Jim goes to check on the captain, who tells him how grateful he is for the boy’s loyalty, and asks him for just a bit of rum, despite what the doctor said. He claims he’s lived on rum and one glass won’t hurt. Seeing how agitated he’s become, Jim says he’ll get him just one glass.
The captain has attempted to bring Jim into his confidence, and now he tries to use that relationship to his advantage in order to get what he wants. Jim is not exactly loyal to the captain, but he does feel pity for him.
The captain drinks the rum in one swallow, then tries to get up but falls back down. He tells Jim that Black Dog was after his old sea chest. The captain says that if he ever gets the “black spot,” Jim should tell Livesey to find a crew and follow the instructions in the chest: the captain then says he was once first mate of the pirate Flint.
Although the captain must know that Livesey has little regard for him, here it seems that given Black Dog’s plotting, he’d rather someone else entirely find whatever it is the instructions imply.
That evening, Jim’s father dies suddenly, so Jim doesn’t have time to think about the captain. The captain never does seem to regain his strength, though his temper grows even more violent, even while he also becomes more absent-minded and lost in thought.
Jim’s father has not played a major role thus far, but now Jim is left entirely without a male authority figure—and the captain is not exactly a proper replacement.
The day after the funeral, a blind man with an eye patch comes up the road, calling out and asking where he is. Jim says he’s at the Admiral Benbow in Black Hill Cove, and leads him inside, before the man asks to lead him to the captain. Jim begins to say that the captain is too weak, but he is soon scared by the man’s cold, cruel-sounding rebuke, and leads him to the captain, whose face grows pale when he sees him.
Yet another mysterious character now shows up at the Admiral Benbow—the captain seems to draw all these figures to him, though now we know it may be his sea chest that proves so alluring. Jim has become a bit protective of the captain, almost as if the captain is the child.
The man slips something into the captain’s hand and then quite nimbly races out of the house and back down the road. The captain opens his hand, cries, “Ten o’clock,” which is six hours from that moment, and then falls to the floor, dead of apoplexy (internal bleeding from another stroke). Jim bursts into tears, even though he had always found the captain disturbing.
The captain’s second fit is, as the doctor has warned, fatal to him. Even as he dies, the mysteries surrounding him are only increasing. This is the first of only several times that Jim cries, reminding us that he is only a boy though thrust into adult circumstances.