Chapter 34 Summary
The next morning, Jim and his friends get up early and begin loading the treasure onto the Hispaniola. The pile of gold is so enormous that it takes several days to carry it all to shore and ferry it to the ship. During this period, Jim and his friends occasionally hear the three remaining pirates shouting in drunkenness or shooting muskets at goats. The doctor posts a sentry to keep watch, but the pirates never attack. It seems they are tired of fighting.
After careful discussion, it is decided that the pirates must be marooned on Treasure Island. Nobody has the strength to fight anymore, and nobody is willing to risk another mutiny. Long John Silver, in particular, argues that his former crew cannot be trusted—not that anyone respects Silver’s opinion anymore.
Silver works hard and behaves just the same as the men who were loyal to the captain throughout the adventure. However, everyone despises him and wastes no chance to tell him so. When people insult him, Silver remains silent. Only Ben Gunn and Jim refrain from abusing him. Ben is scared of Silver, and Jim has “something to thank him for.”
Just before leaving the island, Jim and his friends put as many supplies as they can in Ben Gunn’s cave for the benefit of the three men they are leaving behind. Still, everyone feels terrible as they sail away. The three pirates come to shore and beg to be brought home. The doctor tells them about the supplies, but the men just weep and blubber. Then, when they are finally convinced that they are not going to get a ride home, one of them shoots his musket at the Hispaniola. After that, Jim and his companions duck their heads below the bulwarks until they are well out of range.
The Hispaniola makes a rough trip to a South American port, where they replenish their supplies and hire a full crew. There, Long John Silver steals a bag of gold and slips away. Nobody is exactly happy that they do not get a chance to bring him to justice, but they are all glad to be rid of him “so cheaply.”
After the stop in South America, the journey home goes smoothly. When they arrive in Bristol, Jim and the men divide the treasure and go their separate ways. Each man spends his share “wisely or foolishly, according to [their] natures.” Captain Smollett retires, and Abe Gray gets an education. Ben Gunn, meanwhile, spends all of his money in nineteen days and ends up a poor working man.
None of Jim’s companions ever hears from Long John Silver again. As for Treasure Island, it still holds a store of weapons and a supply of Captain Flint’s bar silver. But as the story ends, Jim Hawkins declares that he never plans to go back and retrieve any more wealth from “that accursed island.”