Study Guide

Island of the Blue Dolphins Chapter 29

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Chapter 29

  • Two more springs pass and the white man's ship finally returns to the island. Karana has been thinking about the ship this whole time – especially the voice she heard last time.
  • The men camp on the shore for the night. The next morning, Karana once again puts on her otter cape and cormorant skirt.
  • Karana also makes the mark of her tribe on her face in blue clay – she does what Ulape had done previously, making the mark of an unmarried woman on her face.
  • Karana tells Rontu-Aru they are going away from the island, but the dog doesn't understand. (Clearly – he's a dog.)
  • She packs her things, but can't picture her future or her past – she only feels it all in a "tight feeling" in her breast (29.9).
  • Three men come to Karana's house that morning, one short guy wearing a long gray robe. They speak to her, but she doesn't understand them.
  • They gesture with their hands back and forth and eventually it's somehow communicated that Karana will go with them on the ship with her baskets and birdcage and Rontu-Aru.
  • The next thing the men do is measure Karana for a dress. Karana doesn't like it much because the dress will reach from her throat to her feet.
  • The ship stays for nine days, but can find no otters. Karana knows where they are (Tall Rock), but doesn't tell the men that.
  • Karana tries to ask the men about the ship that brought her people to the mainland, but they don't understand her. We learn that after Karana reaches Mission Santa Barbara on the mainland, she finds out that the ship carrying her people sank. No wonder the ship never returned to rescue her.
  • On the tenth day, the ship leaves the island with Karana, Rontu-Aru, the birds, and the men. She watches the island and thinks of Rontu and Won-a-nee and the happy times they had there.
  • Dolphins swim before the ship as it leaves the island.

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