Robinson Crusoe at home.
When I was a little boy, I lived in a great city by the sea, with my father and mother. They were very kind to me and loved me dearly. They wished me to go to school and learn a great deal, so that I might some day be a useful man.
But I was lazy, and liked better to play by the river than to study. I often sat hour after hour watching the great ships loading and unloading their cargoes, and as they sailed away I wished I might go with them.
My father had told me. that the ships came from lands where the men did not look like those I knew, and the plants and animals were very different from any I had seen.
He wished me to be a merchant, but I could think of nothing but the ships, and I often ran away from my work to watch them.
When I was sixteen years old, father said to me one day: "Robinson, I wish you to be a merchant. If you attend to your work, you shall some day take charge of my business; but if you are lazy, no one will have any use for you and you will not be able to take care of yourself." He talked to me a long time about my bad habits.
I thought about what he had said and made up my mind to- work hard. But it was not long before I began to think about the ships again and long to sail across the ocean.
Father saw that I was not doing my work well, and one morning he said: Robinson, what will become of you? Do you want to become a good-for-nothing, and some day beg for your bread?"
I said: "But, father, I do not wish to be a merchant. I want to go away on one of those ships. It must be fine to be out on the ocean, and I want to see those strange lands."
My father replied: "But, my son, if you do not learn anything you will be of no use to anyone on the ship, and one must work in other countries as well as here. You must remember that idleness is the beginning of all mischief. If you disobey your father and mother and run away, you will sometime be sorry; for whoever disobeys his parents will never be happy."
While he was talking, the tears ran down his face, and I could not help but feel that I ought to do as he wished, and I again promised to do so.
But very soon I forgot all about my promise, and when my father was not near I threw my work aside, put on my hat, and went to the harbor.
As I sat watching the ships, I wished more than ever to sail away. I knew it would do no good to say more to father about going; but I went to my mother and said: "Mother, will you please ask father to let me go off on just one voyage?"
But she would listen to nothing of the kind, and with tears in her eyes she said: "Robinson, you are our only child, and if we should lose you, we would be left all alone. Your father and I are old, and who would take care of us if we should get sick? Do not make us unhappy. Do not leave us." I said nothing more then, but I could not help thinking about a voyage on the ocean.
Two years passed, and as I was walking one day along the harbor I met a friend, the son of the captain of one of the vessels.
After talking awhile, my friend said, "Well, Robinson, father starts for America today, .and I am going with him."
"Oh! how I wish I could go with you!" said I.
"Come along!" said he.
"But I have no money” I replied.
“Father will take you for nothing, I am sure," said my friend. You can work for him."
"Giving him my hand, I said, "Good! if he will let me work my way I'll go with you."
The ship on which I found myself, that bright September morning, was a large one. It was being made ready to start. Soon I heard the cry, "A—all ha—a—nds! up anchor, a—ho—oy!" At once everyone seemed to be filled with life; the sails were loosed, the yards braced, and the anchor slowly raised.
Orders were given so rapidly and there was such a hurrying about and so many strange noises that I hardly knew what to make of it. Above all sounded the boom of a cannon; then the vessel moved slowly out of the harbor. In a short time we were under way.
I turned to look at the home I was leaving. I could see the streets with the people passing up and down, the houses, and the gardens. Soon I could see only the towers; finally they, too, faded from sight, and I was out on the great ocean.
Behind me and before me, to my right and to my left, I could see nothing but water—water—water. Then I began to think of what I had done. I remembered my father's tears and my mother's kindness, and here I was out upon the ocean, sailing away from parents, home, and friends.
In a short time a strong wind arose, and the ship rocked so fearfully from side to side that I became dizzy. The storm grew worse, and I thought that every wave would surely swallow up the ship. Every time it went down into the trough or hollow of the sea, I feared it would never come up again. I told my friend that I was very much afraid; but he only laughed at me and said, "Oh, you will get used to this after awhile."
I began to feel faint, so that I had to hold on to something to keep from falling down. The masts and ropes danced about and the sailors seemed to be. walking on their heads. Finally, as I let go my hold, I fell full length upon the deck and could not rise. I was seasick. This sickness lasted for two days; then the sea became quiet and I began to get better.
This storm was followed by a few days of pleasant weather, then suddenly the sky grew dark and there was much calling and shouting among the sailors. Another storm had arisen. I thought every minute that the ship would sink and made up my mind that if I ever reached land I would go back home and stay there.
The storm lasted all day and all night. But next morning the waves were more quiet, the sky became clear, and the ocean looked beautiful. I was used to the rocking of the vessel by this time, and began to enjoy the excitement.
We had been out several weeks when another heavy storm arose. This was very much worse than either of the others; all on board thought that we were lost. The wind and waves carried the ship before them, tossing it about like a nut-shell.
Suddenly one of the sailors cried out, "Land!" All rushed out of the cabin to see where we were, but the waves broke over the deck with such fury that they were driven back into the cabin.
Then, all at once, we felt a fearful shock. The vessel had struck a rock. The sailors cried out, "The ship has sprung a leak!" The water now poured into it. Everyone called for help, and each thought only of saving his own life.
A small boat was let down into the water, and all of the men jumped into it. When we were only a little way from the sinking vessel, a great wave, that looked like a mountain, came rolling toward our boat. It was overturned and all the men went down.
I knew how to swim very well, but the waves were so strong that I could do nothing. I came to the top but a wave carried me under again. Another wave brought me again to the top, and this time I could see land very near. Then a heavy sea hurled me against a rock, and I clung to this with all my strength. Another wave dashed over me, but I held on to the rock. Then I ran up the cliff, but only a little way, for I fell, and knew nothing more for a long time.
When I opened my eyes again, my first question was, “Where am I ?" I looked about for the sailors, but alas! I did not see them, and I knew then that all must have been drowned. I was the only one whose life had been saved.
When I saw this, I knelt down on the rocks-and thanked God for His mercy to me.
Robinson In His New Home
I began to wonder what I should do here by myself. I was very wet and had no change of clothes. I was hungry and thirsty and did not know where to look for food or drink. I was also afraid that wild animals might attack me, and I had no gun.
It was getting dark and I knew that I must look for a place to sleep. Where should it be? For a long time I stood still, not knowing what to do.
At last I said, "I will do as the birds do, and rest in a tree." I soon found one with thick branches in which I could settle myself quite comfortably and sleep without danger of falling.
As I had nothing with which to defend myself but a knife, I cut me a good stick. Then I climbed the tree, arranged myself carefully and fell asleep. Being very tired, I slept soundly till morning.
When I awoke it was broad day; the weather was clear and the sea quiet. I was weak from hunger and thirst and wondered what I could find for breakfast. I got down from my bed and walked around looking for food, but I found nothing but grass, and trees that bore no fruit.
"I shall die of hunger” I thought. But when the need is greatest then God's help is nearest I had gone but a few steps when I saw a large plant with a thick stalk, and on it were three long ears. It was a stalk of corn.
I broke off one ear and ate the kernels. The other ears I put into my pocket. I also found a spring of clear, cool water.
Not far away was a high hill, and I went up that I might look about me. It took me half an hour to climb, it but when I had reached the top I could see a long distance away. I found that there was water all around me. This distressed me greatly.
"So I am upon an island," I cried, "alone and without food or shelter. O, what will become of me!"
As I spoke my eyes fell upon the ship. It lay about a mile from the shore, and had not been broken to pieces by the storm, as I had supposed. It was still resting upon the rock. "I must reach that ship," I thought. "How can I do it?"
The water was so shallow that I could wade to within a quarter of a mile of it, and I swam the remainder of the distance. By the help of a rope I climbed to the deck of the vessel. . No sooner had I reached it than I was. greeted by the joyful barking of a dog, which the sailors had named Barri. He jumped and sprang about me, rejoicing to see a friend once more. I, too, was glad to have a living being with me again.
I found many things on board the vessel which were not injured at all. First of all I hunted for food. I found a chest of ship biscuits, and gave some to Barri who was nearly starved, and I ate all I wished myself.
