Chapters 13-15 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 700

Chapter 13

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In the thick woods one day, Matt and Attean find a fox caught in a cruel iron trap. Attean notes that the implement belongs to a white man because Indians do not use traps made of iron. Though the fox is suffering, Attean will not touch it. It is on the grounds of the turtle clan, and their hunting rights, above all, must be respected.

Attean says that once there was enough game for everyone, but then the white man came and began to hunt for skins only and paid the Indians to set his traps. Matt reacts angrily. He is fed up with Attean's undying contempt for the white man, and he cannot understand an Indian code that allows him to leave an animal behind to suffer. Matt wonders if he and Attean will ever really be friends, but then acknowledges that, in some strange way, he wants to earn his companion's respect. He really does appreciate all the things that Attean is teaching him, and Matt laments that the boy despises reading, the only thing that he can teach him in return. Nonetheless, Matt realizes that, because of their interaction, Attean's command of English is improving day by day. Matt, too, is starting to learn some Indian words, and though he has trouble pronouncing them correctly, he knows that Attean is pleased when he tries.

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Chapter 14

Both boys are disappointed when Robinson Crusoe comes to an end. Attean comments that he has been retelling the narrative to his Indian brothers and that the story has been well-received. Matt then remembers his father's Bible and decides that the ancient stories recounted in it will be even more exciting to share than the tale of the shipwrecked adventurer.

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Latest answer posted February 24, 2016, 3:47 am (UTC)

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Matt begins with the story of Noah and the ark. Attean listens intently and then tells Matt that his own people tell a similar story. Struggling to translate the tale from his own language, Attean recounts the experiences of Gluskabe, who, like Noah, survived a great flood. Attean's people believe that Gluskabe is the creator of the birds, animals, man, the beaver, and all Indians. Matt is intrigued, but he is puzzled too. He has heard that the Indians worship the Great Spirit, but Gluskabe sounds like one of the heroes in the old folk tales told to him by his mother. He wonders if, in their lore, Attean's people have many more stories like the one the young Indian has just shared.

Chapter 15

On the day of the two boys' "greatest adventure," Matt is in fine spirits because he has just caught his first rabbit with his bow and arrow. Unwilling to leave his catch behind, he carries it along with him as he and Attean go to visit the beaver dam again. Suddenly, a small bear cub ventures out from the underbrush up ahead. Attean warns Matt to be quiet, but it is too late: behind the cub, an immense female bear appears, angry and ready to charge.

Acting instinctively, Matt hurls the dead rabbit he is carrying right at the bear's head. The distraction provides just enough time for Attean to notch an arrow into his bow, and he strikes the bear, first in the forehead, then just below the shoulder. Attean then leaps upon the bear with his knife, and Matt follows close behind with his own weapon. When the bear finally falls, lifeless, Attean speaks to it in his own tongue. He explains to Matt that he is telling the bear he had not wanted to kill her and has asked for her forgiveness. Unexpectedly, Attean grins at Matt and delivers the ultimate compliment. "You move quick," he says. "Like Indian."

Attean announces that he will go to his people and tell them about the kill. According to their tradition, the squaws will come out to cut up the meat and carry it home. Matt is upset that he will not be allowed to have a small share of the meat or even one of the bear's big claws to show his father. He remembers Attean's compliment to him, however, and reflects that it will have to be reward enough for his part in the adventure.

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