Cloud Atlas: Chapter Summary (Chapter 1: The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing)
Thursday, 7th November: Adam is walking beyond the Indian hamlet when he comes across a set of footprints. He follows them to the shore, where he sees a man sifting through the sand is if searching for something. The man’s name is Dr. Henry Goose. Adam offers Dr. Goose assistance. The man reveals he is collecting teeth spit out by the cannibals who used to live in the area. He plans on using these teeth to get petty revenge on a Marchioness who made fun of him. Adam quickly leaves the doctor alone.
Friday, 8th November: Adam is waiting for his ship, the Prophetess, to be ready for departure. He becomes friends with Henry Goose, who he misjudged. They spend their free time swapping stories and playing chess.
Saturday, 9th November: In the morning, Adam and Dr. Goose set out toward the beach. On their way, they pass through a village where a flogging is happening. They stop to watch, and the prisoner makes direct eye contact with Adam. Adam inquires about the reason for his punishment but doesn’t get an answer.
Sunday, 10th November: The tavern in which Adam and Henry Goose are staying has been overrun with sailors taking advantage of slave women. Disgusted, Adam and Henry quickly leave. Adam realizes he has forgotten his journal and goes back to retrieve it. He finds a Dutchman having sex with a black slave girl in his bed. He grabs the journal and leaves, finding the innkeeper to issue a complaint. The innkeeper merely offers him a discount, and everyone makes generally crude remarks. Adam leaves and finds Henry, and then they continue on to church where a basic service is being held. They are invited to dinner by the Evans, a local church-going family who live on a farmstead. During the meal, Adam and Henry tell stories to the family.
Monday, 11th November: At breakfast, Mr. Evans asks Dr. Goose to tend to a friend. A history of the indigenous people, the Moriori, is given. Originally hunter-gatherers, they are taken over during the colonization period, massacred by another tribe.
Night: Adam believes that the savages should be civilized rather than exterminated. Henry believes eliminating them is an act of mercy.
Tuesday, 12th November: The captain comes to the tavern to haggle over the price of salt. He talks to Henry in confidence, and Adam is wary.
Later: The captain is ill and wants Dr. Goose to accompany them to London. Adam wants Henry to travel with them.
Wednesday, 13th November: Adam goes hiking in the hills. He reaches a crater and is startled by a native Maori warrior. At the edge of the crater, Adam realizes he is not on solid ground but rather a crumbling overhang. He falls, passes out, and wakes up on a bed of moss. There are ancient tree sculptures surrounding him. Adam crawls out of the crater and rushes back to civilization.
Evening: It is late before Henry returns, and Adam asks his opinion on tropical parasites.
Thursday, 14th November: Aboard the Prophetess, about to set sail. Henry has accepted the role of ship’s doctor.
Friday, 15th November: Adam and Henry make themselves at home in their cabin.
Afternoon: One of the sailors asks Adam for information about gold in the new world, and Adam agrees to get him a map to Eldorados. They are caught by the captain and reprimanded.
Satruday, 16th November: Adam is pressured into helping an Indian stowaway hiding in his cabin. While brainstorming how to get the captain to let the native stay on board, a man falls from the rigging above to his death. Adam buys some food for his stowaway. Turns out, it is the same man who was being flogged and his name is Autua. He was punished for escaping his slaver. The next morning Adam goes to the captain. The captain tests Autua’s sailing skills, and he is allowed to work for his passage.
Wednesday, 20th November: Adam is afflicted by a parasite. If he is not treated, he will die. Henry agrees to help him recover.
Saturday, 30th November: The treatment is working.
Monday, 2nd December: Adam spends his voyage recovering. Autua thanks him for helping him stay on board, but Henry warns Adam not to get attached.
Saturday, 7th December: The whites of Adam’s eyes are turning a shade of yellow.
Sunday, 8th December: Henry and Adam conduct a short bible reading in honor of the Sabbath. The journal ends abruptly, midsentence.