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Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins Summary


Here you will find a Island of the Blue Dolphins summary (Scott O'Dell's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

Island of the Blue Dolphins Summary Overview

In the initial development of the narrative, a pair of siblings, Karana and Ramo, spot an incoming ship to their island, Ghalas-at. The village chief, their father Chowig, greets the visitors who are led by a Russian captain, Orlov. Accompanying Orlov is a native American tribe, the Aleuts, who wish to hunt otters on the island in exchange for jewelry and iron spearheads. Despite past conflicts with the Aleuts, an accord is reached. However, conflict arises when the Aleuts prepare to depart, providing insufficient payment. A bloody battle ensues, resulting in the Aleuts' escape and the death of many villagers, including the chief, Chowig. In the aftermath of the tragic winter, a new chief, Kimki, decides to abandon Ghalas-at for a new territory. A white-sailed ship arrives, purportedly sent by Kimki to transport the villagers to their new home. In the haste to embark, Ramo misplaces his hunting spear, and despite Karana's pleas, he insists on retrieving it. As the ship departs, Karana spots Ramo on the beach and dives into the sea, swimming back to the island. Now stranded, Karana and Ramo toil to survive, hoping for the ship's return. Sadly, Ramo is killed by wild dogs, prompting Karana to abandon her village. She builds a camp on a headland and, challenging tribal laws, arms herself. Despite fruitless attempts to paddle off the island in a leaky canoe, she ultimately constructs a permanent shelter and stronger weapons. Karana then exacts revenge on the wild dogs, mortally wounding the pack leader. Surprisingly, she nurses the injured dog back to health, resulting in a strong bond between them and earning the dog the name Rontu. The Aleuts return to Ghalas-at, forcing Karana to take refuge in a cave. There, she befriends Tutok, an Aleut girl, who discovers her. They become close despite the language barrier but part ways when the Aleuts depart. Living in solitude, Karana befriends more animals, including Rontu's son, whom she names Rontu-Aru. Eventually, another ship arrives, and Karana, yearning for human companionship, departs Ghalas-at with Rontu-Aru.

chapter 1

Karana, the protagonist of Island of the Blue Dolphins, recalls the day an Aleut vessel arrived at Ghalas-at. She and her sibling Ramo see the ship nearing their settlement. A set of unfamiliar faces disembarks, including Captain Orlov, a Russian keen on otter hunting. Chowig, the leader of their village and father of Karana and Ramo, initiates a dialogue with Orlov. Karana is puzzled as her father discloses his hidden name during the introduction. Every person in their tribe possesses two names, an everyday name and a secret one, which if overused, could lose its enchantment. Karana's everyday name is Won-a-pa-lei, translating to "the Girl with the Long Black Hair." Orlov and Chowig have a disagreement about a former hunting expedition that led to complications in Ghalas-at, the specifics of which are not disclosed. They eventually agree on dividing the hunting trip's yield evenly. Karana eavesdrops on their conversation from a high cliff overlooking the beach. Suddenly, a stone tumbles from the cliff, startling Karana, and she dashes back to the village before she can overhear more.

chapter 2

Karana provides details about her home, the island of the blue dolphins, which is a fish-shaped landmass with strong winds that create smooth hills and small, twisted trees. The village of Ghalas-at is situated to the east of the hills while the Aleuts establish their camp to the north. Chowig, the village chief, issues a warning about the Aleuts, reminding his people not to develop friendly relations with them due to past problems. In response, the villagers keep a close eye on the Aleut camp. Unexpectedly, the villagers come across a large number of bass washed ashore, marking a period of good luck. The Aleuts request a portion of the fish, but Chowig declines, causing them to return to their camp in frustration. Karana concludes this segment by foreshadowing that this stroke of luck would soon invite trouble.

chapter 3

The Aleuts, known for their otter hunting, have arrived on the island, earning Karana's resentment. As friends to the otters, she worries the Aleuts may wipe them out. Her father, Chowig, tries to assuage her fears, believing they'll leave soon and the otters will rebound. He, along with others from the village, have seen hints of the Aleuts preparing to leave. However, Chowig is worried they might attempt to depart secretly at night without compensating for the otters they've captured.

