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Title: A new Robinson Crusoe
Author: Alden, W. L. (William Livingston)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A new Robinson Crusoe" ***




                         A NEW ROBINSON CRUSOE

                             BY W. L. ALDEN

                               AUTHOR OF



                                NEW YORK


                     HARPER’S YOUNG PEOPLE SERIES.

             =Illustrated. 16mo, Cloth, $1 00 per volume.=


    MR. STUBBS’S BROTHER. A Sequel to “Toby Tyler.” By JAMES OTIS.
    TWO ARROWS. A Story of Red and White. By W. O. STODDARD.
    WHO WAS PAUL GRAYSON? By JOHN HABBERTON, Author of “Helen’s Babies.”
    WAKULLA: A Story of Adventure in Florida. By KIRK MUNROE.



    ☞ _Any of the above works will be sent by mail, postage prepaid,
 to any part of the United States or Canada, on receipt of the price._

                 Copyright, 1888, by HARPER & BROTHERS.





          MR. CRUSOE SAVES ME FROM A FLOGGING           _Frontispiece._

          “‘IT’S ALL RIGHT, MIKE. MY GRANDFATHER RAN        19

          “BEFORE HE HAD GONE TEN FEET HIS SWORD            47
            TRIPPED HIM UP”

            WAS BORN”

          MIKE TAKES THE PART OF “MAN FRIDAY”               67


          THE FOOTPRINT IN THE SAND                         99

            DEEPEST DYE’”


          “‘I MUST HAVE HAD A BRAIN-FEVER, MICHAEL,’       141
            SAID HE”


                         A NEW ROBINSON CRUSOE.


                               CHAPTER I.

I did not exactly write this story, for I can’t write very much except
my name, but I talked it all, from beginning to end, to a man who writes
just as plain as print, and he wrote it down just as I told it to him.
At least he said he would, and I am pretty sure he kept his word; but if
he did happen to put any mistakes into it, you will know they are his,
and not mine.

My name is Mike Flanagan—my father was Michael Flanagan, and my uncle
was Patrick Flanagan—and I was born in Ireland, in the city of Cork. We
all came to America when I was a baby, and after everybody that belonged
to me died I went to sea. I never saw my uncle Patrick, but I always
thought a great deal of him because I was told he was a pirate, and
that, of course, made the family very proud; but I found out after I
grew up that he was only a pilot in Queenstown harbor, which is very
different from being a pirate.

When I went to sea I was fourteen years old, and I made seven voyages
between New York and ports in England, France, and Germany. I liked the
Atlantic well enough, but I wanted to make a voyage in a deep-water
ship, so I shipped on board the _H. G. Thompson_, a big American ship
that was bound from New York to San Francisco, and then to China. I was
sixteen years old then, and though I shipped as ordinary seaman, I
expected that after the ship got back to New York I would be able to
ship as A. B.

There were twenty-two of us in the forecastle—ten A. B.’s, ten ordinary
seamen, and two boys. The captain and the second mate were very decent,
but the mate was a hard man, and as I was in his watch, I didn’t have a
very good time. He was a Nova Scotia chap, and he was a mean, bullying
fellow. He was no sailor-man either, and I don’t see how he ever got to
be mate of a ship.

We had one passenger. He was a man about thirty years old, and he was
making the voyage for his health because he wasn’t very well. He was
thin and tall, with the brightest eyes you ever saw, and he had a
servant with him to take care of him who was the laziest and most
worthless chap I ever saw aboard a ship. None of us knew exactly what
was the matter with the passenger, except that he didn’t seem to be very
strong. At least we all thought he wasn’t, until one day when the mate
happened to be laying into me with a rope’s end—which he had a way of
doing—the passenger jumped up and snatched the rope away, and told the
mate that if he touched me again he’d heave him overboard. The mate was
twice the passenger’s weight, but instead of killing him on the spot, as
I expected of course he would do, he was actually frightened, and walked
away without saying a word.

That was the beginning of my acquaintance with the queer passenger.
After that he often used to talk to me when we happened to be on deck
together, and was as kind to me as he could be. He told me his name was
James Robinson Crusoe, and that his grandfather was a very celebrated
man, who lived for twenty-eight years on an island all by himself,
having been cast away. The passenger was forever talking about his
grandfather, whose name was Robinson Crusoe, without the James; but I
never could see that the old man amounted to very much, though I never
read the book of travels that he wrote, and perhaps the passenger did
not always tell the truth about him.

I got to like Mr. Crusoe very much, though he afterwards gave me more
trouble than any sailor-man ever before got into through being kind to a
passenger, and being willing to talk to him. However, he meant to do
right, and I shall never forget how he stood up for me when the mate was
arguing with me, though of course, being a passenger, he had no right to
be interfering between the officers and the men.

We sailed from New York on the first day of November, and we had very
decent weather all the way to the Horn, and around it, for that matter.
We all thought we were going to make about a ninety-day passage to San
Francisco, when our luck turned, and we got a strong northerly wind that
lasted till the captain got out of patience, and put the ship to the
westward in hopes of meeting a fair wind. We must have run a long ways
out of our course, but the wind still hung in the north, until one day a
tremendous hurricane struck us all of a sudden from the eastward. It was
about noon, and all hands were at dinner, and the captain and mate had
gone below to work up their observations, when the second mate sung out
for all hands to shorten sail. We were on the starboard tack, carrying
all three top-gallant sails. We got the top-gallant sails rolled up, the
main-sail, the outer jib, spanker, and maintop-gallant stay-sail stowed,
and were furling the fore and mizzen upper top-sails, when the gale
struck us. The captain was on deck long before this time, and as it was
blowing too hard to bring the ship up to the wind with the sail she had
on her, he squared the yards and put her right before it.

We had the worst job I ever saw to get the sail off her. By the time we
had the upper top-sails furled and the fore and aft sails stowed we had
to reef the fore-sail, the fore and main lower top-sails, and to furl
the mizzen-top sail. All hands were on the foreyard for at least an hour
before we could get the sail reefed, and half a dozen times I thought we
should have to give it up. However, we got it reefed and set at last,
and when we were just through with it the sail split and blew away.

By this time it was blowing harder than I ever saw it blow before, and
the ship was taking in green seas on each side over the rail every time
she rolled. The captain knew we had no time to lose, for the ship was
continually burying herself nearly up to the foremast, she still had so
much sail on her; so he ordered the fore and mizzen lower top-sails to
be brailed up, and let them blow away, while we close-reefed the lower
maintop-sail, which we did without very much difficulty, and then
knocked off to get our suppers.

The forecastle was all afloat with the water that had come down the
hatchway before any one had thought to close it, so we had our supper on
the quarter-deck, where all the people except the cook and Mr. Crusoe
were gathered. Mr. Crusoe had got a fall, so I heard his servant say,
and his left leg was a little sprung, so that he didn’t care to come on
deck, but stayed below in his berth.

The wind kept on freshening and the sea kept on getting up, and by the
time we were through with our supper we had to take the top-sail off
her, and bring her down to bare poles. Even then she travelled faster
than she had ever done before in her life, and she must have been making
a good fifteen knots an hour. Nobody could go forward, for the waist of
her was mostly full of water, so all hands stayed on the quarter-deck,
and waited for the hurricane to blow itself out.

It didn’t show the least sign of blowing itself out, and if it had known
how to blow harder it would have done it. It blew for three days and
nights, gradually backing to the northward and westward, until on the
last night the ship was heading nearly south-east. Of course we sailors
liked it, all except the fact that it was impossible to do any cooking.
All we had to do was to take our tricks at the wheel, and then to sit
around the mizzen-mast and wonder if it meant to blow forever. We didn’t
keep any lookout, for nobody could get forward, and the air was so black
with flying spoondrift that you couldn’t see much more than the length
of the ship. Of course the mate growled at us a good deal, but even he
couldn’t think of any work that we could do, so we didn’t mind him.

It was about the middle of the last night of the hurricane that the ship
struck. Without giving us the least warning she struck a reef, and the
fore and main-mast and the mizzen-top mast went overboard together. At
the same moment a sea boarded us over the stern, and swept the captain,
the second mate, and five or six of the men away with it. The rest of us
took to the mizzen rigging, and expected every moment that the ship
would go to pieces.

She held together, however, though she pounded heavily and the seas
broke over her constantly. There was only one boat left that had not
been stove to pieces or swept away, and that was on the top of the
deck-house. The mate and the rest of us watched our chances, and got
safely where the boat was and launched her. We were just going to cast
off when I remembered the passenger, and climbed on board the wreck
again to look for him. The men shouted to me to come back, but the mate
sang out that there was no room for passengers, and shoved the boat off.
I saw a big sea lift her and carry her on out of sight, and then I went
below to find Mr. Crusoe.

I found him crawling up the companion-way, and nearly drowned by the
water which every minute or two rushed down on him. I got him on deck,
and made a rope fast around his waist, and then around mine, and after a
while I got him into the rigging, where we were out of the reach of the

We had hardly got into the rigging when the ship slid over the reef into
smoother water, and drifted away before the wind. The sea did not break
over us any more, but we stayed in the rigging, for I expected that we
would sink in a few minutes, and there was a chance that she might sink
where the water would be shallow. She swung around and drifted stern
foremost, and I could see by the way she rolled that there was a great
deal of water in her, although her deck was still a good six feet above
the water. Before she had drifted very long her stern grounded quite
gently, and remained high and dry, although the forward part of her, as
far as the stump of the foremast, was under water.

Of course we did not stay in the rigging any longer, but came down and
made ourselves comfortable on the quarter-deck. I got the hand-lead and
sounded the water. I found that we were on a sandy bottom, and that it
shelved so gently that there was no danger that the ship would slide off
and sink in deep water. The wind still blew hard, but the reef protected
us from the sea, and there was no danger that the ship would break up
unless the wind changed. I went into the cabin, which was quite free
from water, and brought up a couple of mattresses and some blankets, and
told Mr. Crusoe that we would turn in and sleep on deck till morning.

He had not said very much since I brought him on deck, except to ask
where the rest of the people were. I told him that the mate might not
have meant to desert us, but that he cast loose so as to prevent the
boat from being stove against the side of the ship; but Mr. Crusoe said
that, whether the mate deserted us wilfully or not, I would have been in
the boat if I had not gone back to try to save a passenger. He put his
hand on my shoulder, and said, “Mike, you have done a generous and noble
action, and I shall never forget it as long as I live.” But I told him
that we had better go to sleep while we had the chance, and that we
could find out in the morning whether we were going to live or be

You see, if we were stranded on a sand-bank in the middle of the Pacific
Ocean, our chances would not be worth much; but if we were on an island,
we would be able to get ashore and make ourselves comfortable. Since we
could not possibly tell where we were until daylight, there was no use
in bothering ourselves about it.

Of course I didn’t like it when the boat left me on the wreck, for I
thought I had lost my chance of saving my life; but the more I thought
of it, the more I was sure that the boat could not have lived five
minutes in the breakers, and that every one in her must have been
drowned. I felt pretty certain that the ship must be near the shore, for
you don’t often find sand-banks out at sea, and I made no doubt that Mr.
Crusoe and I could go ashore in the morning. At any rate, we were safe
enough for that night, and could be sure of a good breakfast out of the
cabin stores in the morning. I don’t believe in looking too far ahead,
and a good night’s sleep, with no turning out to come on deck in the
middle of the night, and with a good breakfast waiting for you, and
nobody to set you at work, is a good enough prospect for me. So I rolled
myself up in my blanket, with a good soft mattress under me, and a real
feather pillow under my head, and was asleep inside of five minutes.


                              CHAPTER II.

I woke up about five o’clock the next morning. It was a beautiful day.
The wind had all died down, and the sea where the wreck was lying was as
smooth as New York Bay. We were stranded close to the shore of a lovely
island, and in the opposite direction I could see the surf breaking on a
reef that seemed to surround the island about a mile from the shore,
everywhere except towards the south, where there was an opening about
half a mile broad. The island seemed to be covered with trees that grew
close down to the shore, and at the northerly end there was a high hill
that was shaped like a sugar-loaf. I could not see any signs that the
island was inhabited, and the wreck lay so close to the beach that I
could have swum ashore without the least trouble.

I let Mr. Crusoe sleep while I split some dry wood from the door of the
captain’s room and started a fire in the galley. I found coffee, and
pilot-bread, and a lot of cold roast lamb in the steward’s pantry, and
when I woke up Mr. Crusoe, I told him that the best breakfast he ever
heard of was ready for us in the cabin. We had china plates to eat off
of, and a mahogany table and arm-chairs, and I found a newspaper and put
it by Mr. Crusoe’s plate, so that he could read the news at breakfast,
as rich people on shore always do.

Mr. Crusoe braced up after breakfast, and found that he could walk
pretty well. He was in first-rate spirits, and said the island was the
very one where his grandfather lived. “He landed,” said Mr. Crusoe,
“just about where we are now, and he had his house just by the side of
that hill.”

“Then we can move right into his house and live there, can’t we?” said

“Of course we can,” Mr. Crusoe replied. “Only, you see, it must be
awfully out of repair by this time. And then I think it very likely that
Will Atkins and his gang burnt it before they left the island; for they
must have left it or we would see some signs of them. I never did
believe in that fellow’s reformation myself, although my dear
grandfather did.”

“Well,” said I, “we’ll go ashore anyway and see. If you’ll help me, Mr.
Crusoe, we’ll build a raft.”

“My grandfather built a raft, and we’ll do everything that he did. Only
he didn’t have you to help him. I don’t know what to do about that,” he
continued, looking puzzled—“I can’t drown you now, but you see yourself,
Mike, that everybody ought to have been drowned except me.”

“You can drown me after we get ashore, if you like,” I said; “I don’t
care much, I’m sure.” You see I felt a little aggravated that Mr. Crusoe
should stand there and tell me I ought to have been drowned; but then I
didn’t begin to know at that time how aggravating he could be. But he
was a good man for all that.

The first thing I did was to chop away the bulwarks amidships, where the
spare spars were lashed. Then I made a line fast to half a dozen of the
spars and launched them overboard. Then I went overboard myself and
lashed them together, and laid planks over them. A good part of the
spars that had gone overboard where we first struck were still
alongside, but they were so mixed up with the rigging that I didn’t try
to use them.

“Now you want to cut a spare top-mast into three lengths and add them to
your raft,” said Mr. Crusoe.

I never supposed that he knew what a top-mast was, but it seems he did,
and the spare top-mast was just what the raft needed to make it float
high enough out of the water. However, I afterwards found out that he
got the idea of using a spare top-mast out of his grandfather’s book of

The raft was now big enough, and we were all ready to load it.

“Now we want to take nothing ashore with us this first trip except
things that we can’t get along without,” said I.

“We must take,” said Mr. Crusoe, just as if he was reciting a lesson out
of a book, “three seamen’s chests broken open and filled with bread,
rice, Dutch cheeses, dried goat’s flesh, and a little corn, besides some
bottles of rum, the carpenter’s chest, two shot-guns, two pistols, two
rusty swords, three barrels of gunpowder, and a bag of shot. I’ll help
you look for them. That was my grandfather’s first load.”

“And it isn’t going to be our first load,” I answered. “Where’s our
goat’s flesh? and what do we want of three barrels of gunpowder?”

Mr. Crusoe came and looked straight in my face with his wonderful bright
eyes, and said, “Mike, we’ll take exactly what I said. You can take
anything else you want to take, but you’ll never go ashore if you show a
want of respect to my sainted grandfather.”

Well, I didn’t want to hurt Mr. Crusoe’s feelings, so I said I would do
what he wanted. I couldn’t find any dried goat’s flesh, but Mr. Crusoe
found a ham, and said that it was goat’s flesh, and I didn’t contradict
him. We couldn’t find any barrels of gunpowder either, though we found
one small keg of it.

The raft was big enough to carry a great deal more than Mr. Crusoe put
on it, so, after he was satisfied, I got together two barrels of flour,
a barrel of sugar, a bag of coffee, two breech-loading rifles, a lot of
cartridges, Mr. Crusoe’s trunk, the captain’s chest, and the
medicine-chest. Then I found two long oars and a big coil of rope, not
much larger than signal halyards, and put them aboard the raft and
shoved off.

The water was so shallow that we poled the raft along with the two oars
very easily. I meant to land on the beach, but Mr. Crusoe said we must
keep away to the right, and land a little way up a creek that we would
find just there. As Mr. Crusoe seemed to know all about the island, I
did as he said, and presently we saw the entrance of a little creek, and
a short distance from the mouth we found a beautiful place to land.

We carried our cargo ashore and piled it up together, and started back
to the ship for another load. The tide was coming in, and it was hard
work to pole the heavy raft against it, so I went ashore on the beach
opposite to where the wreck lay, and made one end of my rope fast to a
tree, and coiled the rest down on the raft. The rope was long enough to
reach from the shore to the wreck, and when, after we had got to the
wreck, I made the other end of the rope fast in the main channels, I had
a line by which I could haul the raft back and forth without any

That is, I could have done it, only Mr. Crusoe objected because his
blessed old grandfather had not known enough to do the same thing,
although, according to Mr. Crusoe’s account, his grandfather’s wreck lay
nearer the shore than ours did. However, he agreed to let me haul the
raft up close to the beach, but he wouldn’t let me land there, and
insisted that we should pole the raft around to the creek.

For the second load Mr. Crusoe said that we must take a grindstone, a
dozen hatchets, three crow-bars, seven muskets, and a roll of
sheet-lead. There were only two hatchets on board the ship, and neither
a grindstone nor a roll of sheet-lead, though what he wanted of
sheet-lead I never knew. He was quite angry when he found that he
couldn’t load up the raft with grindstones and lead, and said that if he
ever got back to New York he would sue the owners of the ship for not
supplying her with proper provisions.

I put the two hatchets, three crow-bars, and seven rifles—for we had no
muskets—on the raft, and then I loaded it with useful things. I put two
more barrels of flour, a barrel of beef, and a barrel of pork in the
middle of the raft, and piled up a hundred tin cans of preserved meat
and vegetables around them. Then I got some pots and pans from the
galley, and some China plates and cups, and some knives and forks, from
the steward’s pantry, for now that I had got out of the forecastle, I
meant to live like a gentleman. I took all the captain’s clothes, and
wanted to get the clothes belonging to the men, but I could not get at
the chests because the forecastle was full of water. Last of all, I put
four mattresses, four pillows, and a pile of sheets and blankets on the
top of the barrels, and we then had about all the raft would carry.

