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Black Spot in Treasure Island

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s a story about swashbuckling adventures, treasure maps, one-legged seamen with parrots, and the dreaded “Black Spot.”

When the black spot was first mentioned in CHAPTER III BLACK SPOT, it's quite funny that I thought the mysterious black spot was kind of poisons, such as some mysterious fatal poisons in Chinese marshall arts novel by Jin Yong, which could take affect at certain time or in a period of time. Here is how the black spot had been applied on Billy Bones' palm:

We both obeyed him to the letter, and I saw him pass something from the hollow of the hand that held his stick into the palm of the captain's, which closed upon it instantly.

Billy Bones was much frightened by looking at the black spot, he read out aloud what on his palm: "Ten O'Clock!" That gives me an impression that the poison may take affect at Ten O'Clock in the evening, or  six hours after which is applied on a person:

"Ten o'clock!" he cried. "Six hours. We'll do them yet," and he sprang to his feet.

But quite surprisingly, Billy Bones fell dead at the spot, and the scene of his death is very horrible:
Even as he did so, he reeled, put his hand to his throat, stood swaying for a moment, and then, with a peculiar sound, fell from his whole height face foremost to the floor.

I ran to him at once, calling to my mother. But haste was all in vain. The captain had been struck dead by thundering apoplexy.

Actually he died of a stroke caused by the consumption of spirituous liquor instead of the black spot. although he remained determined to outwit his enemies by saying "We'll do them yet," his heart has much been disturbed, and this caused the sudden stroke and resulted in his death.

This mystery black spot has been kept unsolved to me for a week until I read through onto CHAPTER XXIX THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN:

It was around about the size of a crown piece. One side was blank, for it had been the last leaf; the other contained a verse or two of Revelation — these words among the rest, which struck sharply home upon my mind: "Without are dogs and murderers." The printed side had been blackened with wood ash, which already began to come off and soil my fingers; on the blank side had been written with the same material the one word "Depposed." I have that curiosity beside me at this moment, but not a trace of writing now remains beyond a single scratch, such as a man might make with his thumb-nail.

This round paper was cut out from the Bible, and used by the pirates to officially pronounce a verdict of guilt or judgment on Long John Silver. They wanted to depose their captain and vote for a new captain, that would have been another mutiny for that treasure hunting voyage.

From this Wiki article, we learned that the black spot actually was a fictional literally device without pirate traditional facts. Here is how the black spot looks like and why these pirates are all scared of it:
It consists of a circular piece of paper or card, with one side blackened while the other side bears a message and placed in the hand of the accused. It was a source of much fear because it meant the pirate was to be deposed as leader, by force if necessary--or else killed outright.


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