Escape with Stevenson

Who won’t seriously fall in love with Stevenson? No writer has excited me as much as he did with his eerie tale of the Treasure Island. His choice and blending of words lifted me away awhile from my mundane life as I explore the perils and pleasures of pirates’ adventures.

Jim was a perfect pick in detailing the dangers, and delights of treasure-hunting. Varied villains with marks so distinct would enchant you as much, or even more than, the young protagonist (Jim). Yet, was the buried treasure real? Did anyone ever succeed finding it?

I’d let the lines from the book speak for Stevenson’s flawless prose.

“Then followed a battle of looks between them; but the captain soon knuckled under, put up his weapon, and resumed his seat, grumbling like a beaten dog.”

“People were frightened at the time, but on looking back they rather liked it; it was a fine excitement in a quiet country life; and there was even a party of the younger men who pretended to admire him, calling him a “true sea-dog,” and a “real old salt,” and such like names, and saying there was the sort of man that made England terrible at sea.”

“It is a curious thing to understand, for I had certainly never liked the man, though of late I had begun to pity him, but as soon as I saw that he was dead I burst into a flood of tears. It was the second death I had known, and the sorrow of the first was still fresh in my heart.”

“But my mother, frightened as she was, would not consent to take a fraction more than was due to her, and was obstinately unwilling to be content with less.”

“Then there followed a great to-do through all our old inn, heavy feet pounding to and fro, furniture all thrown over,  doors kicked in, until the very rocks re-echoed, and the men came out again, one after another, on the road, and declared that we were nowhere to be found. “

“Watch him as we pleased, we could do nothing to solve it, and when we asked him to his face, he would only laugh, if he were drunk, and if he were sober, deny solemnly that he ever tasted anything but water.”

“At last, seeing the ship still bore on her course, and was now swiftly drawing out of earshot, one of them—I know not which it was—leaped to his feet with a hoarse cry, whipped his musket to his shoulder, and sent a shot whistling over
Silver’s head and through the mainsail.”

I could go on and on quoting each sentence Stevenson crafts. His tongue (or pen),indeed, is strikingly beautiful. A buried classic worth digging twice.

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