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Title: Robinson Crusoe — in Words of One Syllable
Author: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731, Aikin, Lucy, 1781-1864
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Robinson Crusoe — in Words of One Syllable" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



By Mary Godolphin


The production of a book which is adapted to the use of the youngest
readers needs but few words of excuse or apology. The nature of the work
seems to be sufficiently explained by the title itself, and the author's
task has been chiefly to reduce the ordinary language into words of one
syllable. But although, as far as the subject matter is concerned, the
book can lay no claims to originality, it is believed that the idea
and scope of its construction are entirely novel, for the One Syllable
literature of the present day furnishes little more than a few short,
unconnected sentences, and those chiefly in spelling books.

The deep interest which De Foe's story has never failed to arouse in the
minds of the young, induces the author to hope that it may be acceptable
in its present form.

It should be stated that exceptions to the rule of using words of one
syllable exclusively have been made in the case of the proper names
of the boy Xury and of the man Friday, and in the titles of the
illustrations that accompany this work.



I was born at York on the first of March in the sixth year of the reign
of King Charles the First. From the time when I was quite a young child,
I had felt a great wish to spend my life at sea, and as I grew, so did
this taste grow more and more strong; till at last I broke loose from
my school and home, and found my way on foot to Hull, where I soon got a
place on board a ship.

When we had set sail but a few days, a squall of wind came on, and on
the fifth night we sprang a leak. All hands were sent to the pumps, but
we felt the ship groan in all her planks, and her beams quake from stem
to stern; so that it was soon quite clear there was no hope for her, and
that all we could do was to save our lives.

The first thing was to fire off guns, to show that we were in need of
help, and at length a ship, which lay not far from us, sent a boat to
our aid. But the sea was too rough for it to lie near our ship's side,
so we threw out a rope, which the men in the boat caught, and made fast,
and by this means we all got in. Still in so wild a sea it was in vain
to try to get on board the ship which had sent out the men, or to use
our oars in the boat, and all we could do was to let it drive to shore.

In the space of half an hour our own ship struck on a rock and went
down, and we saw her no more. We made but slow way to the land, which we
caught sight of now and then when the boat rose to the top of some high
wave, and there we saw men who ran in crowds, to and fro, all bent on
one thing, and that was to save us.

At last to our great joy we got on shore, where we had the luck to meet
with friends who gave us the means to get back to Hull; and if I had now
had the good sense to go home, it would have been well for me.

The man whose ship had gone down said with a grave look, "Young lad, you
ought to go to sea no more, it is not the kind, of life for you." "Why
Sir, will you go to sea no more then?" "That is not the same kind of
thing; I was bred to the sea, but you were not, and came on board my
ship just to find out what a life at sea was like, and you may guess
what you will come to if you do not go back to your home. God will not
bless you, and it may be that you have brought all this woe on us."

I spoke not a word more to him; which way he went I knew not, nor did
I care to know, for I was hurt at this rude speech. Shall I go home
thought I, or shall I go to sea? Shame kept me from home, and I could
not make up my mind what course of life to take.

As it has been my fate through life to choose for the worst, so I did
now. I had gold in my purse, and good clothes on my back, and to sea I
went once more.

But I had worse luck this time than the last, for when we were far out
at sea, some Turks in a small ship came on our track in full chase. We
set as much sail as our yards would bear, so as to get clear from them.
But in spite of this, we saw our foes gain on us, and we felt sure that
they would come up with our ship in a few hours' time.

At last they caught us, but we brought our guns to bear on them, which
made them shear off for a time, yet they kept up a fire at us as long as
they were in range. The next time the Turks came up, some of their men
got on board our ship, and set to work to cut the sails, and do us all
kinds of harm. So, as ten of our men lay dead, and most of the rest had
wounds, we gave in.

The chief of the Turks took me as his prize to a port which was held by
the Moors. He did not use me so ill as at first I thought he would have
done, but he set me to work with the rest of his slaves. This was a
change in my life which I did not think had been in store for me. How my
heart sank with grief at the thought of those whom I had left at home,
nay, to whom I had not had the grace so much as to say "Good bye" when I
went to sea, nor to give a hint of what I meant to do!

Yet all that I went through at this time was but a taste of the toils
and cares which it has since been my lot to bear.

I thought at first that the Turk might take me with him when next he
went to sea, and so I should find some way to get free; but the hope
did not last long, for at such times he left me on shore to see to his
crops. This kind of life I led for two years, and as the Turk knew and
saw more of me, he made me more and more free. He went out in his boat
once or twice a week to catch a kind of flat fish, and now and then he
took me and a boy with him, for we were quick at this kind of sport, and
he grew quite fond of me.

One day the Turk sent me in the boat to catch some fish, with no one
else but a man and a boy. While we were out so thick a fog came on that
though we were out not half a mile from the shore, we quite lost sight
of it for twelve hours; and when the sun rose the next day, our boat was
at least ten miles out at sea. The wind blew fresh, and we were all much
in want of food, but at last, with the help of our oars and sail, we got
back safe to land.

When the Turk heard how we had lost our way, he said that the next time
he went out, he would take a boat that would hold all we could want if
we were kept out at sea. So he had quite a state room built in the long
boat of his ship, as well as a room for us slaves. One day he sent me
to trim the boat, as he had two friends who would go in it to fish with
him. But when the time came they did not go, so he sent me with the man
and the boy--whose name was Xury--to catch some fish for the guests that
were to sup with him.

Now the thought struck me all at once that this would be a good chance
to set off with the boat, and get free. So in the first place, I took
all the food that I could lay my hands on, and I told the man that it
would be too bold of us to eat of the bread that had been put in the
boat for the Turk. He said he thought so too, and he brought down a
small sack of rice and some rusks.

While the man was on shore I put up some wine, a large lump of wax, a
saw, an axe, a spade, some rope, and all sorts of things that might be
of use to us. I knew where the Turk's case of wine was, and I put that
in the boat while the man was on shore. By one more trick I got all that
I had need of. I said to the boy, "the Turk's guns are in the boat, but
there is no shot. Do you think you could get some? You know where it is
kept, and we may want to shoot a fowl or two." So he brought a case and
a pouch which held all that we could want for the guns. These I put in
the boat, and then set sail out of the port to fish.

The wind blew, from the North, or North West, which was a bad wind for
me; for had it been South I could have made for the coast of Spain. But,
blow which way it might, my mind was made up to get off, and to leave
the rest to fate. I then let down my lines to fish, but I took care to
have bad sport; and when the fish bit, I would not pull them up, for
the Moor was not to see them. I said to him, "This will not do, we shall
catch no fish here, we ought to sail on a bit." Well, the Moor thought
there was no harm in this. He set the sails, and, as the helm was in my
hands, I ran the boat out a mile or more, and then brought her to, as if
I meant to fish.

Now, thought I, the time has come for me to get free! I gave the helm
to the boy, and then took the Moor round the waist, and threw him out of
the boat.

Down he went! but soon rose up, for he swam like a duck. He said he
would go all round the world with me, if I would but take him in.

I had some fear lest he should climb up the boat's side, and force his
way back; so I brought my gun to point at him, and said, "You can swim
to land with ease if you choose, make haste then to get there; but if
you come near the boat you shall have a shot through the head, for I
mean to be a free man from this hour."

He then swam for the shore, and no doubt got safe there, as the sea was
so calm.

