Chapter 25 Summary
Never again do the Aleuts come to the Island of the Blue Dolphins, but every summer Karana watches for them and every spring she gathers shellfish, which she dries and stores in the cave along with her canoe. Two winters after the hunters left, she makes more weapons to store with the food and her canoe. In case they ever do return, she will always be ready to go to another part of the island, or even move from cave to cave if she must.
For many summers after the hunters left, the herd of otters leaves Coral Cove. The oldest otters in the herd remember the time of year when the danger comes, and they lead the herd away from the island to stay at Tall Rock until the first winter storms arrive. Sometimes Karana and Rontu go there for several days, catching fish and feeding them to the otters she knows.
One summer the otters do not leave. It is the summer Rontu dies, and then Karana knows that the otters old enough to remember the hunters have all died. Even she no longer thinks of them often, not the Aleuts and not the white men who had promised to come so long ago. Until this summer, she kept track by making notches in a pole of all the moons since she and her brother were left alone on the island. There are many marks, but she no longer counts because counting no longer has meaning.
Rontu dies late in the summer. Since spring, he does not want to go fishing with Karana; he prefers to lie in the sun in front of her house, and she lets him. One night he stands at the fence, barking for her to let him out; he often does this on the night of a full moon, but he always comes back. Tonight there is no moon and he does not come back. She waits for him all day and then goes looking for him. She follows his tracks to the lair in which he once lived. She finds him there, alone in the back of the...
(The entire section is 543 words.)