Study Guide

The Cay Chapter 10

By Theodore Taylor

Chapter 10

  • On the seventeenth night it rains, filling up the catchment that Timothy built, a trough made out of two boards from the raft.
  • It rains for almost two hours. Phillip loves the rain because he knows it's there without seeing it. He can "hear and feel it." (10.5) He wants it to rain all night.
  • The two talk about Phillip's home and mother, and Timothy's childhood. Timothy can't remember much, but he didn't go to school and was working on a fishing boat by the age of 9.
  • Timothy tells Phillip about the annual carnival where he dressed up in a donkey hide and paraded around drinking rum.
  • Phillip thinks about his racist mother and asks why there are "different colors of skin, white and black, brown and red" (10.13).
  • Timothy laughs and asks why fish are different colors or there are different flowers? He tells Phillip that beneath the skin, "all is d'same" (10.13).
  • After Timothy falls asleep, Phillip wishes his father and mother could see them together. He snuggles against Timothy, who feels neither white nor black.
  • The next morning they have pompano (a fish) for breakfast. Timothy hints to Phillip that he should climb a coconut tree, but Phillip isn't brave enough.
  • Timothy puts the coconuts out of his mind and mentions how much Phillip has changed: his skin is all brown now and his hair is ropy. His clothes are in tatters and his eyes stare (which kind of creeps Timothy out).
  • Speaking of eyes, Phillip asks Timothy when his friend from Barbados got his vision back. Timothy says it was after a few months, but Phillip reminds him that he had said before that it was only "three days" (10.35).
  • Oops. Timothy changes the subject and says they should get to work. Phillip observes that he does that a lot now. He asks them what work they have to do, and Timothy is flustered and rattles off a big list.