Chapter 5 Summary

Jim is terrified of the pirates, but he is also curious about what they will do. He climbs out of his hiding place and, concealing himself in fog and bushes, watches as eight or nine men approach the Admiral Benbow. Among them is the blind man who brought Billy the summons. The other men call him Pew and treat him as their leader. He orders some of them to enter the inn while he waits outside.

Moments later, one of the men shouts out the window that Bill is dead. Pew swears at him for stopping work to talk about this unimportant event. He commands the men to search Bill’s body and open the sea-chest. Soon one of the men throws open an upstairs window so hard he breaks it. He shouts that the chest has already been opened and searched. He says the money is there, but the object they came for is gone.

Guessing that Jim was responsible for opening the chest, Pew tells everyone to search for the boy. Jim hears the men tearing through the inn, but then they hear two whistles from a boat down on the water. It turns out that the whistles are meant to warn them of approaching danger. Frightened, most of the men stop their search. Pew swears at them and calls them cowards for giving up so easily.

The sound of hooves comes from the road. The men run away, all except Pew, who has nobody left to show him which way to go. He runs up the road toward Jim, not realizing that he is heading straight for the approaching horses. The riders do not see Pew in the fog, and he gets trampled to death.

Now that Pew is no longer a threat, Jim jumps out of his hiding place and calls out to the riders. They are a group of tax collectors brought by the boy who was supposed to get Dr. Livesey. Jim is glad that they came; otherwise, he and his mother would surely have been found and killed. The men take Jim back to the inn, where he sees that the whole place is smashed up.

The supervisor of Jim’s rescuers, a man named Mr. Dance, asks Jim what the pirates wanted. Jim says that they must have wanted the little pack of papers wrapped in cloth that he has in his pocket. Mr. Dance offers to take the packet to keep it safe, but Jim wants to take it to Dr. Livesey. This is appropriate because the doctor is also a magistrate, a public leader for the village and its surroundings. Mr. Dance offers to accompany Jim on this errand, and they set out right away.