Study Guide

The Cay Chapter 14

By Theodore Taylor

Chapter 14

  • It's a hot morning in July, and Timothy and Phillip are on the north beach collecting calico scallops. The sand is coarser on Phillip's feet there. Timothy explains that north sides of islands are always bleaker.
  • All of a sudden they hear what sounds like a gunshot. Timothy says it's just the sea. Trouble is apparently brewing, probably a hurricane.
  • They abandon the calico scallops and head back to the hut to prepare for the storm.
  • Timothy lashes the keg to a palm tree and ties the remaining rope around a palm for them to cling to if the waves get too high. Phillip begins to see the preparations Timothy has been taking all along.
  • Timothy explains that this is a freak storm; most storms don't come till later in the fall. This year, though, "d'sea be angry wid all d'death upon it. D'wahr" (14.8).
  • Phillip worries about Stew Cat, but Timothy says he'll get up in the palm. Phillip doesn't want anything to happen to any of them.
  • Timothy makes further preparations and strips the raft. He recalls a similar storm from 1928, when he was on a schooner called the Hettie Redd. He was the only one who survived.
  • The two have a big meal late in the day. The fish, Timothy says, probably won't return to the reef for at least a week.
  • After food, Timothy cleans his knife and puts it in the tin box, which he lashes high on the tree. He tells Phillip they're ready.