sir,” he says to Captain Smollett.

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