I gathered the things together which I wished to take with me, and built a raft by fastening a number of logs together by ropes, and nailing some boards upon these. I put upon the raft the chest of biscuits, a flint for making a fire, a box of tools, a saber, four guns, two barrels of powder, shot, clothing, and many other things.
With a broken oar I then rowed toward land. Suddenly I heard a splashing behind me, and turned about, much frightened, But it was only Barri, the faithful dog, who was swimming after me. I drew the poor fellow out of the water on to the raft.
In a half hour I landed everything safely. It was now getting dark, and again I hunted for a tree in which to spend the night.
The next morning my first thought was of the ship. I decided to bring over all of the things for which I might have any use.
I went to the vessel on my raft and brought back two kegs of nails and spikes, a large auger, a grindstone, two barrels of bullets, a large bag of shot, seven muskets, a piece of sail, and some bedding. I wanted to put on other things, but the raft 'could hold no more. I brought all these safely to land. My next care was to get my goods under cover. For this purpose I went to work to build myself a tent. I cut a few poles, set them into the ground in the form of a circle, the tops touching, and fastened the sail over them. Into this tent I put everything I had brought from the ship.
The third time I went to the ship I found in a drawer a pair of scissors, a few knives, and a bag of gold. I was very glad to get the scissors and knives, but I had no use for the gold.
As I was rowing to land a strong wind arose, and I had to hurry to reach the shore with my raft. I had barely reached it when the wind became so strong that the waves covered the ship. When the sea became quiet again nothing could be seen of it I felt very thankful that I had been able to get so much, for I thought, "How could I have lived without these things!"
My tent stood on low, wet ground and I wished to find a better spot for my home. After looking around a long time, I found a level place on the side of a hill near the sea, which suited me very well.
Back of this plain was a high, steep wall ef rock, in which was an opening like the door of a cave. I said to myself, "What a fine home I can make here!"
I first brought up my tent and everything that was in it. This was hard work. I set up the tent, and moved my things into it, then I built a double wall or fence in the shape of a semi-circle, extending from one side of the cave around to the other side, inclosing a beautiful green yard.
The front of the fence was ten" yards from the cave door, and its two ends were about twenty yards apart. This double fence was made by driving two rows of strong stakes into the ground until they stood very firm, the biggest end being out of the ground and sharpened at the top. These two rows were only six inches apart.
Between them I laid one row after another of ship cable until it reached the top. Other stakes, two and a half feet high were driven inside of the second row, leaning against them so as to brace them. Neither man nor animal could get through or over this fence.
Instead of a gate I made me a ladder so that I might go over the top. When I was within, I lifted the ladder in after me. The fencing in of my home had been a hard piece of work and had lasted more than three months.
Within this fence I built a cabin. My tent had allowed the rain to go through. I wished to make the roof of the cabin rain proof. At the sides of the cave opening I set poles in the ground ten steps apart. Upon these I laid a cross piece. Upon this cross piece were the rafters, their other end resting on the rocky cliff and forming a slanting roof.
I covered this roof with long grass and with leaves. The sides were made of wood, and I filled the cracks with mud. A piece of sail formed the door.
When I had done this I began to dig my way into the rock. I carried all the stones out through my cabin and laid them up within the fence. This raised the ground all around, about a foot and a half. The cave formed the cellar to my house.
While I was at work in the cave a storm came up. It grew dark, and suddenly there was a flash of lightning, and after that a great clap of thunder. I thought, “Oh, my powder! If the lightning should reach that, what would I do? If I lose my powder I cannot get food, and I shall have nothing with which to protect myself."
After the storm was over I shook out some small grain bags which I had, and made some others and put the powder into about a hundred of these, hoping that if some of it should burn, I could keep a part at least I hid these bags of powder in holes among the rocks. Here it could not get wet.
While I was doing this I went out at least once a day with my gun. The first time I discovered that there were goats upon the island, and I was glad to see them. But they were very shy land would run so swiftly that it was the most difficult thing in the world to catch them.
One day I watched for them, thinking perhaps I could shoot one; but when they were upon the rocks and saw me in the valley they would run away, very much frightened. When they were feeding in the valley and saw me upon the rocks, however, they took no notice of me. From this I thought that they could not see readily objects that were above them. So I climbed the rocks, to get above them, and then fired at them.
The first goat that I shot was an old one. She had a little kid by her side, which I did not see at first. It grieved me that I had killed the mother. I picked up the goat and carried it home over my shoulder, the little kid following me. I thought I could tame the kid, but it would not eat, so I had to kill it to keep it from starving to death.
Many times I grew sad, thinking of my home in England. Then I would remember how I had been saved and this would make me very thankful.
I had been on the island about ten or twelve days, when the thought came to me that I should not be able to tell the day of the week or month after a while, for want of books and pen and ink, and should not know which was the Sabbath day.
To prevent this, I set up a post, and on this I cut these words: "I came on shore here the 3Oth of September, 1659." Then for every day I cut a notch. Every seventh notch was longer than the others.
One day, as I was looking over the things
I had brought from the ship, I found pens, ink, and paper; also three good Bibles and several other books. I must not forget, also, that we had in the ship two cats, which I brought home with me.
I was careful not to waste any ink, for I knew that I could not get any more when that was gone.
One day I wrote the following upon paper:
I am cast upon a lonely island; no hope of being saved.
I am alone—one man all alone.
I have no clothes. I have nothing to fight with. I have no one to speak to.
But I am alive.
But I am not starved.
But it is warm here.
But I am upon an island where I see no wild beasts.
But God sent the ship near enough to the shore for me to get many things, and I have Barri and the cats for company
This made me think that no matter how hard my life seemed, I could find something for which to be thankful.
I needed many things in the house, so I went to work and made some. First, I made a chair and a table out of short pieces of boards which I had brought from the ship. Then I made some shelves along one side of my cave. You may know that this was no light task, when I tell you that I had no tools but an ax and an adze. If I wanted a board, I must chop down a tree, cut off from the trunk the length that I wanted, and hew it flat on either side with my ax until I had made it as thin as a plank. Then I smoothed it with my adze. In this way I could make but one board out of a whole tree. But there was no help for it, and as I had plenty of time, it was just as well to spend it in this way.
The boards which I used for shelves were a foot and a half wide, and were placed one under another all along one side of my cave. On these I laid my tools, nails, and other things. I drove spikes into the wall, on which to hang my gun. It was a great pleasure to-me to see all my goods in such order, and to know that I had so many useful things.
I went out for about two hours with my gun, every morning that it did not rain. Then I worked until eleven o'clock. After this I had my dinner. From twelve to two I slept, then I went to work again.
One day when I was out hunting I killed a young goat and lamed another. I caught the lame one, led it home, and bound up its leg, which I found was broken. I took such good care of it that it soon became as well as ever. It would eat near my door and it was so tame that it would not go away.
I worked hard, but often the rains kept me in the house. I had to go to bed early, for I had no light. I wished for a lamp very often, and I studied how to make one. The best that I could do was to save the tallow from a goat which I had killed. With a little dish made of clay, which. I baked in the sun, and some oakum for the wick, I made a lamp. This gave me a light, but not a clear, steady light like a candle.
One day I saw before my door a few blades of something green coming up out of the ground. I thought it might be some plant I had not seen. I was very much surprised, a few weeks later, to see heads of wheat on the plants.
When I saw this new gift, tears came to my eyes. I thought of the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," and I repeated it.
I asked myself, "How came this wheat here?" Then I remembered that one day during a great rain I had shaken some dust out of a bag which had once held wheat. There must have been a few grains in this. It was in April when I found the. plants, and by June I had gathered every grain of wheat and saved it for seed.
By the side of the rock, back of my house, a few rice plants were growing. I watched these and when the rice was ripe I gathered it for seed.
I had been working very hard for three or four months trying to get my fence done. The very next day after it was finished, I came near having my work spoiled and myself killed.
As I was busy behind my cabin, just at the opening of the cave, I was terribly frightened by a most surprising thing. The earth began to fall from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my head. Two posts which I had set up in the cave cracked.
