The horse's handler did not have a life jacket and panicked. He tried to rip the jacket off of Alec, but the Captain threw him off. The man tried to jump into a life boat but fell into the water and drowned.
Alec went to the stall to set the stallion free so that he would have a chance at life.
There was an explosion on the ship and no lifeboat for Alec. He saw the Black swimming not more than 10 yards away with a rope still around his neck. Alec decided that he would rather die with the Black than alone.
Alec was pulled by the Black and with the help of the life jacket he was able to keep his head above water.
The Drake sank.
The stallion and Alec swam for hours. During this time he stopped four times during the night.
Suddenly, Alec saw a small island and realized they were riding the waves into shore.
The Black dragged Alec onto the beach but was able to cut himself free with the knife his Uncle had given him.
Chapter 3 "The Island"
The island was not more than two miles in circumference.
Alec was worried about starvation and knew that if he killed the Black he could eat horsemeat. He also knew that he could not kill the Black who had saved his life.
Alec remembered learning in Biology class about carragheen which is a form of seaweed. It is edible if washed and dried. The moss on the island smelled the same as in the classroom. Alec and the Black ate the carragheen and drank from the spring. He had found food for both him and the Black.
Chapter 4 "The Wildest of All Wild Creatures"
While Alec was searching for carragheen he heard the stallion scream. The stallion was on his hind legs, teeth bared and pawing at the earth. Alec realized that Black had killed a poisonous snake and wondered if he had done so to save Alec's life.
Days passed and the stallion now came at Alec's call.