Friday, April 13, 2012
Chapter eleven begins in 1904, and the girls of Bishop Home having a going-away party for Rachel. Haleola has recently become sick and unable to take care of herself. While Rachel is still a few months away from turning eighteen, the sisters grant permission for her to leave so she can care for Haleola.
In the first few days after Rachel moves in with Haleola, she adjusts to her new freedom. Once while surfing with her friend, Nahoa, he kisses her, and Rachel doesn't know how to react. She merely says thank you and pulls away.
Dr. Goodhue would like to try surgery as a means of controlling Rachel's leprosy. Rachel agrees. While she recuperates, Rachel cannot surf or swim, so she spends her time relaxing. One day a ship brings new leprosy victims to the settlement, and Rachel notices a beautiful young woman named Lani.
Over the next few weeks, Rachel and Lani become close. At the beach they talk about men, and at Haleola's house both Rachel and Haleola are impressed with Lani's skills in traditional Hawaiian dances, such as the hula. One evening, Lani convinces Rachel to accompany her to a party. While Rachel is inside dancing she hears a woman scream. Again she hears a scream and she rushes outside to see a man brutally beating Lani. Rachel picks up a stone and hits the man in the head, and she and Lani escape.
Rachel takes Lani to Haleola's house, and Haleola helps Rachel clean Lani's wounds. When they remove Lani's dress, Rachel sees something shocking. She sees that Lani has male genitalia. Rachel looks at Haleola, who does not seem at all surprised. Haleola says that she knew Lani was a "mahu," and that the mahu did much to preserve the hula dance. Rachel is shocked and angry at first. Later Rachel returns and walks Lani back to her cottage. Before leaving Lani, Rachel says, "If that sonofabitch comes back, we'll show him that he can't get away with hitting wahines!"