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by Theodore Taylor
The Cay Chapter 3 Summary
As you probably guessed, a torpedo does indeed hit Phillip's ship early in the morning on April 6, 1942. Mother calmly leads Phillip out onto the deck where the captain is giving orders. Phillip and his mom are handed into a lifeboat, but when the boat is lowered, everyone is plunged into the water. Crash, boom, smash! Something hits Phillip from above. Several hours later, Phillip opens his eyes to find himself on a boat with a "very old Negro" whom Phillip thinks is pretty "ugly" (his word, not ours), and the cook's cat named Stew (3.14). The old man tells Phillip he pulled him aboard the raft and doesn't know exactly where the others are. He talks with a thick West Indian accent and calls Phillip "young bahss [boss]" (3.12). Phillip is pretty freaked out, so he has himself a good cry. The old man introduces him to the cat, Stew. Phillip gets seasick and pukes over the side. The old man builds a flimsy shelter from some pieces of raft and their clothes. Phillip falls asleep. When he wakes up, his head hurts more than ever. He asks the man his name and learns that it's Timothy. Phillip introduces himself as well and asks for water to drink from the keg on the raft. Timothy will only give Phillip a little drink. Phillip gets snotty and starts complaining, but Timothy won't budge. He's a stubborn guy, and says they have to conserve water. Phillips starts to think that maybe he agrees with his racist mother – who is not so much a fan of all the black people on Curaçao. The day passes and the flying fish begin to jump around on the sea. Timothy catches one, skins it, and gives the two biggest pieces to Phillip to eat. Phillip doesn't want to eat the raw fish, but Timothy starts sucking on his right away. Phillip turns on his stomach and pouts, thinking of home. He tells Timothy that he wouldn't even be there if not for his stupid mother. Timothy zings him by asking if his mother "started dis terrible wahr, eh, young bahss?" (3.73).
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