chapter 4

The Aleuts start to depart the island, which prompts the Ghalas-at tribe to intercept them at the coast. The men confront the Aleuts while the women hide in the nearby bushes. Karana's father, Chowig, stands against Captain Orlov. Orlov tries to appease him with a box of baubles, but Chowig demands three more boxes, refusing to let the Aleuts leave with otter skins before his tribe has been compensated fully. Ignoring Chowig's warning, the Aleuts attempt to depart. Chowig obstructs one Aleut carrying pelts, sparking a fight. The clash results in many tribal fatalities, the Aleuts manage to flee back to their ship, leaving behind their chest and a few otter pelts. Chowig is also killed in the conflict. Karana and her fellow villagers believe his death was due to him revealing his secret name to Orlov, which they think weakened his ability to protect himself.

chapter 5

Following the conflict, the village's population was reduced to fifteen from forty-two. After the storm, they laid their own to rest and cremated the Aleuts who died on the sand. Talks of migration to Santa Catalina were put on hold by the tribal council's decision to remain. The new chief, Kimki, took over from Chowig. With the village's male population significantly decreased, Kimki declared that women should take up tasks traditionally reserved for men. Karana and Ulape were assigned to collect shellfish while Ramo's duty was to protect their catch from gulls and the increased number of wild dogs. The women were so efficient that they quickly gathered enough winter supplies. The change, however, caused discontent among the Ghala-at men as women were handling men's work. Kimki eventually reverted to the old division of labor pre-Aleuts. The villagers could not shake the sorrow of losing their loved ones to the Aleuts, a sorrow that deepened as winter wore on. By spring, Kimki decided to travel east to an area he'd been to during his childhood, planning for the relocation of the Ghalas-at people. He set out alone with ample supplies for the journey, but doubts about his return lingered in the minds of the villagers.

chapter 6

The Ghalaas-at tribe remains on the lookout for any signs of Kimki, their missing chief, but he never returns. As another spring comes and goes without Kimki, Matasaip, the new chief, directs the tribe's focus towards another issue - the impending arrival of the Aleuts. To prepare for a potential invasion, the villagers pack canoes with supplies and hide them near a cliff for a swift getaway if the Aleuts appear. One evening, an alarm rings out that the Aleuts have arrived. The tribe members leave their homes and head for the canoes. However, the alarm raiser reports that the incoming ship has white sails, not the Aleuts' red ones. Matasaip and a handful of men investigate while the rest head for the canoes. Eventually, Nanko comes back with a message from Matasaip. The tribe eagerly awaits his news, but Nanko teases them by pretending to be too exhausted to speak. At last, he announces that the ship carries white men, sent by Kimki, to rescue them from Ghalas-at.

chapter 7

The inhabitants of the village hurriedly prepare to leave, only taking with them a few chosen belongings. Ulape uses blue clay to mark her face, indicating her unmarried status. As a storm looms, they swiftly make their way to the beach to avoid the ship being wrecked. On the way, Ramo realizes he left his fishing spear behind but Karana insists there's no time to return for it. By the time Karana arrives at the beach, only Nanko and Matasaip are left. Karana can't find Ramo, but Nanko assures her that Ramo was on the first canoe. Once on board, Karana continues searching for Ramo, only to spot him on the island, spear in hand. Despite Karana's pleas, Chief Matasaip informs her they can't wait for Ramo as the ship would crash against the rocks. Despite others trying to stop her, Karana leaps off the ship and swims back to the island.

