Island of the Blue Dolphins
"I am his son and since he is dead I have taken his place. I am now Chief of Ghalas-at. All my wishes must be obeyed."
"But first you must become a man. As is the custom, therefore, I will have to whip you with a switch of nettles and then tie you to a red-ant hill." (8.21-22)
The laws of Ghalas-at forbade the making of weapons by women of the tribe, so I went out to search for any that might have been left behind. (9.10)
As I lay there I wondered what would happen to me if I went against the law of our tribe which forbade the making of weapons by women – if I did not think of it at all and made those things which I must have to protect myself.
Would the four winds blow in from the four directions of the world and smother me as I made the weapons? Or would the earth tremble, as many said, and bury me beneath its falling rocks? Or, as other said, would the sea rise over the islands in a terrible flood? Would the weapons break in my hands at the moment when my life was in danger, which is what my father had said? (9.25-27)