I was alarmed, for I thought that the roof was falling in, and fearing that I should be buried in it, I ran to my ladder. I did not feel safe here, for the rocks from the hill might roll down upon me; so I got over the fence, and as soon as I had stepped down upon the ground I knew that it was an earthquake.
The ground on which I stood shook three times. The shocks were heavy enough to overturn the strongest building in the world. A great piece of the top of a rock, which was about half a mile from me, near the sea, fell down with a terrible noise such as I had never heard in all my life.
I was so frightened that I grew faint and sick. The falling of the rock aroused me, and then I could think of nothing but the hill falling upon my cabin.
After the third shock was over, I felt no more, but I was still afraid to go over my fence, and I sat upon the ground, not knowing what to do.
While here, the clouds gathered and it looked as if it might rain. Soon after, the wind began to blow, and in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful hurricane. The sea was white with foam^ and the shore was covered with water. Great trees were torn up by the roots. It was a terrible storm.
This lasted for three or four hours, then it began to rain. All this time I sat upon the ground, but when the rain began to fall I went into my cabin. But it rained so hard that I had to go into the cave, although I was still afraid that it would fall upon my head.
It rained all night and a great part of the next day. I began to wonder what I would best do. I thought that if there were earthquakes on the island, it would not do to live on the side of the- hill beside the rocks.
So I determined to build a cabin away from the hill, and then build a fence around it; but I was settled so comfortably here that I did not like to think of moving.
My tools were all so dull that I could not do much chopping until they were sharpened. I had a grindstone but I could not turn it and grind my tools too.
At last I fastened a crank to the axle; this crank J connected with a treadle by a string; I worked this treadle with my foot, that I might have both my hands to hold the tools. Then I spent two days sharpening them.
One morning I found, by the seaside, a tortoise, or turtle. This was the first I had seen, not because they were scarce, for there were many on the side of the island which I had not visited. I might have had hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards, but perhaps I should have paid dear enough for them. I cooked this one and found that it tasted better than any food I had eaten since I landed.
The day on which I found the turtle it began to rain. It rained all day and it was still raining the next morning.
It was usually too warm, but this rain felt cold, and I was sick and chilly all day. At night I could not sleep for the fever and pain in my head.
I was no better in the morning, and I became greatly frightened and did not know what to do. I prayed to God, but I scarcely knew what I said.
I was some better the fourth day, but worse on the fifth. The sixth day I was better again, but on the seventh I had another chill and a burning fever.
The next day I was better again, and having nothing to eat, I took my gun and went out hunting. I killed a goat, but I was so weak I could hardly carry it home.
The chill came again the next day and I had to lie in bed. I-was' nearly dead with thirst, but I was too weak to get any water. I prayed to God, but all I could say was, "Lord, look upon me! Lord, pity me! Lord, have mercy upon me!" After a while I fell asleep.
When I awoke it was far into the night and I was very thirsty, but as there was no water in my cabin, I had to do without until morning. I went to sleep again and had a strange dream.
I thought that my good father stood before me and called, "Robinson, Robinson." I stretched out my arms and said, "Here I am j here I am," and then I fell back upon the bed.
When I awoke, my mouth burned and I feared I was going to die. Then I cried out, "Lord, be my help, for I am in great need!" I soon fell asleep again, and when I awoke I felt better.
The first thing I did after getting up was to fill a bottle with water and place it near my bed. Then I broiled a piece of meat on the coals, but I could eat very little. I walked about, but was very weak, and I felt sad thinking that the next day the chill would return.
At night I made my supper of three of the turtle's eggs, which I roasted in the ashes. After I had eaten I tried to walk, but I was too weak to carry a gun; so I went but a little way and sat down upon the ground, looking out over the sea, which lay just before me, so beautiful and calm.
As I sat here I thought of my father and mother. How kind they had always been to me! I thought how terrible it would be to die here all alone, and I prayed again to God to help me and bring me home again.
Then I thought, “Why should God help me? Have I not disobeyed his commands? God wants us to obey our parents and love them, but I have not done so. I have run away from them and made them very unhappy. "
I walked back slowly to my cabin, lighted my lamp, and sat down and wondered what I could do to cure me of my sickness. I went to one of the chests to see if I could not find some medicine. I did not find the medicine, but during my search I found a Bible.
I brought it to the table and tried to read, but I was still dizzy and the letters danced before my eyes; but I made out this verse: "Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
These -words comforted me. I began to grow sleepy, so, leaving my lamp burning, I went to bed. But before I lay down, I knelt and asked God to take care of me.
Then I fell asleep and did not wake until almost three o'clock the next day, much refreshed, and when I got up I felt stronger.
From this time on I grew better each day, although it was several weeks before I fully recovered. I kept thinking of that verse, "I will deliver thee." I wondered how God would deliver me. Then I thought, "Has he not done so? I was delivered from the wreck and from my sickness. And how have I glorified him?"
I fell on my knees and thanked God for all His kindness to me.
Robinson Explores The Island
When I was well again, I started out to see more of my island home. At first I had been afraid of wild animals and men, but now I said, ' 'God has taken care of me so far and I believe He will keep me from harm all the time."
One morning in July, I started out, going up the creek which flowed past my house. On both sides of it lay beautiful meadows covered with grass, and many plants were growing on its banks. I tried to find a kind of root out of which the Indians make their bread, but I found none.
The next day I went up the stream again, but I went farther. I found that beyond the meadows were thick woods. In this part I found melons and grapes that were sweet and ripe.
When -night came I was so far from home that I did not try to get back. I slept well in a tree, and the next morning I continued my journey about four miles, through a valley with hills on each side. At the end of this valley I came to ah opening, where there was a little spring of cold water, and everything looked fresh and green.
I saw cocoa trees, orange, lemon, and citron trees. From these I gathered more fruit than I could carry home. I filled my pockets as full as I could, and left a great heap of .it lying on the ground, thinking I would come again. Before I got home the grapes were spoiled.
The next day I went back, having made two small bags in which to carry my fruit. I was surprised upon coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine, to find them all scattered about, trodden to pieces, and many of them eaten.
I knew that some animal must have done this, so after that when I wanted to save grapes I put them on the branches of the trees where they would dry. In this way I could have a supply of raisins. This time I took as many lemons as I could carry.
This place was so beautiful that I thought I would like to live here, and I looked around for a spot upon which to build my house. But after I had thought about it, I remembered that now my home was near the sea, where I hoped some day to see a ship. Or, if some one should be shipwrecked as I had been, I should be near to help him.
I liked the woods so well, that I built a kind of bower where I could stay when I chose. I put up a strong fence of poles and brushwood, and used a ladder as I did in my other home. I called this my country home.
Just after I had finished my country house, the rainy season came on and I had to stay in my cabin.
On September thirtieth, I counted up the notches on my post, and found that I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five days. I spent this day in religious worship. I knelt down and prayed God to forgive my sins. I fasted for twelve hours, then I ate a biscuit and a bunch of raisins and went to bed.
During the rainy season -I stayed in my cabin as much as I could, but I always found work to do. I needed baskets very much, and I had tried several ways of making them. But all of the twigs that I could get were too brittle.
One day while at my country house, I found some willow twigs that seemed tough. I cut them and let them dry, and then carried them to my cabin.
I made my baskets of these, in the rainy season. This business was not new to me, for when I was a boy, I used to like to watch a basket maker who lived in our town, and sometimes he would let me help him.
In order to know still more about my island, I got ready for a longer trip. I took my gun and dog, a hatchet, and some biscuits and raisins.
I went beyond my country house to a place where I could see the ocean on the other side of the island. Away off across the water I saw more land. I thought it must be some part of America, or perhaps another island.
This side of the island seemed more pleasant than my side, for there were many beautiful flowers and trees here.- In the woods near by, birds were singing their songs and flitting from tree to tree. There were also a great many parrots with their gay plum age. I caught a young one and carried it home, that I might teach it to talk.