chapter 8

Karana and Ramo have to seek refuge among rocks due to a fierce storm. Upon getting back to their village, they discover wild dogs lurking in the huts and rummaging through their belongings. Despite the damage, they manage to find sufficient food for dinner. The dogs hang around the periphery of the village all night, retreating at dawn. The siblings spend the next day gathering food, with the dogs returning in the night as they did before. Another day, while collecting food at the beach, they look out to the sea, unsure if the white men's ship will ever come back for them. Ramo suggests retrieving a canoe that their villagers left behind in case they need to escape the Aleuts. Karana cautions him about the heavy canoes, but Ramo, claiming he is the new chief of Ghalas-at as Chowig's son, insists he can do it. Karana wakes up one morning to find Ramo missing. She assumes he has gone to fetch the canoe and waits at the beach for him. When he doesn't show up, she goes back to the village, then towards the cliff where the canoes are stored. Hearing dogs barking in the distance, she follows the noise to find Ramo dead, surrounded by a pack of dogs. After carrying Ramo's body back to the village and fending off the dogs with a club, Karana contemplates burning the dogs out of their lair, but she lacks enough brush. Instead, she spends the night by her brother's corpse, promising to avenge his death by killing the wild dogs.

chapter 9

After Ramo's death, Karana eventually chooses to abandon their village. She torches the homes before heading to her chosen sanctuary west of Coral Cove, somewhere she can feel shielded against the wild dogs. Despite the security of the location, the dogs visit every night. Recognizing her need for self-defense tools, Karana faces a dilemma as Ghalas-at law prevents women from creating weapons. She goes back to the village, rummaging through the ruins for spearheads. Finding none, she remembers the Aleuts' black chest. She unearths it on the beach and discovers exquisite bead bracelets and earrings inside. She tries them on, but the painful memories they bring lead her to toss them into the ocean. Unfortunately, the chest doesn't contain spearheads. The need for weapons fades from Karana's mind until the dogs start pestering her again. Unable to locate any, she decides to violate the prohibition and crafts a spear, bow, and arrows from gathered wood. With her homemade weapons, Karana establishes a daily routine, always hoping for the ship's arrival. Despite the passing of seasons, it never comes.

chapter 10

Throughout the summer, Karana perches on the cliff, watchful for any ship. However, with winter's first storm, she acknowledges that no ship will arrive till spring. She's forced to relocate her makeshift bed to avoid the winter storms and the wild dogs that approach her new site. She manages to fend them off with a fire and her bow. As the storm rages on, Karana decides to venture across the sea in search of her tribe. Post-storm, she heads to where her tribe left their escape canoes and provisions, which are edible. She gathers some water and picks the smallest canoe, departing her island home. By twilight, her island is out of sight. Despite her fear due to the tumultuous sea, she navigates by the stars. Noticing a leak in her canoe, she seals it with fibers from her skirt. As the sun rises, she realizes she's drifted south and adjusts her course. Discovering another leak, she plugs it similarly. However, seeing the weakening boat planks, she reluctantly decides to return to her desolate island. As she heads back, a group of dolphins follows her. She takes it as a good omen: "Dolphins are a good omen," giving her the strength to press on despite her exhaustion and despair. Another night passes, the canoe leaks again, but with dawn, she spots her island. By midday, she makes it back to the island, collapses on the beach oblivious to the potential danger of the wild dogs, and falls asleep.

chapter 11

After waking up, Karana returns to her dwelling from the beach. Despite her recent resolution to abandon Ghalas-at, she feels an overwhelming joy at the sight of the island and acknowledges that she will remain there until a ship comes for her. Given her decision to stay, she understands that she needs to construct a shelter and a food storage area. She explores two prospective locations, one close to the dogs' den and the other on the headland. A third spot near the old village seems suitable, but it brings back too many memories of its former inhabitants. Eventually, Karana opts for the headland, despite the loud sea elephants. She starts sketching out the layout of her new abode, prioritizing a fence to secure her food. The next two days are filled with rainfall. On the third day, Karana is ready to collect the necessary supplies for her new home from the beach.

chapter 12

Karana builds her fence using the remains of two beached whales, uniting them with kelp. Building her home proves to be more difficult due to a shortage of straight, tall trees on the island. She remembers an old Ghalas-at myth stating that once the island had towering trees, overseen by the gods Tumaiyowt and Mukat. "Tumaiyowit wished people to die. Mukat did not. Tumaiyowit angrily went down, down to anther world, taking his belongings with him, so people die because he did." After much searching, she locates enough poles for construction. Her sturdy house, made of four poles on each side, a rock wall, and a roof layered with female kelp, stands strong against animals. After completing her house, Karana crafts utensils from rocks, a water-holding basket from reeds, and makes shelves to protect food from mice. With her basic needs covered, she focuses on the dangerous wild dogs. Aware that they are a threat to her just like they were to Ramo, she constructs a stronger bow and improved arrows. However, she struggles with making a spear. She requires a sea elephant's tusk to finish the spear, a risky job usually done by many men. Still, determined to have the best spearhead, she decides to undertake the task.

