Chapter Summary: In this chapter The People are in a
desperate state. They return to the place where they left the two old women and
find no trace of them. The chief makes the bold decision to send hunters out to
find them, partially out of guilt, and partially to make amends. The hunters set off and find the trail
of the two old women. Dagoo, the elder of the group, believes the women might
still be alive and uses his tracking skills to find their camp.
This chapter shifts focus from the two old women to
where? (p. 93)
Answer: Focus shifts to The People and the chief.
What is the condition of The People? (p. 93)
Answer: They are in a desperate state. They are starving and
Where have they returned? (p. 93)
Answer: The People have returned to the place where they
abandoned the two old women.
The author reveals how the chief had wanted to turn back
to save the two old women. Why didn’t he turn back? (p. 94)
Answer: He was afraid the young ambitious men would see this
as a sign of weakness.
What did the chief think “bad politics” would lead to? (p.
Answer: He felt bad politics would only lead to “further
What kept the people alive after they had left the two
old women? (p. 94)
Answer: They came across a small herd of caribou that kept
them alive until spring.
Why were The People once again short on food? (p. 95)
Answer: Bad luck and the fact that it had taken all summer
to regain their strength combined to put The People in a desperate state.
What decision troubled the chief? (p. 95)
Answer: He was troubled by his decision to return to the
place where they had left the two old women.
Why did the chief avoid the eyes of the people? (p. 96)
Answer: He was as confused as they were that they could find
no sign of the two old women.
Who was Dagoo? (p. 96)
Answer: Dagoo was an older man, an elder, and a guide with
great vision and tracking skills.
Where does Dagoo suggest the two women might have gone? (p.
Answer: He says they might have “moved on.”
Who did the chief send to find the old women? (p. 97)
Answer: He sent Dagoo and three hunters.
How did Dagoo know the chief felt bad about his decision
to leave the old women? (p. 97)
Answer: He could tell from the “hard lines of bitterness
etched in his face.”
What question does the chief have about the whereabouts
of the two old women? (p. 98)
Answer: How could the two feeble women survive or find the
strength to hunt?
What did the chief hope? (p. 99)
Answer: He hoped The People would find the women alive and
get a second chance.
How long did it take the men to travel the distance it
took the women four days to travel? (p. 99)
Answer: One day.
Why did the younger hunters want to turn back? (p. 99)
Answer: They felt like they were wasting time that should be
spent hunting moose.
Who is the wisest of the four hunters sent out to find
the old women? (p. 100)
What does Dagoo see that the young men don’t see? (p. 100)
Answer: He spots the missing birch bark.
How does Dagoo know the missing bark belongs to the old
women? (p. 100)
Answer: Another band wouldn’t bother to hide the places
where they took bark off the trees.
How does Dagoo know the location of the camp? (p. 101)
Answer: He tried to think like the old women, who he knows
would be hiding from The People. He knows it would be senseless to camp away
from water, so he goes that direction.
Dagoo begins to doubt whether the women could have
survived. Why does he become unsure if the women could have lived? (p. 102)
Answer: He remembers how the old women complained and
criticized every little thing.
What did Dagoo begin to suspect happened to the old
women? (p. 102)
Answer: He thought they must have tried to cross the river
Dagoo thinks negative thoughts and nearly turns back
until he smells what? (p. 102)
Answer: Campfire smoke from the two old women.
What does the smoke smell tell Dagoo? (p. 103)
Answer: He knows that the two old women survived.
Dagoo searches the snow after smelling the smoke. What is
he looking for? (p. 104)
Answer: He is searching for tracks that might indicate
How does Dagoo let the two old women know the men are
there? (p. 105)
Answer: He hollers out to them.