Hands bobs up to the surface once, then sinks again, not to reappear. Once Jim is certain he’s dead, he begins to feel faint and frightened, sensing his own blood, and fearing his own fall into the water. He clings to the mast and shuts his eyes until he regains his composure. He can’t manage to pull out the knife, but as he shudders he frees himself from the knife, which had mostly pinned his clothing. He eases out of his shirt, and lowers himself to the deck.
Jim has used all the quick wits and courage at his disposal during the fight with the pirate, but only now, with the immediate danger behind him, does he fully recognize the major stakes of what he’s done. Still, he continues to be forced to find a way out of his predicaments alone, without the captain or other adults.
It turns out that Jim’s wound is not too deep, though painful. Jim sees O’Brien sprawled against the bulwarks. His latest adventure has rid him of his fear of the dead, so he grabs O’Brien and throws him overboard, where he lies next to Hands on the sea floor. Then Jim cuts the halyards (ropes) so that part of the mainsail is no longer underwater: loose canvas floats down to lie across the surface, but Jim can’t tug the downhall rope to move the mast any more, so he leaves it, trusting the Hispaniola to luck.
Earlier, Jim hadn’t wanted to throw the body overboard, and Hands was too superstitious to agree to do so. This latest adventure has made Jim more mature in that he understands that living beings are far more potentially dangerous than dead bodies. He’s also learned that in some affairs, it’s luck more than skill or ability that will determine an outcome.
A chill begins to sweep the shore, and Jim looks about him, wading ashore and congratulating himself on rescuing the ship for his men (despite his sneaky behavior). He hopes that even Captain Smollett might forgive him. In high spirits, he sets off for the log-house, passing by where he had met Ben Gunn. Suddenly the light of a moonbeam reaches him, lighting up the Spy-glass hill, and Jim hurries on, the moon climbing higher and higher.
As Jim reaches the shore, he remembers that he was never given permission to leave the camp, and he may well face consequences or at least disapproval—but he hopes that the rescue of the Hispaniola might be enough to make up for his immature behavior, and he’s confident enough in this possibility to renew his spirits.
Finally Jim reaches the borders of the clearing: it’s entirely silent. Beginning to fear that something has gone wrong, he crawls towards the house, and at the sound of snoring is relieved. He reaches the door, walks inside, and hits the leg of a man sleeping. Suddenly he hears a shrill voice shouting “Pieces of eight!”—it’s Silver’s parrot. With no time to run, Jim backs into a man, who grabs him and holds him while Silver has one of his men fetch a torch.
Although Jim has learned not to be overly trusting, here his guard slips, as he assumes he is about to find himself safely back with his friends. Then, however, Captain Flint (the parrot) once again signals the presence of the fearful pirate, and it turns out that Jim is the unlucky one this time.