Chapter 25 Summary
Jim climbs aboard the Hispaniola. The jib, which is swinging free, almost knocks him right back out again. Jim falls to his hands and knees and crawls around the deck, checking for pirates. He sees two of them, Israel Hands and a man in a red cap, sprawled on the deck, surrounded by spattered blood. At first Jim thinks both men are dead, but soon Hands wakes up and asks weakly for brandy.
The injured pirate does not seem to be a threat, so Jim makes his way downstairs into the cabin. Much of the furniture is broken, and mud from the island’s marshes is caked on the floors and walls. The doctor’s books are torn up, their pages probably used to light pipes.
When Jim goes into the cellar, he sees that the pirates have drunk most of the ale and liquor. Amazed at how much they have consumed, he guesses that none of them has been sober for five minutes since the mutiny. He grabs a bottle with a little brandy left in it, as well as some food for himself. Then he makes his way back up to the deck, where he stops for a long drink of water.
Next Jim delivers the brandy. Hands drinks some and then says that the man in the red cap is dead. He, Hands, is only wounded. He would be perfectly fine if the doctor were still on board. “I don’t have no manner of luck,” he says, but Jim is unable to feel pity for a man who helped stage a mutiny.
Hands is in no shape to fight, so Jim cheerfully announces that he is taking over as ship’s captain until Captain Smollett can return. Jim’s first action in his new role is to take the Jolly Roger off the flagpole. He does not have a British flag, so he simply throws the pirate’s flag into the sea and yells, “God save the King!”
Jim wants to beach the ship on a safe spot he knows on Treasure Island's north side, but Hands points out that Jim does not know how to sail. The two of them make a deal: Hands agrees to give Jim advice about what to do, in exchange for food, drink, and a bandage for his wound.
Jim is pleased with himself for taking the Hispaniola back for the captain. He has been feeling a bit guilty about running off on his own, but he knows he will be forgiven after this success. The weather is beautiful, and the breeze is blowing in the right direction. Everything seems perfect.
Israel Hands, for his part, looks much stronger after he eats a bit and bandages his wound. He watches Jim work at sailing the ship, a small smile on his face, clearly planning some kind of pirate mischief.