Islands in the Stream Part 1, Chapter 12 Summary

Ernest Hemingway

Part 1, Chapter 12 Summary

The next day, Roger and the boys swim while Thomas Hudson works and thinks about the girl Roger picked up at the bar. She reminds him of Tom’s mother when he first met her. Roger carries David up from the beach so he will not get sand in his wounded feet. Thomas Hudson overhears the boy asking about the probability of the girl responding to Roger’s invitation. David says that Tom has declared he is in love with her.

As Roger dresses David’s feet, the girl arrives. She asks about David’s wounded feet. David tells her the story of the man who taught Tom backgammon. When the man revealed himself to be homosexual, Tom thanked him for teaching him the game and then ended their friendship. When David asks about the people on the yacht, the girl says she would rather discuss something else. Tom and Andrew come up to join them. When the girl (now identified as Audrey Bruce) expresses concern about swimming in the ocean, the boys reassure her. As they swim, Thomas Hudson admires her beauty but tries not to think about it.

As she sits with Roger on the beach, Audrey reveals that her real name is Raeburn and she knew Roger before, though he does not remember her. She has purposely followed him to Bimini. Once past the shock, Roger is very pleased. Tom also begins to remember. Audrey recalls him as a little boy in France. Andrew and David beg her to tell them about Paris, since they are going there for the rest of the summer. She tells them Roger was her hero. Thomas Hudson was as well, but he was married to Tom’s mother at the time. When they divorced, she wrote him a letter; she was ready to become his wife, but by then he had married David and Andrew’s mother. The boys ask her to stay with them. She tells them she will think about it. They offer to get a drink to help her think, though this is how the white slavers capture women, according to Tom.

Trying not to think about what he is overhearing, Thomas Hudson concentrates on his painting. Nevertheless, loneliness sweeps over him due to the implications of Audrey’s revelations. After he finishes, he goes down to talk to her. She hopes her coming will be good for Roger. As she leaves to dress for dinner, Thomas Hudson feels the happiness drain from him.