I also saw many small wild animals, but I shot none as I did not wish to waste my powder. On the seashore I was surprised to see the sand nearly covered with turtles.
I put a stake into the ground for a landmark, thinking that on the next journey which I took, I would go around the sea-coast the other way until I came to my post.
I was ready to go home now and I took a new way. I had not gone far when I found myself in a large valley with hills all around covered with woods. My only guide was the sun, and the weather was hazy for three or four days, so that I lost my way.
I wandered about for a long time and at last found my post and went home the same way that I had come.
On the way home Barri caught a young goat and saved it alive, and I took it home to tame. I made a collar for the little thing out of some string which I always carried with me and led it to my country home and there I left it.
After being away from home a month, I was very anxious to get back, and I cannot tell what a pleasure it was to me to come into my cabin and lie down in my hammock again.
I rested for a week after my journey, and while doing so I made a cage for Polly. Then I began to think of the little kid I had left penned up. I went out to it and found it nearly starved. After I fed it, it became so tame and gentle that it followed me like a dog, and it became a great pet.
I found now that there were two seasons upon the island, one rainy and the other dry. From the middle of February till the middle of April, it was rainy; from the middle of April to the middle of August, it was dry; from the middle of August till the middle of October, rainy; from the middle of October till the middle of February, dry.
One year I planted my seed on the first of May and it did not sprout. The next season I planted some early in August and the rain coming soon, it grew nicely.
So I found that there were two seed times and two harvests. I planted my garden and in October and November it looked well, I thought, "What a fine harvest I am going to have." But one day I saw that some wild goats and hares were eating off the tender blades of the grain.
I knew of nothing that I could do to keep them away unless I built a close fence, so I went to work at this and at the end of three weeks it was done.
But this fence could not save my grain, for one day when it was nearly ripe I saw a great many birds in my garden. I shot at them and a great flock arose; this made me feel badly for I knew, that unless I could do something immediately they would "eat up all my grain and I might starve.
I went into the garden and found that they had spoiled some already, and as I was coming -away I saw the thieves sitting upon all the trees about me as if waiting until I should go away.
Sure enough, as soon as I had gone a short distance, down they flew. I fired my gun at them and killed three. These I hung up to scare the others away, and they did not come back.
When the grain was ripe I hardly knew how to harvest it as I had neither scythe nor sickle. But I remembered a broad sword that I had brought from the ship and this did very well. I carried the grain home in the baskets which I had made, and rubbed it out with my hands.
I had a large stock of rice and with my new harvest I had more. The third planting brought me over a bushel of wheat and as much rice. The fourth planting brought five bushels of wheat and still more of rice. Next time I planted two bushels of each kind and gathered more than forty bushels of both. Then I had all of the grain that I needed.
It might be truly said that now I worked for my bread.
I had no plow to turn up the earth; no spaide nor shovel to dig with; so I spent many days making a wooden spade. I had no harrow, so I had to go over the ground dragging a great heavy bough of a tree to break the clods of earth and make the ground smooth.
Now that I had wheat how could I grind it? And if I had it ground into flour, how could I make bread of it ? Then how could I bake the bread if I had the flour? I spent many hours planning how all these things could be done.
Robinson a cook.
The rainy season coming on again, I had to work in the house. I taught my parrot to speak, and I was very glad when she could say, “Polly wants a cracker, cracker."
I found that I needed some jars and plates very much, so I studied how to make some. I looked around and found a certain kind of clay which I thought would do.
It would make you pity me or laugh at me were I to tell you of the queer shaped things I formed; but at last I made some which I dried in the sun, and they held my rice and grain very well.
But what I wished for most was something in which to cook my food. Some time after I made my first jars I had a hot fire for cooking my meat, and when I went to put it out I found a broken piece of one of my jars in the fire. It was burned as hard as stone and as red as tile. I was surprised to see this, and I said to myself, "Why not burn whole jars and make them hard like this piece?"
So I went to work and made some more kettles and jars, and although they were not very smooth and round, yet they did very well.
Next I placed the three largest vessels close together, with a good bed of live coals under them. I made a big fire all around them, but hardly had the flames begun to shoot up when I heard "crack! crack!" and one vessel fell to pieces. I said to myself, "I believe it is too hot." So I put some of the fire out. As the others did not crack, I kept up the fire and after a while they turned a bright red.
I thought this was all right, and I stayed up the whole night to watch the burning of my pottery. "Now," said I, "they are ready to use." But I found that something was the matter. They crumbled and fell to pieces.
I did not know what to do now, but I dug a deep hole and laid stones about it. Then I made a small fire in the hole and put in my jars. I kept making the fire a little hotter, and after a few hours they Were all a glowing red. Then it seemed as though they would all melt, so I let the fire go down.
I could hardly wait for them to cool before trying them. This time they were well baked, for they had been in the fire just long enough.
I put some meat into one of them, with water and rice, and set it on the fire. It cooked well and tasted very good, better than any I had had since I came to the island; Some salt, which I found near the sea on one of my trips, gave just the right flavor.
I had worked so hard on my jars that I had forgotten to write the days in my calendar. I found that the next day would be Sunday. I wished to spend it in the right way, for I thought of what the Bible says: “Six days thou shalt labor and do all thy work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work."
When I had eaten my supper I went to sleep, and in the morning I wakened just as the sun was lighting up the hilltops. I jumped up quickly and offered my morning prayer. Then I milked my goats and drank the milk for breakfast.
After breakfast I went out into the morning air, where the birds were singing their beautiful songs and everything was glad. I took off my hat and sang too. I never before felt so thankful to God. Then I knelt down and prayed before a palm tree as before an altar, pouring forth my thankfulness.
I had been thinking for a long time how I could make flour out of my wheat. First of all I needed a mill. "If I had a mortar," thought I, "I could crush the grain in that." I hunted many days for a large hollow stone for a mortar, but I could not find one; and I had no tools to cut one out of the solid rock. Besides, rocks were sandy, and they would not do. At last I gave up looking for a stone and began to hunt for a block of hard wood. After I had found one large enough, I rounded it off with my hatchet, and then with much hard work and the help of fire, I made a hollow place in it.
After this I made a heavy pestle of iron-wood.
The next thing was to make a sieve, and this was a hard thing to do. I had no cloth which I could use for it; I had goat's hair, but I did not know how to weave it.
After a long time I found some coarse muslin in one of the chests, and with some of this I made three sieves which did the work very well.
The baking was the next thing to plan for, and as I had no oven, I made some dishes that were broad and not deep. These I burned in the fire as I had done the others.
When I wanted to bake, I made a great fire upon the hearth. After the fife had burned into live coals I drew them forward upon the hearth so as to cover it all over.
When the hearth was very hot I swept away the coals and placed a loaf there. Then I covered it with one of my dishes, and drew the coals all around the outside of the dish, to keep in the heat and make more. In this way I baked my bread, and after a time I made puddings.
It took me nearly a year to make all these things. I could not work at it all of the time for I had my garden to take care of and other work to do.
Robinson makes a boat.
While I was at work I often thought about the land which I had seen across the water, and I could not help but wish to go there. I thought that perhaps people lived there, and if I could reach it I might at last get home.
Many times I wished for a boat so that I might sail over to that country.
I began to think then that perhaps I might make a canoe out of the trunk of a tree. This seemed quite easy to do.
So I went to work, first cutting down a fine cedar tree. It was five feet ten inches in diameter at the stump, and four feet eleven inches at the distance of twenty-two feet farther up.
I was over two weeks cutting this tree down and as long trimming off the branches. Then I spent a month in shaping it, and three times as long in digging out the inside.
When I had the work done, I was very much pleased with it. It would carry twenty-six men, and was large enough to hold me and everything I had.
The boat was about one-half hour's walk from the ocean, and there was a small hill to go over. I began to dig through this hill to make a sort of trench; but when this was done I could not stir the boat.
Then I thought that I would cut a canal to bring the water to the canoe, since I could not bring the canoe to the water. Well, I began this work, but when I thought how deep it must be and how broad, I knew it would take me at least ten years to finish it.
