Chapter 22 Summary
That night Karana sleeps on the headland near her five baskets of belongings. She did not go back into her cave, and she did not take the necklace from the rocks. At dawn she hides on a brushy ledge near the spring and where she can observe the mouth of her cave. The sun is shining on the black necklace and Karana wants to go see if they will make two loops around her neck, but she stays where she is. She watches all morning; when the sun is high, Rontu barks and she hears steps below her. Tutok comes out of the brush, singing as she walks toward the cave. She stops and grows quiet when she notices the beads still lying on the rock.
As she is about to leave, Karana jumps to her feet and calls the girl’s name. She comes out of the brush so quickly that she must have been hiding to see if Karana would return. Karana runs to the rock and puts the necklace on before turning around to let the giver admire her. The beads make three loops around her neck and are oval instead of round, a shape which takes much skill to make. Both girls speak the word “pretty” in their native languages, and then they laugh.
They point to things and each of them speaks the name for them, trading names and laughing until the sun is in the west. Tutok says she must go and asks her new friend’s name before she leaves. Karana does not reveal her secret name; she gives her other name, Won-a-pa-lei, The Girl with the Long Black Hair. After Tutok’s footsteps have faded completely away, Karana brings her baskets back to the cave to live.
Tutok comes again the next day, and they again play the game of naming and laughing together. On the third day of her coming, Karana reveals her secret name, though Tutok does not understand what Karana is telling her. That night, Karana begins to make a gift for her new friend in exchange for the necklace. She has many abalone shells already flaked into thin disks and decides to make a circlet for Tutok’s hair. It takes her five nights, and when she finally places it on her head, Tutok hugs her. Karana forgets how sore her fingers are from boring holes in the hard shells.
Many times the girl comes to the cave, but one morning she does not come. Karana waits for her all day and at dusk moves to the ledge for the night,...
(The entire section is 658 words.)