How old did Timothy confess to being?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Cay by Theodore Taylor, young Phillip and an older man named Timothy end up on a small island after their ship is torpedoed. Phillip asks Timothy how old he really is and Timothy responds, "More dan seventy. Eben more dan seventy..." (Taylor 65)

Earlier in the book, when the two were still on the raft, Phillip asked the same question, and Timothy told him he did not know exactly how old he was but said he was "Lil' more dan sixty." (Taylor 41)  Philip was very surprised that anyone would not know his own age, but Timothy said he had no memory of a mother or a father. He was an orphan, raised by a woman named Hannah Gumbs, and as far as he knew, he had lived on the islands all of his life.