Thus I had to give up this boat. I felt very sorry about it, for I had worked hard to make it. But I learned too late how foolish it is to begin a work before counting all the cost.
Robinson a tailor.
I had now been on the island so long that many things which I had brought from the ship were nearly used up. My ink had been gone for some time. I put in some water and made it last .as long as I could, but it was so pale that the words on the paper were scarcely visible.
My clothes, too, were old and ragged, for I had worn them in the rain and in doing a great deal of hard work. I had brought some clothing from the ship, but I had worn that out.
Now I must look out for some new clothes. I had plenty of money, but what good could that do me here? If I had been at home I could have bought many fine clothes with it but it was of no use to me now.
For a long time I did not know from what to make my clothes. Then I remembered that I had saved all of the skins of the goats I had killed, and dried them in the sun. These might do for cloth, but how could I make them?
First, I took my measure for a jacket. I found that I would need three skins—one for the back, one for the front, and one for the sleeves.
Next, I cut them into four-cornered pieces. It took a long time to sew them together, and I made but poor work of it. If I was a bad carpenter, I was a worse tailor.
The sleeves made me the most trouble because they had to be sewed in at the shoulders to the other parts. It took me nearly two days to make the jacket, but when it was finished it was just the thing. I put the hair on the outside to turn the rain, and it kept off the heat, also.
I made some leggings, and then a cap— all out of skins. The cap looked like a large cone and it was somewhat longer behind than in front, so as to keep the rain and the heat from my neck. I was very proud of my suit when it was finished.
After this, I spent much time in making an umbrella from skins. I spoiled two or three before I made one that suited me. I wanted it so that I could shut it up, for I could not always carry it open. At last I made one, and now I could go out in the hottest weather, for it kept off the heat.
He makes a smaller canoe.
For five years after this, nothing unusual happened to me, but I lived on in the same way as before. I had my regular work of taking care of my garden, curing my raisins, and hunting.
Besides this, I was working upon another canoe. As for the first one, it lay just where I had made it, as a reminder to me to be wiser hereafter.
The second boat was about half a mile from the water, for I could find no tree nearer that would do. It was smaller than the first, and by digging a canal to it, six feet wide and four feet deep, I brought it to the creek.
This little boat would not serve for such a trip as I had planned with the other one, but it would do to sail around my island in.
I fitted up a mast in it and made a sail out of some of the pieces of the ship's sails that I still had. Then I made a trial trip and found that it would sail very well.
I made little boxes at each end in which to put powder and other things which were to be kept dry. Then I cut a long hollow place in the side of it where I could lay my gun, making a flap to hang down over it to keep it dry.
To keep the heat of the sun off, I fixed my umbrella in a step at the stern. Once in a while I took a little trip down the creek and out on the ocean, but I did not go far.
At last I got ready for a trip around the island. I put in some bread, rice, powder, and shot, and two large watch-coats which I had saved from the ship, one to lie upon and the other to cover me at night.
It was in November, in the sixth year of my stay, that I started out on this trip; and it proved to be a longer one than I had expected.
It was not that the island was so large, but when I came to the east side I found a ledge of rocks reaching far out into the ocean, and beyond this was a strip of sand. To get around this I had to go out a long way into the sea.
When I first saw these rocks, I thought I would go back home. I anchored my boat, and taking my gun I climbed a hill. After looking about from its top, I made up my mind to try to go on in my boat.
The sea being a little rough, I stayed on shore for two days. But on the third day the sea was calm again and I started out.
When I reached the point, suddenly the boat began to go faster, and to my dismay I saw that a strong current was carrying me out to sea. I could do nothing with my paddle, and there was no wind. I feared that unless some help came soon I should be lost.
Now that I was being carried away from my island home out into the ocean it seemed to me the most pleasant home in the world. I stretched out my hands to it, wishing I were there once more. Then I thought, "I was not happy while I was there, but we never know how . to enjoy what we have, until it is lost to us."
As I have said, there was no wind to help me, but I worked hard, and after a while I felt a little breeze. Then it blew quite a gale and I thought that now I might save myself.
By this time I was a long way from the island and if it had not been clear I should certainly have been lost, for I should not have known which way to go.
I soon found that the current had changed and by hard work and the help of the wind I sailed out of it. Upon nearing the shore I found that it was the opposite side of the island from where I had started.
As soon as I reached the land again, I fell upon my knees and gave thanks to God for saving me. I brought my boat close to the shore, into a little cove, and after eating some food, I went to sleep, for I was very tired.
In the morning I hardly knew how to return home. I did not care to try going by water after being so nearly lost the day before. I looked along the shore and several miles further I found a small creek flowing into the ocean,, and into it I brought my boat. I drew it up on the shore, where it would be safe, and left it.
Taking my umbrella and gun, I started on foot for home. Not far away was my old landmark and before evening I reached my country house. Here everything was just as I had left it. I got over the fence and lay down in the shade to rest and soon fell asleep.
You may imagine my surprise upon being awakened by some one calling my name. The voice said, "Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe! Where are you, Robin Crusoe? Where have you been? Poor Robin Crusoe?”
I was sleeping so soundly that it seemed like a dream. But the voice kept on saying "Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe! Poor Robin Crusoe!" At last I awoke, greatly frightened.
I looked around and there on the fence sat Polly blinking her eyes and chattering away. Holding out my hand I said, "Come here, Polly, pretty Polly!" She flew down to me and sitting on my shoulder laid her head against my face and kept saying, "Robin, Robin Crusoe! Where have you been? Poor Robin Crusoe!"—just as if she were very happy to see me again.
I had enough of sailing now for a time, but I often wished that the boat were on my side of the island.
At the end of eleven years on the island I found that my ammunition was beginning to run low. I therefore planned to catch some goats, tame them, and have my own flocks. By doing this I should save both time and ammunition. I already had one tame goat. I wondered what I could do to catch more.
At first I made traps of rope, and baited them, and I am sure I caught some goats in these, but the ropes were rotten and would not hold; so I.dug some pits three or four feet deep and covered them with small branches of trees. The next morning I found that I had caught three young kids. I tied them together and managed with much trouble to get them home. When I got them there I had no good place to keep them, so I set about finding a pasture, one where there would be plenty of grass, water, and shade.
I soon found a place that suited me well, and began to enclose a very large pasture, which would require two miles of fence. I changed my mind, however, after thinking more about it, not because I had not time to make so long a fence, for I had time enough to make it five times as long had I cared for such an one, but with such a large pasture, how could I tame my goats ? They would be nearly as free as they were in the woods, and I could never catch one where there was so much space in which to chase it.
I therefore decided to fence in about a quarter of an acre. When I should need more pasture, I could enclose more land..
While I was making the fence I kept my goats tied near me, that they might become used to me, and very often I would carry them a handful of wheat or of rice, which they learned to eat out of my hand. It took about three months to make my fence. By the time it was done the goats would follow me up and down the pasture calling for grain.
After three years I had forty-three goats, and, besides, I had killed several for food.
At different times I fenced in more pasture, until I had five pieces of ground fenced, with little pens opening out of each, and gates leading from one pasture into another.
I had not only plenty of meat, but I had plenty of milk as well—sometimes a gallon or two a day—and after many failures I learned to make very good butter and cheese.
Robinson's manner of living.
It would have made you smile to see me and my little family sit down to dinner. There was our majesty, the lord of the whole island. My subjects were under my complete control, and there were no rebels among them.
How like a king I sat at my table all alone, attended by my servants. Poll was the only person allowed to talk to me. My dog, who was now very old and crazy, sat always at my right hand, and the cats at my left. I needed nothing to add to my happiness but society.
My dress was very odd. Any one in England would have been frightened at meeting such a man, or else he would have laughed at him. There was my great, high, shapeless cap, made of goat skin, with a flap hanging down behind to keep the sun and rain off of my neck; my short coat of goat's skin, the skirts coming down to about the middle of my thighs; and a pair of open-kneed breeches of the same material. The breeches were made of the skin of an old goat whose hair hung down so long that it reached to the middle of my legs. I wore a pair of leggings laced up on the outer side.
