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The Cay

The Cay


by Theodore Taylor

The Cay Chapter 11 Summary

  • Timothy makes Phillip a cane. Phillip walks around the island with it and gets to know its shape and layout.
  • From what Phillip can sense, the island seems lovely; he wishes he could see it.
  • Phillip grows less dependent on the vine rope and even on Timothy, which Timothy encourages. Phillip has an idea why, but he doesn't want to think about the possibility of Timothy dying and leaving him alone.
  • That night Timothy and Phillip are complaining about not being rescued. Timothy speculates that an evil spirit is harassing them, and it's probably Stew Cat's fault. Maybe the cat is "d'jumbi," the evil spirit of a dead person (11.17).
  • Phillip knows that West Indians practice "obediah" or "voodoo," but he doesn't believe in that stuff (11.16). He defends Stew Cat.
  • In the morning Timothy and Stew Cat are gone, and Phillip is frightened. He circles the island using his cane and finds Timothy on the north side.
  • He asks where Stew Cat is, and Timothy says probably hunting a lizard. Timothy is cutting a piece of wood and says he hasn't seen the cat.
  • The two go back to the hut to eat breakfast, after which Timothy slips away with his hunting knife.
  • Phillip searches for Stew Cat with no luck, though he thinks he hears faint meows over the wind.
  • Phillip freaks himself out and thinks that if Timothy hurts Stew Cat, he might hurt Timothy. He considers getting on the raft, but after checking the rope, he finds that it's been cut loose!
  • Phillip is scared. To top it off, he accidentally steps on a skate (like a sea ray).
  • Phillip trusts Timothy but is scared by all this "jumbi" stuff (11.51).
  • Timothy finally returns to the hut and nails something to the roof. Phillip investigates it with his hands. It's a carving of a cat with spikes driven into it.
  • Phillip feels weak and sits down on a log. Timothy comes along and drops Stew Cat in his lap. Timothy had the cat out on the raft while he carved the figure to chase off the jumbi.
  • Timothy tells Phillip that their luck will change now.
  • But it doesn't, Phillip tells us. It only gets worse.

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