Origin of a Name
"Come, John." Jim called to his son who was lingering at an old shop window in town. The young man, barley 15 obliged and hurried to his father who was waiting patiently, as always , further down the dirt road.
"Sorry father," he apologized, dusting off his sleeve, but his father, who thought it was no matter, waved him off.
"It's fine," he told his son.
"I think it would be best if I stayed and helped you," he lied, by passing his father. "It's impossible to run that inn by yourself."
"That's courteous of you son," Jim stated, walking again. "But think about your poor mother-"
"I'm sure she will be fine," he replied, and they didn't bother to converse about the matter until they made it back to the inn about ten minutes later, entering the office inn, sweaty and hot from the walk in the summer weather.
Amy Hawkins sat at a desk reading her book when her son and husband walked in. Relieved, she marked her spot and closed the book.
"Thank heavens you two are back," she said. "I thought you wouldn't make it." And she scurried to the corner and checked her things once again.
"Mother, as I recall, everything was there when we left, unless you moved something-"
"Oh, hush," she exclaimed. "I'm just double checking."
"Just double?" He asked under his breath, but neither of his parents heard him.
"Now are you sure it's fine that John stays-"
"I've told you countless times that he is to stay with you," she said. Then she spoke again in a quieter tone with a hand on Jim's chest. "After all, he would be terribly bored there."
"I think he would be terribly bored anywhere," Jim whispered to his wife making sure John didn't hear, and even though she agreed, she just kissed his head and reached for her bonnet.
"A week," Amy reminded her husband and he nodded. How could he forget?
And as John carried her luggage, Jim walked his wife to the carriage that humbly waited at the front of the inn.
"Now," Amy said with a hint of authority in her voice, putting her arms on her son's shoulders. "You better behave yourself." Then looked to her husband. "The both of you." Then she let go of John's shoulders and plopped happily into one of the carriage seats. John suddenly became depressed.
"Mother, wait," he called and she turned to him just as he embraced her tightly. Even he was surprised about what he did, but thought there wouldn't be another time to do it. And Jim watched, bewildered, but also a little pensive as he remembered the time when he said goodbye to his mother before he left to Bristol all those long years ago…
John held his mother a little longer than he expected and was almost in tears, but his mother finally pulled away and kissed the top of his head.
"Don't worry," she said. "I'll see you in a week."
Jim and John saw Amy off, and even waited until her carriage was out of sight, taking her away to see her old friend get married, before returning back into the inn, but John wanted nothing more than to run after his mother and tell her that he was sorry for what he planned to do.
The day dragged on for both men. Though several people ordered a room and requested additional things, life seemed dull, like always.
John just didn't understand how in the world his own father could stand such a place. He wondered if his father had ever had any adventure in his life, but doubted it since he was running this godforsaken prison.
Often times, John dreamed of action and suspense. He dreamed of romance and betrayal. But every time he would snap out of his own imagination, he sadly knew that this would never happen. He would be nothing more than John Hawkins, son of Jim Hawkins, the owner of the Admiral Benbow. He was born there, and he would die there, in the sleepy sea-side inn he was forced to call his 'home' every day.
But now, this day, he did have something to look forward to. Something more than a mop or a document. Keyes or delivering rum. He had found a way past all of that, to make better or himself and also to prove to his father that there was more than just the inn and Hensfoil. There was more than running a business. There was more excitement in the world than just the journey to Bristol once every few months.
He had a plan.
John tried to act as normal as he could around his father during dinner that night. Though he hated this place, with a passion even, he found himself greatly saddened at the idea that this was the last night in a long time, or possibly forever, that he would be dining at this table, with his father sitting across from him, making conversation.
The measly supper that was set out before them was humorous to John; his father was a terrible cook and realized that the last dinner he would ever eat at home was a nasty one.
"Are you going to join me tomorrow night at the docks for the squire's birthday?" Jim asked his son, hoping he would agree to it. It was after all safer that John stayed close to him tomorrow since it was rumored that a certain group of people would be coming to Hensfoil that night. And, Jim would enjoy his son's company there as well.
"I wish no more than to, father." John lied. "But lately I've been feeling unwell and I think it may be the fever that spreads around this time of year. Hopefully I won't be too achy tomorrow to wish the squire a happy birthday." And his father nodded, taking in every word.
"You aren't terribly sick now?" Jim asked his son and John hid his annoyance. He was certain that his father would make good old Livesey come by and take a look at him as he was always looking for a reason for the doctor to swing by for dinner.
"No no," John replied shaking his head. "It's nothing a night off won't cure." And after one curious glance at him, Jim went back to eating his dinner.