Around my waist I wore a broad belt of goat's skin, which was laced together by leather strings. From one side of it hung my hatchet; from the other, my saw. Over my shoulder I wore another belt, not so broad as the first, and from this, under my left arm, hung two pouches, both made of goat's skin, in one of which I carried my powder, and in the other, my shot. On my back I carried my basket, on my shoulder my gun, and over my head my great, clumsy, ugly umbrella, which, after all, was the most necessary thing I had, next to my gun. Near my home, but upon lower ground, were my two corn-fields which I plowed and sowed every year, and which yielded me good harvests. My vineyard I also cared for, and the raisins that I made were not only pleasant to eat, but were healthful, as well.
One day, about noon, I was walking along the shore toward my boat, when, looking down, I saw in the sand the print of a man's naked foot. I was very much frightened at this. I made use of all my eyes and ears but I could neither see nor hear anyone, so I went to the top of a hill that I might look off some distance; 'but there was no one in sight. I went again to the shore and walked to and fro, searching in the sand, but there was no other footprint to be seen and I could not imagine how this one came to be there.
It was growing late, and I started for home, looking behind me at every three or four steps, and thinking every stump I saw at a distance was a man.
When I came to my cave, which I now named my castle, I ran into it as if I were chased by wolves.
I could not sleep that night. I thought and thought about that footprint, and made up my mind that some savages from the mainland had come over in canoes, but had gone away to sea again, being as unwilling to stay on the island as I was to have them.
I felt very grateful that I was not near when they landed, and that they had not seen my boat; for if they had seen it, very likely they would have hunted the island over for its owner.
One morning when I was worrying over this discovery, these words from the Bible came again to my mind, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me." I prayed to God to deliver me from my enemies, then rose from my bed greatly comforted.
For three days and nights I had not stirred from my castle, so that I was. in much need of food; for I had nothing in the house but some wheat cakes and water. My goats, too, needed to be milked, and I started at last for my country house to milk them. After I had gone down there and back for two or three days and had seen no one, I began to feel less alarm.
Robinson prepares for trouble.
My business for the present was to make myself safe against an enemy. The first thing that I planned to do was to make another tight fence around my castle outside of the first fence. About twelve years before this, I had planted a double row of trees here, where I wished to make a second fortification. These trees stood close together, so I had to drive in but a few posts to make a thicker and stronger fence than the first one.
In this outer fence or wall I made seven little holes about as big around as my arm. Through these seven holes I put seven muskets, which I fitted into frames which held them in place, so that they looked much like small cannons. I could fire all of these seven guns in two minutes' time. The inner wall I thickened until it was ten feet through. This I did by taking dirt from my cave.
Outside of the outer wall, and some distance from it, I stuck all the ground for a great way out, with twigs of willow, which grow quickly, and in five or six years' time I had a wood about my home, so very thick and strong that no one would think of a house being within, and if anyone had tried to get through, he could not have done so.
For myself, I planned to go in and out by two ladders—one to lead from the outside of my outer wall to a shelf of rock, and the other to lead from this shelf of rock to the top of the hill. When the two ladders were down, no man living could come down to me without getting hurt; and even if one could get down, he would still be outside the outer wall.
The next question to answer was, "How shall I keep my goats out of the way of enemies?" This is the plan that I made: I would fence in three or four pastures far away from one another, and well hidden by trees; then I would divide my flock, so that if one pasture were found by them, the others might be safe.
So I went out in search of good pasture land, and found a little damp piece in the middle of a hollow, with woods all around it. These woods were so thick that I nearly got lost myself. There were about three acres in this piece. I worked about a month fencing it in, then I brought twelve goats to it. These, I thought, were quite secure. Later on, I fenced in two more pastures and put tame goats into them.
For two years after my fright, I was very careful not to fire my gun, though I never went without one, and I carried two pistols in my goat-skin belt.
I moved my boat to the east end of the island, where I ran it into a little sheltered place. I thought that no one be likely to find it here.
I seldom went away from home except to milk and care for my goats. I did not dare drive a nail or chop a stick of wood, for fear the noise would be heard by someone. I felt afraid, too, every time I made a fire, that the smoke would tell where I was hiding. So I made some charcoal by burning wood under turf till it became dry coal. This dry coal or charcoal would burn without making any smoke.
I was cutting off some branches of trees one day to make charcoal, when I saw, back of the trees, an open place. I looked into it and found that it was a cave, so high that I could stand up in it. But I came out much faster than I had gone in, for as I looked into the cave, which was perfectly dark, I saw two large shining eyes, twinkling like two stars.
I did not dare to leave the place without finding out to what those eyes belonged, so I took up a stick of burning wood and rushed into the cave with it in my hand. I had not gone more than three steps when I was frightened as badly as at first; for I heard a very loud sigh, as if some man were in pain. After this there was a mumbling sound as of words half spoken, then another deep sigh.
I stepped back and broke out into a cold sweat; but soon I went on again into the cave, and by the light of a stick held a little above my head, I saw a great goat lying on the ground gasping for breath, and dying of old age. I stirred him a little to see if I could get him out, but he could not stand up, and I comforted myself thinking that no savage would go into that cave while the goat lived, at any rate.
This cave was not very large, but at the further end, to the right, was a small passage, so low that one must creep on his hands and knees to get through it. Having no candle, I could not go into that part of the cave, but I planned to come next day and bring lights with me.
So on the following day I came with my candles, made of goat's tallow, and passed through the low opening. I crept along on my hands and knees about ten yards ; at the end of this long, low hall the roof suddenly rose to the height of twenty feet.
This was a most beautiful room. The walls and ceilings reflected a thousand lights from my two candles. The floor was dry and level and had loose gravel upon it, and there was no dampness about the roof or sides of the cave. I thought, "Surely, here is a place of safety, and I will bring to it some of the things I am most anxious to save—my powder and five guns; at least."
The old goat died that night, and I took full possession of the cave.
Return of the savages.
About a year and a half had passed after my discovery of the footprint, when, one morning, I was surprised by seeing five canoes drawn up on shore on my side of the island. The people were all landed. I knew that these canoes carried from four to six men, and I was at a loss to know how to resist so many alone, so I lay still in my castle for a long time.
As I could hear no noise, I at length set my guns against the foot of the ladder and climbed to the top of the hill. I could not be seen here, but I could see the men through my glass. There were not less than thirty of them.
They had kindled a fire and seemed to be cooking their dinner and dancing around it. I then saw two miserable beings dragged out from the boats to be killed. One of these men they knocked down, while the other was left standing alone until they should be ready for him.
This savage, seeing a little chance for life, darted away from his captors. He ran very fast right toward my home. I was dreadfully frightened when I saw this, for I thought all the savages were after him. I soon saw, however, that only three of the men were following the runaway, and he was gaining ground on these, so that if he could hold out at that rate he would be beyond their reach in half an hour.
On coming to the creek he jumped in and swam over. Two of the savages swam after him, but the third one gave up the chase and went back to the shore.
I thought, "Now is my chance to get me a servant, if I can save this poor fellow's life;" .so I ran down the ladder, fetched my two guns, and rushed out so as to stand between him and the two savages who were following him.
I called to the runaway, who was at first as much frightened at me as at his two enemies. Then I motioned for him to come back, and at the same time I went toward the two savages, rushing at the head one and knocking him down with my gun. I feared to fire lest those on the shore should hear.
The second savage stopped when the first one was knocked down, but I saw that he was fitting an arrow into his bow, so I shot at him and killed him.
The poor savage who saw both of his enemies fall was so frightened by the noise of my gun that he seemed about to run away. I called to him again and beckoned to him to come nearer, and he came a little way. By a great deal of coaxing I got him to come to me at last. He threw himself at my feet, and placed my foot on his head to show me that he would be my servant forever. I raised him up and treated him kindly.
