Island of the Blue Dolphins 01 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins 01 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Author:Scott O'Dell [O'Dell, Scott]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
ISBN: 9780141925240
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published: 2012-04-26T22:00:00+00:00


The white men’s ship did not return that spring or in the summer. But every day, whether I was on the headland or gathering shellfish on the rocks or working on my canoe, I watched for it. I also watched for the red ship of the Aleuts.

I was not sure what I would do if the Aleuts came. I could hide in the cave which I had stored with food and water, for it was surrounded by thick brush and the mouth of the ravine could only be reached from the sea. The Aleuts had not used the spring and did not know about it because there was another one closer to where they had camped. But they might come upon the cave by chance and then I must be ready to flee.

For this reason I worked on the canoe I had abandoned on the spit. I went to the place where the others were hidden, but they were dried out and cracked. Also they were too heavy for a girl to push into the water, even a girl as strong as I was.

The tides had almost buried the canoe, and I laboured many days to dig it out of the sand. Since the weather was warm, I did not go back and forth to my house on the headland, but cooked my meals on the sandspit and at night slept in the canoe, which saved much time.

Even this canoe was too big for me to pull easily in and out of the water, so I set about making it smaller. I did this by loosening all the planks, by cutting the sinews and heating the pitch that bound them together. I then shaped these planks to half their length, using sharp knives made from a black stone which is to be found at one place on the island, and bound them back together with fresh pitch and sinews.

The canoe when I had finished was not so beautiful as it had been before, but I could now lift one end of it and drag it through the waves.

All the time I was working on the canoe, which was most of that summer, Rontu was with me. He was either sleeping in the shade of the canoe or running up and down the sandspit chasing the pelicans that roost there in great numbers because there are numerous fish near by. He never caught any of the birds, yet he would keep trying until his tongue hung out of his mouth.

He had learned his name quickly and many words that meant something to him. Zalwit, for example, which is our word for pelican, and naip which means fish. I talked to him often, using these words and others and many that he did not understand, just as though I were talking to one of my people.

‘Rontu,’ I would say after he had stolen a special fish I had speared for my supper, ‘tell me why it is that you are such a handsome dog and yet such a thief.


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