Mr. Crusoe grumbled a little, for he said his grandfather never brought
mattresses, or dishes, or canned provisions ashore, and that he did not
think it was right for us to do it. I said, “Now just look here, Mr.
Crusoe; I suppose your grandfather was a very nice man, and you may be
sure that he would have brought canned provisions ashore only they
weren’t invented when he was alive.”

That seemed to strike him as a good idea, and he said, “Well, perhaps
you’re right, Mike, about the canned things; but we’ve no right to bring
mattresses with us, and I’ll die before I’ll sleep on one of them.”

I wanted to tell him that the only reason his grandfather did not take a
mattress ashore with him was that he didn’t have sense enough to be
trusted alone on an island; but of course I didn’t say so. Why, that
ridiculous old man never thought to take so much as a teakettle with
him, as I afterwards found out; though, luckily, Mr. Crusoe did not
think of it until a week or two after we had begun to live on the

While we were poling up the creek, Mr. Crusoe, not being a sailor-man,
managed to run one end of the raft ashore in a shallow place, and the
cargo came near sliding off into the water. He was just as pleased as he
could be. “It’s all right, Mike, it’s all right,” he kept on saying. “My
grandfather ran his raft ashore in just the same way, and we had to do
it too. Now, we’ll wait for the tide to rise a foot higher, and then
we’ll be afloat again.”


    SAME WAY.’”

We should have been in a nice scrape if the tide had been falling, but
as it was rising, I knew the raft would float after a while. But I was
not going to stay on it and do nothing for an hour or two, so I waded
ashore and swam out to the ship. The wreckage of the main-mast was still
floating alongside, although most of the other spars had gone adrift
while the ship was on the reef. I cut the wreckage clear of the ship,
and then by standing on it, and hauling in the line that I had made fast
to the shore, I got the whole lot close up to the beach, and carried a
rope from it to a tree, so that it could not go adrift again unless it
should come on to blow a gale.

By the time I got back to the raft it was afloat again, and we soon got
the cargo ashore. It was about time for dinner, and I built a fire,
fried some of the ham that Mr. Crusoe would call dried goat’s flesh, and
brought a jug of water from the creek about half a mile farther up,
where the water was fresh. We had a very good dinner, and Mr. Crusoe did
not find any fault with the plates, though he would occasionally grumble
a little to himself about the mattresses.

We were too tired to make another trip to the wreck that day, and Mr.
Crusoe’s ankle that was sprung still hurt him so much that he said he
must lie down a while. He wouldn’t lie on a mattress, but he lay on the
sand in the shade, and we both went to sleep for the rest of the


                              CHAPTER III.

When we woke up, the sun was nearly down, and I told Mr. Crusoe we must
hurry to get on board the ship before dark.

“What do you want to go on board the ship to-night for?” he asked.

“Why, to sleep, of course,” said I.

He looked really unhappy, and said, “Mike, I’m afraid you’re not quite
right in your mind. The idea of going back and sleeping on that wreck!
My grandfather slept on shore, and so will we.”

“But there isn’t the least danger in sleeping on board,” said I. “The
ship will stay where she is, unless we get a heavy blow from the

Mr. Crusoe wouldn’t so much as answer, but he began to walk around and
look up into all the trees. Presently he said, pointing to a big tree
that was all surrounded with thorn-bushes, “There’s where I’m going to

“But what do you want to sleep in a tree for?” I asked. “If you will
sleep ashore, why don’t you sleep on the sand, where you can be

“And be eaten up by wild beasts half a dozen times before morning,” he

I told him that in the first place there were no wild beasts on the
Pacific islands, and that if there were they would not come down to the
beach in the night, but would go where they could get fresh water.

“Michael Flanagan,” answered Mr. Crusoe, “if you only knew what you were
saying you would be sorry. I’ve got to sleep in a tree for this one
night, or else treat my grandfather’s memory with disrespect. Now be
silent, or I shall be angry with you.”

When a man is as obstinate as that, what are you going to do about it? I
just kept quiet, and made up a good bed for myself on the beach, while
Mr. Crusoe tried to climb up the tree. He wouldn’t let me help him,
because nobody helped his old lunatic of a grandfather, and he got two
good falls among the thorns before he got up into the branches, and
wedged himself into a place between two limbs, and said good-night.

It must have been about the middle of the night that he woke me up by
falling down from the tree with an awful crash. He couldn’t get himself
out of the thorn-bushes till I went and helped him, and then it took me
about an hour to pick the thorns out of him. He had had enough of
sleeping in a tree, and was willing to lie down on a mattress like a
Christian; but I heard him groan a good deal before he finally dropped

I didn’t say anything to him in the morning about his obstinacy, but I
only asked if all the thorns were out of him. He was quite pleasant, and
said that he didn’t care anything about his fall, because he knew that
he had done his duty. Of course, if he really considered it his duty to
go to sleep in a tree and fall out of it, he did what was right; but I
didn’t consider it my duty to be an idiot because somebody else’s
grandfather was one.

We worked all that day bringing things ashore from the wreck, and must
have brought enough canned provisions to last us for ten years, besides
more flour, beef, pork, and bread. I brought one tremendous load of
boards ashore, for I suppose the captain had expected to pick up a lot
of Chinese passengers somewhere in China, and had brought the boards to
make bunks with.

The last thing I did after we had knocked off work on the wreck was to
cut a top-gallant sail adrift from the wreckage that I had towed ashore.
We made a sort of tent of this, and Mr. Crusoe slept under it without
saying a word. He had had enough of sleeping in trees, and I suppose
that, if the truth was known, one night of that kind of lodging was all
that his grandfather ever wanted.

As the weather looked settled, we agreed to take the next day for
building a house instead of going to the wreck. Mr. Crusoe went to the
hill on the north end of the island, and found the place where his
grandfather used to live. It was a little level spot at the foot of the
hill, where the rock rose up straight for about twenty feet.

“We’ll pitch a tent right against the rock,” said he, “and we’ll
surround it with a fence made by driving stakes into the ground close
together, and then we’ll dig a cave in the rock so as to have a cellar.”

“What do you want to live right up against a damp rock for?” I asked.

“So that when the cannibals come to attack us, nobody can get at us from
the back of our castle,” he replied.

“They can’t get up on the hill and drop rocks down on us, and jump down
right into the middle of our house, I suppose?” said I. “What’s the good
of a fence and all that, when you put your house where anybody can jump
down on to the roof of it?”

“Do you pretend to know more than my grandfather?” asked Mr. Crusoe,
looking very fierce.

Of course I had to say I didn’t; and it was true too. I didn’t pretend
to know more than the old man, for I knew I knew more. Why, a boy who
had never been at sea more than two months would have been ashamed to
choose such a place for a house.

“I wonder your grandfather didn’t build his house on the top of the
hill,” I said, after a while. “Of course he had some good reason; but if
he had done it he could have watched for ships, and could have defended
himself against the cannibals—whoever they are.”

But Mr. Crusoe looked so furious that I gave up saying anything more
about the place for the house, and we went to work and pitched the tent.

Then we cut a lot of stakes, and drove them in the ground about two
inches apart, and Mr. Crusoe said they would grow and make a solid wall,
which I didn’t believe. The fence was to be about fifty feet long, and
it took us nearly all day to cut and drive stakes enough to make a piece
of fence six feet long, so I saw we were going to have plenty of work.

We moved all the things into what was to be our front yard, and piled
them up so as to make a wall. Mr. Crusoe wouldn’t leave any open place
in this wall for an entrance, but he knocked together a sort of ladder,
and said we could climb over the wall with it, and then pull it over
after us. He tried it when he had got it finished, but it broke just as
he got to the top of it, and as he fell he knocked down most of the
upper part of the wall, which was made of tin cans, and I had fairly to
dig him out from under them. Then he decided that we needn’t use a
ladder until we had finished our regular fence, and that we might leave
an opening in our wall of barrels and cans. He sometimes showed a little
sense, especially after he had hurt himself.

You should have seen, though, what a rage he got into when I went up on
the hill behind the tent and jumped down into the yard. He told me that
if I ever did it again he should have to make an example of me, and said
that no matter what it might cost, he would do his duty to his
grandfather. Then all of a sudden he got over being angry, and took me
by both hands, and said he loved me, and begged me with tears in his
eyes to do as he wanted me to do. I promised that I would; for,
aggravating as he was, he was good to me, and I was always anxious to
please him.

For the next two weeks I went to the wreck two or three times every day,
and brought ashore no end of things, while Mr. Crusoe worked part of the
time at his fence, and part of the time at making a cave. The rock was
soft and crumbling, and Mr. Crusoe worked his way into it with a
crow-bar at a pretty good rate; but one day, after the cave was about
six feet deep, part of the roof fell in on him, and buried him all but
his head, so deep that he could not move. By good-luck this happened
early in the morning, and I had plenty of time to dig him out. I got him
out after working till long after noon, but all the time I expected the
rock would cave in again and bury us both. After it was all over, Mr.
Crusoe said that the cave was large enough for the present, and that he
would not work any more on it until more important things were attended
to, and in fact he let it alone for good and all.

We got the fence done at last, and made a good stout ladder so as to
climb over it safely. But Mr. Crusoe would have the tops of the stakes
cut to a sharp point, and as he was only a landsman, and couldn’t climb
well, he was continually getting caught on the points; and once, when I
came back from the wreck, I found him hanging with his head down, with
his trousers caught on a sharp stake, and he said he had been hanging
for two hours. After this he sawed off the points at the place where we
climbed over the fence, and was able to keep himself right side up.

He wanted me to cut the ship’s cables into short lengths, and pile them
up inside of the fence so as to strengthen it; but I explained to him
that I couldn’t cut up chain-cables, and that even if I could, the
lengths would be too heavy to bring ashore. His grandfather might have
cut up the cables belonging to his own ship because they were made of
hemp, but I told Mr. Crusoe that ships never carried hemp cables
nowadays. He said it was an outrage, and he would make the owners smart
for it, but all the same he had to give up his idea of strengthening the
fence with cables. However, he dug up a great deal of earth in the front
yard and piled it against the fence, and so made a beautiful hole for
water to collect in whenever it should rain.

We had made loop-holes in the fence to shoot through, and nothing would
satisfy Mr. Crusoe but to mount the rifles on gun-carriages like
cannons, and have them always loaded and pointed out of the loop-holes.
I knew well enough that he must have got this idea from his grandfather,
and it was as ridiculous as most of that foolish old man’s ideas. In the
first place, while the rifles were mounted, you could never hit anybody
with them, unless somebody happened to be directly in front of them;
and, in the second place, they were certain to be ruined by rust. But I
let Mr. Crusoe have his own way with all but two rifles, and those, I
told him, we must keep to carry with us when we went outside of the
fence. He made the most rickety gun-carriages you ever saw, and if he
had fired his rifles only once they would have kicked the carriages all
to pieces. However, he was very proud of his work, and said that now the
place began to look as it must have looked when his grandfather was
there. That very night he thought he heard a noise, and got up and fell
over one gun-carriage, and knocked it over against the next one, and
that one fell against another, so that the whole of them came down, and
one rifle went off of its own accord, and there was “daybreak to
westward” for a few minutes, as Nigger Jim, who was one of the _H. G.
Thompson’s_ crew, was always saying when something extraordinary
happened. The next day he said that he wouldn’t take the time just then
to repair the gun-carriages, and that I might put the rifles in the
tent. I told him that I supposed that rifles were not invented in his
grandfather’s time, and he brightened up and said “that was so,” and
that as we did not have any muskets like those that his grandfather had,
he did not think that it was absolutely necessary for us to mount the

One day Mr. Crusoe took a piece of board, and cut on it in large
letters, “I came on shore here on the 18th of September, 1884,” and
nailed it to a big post, and set it up in a hole that he dug for it on
the beach. In the side of the post he cut a notch every day, and a
deeper one every Sunday. This, he said, would be our almanac; though
what is the use of an almanac that does not give you the sun’s
declination, and Greenwich time, and other things that I know you’ve got
to get out of the almanac when you go to work up your observations, I
can’t see.

The curious thing about Mr. Crusoe’s almanac was the way in which it
made the time fly. Whenever Mr. Crusoe hadn’t anything else to do, he
would go and cut two or three weeks of notches on his post. After we had
been on the island only twenty-three days, according to my reckoning,
the post showed that we had been there nearly three months, and Mr.
Crusoe wouldn’t hear a word against it, but always insisted that his
almanac was right. He would say one day, “Mike, we have now been here
ten weeks, and I think we are getting on very slowly with our house” and
the very next day he would say, “We have been here now thirteen weeks
and four days, and our provisions are holding out very well.” I tried at
first to remember the real dates, but Mr. Crusoe got me so confused that
I had to give it up.

We had been ashore, I should think, about six weeks, and had pretty well
stripped the ship of everything that was useful, when Mr. Crusoe
proposed that we should begin to saw the ship into pieces and bring them
ashore. I told him that the first heavy blow from the southward would
bring on a sea that would break her up fast enough, but he would not be
satisfied unless I would saw through every timber and stanchion and
deck-beam. I had to begin it, just to satisfy him, though I knew it was
all foolishness, but by good-luck it turned out that I only had to work
at the job one day.


                              CHAPTER IV.

I was pretty tired when night came, after sawing away all day at the
timbers of the wreck, but I didn’t like the looks of the sky, and I told
Mr. Crusoe that it might rain before morning, and we’d better make ready
for it, but he said “Oh no! it wouldn’t rain for at least a month yet,
for the dry season wasn’t over.”

I had knocked up a bunk, that stood about a foot from the ground inside
of the tent, to sleep in; but Mr. Crusoe wouldn’t sleep in a bunk, but
slept on a mattress, with nothing between it and the ground but a
half-inch plank. He had given up his notion that he mustn’t sleep on a
mattress, but I suppose he bargained with his conscience by not sleeping
in a bunk.

Soon after sunset the wind began to blow from the southward, and by the
time we turned in, which was generally about half-past seven, because we
had nothing to do after supper, there was a pretty stiff breeze. It
freshened all through the night, and after a while it began to rain.

I slept soundly enough, but Mr. Crusoe waked me up in the night by
climbing into my bunk and breaking the whole affair down; for I never
meant to make it strong enough to hold two. When it broke down it landed
us into a foot of water; and what, through being waked up so suddenly,
and finding somebody hanging on to me, I couldn’t at first think where I
was, and I had pretty nearly choked Mr. Crusoe to death before I really
understood things.

The rain had run down from the hill into the enclosure where our tent
stood, and as it couldn’t get out, owing to the fence being banked up
with earth, it stayed there. It was, as I said, about a foot deep when I
woke up, and it was getting deeper every minute. The water had roused
Mr. Crusoe up about half an hour before he woke me, and after he had
found it too cold to stand with his feet in the water any longer, he had
tried to sit on the edge of my bunk till morning.

It was raining just as if the tanks that held the rain had burst and let
it all out with a rush, instead of letting it run through a strainer,
and come down in drops, as it generally does. I never saw it rain so
hard before or since, and the water kept rising in our house so fast
that we could see it rise.

My first idea was to knock a hole in the fence and let the water out,
but it took me so long to do it, owing to the solid way in which the
stakes were driven into the ground, that the water was nearer two feet
than one foot deep when I finally managed to let it out. But all of it
wouldn’t run out, for Mr. Crusoe had dug so much earth out of the front
yard that it was lower than the ground outside the fence. As for mud,
the whole place was just one big mud-hole, and when we tried to walk we
kept constantly slipping up and sitting down in the water. So we gave it
up after a while, and went outside and sat in the lee of a rock that
kept a little of the full force of the rain off of us; but for all that,
you could have wrung us both out every ten minutes, and filled a big
bucket with water every time.

Mr. Crusoe felt so cold and miserable that he didn’t want to talk much.
Besides, the wind howled so that we could hardly hear each other. He did
say, however, two or three times, as if he was speaking to himself, “I
can’t make it out; I can’t make it out.”

“What can’t you make out, Mr. Crusoe?” asked I, when the wind lulled a

“Why, how it was that my grandfather wasn’t drowned out the same as we
have been.”

“Perhaps it didn’t rain,” said I.

“But it did rain; for in my grandfather’s book he mentions a violent

“Then you may depend upon it that he got his house full of water, and
went and built another in a better place,” I said, “only he felt ashamed
to mention it.”

“Mike,” said Mr. Crusoe, “while I can’t allow you to talk in that way of
my grandfather, I think you are partly right in what you say, for he did
build another house, which he called his country-house, in a beautiful

“And I’ll bet you anything that he lived in his country-house all the
year round, and gave up trying to live in a house right under the
scuppers of a big hill the first time he found his bed all afloat.”

Mr. Crusoe didn’t answer me, so I knew he thought I was right, and after
waiting a while I said,

“In the morning, Mr. Crusoe, if it stops raining, we’ll build a good,
substantial plank house that will keep out the rain, and we’ll put it
where the water will run off of it instead of into it. I’m sure that’s
what your grandfather did when he built his country-house, and we ought
to imitate him.” I just added that little remark to please Mr. Crusoe,
for his grandfather must have been the worst man to imitate that ever
lived. Why, a hand-organ monkey would have too much sense to imitate

Mr. Crusoe said that he was delighted that I was beginning to appreciate
his grandfather, and that we’d build a country-house the first thing
next day.

Well, the storm blew itself out by daylight, but it took a good six
hours for the sea to go down. There wasn’t a particle of the wreck
visible in the morning, for the wind and sea must have worked it off the
beach, and carried it over towards the reef, and it must have sunk in
deep water, for we never saw the first bit of wreckage afterwards. The
spars that I had towed ashore were missing too, but some of them came on
to the beach again at high tide a few days later.

Things were pretty damp in our house, but there was not much of anything
that was really spoiled. The guns and all the iron tools were rusted,
and the mattresses and blankets were soaking, but a little bright
sunshine made them all right. Mr. Crusoe’s cave had caved in again, and
was now spoiled for good; but as we did not intend to live in the house
any longer, Mr. Crusoe didn’t take much interest in the cave. He said
that we would live in our country-house, and keep the first house for a
fort and a place to sleep in now and then.

