Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

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Chapter 7 Summary

The villagers had left nearly everything behind them when they left for the cliffs, so as they are packing all their belongings now there is great excitement. Nanko is walking around trying to get them all to hurry, for the wind has risen and the ship cannot wait long. Karana fills two baskets with the belongings she wants to take: three whalebone needles, an awl, a stone knife, two cooking pots, and a small box made of shells containing many earrings. Ulape is vainer than her sister and has two boxes of earrings. She also draws a thin mark across her nose and cheekbones with blue clay—the symbol of being unmarried.

Nanko and Ulape tease one another, but he is serious about rushing everybody to the ship as the winds begins to blow in fierce gusts. Ramo is far ahead of his sisters but comes back to say he has forgotten his fishing spear. Nanko is motioning them to hurry, so Karana does not allow Ramo to back for the spear. The ship is anchored as close to shore as it can get, and there are two boats on the beach, four white men standing next to them. All of the village men are already on the ship, and Nanko tells Karana her brother is already aboard the ship, too. The women are then divided into two groups and loaded into the boats.

The cove is protected, but as soon as the smaller boats move out of its shelter they are wildly tossed and wetted by the waves. Finally they arrive on the ship. As soon as everyone is aboard, the white captain instructs his men to prepare to sail. Karana calls for Ramo, since she knows he is likely to be a nuisance to the men trying to work. The ship is big and crowded, but Ramo does not...

(The entire section is 631 words.)