The group heads towards the ship, the Hispaniola, and they greet the mate, Mr. Arrow, as well as a sharp, angry-looking man, Captain Smollett. Smollett declares that he doesn’t like the trip, the men, or the officer. In response to Dr. Livesey’s questions, he says that everyone seems to know more than he does about where they’re going and what they’re after.
While Jim’s first impression of Silver was of a good-natured, kindly man, Captain Smollett is immediately introduced as mean-tempered and stubborn. He does, though, have his own suspicions about secrets that are being kept from him.
Smollett has overheard talk of treasure, which doesn’t please him, and he is upset at not having a role in choosing the crew. Mr. Arrow is also too familiar with the crew, he adds. He suggests a number of changes he’d like, and the squire agrees cheerfully.
A hunt after treasure, in the book, seems sometimes and to certain characters like a fools’ errand. But the squire is undeterred by the captain’s doubts.
Then Captain Smollett says he’s heard that they have a map of the island where the treasure chest’s location is marked. The squire cries that he never told anyone about this: Jim knows that he is a blabber, and yet in this case still believes him. In any case, it remains a mystery. The doctor declares that Smollett and Silver are, at least, two honest men that the squire found for the crew: the squire, though, declares that the captain is “unsailorly” and “un-English.”
The squire has evidently shared the details of the sea voyage with a number of people in Bristol, but in this case Jim still has the sense that there is more to the story, even if he can’t quite put his finger on what there is. The squire does seem to feel as if he’s made a mistake with one crew choice.
Jim is pleased with the ship’s new arrangement, following Smollett’s requests, which will allow him a berth to himself. As Jim is examining the ship’s cannons, though, the captain barks at him to get to work, and Jim decides he agrees with the squire about Smollett.
Jim is excited to begin this new adventure, and to him the captain’s only role is preventing him from reveling in this new life—the worst kind of parental authority.