Islands in the Stream Part 1, Chapter 10 Summary

Ernest Hemingway

Part 1, Chapter 10 Summary

The night after David’s battle with the fish, Thomas Hudson cannot sleep. He noticed that both David and Andrew moved away from him emotionally while only Tom remained close to him. David had grown closer to Roger, and Andrew had behaved in a way in which Thomas Hudson did not approve. He berates himself for overanalyzing the situation, but there is something about the events of the day, in connection with his relationship to his sons, that frightens him.

In the morning, gale-force winds are blowing. The boys are still sleeping, and Roger has gone for a walk on the beach. Joseph informs Thomas Hudson that Eddy is nursing a black eye. Thomas Hudson knows Eddie got in a fight at the bars because no one believed his story of the fish. When Eddy comes in, his whole face and one ear are swollen. Thomas Hudson tells him he is going to paint a picture for David.

After he finishes writing letters, Thomas Hudson goes down to the dock to order supplies. He stops at Bobby’s bar on the way back to examine his painting of the waterspout. A customer has thrown a mug of beer at it, leaving an obvious mark. Bobby tells Thomas Hudson how sorry he is that no one believed Eddy about David’s fish.

They notice the yacht coming up the channel. Thomas Hudson notices how ill equipped it is to weather the strong winds. Roger comes into the bar, and they discuss the events of the previous day. Roger expresses his admiration for David. Bobby asks if Roger and Thomas Hudson are related because they are so similar. They discuss the people on the incoming yacht. Bobby only cares that they become customers.

Thomas Hudson mentions that the last time he saw Roger was in New York with “that cigarette-butt bitch.” Roger informs him that she committed suicide. Thomas Hudson can see that Roger is playing with the thought in his mind. Roger says that it sometimes seems logical, but Thomas Hudson does not believe he would ever do it because of what it would do to David. Roger states that the boy would eventually get over it. Bobby tells him to stop talking this way. He relates a story of a customer from New York who was always talking about killing himself and eventually did so. The police officer said the man was “mechanic depressive.”