The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson – Plot Synopsis – Book Six: The Ghost of Raven Jones
Monsoon winds have destroyed the family’s crops and set their animals free. Tensions run high between family members now that they’re faced with the prospect of starting again and once more have to go hunting for food. Ernst in particular is angry with David for seeming to have given up on the daily ritual of lighting the beacon, in the hope of attracting rescue. He confronts his father and an angry scene ensues.
Elizabeth confirms David’s growing realisation that Ernst is simply coming of age and both pray that he receives guidance from the dear Lord as he struggles with approaching manhood in the tropical ( and at times dangerous/claustrophobic paradise).
During a hunting expedition, Billy, Ernst and Emily are “haunted” by a ghostly sound. Emily is already convinced of the presence of ghosts on the island, and the nightly moaning of the monsoon winds only adds to the feeling of dread.
The ghostly figure of an old man appears to Christina and terrifies her. When the old man appears to Ernst, the young man gives chase, only to be captured by the old man and kept prisoner in a cave. The old man turns out to be “Raven Jones”, an almost mythical pirate and adventurer who escaped hanging and disappeared many years ago.
Driven mad by years of solitude, Jones is paranoid that the Robinsons are searching for an imagined horde of treasure, hidden somewhere on the island, which he has been looking for himself. Jones has been trying to drive them away from the island with his ghostly antics. He prepares to kill Ernst, but by appealing to the hero that Raven Jones once was, Ernst wins a stay of execution.
By now, however, Parsons has got wind of the “treasure” and comes after Raven Jones. There is a violent confrontation, during which Raven Jones is killed defending Ernst, who is left hanging over a ravine. Parsons has Ernst at his mercy.
The family arrive just in time to save Ernst and it is Parsons who ends up in the ravine. David and Ernst are reconciled. But Parsons lives to fight another day.
Raven Jones is given a decent burial, and the family discover a bountiful crop of rice, grown by the man over many years (his real treasure).
Ernst in turn through his narration realises that his particular treasure is the love and support of his family.