However, later that night, while John was seated at a desk in the drawing room reading a book, there was a knock on the door and he went to answer it, finding the doctor standing there.
"Ah, Jim," he began as he stepped inside the house. "I hear you aren't feeling to well-"
"Did my father send for you?" John rudely cut off, but the doctor smiled.
"Actually, yes." He replied and Jim came into the room and shook hands with the doctor.
"Keeping well, Livesey?" Jim asked.
"Well enough," the doctor replied. "Yourself?"
"Well that's good to hear," Livesey commented. "But I'd better take a look at your son." And as Livesey walked over to John, John backed away.
"I'm feeling fine," he quickly added.
"It wouldn't hurt have a look, John," said Livesey.
"It wouldn't hurt to take my word for it-"
"John," Jim angrily scolded and was about to say something else when Livesey cut in.
"No, it's fine Jim," he began, then turned to John.
"John," Livesey pleaded. "Why the trepidation? If you are feeling as well as you say, then there is nothing to worry about."
"Can't I just go to bed, father?" he asked and after a while, Jim nodded. John wasted no time in getting his book from the desk and leaving, going up to his room. When John was out of sight, Jim turned to the doctor.
"He is becoming more ireful by the day," Jim said quietly.
"Why do you think that is?" But Jim shook his head, unknowing of the reason.
"Jim," the doctor began. "He is becoming bored. Cant you see? Sulking from day to day is not only a product from depression, but also ennui." Jim sighed as they sat at the table.
"What can I do?" He asked the doctor. "It seems I can never make the boy happy anymore."
"There is one thing you can do," Livesey said after a while and Jim looked up at him with interest.
"Have you told him our little story-"
"I wont," Jim cut in quickly. "There is no need to fill his head with such things. He may get ideas-"
"He may already have them," Livesey said and Jim became worried.
"Have you heard who is passing through town tomorrow?" The doctor nodded.
"But your son will have no reason to go into downtown," the doctor reminded. "I'm sure he hasn't even heard anything about it." Jim nodded and poured them some brandy.
"So how about it?" Livesey asked. Jim handed him a glass.
"I suppose I could tell him some things," Jim said and the doctor looked pleased.
"Do you think it would be safer if he stayed home tomorrow or kept close with me," Jim asked and the doctor shook his head.
"Of course it would be safer if he were with you," the doctor began. "But if he isn't feeling well, then you should both stay home."
"Nonsense, I cannot miss your birthday," Jim told him, but the doctor raised a hand to him.
"If it means keeping your son safe, Jim, by all means." Though Jim hated the idea of having to miss his good friends birthday, the idea of actually losing his son was unbearable.
"If he is sick, I will stay with him, but if he isn't, we'll both come. Either way, I plan to tell him about Treasure Island tomorrow night."
Jim paced around his room once he left his father and the doctor downstairs. He wanted to kick things around, but knew if he was heard, they would come up and investigate so instead he controlled his anger and laid on his bed staring at the ceiling.
How he was to get downtown tomorrow night, he knew not. How he was to meet up with the friend he made a few months ago in Bristol now? He would be under his fathers eye all night tomorrow if he was forced to attend the party. Staying home wasn't an option now, he couldn't fake sick with the doctor being suspicious. If only he had let him examine him…
He began to think of the time when he had fist met Jim Silver in Bristol. At the docks while he was examining ships that had just arrived, he bumped into the man.
He was young, no older than thirty. He was well kept and seemed well bred in the suit he wore. John asked him his name to find that they had the name of each others father, and then they told each other about themselves while they walked around an actual sea ship. John had never remembered a time in his life when he was so fascinated. He was walking on a ship that had seen distant lands and was talking with a soon to be captain.
John learned that Silver's father used to be captain of several successful voyages, and he was even born on a ship sailing to Peru. Silver was cabin boy on his fathers ship for many years until he bought his own ship. He told John that his father had died a few months ago and he inherited everything, and he was now off to sail to Africa, the only place that his father never got to explore since his death was unexpected.
John told Silver about his boring life in Hensfoil and how he wished he could leave his home to find adventure. Silver seemed sympathetic towards the boy and made an offer to him. John agreed to be a crew mate on the ship the next time Silver set sea, and a few weeks ago, he had received a letter from Silver that he would be setting sail from Bristol on August 11th. He would even come to Hensfoil and wait downtown the night before to pick him up.
Tomorrow was August 10th, the day before Silver was leaving from Bristol and the night he would come to pick him up.
He decided he would sneak off during the party tomorrow…
"I'm not sick anymore, father," Jim announced the next day, sometime around lunch. "I'll be happy to attend the doctors birthday with you tonight."