At first I thought I would take the Moor with me, and let Xury swim to
land; but the Moor was not a man that I could trust. When he was gone I
said to Xury, "If you will swear to be true to me, you shall be a great
man in time; if not, I must throw you out of the boat too."

The poor boy gave me such a sweet smile as he swore to be true to me,
that I could not find it in my heart to doubt him.

While the man was still in view (for he was on his way to the land), we
stood out to sea with the boat, so that he and those that saw us from
the shore might think we had gone to the straits' mouth, for no one went
to the South coast, as a tribe of men dwelt there who were known to kill
and eat their foes.

We then bent our course to the East, so as to keep in with the shore;
and as we had a fair wind and a smooth sea, by the next day at noon, we
were not less than 150 miles out of the reach of the Turk.

I had still some fear lest I should be caught by the Moors, so I would
not go on shore in the day time. But when it grew dark we made our way
to the coast, and came to the mouth of a stream, from which we thought
we could swim to land, and then look round us. But as soon as it was
quite dark we heard strange sounds--barks, roars, grunts, and howls. The
poor lad said he could not go on shore till dawn. "Well," said I, "then
we must give it up, but it may be that in the day time we shall be seen
by men, who for all we know would do us more harm than wild beasts."
"Then we give them the shoot gun," said Xury with a laugh, "and make
them run away." I was glad to see so much mirth in the boy, and gave him
some bread and rice.

We lay still at night, but did not sleep long, for in a few hours' time
some huge beasts came down to the sea to bathe. The poor boy shook from
head to foot at the sight. One of these beasts came near our boat, and
though it was too dark to see him well, we heard him puff and blow, and
knew that he must be a large one by the noise he made. At last the brute
came as near to the boat as two oars' length, so I shot at him, and he
swam to the shore.

The roar and cries set up by beasts and birds at the noise of my gun
would seem to show that we had made a bad choice of a place to land
on; but be that as it would, to shore we had to go to find some fresh
spring, so that we might fill our casks. Xury said if I would let him
go with one of the jars, he would find out if the springs were fit to
drink; and, if they were sweet, he would bring the jar back full. "Why
should you go?" said I; "Why should not I go, and you stay in the boat?"
At this Xury said, "if wild mans come they eat me, you go way." I could
not but love the lad for this kind speech. "Well," said I, "we will both
go, and if the wild men come we must kill them, they shall not eat you
or me."

I gave Xury some rum from the Turk's case to cheer him up, and we went
on shore. The boy went off with his gun, full a mile from the spot where
we stood, and came back with a hare that he had shot, which we were
glad to cook and eat; but the good news which he brought was that he had
found a spring, and had seen no wild men.

I made a guess that the Cape de Verd Isles were not far off, for I saw
the top of the Great Peak, which I knew was near them. My one hope was
that if I kept near the coast, I should find some ship that would take
us on board; and then, and not till then, should I feel a free man. In
a word, I put the whole of my fate on this chance, that I must meet with
some ship, or die.

On the coast we saw some men who stood to look at us. They were black,
and wore no clothes. I would have gone on shore to them, but Xury--who
knew best--said, "Not you go! Not you go!" So I brought the boat as near
the land as I could, that I might talk to them, and they kept up with me
a long way. I saw that one of them had a lance in his hand.

I made signs that they should bring me some food, and they on their part
made signs for me to stop my boat. So I let down the top of my sail, and
lay by, while two of them ran off; and in less than half an hour they
came back with some dry meat and a sort of corn which is grown in this
part of the world. This we should have been glad to get, but knew not
how to do so; for we durst not go on shore to them, nor did they dare
to come to us. At last they took a safe way for us all, for they brought
the food to the shore, where they set it, down, and then went a long way
off while we took it in. We made signs to show our thanks, for we had
not a thing that we could spare to give them.

But as good luck would have it, we were at hand to take a great prize
for them; for two wild beasts, of the same kind as the first I spoke of,
came in, full chase from the hills down to the sea.

They swam as if they had come for sport. The men flew from them in fear,
all but the one who held the lance. One of these beasts came near our
boat; so I lay in wait for him with my gun; and as soon as the brute was
in range, I shot him through the head. Twice he sank down in the sea,
and twice he came up; and then just swam to the land, where he fell down
dead. The men were in as much fear at the sound of my gun, as they had
been at the sight of the beasts. But when I made signs for them to come
to the shore, they took heart, and came.

They at once made for their prize; and by the help of a rope, which they
slung round him, they brought him safe on the beach.

We now left our wild men, and went on and on, for twelve days more. The
land in front of us ran out four or five miles, like a bill; and we had
to keep some way from the coast, to make this point, so that we lost
sight of the shore.

I gave the helm to Xury and sat down to think what would be my best
course to take: when all at once I heard the lad cry out "A ship with a
sail! A ship with a sail!" He did not show much joy at the sight, for
he thought that this ship had been sent out to take him back: but I knew
well, from the look of her, that she was not one of the Turk's.

I made all the sail I could to come in the ship's way, and told Xury to
fire a gun, in the hope that if those on deck could not hear the sound,
they might see the smoke. This they did see, and then let down their
sails so that we might come up to them, and in three hours time we were
at the ship's side. The men spoke to us in French, but I could not make
out what they meant. At last a Scot on board said in my own tongue, "Who
are you? Whence do you come?" I told him in a few words how I had got
free from the Moors.

Then the man who had charge of the ship bade me come on board, and took
me in with Xury and all my goods. I told him that he might take all I
had, but he said "You shall have your goods back when we come to land,
for I have but done for you what you would have done for me, had I been
in the same plight."

He gave me a good round sum for my boat, and said that I should have the
same sum for Xury, if I would part with him. But I told him that as it
was by the boy's help that I had got free, I was loath to sell him. He
said it was just and right in me to feel thus, but at the same time, if
I could make up my mind to part with him, he should be set free in two
years' time. So, as the poor slave had a wish to go with him, I did not
say "no." I got to All Saints' Bay in three weeks, and was now a free

I had made a good sum by all my store, and with this I went on land. But
I did not at all know what to do next. At length I met with a man whose
case was much the same as my own, and we both took some land to farm.
My stock, like his, was low, but we made our farms serve to keep us in
food, though not more than that. We both stood in need of help, and I
saw now that I had done wrong to part with my boy.

I did not at all like this kind of life. What! thought I, have I come
all this way to do that which I could have done as well at home with
my friends round me! And to add to my grief, the kind friend, who had
brought me here in his ship, now meant to leave these shores.

On my first start to sea when a boy, I had put a small sum in the hands
of an aunt, and this my friend said I should do well to spend on my
farm. So when he got home he sent some of it in cash, and laid out the
rest in cloth, stuffs, baize, and such like goods. My aunt had put a few
pounds in my friend's hands as a gift to him, to show her thanks for all
that he had done for me, and with this sum he was so kind as to buy me a
slave. In the mean time I had bought a slave, so now I had two, and all
went on well for the next year.

But soon my plans grew too large for my means. One day some men came to
ask me to take charge of a slave ship to be sent out by them. They said
they would give me a share in the slaves, and pay the cost of the stock.
This would have been a good thing for me if I had not had farms and
land; but it was wild and rash to think of it now, for I had made a
large sum, and ought to have gone on in the same way for three or four
years more. Well, I told these men that I would go with all my heart, if
they would look to my farm in the mean time, which they said they would

So I made my will, and went on board this ship on the same day on which,
eight years since, I had left Hull. She had six guns, twelve men, and a
boy. We took with us saws, chains, toys, beads, bits of glass, and such
like ware, to suit the taste of those with whom we had to trade.

