Chapter 42 Summary
For the next few minutes, the brothers tease Fritz about rescuing a girl. When finished laughing, they cheer the addition of a "sister" to their family.
Fritz tells the girl's story. Her name is Jenny, and she is the daughter of a British officer who served for many years in India. Jenny's mother died when she was three.
When her father was ordered to return home to England, he booked a passage for his daughter on a commercial ship. The ship ran into a storm and sank with all hands on board, except Jenny. This happened three years earlier. In the meantime, Jenny survived on her own. Fritz says he was amazed at all she had accomplished. She had built a tree structure, similar to their own at Falconhurst. She had made weapons such as bows and arrows, lances, and bird snares. She had learned to hunt and trained a cormorant, a fishing bird, to bring her food from the sea.
On their way home, the father and sons decide to find the whale carcass and cut the blubber for oil. They do not like to waste. When they find the whale beached on a small island, they also find a wolf pack making a meal of it. The family's dogs leap off the boat and rush the pack. A terrible battle ensues.
By the time the men arrive, two wolves are dead. The rest gallop away. Among the pack are a few jackals, and Coco, one of the familiy's domesticated jackals, goes with them. Coco is Jack's pet, but Coco will not listen to him.
When Jack tells Jenny, she says that once a wild animal is domesticated, the wild animals will not allow the animal back into the pack. She suggests they leave Coco alone for now but look for her the next day. She thinks that after Coco is shunned, she will be glad to return.
Jack is a little reluctant for Jenny to accompany him in the morning, but he finally relents. It does not take long to find Coco. She appears, her ears a bit ragged from bites and her fur looking very tattered, but without further urging, Coco walks back to camp with Jenny and Jack.
The family makes it home. Jenny is amazed at the luxury around her, and the boys are very pleased to have a sister.