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Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O'Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins Chapter 16 Summary

  • Karana watches for the white men's ship during the spring and summer, but they're still nowhere to be found. Nor are the Aleuts.
  • Speaking of which, Karana realizes she must have a hiding place should the Aleuts return. She could use the cave stocked with supplies, but they might find that. Solution? The canoe.
  • Karana returns to the canoe she abandoned on the beach and digs it out of the sand. Karana makes it shorter with her tools because it is too big for her to drag around, even though it is one of the smaller canoes. She's really gotten used to construction now.
  • While Karana works on the canoe, Rontu hangs out sleeping or playing with the sea birds. Karana teaches him the words for pelican and fish ("zalwit" and "naip") (16.8). She talks to him, and the two become friends. She no longer feels so lonely.
  • With the canoe finished, Karana decides to take it for a test drive. She and Rontu sail around the island.
  • Along the way, they enter a cave near the headland. Inside, the walls are smooth and black. There are also shelves carved into the sides of the walls. Karana realizes this would be the perfect place to store her canoe.
  • Meanwhile, Rontu spies a devilfish (octopus) in the water. Devilfish have the most delicious meat, Karana tells us, but they're also very tricky to catch. Before Karana can spear this one, he spits out a black cloud and manages to get away.
  • Karana decides to spend the winter making the special spear needed to catch the elusive devilfish.
  • Karana stashes the canoe on shore and plans to hide it in the cave when spring comes.

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