We were not more than twelve days from the Line, when a high wind took
us off we knew not where. All at once there was a cry of "Land!" and the
ship struck on a bank of sand, in which she sank so deep that we could
not get her off. At last we found that we must make up our minds to
leave her, and get to shore as well as we could. There had been a boat
at her stern, but we found it had been torn off by the force of the
waves. One small boat was still left on the ship's side, so we got in

There we were all of us on the wild sea. The heart of each now grew
faint, our cheeks were pale, and our eyes were dim, for there was but
one hope, and that was to find some bay, and so get in the lee of the
land. We now gave up our whole souls to God.

The sea grew more and more rough, and its white foam would curl and
boil. At last the waves, in their wild sport, burst on the boat's side,
and we were all thrown out.

I could swim well, but the force of the waves made me lose my breath too
much to do so. At length one large wave took me to the shore, and left
me high and dry, though half dead with fear. I got on my feet and made
the best of my way for the land; but just then the curve of a huge wave
rose up as high as a hill, and this I had no strength to keep from, so
it took me back to the sea. I did my best to float on the top, and held
my breath to do so. The next wave was quite as high, and shut me up in
its bulk. I held my hands down tight to my side, and then my head shot
out at the top of the waves. This gave me heart and breath too, and soon
my feet felt the ground.

I stood quite still for a short time, to let the sea run back from me,
and then I set off with all my might to the shore, but yet the waves
caught me, and twice more did they take me back, and twice more land me
on the shore. I thought the last wave would have been the death of me,
for it drove me on a piece of rock, and with such force, as to leave me
in a kind of swoon, which, thank God, did not last long. At length, to
my great joy, I got up to the cliffs close to the shore, where I found
some grass, out of the reach of the sea. There, I sat down, safe on land
at last.

I could but cry out in the words of the Psalm, "They that go down to the
sea in ships, these men see the works of the Lord in the deep. For at
His word the storms rise, the winds blow, and lift up the waves; then
do they mount to the sky, and from thence go down to the deep. My soul
faints, I reel to and fro, and am at my wit's end: then the Lord brings
me out of all my fears."

I felt so wrapt in joy, that all I could do was to walk up and down the
coast, now lift up my hands, now fold them on my breast, and thank God
for all that He had done for me, when the rest of the men were lost.
All lost but I, and I was safe! I now cast my eyes round me, to find out
what kind of a place it was that I had been thus thrown in, like a bird
in a storm. Then all the glee I felt at first left me; for I was wet and
cold, and had no dry clothes to put on, no food to eat and not a friend
to help me.

There were wild beasts here, but I had no gun to shoot them with, or to
keep me from their jaws. I had but a knife and a pipe. It now grew dark;
and where was I to go for the night? I thought the top of some high tree
would be a good place to keep me out of harm's way; and that there I
might sit and think of death, for, as yet, I had no hopes of life. Well,
I went to my tree, and made a kind of nest to sleep in. Then I cut a
stick to keep off the beasts of prey, in case they should come, and fell
to sleep just as if the branch I lay on had been a bed of down.

When I woke up it was broad day; the sky too was clear and the sea calm.
But I saw from the top of the tree that in the night the ship had left
the bank of sand, and lay but a mile from me; while the boat was on the
beach, two miles on my right. I went some way down by the shore, to get
to the boat; but an arm of the sea, half a mile broad, kept me from
it. At noon, the tide went a long way out, so that I could get near the
ship; and here I found that if we had but made up our minds to stay on
board, we should all have been safe.

I shed tears at the thought, for I could not help it; yet, as there was
no use in that, it struck me that the best thing for me to do was to
swim to the ship. I soon threw off my clothes, took to the sea, and swam
up to the wreck. But how was I to get on deck? I had swam twice round
the ship, when a piece of rope, caught my eye, which hung down from her
side so low, that at first the waves hid it. By the help of this rope I
got on board. I found that there was a bulge in the ship, and that she
had sprung a leak. You may be sure that my first thought was to look
round for some food, and I soon made my way to the bin, where the bread
was kept, and ate some of it as I went to and fro, for there was no time
to lose. There was, too, some rum, of which I took a good draught, and
this gave me heart. What I stood most in need of, was a boat to take the
goods to shore. But it was vain to wish for that which could not be
had; and as there were some spare yards in the ship, two or three large
planks of wood, and a spare mast or two, I fell to work with these, to
make a raft.

I put four spars side by side, and laid short bits of plank on them,
cross ways, to make my raft strong. Though these planks would bear my
own weight, they were too slight to bear much of my freight. So I took a
saw which was on board, and cut a mast in three lengths, and these gave
great strength to the raft. I found some bread and rice, a Dutch cheese,
and some dry goat's flesh. There had been some wheat, but the rats had
got at it, and it was all gone.

My next task was to screen my goods from the spray of the sea; and it
did not take me long to do this, for there were three large chests on
board which held all, and these I put on the raft. When the high tide
came up it took off my coat and shirt, which I had left on the shore;
but there were some fresh clothes in the ship.

"See here is a prize!" said I, out loud, (though there were none to hear
me), "now I shall not starve." For I found four large guns. But how was
my raft to be got to land? I had no sail, no oars; and a gust of wind
would make all my store slide off. Yet there were three things which I
was glad of; a calm sea, a tide which set in to the shore, and a slight
breeze to blow me there.

I had the good luck to find some oars in a part of the ship, in which
I had made no search till now. With these I put to sea, and for half a
mile my raft went well; but soon I found it drove to one side. At length
I saw a creek, to which, with some toil, I took my raft; and now the
beach was so near, that I felt my oar touch the ground.

Here I had well nigh lost my freight, for the shore lay on a slope, so
that there was no place to land on, save where one end of the raft would
lie so high, and one end so low, that all my goods would fall off. To
wait till the tide came up was all that could be done. So when the sea
was a foot deep, I thrust the raft on a flat piece of ground, to moor
her there, and stuck my two oars in the sand, one on each side of the
raft. Thus I let her lie till the ebb of the tide, and when it went
down, she was left safe on land with all her freight.

I saw that there were birds on the isle, and I shot one of them. Mine
must have been the first gun that had been heard there since the world
was made; for at the sound of it, whole flocks of birds flew up, with
loud cries, from all parts of the wood. The shape of the beak of the one
I shot was like that of a hawk, but the claws were not so large.

I now went back to my raft to land my stores, and this took up the rest
of the day. What to do at night I knew not, nor where to find a safe
place to land my stores on. I did not like to lie down on the ground,
for fear of beasts of prey, as well as snakes, but there was no cause
for these fears, as I have since found. I put the chests and boards
round me as well as I could, and made a kind of hut for the night.

As there was still a great store of things left in the ship, which would
be of use to me, I thought that I ought to bring them to land at once;
for I knew that the first storm would break up the ship. So I went on
board, and took good care this time not to load my raft too much.

The first thing, I sought for was the tool chest; and in it were some
bags of nails, spikes, saws, knives, and such things: but best of all I
found a stone to grind my tools on. There were two or three flasks,
some large bags of shot, and a roll of lead; but this last I had not
the strength to hoist up to the ship's side, so as to get it on my raft.
There were some spare sails too which I brought to shore.