At the desk in the office for the inn, Jim sat reviewing papers and looked up when his son came in to tell him of their plans tonight.
"That's great news, son." Jim said happily. Quietly, John sat beside him at the desk, something he had never done.
Jim realized John had never stayed more than a few minutes in the office, and he found it odd that he would be here sitting with him now, but on the other hand, John knew that though he hated this place, he really did love his father and there was a possibility that he wouldn't get to see him again after tonight, which made him sad. He wouldn't get to receive his fathers blessing which made him sadder and the fact that he wouldn't even get to say goodbye to him made his throat tighten.
There was a knock on the office door, and Jim stood up to unlock it. It had been closed for lunch.
"Hello dear," Amy said to her husband. At first, he was concerned, but then he gave her a small hug and peck on the lips.
"I thought you'd be gone for another week," he said and Amy shook her head. It was then that John came to the doorway and was overjoyed to see his mother there. It was like he had already lost her.
"She had cold feet and decided she didn't want to marry just yet," she smiled. "So I came back early."
A few hours later, John was both exited and nervous to find that the party would start in two hours. He was in the kitchen helping his mother chop meat while she baked bread he and couldn't fight the temptation to kiss his mother on the cheek.
"John!" She cried in surprise and happiness. "The world must be coming to an end, you've never kissed my cheek." John smiled at her and looked away to hide his embarrassment.
When he left his mother, he then found his father sitting on the sofa in the drawing room, taking a nap.
Ridden with grief and sorrow, he watched his father for a few minutes, and paid attention to his light breathing. John couldn't remember the last time he actually appreciated Jim, or showed any sign of love for him.
He then sat beside him and rested his head on his shoulder and was remained like that for about thirty minutes, tears running quietly down his face, until his father woke.
John hadn't even realized his father was awake until he felt an arm around him, pulling them closer together.
"John," he told his son softly. "What troubles you?"
He almost told his father everything right there. About Silver and leaving tonight, but couldn't. He still didn't know what would hurt more; leaving or staying.
The tears stopped after Jim rubbed his sons back gently for a few times; it ended with a sniffle and a kiss on his head that was covered in messy brown hair. John stiffened after a while and thought of something quick to why he had been crying on his fathers shoulder. Something that wouldn't raise suspicion. All he thought of was:
"The party is going to start in an hour."
Jim pulled the arm that was around his sons shoulders back to him and looked squarely into John's eyes that were red from weeping.
"John," he began softly, but that moment, Amy walked in with a basket of bread and they both turned to her.
"I thought that the doctor would like these," she said, not noticing the grieving John who was being comforted by her husband. She put the basket on the end table and glanced at the grandfather clock that stood beside the wooden bookshelf.
"You two better get ready before the party begins," she said and then looked down at her stomach and touched it. "Oh dear." Jim stood up, thinking that there was something wrong with the baby inside her.
"Are you in pain?" He asked quickly. "Should I call Livesey?" But Amy just smiled and shook her head.
"No, no," she told him. "It kicked." Jim sighed and Amy grabbed him by his wrist and pulled it towards her pregnant belly. Jim felt it kick and instantly became exited and kneeled down and put his head to her stomach.
"Maybe it's a girl this time," he said.
"What makes you say that?" Jim stood up and kissed his wife.
"No reason," he said smiling. "I would like to have a girl. We can name her Meredith." Amy shook her head.
"I like Laura," she said.
"Meredith is pretty too." Amy gave him an annoyed look.
"You named John," she reminded. "We agreed that I would get to name a child too." Jim laughed.
"You can name our third one," and Amy gasped, then smiled.
"Fine," she agreed and rubbed her stomach. "I just cant wait to see the baby." Then Jim turned to where he had left John on the couch.
"What would be a good name, Jo-" But John had left the room.
John had went up to his room and wiped the dried tears that were on his face with a damp towel. He regretted what he had just done and knew his father would want to interrogate him about it. He shuddered at the idea of his father learning what his intentions of tonight were.
He didn't need to dress himself, but he did need to pack unless he wanted to wear the same clothes every day on the ship.
In a faded grey bag, he stuffed several pairs of clothes, and also the paper money he had been saving for about a year. He had wanted to buy a horse, that was what the money had been for. He even found it too, but didn't purchase it in the end since he learned he would be leaving home.
He then put a few things that were valuable only to him, like his bible, his grandmothers old hankercheif and a picture that had recently been taken where he was standing with his father, mother and the doctor under an apple tree at the squire's house.
