Islands in the Stream Part 3, Chapter 13 Summary

Ernest Hemingway

Part 3, Chapter 13 Summary

Thomas Hudson and his men search the beach at Puerto Coco and look for tracks or signs that the turtle boat containing the Germans might have passed that way. As on the day before, the squalls put a halt to their search. Thomas Hudson only finds a lagoon filled with tropical birds taking shelter from the coming storm. Other than signs of an old campfire, there is nothing, and Ara picks him up in the dinghy. Ara tells him that no one else found any signs either. All are on board but Willie, who had taken the longest search. Ara hopes the rain will cool Willie off. He asks Thomas Hudson where he thinks the Germans have gone. Thomas Hudson thinks they are at Guillermo because that is where he would have gone if he had been in their place.

On board, Thomas Hudson dries off and changes clothes, then he joins the others who have returned for a drink. He does not want to drink rum but decides it would look pompous if he does not because all the others are. He splits a drink with Peters. Peters drinks a toast to Thomas Hudson, who will not return the toast until he has all the radios functioning.

Thomas Hudson goes back up on deck and reflects that he cannot feel the same about Peters as he does the others. He feels that he is in some way false but will eventually become true. Willie returns but has seen nothing. They haul the wrapped submachine guns on board. Willie says they should clean the guns right away, but Ara says the two of them must dry themselves first. Willie points out that the Germans can sail in the squalls if they want to. He speculates that they lay up in the calm of day then sail during the storms because they know their pursuers will not risk following them. Thomas Hudson repeats his belief that they will catch the Germans at Guillermo. Willie regrets that they do not have radar, but Thomas Hudson does not see how this would be of much help. Willie wants to catch the Germans and kill all of them, but Thomas Hudson asks him what the point of this would be. Willie reminds him of a previous massacre by the Germans, but Thomas Hudson does not want to hear this. He wants living prisoners who can give information.