We spent the morning in getting our things dry, and in the afternoon we
selected a place for our new house, and pitched our tent there. The way
we selected it was this: Mr. Crusoe wanted to go clear over to the other
side of the island, where he said there was a beautiful valley, but I
wanted to build on a little rising ground under some big trees. I got
him to come and look at the place, but before he had begun to find fault
with it he accidentally picked up a flat stone, and found “R. C., 1671,”
scratched on one side of it. He said the letters had been scratched by
his revered grandfather, and that the stone was a sign that we should
build the house just where we stood, which was what I meant the stone to
be when I scratched the letters on it, and dropped it where he could
find it.

As Mr. Crusoe couldn’t remember how his grandfather’s country-house was
built, he let me build the new house to suit myself. I began by setting
four posts in the ground, one for each corner of the house, and then set
other posts between them. To these I nailed planks on the inside of the
house till the four sides were all covered. Then I planted another set
of posts about a foot outside of the first posts, and planked these on
the outside. In this way I had a double shell for the house, and I
filled up the place between the two shells with dry sand rammed down
hard. One side of the house I made four feet higher than the other side,
so that I could make a slanting roof, and I lashed the roof beams to the
upright posts, for I didn’t want the roof to blow off, and I was afraid
to trust to nails.

I left a place for a door, and also for one window two feet square. In
each side of the house I made loop-holes, out of which we could fire in
every direction. The door I made of six thicknesses of one-inch planks,
and swung it on two iron rods that once were pump rods on board the _H.
G. Thompson_. I made a window-shutter as thick as the door, and put
stout wooden rests on each side of the door and window in which I could
put crow-bars, as bars to fasten them. The edges of the planks of the
roof and sides of the house overlapped one another, so that no rain
could get in.

Inside of the house I made two bunks, and put up a lot of shelves, so
that I could put all our small things where they would be dry. The guns
were hung on rests on each side of the house, so that at least one could
always he handy to any one who was looking out of a loop-hole. Of course
I made a good plank floor for the house, and you have no idea how
comfortable and safe it was. Nobody could break open the door when once
we had barred it; and if you had fired rifle-bullets at the house all
day, not one of them could have gone through the wall.

I did not put any chimney on the house, for I knew I could not make the
roof tight enough to keep out the rain where the chimney came through.
You see I hadn’t lived in my grandmother’s shanty without learning
something. Then I didn’t fill the house all up with tin cans, for they
couldn’t be much hurt by rain; so I piled them all together outside of
the house, and put a little tent over them. I made a fireplace out-doors
under the trees, and put a sort of wooden roof over it, to keep rain
from putting the fire out.

It took nearly six weeks to build this house, and when it was done Mr.
Crusoe wanted to build a wall all around it. I asked him how long it was
since we had driven in the stakes of the fence around our first house.

He went down to the beach and looked at his almanac, and said that it
was thirteen months since we drove the first stake. According to my
calculation it was about ten weeks.

“Are they beginning to sprout yet?” asked I.

“Well, no,” replied Mr. Crusoe, “I can’t really say they are.”

“Then,” said I, “you see we haven’t found the kind of stakes that your
grandfather used, for if we had they’d have sprouted months ago.”

“That’s so,” said Mr. Crusoe, in a gloomy sort of way.

“Then we might as well give up building a fence. We’ve got a house now
that nobody can get into, and what we want to do is to cut down the
trees and bushes around the house, so that the hannibals can’t hide in
them and shoot at us,” I said.

“Cannibals, boy; not hannibals,” exclaimed Mr. Crusoe.

“All right, then,” I answered; “call them anything you choose, and I’ll
cut the trees down.”

I was surprised that he didn’t make some objection to cutting the trees
down; but that was just his way. You never could tell beforehand whether
he would be angry or pleased at anything you might propose.

However, I was very glad that I had got him out of the notion of
building a fence; and it’s my belief that his grandfather’s yarn about
fence-posts that sprouted was a regular twister. No man ever saw
fence-posts growing, I don’t care whose grandfather he was.

Mr. Crusoe helped me cut down the trees, and I will say for him that
there wasn’t a lazy bone in his whole body. One day when he was resting,
and feeling of the edge of his axe, he said,

“Mike, I told you long ago that it was all wrong for yon to be here.
When members of my family are shipwrecked they are always the only
people saved. Now I ought to have come ashore alone, and you ought to
have been drowned. You must see that.”

“I’m very sorry to incommode you, sir,” I replied, “but it’s too late
now to be sorry that I wasn’t drowned.”

“I might kill you, I suppose,” continued Mr. Crusoe. “I suppose that
would make it all right; but I don’t want to do it if I can help it.
Still, there’s the fact that I’m not following my grandfather’s example
in coming ashore alone, and living alone, and I feel uneasy about it.”

“Hadn’t we better wait till we get through this job, sir?” I asked. “You
couldn’t cut down all these trees alone very well.”

“That’s so,” said he, brightening up. “I’ll not kill you anyway until we
get this piece of ground cleared, and in the mean time we can talk it
over. I’m sure I don’t want to kill you, Mike, if we can see any way out
of it.”

This was a nice state of things. I began to think that perhaps Mr.
Crusoe’s mind might have gone adrift, and that perhaps he really would
try to kill me. But then I couldn’t really think that of him, for he had
been so good to me, and I made up my mind that he was joking. However, I
thought I’d be on the safe side, so I said,

“Mr. Crusoe, did your grandfather ever kill anybody except cannibals and

“No,” said he, “I don’t think he did, except the mutineers that came
ashore with Will Atkins.”

“Then you wouldn’t be following his example if you killed me, would
you?” I asked.

“Perhaps you’re right, Mike,” he answered; “but don’t let us talk any
more about it. I don’t think it’s a pleasant subject!”

And I’m sure I didn’t think so either.


                               CHAPTER V.

We had never explored the island, for we had been too busy with other
things; but after our house was finished, Mr. Crusoe said that we must
set out on an exploring expedition.

It was warm weather, but that didn’t prevent Mr. Crusoe from loading
himself and me with about a thousand pounds of luggage. He carried in a
belt around his waist a sword, a saw, a hatchet, and two revolvers. Then
he lashed on his shoulders a basket holding two blankets and a lot of
provisions, and he carried a shot-gun on one shoulder and a rifle on the
other. He made me carry another load just like his own, and he grumbled
because he did not have an umbrella to keep the sun off.

We started early in the morning to climb the big hill, at the foot of
which we built our first house. If the luggage weighed a thousand pounds
when we started, it weighed at least ten thousand before we got to the
top of the hill. Mr. Crusoe’s sword and his saw kept getting between his
legs and tripping him up every little while, and when he came down you’d
have thought by the noise that a tin-peddler’s wagon had capsized. He
fell on the edge of the saw once, but it was probably a good thing, for
it helped him to get up quicker than I ever saw a man get up before. I
expected to see some of his guns and pistols go off every time he fell,
but they didn’t do it.

We were as hot and tired when we got to the top of the hill as if we had
walked twenty miles, and Mr. Crusoe piled up his cargo on the ground and
lay down to rest. We could see the whole island from the place where we
were. It was about two miles across and three miles long, and the coral
reef ran all around it, except just where there was the opening that we
could see from the beach. Far away to the southward I could see land,
but it was so far off that you could hardly tell it from a faint cloud.

I had brought the ship’s ensign in my basket unknown to Mr. Crusoe, and
I now got it out, for I meant to set it, union down, on one of the big
trees on the top of the hill.

Mr. Crusoe, tired as he was, jumped up and snatched it away from me.

“I know what you meant to do with that,” he said; “you were going to
signal the cannibals that we are here.”

“I never thought about the cannibals,” said I, “and I don’t believe in
them very much anyway. I was going to set the ensign as a signal of
distress, so that some vessel can see it, and come and take us off.”

“That’s just as bad,” said Mr. Crusoe. “You are getting tired of this
place, and want to get away from me. You’re an ungrateful boy. There’s
hardly another boy living who wouldn’t be glad to be shipwrecked on
Robinson Crusoe’s own island, and yet you can’t appreciate it, and want
to get away.”

“But, Mr. Crusoe,” I said, “we must get away from here some time, you
know, and we never will unless some ship comes and takes us off.”

“No ship will come until we’ve been here twenty-eight years,” replied
he. “Of course the Spanish ship will come and be wrecked here after a
while, but that won’t be any help to us. No ship would see your flag, if
you did put it on the top of a tree, until the twenty-eight years are
up, so don’t say any more about it.”

I put the flag back in the basket, but I did say, “Why don’t you want to
get away from here, Mr. Crusoe?”

“Never you mind,” he answered; “I’m free now, and I mean to stay so for
twenty-eight years.”

I remembered then that Mr. Crusoe’s servant used to watch him pretty
closely when we were at sea, and I thought it was just possible that Mr.
Crusoe had done something, and that the man was taking him to San
Francisco to put him in prison. That would account for his being so
willing to stay on the island.

We stayed on the hill till we got good and rested, and then Mr. Crusoe
said that, since we could see the whole of the island, it wasn’t worth
while to explore it any more that day, and we would go home and put away
our luggage. I was glad to hear this, but I thought I had seen some
animals moving across a clearing on the other end of the island, and
when I pointed them out to Mr. Crusoe he said they were goats.

After that he didn’t think any more about going home, but said we would
go and shoot a couple of goats before we did anything else. He started
off in a great hurry, but before he had gone ten feet his sword tripped
him up, and he rolled part way down the hill, scattering guns and
pistols and things all around him, and finally brought up with his head
against a stone. He was insensible when I got to him, but a cut that the
hatchet had made in the side of his head was bleeding nicely, and that
brought him to in a very few minutes. As soon as he was able to sit up,
he said he must go home and lie down, so we gave up the goats for that

It was two days before Mr. Crusoe was well enough to explore any more,
and even then he was too weak and stiff to carry a very heavy load, so
he took only one gun and his revolvers. This time we walked along the
shore till we came to the other end of the island, when Mr. Crusoe
suddenly remembered that we must find a magnificent cave that his
grandfather used to keep somewhere near the south side of the island.

There was no sign of a cave where we were, so we went into the woods and
searched everywhere. Whenever Mr. Crusoe saw a hole in the ground large
enough to put his arm into, he would think he had found his cave; and it
was very lucky that there were no snakes on the island, or he would have
run foul of some of them at the bottom of some of the holes that he put
his arm or a leg into.



We searched for that cave for at least two hours, and I was beginning to
believe that there wasn’t any cave on the whole island, when we came to
a small hill with a hole in the side of it, just big enough to get your
head and shoulders into it. “Here we are at last,” says Mr. Crusoe; and
he lit a candle that he had brought with him, and took his coat off, and
jammed his head and shoulders into the hole. For some reason he couldn’t
get any farther—I always supposed the reason was that the cave was only
two or three feet deep, though he always pretended it was his
grandfather’s genuine private cave—and when he tried to back out again
he found he couldn’t do that. So there he was, stuck fast, and pretty
mad at everything. The candle had gone out, but not until it had set his
hair on fire and burned his eyebrows and eyelashes, and the candle-smoke
had got into his eyes, besides partly choking him. He was fitted into
the hole so tight that his voice sounded as if he were half a mile away,
but I managed to understand most of what he said.

I got a good hold of both of his legs, and braced myself and pulled my
very best, but his boots fetched loose, and I sat down pretty hard, with
a boot in each hand. Then I got a better hold of his ankles, and hauled
away, but I couldn’t start him; and after a while Mr. Crusoe said that
he thought he had begun to come apart at the waist, and that I needn’t
pull any more.

Then I thought I would try oil; so I went back to the house and got a
bottle of sweet-oil, and poured it on him as near to his shoulders as I
could reach, and then took a fresh pull at him, but I couldn’t start
tack nor sheet of him. He was getting low-spirited by this time, and
said he didn’t believe he could ever get out of that hole, but I told
him that if he didn’t eat anything for a few days he would be sure to
thin down, so that I could pull him out.

However, he did not want to wait so long, and proposed that I should get
a crow-bar and break the rock away around his shoulders. He was giving
me a good deal of trouble, but I didn’t mind that, for I was in hopes
that he would have had enough of hunting for caves if he once got out of
the one he was in. So I went all the way back to the house once more and
got a crow-bar, and went to work at the rock. Of course I couldn’t help
hitting him occasionally, but I didn’t do him any serious harm. It was
slow work, but I gradually broke the rock away, so that by an extra
heavy pull I dragged him out.

What with his hair and eyebrows having been burned, and his face smoked
and scratched, and his clothes torn and soaked with oil, and bloody on
account of two or three digs that I had accidentally given him with the
crow-bar, Mr. Crusoe looked pretty bad when he came out of the cave. But
he was very grateful to me, and said I had saved his life a second time,
and that he certainly wouldn’t kill me for a week yet.

I supposed he would have been willing to quit searching for his
grandfather’s caves and things; but no! he insisted upon looking for a
valley full of grapes, where his grandfather had a country-house. So,
after he had taken a dip in the surf, and made himself look a little
more decent, we marched on again.

We did not find any grapes, though we searched the island all over for
them, and at last Mr. Crusoe had to give it up, and admit that there
wasn’t a grape on the island. He explained it by saying that Will Atkins
and his gang naturally made wine out of the grapes, and got drunk, and
then tore the vines up by the roots. As near as I could make out, this
Will Atkins was the captain of a gang of train-robbers who lived on the
island when Mr. Crusoe’s uncle was there. There were a lot of Spaniards
too, Mr. Crusoe said, who lived with Will Atkins, but were very good
men; so I suppose they brought information to Will Atkins, and stood in
with him, but didn’t actually knock people down and rob them. If old Mr.
Crusoe had been half the man Mr. Crusoe pretended to think he was, he
would have taken his seven guns and cleaned out the whole island.

We found the valley we were looking for by following old Mr. Crusoe’s
sailing directions, which were: to go up the creek where we first landed
till we came to the end of it, and then to cross over a little hill. Mr.
Crusoe said that the valley was all right, and looked just as it ought
to have looked, except that there were no grapes; but I showed him that
there was no end of cocoa-nut-trees, and that cocoa-nuts were a great
deal more useful than grapes.

“Were there cocoa-nut-trees here, sir, when your grandfather was here?”
I asked Mr. Crusoe.

“I suppose there were,” he replied; “for in his book he speaks of
‘cocoa-trees,’ which must have been the same thing.”

“Then, of course, he made dishes out of the shells, and drank the milk,
and made cocoa-nut pies and such,” I continued.

“He didn’t do anything of the kind,” answered Mr. Crusoe; “at least, I
don’t think he could have made cocoa-nut pies, for he was never sick but
once; and I know he didn’t use cocoa-nut dishes, because he made clay

“Well,” said I, “we can use cocoa-nuts, can’t we, whether he did or

“Mike,” said Mr. Crusoe, looking at me as if I wasn’t fit to live, “if
you touch even the outside of a cocoa-nut you’ll wish that you had eaten
a dozen cocoa-nut pies—that is, if I can find a way to make you suffer
as you would deserve to suffer. How dare you propose to do what my
grandfather didn’t do!”

So when I wanted a cocoa-nut I had to watch my chance and take one when
Mr. Crusoe was out of sight. This, of course, made me the more anxious
for cocoa-nuts, and twice I made myself pretty sick by eating too many.
I don’t think that three or four cocoa-nuts would hurt anybody, but you
can’t eat many more at one time without running the risk of being
twisted all up into a Turk’s-head knot.

Mr. Crusoe insisted that we must build a country-house in the valley. I
had had about enough of building houses, and I told him so, but it
didn’t make any impression on him. His grandfather had a country-house
in that very valley, and so we must have one. I suppose if his
grandfather had happened to have a broken leg anywhere on the island, we
should have had to break one of our legs in the same place.

I said to him, “Mr. Crusoe, now just look at this a minute. Did your
grandfather have three houses?”

“No, I can’t say he did.”

“But if we build a house here we shall have three, and I’m sure that
will be wrong,” I said.

Mr. Crusoe didn’t say anything, but just stood and looked at me.

“Then,” I went on, “your grandfather didn’t have a house in a cocoa-nut
valley, but in a grape valley. Now this is a cocoa-nut valley, and I
don’t believe your grandfather would ever have been willing to build a
house right in the middle of a cocoa-nut grove. Why, it seems to me it
would be almost wicked to do such a thing. Of course we should both be
glad to build a new house, but I think we ought to be sure that it is
the kind of thing that your grandfather would have done.”

Mr. Crusoe was so pleased that he was almost ready to hug me, and he
said that we would wait a few days, and his grandfather would probably
appear to him in a dream and tell him just what to do. So I got rid of
building another house, for Mr. Crusoe was never able to dream about it,
although he tried his best.


                              CHAPTER VI.

Mr. Crusoe had been so busy hunting for caves and valleys that he had
not had time to hunt for goats; but after he had given up his idea of
building another house, he said we would shoot two or three goats, and
catch some more, so that we could have a flock of tame goats, and have
milk and butter and cheese.

We each took two guns with us, but we left the swords and saws and
hatchets at home. I wanted to go straight to the place where we saw the
goats, but Mr. Crusoe said they were so wild that we could never get
near enough to them to shoot them unless we could get on the top of a
hill when the goats were in a valley. We found a good place half-way up
a hill, where we could hide behind some bushes, and in a little while we
saw a flock of about thirty goats, and shot two of them.

We carried the goats home, though they were pretty heavy, and then Mr.
Crusoe skinned them, and put the skins out to dry in the sun, while I
roasted a splendid big piece of goat for dinner. But we couldn’t eat it,
because it was a piece of a goat old enough to have known Mr. Crusoe’s
grandfather, and Mr. Crusoe said that we would go out again and shoot a
kid. This time we shot a kid and another old goat, and when we had
skinned them both we buried all three of the old goats, and had a good
dinner of roast kid.

The next day Mr. Crusoe made me go with him into the valley where we
killed the goats, and dig what he called a pitfall. This was a hole six
feet deep and about three feet wide, and he meant it for a trap to catch
goats. When it was finished he covered the top of it with big weeds like
mullein-stalks, so that when the goats came to walk on it they would
fall in.

It was a very nice trap, I suppose, but it never caught anything but Mr.
Crusoe. We used to go to it to look for goats every night and morning
for about a week, but no goat was ever stupid enough to walk into it.
The last time, however, that we went to it Mr. Crusoe went too near the
edge, and it caved in with him. He never could have got out of the trap
alone, but as I was there I pulled him out without much trouble.

