Chapter 41 Summary
At home, the family mourns and buries their much loved pet, Juno. This temporarily takes their minds off Fritz's absence. After five days, the father begins to worry. On the sixth day, the family boards the sailboat, determined to find Fritz.
As they head for the island of the oysters, the last place they had seen Fritz, it is not the hidden reefs and rocks making their journey dangerous. This time it is a whale. The father identifies it as a cachalot whale, known for its bad temper and tendency to ram against boats, causing great damage. The father takes aim. Finally a bullet makes its mark and the whale turns away, leaving blood in its wake.
The family's fears are only momentarily diminished as ahead they see a canoe quickly dart behind a rock. The father glimpsed a dark-skinned native paddling away and suspects pirates. The family take up their arms and wait. Again the canoe appears and again quickly slips away. The father tells one son to hoist a white flag. Then he shouts the only Malayan words he knows. There is no reaction.
Jack yells threateningly that the man should come aboard and make friends or be shot. The father is shocked and scolds him for making the situation worse. Jack proves otherwise as he says, "He is paddling toward us!"
Franz recognizes his brother first, spotting the walrus head on the kayak. As the boat comes closer, Fritz tells them he thought, with the father speaking Malayan, they were pirates. Fritz has smeared his body with a dark material to look more like a native.
Fritz leads the family to another island, newly explored. On the way, the father tells Elizabeth of the note Fritz found.
Fritz is far enough ahead that he has time to land and run into the nearby woods. When the family dock, they see Fritz reemerge with what looks like a young sailor, whom Fritz introduces Edward Montrose. The father is not fooled; he detects something very feminine about the sailor. However, he waits until Fritz gives details.
Fritz tells his brothers how he found the note and traveled many islands, looking for a smoking mountain. He never saw smoke until one day, he noticed a plume. He rowed quickly to shore and called out that God had sent him for the person's safety: "Miss Montrose came quickly forward." At this announcement, the boys start shouting, asking what their brother means by "Miss."