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The people of Ghalaas-at watch for some sign of Kimki, but none ever comes. Spring passes and comes again, but still Kimki does not return. Matasaip, who has been chosen as chief in Kimki's place, decides that the village must turn its attention to other problems - the Aleuts. The time of year that the Aleuts come is fast approaching, and the villagers must make plans to flee the island if they return. The people of Ghalas-at stock canoes with food and water and leave them at the bottom of a cliff, so that they can quickly escape if the Aleuts are sighted.
One night, a cry goes through the village that the Aleuts have returned. The villagers file out of their homes and make for the canoes, but the man who gave the alarm returns, saying that the ship that is approaching the harbor has white sail, not the red sails of the Aleuts. Matasaip goes to investigate along with a few other men while the rest of the villagers continue toward the canoes. Soon, Nanko returns with a message from Matasaip. The villagers are anxious to hear what he has to say, but Nanko plays with them, pretending to be too tired to talk. Finally, he reveals that the ship on the bay hold white men sent by Kimki to take them away from Ghalas-at.
The villagers scramble to pack for their journey. They had brought only the bare necessities when they thought they were fleeing the Aleuts, and so choose a few possessions to bring with them. Ulape draw a mark in blue clay across her face to signal that she in unmarried. A storm is gathering, and so they must be quick, lest the white men's ship run against the rocks. As they head toward the beach, Ramo realizes he has left his fishing spear at the village, but Karana knows there is not enough time to go back tells him he must leave it behind.
When Karana reaches the beach, all of the men except Nanko and Matasaip have already boarded the ship. Karana has lost track of Ramo, but Nanko tells her the he was on the first canoe to the ship. Upon reaching the ship, Karana looks around for Ramo, but he is nowhere to be found. Nanko offers her his assurance that he is on the ship, but then Karana notices him back on the island, running along the cliff with his spear in his hand.
Chief Matasaip explains to Karana that they cannot wait for Ramo, because if they do, the ship will be wrecked against the rocks. Then, though many people try to restrain her, Karana jumps off the boat into the water and swims back to shore.
The flirtatious interaction between Karana's sister, Ulape, and Nanko is the only description of interactions among young people of the village in the novel. Though the event is mentioned only in passing, Karana refers to it much later, wondering what became of her sister. This is, in effect, the last group social event that Karana is a part of, and it becomes a symbol of all she has missed in her years alone on the island.
In chapter seven, Karana demonstrates her empathy for others as she dives into the ocean to go after her brother. This is a pivotal moment in the text that reveals Karana as a uniquely caring and empathetic individual. She has been responsible for Ramo for most of the story thus far, and takes a motherly attitude toward him. Jumping into the sea, however, seems above and beyond the call of duty—Ulape, who is just as much a sister to Ramo as Karana, does nothing.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Island of the Blue Dolphins!