Chapter 27 Summary
The beached ships leans out over the water. Jim is stuck on top of the mast, his injured shoulder pinned to the wood with a knife. He watches Hands’s body sink in the waves. For a long time, Jim thinks he is going to fall as well. He clings to the mast, afraid to move or pull the knife out.
After a while, Jim recovers his courage. He tries to pull out the knife and discovers that the wound is not deep; only a small flap of skin is pinned to the wood. He frees himself and climbs down into the ship. He binds his wound, pushes the red-capped man's body into the water, and lowers the smaller sails onto the deck. The main sail is too big for Jim to move, and it is dipping into the water. Unsure what else to do, he cuts it loose and leaves it lying on the surface of the waves.
Leaving the Hispaniola, Jim wades to shore. When he gets to land, he takes off running, imagining the looks on his friends’ faces when he tells them what he has done. As he passes the area where he met Ben Gunn, he slows down. He sees a fire and feels confused. Why would Ben burn such a bright campfire when the pirates are still lurking nearby? Jim does not stop to find out. Helped by the moonlight, he makes his way onward to the stockade.
When Jim comes to the stockade, he sees a huge bonfire burning in the yard. This is also confusing because the captain normally insists that his men conserve their firewood. Jim sneaks around, looking for signs of danger, careful not to scare his friends into shooting him by mistake. He creeps safely toward the door, feeling a bit surprised when the man on watch fails to notice him.
Inside the bunkhouse, Jim decides to sneak to his bed and let his friends discover him there in the morning. As he tiptoes farther into the room, he accidentally steps on a man’s leg. The man grunts awake, and a voice begins shouting, “Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!”
Jim freezes. He recognizes this voice. It belongs to Long John Silver’s parrot, Captain Flint. The stockade has changed hands in Jim’s absence, and he has walked straight into the company of pirates. He tries to run, but the pirates grab him and hold on tight.