He had stuffed the last sock into his bag when his mother came into his room.
"What have you got there," she asked.
"Something for the doctor," he lied, but his mother was convinced anyway.
"I see," she said and turned to leave., but stopped right when she was about to close the door.
"Oh, you father wants you ready in five minutes," she said. "He wants to get there early to help the squire with anything he needs." Then she left, and John swung the bag around his shoulder and went downstairs.
In the drawing room, his father was standing, holding the basket of bread, waiting for him. John slowed his pace once he got closer to Jim and Jim smiled.
"Ready?" He asked and John nodded.
They began to walk to the squire's house, where the party was being held. John felt awkward as they walked in silence down the dark road.
They were almost to the house when Jim stopped.
"What's the bag for?" He asked, and John used the same lie he told his mother.
"Oh," Jim said and continued walking. John found it strange that instead of taking the short way that required passing through the downtown area, Jim took the longer way and John hoped it wasn't because he wanted to be alone him for a little while to talk. John was relieved however when they made it to the squire's house and Jim didn't bring the subject up.
Jim and John were clearly early for the party since there was no one there besides the squire and doctor who were seated at a long wooden table smoking their pipes. The father and son went and joined them while they drank some ale and conversed over the doctors age.
"The only thing I regret is not settling down with a woman and child," he told the squire after he was asked what was the only thing he wanted but never received.
"Well, I'm sad to say there were several opportunities my friend," the squire began. "But you jilted all! Why, just look at Jim and I! We settled just fine, and have a family of our own, and we did it without a college degree."
"Never mind you, squire," the doctor said. "I will not listen to you when you're drunk."
People began arriving at the squires home about forty five minutes later. By that time, John was grateful that he had not been taken aside by his father yet and he planned to leave before then. However, he felt as if his father trailed him wherever he went and lost hope after a while thinking he would not be able to meet with Silver.
When John came from the bathroom on the second floor of the house, he made a detour and found himself standing on a balcony that overlooked the sea. He paid close attention to it, realizing that it would be his home for a long, long time and he might as well get used to it now. Then there were footsteps behind him.
"So John," the doctor addressed him and John jumped from surprise.
"Doctor," he replied. "Happy birthday." The doctor just nodded smiling and joined him as he leaned on the balcony with his hands pressing against the fence rim.
"Gorgeous view from here, isn't it?" The doctor asked.
"It is," John said, pensive.
"You know, John. I've sailed the seas," the doctor told him and John turned to him, shocked.
"Really," he asked interested and the doctor put on a sly smile.
"Yes, along with your father." John frowned, he knew he was lying and looked away.
"It's a fact," the doctor added. "You should ask him to tell you about Treasure Island sometime. I think you will be stunned-"
"Stunned to find how well he can make stories up," John cut in. "There is no such thing as 'Treasure Island'." But the doctor narrowed his eyes.
"John," he began, thinking the most horrible thought. "Have you…researched anything…about the sea, I mean." Like instinct, John looked away from him and the doctor grabbed his arm firmly.
"Why did you fake sick yesterday, John?" The doctor asked angrily, and John tried to pull away but the doctor was too strong. "What was in that bag? I know it wasn't for me-"
"Let go of me," John yelled and pulled as hard as he could. "It's none of your business-"
"So you have known all along who is coming tonight! Jim!" And John pulled away, with all of his might and became free of the doctors grasp. He ran from the balcony, down the stairs and ran into his father.
"John! Who called?" And John stopped and tried to look normal.
"Oh, the doctor is calling you. He's in the drawing room," he lied and as Jim nodded and headed away, John ran and swept the bag that he left under a table in his arms and headed away from the house.
He was hopeful that telling his father the doctor was in the drawing room rather than upstairs would atleast buy him some time. He ran as fast as he could downtown and was almost there. He saw the buildings that made up that section of the town and was only about one hundred yards away when-
"John!" His father called, and as Jim literally jumped from the horse he was on, he caught up with his son quickly and grabbed a shoulder, but John angrily pulled away.
"Stop!" Jim called and finally grabbed his son by the wrist firmly.
"Leave me, father! Let me go!" But Jim grabbed his other hand and looked into his son's eyes.
"I'm going father," John spat and tried to pull free, but his father just held on tighter.
"No," Jim argued. "You aren't." And John, despite his greatest efforts, began to form tears in his eyes.
"And you're going to stop me? You can't watch me forever, and I promise you that I will not live the quiet respectable like you live. I will help with the inn any longer… I wont have any of it and I'm doing what you wouldn't have."
