Study Guide

Jacob Have I Loved Chapter 9

By Katherine Paterson

Chapter 9

  • Now that everyone knows for sure that the Captain is actually Hiram Wallace, one mystery is settled.
  • But now, there's another problem: what to do about Auntie Braxton's house?
  • The Captain suggests that he, Call, and Louise clean it up. First, though, they have to get rid of the cats—and by "get rid of," the Captain means kill them.
  • Louise is pretty horrified by the idea, but in the end, she agrees to round up the cats. She and Call get 16 of them into big bags, and then the Captain gets his boat. He plans to take them out on the bay and drown them. Poor kitties.
  • As the death cruise sets sail, though, Louise just can't do it, so she jumps out of the boat and swims back to land, and then she runs all the way back home.
  • Who do you think is there waiting? Caroline.
  • Caroline is actually being really nice, though, and she offers to help Louise, so Louise finally tells her everything.
  • Caroline suggests that she head back to Auntie Braxton's house to help everyone clean up. Figuring she has nothing else to do, Louise agrees.
  • When the two girls get to the house, they see the Captain and Call with two bags of cats. They explain that they just couldn't kill the cute little kitties—they sounded like crying babies.
  • Caroline suggests another plan: they feed the cats paregoric, a kind of drug that gets them calmed down enough not to look like starving, wild beasts.
  • With the kitties soothed, Caroline takes them around door to door, pushing them on people. Everyone loves Caroline, plus the cats look so sweet all drugged up, so the kittens are all adopted in no time.
  • Back at Auntie Braxton's house, Call and Caroline talk about unloading the cats with the Captain, and everyone laughs and laughs and laughs.
  • Everyone except Louise, that is. Geez, it's just like Caroline to make everything all about her.

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