chapter 13

After a night of contemplation, Karana goes against her tribe's custom that forbids women from crafting weapons, and heads to the shore. She spends a short while observing the sea elephants before settling on a target - a young, seemingly family-less bull amongst the six males present. Karana stealthily positions herself behind the chosen bull, readying her bow. However, as the bull moves towards a cow from another group, Karana's shot misses despite being accurately aimed. The shift in the bull's direction causes her arrow to miss its mark. The bull she had initially set her sights on is suddenly attacked by the bull who owns the cow he was approaching, leading to a violent confrontation. During the chaos, Karana injures her leg while trying to avoid the battling sea elephants. The duel continues throughout the day and into the nightfall. As the day concludes, Karana's leg injury intensifies, forcing her to return home.

chapter 14

Forced to leave her dwelling due to a water shortage, Karana, with an injured leg, must crawl to the spring, her arms pulling her weapons along. She is stalked by wild dogs but manages to keep them at bay with her bow. Eventually, she reaches the spring, but finds herself surrounded by the dogs. Rather than attempting to return home, Karana takes refuge in a nearby cave, using it as her shelter for six days, venturing out only for water, until her leg recovers enough to walk. Seeing value in the cave, Karana decides to convert it into a secondary home for periods of sickness or injury. She's aware that her ancestors used the cave, evident from the drawings, although their purpose remains unknown. Like her coastal home, she sets up shelves, baskets, and a bed in this cave. With her new cave home complete, Karana heads back to the beach where she discovers the remains of an old sea elephant. She uses its teeth to craft four spearheads, which she fits into two new spears. Now prepared, she's ready to confront the wild dogs.

chapter 15

The island's wild dogs became more audacious after the fight with the Aleuts due to two factors. Firstly, canines from the village, whose owners were lost in the battle, joined the pack. Secondly, a large gray dog with yellow eyes assumed leadership of the pack. This dog, different in size and color from the others, is assumed by Karana to be an Aleut dog, abandoned after the fight. Karana plans her assault on the dogs, starting a fire outside their cave and pushing it in, filling the interior with smoke. The dogs escape one by one, but she reserves her arrows for their leader. Once he emerges, Karana strikes him in the chest with an arrow before taking down two others. When she turns around, the gray dog has vanished, leaving behind only a chewed-up arrow. The island experiences rain for two days. On the third day, Karana finds the gray dog, barely clinging to life. She considers shooting him but decides against it. She takes him home, attends to his wound, and gives him water. After providing food, she sleeps on a rock, worried that he may turn on her. The next day, Karana goes fishing and shares some fish with the dog. She spends the night on the rock again. This routine continues for four days until the dog doesn't show up at her fence. Surprisingly, Karana feels a tinge of disappointment and starts to call him. On finding him inside her house, she decides to name him Rontu, translating to Fox Eyes, and finally sleeps indoors.

chapter 16

As spring and summer fade, the ship carrying the white men doesn't reappear. Karana contemplates the potential return of the Aleuts and realizes she needs an escape plan. She modifies a heavy canoe she'd previously attempted to use to leave the island, making it smaller and lighter. During this process, her canine companion Rontu accompanies her, now responding to his name and the words for pelican (zalwit) and fish (naip). Karana converses with him, acknowledging her loneliness prior to their friendship. Upon completion of the canoe, Karana and Rontu take it on an exploratory voyage around the island. They venture into a dark cave near the headland, close to Karana's home. While navigating the cave, Karana muses about Tumaiyowit, a deity from her people's tales, might have resided in such a place. She stumbles upon a rock ledge, an ideal spot for hiding her canoe for a quick getaway. While she's thrilled with the find, Rontu is preoccupied with an octopus, or devilfish, in the water. Karana attempts to spear it, but it releases an ink cloud and escapes. This prompts Karana to plan to make a special spear designed for hunting devilfish during the winter. She stows her canoe away for the winter, eagerly anticipating the spring when she can return it to the cave.

