Series: Classics retold
Squire Trelawney, Doctor Livesey and the other survivors of the expedition have asked me to write a full account of our adventure on Treasure Island. They’ve told me to hold nothing back except the island’s location, and to keep this secret only because there is more treasure buried in that cursed place. Nothing could persuade me to return to that island of terror, but perhaps my friends still dream of another voyage and further riches. So I begin, with the arrival of the old sailor at the inn my father owned, the Admiral Benbow, in a lonely bay on the English coast...
I remember the stranger as if it were yesterday. From my bedroom window I spotted a tall, thickset man plodding along the cliff path towards the inn. He was a sea dog, I guessed, sun-scorched and worn, with a greasy pigtail sprouting from under his peaked hat, trailing down a patched blue coat. As he came closer, I could see his huge hands, all ragged and scarred, the nails black with grime. A servant followed behind him, pushing a handcart loaded with an enormous, padlocked sea chest. But the stranger acted as though he was alone on the cliffs, whistling to himself and glancing around the cove. As he turned his head, I saw an old sword wound across his cheek, a livid white scar on his tanned skin.
Suddenly, he broke into a song, in a rasping voice broken by decades of storms and hard living at sea:
“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest -
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum...”
He rapped on the door of the inn with the heavy stick he was carrying and bellowed:
“Landlord, bring me rum.”
My father hurried out with a bottle and glass and the seaman sipped his drink slowly, lingering on every drop like a connoisseur.
“I like this cove,” he growled suddenly. “And I like your rum. Do you get much company round here?”
“Very little,” replied my father, “the more’s the pity.”
“But that’s just how I like it,” said the seaman, with a leer. “This is the right berth for me.”
He beckoned to his servant: “Take my chest in here, matey. I’m staying a while. Now, landlord,” he continued, addressing my father, “I’m a plain man, with simple needs. All I want is rum, a bed, bacon and eggs, and that cliff up there to keep a lookout for ships. You can call me Captain, and take my rent out of these.”
With a flick of his wrist he scattered a handful of gold coins across the threshold of the inn.
“Tell me when you want more,” the man snarled, bringing himself up to his full, fearsome height. “Bring the chest,” he shouted over his shoulder, snatching the bottle from my father and striding into our house.
An exciting retelling of the great adventure story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Clearly written in a modern, approachable style to introduce young readers to much-loved classic stories. Includes informative notes on both the author and the original text. Ideal for encouraging young readers to tackle classic stories.
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“Treasure Island (Classics Retold)”
Visit Usborne Quicklinks for links to websites where you can find out more about Robert Louis Stevenson, with fascinating facts about his life and his most famous stories.