I had some fear lest my stores might be run off with by beasts of prey,
if not by men; but I found all safe and sound when I went back, and no
one had come there but a wild cat, which sat on one of the chests. When
I came up I held my gun at her, but as she did not know what a gun was,
this did not rouse her. She ate a piece of dry goat's flesh, and then
took her leave.

Now that I had two freights of goods at hand, I made a tent with the
ship's sails, to stow them in, and cut the poles for it from the wood.
I now took all the things out of the casks and chests, and put the casks
in piles round the tent, to give it strength; and when this was done,
I shut up the door with the boards, spread one of the beds (which I had
brought from the ship) on the ground, laid two guns close to my head,
and went to bed for the first time. I slept all night, for I was much in
need of rest.

The next day I was sad and sick at heart, for I felt how dull it was to
be thus cut off from all the rest of the world. I had no great wish for
work: but there was too much to be done for me to dwell long on my sad
lot. Each day as it came, I went off to the wreck to fetch more things;
and I brought back as much as the raft would hold. One day I had put too
great a load on the raft, which made it sink down on one side, so that
the goods were lost in the sea; but at this I did not fret, as the chief
part of the freight was some rope, which would not have been of much use
to me.

The twelve days that I had been in the isle were spent in this way, and
I had brought to land all that one pair of hands could lift; though if
the sea had been still calm, I might have brought the whole ship, piece
by piece.

The last time I swam to the wreck, the wind blew so hard, that I made up
my mind to go on board next time at low tide. I found some tea and some
gold coin; but as to the gold, it made me laugh to look at it. "O drug!"
said I, "Thou art of no use to me! I care not to save thee. Stay where
thou art, till the ship go down, then go thou with it!"

Still, I thought I might as well just take it; so I put it in a piece
of the sail, and threw it on deck that I might place it on the raft.
Bye-and-bye, the wind blew from the shore, so I had to swim back with
all speed; for I knew that at the turn of the tide, I should find it
hard work to get to land at all. But in spite of the high wind, I came
to my home all safe. At dawn of day I put my head out, and cast my eyes
on the sea. When lo! no ship was there!

This change in the face of things, and the loss of such a friend, quite
struck me down. Yet I was glad to think that I had brought to shore all
that could be of use to me. I had now to look out for some spot where I
could make my home. Half way up a hill there was a small plain, four or
five score feet long, and twice as broad; and as it had a full view of
the sea, I thought that it would be a good place for my house.

I first dug a trench round a space which took in twelve yards; and in
this I drove two rows of stakes, till they stood firm like piles, five
and a half feet from the ground. I made the stakes close and tight with
bits of rope; and put small sticks on the top of them in the shape of
spikes. This made so strong a fence that no man or beast could get in.

The door of my house was on the top, and I had to climb up to it by
steps, which I took in with me, so that no one else might come up by the
same way. Close to the back of the house stood a high rock, in which I
made a cave, and laid all the earth that I had dug out of it round my
house, to the height of a foot and a half. I had to go out once a day in
search of food. The first time, I saw some goats, but they were too shy
and swift of foot, to let me get near them.

At last I lay in wait for them close to their own haunts. If they saw
me in the vale, though they might be on high ground, they would run off,
wild with fear; but if they were in the vale, and I on high ground, they
took no heed of me. The first goat I shot had a kid by her side, and
when the old one fell, the kid stood near her, till I took her off on
my back, and then the young one ran by my side. I put down the goat, and
brought the kid home to tame it; but as it was too young to feed, I had
to kill it.

At first I thought that, for the lack of pen and ink, I should lose all
note of time; so I made a large post, in the shape of a cross, on which
I cut these words, "I came on these shores on the 8th day of June, in
the year 1659" On the side of this post I made a notch each day as it
came, and this I kept up till the last.

I have not yet said a word of my four pets, which were two cats, a dog,
and a bird. You may guess how fond I was of them, for they were all the
friends left to me. I brought the dog and two cats from the ship. The
dog would fetch things for me at all times, and by his bark, his whine,
his growl, and his tricks, he would all but talk to me; yet he could not
give me thought for thought.

If I could but have had some one near me to find fault with, or to find
fault with me, what a treat it would have been! Now that I had brought
ink from the ship, I wrote down a sketch of each day as it came; not so
much to leave to those who might read it, when I was dead and gone, as
to get rid of my own thoughts, and draw me from the fears which all day
long dwelt on my mind, till my head would ache with the weight of them.

I was a long way out of the course of ships: and oh, how dull it was to
be cast on this lone spot with no one to love, no one to make me laugh,
no one to make me weep, no one to make me think. It was dull to roam,
day by day, from the wood to the shore; and from the shore back to the
wood, and feed on my own thoughts all the while.

So much for the sad view of my case; but like most things it had a
bright side as well as a dark one. For here was I safe on land, while
all the rest of the ship's crew were lost. Well, thought I, God who
shapes our ways, and led me by the hand then, can save me from this
state now, or send some one to be with me; true, I am cast on a rough
and rude part of the globe, but there are no beasts of prey on it to
kill or hurt me. God has sent the ship so near to me, that I have got
from it all things to meet my wants for the rest of my days. Let life be
what it may, there is sure to be much to thank God for; and I soon gave
up all dull thoughts, and did not so much as look out for a sail.

My goods from the wreck had been in the cave for more than ten months;
and it was time now to put them right, as they took up all the space,
and left me no room to turn in: so I made my small cave a large one, and
dug it out a long way back in the sand rock. Then I brought the mouth of
it up to the fence, and so made a back way to my house. This done, I put
shelves on each side, to hold my goods, which made my cave look like a
shop full of stores. To make these shelves I cut down a tree, and with
the help of a saw, an axe, a plane, and some more tools, I made boards.

A chair, and a desk to write on, came next. I rose in good time, and set
to work till noon, then I ate my meal, then I went out with my gun, and
to work once more till the sun had set; and then to bed. It took me more
than a week to change the shape and size of my cave, but I had made it
far too large; for in course of time the earth fell in from the roof;
and had I been in it, when this took place, I should have lost my life.
I had now to set up posts in my cave, with planks on the top of them, so
as to make a roof of wood.

One day, when out with my gun, I shot a wild cat, the skin of which made
me a cap; and I found some birds of the dove tribe, which built their
nests in the holes of rocks.

I had to go to bed at dusk, till I made a lamp of goat's fat, which I
put in a clay dish; and this, with a piece of hemp for a wick, made a
good light. As I had found a use for the bag which had held the fowl's
food on board ship, I shook out from it the husks of corn. This was just
at the time when the great rains fell, and in the course of a month,
blades of rice, corn, and rye, sprang up. As time went by, and the grain
was ripe, I kept it, and took care to sow it each year; but I could not
boast of a crop of wheat, as will be shown bye-and-bye, for three years.

A thing now took place on the isle, which no one could have dreamt of,
and which struck me down with fear. It was this--the ground shook
with great force, which threw down earth from the rock with a loud
crash--once more there was a shock--and now the earth fell from the roof
of my cave. The sea did not look the same as it had done, for the shocks
were just as strong there as on land. The sway of the earth made me feel
sick; and there was a noise and a roar all around me. The same kind of
shock came a third time; and when it had gone off, I sat quite still on
the ground, for I knew not what to do. Then the clouds grew dark, the
wind rose, trees were torn up by the roots, the sea was a mass of foam
and froth, and a great part of the isle was laid waste with the storm. I
thought that the world had come to an end. In three hours' time all was
calm; but rain fell all that night, and a great part of the next day.
Now, though quite worn out, I had to move my goods which were in the
cave, to some safe place.

