The Cay Questions and Answers
by Theodore Taylor

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What is a summary of Chapter 5 of The Cay?

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Timothy and Phillip have been drifting on the raft for three days. Towards noon on the third day, Timothy says tensely that he hears a motor. Phillip listens carefully, and, sure enough, hears the far-off sound of an engine. Timothy excitedly identifies the motor as belonging to a plane, and he quickly makes a torch by wrapping some material over a piece of wood and lighting it.

The faint sound of the aircraft seems to come closer, and Timothy, seeing it, frantically waves the torch and shouts. Sadly, the pilot does not see the raft, and soon the sound of the plane's motor fades away. Timothy douses the torch and sits down beside Phillip, telling him to to be discouraged. He believes they are drifting into the aircraft track, and will be found soon.

Phillip crawls to the end of the raft, and Timothy warns him gently not to get too close to the water, because of the sharks. Phillip reflects that he is glad that he had seen Timothy before going blind, so that he has an idea in his mind of what he looks like. Phillip asks Timothy to tell him "what's out there" on the ocean, and Timothy describes the "miles o' blue wattah," and the wildlife that surrounds them. He tells Phillip about the fish, and a turtle, as well as an odd-named bird called a "booby." Phillip laughs at the bird's funny name, and, since Phillip has never seen a booby, Timothy describes what it looks like. Phillip tries to picture it, and, as the possible finality of his blindness strikes him, wonders if he will ever see a bird again (Chapter 7).

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