The storm has grown strong, and Karana and Ramo are forced to take shelter by some rocks until night falls. When they reach the village, they find wild dogs slinking around in the huts. Though the dogs have ransacked the village, Karana and Ramo are able to find enough food to make dinner. All night the dogs wait just outside the village, and at daybreak they return to their lair. The next day Karana and Ramo gather food for their meals, and at night the dogs come jus as before.
The following day, Karana and Ramo go to the beach to gather food, and, looking out onto the sea, wonder if the white men's ship will ever return for them. Ramo decides that he will go and retrieve one of the canoes the villagers had left by the cliff, should they ever need to escape the Aleuts. When Karana tells him the canoes will be too heavy for him to handle, Ramo announces that he is now chief of Ghalas-at, since he is the son of Chowig (he now refers to himself as chief Tanyositlopai).
When Karana awakes thenext morning, Ramo is gone. She realizes that he must have gotten up early to go for the canoe, and goes to the beach to wait for him. When Ramo does not arrive at the beach, Karana returns to the village. Ramo is not there either, so she heads towards the cliff where the canoes are stored. On her way there, she hears the barking of dogs off in the distance. When Karana reaches the spot the noise is coming from, she finds Ramo dead, surrounded by the pack of dogs. She carries Ramo back to the village, and the dogs follow her all the way. She chases them away with a club, and follows them back to their lair, three hills distant. Karana considers setting a fire and pushing it into the dogs' cave, but she does not have enough brush. Instead, she returns to the village and sits up all night by hr brother's body, vowing one day to kill the wild dogs.
Many days pass after Ramo is killed, and on one foggy morning Karana decides to leave the village forever. She burns the houses down one by one, and sets out to the place where she has decided to wait for the white men's ship, west of Coral Cove. Here there is a rock upon which Karana can sleep and store food without fear of the wild dogs. Still, the dogs come every night and sit underneath the rock.
Karana decides she needs weapons to protect herself from the dogs, but the laws of Ghalas-at forbid women from making weapons. Karana returns to her village to sift through the ashes in the hope of finding spearheads, but, finding nothing, begins to look elsewhere. Remembering the black chest brought by the Aleuts, she goes to the beach. After some searching, she discovers the chest buried in the sand. Opening it, she finds beautiful bracelets and earrings made from beads. Karana puts on the jewelry and admires herself, but soon remembers all of the suffering that was caused by these trinkets. She throws them into the sea. There are no spearheads in the chest.
Karana does not think about weapons again for some time, but then the dogs begin to harass her again. After some deliberation, she decides that she must make weapons herself, since she cannot find any. She makes a small spear and a bow and arrows from wood she gathers about the island.
Feeling secure with her new weapons, Karana settles into a daily routine. She waits for the ship, but summer passes, then winter, and it does not come.
In this section, Karana finds herself truly alone for the first time. Karana and Ramo enjoyed each other's company, and Ramo even said that he preferred to be on the island of the blue dolphins with his sister when there are no other people around. Karana starts to feel the pangs of loneliness when she is on the shore waiting for Ramo. She begins to wonder whether the white men's ship will ever come and begins to experience fear for the first time since she was left on the island with Ramo. Her fear becomes panic when Ramo does not return, and to anger when she finds him dead. Karana's discomfort grows when she realizes just how alone she is. She is living in the village that was once full of her friends and family, and so the island seems all the emptier. The huts mark the places of those who are gone. Karana does not burn them because she is trying to forget her tribe, but because she does not want to be reminded that they are not there with her. Even when Karana moves away from the village and starts to make herself more comfortable, the return of the white men's ship dominates her thoughts.
Though Karana is alone, she still acts like a member of her tribe, and the traditions of her people still affect her. Even though she needs weapons to defend herself from the wild dogs, she is reluctant to make them, because the laws of her tribe forbid it. Karana's people have a very strict division of labor between the sexes. Powerful superstitions keep this tradition in place, such powerful superstitions that it takes two days before Karana's necessity overcomes her fear. Such traditions show how extraordinary it is, even for someone who has lived on Ghalas-at all her life, to survive alone on the island, since the laws of Karana's tribe necessitate interdependence (or at the very dependence of women upon men). These laws also serve to highlight Karana's aloneness (and loneliness), since it demonstrates the communal nature of her society. That Karana is able to overcome her fear of going against tradition shows her personal strength, and marks the beginning of her journey towards establishing her own code of conduct.