chapter 17

Over winter, Karana crafts a new dress and a spear for devilfish hunting. Once spring arrives, she heads to Coral Cove alone for her hunt, leaving Rontu behind. Throughout the colder months, wild dogs had frequented her dwelling, causing Rontu to leave the previous night, showing no signs of return. This absence preoccupies Karana's thoughts while she fishes in the cove. After a day of successful fishing, she returns home but is drawn to noises of a canine brawl in the forest. Tracking the noise leads her to a sea cliff meadow where Rontu is locked in combat with two dogs, encircled by more from the pack. Rontu is injured, and Karana twice prepares her bow to intervene but refrains. Rontu eventually overpowers the other dogs and disappears into the forest. Upon Karana's return to her home, she finds Rontu waiting for her. From then on, he never leaves her side and the wild dogs cease their visits.

chapter 18

Spring graces the island of the blue dolphins with an abundance of birds and blooms. Nearby Karana's dwelling, a pair of birds start a family. She rescues two chicks, rearing them in a self-made cage until they outgrow it. She initially clips their wings, allowing them to roam inside the house, then the yard, as they continually regrow. On the third regrowth, she leaves them alone, yet they choose to stay close, never venturing past the ravine. The larger bird is christened Tainor, in memory of a lost young male friend, while the smaller one is named Lurai, a name Karana prefers over her own. As summer approaches, Karana busies herself with some personal improvements. She crafts a new skirt and sandals, plaits her once singed-hair that has grown longer, and dons her new attire for beach strolls. She even creates floral crowns for herself and Rontu, her canine companion, who isn't thrilled with the accessory. The anticipated return of the white men in spring doesn't happen, but Karana hardly feels the sting of disappointment.

chapter 19

As summer arrives, Karana is yet to successfully spear a huge devilfish. She gives in and starts hunting abalones for the winter. One day, while in the coral reef, she unexpectedly sees the giant devilfish. She throws her spear but misses. The devilfish releases an ink cloud, and Karana realizes she has actually struck it. A sinew line attached to the spear and tied to Karana's waist connects her to the fish. Fearful of breaking the line, Karana struggles with the powerful devilfish until she manages to drag it onto the shore. The land battle continues as Rontu jumps on the devilfish. In turn, the devilfish ensnares Rontu. Karana steps in with her spear, and they manage to subdue the devilfish. They return home, beaten and bloodied. However, even after spotting more giant devilfish that summer, Karana refrains from trying to spear them.

chapter 20

Karana completes the collection of her abalones for winter and arranges them to dry. To keep the gulls from her food, she erects a shell net and carefully places the abalones on custom-built shelves. Ensuring her provisions are secure, she and her companion Rontu set off to explore the island, visiting the beach, the Black Cave, and Tall Rock. Tall Rock, a fair distance from the island, is home to many cormorants. As Karana plans to create a cormorant feather skirt, she kills several of the birds. She then decides to explore the nearby Black Cave, a former hiding place for the Ghalas-at tribe's canoes during the Aleut attack. Inside, Karana and Rontu discover a lineup of figures crafted from reeds and draped in gull feathers, their eyes shining from abalone shells. A skeleton equipped with a pelican bone flute sits among them. As they attempt to leave, they find the tide blocking their exit, forcing them to spend the night alongside the eerie figures and skeleton. Departing the next day, Karana names it "Black Cave" and swears never to return. One day, Karana spots an unusual cloud on the sea while on Tall Rock, which soon reveals itself to be a ship. The ship comes from the north, not the east, leading Karana to believe it's the Aleuts' vessel. Despite their two-year absence, she decides to transfer to her cave dwelling, prepared after a past injury. Once she's packed, she rechecks the ship and sees its two red sails. She quickly makes her house appear uninhabited before retreating to the headland to spy on the newly arrived Aleuts setting up their camp. Spotting a woman cooking on the shore, she manages to convince Rontu to enter the cave-house with her, where they seal the entrance and fall asleep.

