Fritz has a kind but firm nature; when he and Ernst come across the pirates and find two captives on the beach, Fritz tries to free the captain even if it means they almost don’t escape with their lives—he doesn’t want to leave anyone behind! He also urges his father to save the animals off the ship, and rescue the dogs. Though somewhat persuaded by Roberta’s attempts to gain his attention, Fritz is also disinterested in the normal life she proposes for him back in London—he would far rather stay on the island and live an unusual existence in a tree, or even go on to New Guinea as his father had planned, than don a top hat and act the part of a gentleman. It’s more important in his eyes to do what he most loves than to be something in society or adapt to what society thinks of as a “proper” gentleman. Fritz easily adapts to the island and can be a bit of a daredevil, choosing to swing across the pond on the vines ahead of everyone else. He also forages through the swamp, fights off a boa constrictor, improvises in how he handles the problems they run into (no compass? Never mind, I don’t need it!), enjoys teaching Roberta to do hands-on things (such as shooting guns and setting off explosives) and often engages in hand-to-hand combat, both with the pirates that are attempting to kill them, and his brother. Jealous Ernst is having such a good time with Roberta at Christmas, Fritz sticks a piece of banana in the loop of his pants and sets the monkey on him, so he can steal her away for a dance.  

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Fritz has a gentle spirit and mild manner about him. He easily defers to his father’s authority and cares about everyone universally. He would rather not let things get to him, and maintains a cheerful, optimistic attitude even when things seem dire. It’s funny to him to think that they were once as scared as the “cabin boy” seems to be, because he has quietly adapted to their circumstances. But the more time he spends with Roberta, and the more interest he takes in her romantically, the less amiable Fritz becomes. He starts battling for power against his brother. Challenging him, trying to be the boss, and insisting upon being the leader, just to impress her. He handles things more and more with his fists. And he can be brisk, dismissive, and even blunt, though he will lapse once more into his good-natured side when his father calls them out for fighting.