I said to him that if he would leave it to me I would catch as many
goats as he wanted, and he said I could do what I liked, but that he
didn’t want anything more to do with pitfalls.

I took half a dozen old tomato-cans that we had emptied, and dropped
them in a sort of careless way where I knew the goats would find them,
and then hid behind a tree. Pretty soon the goats came along on their
way to the creek to get a drink, and as soon as they saw the tomato-cans
they went at them as if they were starving, and I had no trouble in
walking right up to them, and making a line fast around the necks of an
old goat and her three kids. You see I knew, from living in my
grandmother’s shanty, that there is nothing that goats are so fond of as
they are of tomato-cans, and so I felt sure that by using tomato-cans as
ground-bait I could catch goats as easy as anything.

It struck me as a very curious thing that when I started for home,
leading the three kids and the goat, all the rest of the flock came
after me, and didn’t seem to be in the least bit afraid. They followed
me all the way to the house, and when Mr. Crusoe came out they crowded
around him, and you would have thought he was their dearest friend
instead of being a complete stranger.

Mr. Crusoe, of course, had an explanation ready. He said that we must
have been very stupid not to remember that his grandfather tamed all the
goats on the island, and that instead of being wild goats these were
some of those that belonged to his grandfather. He said that what proved
this was that the goats were so friendly with him, and that they
evidently mistook him for his grandfather. He was as pleased as he could
be about it, and fed the goats with all the rubbish that was lying
around the house. When I found out that the goats were tame, I let those
loose that I had caught, and the flock went and lay down in the shade of
the house, as if they meant to live with us for the next twenty-eight

When they were hungry or thirsty they would wander away, but they always
came back again; and all the rest of the time that we were on the island
those goats fairly lived with us, and you couldn’t get up in the night
without falling over them.

I could not think what Mr. Crusoe wanted to do with the goat-skins; but
when they were dry he went to work to make clothes out of them. He made
himself a pair of breeches that came down to his knees, a jacket without
any sleeves, and a tremendous big cap that ran up to a point about two
feet above the top of his head, and had a big flap on the back of it
which hung down over the back of his neck. It was the ugliest and
stiffest and heaviest suit of clothes that was ever made, and when Mr.
Crusoe had it tried on, and found that the breeches were too small and
the coat too big, he said he would give it to me.

However, he didn’t give it to me until about a week later, and by that
time he had a new suit made for himself. The morning after he had
finished it he woke me up to build the fire, and for about a minute he
frightened me nearly out of my mind; for he had on all his goat-skin
clothes, and looked worse than any heathen that ever was born. I
couldn’t just at first think who he was, and I really thought that the
cannibals he was always talking about had boarded us and were going to
eat us.

Mr. Crusoe handed me what he called my suit of goat-skin clothes, and
told me to put them on. I tried to argue with him, but it wasn’t of any
use, especially as he had taken my regular clothes and locked them up or
hid them somewhere. He told me that we had been on the island nearly
three years, and our clothes were all worn out, so we must either wear
goat-skin clothes or no clothes at all; that his grandfather wore
goat-skin clothes of the same pattern as those he wanted me to wear;
and, finally, that he’d give me just ten minutes to get into the
goat-skins, and that if I didn’t choose to do it he would see that there
would be a nice coffin for me to wear.

It didn’t take me over five minutes to put on the goat-skin clothes
after I saw that Mr. Crusoe was in dead earnest. I could have made a
pair of breeches out of stove-pipe that would have been easy and
comfortable by the side of those that Mr. Crusoe gave me; and as for the
cap, it was heavier than a flour-barrel, and nothing like as soft. What
made me so disgusted was that both Mr. Crusoe and I had lots of decent
Christian clothes that would have lasted us for three or four years, but
he was that aggravating that he wouldn’t wear them, and wouldn’t let me
wear them.

We couldn’t eat much breakfast that morning, and I suppose it was
because we looked so frightful that we took each other’s appetites away.
And then we had to eat standing up, for the goat-skin was so stiff that
we couldn’t sit down until we had pounded our breeches two or three
hours with the back of an axe. The goats themselves did not know us till
we spoke to them, and when they first saw us they started on a run for
the woods.



Mr. Crusoe must have found his clothes as hard to wear as mine were, but
he bore it, and never gave the least sign that he was uncomfortable. I
didn’t dare to say anything before him, but I used to go off by myself
and take my clothes off every little while and be comfortable; that is,
I was comfortable after the sun got through blistering me, which it did
at first.

If our clothes had really been worn out we could have made good clothes
out of sail-cloth; and so could that wretched old idiot Mr. Crusoe’s
grandfather, if he had only had the least bit of sense; for, according
to Mr. Crusoe, he saved a great deal of canvas from his wreck. But of
course he did the most stupid and preposterous thing he could do, for
that was what he always did. Give him a choice of two courses to steer,
one right and one wrong, and he’d never fail to take the wrong one.

You may say that, being all alone, and his own master, old Mr. Crusoe
had a right to do what he pleased about building houses and making
clothes. I don’t say he hadn’t, provided he was never going to have a
grandson; but you see he did have a grandson, and I was cast away with
that grandson, and then the consequences of old Mr. Crusoe’s foolishness
all came on me. I think that if a man is cast away all alone it is his
duty to set an example to other people that may be cast away after him,
instead of doing the wrong thing every chance he gets.

Mr. Crusoe wasn’t satisfied with what he had done in making clothes. He
said that we must have goat-skin umbrellas, and carry them over our
heads to keep the sun off. I took the liberty of telling him that since
he was a landsman it was all right for him to carry an umbrella, but
that it would be a disgrace to a sailor to carry one, so he agreed to
let me live without an umbrella. He killed four goats, and used their
skins to cover the frame of an umbrella that he made partly out of wire
and partly out of wood. When it was done it would keep the rain off and
the sun off, and I believe it would have kept off a shower of
grape-shot, but it was so heavy that Mr. Crusoe could only carry it by
holding it with both hands, and then it tired him so that he couldn’t
walk half a mile with it.

“What puzzles me,” he said to me after he had tried his umbrella, “is to
understand how my grandfather could have carried that umbrella of his
and a gun on each shoulder at the same time. He must have been the
strongest, as well as the best and wisest, man that ever lived. Don’t
you think so, Mike?”

“Certainly,” said I. “He must have been stronger than Samson, for Samson
never carried two guns at the same time that he was carrying off the
gates of Delilah.”

This pleased Mr. Crusoe, for he didn’t understand that by saying what I
did I meant to say that his grandfather didn’t tell the truth about his
great feat with two guns and a goat-skin umbrella. For you can’t make me
believe that any man could carry a gun on each shoulder, and at the same
time carry an umbrella in both hands, weighing about as much as a spare
top-gallant mast, and spreading as much surface to the wind as a

After a few days Mr. Crusoe gave up trying to carry his umbrella, and
pitched it like a tent in our front yard, and the whole flock of goats
used to come and lie under it in the middle of the day, and sleep under
it at night. It blew over once or twice, but after that I made guys fast
to it and led them to trees, and it was so nice and pleasant under the
umbrella that I proposed to Mr. Crusoe that we should live under it
altogether instead of living in our house, but he wouldn’t do it.

The goat-skin cap troubled him almost as much as the umbrella. I lost
mine two or three days after it was given to me, though you can hardly
imagine how much planning and smart seamanship it took to lose that cap
in the water in just such a way that I couldn’t fish it out again. After
that I went bareheaded, which was a great deal more comfortable than
wearing a heavy cap, and I could see that Mr. Crusoe envied me.

He wouldn’t lose his cap, but he got into a habit of taking it off and
carrying it under his arm whenever we were in the shade. Then he said
that he was afraid he might drop it and lose it some day, so he fastened
a lanyard to it, which he put around his neck, and which let the cap
hang at his side under his left arm. Next he began to pick up pebbles
and bits of wood whenever we were walking together, and as his cap was
swinging handy at his side, he would drop his pebbles and things into
it. So before very long he gave up using his cap for anything but a bag,
and never thought of putting it on his head. I suppose he sometimes
wished that he dared to wear his old comfortable Christian hat that he
brought ashore from the wreck, but he was so much more comfortable with
his goat-skin cap swinging at his side than he was when he used to try
to wear it on his head that he was probably pretty well satisfied.

I thought of losing my goat-skin clothes, but I knew it would be of no
use, and that Mr. Crusoe would be sure to build new ones for me, so I
bore them as well as I could, and tried to enjoy seeing Mr. Crusoe
suffer in his.


                              CHAPTER VII.

It was not very long after we had moved into our goat-skin clothes that
Mr. Crusoe got up early one morning, and came and stood over me with an
axe in his hand as I was lying asleep on my bed. I woke up suddenly, and
saw him looking very solemn, and I thought at first that he must have
been taken sick, so I asked him what was the matter, and if I could do
anything for him.

“Nothing is the matter with me,” he replied; “but I am sorry you woke
up, for I was just going to kill you.”

“That’s very kind in you, I’m sure,” said I; “but don’t you think, Mr.
Crusoe, that you could manage to get along without killing me till after
breakfast? I ought to get up and start the fire, you know.”

Now Mr. Crusoe couldn’t bear to start a fire, and whenever he tried it
he always got his throat and eyes full of smoke, and couldn’t get
anything to burn except kindlings. So he was glad to get rid of making a
fire and getting breakfast that morning, and he told me that on second
thoughts I might live till the coffee was ready.

It took me a good while to make a fire that morning, and I pretended
that I couldn’t split kindlings without the axe, and when I once got the
axe into my hands I took very good care not to let Mr. Crusoe get hold
of it again. I made up my mind, however, that Mr. Crusoe must give up
his notion about killing me, for it was really getting pretty dangerous,
now that he had got the idea of knocking me on the head with the axe
whenever he could catch me asleep. So, while the coffee was boiling, I
said to him, “Mr. Crusoe, the reason why you are going to kill me is
that your grandfather wasn’t cast ashore with an intelligent sailor-man,
isn’t it?”

“That’s just it, my dear boy,” said he.

“But,” said I, “there was his man Friday, that I’ve heard you talk
about. Now why shouldn’t I be your man Friday? It won’t do for you to
try to get on without one, you know very well; and I don’t see where
your Friday is to come from unless I help you out.”

“That’s an excellent idea, Mike,” exclaimed Mr. Crusoe. “And what’s
more, if you are Friday I needn’t kill you; and I do assure you I don’t
want to kill you if it can be avoided.”

“All right,” said I, “I’m your man Friday, and I hope you won’t give
yourself the least trouble after this about killing me.”

Mr. Crusoe was as pleased with the notion of turning me into Friday as
if he had been made a captain in the navy, but he said I couldn’t be
made into Friday by just saying so, and that he would have to think how
to do it in the correct way.

After breakfast Mr. Crusoe told me that I must burn a piece of cork and
black myself all over, and that I might move out of my goat-skin
clothes, and wear nothing but a towel tied round my waist. This suited
me perfectly, and in a few minutes I was as black as a native African
king. Then Mr. Crusoe told me I must walk about a mile down the beach,
and then turn and run back to the house, and he would meet me, and
consider that I was Friday.

I can’t tell you how nice it was to get rid of my goat-skin clothes. I
felt as light as a feather; and after I had walked a mile away, and
turned to run back, I felt as if I could run for a week without

I was running my best when Mr. Crusoe stepped out from the woods and
aimed his gun almost at me. I thought first that he was going to shoot
me, so the instant he fired I dropped flat on the beach, and then jumped
up again and ran towards him, so as to get hold of his gun before he
could load.

But he hadn’t fired at me after all. As I came towards him he put his
gun down on the ground and smiled from ear to ear, and beckoned me to
come to him in the most friendly sort of way. Then I remembered what he
had told me about the way in which his grandfather had introduced
himself to Friday by shooting a cannibal who was hungry, and was chasing
Friday so as to catch him and put him on the coals.

When I came where Mr. Crusoe was he patted me on the shoulder and said,
“Good fellow! poor fellow! your enemies are killed and you are safe
now.” He couldn’t have been kinder if I had been a dog; and when he took
me by the hand and led me back to the house, and made me lie down and
drink another cup of coffee, I was pretty well satisfied to be Friday.



He began calling me Friday at once, and never called me anything else
except once or twice when he got very angry at something and called me
“You Mike!” When I began to talk back to him he stopped me, and said,
“Friday, you talk too plain. You mustn’t say, ‘That coffee’s awful
good!’ but you must say, ‘Him coffee berry muchee good!’ Remember that
you’re a poor, ignorant savage, just beginning to learn English, and
don’t let me have to correct you again.”

I was disappointed to find that I had to climb into my goat-skin clothes
again; and when I had finished the coffee, and Mr. Crusoe showed me the
clothes, and said, “Now, Friday, you must put on these clothes,” I said,
“I do wish, Mr. Crusoe, you’d let me go as I am now.” He looked very
angry, and said, “What did you say, Friday? Your broken English isn’t
very easy to understand.” I knew what he meant then, and said, “Me no
likee clothes. Me no wearee clothes in my country.” This pleased him
better, but all the same I had to put the clothes on.

I found it pretty easy to talk as Mr. Crusoe wanted me to, and after a
while it seemed perfectly natural to be a man Friday. It was a nuisance
to have to black myself all over every time after I had been in
swimming, and once I tried to get Mr. Crusoe to let me black nothing but
my face and hands, but he wouldn’t agree to it. I really began to feel
as if I was a real black savage; and as Mr. Crusoe never said anything
more about killing me, I could go to sleep without fear of having my
brains knocked out with the axe.

The worst thing about it was that Mr. Crusoe would insist on instructing
me, as he called it. He would make me sit down by him and listen while
he told me that there was more of the world than the island where we
were, and there were great nations of white people who built ships and
railroads and all sorts of things; just as if I didn’t know all about it
a great deal better than he did, who had never been on board a ship but
once. However, I had to listen respectfully, and I used to remember
that, after all, it was easier to sit still and let a man talk than it
was to work hard either afloat or ashore. But one day he tried to tell
me what a ship was like. He called it a “big canoe,” and I never heard
any man talk such nonsense as he did when he described how a ship is
rigged. I really couldn’t stand it, so I said, “You no talkee sense.
Gimme rest; you makee me tired,” and I got up and left him. After that
he didn’t talk to me any more about ships.

Another thing that bothered me was that Mr. Crusoe would make me tell
him all sorts of yarns about my country. He didn’t mean America, nor yet
Ireland, but some heathen country not far from our island, where he
maintained that I used to live. Of course my stories didn’t suit him
until I found out just what he wanted me to tell. I had to tell him that
the tribe of savages that I belonged to used to fight with another
tribe. That was partly true of the Flanagans in old Ireland, for I have
often heard my father say how they used to fight with the Maguires; but
I thought things had come to a pretty pass when I had to call a
respectable, decent family like the Flanagans a tribe of savages.

Then, too, Mr. Crusoe was bound to make me tell him that there were a
whole ship’s company of Spaniards in my country. I had to make believe
that they had been shipwrecked there, and whenever we talked about them
Mr. Crusoe would sigh, and say that if we only had a boat we would set
sail and find the Spaniards, and bring them to the island. Once he said,
“We had better make a canoe, Friday, and have it all ready, so that when
your father comes we can send him in it to bring the Spaniards here.”

I was so astonished to hear him say that my father was coming that I
almost spoke English to him; but I recollected in time that I was
Friday, so I only said, “What you meanee?”

“Your father, my poor Friday,” he answered, “is a very old savage, and
he has been captured by the enemy. They will bring him here to eat him
before very long, and then we’ll rescue him.”

“My father was a respectable Irishman, Mr. Crusoe,” said I, “and I won’t
allow any man—I don’t care who he is—to call him an old savage.” I was
so angry that I got up and left Mr. Crusoe after saying this, and I
didn’t see him again till supper-time. However, he never said anything
to me about it, and perhaps he didn’t notice that I had answered him in

By this time you must have found out that Mr. Crusoe was a very curious
man. What was perhaps the strangest thing of all about him was that he
wouldn’t make the least attempt to get away from the island. Not only
did he forbid me to hoist a signal where any ship could see it, or to
make a bonfire at night, but he would never listen when I proposed
building a boat or making a raft, and so trying to get over to the
main-land; that is, if it was the main-land that we could see from the
top of the hill. He would always say, whenever I spoke about getting
away, that an English ship would come for us after a while, and that we
hadn’t been on the island half long enough yet. According to the
almanac, as he called his post with notches cut on it, we had been on
the island about two years when he turned me into a man Friday, though,
according to my reckoning, we had been there less than a year. But Mr.
Crusoe seemed to enjoy himself better the longer we stayed, and I made
up my mind that he never meant to get away, and that unless I wanted to
live and die a corked-up savage, I must contrive some plan for getting
away alone.

I took the saw one afternoon when Mr. Crusoe was asleep, and went up to
the top of the hill, and climbed the big tree that stood at the very
top, and had only a few limbs. I began at the very top of the tree, and
sawed all the limbs off except two that were opposite to each other, and
stood out straight from the tree. Then I trimmed these two limbs until
the whole tree looked exactly like an enormous cross. It stood to reason
that no ship could see this cross without understanding that some one
was on the island, and meant the cross to be a signal of distress; and
no Christian ship would think of passing by the island without sending a
boat to find out what was the matter.

I was afraid that Mr. Crusoe would be in a rage when he should find out
what I had done, and I didn’t suppose it would be possible to keep him
from finding it out. Still, I took the trouble to drag all the sawed-off
branches into the woods, where Mr. Crusoe would not be likely to find
them, and brushed up the leaves and the sawdust.

That night we had a very heavy thunder-storm, and the lightning struck
three or four times very near us. Mr. Crusoe was a good deal frightened,
and told me while the shower was going on that his grandfather didn’t
like thunder, and that he was like his grandfather in most things. It
appears that old Mr. Crusoe was in a terrible state of mind when it
thundered and lightened, for fear that his gunpowder would take fire and
blow him up; and it’s a great pity that it didn’t. My Mr. Crusoe thought
that he ought to worry about the powder because his grandfather did; but
I finally convinced him that when the lightning had the choice of twenty
thousand big trees to strike, it would not demean itself to strike a
little low but just for the sake of looking for some powder to blow up.

