The story is told in the first person by Jim Hawkins, whose mother kept the Admiral Benbow Inn, and who shared in the adventures from start to finish. An old sea dog comes to this peaceful inn one day, apparently intending to finish his life there. He hires Jim to keep a watch out for other sailors, but despite all precautions, he is hunted out and served with the black spot that means death. Jim and his mother barely escape death when Blind Pew, Black Dog, and other pirates descend on the inn in search of the sea dog's papers. Jim snatches up a packet of papers to square the sailor's debt, when they were forced to retreat from the inn. The packet contains a map showing the location of the pirate Flint's buried treasure, which Jim, Doctor Livesey, and Squire Trelawney determine to find. Fitting out a ship, they hire hands and set out on their adventure.