Study Guide

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Chapter 22

By Avi

Chapter 22

  • Charlotte is entered into the log as captain, though in name only. Zachariah assumes most of the command. The captain is entered into the log as being lost at sea during the hurricane.
  • As the ship approaches Rhode Island, Charlotte becomes melancholy. What will become of her?
  • Zachariah tells Charlotte that he's originally from the east coast of Africa, but was never a slave.
  • The Seahawk arrives in Rhode Island on August 17, 1832, two months after departing from Liverpool, England.
  • Charlotte is met by her prim and proper family. She's happy to see them.
  • In the family carriage, Charlotte's brother Albert and sister Evelina comment on her dirty clothes. Charlotte's dad reminds her that he will be reading her journal (thank goodness the rat didn't eat it, eh?).
  • At the family home on Benevolent Street, Charlotte reveals her short hair to her family. She tells them it was cut because of lice. Charlotte's mother is horrified by her daughter's hard brown hands.
  • As the family eats at the table, Charlotte lets it slip that she associated with the men during the voyage. Her family is again taken aback.
  • Charlotte's father dismisses her from the table, suggesting that she get some rest.
  • In her room, the maid, Bridget, attempts to bathe and dress Charlotte and calls her "Miss." Charlotte objects, but the maid tells her that she must address her properly or the master will be upset. Charlotte is sad.
  • A second maid, Mary, comes to destroy Charlotte's old clothes and collect the journal so her father can read it. Charlotte asks if Mary will call her "Charlotte" but the second maid also declines out of fear of the master.
  • Charlotte takes her sailor's outfit from the trunk so that it will not be destroyed.
  • Charlotte is called to the parlor where she finds her mother and father, and her journal blazing in the fireplace.
  • Charlotte's father says her journal is filled with "unnatural" tales (22.158). He criticizes her spelling, and says she's forbidden to talk about the voyage with her brother and sister.
  • Charlotte is confined to her room where her only visitor is Bridget the maid. Even Bridget, though, resists Charlotte's attempts at friendship.
  • Charlotte bribes Bridget to bring her newspapers without her father's knowledge. Eventually she finds what she's looking for: a listing for the Seahawk, which will be departing on September 9th with Fisk as captain.
  • Charlotte is on good behavior for the next few days so that she's finally let out of her room. Her father suggests that she keep studying so as to have an orderly life.
  • That night, Charlotte steals out of her window. Once at the docks, she's met by Zachariah. She tells him she has decided to come home.