The next morning we happened to walk out where we could see my big tree,
and I saw that the top of it was splintered, and that it was burned
black. You see, the lightning had struck it, and it would have been
burnt up if the rain had not put the fire out.

Mr. Crusoe was perfectly delighted when he saw the big cross. He never
dreamed that I had anything to do with it, and he said that it was a
sign to tell him that he was doing right, and that the English ship
would come and take him off, and that everything would turn out well,
only that we must hurry up and find my father and the Spaniards on the
main-land, and be ready to kill the cannibals and to capture Will
Atkins. I really began to think that perhaps Mr. Crusoe was a little
crazy, and resolved that I would keep a close watch on him, and stand by
to lash him to a tree, in case it should become necessary.


Although Mr. Crusoe wouldn’t let me build a boat in which we could sail
for some Christian country, he made up his mind that we must have a boat
all ready to send over to the main-land in search of his precious

I couldn’t see any use in this. Even if there were any Spaniards where
we could get at them, they wouldn’t have been any use to us. Spaniards
are all very well in their own country, I suppose, but they are the most
useless kind of sailors. Indeed, you can’t make sailors of them if you
try your very best. I tried to tell Mr. Crusoe that if we filled the
island up with a lot of Spaniards they would eat up all the provisions,
and then grumble for more, but he wouldn’t listen to me.

We had plenty of wood for the timbers and planking of a large boat, and
we two together could have built it in a short time, but that wouldn’t
suit Mr. Crusoe. He said we must cut down a big tree and hollow it out,
so as to make a canoe. There wasn’t the least use in arguing with him,
for he told me that a poor, ignorant, converted cannibal like myself
couldn’t possibly know anything about boats—which was pretty hard to
bear, especially from a landsman.

There were plenty of big trees near the water, but Mr. Crusoe wouldn’t
look at them. He selected a tree that stood nearly a quarter of a mile
from the shore, and said that it was just the tree we wanted. I knew he
would have a good time launching a heavy canoe that would have to be
dragged over the ground for such a long distance, but I let him have his
way, which is always the best thing to do when you can’t help yourself.

It was a big job cutting that tree down, for it was at least three feet
thick, but we cut it down at last, or rather I did, for Mr. Crusoe soon
got tired of swinging his axe, and said that he would content himself
with superintending me. He brought a blanket and a pillow, and put them
on the ground near the tree, and superintended very comfortably, only
the tree came down a little sooner than we expected, and he had just
time to run before it fell directly across the blanket.

Chopping the tree down was the easiest part of the work. It took a week
longer to trim off the branches. Then we had to cut away the sides of
the tree, and shape it something like a whale-boat, only without the
sheer. This took the best part of another week; and all this time the
only thing Mr. Crusoe did was to lie on a blanket and superintend.

The hardest work of all was to hollow out the canoe. Mr. Crusoe said
that in my country we always hollowed out a log by kindling a fire on
the top of it, and of course I had to try it. Anybody except a man
belonging to the Crusoe family would have known that this plan wouldn’t
work; and even Mr. Crusoe became convinced after a while that a big tree
couldn’t be hollowed out in any such way.

It took five weeks of good steady work to get that tree hollowed out
with the adze, but when it was done we really had quite a decent-looking
boat. Mr. Crusoe wanted to rig her before we launched her, but he gave
up the idea when I asked him if his grandfather rigged his canoe before
he launched it; and he was obliged to admit that even that forsaken old
idiot had sense enough to not do such a ridiculous thing. I had always
considered old Mr. Crusoe as about half-witted, but I had been made by
this time to suffer so much on account of him that I couldn’t bear even
to hear his name.



I needn’t tell you that when the canoe was ready for launching we
couldn’t stir her. Mr. Crusoe came and put his shoulder against her, and
gave a shove that would hardly have started a barrel, and then said,
“It’s of no use trying; we shall have to dig a canal to the beach.”

Now I didn’t very much believe that we could ever launch the canoe,
though of course I never expected that Mr. Crusoe could stir her all
alone, but I didn’t want to give it up without trying. But Mr. Crusoe
wouldn’t let me try. He said that we could bring the water up to the
boat by means of a canal, and that there was no other possible way of
launching her. So I had to begin to dig a canal, though I knew all the
time it was mere foolishness, for it would have taken both of us at
least four years to dig one broad enough and deep enough to float the
canoe. However, I dug for two days, while Mr. Crusoe superintended, and
then he said that it was of no use, and I might knock off, and that his
grandfather once made a canoe that he was never able to launch.

This showed that Mr. Crusoe had never expected to launch the canoe, and
that he had made me do all the work of making it just because his
grandfather had been the same kind of a lunatic, and had made a big
canoe a quarter of a mile from the shore. I was always good-tempered,
except, of course, when something went wrong, but this time I was angry,
and I walked off and didn’t speak to Mr. Crusoe again until the next

He never said anything more about the canoe, and seemed to have
forgotten all about it, but I determined to launch it just to spite him
and his grandfather. With the help of a long lever I pried the canoe up,
and put half a dozen rollers under her. Then I smoothed the ground as
well as I could between her and the beach. About half the way was level
ground, and the rest of the way was downhill to the beach. This was one
of the things that made it impossible to dig a canal, for the upper end
of the canal, near where the canoe lay, would have been about forty feet
deep, provided we could have dug it.

We had an enormous big “fish-tackle” that I had brought ashore from the
wreck, and that was used when we fished the anchor. I carried this up to
the canoe, and rigged it so that I could use a lever to haul on it with.
The lever was my own invention, and it worked almost as well as a
capstan. Of course it was very slow work, but I was able to move the
canoe a little at a time, and after two weeks of working at odd times
when Mr. Crusoe was asleep or busy, so that he did not miss me, I got
the canoe up to the top of the high ground and was ready to let her run
down to the beach. At first I thought I would get Mr. Crusoe to help me
launch her, but as there was no surf, and the beach was fairly steep, I
decided to do the work alone. Before I started her downhill I cut a lot
more of rollers, and laid them all the way from the canoe to the water,
and I ballasted the canoe with about a ton of heavy stones. Then I made
the tackle fast to her stern and to a tree, and got in and let her go.

She bumped down the hill as fast as I would let her go, and shot into
the water without taking a drop into her. I anchored her with a stone,
cast off the tackle, and swam ashore. I felt pretty proud of what I had
done; not so much because it was a bit of good sailor work, but because
I had done what old Mr. Crusoe didn’t have sense enough to do. She was
really a fine boat. She was thirty-six feet long and nearly three feet
wide. Of course this would have been narrow for a Christian boat, but I
meant to put an outrigger on her, such as the natives use in the
Sandwich Islands, and this, I knew, would make her as stiff as a church.
With a half deck fore and aft, a good mast and sail, and a steering-oar,
she would be fit to cross the Pacific Ocean with a dozen people in her.

After dinner, when, as a rule, a man is more reasonable than at other
times, I took Mr. Crusoe to the beach and showed him the boat. Do you
think he was pleased? Not much. He said I had no right to launch the
boat; that his grandfather’s memory was insulted by it, and that it was
our duty to leave the canoe to rot on shore, and to make a smaller one
that we could launch easily. Luckily, he couldn’t help himself, for he
couldn’t get the canoe back into the woods where she was made, and so he
had to make the best of it.

Mr. Crusoe was not a very modest man. In fact, he thought he knew
everything, and he tried to tell me how the canoe ought to be rigged. I
couldn’t keep him from talking, but I went ahead all the same and rigged
the boat as she ought to have been rigged: with a leg-of-mutton sail
forward and a jigger aft, just big enough to jam her on a wind. Mr.
Crusoe wanted very much to have her fitted with a rudder, because his
grandfather fitted a canoe with a rudder, though I knew just as well as
if I had seen his canoe that no rudder ever made her steer. Of course I
used a steering-oar instead of a rudder, and when I had fitted her with
an outrigger, and decked her over for five feet from the stem and the
stern, I hoisted the sails and took her out for a trial trip.

She sailed beautiful, and the jigger brought her around every time as
handy as if she had been a cat-boat. She was perfectly dry, and the
outrigger kept her almost on an even keel. Mr. Crusoe watched her from
the shore, and when I brought her in and anchored her, I could see that
he was proud of her, although he was that obstinate that he wouldn’t say
so. In the course of the day, however, he hit on an idea that reconciled
him to the canoe. He made believe that she was the second canoe we had
built, and that the first one was still lying up in the woods. He said
to me, “Friday, you have done well to build a new canoe entirely by
yourself. She is smaller than the first one that we built and couldn’t
launch, but she is quite big enough.” I understood in a minute what he
meant, and agreed with him that the first canoe was far too big. It was
a pity to see a full-grown man act so babyish about a thing, but it was
a warning to me never to bother my head about following the example of
my grandfather.

I had made up my mind, now that we had a boat, to provision her for six
weeks or so, and to try to find some civilized country or to fall in
with a ship. The island was comfortable enough, for we had plenty to eat
and nothing to do, unless we wanted to do it, and for the first month or
two I thought I would like to live there forever. But I was surprised to
find, after a while, that I was getting tired of it, and wanted to get
back on board a deep-water ship, and meet somebody besides Mr. Crusoe. I
had no fault to find with him, except that he once had a grandfather,
and I was ready to do anything in reason to please him, but I didn’t
want to spend all my life with him and nobody else.

I knew Mr. Crusoe would never consent to leave the island in the canoe,
but I meant to get him to come out with me for a little sail, and then
lash him, and keep him lashed until we should be well out of sight of
the island.

I had hard work to get enough provisions and water stowed on board the
canoe without attracting Mr. Crusoe’s attention, but I was very careful
about it, and I not only provisioned her for six weeks, but I hove
overboard the stone ballast and ballasted her with canned provisions. I
put two rifles and a shot-gun aboard of her, with plenty of ammunition,
and I furnished her with blankets and everything that anybody could want
at sea. She was more like a gentleman’s pleasure yacht than anything
else, and I got to be so fond of her that I resolved I would never go to
sea in any other craft, but would use her for trading among the Pacific
Islands, and be my own master instead of having a lot of captains and
mates over me all my days.

But when I was all ready Mr. Crusoe spoilt my plan. Perhaps he suspected
what I meant to do. At any rate, he wouldn’t trust himself on board the
canoe, and told me that he did not want me to go sailing in her for fear
I might be blown off the island, and not be able to get back again.

I was so disgusted that I said to myself that I had had enough of Mr.
Crusoe, and that if he wouldn’t come with me I would leave him. I didn’t
mean to abandon him for good and all, but I expected to fall in with a
ship, and then the captain would steer for the island and take Mr.
Crusoe off. He could live for a while very comfortably by himself, for
that was what his grandfather did before he engaged Friday to live with
him. The more I thought of escaping alone, the more I liked the idea. I
had given Mr. Crusoe every chance to come with me, and I was even ready
to carry him off against his will, but when a man is as obstinate as he
was, what can you do? After all, I could get on alone in the boat a good
deal better than I could with him, for he would have been sure to try to
make me sail the boat just as his grandfather used to, and he would have
been no end of trouble, as a landsman always is when you have got him in
a small boat, unless he happens to be sea-sick. So, after thinking it
all over, I resolved to start that same night, and get rid of the island
and Mr. Crusoe at the same time.


                              CHAPTER IX.

There was a nice westerly breeze blowing that night about ten o’clock
when I crept out of the house without waking Mr. Crusoe. I had found my
old flannel clothes, and I had a lump of soap with me, and when I got to
the beach the first thing I did was to break out of my goat-skin
clothes, wash the burnt cork off of myself, and put on my old
sailor-clothes. I felt comfortable then for the first time in a great
many weeks, and I thought what a fool I would be to stay on the island
and wear goat-skin clothes, and have to listen to stories about old Mr.

I had a compass and a lantern in the canoe, but as there was a full moon
I could see to steer for the opening in the reef without the compass. I
was glad of this, for I did not want to light the lantern for fear that
Mr. Crusoe might wake up and see it. I had forgotten that I had to swim
out to the canoe when I put my flannel clothes on, so I had to take them
off again till I was safe on board.

I got up my anchor and got sail on her without making any noise. The
canoe slipped along through the water towards the opening in the reef,
and in about ten minutes after I started I was just abreast the south
end of the island. I had to run close to a ridge of rock that projected
out towards the reef, and to my great surprise I saw somebody sitting on
the rocks and watching the boat. From his goat-skin clothes I knew it
was Mr. Crusoe, but he sat perfectly still, and never even hailed me. I
could not imagine how he could have got to the end of the island before
me, until I remembered that I did not look to see if he was in the house
when I left it. He must have been out taking a walk in the moonlight
when I started for the boat, and of course he knew when he saw the boat
under sail that I was leaving him.

I expected every minute that he would call to me to come back, or that
perhaps he would fire at me, but he sat still until I was nearly outside
of the reef, and then he got up and walked slowly away. It made me feel
a little sorry to have him catch me in the very act of leaving him, but
then he had only himself to blame that he was not with me.

Beyond knowing, from the height of the sun at noon, that the island was
a long way south of the line, I did not have the least idea where it
was, and of course I could not tell what course to steer in order to
reach any inhabited country. I did not steer for what Mr. Crusoe and I
used to call the main-land—that is, the little bit of land that we could
see from the island—for I felt sure that if it was inhabited at all, it
was inhabited by savages. So, after I had got well clear of the island,
I headed the boat due north, and resolved to keep on that course until I
could find either land or a ship.

There was a nice, steady breeze, and the boat steered so easily that I
had hardly anything to do. Before long I was very sleepy, and once I
nearly fell overboard as I stood at the steering-oar. About two o’clock,
as near as I could calculate, I felt that I must turn in; so I took in
the main-sail, hauled the jigger-sheet flat aft, and hove the boat to.
Then I wrapped myself up in a blanket and went to sleep.

I woke up long after daylight, and found that there was a fresh westerly
breeze, and that the sea was getting up. The canoe had drifted a long
way while I was asleep, and the island was out of sight. It was a little
lonesome all alone on the Pacific Ocean, and I found myself wondering
how poor Mr. Crusoe would manage to build a fire and get his own
breakfast. I opened a can of salmon, and with that and two or three
biscuits I made a good breakfast.

Allowing for the course I had steered before I went to sleep, and the
distance the boat had drifted afterwards, I could tell pretty nearly in
what direction the island must lie. I wondered if Mr. Crusoe felt as
lonesome as I did, and I wished he was with me. He was very trying at
times, but then he was a good man, and he had been very kind to me.

After breakfast I made sail on the boat and headed her for the north
again. If Mr. Crusoe couldn’t build a fire, he could have a cold
breakfast, for he had at least four years’ supply of canned things. But
what would he do if he were to be sick? He wasn’t a strong man, and I
thought it was very likely that he might catch cold or get a fever or

I worried about Mr. Crusoe for the next hour, and then I said that I had
done wrong to leave him, and that I would go back. I put the boat on the
other tack, and steered for the island, and the moment I had done it I
somehow saw that I had done a mean, cowardly thing in leaving Mr.
Crusoe, and that I couldn’t feel happy again until I had told him so and
begged his pardon.

I sailed for three hours at the rate of about five miles an hour, and by
my calculation I ought to have seen the island by that time, but it
wasn’t in sight. Then I began to be afraid that I would never find it
again, and I grew more anxious to get back to it than I had ever been to
leave it. Then I remembered that the canoe had no keel, and that she
would drift a good deal faster than a civilized boat, so I beat up to
windward nearly all the rest of the day, and by five o’clock I saw the
cross on the top of the hill. I was never so glad to see anything in my
life before. I said to myself that if I could once get ashore on that
island again I would stand by Mr. Crusoe, no matter how long he might
stay there.

At sunset I was only about ten miles from the island, which bore due
south-west from the boat, when I saw a squall coming down directly from
the south-west. When it struck me I had managed to reef my sail by
rolling it around the mast until it was about as small as the jigger;
but for all that the squall was so fierce that it drove the canoe astern
at a terrible rate so long as the sails were shaking, and hove her way
over on her side when I let the sails fill. Instead of passing over
quickly, the squall seemed as if it had come to stay, and it was blowing
a gale within half an hour after it had reached the boat.

There was no working the canoe to windward against such a gale, so I
just hove her to under the jigger and let her drift. She drifted about
as fast as an ordinary boat would sail, and I saw that if the gale
continued I should be blown so far off the island that I could never
find my way back. I made a sea-anchor out of a couple of poles that were
in the boat, a lot of heavy tin cans, and a piece of canvas, and when I
got this overboard it kept her from drifting quite as fast as she had
done. However, the wind stayed in the south-west, and as long as it did
not change I could not very well lose the bearing of the island.

I knew that Mr. Crusoe would make sure that I would be drowned, for I
never saw a landsman yet who thought that a small boat could live in bad
weather, although there are lots of big iron steamers that are worse
sea-boats than a good whale-boat or a metallic life-boat. As for my
canoe, the only trouble with her was that she was too long, considering
that she had no sheer forward. For a while the half deck forward kept
her pretty dry, but of course the sea kept getting up, and by-and-by the
canoe got to dipping her head into every sea, and taking a lot of water
into her.

There was no help for it except to put the canoe right before the wind,
and keep sail enough on her to keep her out of the way of the seas. It
was ticklish work to get her before the wind, and I should very likely
have swamped her if I had not remembered that she was the same at both
ends, and that instead of turning her around all I had to do was to take
the steering-oar to the bow and make that the stern. So I set the
jigger, cut away the sea-anchor, and got the steering-oar out at the
bow. Away she went stern first, like a yacht running for the turning
buoy, and she was as dry as a bone, barring a little spray that
occasionally flew over her.

There was no sleep for me that night, for I couldn’t leave the
steering-oar a minute or the canoe would have broached to, and there
would have been a sudden end of my voyage, and Mr. Crusoe would have
been left alone for good and all.

However, the gale was a short one, and it blew itself out by morning,
and then the sea went down very fast. By eight o’clock there was only a
stiff breeze, and I was able to heave the boat to and get my breakfast
and a little rest. I calculated that I must be about a hundred miles
from the island, but the wind had backed into the north-west, and I
could lay a straight course for home. I had never called the island home
before, but now I was regularly homesick for it, and I would have given
almost anything to see Mr. Crusoe, and tell him that I would stick by
him in spite of his grandfather.