I knew that tools would be my first want, and that I should have to
grind mine on the stone, as they were blunt and worn with use. But as it
took both hands to hold the tool, I could not turn the stone; so I made
a wheel by which I could move it with my foot. This was no small task,
but I took great pains with it, and at length it was done.

The rain fell for some days and a cold chill came on me; in short I was
ill. I had pains in my head, and could get no sleep at night, and my
thoughts were wild and strange. At one time I shook with cold, and then
a hot fit came on, with faint sweats, which would last six hours at a
time. Ill as I was, I had to go out with my gun to get food. I shot a
goat, but it was a great toil to bring it home, and still more to cook

I spent the next day in bed, and felt half dead from thirst, yet too
weak to stand up to get some drink. I lay and wept like a child. "Lord
look on me! Lord look on me!" would I cry for hours.

At last the fit left me, and I slept, and did not wake till dawn. I
dreamt that I lay on the ground, and saw a man come down from a great
black cloud in a flame of light. When he stood on the earth, it shook as
it had done a few days since; and all the world to me was full of fire.
He came up and said "As I see that all these things have not brought
thee to pray, now thou shalt die." Then I woke, and found it was a
dream. Weak and faint, I was in dread all day lest my fit should come

Too ill to get out with my gun, I sat on the shore to think, and thus
ran my thoughts: "What is this sea which is all round me? and whence is
it? There can be no doubt that the hand that made it, made the air, the
earth, the sky. And who is that? It is God who hath made all things.
Well then, if God hath made all things, it must be He who guides them;
and if so, no one thing in the whole range of His works can take place,
and He not know it. Then God must know how sick and sad I am, and He
wills me to be here. O, why hath God done this to me!"

Then some voice would seem to say, "Dost thou ask why God hath done this
to thee? Ask why thou wert not shot by the Moors, who came on board the
ship, and took the lives of thy mates. Ask why thou wert not torn by the
beasts of prey on the coasts. Ask why thou didst not go down in the
deep sea with the rest of the crew, but didst come to this isle, and art

A sound sleep then fell on me, and when I woke it must have been three
o'clock the next day, by the rays of the sun: nay, it may have been more
than that; for I think that this must have been the day that I did not
mark on my post, as I have since found that there was one notch too few.

I now took from my store the Book of God's Word, which I had brought
from the wreck, not one page, of which I had yet read. My eyes fell on
five words, that would seem to have been put there for my good at this
time; so well did they cheer my faint hopes, and touch the true source
of my fears. They were these: "I will not leave thee." And they have
dwelt in my heart to this day. I laid down the book, to pray. My cry was
"O, Lord, help me to love and learn thy ways."

This was the first time in all my life that I had felt a sense that God
was near, and heard me. As for my dull life here, it was not worth a
thought; for now a new strength had come to me; and there was a change
in my griefs, as well as in my joys.

I had now been in the isle twelve months, and I thought it was time to
go all round it, in search of its woods, springs, and creeks. So I set
off, and brought back with me limes and grapes in their prime, large and
ripe. I had hung the grapes in the sun to dry, and in a few days' time
went to fetch them, that I might lay up a store. The vale, on the banks
of which they grew, was fresh and green, and a clear, bright stream ran
through it, which gave so great a charm to the spot, as to make me wish
to live there.

But there was no view of the sea from this vale, while from my house, no
ships could come on my side of the isle, and not be seen by me; yet the
cool, soft banks were so sweet and new to me that much of my time was
spent there.

In the first of the three years in which I had grown corn, I had sown
it too late; in the next, it was spoilt by the drought; but the third
years' crop had sprung up well.

I found that the hares would lie in it night and day, for which there
was no cure but to plant a thick hedge all round it; and this took me
more than three weeks to do. I shot the hares in the day time; and when
it grew dark, I made fast the dog's chain to the gate, and there he
stood to bark all night.

In a short time the corn grew strong, and at last ripe but, just as the
hares had hurt it in the blade, so now the birds ate it in the ear. At
the noise of my gun, whole flocks of them would fly up; and at this rate
I saw that there would be no corn left; so I made up my mind to keep a
look out night and day. I hid by the side of a hedge, and could see the
birds sit on the trees and watch, and then come down, one by one, at
first. Now each grain of wheat was, as it were, a small loaf of bread to
me. So the great thing was to get rid of these birds. My plan was this,
I shot three, and hung them up, like thieves, to scare all that came to
the corn; and from this time, as long as the dead ones hung there, not
a bird came near. When the corn was ripe, I made a scythe out of the
swords from the ship, and got in my crop.

Few of us think of the cost at which a loaf of bread is made. Of course,
there was no plough here to turn up the earth, and no spade to dig it
with, so I made one with wood; but this was soon worn out, and for want
of a rake, I made use of the bough of a tree. When I had got the corn
home, I had to thrash it, part the grain from the chaff, and store it
up. Then came the want of a mill to grind it, of sieves to clean it, and
of yeast to make bread of it.

Still, my bread was made, though I had no tools; and no one could say
that I did not earn it, by the sweat of my brow. When the rain kept me
in doors, it was good fun to teach my pet bird Poll to talk; but so mute
were all things round me, that the sound of my own voice made me start.

My chief wants now were jars, pots, cups, and plates, but I knew not how
I could make them. At last I went in search of some clay, and found some
a mile from my house; but it was quite a joke to see the queer shapes
and forms that I made out of it. For some of my pots and jars were too
weak to bear their own weight; and they would fall out here, and in
there, in all sorts of ways; while some, when they were put in the sun
to bake, would crack with the heat of its rays. You may guess what my
joy was when at last a pot was made which would stand the heat of the
fire, so that I could boil the meat for broth.

The next thing to be made was a sieve, to part the grain from the husks.
Goat's hair was of no use to me, as I could not weave or spin; so I made
a shift for two years with a thin kind of stuff, which I had brought
from the ship. But to grind the corn with the stones was the worst of
all, such hard work did I find it. To bake the bread I burnt some wood
down to an ash, which I threw on the hearth to heat it, and then set my
loaves on the hearth, and in this way my bread was made.

The next thing to turn my thoughts to was the ship's boat, which lay on
the high ridge of sand, where it had been thrust by the storm which had
cast me on these shores. But it lay with the keel to the sky, so I had
to dig the sand from it, and turn it up with the help of a pole. When I
had done this I found it was all in vain, for I had not the strength to
launch it. So all I could do now, was to make a boat of less size out
of a tree; and I found one that was just fit for it, which grew not far
from the shore, but I could no more stir this than I could the ship's
boat. What was to be done? I first dug the ground flat and smooth all
the way from the boat to the sea, so as to let it slide down; but this
plan did not turn out well, so I thought I would try a new way, which
was to make a trench, so as to bring the sea up to the boat, as the boat
could not be brought to the sea. But to do this, I must have dug down to
a great depth, which would take one man some years to do. And when too
late, I found it was not wise to work out a scheme, till I had first
thought of the cost and toil.

"Well," thought I, "I must give up the boat, and with it all my hopes
to leave the isle. But I have this to think of: I am lord of the whole
isle; in fact, a king. I have wood with which I might build a fleet, and
grapes, if not corn, to freight it with, though all my wealth is but a
few gold coins." For these I had no sort of use, and could have found it
in my heart to give them all for a peck of peas and some ink, which last
I stood much in need of. But it was best to dwell more on what I had,
than on what I had not.