But there was more work to be done. The savage who was knocked down was only stunned, and he was sitting up. This frightened the runaway very much. I raised my gun as if I would fire at the savage. At this the runaway made a motion for me to let him take my sword, which hung naked in my belt, at my side.
As soon as he had the sword he ran at his enemy and cut off his head at one blow. Then he took the head and ran to me and laid it and the sword at my feet, laughing as he did so. I signed to him to follow, me, for fear others should search for him.
Getting acquainted with the new servant.
My savage made signs that he would bury his two enemies, and I made signs to him to do so.
This being done, I took him to my cave and gave him some bread, a bunch of raisins, and a cup of water, then told him, by motions, to lie down and sleep on some rice straw and a blanket which I placed there for him.
While he was sleeping I had a chance to study him more closely. He was a fine looking fellow, tall and straight. He had a manly, pleasant face, plump and round. His hair was long and black, his forehead high and broad, and he had bright, sparkling black eyes. His skin was quite dark, though not black. I think he was about twenty-five years old.
When he awoke he looked for me. I was out milking my goats. As soon as he saw me he ran to me, threw himself flat on the ground, and, taking one of my feet, placed it on his head as before, to show how he would serve me.
I let him know that his name was to be Friday, which was the day on which his life was saved, and I taught him that he was to call me master.
Taking a cup of milk, I drank some of it and moistened my bread in some. I gave Friday a cup of milk; he did the same thing with his bread, showing by signs that he thought it very good.
After supper, I started with Friday to the shore. He carried my sword and one gun, and I carried two others.
When we came to the place where the dreadful feast had been made, I grew faint at the sight. It was covered with the remains of the bodies of the poor savages. I told Friday to gather these up and burn them.
He would have eaten some of the flesh, but I showed such anger at this that he did not offer again to take any.
When we went back to the cave I gave Friday a pair of goat-skin trousers, a goatskin coat, and a cap made of hare's skin. He was very proud of his clothes, though he hardly knew how to get around at first, when dressed in them, for he had never worn clothes.
Now I wondered where I should make a bed for Friday. I wanted to do well by him, and yet I wished to feel safe myself, so I made a tent for him in the space between the two fences.
This tent opened by a door into my yard. The door was made to lock from the inside, and I locked it and took in my ladder every night, so that Friday could not reach me. Had I known what a true friend he was to me, I should not have wanted to lock him out.
I learned from Friday, later, that he came from the mainland, and that there were several tribes of Indians there who were constantly at war with one another. The army that won the battle would feast on the prisoners which they had taken. Some of these feasts were kept on my island!
Robinson a teacher.
Friday, after a while, knew English so well that I could talk to him about anything that I wished.
I taught him that there is one God wno made everything, and that He loves men as a father loves his children, and that. He cares for them even more tenderly than does a father. • When Christmas time came I taught him about Jesus.
I told him how I happened to be on the island, and how long I had been there, and what a hard time I had had at first to get food and make a home, and how lonely I had been until he came.
I taught him to shoot a gun. At first, every time that he heard it he was so frightened that he trembled, but he soon got over that.
I also taught Friday how to, plant and harvest the wheat and rice, and how to make baskets and dishes. He milked the goats every morning and evening, and made butter and cheese.
One day it had been very warm, and toward evening the sky was covered with dark clouds. It began to thunder and lightning, and Friday cowered away into a dark corner of the house. I could not think why it was that he was so frightened and trembled so all over; so I said, "Friday, what is the matter ?" There was no answer.
"Well, well," thought I, "is Friday afraid of thunder and lightning as so many people are ? " That was the case, for when it thundered louder he trembled still more.
"Listen to me, Friday," I said, "if it thunders again do not be afraid, for God is not angry. He is a kind and loving Father. He can do anything that He wishes, but He does nothing that is not good for His children."
Robinson prepares for a journey.
One day when Friday and I were walking by the shore I said to him, "Do you not wish you were in your own country?"
"Yes," said Friday, "I be much O glad to be at my own country."
“What would you do there ? Would you be a man eater such as you used to be?"
Friday shook his head and said, "No, no; Friday tell them to live good and pray to God; tell them to eat corn, bread, and cattle-flesh and drink milk; no eat man again."
' 'But, Friday, they will kill you."
"Oh, no," said Friday, "they no kill me, they will love learn."
"Then will you go, Friday?" I asked.
Friday shook his head and said, "How go? Friday no swim so far."
"I will make you a canoe, Friday, if you want to go home," said I.
"Then Friday go, if you go," said Friday.
"But they will eat me, Friday."
"Oh, no, master, me make them no eat you. Me make them much love you." Then he told me how kind they had been to seventeen white men who were thrown on shore by a terrible storm.
When I heard this, I began to think strongly of going with Friday, hoping that by joining with the seventeen white men there, we might find some way to cross the ocean and get home. I took Friday to see the boats that I had made. He thought that the first one was too small. He liked the size of the larger boat, but it was cracked and rotten. He said that we could sail over to his country in one of that size.
So now a new boat must be made, and this time I wished to choose a tree near the shore, that we might launch the boat without trouble.
At last Friday found a good tree, for he knew much more about the trees on the island than I did. He was going to burn out the inside of it, but I showed him how to cut it out with tools. This he did very handily.
In about a month the boat was done, and a fine vessel it was. I asked Friday if it would do. He said, "Yes, we go over in her very well, though great blow wind." But I did not intend to start out in the boat as it was. I found a good cedar tree and had Friday cut it down and shape it as I directed. This was my mast.
But what should I do for a sail? There were many pieces of old sails which I had had twenty six years, but they were mostly rotten. I looked them over carefully and found two large pieces which were quite good; these I sewed together. It took about two months to get the mast and sail ready.
My next piece of work was the making of a rudder, which I fastened to the stern of the vessel. When the boat was all ready I taught Friday how to use the rudder, and he became a good sailor.
But we had to wait for good weather, for it was now fall. I had been on the island twenty-six years. I kept this anniversary with a grateful heart. The last three years had been much the happiest of my life here, for Friday had been a faithful and true friend to me.
I had brought the boat up the creek to keep it from the storms and Friday had covered it so thickly with the boughs of trees that the rain could scarcely get through at all. Then we waited for November and December, at which time we intended to start on our voyage.
The rainy season was now over, and Friday and I began to get ready for our journey
One morning I sent Friday to the shore for a turtle. He had not been gone long when he came rushing back, out of breath, crying, “Oh, master! Oh, master! Oh, sorrow ! Oh, death ! "
“ What is the matter, Friday ? " I asked.
“ Oh, master, yonder there, one, two, three canoes—one, two, three; carry Friday off, cut Friday in pieces and eat him," cried he, trembling from head to foot.
"Do not be afraid, Friday," said I. "We will go out and fight them. They shall not carry you off, if you will help me to fight. Now will you do all that I tell you to do ? "
"Me shoot," cried Friday, "but there come many number."
“Never mind that, Friday ; just do as I tell you."
Seeing me so cool, Friday became more quiet himself.
We loaded two pistols and four guns with bullets, then I hung my great sword by my side and gave Friday a hatchet.
When we were ready, I took my spyglass and went up the hill, to see what had become of the boats. There I saw twenty-one savages and two prisoners in three canoes. They were coming, as before, to make a feast.
I went down and told Friday that I wanted to kill all of the savages, and asked him if he were going to help me.
He said, "Friday die, if master say die”
I gave Friday one pistol to hang in his belt and three guns to carry upon his shoulder, and a large pouch full of powder and bullets. I took one pistol and the other gun and told Friday to keep close behind me.
We went through the woods so that the savages should not see us until we came near enough to them to shoot.
When we came near to the place where the savages had landed I said to Friday, "Go to that great tree there and see if you can find out what they are doing."
Friday obeyed at once and came back bringing word that the men could be seen plainly. He said they were all about the fire eating the flesh of one of the prisoners and another was lying bound upon the sand near them; they would kill him next He was a white man with a beard.
When I heard this we moved toward the savages, but kept out of their sight. We were still about fifty yards from them and there was no time to lose. Nineteen savages sat on the ground huddled close together while two of them were stooping down to untie the bands of the white man.
