Chapter 17 Summary

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Brian gets right to work restoring order after the twin disasters of the moose and the tornado. He must first rebuild his fire, and with his increased skill level, he gets one going in less than an hour. Gathering wood is more difficult because the injuries to his ribs and shoulder force him to move slowly. He manages to collect enough wood to keep the fire going for a day and a night, then he turns his attention to rebuilding his shelter.

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Luck is with Brian, and he finds a large piece of his original wall nearby and still intact. He drags it back into place and secures it crudely, planning to improve upon it later. Exhausted now, Brian goes to bed at nightfall; tomorrow he will look for food and reinforce his shelter to “bring things back to sanity.”

As he is falling asleep, Brian remembers the tail of the plane sticking up in the lake. It occurs to him that the survival pack had been stored in that area, and he wonders if he might be able to find and retrieve it. The pack is filled with all kinds of wonderful things that would be useful to him, and Brian knows that if he can only get his hands on it, he will be “rich.”

Although he is anxious to get started on his quest for the survival pack the next morning, Brian knows it is important for him to take some nourishment first. He remakes his spear then catches three small fish, cooks them, and eats. They do not fill him up, but they give him strength, and he is able to begin his project on the plane.

Thinking things through carefully, Brian conjectures that he will need to make a raft and “push-paddle” it to the plane so he will have a “working base.” Serviceable logs are easy to come by, but Brian is stymied when he tries to figure out how to hold them together. Finally, Brian discovers that if he uses logs with limbs sticking out of them, he can weave the limbs together, creating a crude contraption that will serve as a raft.

By late afternoon, Brian sets out to move the raft out to the plane, but he discovers that propelling it is “about like trying to push an aircraft carrier.” At the rate he is going, he will most likely reach the plane at dark, so he turns back and resolves to try again first thing the next morning.

Back at his camp, Brian collects more wood to keep the fire going...

(The entire section contains 670 words.)

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