I now must needs try once more to build a boat, but this time it was to
have a mast, for which the ship's sails would be of great use. I made a
deck at each end, to keep out the spray of the sea, a bin for my food,
and a rest for my gun, with a flap to screen it from the wet. More than
all, the boat was one of such a size that I could launch it.

My first cruise was up and down the creek, but soon I got bold, and made
the whole round of my isle. I took with me bread, cakes, and a pot full
of rice, some rum, half a goat, two great coats, one of which was to
lie on, and one to put on at night. I set sail in the sixth year of my
reign. On the East side of the isle, there was a large ridge of rocks,
which lay two miles from the shore; and a shoal of sand lay for half a
mile from the rocks to the beach. To get round to this point, I had to
sail a great way out to sea; and here I all but lost my life.

But I got back to my home at last. On my way there, quite worn out with
the toils of the boat, I lay down in the shade to rest my limbs, and
slept. But judge, if you can, what a start I gave, when a voice woke
me out of my sleep, and spoke my name three times! A voice in this wild
place! To call me by name, too! Then the voice said, "Where are you?
Where have you been? How came you here?" But now I saw it all; for at
the top of the hedge sat Poll, who did but say the words she had been
taught by me.

I now went in search of some goats, and laid snares for them, with rice
for a bait I had set the traps in the night, and found they had all
stood, though the bait was gone. So I thought of a new way to take them,
which was to make a pit and lay sticks and grass on it, so as to hide
it; and in this way I caught an old goat and some kids. But the old goat
was much too fierce for me, so I let him go. I brought all the young
ones home, and let them fast a long time, till at last they fed from my
hand, and were quite tame. I kept them in a kind of park, in which there
were trees to screen them from the sun. At first my park was three miles
round; but it struck me that, in so great a space, the kids would soon
get as wild as if they had the range of the whole vale, and that it
would be as well to give them less room; so I had to make a hedge which
took me three months to plant. My park held a flock of twelve goats, and
in two years more there were more than two score.

My dog sat at meals with me, and one cat on each side of me, on stools,
and we had Poll to talk to us. Now for a word or two as to the dress in
which I made a tour round the isle. I could but think how droll it would
look in the streets of the town in which I was born. I wore a high cap
of goat's skin, with a flap that hung, down, to keep the sun and rain
from my neck, a coat made from the skin of a goat too, the skirts of
which came down to my hips, and the same on my legs, with no shoes, but
flaps of the fur round my shins. I had a broad belt of the same round
my waist, which drew on with two thongs; and from it, on my right side,
hung a saw and an axe; and on my left side a pouch for the shot. My
beard had not been cut since I came here. But no more need be said of
my looks, for there were few to see me. A strange sight was now in store
for me, which was to change the whole course of my life in the isle.

One day at noon, while on a stroll down to a part of the shore that was
new to me, what should I see on the sand but the print of a man's foot!
I felt as if I was bound by a spell, and could not stir from, the spot.

Bye-and-bye, I stole a look round me, but no one was in sight, What
could this mean? I went three or four times to look at it. There it
was--the print of a man's foot; toes, heel, and all the parts of a foot.
How could it have come there?

My head swam with fear; and as I left the spot, I made two or three
steps, and then took a look round me; then two steps more, and did the
same thing. I took fright at the stump of an old tree, and ran to my
house, as if for my life. How could aught in the shape of a man come to
that shore, and I not know it? Where was the ship that brought him? Then
a vague dread took hold of my mind, that some man, or set of men, had
found me out; and it might be, that they meant to kill me, or rob me of
all I had.

How strange a thing is the life of man! One day we love that which the
next day we hate. One day we seek what the next day we shun. One day
we long for the thing which the next day we fear; and so we go on. Now,
from the time that I was cast on this isle, my great source of grief
was that I should be thus cut off from the rest of my race. Why, then,
should the thought that a man might be near give me all this pain? Nay,
why should the mere sight of the print of a man's foot, make me quake
with fear? It seems most strange; yet not more strange than true.

Once it struck me that it might be the print of my own foot, when first
the storm cast me on these shores. Could I have come this way from the
boat? Should it in truth turn out to be the print of my own foot, I
should be like a boy who tells of a ghost, and feels more fright at his
own tale, than those do whom he meant to scare.

Fear kept me in-doors for three days, till the want of food drove me
out. At last I was so bold as to go down to the coast to look once more
at the print of the foot, to see if it was the same shape as my own. I
found it was not so large by a great deal; so it was clear there were
men in the isle. Just at this time my good watch dog fell down dead at
my feet. He was old and worn out, and in him I lost my best guard and

One day as I went from the hill to the coast, a scene lay in front of me
which made me sick at heart. The spot was spread with the bones of men.
There was a round place dug in the earth, where a fire had been made,
and here some men had come to feast. Now that I had seen this sight, I
knew not how to act; I kept close to my home, and would scarce stir from
it, save to milk my flock of goats.

To feel safe was now more to me than to be well fed; and I did not care
to drive a nail, or chop a stick of wood, lest the sound of it should be
heard, much less would I fire a gun. As to my bread and meat, I had to
bake it at night when the smoke could not be seen. But I soon found the
way to burn wood with turf at the top of it, which made it like chark,
or dry coal; and this I could use by day, as it had no smoke.

I found in the wood where I went to get the sticks for my fire, a cave
so large that I could stand in it; but I made more haste to get out,
than in; for two large eyes, as bright as stars, shone out from it with
a fierce glare. I took a torch, and went to see what they could be, and
found that there was no cause for fear; for the eyes were those of an
old gray goat, which had gone there to die of old age. I gave him a
push, to try to get him out of the cave, but he could not rise from the
ground where he lay; so I left him there to die, as I could not save his

I found the width of the cave was twelve feet; but part of it, near the
end, was so low that I had to creep on my hands and feet to go in. What
the length of it was I could not tell, for my light went out, and I had
to give up my search. The next day, I went to the cave with large lights
made of goat's fat; and when I got to the end, I found that the roof
rose to two score feet or more.

As my lights shone on the walls and roof of the cave, a sight burst on
my view, the charms of which no tongue could tell; for the walls shone
like stars. What was in the rock to cause this it was hard to say; they
might be gems, or bright stones, or gold. But let them be what they may,
this cave was a mine of wealth to me; for at such time as I felt dull
or sad, the bright scene would flash on my mind's eye, and fill it with

A score of years had gone by, with no new sight to rest my eyes on, till
this scene burst on them. I felt as if I should like to spend the rest
of my life here; and at its close, lie down to die in this cave, like
the old goat.

As I went home I was struck by the sight of some smoke, which came from
a fire no more than two miles off. From this time I lost all my peace
of mind. Day and night a dread would haunt me, that the men who had made
this fire would find me out. I went home and drew up my steps, but first
I made all things round me look wild and rude. To load my gun was the
next thing to do, and I thought it would be best to stay at home and

But this was not to be borne long. I had no spy to send out and all I
could do was to get to the top of the hill, and keep a good look out. At
last, through my glass, I could see a group of wild men join in a dance
round their fire. As soon a they had left, I took two guns, and slung a
sword on my side; then with all speed, I set off to the top of the hill,
once more to have a good view.

