Study Guide

Typee Chapter 7

By Herman Melville

Chapter 7

  • Though before it had seemed as if the valley-living tribe was close, Tommo and Toby see now that the mountain is broken into a series of ridges, and that they'll have to go up and down and up and down at near-vertical angles in order to make progress.
  • Worse, the food supply is small. They had planned on encountering fruit trees by now, but…well, there are none. They have ten days until their ship moves on, and have to stay hidden until then.
  • They examine their stores and divide everything into small portions, then continue on their hike.
  • Arriving at a deep ravine, they discuss their options and use a series of tree roots to descend bit by bit. They stay the night at the bottom of the ravine, and get almost no sleep in torrential rain.
  • In the morning, the rain has ended and they resume and eat their biscuit crumbs (mmm…crumbs…).
  • The going is so slow that Tommo and Toby decide they'll figure out some place to stay, instead of dealing with all of these bad surprises.
  • In another rain storm, they again find a bit of leaf-shelter and try to rest. Tommo begins to feel sick and feverish. To top it off, one of his legs is swelling as if some poisonous beast had taken a chomp when he wasn't paying attention. Unable to sleep, he brushes aside a bush and sees a settled (hopefully Happar) valley, instantly their new destination.