Chapter 4 Summary

As the father and Fritz make their way back to camp, they encounter a large monkey family. Their dog is in their midst before they can reach him. Ravenous with hunger, the dog destroys a female monkey, the mother of a young baby. At first the baby monkey hides in tall grass. However, when Fritz runs to the dead mother, the baby jumps onto his shoulders and grabs his hair. Fritz attempts to shake the creature off, but the monkey holds fast. To save both the baby and his son, the father offers the monkey a piece of a biscuit. The monkey, no bigger than a kitten, finally releases Fritz and waddles to the father, who picks him up.

Fritz asks if he can raise the orphan and his father agrees, sensing the monkey might be useful. Even as a baby, it probably already knows what wild fruits are edible or poisonous. Although the dog had devoured the mother, it does not complain when the father places the baby monkey on its back. The baby holds tightly to the dog's coat as they continue to camp.

The younger boys greet them excitedly as they near the river. First they notice the monkey, but they are also interested in the sugar cane after Fritz tells them how good the canes taste. Each then takes an item to carry.

Elizabeth is delighted to see the bowls and spoons they have carved. The utensils make her feel more civilized and make her dinner preparations much more exciting. The night before, they had eaten with oyster shells instead of bowls and spoons.

In the meantime, the father is happy to see that his younger sons have caught fish. A large one roasts on a spit made of sticks. He can also smell the tantalizing aroma of a stew Elizabeth made from ingredients from the ship. There is also a round of cheese from the ship's kitchen.

After they go to bed that night, there is a frightening sound outside their tent. The dogs bark loudly and the geese and ducks cackle in warning. Hearing this ruckus, the father and Fritz grab their guns and run outside. In the distance is a horrific battle between the two dogs and a pack of jackals. Four jackals are dead, but the others continue fighting. Fritz and his father shoot two, and the rest run away.