This time I made up my mind to go up to the men, but not with a view to
kill them, for I felt that it would be wrong to do so. With such a load
of arms, it took me two hours to reach the spot where the fire was; and
by the time I got there, the men had all gone; but I saw them in four
boats out at sea.

Down on the shore, there was a proof of what the work of these men had
been. The signs of their feast made me sick at heart, and I shut my
eyes. I durst not fire my gun when I went out for food on that side the
isle, lest there should be some of the men left, who might hear it,
and so find me out. This state of things went on for a year and three
months, and for all that time I saw no more men.

On the twelfth of May, a great storm of wind blew all day and night. As
it was dark, I sat in my house; and in the midst of the gale, I heard
a gun fire! My guess was that it must have been from some ship cast on
shore by the storm. So I set a light to some wood on top of the hill,
that those in the ship, if ship it should be, might know that some one
was there to aid them. I then heard two more guns fire. When it was
light, I went to the South side of the isle, and there lay the wreck of
a ship, cast on the rocks in the night by the storm. She was too far off
for me to see if there were men on board.

Words could not tell how much I did long to bring but one of the ship's
crew to the shore! So strong was my wish to save the life of those on
board, that I could have laid down my own life to do so. There are some
springs in the heart which, when hope stirs them, drive the soul on with
such a force, that to lose all chance of the thing one hopes for, would
seem to make one mad; and thus was it with me.

Now, I thought, was the time to use my boat; so I set to work at once to
fit it out. I took on board some rum (of which I still had a good deal
left), some dry grapes, a bag of rice, some goat's milk, and cheese, and
then put out to sea. A dread came on me at the thought of the risk I had
run on the same rocks; but my heart did not quite fail me, though I
knew that, as my boat was small, if a gale of wind should spring up, all
would be lost. Then I found that I must go back to the shore till the
tide should turn, and the ebb come on.

I made up my mind to go out the next day with the high tide, so I slept
that night in my boat. At dawn I set out to sea, and in less than two
hours I came up to the wreck. What a scene was there! The ship had
struck on two rocks. The stern was torn by the force of the waves, the
masts were swept off, ropes and chains lay strewn on the deck, and all
was wrapt in gloom. As I came up to the wreck, a dog swam to me with a
yelp and a whine. I took him on board my boat, and when I gave him some
bread he ate it like a wolf, and as to drink, he would have burst, if I
had let him take his fill of it.

I went to the cook's room, where I found two men, but they were both
dead. The tongue was mute, the ear was deaf, the eye was shut, and the
lip was stiff; still the sad tale was told, for each had his arm round
his friend's neck, and so they must have sat to wait for death. What a
change had come on the scene, once so wild with the lash of the waves
and the roar of the wind! All was calm now--death had done its work,
and all had felt its stroke, save the dog, and he was the one thing that
still had life.

I thought the ship must have come from Spain, and there was much gold
on board. I took some of the chests and put them in my boat, but did not
wait to see what they held, and with this spoil, and three casks of rum,
I came back.

I found all things at home just as I had left them, my goats, my cats,
and my bird. The scene in the cook's room was in my mind day and night,
and to cheer me up I drank some of the rum. I then set to work to bring
my freight from the shore, where I had left it. In the chests were two
great bags of gold, and some bars of the same, and near these lay three
small flasks and three bags of shot which were a great prize.

From this time, all went well with me for two years; but it was not to
last. One day, as I stood on the hill, I saw six boats on the shore!
What could this mean?

Where were the men who had brought them? And what had they come for? I
saw through my glass that there were a score and a half, at least, on
the east side of the isle. They had meat on the fire, round which I
could see them dance. They then took a man from one of the boats, who
was bound hand and foot; but when they came to loose his bonds, he set
off as fast as his feet would take him, and in a straight line to my

To tell the truth, when I saw all the rest of the men run to catch him,
my hair stood on end with fright. In the creek, he swam like a fish, and
the plunge which he took brought him through it in a few strokes. All
the men now gave up the chase but two, and they swam through the creek,
but by no means so fast as the slave had done. Now, I thought, was the
time for me to help the poor man, and my heart told me it would be right
to do so. I ran down my steps with my two guns, and went with all speed
up the hill, and then down by a short cut to meet them.

I gave a sign to the poor slave to come to me, and at the same time went
up to meet the two men, who were in chase of him. I made a rush at the
first of these, to knock him down with the stock of my gun, and he fell.
I saw the one who was left, aim at me with his bow, so, to save my life,
I shot him dead.

The smoke and noise from my gun, gave the poor slave who had been bound,
such a shock, that he stood still on the spot, as if he had been in a
trance. I gave a loud shout for him to come to me, and I took care to
show him that I was a friend, and made all the signs I could think of to
coax him up to me. At length he came, knelt down to kiss the ground, and
then took hold of my foot, and set it on his head. All this meant that
he was my slave; and I bade him rise, and made much of him.

But there was more work to be done yet; for the man who had had the blow
from my gun was not dead. I made a sign for my slave (as I shall now
call him) to look at him. At this he spoke to me, and though I could
not make out what he said, yet it gave me a shock of joy; for it was the
first sound of a man's voice that I had heard, for all the years I had
been on the isle.

The man whom I had struck with the stock of my gun, sat up; and my
slave, who was in great fear of him, made signs for me to lend him my
sword, which hung in a belt at my side. With this he ran up to the man,
and with one stroke cut off his head. When he had done this, he brought
me back my sword with a laugh, and put it down in front of me. I did not
like to see the glee with which he did it, and I did not feel that my
own life was quite safe with such a man.

He, in his turn, could but lift up his large brown hands with awe, to
think that I had put his foe to death, while I stood so far from him.
But as to the sword, he and the rest of his tribe made use of swords of
wood, and this was why he knew so well how to wield mine. He made signs
to me to let him go and see the man who had been shot; and he gave him a
turn round, first on this side, then on that; and when he saw the wound
made in his breast by the shot, he stood quite, still once more, as if
he had lost his wits. I made signs for him to come back, for my fears
told me that the rest of the men might come in search of their friends.

I did not like to take my slave to my house, nor to my cave; so I threw
down some straw from the rice plant for him to sleep on, and gave him
some bread and a bunch of dry grapes to eat. He was a fine man, with
straight strong limbs, tall, and young. His hair was thick, like wool,
and black. His head was large and high; and he had bright black eyes. He
was of a dark brown hue; his face was round, and his nose small, but
not flat; he had a good mouth with thin lips, with which he could give a
soft smile; and his teeth were as white as snow.

I had been to milk my goats in the field close by, and when he saw me,
he ran to me, and lay down on the ground to show me his thanks. He then
put his head on the ground, and set my foot on his head, as he had done
at first. He took all the means he could think of, to let me know that
he would serve me all his life; and I gave a sign to show that I thought
well of him. The next thing was to think of some name to call him by.
I chose that of the sixth day of the week (Friday), as he came to me on
that day. I took care not to lose sight of him all that night, and when
the sun rose, I made signs for him to come to me, that I might give him
some clothes, for he wore none. We then went up to the top of the hill,
to look out for the men; but as we could not see them, or their boats,
it was clear that they had left the isle.

My slave has since told me that they had had a great fight with the
tribe that dwelt next to them; and that all those men whom each side
took in war were their own by right. My slave's foes had four who fell
to their share, of whom he was one.

I now set to work to make my man a cap of hare's skin, and gave him a
goat's skin to wear round his waist. It was a great source of pride to
him, to find that his clothes were as good as my own.

