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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris-Free Study Guide-MonkeyNotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 15

Summary

The first vehicle Christine stops is a pickup driven by none other than her younger cousin, Foxy Cree. He offers to take her to his mother Paulineís house, but she refuses, asking to be taken to Daytonís place instead. Foxy hasnít changed much, still boasting about a wild mare he is going to break at the next Havre rodeo.

Dayton lives across the road from his own motherís house in a house he built himself. Christine explores the house in Daytonís absence, noticing that he has been dabbling with oil painting. While browsing through the house, she finds a picture of herself and Rayona on the wall. This surprises her as she thought of herself as nothing but trouble to Dayton.

When Dayton arrives home, Christine first pretends to be asleep to let him get used to the idea of her presence. She tells him the truth of her sudden appearance, including the fact that she is dying. He doesnít refuse to take her in, or to treat her as if he truly were a big brother. When he leaves for the work the next morning, he leaves a note telling her when he will be home; it is the first time in her life any man has given her such consideration.



In Daytonís absence, Christine discovers that he has a secret of his own. He had become a high school science teacher and basketball coach and had been accused of improper conduct toward a 16 year old boy. Although Dayton denied everything, he was still convicted on the grounds of hearsay and circumstantial evidence. He received a 5-year prison sentence but was released early for good behavior. He had become an accountant rather than go back to teaching.

After living at Daytonís about two weeks, Christine discovers that she is nearly out of the pain medicine she takes. She and Dayton go to Aunt Idaís to pick up the package that her nurse friend Charlene has sent from Seattle. Ida refuses to acknowledge that Christine is really sick. She tells her that she never wanted Christine in the first place. Christine takes it as an attempt to deliberately hurt her. She leaves telling Ida to "just take care of Rayona." Ida calls her "Tina" the childhood name that Lee had called her, but is unable to say anything more.

Notes

Ida is still responding out of fear of further loss, and is thus unable to accept the severity of Christineís illness. During the confrontation, Ida screams at Christine that she "never wanted her anyway," and Christine finds it surprising that the most painful words Ida could speak somehow sound like an apology. Idaís use of the name "Tina" is a cry from her own tormented heart, and contains a world of memories of both Lee and Christine. It reveals that Ida does love and want her; in her own way Christine knows this. The problem is that neither woman can accept love on the otherís terms.

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