I sailed all that day and the next night, and by my reckoning I ought to
have sighted the island by daylight, but I was disappointed. Way up to
windward I saw the smoke of a steamer, but there wasn’t the least use in
trying to beat up to her, and I didn’t try it. All that day I stood on
what I thought was the right course, but no island came in sight, and
for fear that I would miss it in the dark, I hove to again for the

Luckily I had the same breeze in the morning, for I had only one little
paddle in the canoe, and I could have done nothing with her in a calm. I
had now been steering south-west so long that I was sure I must have
passed the island, but whether it lay on the right hand or the left I
could only guess. I resolved to steer south-east for six hours, and
then, if the island did not come in sight, I intended to steer as nearly
north-east as the wind would let me for another six hours.

By this means I made sure that I should sight the island by night, but,
as it turned out, I didn’t. I steered south-west from eight till twelve,
and then the wind all died out. There wasn’t a breath, and the canoe
might as well have been anchored, so far as I could see.

The calm lasted all day, and I turned in at night expecting to wake up
if there should be a breeze. I could not get asleep for a long while. I
had heard of calms on the Pacific lasting three weeks, and I felt as if
I should go stark crazy if I had to float in a boat in a dead calm and
in hot weather for any such time. I felt more than ever that I had done
wrong to leave the island, and that the chances were that, instead of
finding a ship, and getting the captain to go and take Mr. Crusoe off, I
might be becalmed, and drift with a current so far that I would
completely lose my reckoning, and not be able to tell anybody where the
island was, even if I should be picked up.

At last I fell asleep, and when I woke up it was broad daylight, and the
sun was just behind an island that was only fifteen or twenty miles
away. At first I didn’t recognize it, but before long I saw it was my
own island. There was a gentle breeze, that was blowing me directly
towards the land, and I suppose there must have been a current that had
carried me in the same direction during the night. It did not take me
many minutes to set both sails and to rig out a blanket for a spinnaker,
and by noon I was at the entrance in the reef, and keeping a bright
lookout for Mr. Crusoe.


                               CHAPTER X.

There was not a sign of Mr. Crusoe visible as I came up to the beach and
landed. It was time for him to have the fire lighted to cook his dinner,
but there was no fire. I went up to the hut where we slept, and found
him lying on his bed. He must have been glad to see me, and I know he
was very much surprised, for he evidently thought I was a ghost. “Is
that you, Friday?” he asked, when he opened his eyes and saw me standing
by his bed. “When were you drowned?”

“I wasn’t ever drowned,” said I. “I’ve just been out for a sail; but I
won’t do it again.”

“Why, of course you’re not a ghost,” said Mr. Crusoe. “There never were
any ghosts on this island, or my grandfather would have seen them. And
yet strange things have happened—very strange and awful things.”

“I’m sorry I went away, Mr. Crusoe,” I said to him, “and I know it was
mean and cowardly; but I promise you that I’ll never do it again, and
that I’ll stand by you until we can both go together.” I was so much
aggravated to think of what I had done that I talked good English, and
forgot to talk like Friday.

But Mr. Crusoe didn’t forget it. If he had been dying he wouldn’t have
forgotten to imitate his grandfather. “That’s all right, Friday,” he
replied; “but you don’t speak as plainly as you did, which is
discouraging to me after all the pains I have taken to teach you.”

I was so anxious to please him that I said, “Yes, master; me no speakee
good,” which made him brighten up a little; but he soon put on a gloomy
look, and turned over with his back to me.

I told him I would go and start a fire and get dinner, but he said he
didn’t want anything. He wouldn’t admit that he was sick, but anybody
could have seen—that is, if there had been anybody to see—that his
cheeks were thinner than they were before I went away, and his eyes
brighter. I supposed that he had worried himself sick about me, but I
afterwards found out that he hadn’t worried at all. At least he said so
one day when we were talking it over. But then I didn’t altogether
believe him, for I know that if I had gone off and left myself all alone
on a desert island, I should have missed myself and worried about it

I cooked a good dinner, and as Mr. Crusoe wouldn’t eat his share, I had
to eat it to keep it from being wasted. He was always putting extra work
on me. I didn’t feel so very well that afternoon, and had fallen asleep
and dreamed that a big brass elephant was sitting in an arm-chair on my
stomach, and saying that I must get up and eat a barrel of dry Indian
meal, or he would report me to the captain, when Mr. Crusoe woke me up
by shaking me, and then put his hand over my mouth as a hint for me to
keep quiet.

“I am going to tell you something,” he said, “that will probably turn
your hair gray. It has turned mine perfectly white”—which wasn’t true,
for his hair was the same color it had always been. “Friday,” he
continued, “there is somebody on the island.”

“Of course there is,” said I. “There’s you and me, and the goats and the
rest of the animals.”

“There is some one else,” Mr. Crusoe replied, looking more solemn than
ever. “Friday, yesterday I saw a footstep on the beach.”

“Likely enough,” I said; “you and I walk on the beach every day, and of
course we leave footprints.”

“Friday,” he answered, “this was on the beach on the other side of the
island, where we never go.”

“I was there,” said I, “the day before I went out sailing.”

“Friday,” he continued, shaking his finger at me, “is your foot small?”

“Well, not so very; I can wear No. 10 shoes, though.”

“Are your shoes narrow, with a little heel in the middle of each one?”

“Not much,” said I; “but then what’s the use of talking about shoes when
I haven’t worn any since I’ve been here.”

“Then, you see,” said Mr. Crusoe, “that you couldn’t have made the print
of a shoe on the beach.”

“But you might have made it,” I answered; “you wear shoes.”

“Friday, now steady yourself and don’t be frightened. Be calm, like me.
That footprint, Friday, was made by a woman’s shoe.”

“Then there was a woman in it,” I exclaimed. “Shoes don’t walk around by
themselves, that ever I heard of.”

“Don’t talk rubbish,” cried Mr. Crusoe, getting angry. “There couldn’t
be a woman here—at least a white woman; such a thing was never heard of.
No; that shoe was worn by a cannibal, and I feel perfectly sure that the
cannibals come to this island and have their horrid feasts here.”

I didn’t believe that any heathen cannibal could have a foot small
enough to get into a lady’s shoe, but there was no use in saying so to
Mr. Crusoe, for he had made up his mind about it, and you couldn’t argue
with him. My own idea was that he had seen one of his own footprints
that had been partly washed away by the rain, and had mistaken it for a
woman’s; for it was all nonsense to suppose that any woman would come
ashore just to make the print of her foot on the sand, and then go away

The next morning Mr. Crusoe had brightened up a little, and I tried to
convince him that there was nothing to worry about. I told him that in
the first place there never had been any woman on the island, and that
in the next place, even if there had been, she couldn’t do us any harm.
I never saw a woman that was dangerous yet, except my uncle Peter’s
wife, and she wasn’t dangerous unless she had a poker or a rolling-pin
in her hand, and there wasn’t a poker or a rolling-pin on the whole
island for any woman to lay hold of.

Mr. Crusoe said that one woman wasn’t generally so very dangerous, but
that if the woman was a cannibal, and had a gang of other cannibals with
her, all armed with war clubs and wooden swords, and awfully hungry, we
were liable to be attacked any minute, and killed and roasted. He
advised me to eat lots of wild sorrel, for when cows eat wild sorrel it
spoils their milk, and perhaps if we did the same thing it would give us
a taste that the cannibals wouldn’t like. He didn’t seem to remember
that the cannibals couldn’t find out how we tasted until after they had
killed and cooked us; and then, even if they found that they couldn’t
eat us, it wouldn’t be much comfort to us. I said to Mr. Crusoe that we
might fill ourselves full of poison, and have the fun of seeing the
cannibals drop down dead as soon as they began to eat us, but that I
couldn’t see any sense in his plan of eating wild sorrel.

I felt so sure that Mr. Crusoe was mistaken about the footprint that I
wanted him to come with me and have another look at it. He didn’t want
to go, for he said it was an awful sight, and that when he saw it he had
run as fast as he could to the house, and fastened himself in, and got
his guns ready; for that was what his grandfather did when he found a
footprint on the sand without any owner.

“What did your grandfather’s Friday say about the footprint?” I asked.



“Say? He said nothing,” replied Mr. Crusoe. “How could he say anything
when he never came to the island until months after my grandfather saw
the footprint?”

“Then how did it happen that you didn’t see the footprint before you
made a Friday of me? There is something wrong about that.”

I only said this just to aggravate Mr. Crusoe a little, but I was sorry
afterwards, for it made him miserable. You see he couldn’t find any way
out of it, and he felt that he hadn’t done precisely as his grandfather
did, and so he wrung his hands and said he was a miserable sinner.

After coaxing him a long while I got him to agree to come with me and
look at the footprint; but first he made me hunt up my goat-skin clothes
and get into them. They felt more uncomfortable than ever, for I had
been enjoying a blue flannel shirt and real Christian trousers while I
was away in the canoe, and I could hardly walk when I got into the
goat-skins. I have always thought that making me wear goat-skins was the
meanest thing Mr. Crusoe did all the time I was with him; but then I
suppose the poor man thought he was doing right.

When we came to the beach I saw the footprint. There couldn’t be any
doubt about it. The footprint was made by a lady’s shoe, and she must
have been one of the very finest of ladies, for her shoe had such a heel
that she couldn’t possibly have walked half a mile without being lame.

“There,” said Mr. Crusoe, “will you now dare to say that I made that

“Well,” I said, “I don’t believe you did; and what’s more, I never knew
you to have hair-pins in your hair, either.”

“What do you mean?” asked he.

“I mean that this thing that I have just picked up is a hair-pin, and it
must have been dropped by the woman who made the footprint.”

Mr. Crusoe looked at the hair-pin and shook all over.

“We are done for now!” he exclaimed.

“What do you mean by that?” I asked.

“Why, that the cannibals have been here. Don’t you know how they wear
their hair? Didn’t you ever see pictures of them with their hair twisted
into a knot on the top of their heads? They couldn’t make their hair
stay up without hair-pins, and that hair-pin that you have found
belonged to a cannibal. We shall be killed and eaten before we are a
month older.”

“But your grandfather wasn’t killed, was he?” I asked.

“That’s so; he wasn’t,” replied Mr. Crusoe. “Perhaps we can kill the
cannibals, just as he did.”

I encouraged him to believe that we were a match for all the cannibals
in the Pacific, and so I got him cheered up enough to be willing to walk
along the beach with me, and see if we could find anything beside the
hair-pin and the footprint.

Just around a little rocky point we found another bit of beach, and a
place where there had been a fire. All around the place there were
scattered empty tin cans and pieces of broken china. I picked up some of
the cans and showed them to Mr. Crusoe. One was labelled “Boston Baked
Beans,” and another “Fresh Peaches,” and another “Oxtail Soup.”

Mr. Crusoe looked as if he was going to faint away. “Now,” he said,
“perhaps you will believe that the cannibals have been here. This is the
very spot where they held their horrible feasts. The sight of that
loathsome can of baked beans turns my stomach. If the wretches come here
again we must kill every one of them. It will be a noble deed. We must
let no guilty man escape.”

“But, Mr. Crusoe,” said I, “it isn’t wrong to eat baked beans, that ever
I heard of. A man who eats baked beans isn’t a cannibal, for I was
shipmates once with a chap from Boston, and he told me that nobody in
Boston ever had anything to eat except baked beans. And I know the
Boston people are not cannibals, for the M’Intyres used to live there,
and they are as decent people as ever lived.”

“Can’t a Frenchman or a Spaniard eat baked beans?” asked Mr. Crusoe.
“And when they do eat baked beans, is that any proof that they are not
Frenchmen or Spaniards?”

“Well, I don’t suppose it is.”

“These cannibals,” continued Mr. Crusoe, “naturally like a few
vegetables with their meat. They probably captured a Boston whaler, and
stole the peaches and baked beans from her, and brought them here and
ate them with the crew—I mean at the same time that they ate the crew.
They were the very worst kind of cannibals. It’s bad enough for a man to
be a cannibal and to eat his fellow-man, but when he deliberately washes
him down with baked beans and fresh peaches it shows a cold-blooded
deliberation that is unspeakably revolting. Never let me hear you trying
to defend cannibals again, or I shall think that you have not yet got
over your hankering after forbidden meat. I recollect that it was some
time before my grandfather could get his man Friday to see the
wickedness of cannibalism.”

It was no use to say anything more to Mr. Crusoe, for he was so
prejudiced that nobody could argue with him. He made me go back to the
house for a shovel, and then he insisted that I should bury all the cans
and the other relics of the “horrid orgies,” as he called them, in the

Now I knew well enough what had really happened. The footprint, the
hair-pin, the empty cans, and the ashes meant that there had been a
picnic; and as there was no sign of lemon-peel, it had probably been a
Sunday-school picnic, with lots of Sunday-school picnic lemonade. Any
boy with sense enough to put a dog and a string and a tin can together
would have known what had happened. But Mr. Crusoe had got the idea of
cannibals into his head, and you couldn’t have hoisted it out with a
steam winch. All the way home he groaned and talked about the awful
wickedness of the cannibals, and of the great danger we were in. “We
shall be roasted and eaten with baked beans,” he kept saying. “Think of
it, Friday, my poor follower—with baked beans!”

I told him that I would just as soon be eaten with baked beans as
without them; but he only said that I was a poor, ignorant savage, and
that I didn’t even know enough to know that I wouldn’t agree with the
cannibals, and that they would probably have the cholera after eating

When we got back to the house his courage came back a little, and he was
full of the idea of killing all the cannibals the next time they landed
on the island. He wanted to make some dynamite, but he couldn’t find the
materials in the medicine-chest. So he ordered me to load all the guns,
and be ready to hide behind the bushes, and fire on the cannibals while
they were eating their dinner.

I knew he was just capable of shooting down a whole Sunday-school,
superintendent and all, under the pretence that they were cannibals; but
I wasn’t going to help him in any such nonsense, so I loaded all the
guns with nothing but powder—except the Remington rifles, which were
loaded with copper cartridges. I never went to Sunday-school myself, but
I think Sunday-schools are good things, and I don’t believe in shooting


                              CHAPTER XI.

One morning not long after we had found the footprint, I woke up
smelling smoke. The house was full of smoke that blew in through the
door, and I thought that the woods must be on fire. I jumped up, and
after feeling in Mr. Crusoe’s bunk to see if he was there, and finding
that he was not, I rushed out to get a breath of air.

Mr. Crusoe was standing close to a big bonfire, and stirring it up with
a long pole to make it blaze. The bonfire was made of clothes, and my
best flannel shirt and trousers were blazing on the top of it. A little
ways off was a pile of broken glass and crockery, so big that I should
never have thought that we had crockery enough to make such a pile.

Mr. Crusoe had got up early, and broken every bit of glass and crockery
that we owned except a few bottles, and he had made a bonfire of every
stitch of our clothes except the goat-skins. It was too late to save
anything, and even if it hadn’t been too late I couldn’t have interfered
very well, for Mr. Crusoe had his revolver in his belt, and I believe he
would have shot me in a minute if I had tried to interfere with him.

I sat down on a log without saying anything, and watched the fire burn.
Mr. Crusoe kept getting his eyes full of smoke, and nearly choked to
death two or three times, but I could see that he was enjoying himself
for all that. After a while he thought that the fire would burn well
enough without any more help, so he came and sat down. He didn’t very
often sit down, because it was hard work to make his goat-skin trousers
bend, so I knew that he must mean to be particularly friendly to me,
otherwise he would not have sat down by me.

“You see, Friday,” he remarked, “we don’t need any civilized clothes. My
grandfather lived for years without them, and found that goat-skin was
much more healthy and stylish than flannel or cotton; so I thought I
would just burn up all that rubbish and get rid of it.”

“So I see,” said I.

“Then my grandfather made his own dishes out of clay, and we ought to do
the same. We are getting lazy, living as we do in the lap of luxury, and
so long as we have everything we want, we shall never improve ourselves
by inventing new things to supply our necessities. You see, Friday, that
I was quite right in breaking the china, don’t you?”

Of course I didn’t venture to say that I didn’t see, so I just muttered
something that he didn’t understand, though it seemed to satisfy him.

“Now,” said he, getting on his feet with a good deal of difficulty,
because his stiff trousers tried their best to throw him down, “we’ll
have breakfast, for I’m awfully hungry.”

I made the coffee, and opened a can of salmon, but when I told Mr.
Crusoe that breakfast was ready, and he came up and said, “Pour me a cup
of coffee, like a good fellow,” I asked him where his coffee-cup was.

I knew very well that he had broken all the cups, but I wanted to see
what he would do.

Mr. Crusoe looked disappointed and puzzled, for I could see he was
trying to think of something that he could use for a cup, but he didn’t
succeed. “Never mind,” he said, presently; “give me the coffee-pot and
I’ll drink out of the spout.” But after he had tried this, and burnt his
tongue, and nearly dropped the coffee-pot, he gave it up, and went
without his coffee.

He suffered a good deal trying to eat his salmon without a plate. He had
to eat it out of the can, and I could see that he didn’t like it because
I did the same; but he wasn’t quite mean enough to tell me that I
couldn’t have any salmon. When I was ready for my coffee I hunted up an
empty peach can and used it for a cup. Mr. Crusoe thought that this was
a fine idea, and so he found an empty can and poured himself a cup of
coffee. But the ragged edge of the can cut his tongue and caught in his
beard, and he spilled his coffee all over his legs, and then marched
into the house in a rage.

I didn’t care so very much about the broken crockery, but it did amuse
me to see Mr. Crusoe suffering from his own foolishness. He had spoiled
his own breakfast, and I knew that he would find it harder yet to eat
his dinner without any dishes.

After Mr. Crusoe had got over being angry about his coffee, he told me
that we must make some dishes at once. We went down to the edge of the
creek, where there was a bed of clay, and Mr. Crusoe told me to make a
few platters, and said that he would make a pot.

We worked over those dishes for the rest of the day, and Mr. Crusoe got
himself all covered with clay. The gnats and flies kept biting him on
the face, and whenever he slapped his face he pasted a lot of clay over
it. The clay would stick to his face and hair as firm as anybody could
have wanted it to, but we could not make our dishes stick together. Mr.
Crusoe’s pot kept falling to pieces as fast as he tried to make it; and
though I once or twice got a plate to stick together while it was wet,
it would crack and crumble as soon as the sun began to dry it.