chapter 21

Karana observes the Aleut camp from a distance, without Rontu to avoid attracting any dogs they may have. She is worried the Aleut girl might stumble onto her dwelling in search of sustenance, so she decides to reside in her ravine cave. She stocks up on necessities and retreats to her hideout. Her time in the cave is spent productively, weaving her cormorant skirt. As days pass without any Aleut interference, she starts working outside the cave. The Aleut girl one day wanders into her ravine. Even though the Aleuts are her adversaries, and her weapon is within reach, Karana does not harm the girl. The girl calls for Rontu and implies ownership, but Karana objects, resulting in the girl conceding that Rontu belongs to Karana now. The girl communicates with Karana, using a language Karana barely follows. However, she understands when the girl compliments her skirt using the word wintscha ("pretty"). Karana cautiously lets the girl, Tutok, try on the skirt. Soon after, Tutok leaves, prompting Karana to pack her things and leave, fearing an Aleut raid. Upon returning, Karana notices signs of a visitor at her cave. She discovers a necklace made of striking black stones at the entrance, but no other signs of disturbance.

chapter 22

Karana decides against taking the necklace from the rock and instead, she hides in the bushes nearby. When Tutok arrives and sees the necklace untouched, she seems puzzled and starts to leave. Karana then rushes down the ravine and calls out to Tutok. Tutok comes back and Karana praises the beauty of the necklace. They discover the difference in the words their people use for "beautiful" and this amuses them. They spend the afternoon exchanging words for different things. Before leaving, Tutok asks for Karana's name and Karana tells her it's "Won-a-pa-lei." Tutok continues to visit every day until it's time for her to depart from the island. At this juncture, Karana discloses her secret name. She crafts a shell circlet for Tutok who gratefully accepts the lovely gift. When Tutok fails to return the following day, Karana heads to the Harbor to check if the Aleut ship is still docked. She notices the Aleuts packing their catch for the journey back home. Karana doesn't see Tutok that evening and the next day, she goes to look for the ship. The absence of the ship fills her with joy because she can again freely explore her island. However, she also realizes that without Tutok, the island feels unusually quiet.

chapter 23

After the hunters depart, numerous injured otters wash ashore, many of which Karana mercifully ends their suffering. She rescues an unharmed young otter and nurtures it back to health in a safe tide pool. She gives him the name Mon-a-nee, or "Little Boy with Large Eyes." However, feeding Mon-a-nee proves challenging, and after three days of stormy seas prevent fishing, she finds he's returned to the ocean. While she's glad he's back in his natural habitat, she's saddened by the thought that she won't recognize him among other otters. Once the Aleuts have left, Karana relocates to her home on the headland, only to find her food supplies missing. Nevertheless, providing for just herself and Rontu is manageable. She crafts a pair of earrings to match her necklace and often dons them with her cormorant dress on sunny strolls with Rontu along the cliffs. Yet, she often finds herself longing for Tutok's company and imagines having conversations with her.

chapter 24

As spring returns, birds flock back to the island. Among them, Tainor and Lurai nest close to Karana's dwelling and hatch two chicks. Karana takes them under her wing as she had done with their parents. A young seagull with a broken wing also demands her attention, which she gladly provides. As the bird recovers and begins to limp around in her yard, it fills Karana's heart with joy. However, her happiness is tinged with worry for her sister, Ulape, and she frequently finds herself wondering about her sister's fate and family life. Karana dedicates time to hunting, gathering enough food in anticipation of the Aleuts' possible return. On one of her fishing trips, she discovers that she has a follower - an otter named Mon-a-nee, now a mother to two pups. Deciding the otter's new role calls for a new name, Karana renames her Won-a-nee, meaning "Girl with the Large Eyes." She spends countless days frolicking with Won-a-nee and her pups. The bond she forms with these sea creatures and the other animals leads her to a profound decision. She resolves never to harm an animal again, stating "for animals and birds are like people, too, though they do not talk or do the same things."