"John!" His father cried. "I care for you so much-"
"Then let me go, father," John said quietly. "I cannot stay here anymore." Jim let go of his son, half expecting him to run, but he didn't.
"I'm a horrible son," he said truthfully, looking down, overcome with greif. He actually believed his own statement. He wasn't lying to his father, but he wasn't exactly telling the whole truth. Jim just shook his head walked to his son, resting his chin on top of Johns head and embraced him.
"No," Jim said. "You aren't. I'm a terrible father for neglecting you."
"You are a wonderful father," John said and pulled away. "I'm the one who is leaving."
"Are you?" Jim asked, and he was really asking, hoping his son would say no. He knew he couldn't stand in his sons way any longer and had to accept whatever choice John made. However, John stayed silent and didn't move, which clearly was a 'yes'.
"He came here for me father," John said, referring to Silver.
"And who is this skilled sailor everyone is talking about?"
"Jim Silver," John said nervously. "Son of John Silver." Jim raised an eyebrow.
"I wasn't aware he had a son," Jim told him and John gave him a curious look.
"Have you met him, father?" And Jim, after staring at nothing for a few moments, turned to his son.
"Yes," he said. "A very long time ago." And smiled sadly, but John looked confused. After a while, Jim spoke.
"It looks like you didn't only get his name," Jim muttered.
"What are you talking about?"
"Do you know the reason I named you John? I've never told you have I?" John shook his head.
"Very well," Jim began. "I named you after a friend I had long ago. He was the sea cook on the ship I was cabin boy on… it looks like you haven't only acquired his name, but also his reckless personality-"
"You don't mean…John Silver, father?" Jim nodded.
"It seems we named our sons after one another," Jim said.
"A sea cook," John asked, bewildered. "Jim Silver said his father was a very experienced captain-"
"Oh, he was, John. There was never a finer one. But he was also a pirate." And John shook his head in disbelief.
"And how would you know a pirate father? You said you've lived in Hensfoil all your life."
"I have lived here all my life," Jim said. "But when I was younger, a little younger than you even, it was by luck, or even fate really that I acquired a treasure map-"
"Treasure Island!" John cried, and Jim narrowed his eyes.
"The doctor mentioned it earlier," John said.
"Ah, when you ran away-"
"Why have you never told me? Surely you didn't forget." Jim shook his head.
"I didn't think it would have been such a good idea to tell you," he told his son. "I knew you had been bored for years now, and I thought if I told you you'd want to set off on your own adventure…but it wouldn't have been any different. It wouldn't have prevented this." And Jim, who was nearly in tears himself, patted his son on the shoulder.
"I will not stand in your way, son. It seems this is the only thing I can do to make you happy, even if it means sacrificing the most important thing to me."
John felt guiltier than ever leaving his father.
"If you want me to stay, father-"
"No," Jim said sadly. "I know how much this means to you."
They both were quiet for several minutes, not knowing what to say or do. Finally, Jim spoke.
"Do you want a ride over there?" He asked, moving his head to the side. John obliged and he and his father climbed onto the horse's back and made their way further downtown.
John Silver had only been waiting twenty minutes when he saw the two figures on a horse approach him. One, he recognized as John and waved to him.
Silver told Jim everything he planned during this voyage, where they were sailing and what their purpose was. Jim nodded every few seconds and before John climbed onto the extra horse Silver brought for him, his father took him aside for one last goodbye.
"John," he said. "I just want you to be safe." John nodded and had never had the biggest urge to hug his father, but since Silver was there, he didn't.
"I will, father." He said. "Don't worry. I should be back in a few months, and I want to see you well when I return." Jim nodded and helped his son onto the horse.
Before he knew it, Silver and John were out of sight, and Jim made his way back to the squire's house, heartbroken that there was a possibility his son would never return, and he had still let him go.
"It was the kindest thing you could ever do," the doctor told Jim after he learned what had happened. Jim nodded.
"Incase John never returns," Jim told the doctor. "I'll let Amy name this baby, and I'll name the next after him."
"But he will return, Jim," the doctor said reassuringly. "After all, if the first Hawkins could survive the first Silver, then the second will be just fine."
I'd love a review if you've read this to know what you thought. Props to you for reading Treasure Island because it's an awesome book. Also, there isn't much work done for this book here, thus not many reviews and I'd just love to break the record for the most reviews for a Treasure Island fic, and I think the most anyone has gotten was 9. Thanks if you do, and I'll most likely reply
An actual chaptered fic to sequel this may be written. Writing this one-shot my first has triggered me into writting it, but later, sometime when the sun burns out would be a good estimate...I'd like to finnish up my current Harry Potter works and a few other ideas I have.