Phillip lived with his parents on the island of Curacao. The island's main source of income was petroleum products. The Germans were attacking the ships on the island because it impacted the amount of petroleum products that could get to the English fighting in World War II. Phillip’s mother wanted to go somewhere safe. She was very uncomfortable with the knowledge of German submarines attacking the island. So, she convinced her husband to send them back to Norfolk, Virginia. Since Phillip’s mother had a fear of flying, they were to take a ship home.
Phillip does not want to go. His first line of defense was to argue with his mother. He accused her of being a coward and then told her he hated her. Then he thought of a plan in which he would hide until the ship had sailed. But he realized that hiding on an island was not realistic. He, then, told his father he wanted to stay with him. But his father told him that,
“….I think it is best that you go with your mother. At a time like this, I can’t be at home very much” (Taylor 25).
Then he talked to his mother about staying on the island, and she became very upset. She felt unloved and began to cry. Finally, his father settled it all and said,
“Phillip, the decision is made. You’ll leave Friday with your mother” (Taylor 25).