"Now, Friday, do as I tell you” I said "Do exactly as you see me do." At this I took my gun and aimed at the savages. Friday did the same. "Now, fire," said I, and we both fired together. Three savages were killed and several others were wounded.
They all jumped up but they did not know which way to look or which way to run. I threw down my gun and grabbed another. Friday did the same. We both aimed at the savages and shot at the same time. Two more were killed and several more wounded.
"Now, Friday, follow me," I said, throwing down my gun and picking up my pistol. Then I rushed out of the wood, Friday following closely. We both screamed and ran down to the prisoner. Five of the savages jumped into a canoe. I told Friday to fire at them while I set the poor prisoner free.
As soon as I had cut the bands that held the white man and he had gotten over his fright somewhat, he was able to help us fight the savages. Only four got away in a canoe and one of these was wounded. The others were all killed.
Friday wanted very much that I should follow the four in the canoe, and I also wished to do so, that no savages might be left to carry the news to their home. If they were to hear of this, great numbers might come over and kill us; so I ran to one of the canoes, jumped in, and told Friday to follow me.
A Happy Meeting
Imagine my surprise, on jumping into the boat, to find another prisoner, bound hand and foot, and almost dead with fright. He was lying in the bottom of the canoe.
I cut the ropes which bound him and tried to raise him up, but he could neither sit nor speak. He groaned piteously, for he thought that he had been unloosed to be killed.
I told Friday to speak to him and tell him that we were his friends. Friday did so, and the prisoner then sat up in the boat. Friday stared at him a moment, then threw his arms around him, kissing and hugging him, and crying, jumping, laughing, dancing, and singing by turns. It was some time before I could get him to speak to me and tell me what was the matter. At last he cried, '' Oh, sir, my father ! "
This meeting of father and son put an end to following the savages, for they were now nearly out of sight.
I was glad afterward that we had not gone, for a great storm of wind arose, and there seemed very little doubt that the savages who were in the boat must have been drowned.
Friday was so busy taking care of his father that I did not like to call him away. At last I asked-him if had given his father any bread. He shook his head and said, "None; ugly dog eat all up self."
So I gave him a piece of bread and a handful of raisins for his father. He gave these to him, then jumped out of the boat and ran off as fast as he could go. I called after him but he did not stop.
In a quarter of an hour I saw him coming back. As he came near I saw that he must have been home, for he carried a jug of water and two loaves of bread. He gave the bread to me and carried the water to his father. The water helped his father more than anything else Friday had done for him, for he was faint from thirst.
After Friday had given his father a drink I asked him if there was any water left. He said, "Yes, Master," so I told him to give the poor white man some.
The white man was lying in the shade of a tree, very weak. Friday gave him the water and some bread, which revived him. I went to him and gave him some raisins.
This prisoner, who was a Spaniard, was very grateful. As soon as he had eaten he tried to stand, but was unable to do so, for his ankles were very badly swollen and pained him severely.
I wanted to take the strangers home with me but did not know how to carry them there. Friday said that he could get them part way home, at any rate. He picked up the Spaniard, carried him to the canoe and placed him beside his father; then he rowed along the shore and up the creek. He left them here and ran back for the other canoe, in which he brought me.
Then he helped the guests out of the boat and set them down on the bank.
He could not tell what to do with them now, but I had been planning for this, and I called to Friday to. come and help me to make a litter of the branches of trees. On this we carried the men home.
We could not get them over the fence, so we made a tent outside and covered it with old sails, over which we placed boughs of trees. In this tent I made two good beds of rice straw, with blankets for covers.
This being done, I prepared some meat soup and put rice and whole wheat into it. When it was done we set a table in the new tent and all dined there together.
The Spaniard had been so long among the savages that he spoke their language quite well, so that Friday could understand him and could tell me what the two guests said.
After supper Friday went after the two guns which had been left on the battlefield, and the next day he buried the dead bodies and the remains of the dreadful feast.
Getting ready for more guests.
A few weeks later I began to think once more of going over to Friday's old home. His father told me that I might be very sure that the people would treat me well, after my kindness to him.
I talked with the Spaniard about it, and learned from him that there were sixteen white men living with this tribe of Indians. They had been well treated by the savages, but it was very hard to get enough food and clothing to keep them alive. The Spaniard wanted very much to bring them to my island if I were willing. I felt very sorry for them, and, besides, I thought if we were all on the island, we might, by working together, make a ship in which we could sail home.
But there were not enough provisions for so many, so we all set to work and dug up a large piece of ground and sowed all the seed that could be spared. Friday's father and the Spaniard planned to go back for the white men after the harvest.
While the crops were growing, I set the men at work cutting down oak trees and making them into planks for the ship, which I hoped we might some time build.
We also caught several goats which were added to my flock, and we gathered and dried a great many grapes.
It was now harvest time. From the twenty-two bushels of wheat sown, two hundred and twenty bushels were gathered, and the rice crop was as good as that of the wheat. A great many baskets had to be made in which to store so much grain.
We had a good supply of provisions on hand now, and Friday's father and the Spaniard were ready to start back. I gave each of them a gun and about eight charges of powder and balls, and told them not to use these unless it should be very necessary.
They took on board bread and raisins enough to last them a long time, and supply all the Spaniards about eight days.
They promised to hang out a flag on their boat when they came back so that we might know who they were, long before they reached the island.
Eight days had passed since the Spaniard and the old Indian left the island. On the morning of the ninth I was fast asleep in my cabin when Friday ran to me and said, "Master, master, they are come, they are come."
When I heard this I dressed quickly and ran down toward the shore, but I soon saw that this was not the boat we were looking for. I called Friday to me and told him to keep out of sight of the crew of the boat.
Then I got my glass and went up the hill where I could look without being seen.
Lying south of the island was a ship. Yes, and it was an English ship, and the boat was an English boat manned by English sailors. What a joyful sight!
Friday and I went down to the shore to the boat, in which were the captain and two other officers of the ship. These men were very much surprised to find human beings on the island. I told them how I came to be here and how I had been longing these many years to see my home and my parents.
The captain offered to take Friday and me to England and I was very happy at the thought of seeing my father and mother again.
I told Friday that he might stay if he wished to, and live with the Spaniards, or take a canoe and go home, but he chose to go with me, for he knew that his father was free now and among his own people, and he had come to think that I could not live without him.
I left a letter for the Spaniards telling them that I would send word to their countrymen where they could be found. I left them my guns and ammunition , also.
I took home with me, as relics, my goatskin cap, my umbrella, and one of my parrots. I also took the bag of money, which would now be worth something to me. I could not help but feel sad when I bade a last farewell to my island-home—my cave, my vineyard and orchard which I had planted, my tame goats, and my parrots. They had all become dear to me.
I had lived upon the island more than twenty-eight years.
After sailing seven weeks the ship rode into the harbor from which I had set sail so many years before. Everything was strange to Friday, and he did not know what to make of it all. He asked many questions, but I was so busy thinking about my parents that I did not answer all of them.
I hurried from the ship, telling Friday to follow me. When nearly home I asked a man whom I met about my parents. He told me my father was still living, but my mother had died from sorrow over the loss of her boy. When I heard this I cried aloud.
On reaching home I opened the door into my father's room. There he sat, the poor old man, in his arm chair, his Bible open on a table near by.
I hastened to him and cried in a trembling voice, ' 'Father, father, do you not know your son? It is I, your boy Robinson!"
"Can it, oh, can it be my son?" said my father, feebly. "Can it be my boy has come back?" And he drew me lovingly to his breast. After that he could not bear that I should be out of his sight.
But my relatives and friends heard that I was at home, and flocked to see me. I had to tell the story of my shipwreck and of my life on the island until late into the night.
When I had ended I said, "You see I have had a hard time, and all because I would not obey my parents and was lazy when I was a boy."
From this time on, Friday and I lived a quiet life. I took charge of my father's business and Friday helped me. But I never forgot to be grateful to God for keeping me through so many dangers.