But Mr. Crusoe wasn’t discouraged. He said that all the dishes wanted
was to be baked in a fire. He gave up making a pot for that day, but he
managed to make two cups, and then we built a fire and put the cups and
a plate that I had made on to bake. They crumbled in the fire quicker
than they did in the sun, and we had to give it up and eat our supper
out of old tin cans.

Mr. Crusoe must have felt a little ashamed of having broken up the
crockery, for he stuck to making dishes out of clay almost as well as
the clay stuck to him. He remembered that his grandfather glazed his
dishes with lead, and so he tried to do the same thing. But he didn’t
know how to glaze dishes any more than I did, and the only thing he
succeeded in doing was to burn himself all over with melted lead. I gave
the whole thing up long before he did, and told him that I would wait
till he found out how to make clay dishes before I would try it again.
He kept at work a day after this, but finally he had to give it up.

Then he had another bright idea, and that was to make glass dishes out
of sand. He said that sand was about the same thing as glass, and that
we could melt sand and pour it into moulds, and have elegant glass
dishes. But he could never get his fire hot enough to melt the sand.
Besides, I knew very well that sand wasn’t glass, for there never were
broken windows and tumblers enough in the whole world to make as much
sand as there was on the island.

We had rather hard work to get along with no crockery except tin cans.
We could use them well enough for cups and things to hold soup, but we
couldn’t cut up meat on the bottom of a tin can as if it was a plate. I
made some plates by splitting the tin cans and hammering the pieces out
flat, but Mr. Crusoe hated to use them, because he said that he didn’t
like the taste of tin, and because every now and then his dinner would
slide off his tin plate into his lap.

After he had decided that he couldn’t make clay or glass dishes, he
gathered together some pieces of broken crockery and tried to stick them
together with some glue that was in the ship’s stores; but he had broken
the crockery into such little pieces that he could only find a very few
that were large enough to stick together. And then the glue wouldn’t
hold the pieces together long enough for him to eat off of his mended
plate, so he had to give this plan up too.

Mr. Crusoe became very much discouraged about his crockery, and I am
sure that he was awfully sorry that he had broken it all up. When he
thought how comfortable he used to be with good clothes to wear and nice
crockery, it stands to reason that he must have wished that he hadn’t
been so foolish as to destroy them all. But he wasn’t the kind of man to
admit anything of the kind. All he did was to undress and go to bed, and
have me bring his meals to him. He said he was sick, and perhaps he
thought he was, but it is my opinion that he stayed in bed because he
was sick of wearing goat-skin clothes. His goat-skin trousers had worn
all the skin off of his knees, but he had nothing else to put on, and
had either to go to bed or to stand the pain of the trousers.

While he was in bed I made myself some very decent plates and cups out
of wood, but I did not mention it to Mr. Crusoe for fear that he would
burn them up on the pretence that his grandfather never made any wooden
dishes. I don’t believe he ever did, and I am sure he never made any
clay dishes either. Crockery is white, or else it has figures painted on
it with blue paint—portraits of Chinamen, and bridges, and ponds full of
fish and such. How could anybody make such crockery out of nasty blue
clay? Of course I didn’t tell Mr. Crusoe that his grandfather never made
crockery, but I wasn’t a bit taken in by that story, and I knew when we
started to make crockery out of clay that it couldn’t be done.

All this time, whether he was breaking crockery, or covering himself
with clay, or lying in bed, Mr. Crusoe was worrying about the cannibals.
He made me go down every morning to the beach on the other side of the
island, where we had found the footprint, to see if the cannibals had
landed again. I was very willing to go, for I hoped to meet a
Sunday-school picnic, and get the teachers to take me and Mr. Crusoe to
some civilized country with them.

Now that I had found out that Sunday-school picnics came to our island,
I knew we must be very near to some civilized place, and that the land
which we could see at a great distance, and that Mr. Crusoe called the
main-land, and pretended that it was inhabited by cannibals and a lot of
Spanish prisoners, was probably the coast of Australia or some such
place where there are white people.

It would have been easy enough for us to run across to the land with the
canoe, but Mr. Crusoe, of course, would not listen to it because his
grandfather had never done it. According to his account the old man had
built a splendid boat as big as a ship’s long-boat, and he was able to
sail it anywhere, but for all that he stayed on the island and never
tried to get away. I wasn’t imposed on by any such nonsense. Old Mr.
Crusoe was not a sailor-man, and he couldn’t have built a decent boat if
he had tried. Most likely he knocked together a raft and called it a

Sometimes when I looked at Mr. Crusoe I felt almost like leaving him
again, he was so aggravating; but I had given my word that I wouldn’t
leave him, and then, with all his faults, he had been kind to me.
Besides, the poor man was looking more like a sick man than he had ever
looked before. He stayed in bed for about a week after he had broken the
crockery, and when he got up, and had me help him build his goat-skin
clothes around him again, he was so thin and weak that I was glad the
trousers were stiff enough to hold him up in case he should have fainted

He lost his appetite almost entirely after he had lost his dishes, and
he hardly ate enough to keep him alive. Then he couldn’t sleep at night,
and after lying three or four hours in bed he would get up and wrap a
blanket around him, and walk up and down the beach. One night he walked
into an old goat that was troubled, like him, with want of sleep, and
the goat either didn’t know him in the blanket, or else he wanted a
little exercise to warm himself, and the consequence was that by the
time Mr. Crusoe’s yells had waked me up he had been knocked over a good
deal of the island, and would probably have been killed if I hadn’t
driven the goat away with a club.


                              CHAPTER XII.

It was at least a month after we had seen the footprint, and Mr. Crusoe
had begun to forget it, or, at any rate, to stop talking about it, when
one day he went out for a walk, and came back looking as white as a new
cotton maintop-sail.

“Don’t be frightened, Friday,” he said to me, almost in a whisper, “but
keep cool. The cannibals have come at last.”

“Where are they?” said I.

“Just where they always land—on the beach, where they held their horrid
orgies the last time they were here.”

“Are there many of them?” I asked.

“There’s a whole big canoe full—at least twenty-five or thirty, and
they’ve kindled a fire and are getting ready for their revolting feast.”

“Do they look hungry?”

“Very hungry indeed,” replied Mr. Crusoe. “The men are, most all of
them, tall and thin, as if they hadn’t been fed for a week.”

“Are they armed?”

“Of course they are. Did you ever know cannibals to go on an excursion
without their arms? They have clubs and wooden swords, and bows and
arrows—and most likely the arrows are poisoned. We must fight and kill
them, or they will kill us.”

Now I didn’t believe that the people who had landed on the island were
cannibals, but it didn’t do to tell Mr. Crusoe so. He was very much
excited, and his eyes were wilder than I had ever seen them before. I
was very much afraid that he would try to fight the people before I
could make him understand the difference between cannibals and a
Sunday-school picnic. There’s a great deal of difference between them,
for the picnic has, as a general rule, nothing but cold victuals and

Mr. Crusoe made me collect all the guns together, and he examined them
to see if they were loaded. All but the breech-loading rifles were
loaded with powder only, for I had loaded them when he first told me
about the footprint, and I had been very careful not to put any bullets
or shot in them. But the breech-loaders and the pistols were made for
copper cartridges, and I couldn’t prevent Mr. Crusoe from loading these

Then Mr. Crusoe buckled two sword-bayonets around his waist, and put two
big knives and eight revolvers in his belt. He made me carry the same
load, besides a bag slung over one shoulder and filled with ammunition.
Each of us carried four guns on each shoulder, and with this nice little
load we started for the beach, where the cannibals were getting ready
for dinner.

Anybody who has ever tried to carry a lot of oars on his shoulder
without first lashing them together, knows how they will separate and
spread out like a fan. Mr. Crusoe’s guns did the same thing. The two
that were nearest to his head kept swinging up against his ears, and
banging pretty hard against his head, and the others spread out so that
he could not hold them. This worried him so much that he got angry, and
threw the whole lot down on the ground. One of the guns went off, and a
bullet hit Mr. Crusoe in the calf of the leg. He was more frightened
than hurt, and after I had tied his leg up he found that he could limp
without hurting himself very much. I had lashed my guns together, so
that I could carry them easily enough, and I passed a lashing around his
so that he could put them all on one shoulder. They were awfully heavy,
but he staggered along until we got where we could see the cannibals
through the bushes without their seeing us.

There were about twenty men and eight or nine women on the beach, and a
nice little cutter yacht was lying at anchor near the shore. The people
were all white, except two negro servants, and we were near enough to
hear them talk, and know that they were English. They had started a big
fire, and while two of them were cooking, the rest were standing about
and talking.

Mr. Crusoe was terribly excited. He called the visitors “cannibals of
the deepest dye,” and said that there were three or four prisoners on
the yacht who would be brought ashore and killed as soon as the fire was
ready. He laid all the guns side by side, and told me that as soon as we
had fired them all we would rush out with our pistols and kill all the
cannibals that might be left alive.

“I will shoot at the men on the right-hand side of the fire,” said Mr.
Crusoe, “and you, Friday, will shoot at those on the left. We must be
sure and kill every man we aim at, and we must treat the women just like
the men, for they are just as strong and blood-thirsty. We’ll wait till
they get pretty close together, and then we’ll begin.”



I was dreadfully afraid that he would really shoot and kill somebody,
and then that the rest of the picnickers would kill him before I could
explain. I thought I would try once more to make him listen to reason
before seizing him and taking his gun away from him. So I said, “Mr.
Crusoe, we are perfectly certain to be killed and eaten if we fire at
the cannibals now.”

“Why so?” he asked.

“Because,” I said, “now that I remember it, I forgot to put any bullets
in the guns, and we have nothing to defend ourselves with except the two
Remington rifles and the pistols.”

He looked awfully angry, and said that he believed that I had done it on
purpose, and that I still had a hankering for human flesh, and wanted to
join the cannibals. But I didn’t pay any attention to what he said, and
told him that we ought to go back to the house and finish loading our

This struck him as being a sensible idea; but he said that we would
leave all the guns except the two rifles among the trees, and would go
back and fetch the bullets, and load them where we were. I agreed to
hide the guns where the cannibals couldn’t find them, and I did it by
dropping them into a pool of water, and then we started to go back to
the house.

By the time we reached the house Mr. Crusoe’s leg was hurting him so
badly that he could hardly manage to walk, and I began to hope that he
would give up the idea of going back to fight the cannibals; but no
sooner had we got inside the house, and put up the bars against the
door, so as to prevent the cannibals from coming in, than Mr. Crusoe
picked up a bit of rope and jumped on me. He wasn’t a strong man
naturally, but he had suddenly got so strong that I couldn’t do anything
with him without hurting him, and that I was resolved not to do. In
about a minute he had me tied hand and foot, and then he filled his
pockets with bullets and got ready to go and fight all by himself.

Now Mr. Crusoe was a landsman, and of course he couldn’t make a knot
that was worth anything. I lay perfectly still, to see what he was going
to do, but I believed all the time that I could easily get my hands

Presently Mr. Crusoe came and stood over me with one of his pistols in
his hand. He said that he thought he ought to kill me to keep me from
joining the cannibals, but on the whole he had decided to let me live
until after he had either driven the cannibals away or had been killed
himself. He was very sorry, so he said, to find that I could not be
trusted, but he supposed that I had been a cannibal so long that I
really could not get over my depraved taste. Then he shouldered both of
the rifles and started for the beach.

As soon as he was gone I tried to get my hands loose, but found that I
couldn’t do it. Some way or other Mr. Crusoe had contrived to tie a knot
that wouldn’t slip. After getting my wrists sore by trying to pull them
out of the lashing, I resolved to roll over and over till I could reach
the place where we had built the fire for breakfast, and see if I could
find a live coal, and set the lashing on fire with it. But I remembered
that I had eight revolvers in my belt, and I didn’t dare to roll on them
for fear they would go off.

Then I thought that if I could turn over on my face, and manage to get
up on my knees, I could shuffle over to the fireplace. I rolled over
gently, though the revolvers cut into my side a good deal, and then
scrambled on to my knees; but as soon as I tried to move away from the
place where Mr. Crusoe had left me, I found that he had made the end of
the rope that was around my ankles fast to one of the timbers of the
house, and I couldn’t possibly get at it to unfasten it.

I tried in every way I could think of to get loose, but I couldn’t do
it. My hands were tied together so closely that I couldn’t use them to
loosen the rope around my feet; and I could not get out my knife, for it
was on my left side out of reach. After twisting myself into all sorts
of knots, and wearing all the skin off of my wrists and ankles, I
finally gave it up, and lay down on my back to rest.

I waited a long while to hear the sound of Mr. Crusoe’s rifle, but as I
didn’t hear it, I made up my mind that he had given up the idea of
fighting, or that perhaps the visitors had caught him, and convinced him
that they were not cannibals. But if they had done that they certainly
would have come up to the house to find me; so I waited, expecting every
minute to see them come in the door.

You may not believe it, but I actually fell asleep while I was lying
there on the floor, and when I woke up the sun was shining straight in
the door, as it always did just before sunset. I forgot about being
tied, and tried to jump up in a hurry, but I remembered what was the
matter when the rope tripped me up, and I fell with my head against the
side of the house.

I was so tired of being a prisoner that I was a little reckless, and I
managed to pull a pistol out of my belt and began firing at the rope
that tied my feet to the timbers of the house. I fired five times, and
then, by great good-luck, I happened to hit the rope, and to cut it so
nearly in two that I was able to break it.

I could now roll all around the house if I wanted to, but my hands and
feet were still tied fast together. The fire was out by this time, I was
very sure, but I knew where there was a box of matches stuck between two
planks, about a foot above the floor, and I rolled over towards them,
taking the chances that the pistols would go off. The pistols hurt me a
good deal as I rolled over on them, but I reached the match-box at last,
and found it empty.

Then I was discouraged, for I felt sure that something had happened to
Mr. Crusoe, and there I was, a prisoner, and unable to help him. I had
tried every way I could think of to get rid of the ropes, but had
failed, and besides I was very tired, and my wrists were very raw.

I thought the fire must be out, but still I resolved to get over to it
and see if I could find a live coal. I rolled over about twenty times
before I reached the place where we always made the fire, and you ought
to have seen the black-and-blue places that the pistols made all around
my waist.

I stirred up the ashes for a while, and couldn’t find a live coal till,
all of a sudden, I found the hair on the outside of my goat-skin
trousers was on fire. I had rolled directly on to a piece of wood that
was still burning, and for once I was glad that I had on goat-skin
trousers that couldn’t burn, instead of cotton or linen trousers that
would have blazed up and roasted me.

It did not take me very long to find the live coal and to press the rope
that was around my hands close against it, and in the course of ten
minutes or so the rope was burned through, and my hands were loose. Then
I got out my knife, and cut away the rope that held my feet, and I was
free again. I had a few little burns on my hands, but I have often
wondered since then how it happened that some one of the pistols didn’t
happen to get heated against a hot coal and go off, and shoot three or
four bullets through me.

It was now just about sunset, and in the latitude where we were it used
to grow dark almost as soon as the sun went down. I started on a run
towards the beach to find Mr. Crusoe, and presently I found him lying as
if he was dead on the ground.

He had plainly fallen down, for his rifles were scattered all around
just where he had dropped them. He was just as if he was dead, and his
face was as white as a sheet. He was warm, however, and I did not think
he was dead; so I ran back to the house and got some brandy, and poured
a little of it—not more than half a tumblerful—down his throat. This
revived him, and he opened his eyes and managed to say that he rather
thought he had been a little faint.

Seeing that he was alive, I left him for a few minutes while I hurried
down to the beach to see if the picnickers were there, intending to ask
them to come and help me; but they had been gone a long time, for their
boat was out of sight. So I went back to Mr. Crusoe, and asked him if he
thought he could walk to the house.

He said he thought he could, but that he would like to have me look at
his leg first, for he believed it had been bleeding again. I took out my
knife and contrived, after a lot of hard work, to cut a piece out of his
trousers just where the bullet had entered, and I found that the poor
man had bled nearly to death. This time I tied up his leg so tight that
it couldn’t bleed any more, and then I picked Mr. Crusoe up and carried
him home. He weighed very little, but he kept telling me that I was not
strong enough to carry him, and that I must let him walk or I would
burst a blood-vessel.

I laid him on his bed and prized his goat-skin clothes off, and covered
him up with blankets, for luckily he had had sense enough not to burn up
our bedclothes. Then I cooked him a good hot supper, and before very
long he was asleep. But he kept moaning and tossing in his sleep, and I
could tell by the feeling of his hands that he had a fever. So I sat by
the side of him all night, which was easy enough, since I must have
slept two or three hours that afternoon.


                             CHAPTER XIII.

Mr. Crusoe dropped asleep near daylight, and when he woke up he was
rational—that is, for him. He had some fever, and was very weak, and
said that he must have some medicine.

We had the ship’s medicine-chest, and I went to it and got some salts
for him, for that is about the only medicine sailors ever get, but Mr.
Crusoe wouldn’t take it. He said he should do just as the grandfather
did when he had a fever or something else; so he sent me for some
tobacco and a bottle of rum. He put the tobacco in a tin can and poured
a pint of rum over it, and told me to warm it on the fire, and to stir
it up every now and then. When it was good and hot Mr. Crusoe drank
about half a tumblerful of it, and I expected to see him die within the
next ten minutes.

He didn’t die, however, but he was the sickest man you ever saw. I took
the tobacco away from him, for fear he would take some more of it and
finish himself, but he was too sick to do anything of the kind.

That night he was worse than ever, and I had to hold him nearly all the
time to keep him from getting up and going out to shoot cannibals.

Towards morning Mr. Crusoe was more quiet, and I accidentally fell
asleep, and when I woke up he was gone. It gave me a terrible fright,
and I rushed out to look for him. His gun was gone, so that I knew that
he had taken it with him; and I thought that he had probably gone to
look for cannibals, and that I would find him near the place where we
had seen the picnickers.

I did not come across him on the way to the beach, and when I reached
there he was not in sight. I went to look at the remains of the fire
where the picnickers had been cooking, and I was looking on the sand to
see if they had dropped anything, when I heard a rifle-shot, and the
bullet came whizzing by my ear. In a few seconds another bullet came
along; and as I knew that Mr. Crusoe must be firing, and that he was a
pretty good shot, I dropped on the sand and pretended to be dead.

