In today's chapter we don't flash back to anything! *gasp!*
Instead ... well...nothing really happens.
Cole is cold, so he makes a fire using the coals from the burned hut and green branches that he's cut from trees. And he's tired and angry. And needs to think straight Then he sees the bear, again. He yells at the bear, saying that he'll kill it.
To make good on this threat he goes off to make a spear from a sapling. As he does so, he avoids the thistly Devil's Club. I call this out, because this hasn't been mentioned at all before. It'd be one thing to say a thistly plant, but to give it a name when Cole is hardly the sort that would care what a plant was called is just the sort of thing that drops the reader out of the story. (Not that we were in the story much in the first place.) Because it makes the reader wonder where did that name come from? Why is it mentioned? Is it dangerous? Does it have a point at all? Does this story have a point? Why am I here? Who are you? What's that!!! AAGGGGHHHH!!!
So, Cole makes a sharp stick. I refuse to call it a spear, because I really don't think he has the skill to make one. He makes a sharpen stick and goes back to his fire. It's smoky and there are mosquitoes. Mind you, most of this is being told instead of shown. We're just told that he found a sapling. Not how he looked for it or how he tried sharpening it or anything. Just: "Turning his back on the bear, he walked up to the trees to find a thin, straight, sapling to make a spear. As he searched, he carefully avoided the thistly Devil's Club.
When he found the perfect sapling, he hacked it off with the knife blade and sharpened the end. Balancing the spear in his heand, he nodded with satisfaction, then returned to the fire and rested the spear against a tree." This is the weapon he's going to use to kill the Spirit Bear. There should be thought in this. We should see what he's feeling (besides anger) and if he's proud with his work, if it was hard to do for him? Things like that. It could have been an excellent place to explore some of Cole's character besides burning hate, but we don't get that.
However, a bunch of mosquitoes bite him.
Once again he thinks about escaping. By the same route. Thinking that if he leaves during the day and during the right tide, he'll have a better chance of escape. I'll leave you to contemplate that on your own.
He sleeps badly. It rains. He chases some gulls and gets a fish. Which he cooks and eat. It rains more. He's wet and wishes he had the shelter.
Then he sees the bear. Again. So, what does Cole do? He goes off to kill the bear.
"It would have to run to escape. But still it remained, rain dripping from its matted coat.
As Cole neared, he slowed. Any second now, the bear would would turn and run. Just in case it didn't, Cole raised the spear over his shoulder.
Instead of fleeing, the bear shifted position to face Cole directly. Head hung low, it waited. Cole hesitated, then kept inching forward. It puzzled him that the bear would hold its ground. It must be bluffing. Surely it would turn and run. If it didn't it would die. He intended to kill it. Didn't the stupid moron know that?"
I don't think I need to say anything about that.
And then: "Cole found courage in the Spirit Bear's stillness. It must be scared. Why else would it just stand there instead of attacking?"
And then he attacks the bear.
|Touching Spirit Bear|
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