The raft keeps drifting along and Phillip begins to think how strange it is that he, a white boy from Virginia, is on a raft with a "giant Negro" (4.3).
Phillip recalls seeing black people in Virginia and Willemstad, though he never knew any. Henrik did, though.
Phillip learns that Timothy's home is Charlotte Amalie, on St. Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands. Phillip tells Timothy that he is American too, since America bought the Virgin Islands. Timothy says he never thought about that.
We learn that Timothy is an orphan who never knew his parents. Phillip thinks Timothy is probably from Africa since he looks like men in jungle pictures he's seen. Also, Timothy does not know quite how old he is.
Phillip says he is 12, which Timothy says is a "veree important age" (4.21).
Phillip's head soon begins to hurt, and he sleeps tucked up against Timothy with Stew Cat at his feet. When he wakes, his head still hurts, and they eat some food.
Phillip's eyes are getting hazy, and Timothy thinks it might be from looking at the sun.
Phillip sleeps some more under the shelter. When he wakes up he thinks it's night. It's not night, though. Phillip is now blind, and everything is black.
Timothy is shocked at first, but he tells Phillip that the blindness is only temporary. The same thing happened to a man in Barbados, and he got his eyesight back.
Phillip's pain is gone, but he still has a good freakout. His fear turns to anger at Timothy and his mother. He starts hitting Timothy, which Timothy lets him do, until he grows tired and falls back onto the boards of the raft.