Study Guide

Jacob Have I Loved Chapter 5

By Katherine Paterson

Chapter 5

  • OK, so pretty soon, the people on Rass Island decide that the stranger must be Hiram Wallace. He was the son of Captain and Mrs. Wallace, who died 20 years earlier and left their house abandoned.
  • All of the kids on Rass Island thought Captain Wallace's old house was haunted. Once, Call and Louise went there to check it out but got totally freaked out when a tomcat jumped out at them. Hey, that could have been the ghost of Captain Wallace trying to scare them away.
  • Slowly, Call and Louise find out that Hiram Wallace was kind of a big deal on Rass Island back in the day. All of the girls wanted to marry him, but he went off to college instead. See? Fancy.
  • But, when Hiram came back, something was off about him. One day, there was a huge storm out on the water, and Hiram and his father were in their boat. Hiram got so panicked that the mast would be struck by lightening, he chopped it down. Not a good idea. He hightailed it out of town after that. That was 50 years ago.
  • So, this mysterious stranger is Hiram Wallace. Mystery solved? Louise isn't so sure. Maybe he's a World War II spy trying to gather intel on their little town.
  • That makes total sense, so Louise convinces Call to sneak up to the Wallace house to check out the guy.
  • When they get there, they're spotted, but instead of hollering, "Get off my lawn!" the mystery man walks right up to them and invites them in.
  • Turns out, he's actually a really nice guy. When Call tells him their names are Wheeze and Call, he suggests they'd be better off calling themselves Wheeze and Cough. Har har.
  • Thing is, Call really finds this guy's jokes funny. Yes, Louise is a little offended.
  • Since the man never admits to being Hiram Wallace, Louise and Call just start calling him the Captain. Hey, he has his own boat, so it fits.
  • The Captain might actually be fonder of Call than Louise, but she doesn't mind—it's good for Call to have a male role model. Of course, Louise can't really afford to lose her best friend to some old guy, though, either.

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