Long John Silver character jug produced by Magrou in Portugal circa 1980. "Pieces of eight, pieces of eight," croaks Captain Flint, the parrot as he perches on the shoulder of one of fiction's best-known pirates, Long John Silver. Hero of the 1883 children's adventure story "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, the pirate was based on a close friend of the author, W. E. Henley, who had lost a foot yet did not allow this disability to dampen his spirits and zest for life. Long John Silver portrays an equal degree of energy and, although a villain flying the Jolly Roger, he possesses courage and ingenuity not shown by the honest characters in the book. Set in the mid 18th century, the story relates how Silver leads a mutinous crew and a boy hero into a series of adventures in a search for buried treasure aboard the "Hispaniola".