chapter 25

Despite the absence of the Aleuts, Karana remains vigilant, fabricating additional weapons and scattering them across the island. The once familiar pattern of the otters fleeing Coral Cove during summer changes, indicating the death of all otters who had witnessed Aleut hunters. This also marks a change in Karana's routine, who stops making notches in her home to keep track of time. As summer draws to a close, Rontu passes away. After disappearing one night, Karana finds him in the former wild dogs' cave. Despite her efforts to carry him home, Rontu shows no interest in a passing flock of gulls and soon after, dies. Karana buries him on the headland, adorning his grave with colourful stones and a beloved stick.

chapter 26

Over the winter period, Karana decides to trap a particular dog with grey fur and yellow eyes, believed to be Rontu's offspring. Despite catching several wild dogs using her trap, none possess the yellow eyes she's looking for. She inadvertently traps a fox, which becomes a nuisance around her house due to its proclivity for stealing abalones. Recognizing the inefficiency of her snare, she decides to utilize toluache weed, known for its sedative properties on fish, in a pond frequented by the dogs. However, this plan fails. She then experiments with xuchal, a mix of crushed seashells and wild tobacco. The xuchal proves effective, causing drowsiness amongst the dogs. Among the sedated creatures, she locates the grey dog with yellow eyes and takes him home. Karana names him Rontu-Aru, translating to "Son of Rontu," and they form a strong bond. Similar to her time with Rontu, she and Rontu-Aru engage in activities like chasing gulls and visiting Tall Roc. Despite her newfound happiness, Karana can't help but reminisce about Tutok and Ulape.

chapter 27

After the winter concludes, a period of extreme heat and calm winds commences. Karana spends a sweltering day at the beach, fixing her canoe, only to be roused from her nap by the sound of distant thunder. The island's surroundings seem altered due to a lower water level. Spotting a large wave approaching, Karana tries to escape but gets caught in the turbulent water. She manages to climb a cliff just in time to witness a second wave crash against it before retreating to the ocean. Returning home, Karana observes numerous marine creatures dead on the island. Rontu-Aru, elated at her return, sticks close to her inside the house. As the day progresses, an earth tremor catches them off guard when they are near the spring. They rush back home and spend the night amidst the noise of falling rocks. The following day, tranquility is restored with the earth's movements ceasing.

chapter 28

The island suffers minimal damage after the earthquake, but all of Karana's canoes are ruined. Determined to replace her canoe, Karana scours the island for parts of the old ones. She accumulates enough material to construct a new vessel. As she prepares to waterproof the boat with pitch, she notices an impending storm from the east and a ship along the horizon. The ship is unlike those of the Aleuts or the white men, piquing her curiosity. A man from the ship explores the shore and discovers her canoes. She hears him call out, seemingly to her. She quickly dresses and goes to meet the visitors, taking Rontu-Aru with her. On reaching the beach, she finds the men gone and their ship sailing away. She hails the departing ship, but her attempts go unnoticed. She watches until the ship vanishes from sight.

chapter 29

After waiting for two springs, the ship finally comes back. Karana can't sleep, consumed by thoughts of leaving her island. She cleans herself, dons her otter cape, cormorant skirt, black stone necklace, and earrings. She marks her face with blue clay symbols signifying her tribe and her single status, mimicking what Ulape did years ago. She prepares a meal for herself and Rontu-Aru. As Rontu-Aru eats, Karana reflects on her long-lost family. The white men arrive at Karana's home by morning. Even though their language is unfamiliar, she's relieved to hear human voices again. They converse through signs, and she follows them to their beach camp. They give her a dress made from blue trousers, which she wears despite her dislike for it. The men are there to hunt otter, but the animals are absent. Karana learns that a few otters that remember the Aleuts are still alive. She asks about the ship that took her tribe away years ago, learning much later that it sank shortly after reaching its destination, leaving no other ship to rescue her. On the tenth day, they set sail. As her island fades away, the last sight she beholds is the headland where she lived. Accompanied by Rontu-Aru and two birds on the boat, her thoughts drift back to the joyful days she had on Ghalas-at. Dolphins escort the ship as it drifts away from her island home.

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