Islands in the Stream Part 3, Chapter 7 Summary

Ernest Hemingway

Part 3, Chapter 7 Summary

As the cruiser anchors off the protected side of Cayo Cruz, Thomas Hudson tells his mate they will put out another anchor because he is unsure of the sea bottom at this point. He maneuvers the boat forward slowly, watching the grass along the banks. Even with the second anchor set, the boat rides roughly on the wind-tormented waves. Thomas Hudson sees no other choice but to let her roll. The mate puts the dinghy out into the water. The number of lines leading off from the boat makes Thomas Hudson think it looks like a spider.

Thomas Hudson tells his mate to put an outboard motor on the dinghy because he intends to go on land. The mate objects, saying that he will take Ara and Willie as well as another party in to Megano. Thomas Hudson warns him that they are supposed to be scientists.

From how his men are handling him, Thomas Hudson surmises that he must really need some rest, though he does not feel either sleepy or tired. He asks his mate to bring him an air mattress, a couple of cushions, and a drink.

Thomas Hudson settles down to read and rest; Henry is very solicitous. When Thomas Hudson asks him why he rates such service, Henry explains that the crew talked it over and agreed that he needed some rest. He says that Thomas Hudson has been pushing himself far past the point that a man can stand. Thomas Hudson explains that his problem is not fatigue but apathy. Rather than continue to argue, however, he agrees to rest. Henry will search Megano, where Willie and Ara have already gone. Peters has been working on the radio all afternoon and it is now fixed. Thomas Hudson tells him to wake him when he returns, should he be asleep.

Henry is handed up a big drink from below, which he gives to Thomas Hudson with the suggestion that he drink it, read, and go to sleep. He assures Thomas Hudson that everything will be fine. Henry goes below and Thomas Hudson hears the outboard coming in. He listens to the talking then takes his drink and throws it over the side. Thinking about the turtle boats that were spotted, he wonders if they had wounded men aboard but decides that they probably did not. He resolves to rest and to “be good.”