Chapter 2 Summary
The Aleuts and Captain Orlov move to the island immediately, making many trips back and forth from their ship. They are camping on higher ground, with permission from the chief, since the beach is small and the tide often covers it. They camp here most of the summer.
The island is two leagues long and one league wide, and from a high vantage point the island looks like a dolphin lying on its side. It is named The Island of the Blue Dolphins, either because of its shape or because many dolphins live in the sea surrounding it. The wind is strong on the island, polishing rocks and twisting trees. The village is situated near the cove and a good fresh spring. North of the village is another spring, and that is where the Aleuts erected their low tents made of skins.
The girl’s father warns his people not to visit the hunters’ camp, for their ways and language are not the same. Each of them will benefit from the hunting; the Aleuts will take otter and leave behind goods which the villagers can use. Befriending them will not bring any profit to the natives. While these are not the same hunters who “caused trouble” before, they are of the same tribe; they do not understand friendship. No one disobeys their chief; however, someone is always watching the Aleuts to see what they do and how many otters they kill.
After Ramo watches, he says Captain Orlov brushes his beard until it is shiny every morning. When Ulape (Karana’s older sister by two years) watches, she tells everyone that one of the hunters is a girl who keeps her long hair tucked under her hunting cap. No one believes her. The Aleuts are also watching the village or they would not have learned about the village’s good fortune. Early spring is not a good season for fishing, so the villagers eat sparingly then, mostly from their autumn stores. Ulape is gathering shellfish, and on the way home she hears a loud noise behind her. Looking down from the cliff, she is not at first sure what she is seeing.
The shapes begin to move and she can see it is a school of large white bass; each of them is as large as she is. They came into the cove to escape the pursuit of the killer whales which eat them, and they so misjudged the depth of the water...
(The entire section is 631 words.)