Chapter 7 Summary
It takes several weeks to prepare for the journey. Jim stays with Mr. Trelawney’s gardener, Redruth, while the adults make the plans. Jim spends his days daydreaming about the upcoming voyage, thinking of the island and the treasure he will find there. He imagines fights with “savages” and wild animals, but his wildest dreams are not nearly as “strange and tragic” as the adventures that he will actually face before his story ends.
One day Jim and Redruth receive a letter from Mr. Trelawney, who announces that he has bought a ship, the Hispaniola, and hired a crew. Everything is ready, and the voyage will begin as soon as Jim, Redruth, and Dr. Livesey arrive. Mr. Trelawney explains that he has had a great deal of help from people who are excited at the idea of finding buried treasure. Mr. Trelawney’s friend Blandley helped him buy the ship, and an old sailor named Long John Silver helped hire a crew. Years ago, Long John Silver lost a leg in service to his country, but still, he knows a great deal about running a ship. He will come along on the voyage and work as the cook.
Reading the letter, Jim gets a little worried. It is clear that Mr. Trelawney has been talking about the treasure, and his words may have reached Captain Flint’s old crew. The one-legged cook, Long John Silver, may well be the one-legged pirate old Billy used to fear.
Before leaving, Jim goes to the Admiral Benbow to visit his mother. Mr. Trelawney has paid to repair the place, so it is back in business. She has hired a boy to work for her in Jim’s absence. When Jim sees this boy, he realizes that he is not just going out on an adventure—he is also leaving his home behind.
In spite of his misgivings, Jim is eager to leave. He and Redruth travel to the city of Bristol, where Trelawney is waiting, in a horse drawn coach that carries the mail. Jim is squished uncomfortably between Redruth and another passenger, but he manages to sleep. By the time Redruth awakens him, it is already light, and the night’s journey is over.
Jim walks around Bristol, a port city in southeastern England, feeling that he is in “a delightful dream.” He is awed at the sight of so many sailors and ships—especially because he is planning to sail away in search of treasure. When he meets Trelawney, he learns that Dr. Livesey has also just arrived. Everything is going according to plan, and the journey will begin tomorrow.