Presently he came up with his rifle and stood close to me, looking at
me. I still pretended to be dead, but he didn’t seem to be quite sure
about it, for he put his rifle close against my ear, and would have
blown my brains out if I hadn’t caught it in my hand and jumped up.

As soon as he saw I was alive he tried his best to get the gun away from
me, and when he found that he could not do it, he dropped the gun and
tried to draw a revolver from his belt; but I was too quick for him, and
threw him down and tied his arms with his own belt.

Mr. Crusoe struggled hard and talked at the top of his voice, but I
could not understand a word he said, any more than if he had been
talking Chinese. He was as crazy as he could be, and I am sure that he
believed me to be a cannibal, or else he would not have shot at me.

I tried to coax him to get up and walk home, but he would not do it, so
I had to tie his feet together and hoist him on my back and carry him
home. He kept on raving all the time, and when I got him home I had to
lash him in my bunk.

I saw at once that he was so sick that he needed something more powerful
than salts, and of course I wouldn’t give him any of his dreadful
tobacco-tea. All the medicines in the medicine-chest had the right doses
marked on them, so that the captain couldn’t make any mistake in giving
them to the men. For instance, one bottle was marked, “Dose, one
teaspoonful,” and another, “Dose, five drops.” The powders were all
marked after the same fashion, so I was sure that I couldn’t serve out a
dose that would kill Mr. Crusoe.

As I didn’t know what medicine would suit his case best, I resolved to
begin and give him a dose of everything in the chest until I could hit
on the right thing. Of course I couldn’t tell whether he needed bottled
medicine or powders, so I began by giving him a dose out of bottle No.
1, and then a powder two hours afterwards. You see, I knew that medicine
ought to be taken every two hours, because that is the way they gave me
medicine once when I was sick in the hospital in New York.

It was hard work to make Mr. Crusoe take his medicine, and I had to wait
till he opened his mouth, and then put a stick between his teeth to hold
his mouth open till I could pour the medicine into it. This generally
succeeded, though sometimes I would spill most of the medicine, and have
to give him a second dose.

That day and all the next night I gave him his medicine regularly, and
we worked along through six different bottles and six different powders.
None of them seemed to do him much good, however, and two or three times
in the night he was so sick that he couldn’t hold on to his medicine but
a very few minutes.



When morning came I was pretty sleepy, having been on duty so long, but
I remembered that Mr. Crusoe hadn’t had anything to eat for a long time,
and must be getting hungry. At the hospital they used to give me a sort
of soup called gruel until I was nearly well, and then some ladies came
one day and gave me a lot of flowers and some chocolate. I didn’t know
how to make gruel, and we hadn’t any chocolate, so I picked a lot of
wild flowers and gave them to Mr. Crusoe, but I don’t think they did him
much good. So I thought I would take the risk of giving him some fried
pork and some canned peaches. He took the peaches, but he wouldn’t look
at the pork, so I finished it myself.

He kept in about the same condition for three days, and then he seemed a
little better. This was just after he had taken a dose out of a big
square bottle, so I hoped I had found the right medicine. The next time
his medicine was due I gave him another dose out of the same bottle, and
as the powders were beginning to run low, I gave up serving them out.
But I hadn’t found the right medicine yet; for a little while after he
had taken the second dose he became just as if he had been hit on the
head and stunned, and his hands and legs were cold. I gave him some
brandy, which brought him to, and made up my mind that the kind of
medicine that is in square bottles was not good for him.

So I went back to my old plan of giving him a dose out of each bottle;
and as I had found three boxes of pills in the bottom of the chest, I
gave him one of each kind, making three altogether, every two hours;
that is, half-way between the doses of bottled medicine. Then I
remembered that plasters were good for sick people, and as there were a
lot of plasters in the chest, I put six on him in different places. I
meant to take them off at the end of twenty-four hours, but when I tried
to get them off they wouldn’t come, so I had to leave them on, and it
was about two months before he was able to get rid of them.

Mr. Crusoe was sick so long that I had to give up watching him all
night; so I used to give him a double dose of medicine at bedtime, and
then let him sleep the rest of the night. In spite of all my care, he
didn’t seem to get any better. He was crazy all the time, and never
seemed to notice that I was taking care of him. But I felt sure that the
right medicine must be in that medicine-chest, and that if I stuck to it
long enough I would find it. I was a little afraid, however, that he
would starve to death, for he wouldn’t eat a thing except canned peaches
and canned lobster.

At the end of two weeks he was so weak that he couldn’t turn himself
over, and I was able to take off his lashings, for he couldn’t get out
of bed alone, much less do me any harm.

Though I say it myself, I did everything I could to help him. One day I
remembered that when I was in the hospital they used to read books to
sick people; so I found the captain’s book on navigation, and after that
I used to read to Mr. Crusoe about an hour every day. I read him all the
problems in plane sailing, parallel sailing, Mercator’s sailing, and
oblique sailing, and a great deal of the tables of logarithms. The
tables really helped him, I think, for he sometimes went to sleep while
I was reading them.

Two or three times I thought I had found the right medicine, but I
always found out by giving Mr. Crusoe three or four doses of it that it
didn’t fit him. Before the end of the third week all the powders, nearly
all the pills, and about half of the bottled medicine was gone, and I
was afraid that if he was sick much longer I would have to put him on an
allowance, and only serve out half doses of medicine.

All this time I kept a bright lookout for picnickers. I fastened the
ship’s ensign, union down, to the top of the big tree on the hill, and
built a big bonfire on the hill ready to light as a signal to any vessel
that might sight the island in the night. But no picnickers and no
vessel came, though if Mr. Crusoe had let me make signals for vessels
from the time we first came ashore, I am sure we should have been taken
off very soon.

I was getting so anxious about Mr. Crusoe that I wanted to try
everything that I could think of that might help him. I had sometimes
seen a man’s arm, when he had sprained it, rubbed with medicine, and as
Mr. Crusoe’s brain was all wrong, I thought that perhaps he had sprained
it by thinking too hard about his grandfather. I tried rubbing his head
with medicines, hoping that it might do his brain good; and as medicines
can’t hurt you when they are only rubbed into you, I used to mix half a
dozen medicines together and rub Mr. Crusoe’s head with the mixture. But
one day I happened to rub him with a medicine that turned his hair
bright blue, and then made it all fall out. Either that or some other
medicine made his head very sore, so I had to give up rubbing him before
it really had time to do much good.

Doctors sometimes give baths to sick people, and sometimes they even
make people take hot baths. But I think that is dangerous, for I was
once shipmate with a man who told me that he knew a man who got into a
hot bath, and all the skin peeled off of him, and he died.

As I had tried everything else, I tried carrying Mr. Crusoe down to the
lagoon and dipping him in the water. At first he didn’t like it, but
after a little he quite took to it, and would let me carry him down and
dip him without saying a word. For all that, it didn’t do him any
good—nothing did; and though he must have taken four gallons of bottled
medicine, and I don’t know how many pounds of powders, he was no better,
as far as I could see, than he would have been if he hadn’t had a drop
of medicine.

Mr. Crusoe had been sick eighteen days, when one afternoon, about four
o’clock, I saw a sail. She was a brig, and was just hull down on the
horizon and standing to the northward. I hurried up to the top of the
hill and lighted my bonfire so that she could see the smoke of it. I had
kept a tin can full of kerosene in the middle of the bonfire, so that it
would blaze nicely whenever the kerosene caught fire, as it was sure to
do almost as soon as the bonfire was lighted. Of course I didn’t expect
the brig to see a blaze in the daytime, but burning kerosene makes a
tremendous black smoke, and I felt sure that the brig would see the

I couldn’t stay on the hill and watch for the brig, for it was the time
of day when I read to Mr. Crusoe, and I never was one to shirk any duty
that belonged to me. However, I suppose I did read a little faster than
usual, and as soon as I had finished I ran out to see the brig. She was
about where she was when I saw her first, only a little more to the
northward, but she wasn’t the least bit nearer the island.

I got together a big pile of wood and kept that fire going all night,
and watched for the brig. It was perfectly certain that the people on
board of her would see the flame even if they hadn’t noticed the smoke;
but when the day broke the brig was out of sight, and I never saw her

I didn’t like being abandoned with a sick man on my hands, but there was
no use in grumbling about it; and then I thought that if the captain of
that brig could stand the recollection that he had refused to come to
the rescue of a shipwrecked sailor, not to speak of Mr. Crusoe, I could
stand being left on the island a while longer.

Unless I made a mistake in my calculations, Mr. Crusoe had been sick
just four weeks when he woke up in the morning feeling a great deal
better. His head seemed to be all right, for he spoke quietly and
pleasantly, and said, “Would you please get me a little something to
eat?” I was perfectly happy, for I saw that he was out of danger, and
that he was perfectly rational, or at least as much so as I had ever
known him to be.

I would have given something to know what medicine it was that had cured
him; but it so happened that the last time I had served it out there
wasn’t quite enough in one bottle, so I added a little more medicine
from another bottle, and of course I couldn’t tell which was the
medicine which did the work.


                              CHAPTER XIV.

I got Mr. Crusoe a little fried pork and some canned peaches, for I
thought he must be well enough to eat the pork, but he wasn’t. He
finished the peaches, however, and then he said, “Will you kindly tell
me where I am?”

“You’re on the island, Mr. Crusoe, but you’ve been sick for a good

“I must have been,” he replied, looking at one of his arms, and smiling
to see how thin it was. “But what island do you mean? not Blackwell’s
Island, I hope?”

“It’s your grandfather’s island. Don’t you remember about our being
wrecked here?”

“Well, since I don’t remember ever having gone on board a ship, I
naturally don’t remember being wrecked,” he answered. “And then I never
heard before that my grandfather had an island. May I ask whereabouts
this island is?”

“I only wish I knew,” I replied. “It’s somewheres in the South Pacific;
that’s all I know about it.”

“Have you ever been in a lunatic asylum, my young friend?” asked Mr.
Crusoe, after thinking for a minute or two; “or is this place an

“I don’t know anything about asylums, Mr. Crusoe,” said I. “This island
is a coral island, and not an asylum—that is, as far as I know.”

“I’ll only ask one more question,” said he. “Tell me why you call me Mr.

“Because that’s your name.”

“That will do,” he answered. “I’ll try to sleep a little now. I thought
my name was Robert H. Monroe, but I suppose I was wrong.”

Mr. Crusoe turned over, after trying two or three times, which showed
that he was stronger than he had been, and presently went to sleep.

What he said worried me very much; because if he didn’t know his own
name, or where he was, he must be crazy still. I had half a mind to tie
his hands and feet together again, but he was so weak that it didn’t
seem to be worth while.

The next time he woke up it was after sleeping about ten hours, and he
looked much brighter. I got him something more to eat, and after he had
eaten it he began to talk. The first thing he wanted was that I should
tell him all about our being shipwrecked.

He listened quietly, and when I had finished he asked me my name. I told
him it was Michael Flanagan, though he had generally called me Friday.



“I must have had a brain-fever, Michael,” said he; “and, so far as I can
see, you have saved my life and taken care of me. If we can ever get
back to America again you will find out whether I am grateful or not.
But please tell me what made you think my name was Crusoe?”

“Because you said so, sir,” I replied. “Don’t you remember how you told
me that your grandfather, old Mr. Robinson Crusoe, lived on this island,
and how you were bound to do exactly everything that he did?”

“If I was crazy enough to do that, I must have been a nice companion for
you. Never mind, though; I’ve got my senses back again now, and as soon
as I get stronger we’ll find some way to escape from here.”

“Then wasn’t your grandfather’s name Robinson Crusoe?” asked I. “Are you
quite sure, sir?”

“Perfectly sure,” said he. “My grandfather was a sensible old gentleman,
who never set his foot on a ship.”

“Then, sir,” said I, “if you please, you’ll kindly let me say that the
Robinson Crusoe you used to talk about must have been the worst old
idiot that ever lived, and if I had only known that he wasn’t your
grandfather I’d have taken you away from here months ago.”

“How long have we been here?” asked Mr. Monroe.

“Well, sir, you used to keep a sort of log by making scratches on a
post, and according to that we’ve been here about two hundred and
fifteen years. According to my reckoning we’ve been here about a year
and two months.”

“And in all that time you haven’t seen a soul except one crazy man?”

“Oh yes,” said I, “there were a lot of Sunday-school picnickers came
here about a month ago, but they didn’t see us. You said they were
cannibals, and you wanted to shoot them.”

“I must have been a nice person,” said he, laughing. “But what I want to
do now is to get strong. I suppose you haven’t any milk here?”

“There are the goats. If you like goat’s milk, you can have all you want
of it.”

So I fed him on goat’s milk for a week, and by the end of that time he
was stronger than Mr. Crusoe ever was.

He was a great deal nicer than Mr. Crusoe, and whenever I told him what
Mr. Crusoe used to do he would laugh himself nearly sick. The goat-skin
clothes amused him more than anything else, though he hated them as much
as I did.

He didn’t remember the least thing about his having been at sea. He said
that the last thing he could remember was being in his house in New
York, and having two doctors come to see him. When I described the man
that was with him on board the ship he could not tell who he was, but
rather thought he must have been a hired nurse. It was Mr. Monroe’s
opinion that his doctors must have told him to take a sea-voyage, and
that he must have become crazy soon after the ship sailed.

I can’t to this day understand how it was that I could have lived nearly
a year with Mr. Monroe without seeing that he was a lunatic. Sometimes I
used to say to myself that I believed he wasn’t quite right in his mind,
but I never really thought so; and when towards the last he was raving
crazy, I thought it was only because he had caught a fever by taking
cold after he had shot himself in the leg.

As soon as Mr. Monroe was well enough we made ready to leave the island
in the canoe. We victualled her with canned provisions, and put water
aboard her enough to last us a month. Of course we took blankets and
such things with us, but nearly everything else that we had we put into
the house, and before we started we nailed a card on the door with our
names written on it, and a promise that we would come back for our
property in a short time.

I was in favor of sailing across to what we had always supposed was the
main-land. Mr. Monroe said that if a picnic-party had landed on the
island it proved that there was a town within at least a day’s sail, and
that we should be very sure to find it by crossing to the main-land. I
thought so too; so we set sail one morning with a fair wind, and by
night were within four or five miles of the land. As we were afraid to
try to land at night, we lay off the land till morning, and then, the
wind having died out, we paddled to the shore.

We went ashore, but as there was no sign of any town, we coasted along
expecting every time we doubled a headland to find a town behind it. We
kept on all day, and never saw anything but sand or trees, and about
sunset found ourselves just opposite the place where we had landed.

Instead of being the main-land the land was only another uninhabited
island, much smaller than ours. There was no other land in sight except
one island, and we went ashore and camped on the beach, feeling a good
deal discouraged—that is, I was discouraged.

Mr. Monroe couldn’t be made discouraged by anything. He was the jolliest
man I ever knew. I told him how he insisted that there were a lot of
Spaniards kept as prisoners on the main-land by the cannibals, and how
he was always expecting them to come over to our island, and he fairly
rolled over and over on the ground, laughing at himself. Perhaps I ought
to say that he was laughing at Mr. Crusoe, for he was such a different
man from Mr. Crusoe that I could never feel as if they were the same.

Since we had found out that the main-land was nothing but another
island, and that there was no more land in sight, we could not tell
which way to steer in order to find land. As our ship had been driven
out of her course a long way south before she was wrecked, we both
agreed that the best thing we could do would be to steer north. So the
next morning we set sail and steered northward all day; but that night
Mr. Monroe stumbled and fell over the compass and smashed it, so after
that we could only steer by the stars.

We had beautiful weather, with fair, fresh breezes that sent us along at
about the rate of five knots an hour. Mr. Monroe learned how to handle
the boat very quickly, and we used to take watch and watch; that is, he
would steer for about four hours, and then he would take a rest for four
hours. I never had a better time than I had in that canoe. We had plenty
to eat, just work enough to keep us busy, and a good seaworthy boat
under us. If I could have got rid of my goat-skin clothes I should have
been perfectly happy; but when those clothes got wet, as they did almost
every day, they were as stiff as planks, and felt as if they were full
of sharp nails.

We cruised for eight days in the canoe. Twice we saw a sail, but she was
always way up to windward, and we had no chance of catching her, and
were too far away for her to see us. But the eighth day we saw a ship a
good ways astern of us and a good ways to leeward, for we had a beam
wind. We had no trouble in laying our course so as to meet her, and by
noon we were safe aboard her, with our canoe lying on the deck alongside
the long-boat.

She was an English ship, the _Aberdeen_, bound to San Francisco, and the
captain treated us very well. He took Mr. Monroe into the cabin, but I
turned to with the crew, for I had been ashore so long that I was very
glad to see the inside of a forecastle again. We had a good run to San
Francisco, and when we had landed, Mr. Monroe telegraphed home and got
some money, and took me to New York with him on the train.

What I want to know now is where to find that island. I believe that it
is somewheres, inside of a thousand miles north of Australia, but that
isn’t enough to help anybody to find it. You might as well try to find a
Mr. Smith by just knowing that he lived within a thousand miles more or
less north of Mexico. If Mr. Monroe and I could find that island, we
could sell it for a lot of money, and be rich all the rest of our days.
But nobody will ever find it till somebody is shipwrecked on it again,
and most likely when anybody is shipwrecked on it he will have to stay

Mr. Monroe and I often talked about the picnickers, and we finally
agreed that they couldn’t have been a Sunday-school, but that they must
have been on a yachting cruise, and accidentally discovered the island.
But they certainly acted as if they had been there before; and then how
can you account for the footprint and the hair-pin unless they had been
there before? And if women and men came twice to the same island just to
cook dinner there and then sail away again, they must have come from
some place within a day’s sail. Then there were the goats. They would
hardly have been as tame as they were unless they had been used to
seeing people.

But it doesn’t do any good to cry over lost islands. The island is lost,
and I never expect to find it. After all, I don’t care very much about
having lost it, for Mr. Monroe has got me a first-rate place on a farm,
and I needn’t ever go to sea any more. He is the best man that ever
lived, and I would stick by him even if he were to turn into Mr. Crusoe

                                THE END.



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 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that:
      was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

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