At night, I kept my guns, sword, and bow close to my side; but there was
no need for this, as my slave was, in sooth, most true to me. He did all
that he was set to do, with his whole heart in the work; and I knew that
he would lay down his life to save mine. What could a man do more than
that? And oh, the joy to have him here to cheer me in this lone isle!

I did my best to teach him, so like a child as he was, to do and feel
all that was right, I found him apt, and full of fun; and he took great
pains to learn all that I could tell him. Our lives ran on in a calm,
smooth way; and, but for the vile feasts which were held on the shores,
I felt no wish to leave the isle.

As my slave had by no means lost his zest for these meals, it struck me
that the best way to cure him, was to let him taste the flesh of beasts;
so I took him with me one day to the wood for some sport. I saw a
she-goat, in the shade, with her two kids. I caught Friday by the arm,
and made signs to him not to stir, and then shot one of the kids; but
the noise of the gun gave the poor man a great shock. He did not see the
kid, nor did he know that it was dead. He tore his dress off his breast
to feel if there was a wound there; then he knelt down to me, and took
hold of my knees to pray of me not to kill him.

To show poor Friday that his life was quite safe, I led him by the hand,
and told him to fetch the kid. By and by, I saw a hawk in a tree, so I
bade him look at the gun, the hawk, and the ground; and then I shot the
bird. But my poor slave gave still more signs of fear this time, than he
did at first: for he shook from head to foot. He must have thought that
some fiend of death dwelt in the gun, and I think that he would have
knelt down to it, as well as to me; but he would not so much as touch
the gun for some time, though he would speak to it when he thought I was
not near. Once he told me that what he said to it was to ask it not to
kill him.

I brought home the bird, and made broth of it. Friday was much struck
to see me eat salt with it, and made a wry face; but I, in my turn, took
some that had no salt with it, and I made a wry face at that. The next
day I gave him a piece of kid's flesh, which I had hung by a string in
front of the fire to roast. My plan was to put two poles, one on each
side of the fire, and a stick, on the top of them to hold the string.
When my slave came to taste the flesh, he took the best means to let me
know how good he thought it.

The next day I set him to beat out and sift some corn. I let him see me
make the bread, and he soon did all the work. I felt quite a love for
his true, warm heart, and he soon learnt to talk to me. One day I said,
"Do the men of your tribe win in fight?" He told me, with a smile, that
they did. "Well, then," said I, "How came they to let their foes take

"They run one, two, three, and make go in the boat that time."

"Well, and what do the men do with those they take?"

"Eat them all up."

This was not good news for me, but I went on, and said, "Where do they
take them?"

"Go to next place where they think."

"Do they come here?"

"Yes, yes, they come here, come else place too."

"Have you been here with them twice?"

"Yes, come there."

He meant the North West side of the isle, so to this spot I took him the
next day. He knew the place, and told me he was there once with a score
of men. To let me know this, he put a score of stones all of a row, and
made me count them.

"Are not the boats lost on your shore now and then?" He said that there
was no fear, and that no boats were lost. He told me that up a great way
by the moon--that is where the moon then came up--there dwelt a tribe
of white men like me, with beards. I felt sure that they must have come
from Spain, to work the gold mines. I put this to him: "Could I go from
this isle and join those men?"

"Yes, yes, you may go in two boats."

It was hard to see how one man could go in two boats, but what he meant
was, a boat twice as large as my own.

One day I said to my slave, "Do you know who made you?"

But he could not tell at all what these words meant. So I said, "Do you
know who made the sea, the ground we tread on, the hills, and woods?" He
said it was Beek, whose home was a great way off, and that he was so old
that the sea and the land were not so old as he.

"If this old man has made all things, why do not all things bow down to

My slave gave a grave look, and said, "All things say 'O' to him."

"Where do the men in your land go when they die?"

"All go to Beek."

I then held my hand up to the sky to point to it, and said, "God dwells
there. He made the world, and all things in it. The moon and the stars
are the work of his hand. God sends the wind and the rain on the earth,
and the streams that flow: He hides the face of the sky with clouds,
makes the grass to grow for the beasts of the field, and herbs for the
use of man. God's love knows no end. When we pray, He draws near to us
and hears us."

It was a real joy to my poor slave to hear me talk of these things. He
sat still for a long time, then gave a sigh, and told me that he would
say "O" to Beek no more, for he was but a short way off, and yet could
not hear, till men went up the hill to speak to him.

"Did you go up the hill to speak to him?" said I.

"No, Okes go up to Beek, not young mans."

"What do Okes say to him?"

"They say 'O.'"

Now that I brought my man Friday to know that Beek was not the true God,
such was the sense he had of my worth, that I had fears lest I should
stand in the place of Beek. I did my best to call forth his faith in
Christ, and make it strong and clear, till at last--thanks be to the
Lord--I brought him to the love of Him, with the whole grasp of his

To please my poor slave, I gave him a sketch of my whole life; I told
him where I was born, and where I spent my days when a child. He was
glad to hear tales of the land of my birth, and of the trade which we
keep up, in ships, with all parts of the known world. I gave him a knife
and a belt, which made him dance with joy.

One day as we stood on the top of the hill at the east side of the isle,
I saw him fix his eyes on the main land, and stand for a long time to,
gaze at it; then jump and sing, and call out to me.

"What do you see?" said I.

"Oh joy!" said he, with a fierce glee in his eyes, "Oh glad! There see
my land!"

Why did he strain his eyes to stare at this land, as if he had a wish
to be there? It put fears in my mind which made me feel far, less at
my ease with him. Thought I, if he should go back to his home, he will
think no more of what I have taught him, and done for him. He will be
sure to tell the rest of his tribe all my ways, and come back with, it
may be, scores of them, and kill me, and then dance round me, as they
did round the men, the last time they came on my isle.

But these were all false fears, though they found a place in my mind a
long while; and I was not so kind to him now as I had been. From this
time I made it a rule, day by day, to find out if there were grounds for
my fears or not. I said, "Do you not wish to be once more in your own

"Yes! I be much O glad to be at my own land."

"What would you do there? Would you turn wild, and be as you were?"

"No, no, I would tell them to be good, tell them eat bread, corn, milk,
no eat man more!"

"Why, they would kill you!"

"No, no, they no kill; they love learn."

He then told me that some white men, who had come on their shores in a
boat, had taught them a great deal.

"Then will you go back to your land with me?"

He said he could not swim so far, so I told him he should help me to
build a boat to go in. Then he said, "If you go, I go."

"I go? why they would eat me!"

"No, me make them much love you."

Then he told me as well as he could, how kind they had been to some
white men. I brought out the large boat to hear what he thought of it,
but he said it was too small. We then went to look at the old ship's
boat, which, as it had been in the sun for years, was not at all in a
sound state. The poor man made sure that it would do. But how were we to
know this? I told him we should build a boat as large as that, and that
he should go home in it. He spoke not a word, but was grave and sad.

"What ails you?" said I.

"Why, you grieve mad with your man?"

"What do you mean? I am not cross with you."

"No cross? no cross with me? Why send your man home to his own land,

"Did you not tell me you would like to go back?"

"Yes, yes, we both there; no wish self there, if you not there!"

"And what should I do there?"

"You do great deal much good! you teach wild men be good men; you tell
them know God, pray God, and lead new life."

We soon set to work to make a boat that would take us both. The first
thing was to look out for some large trees that grew near the shore, so
that we could launch our boat when it was made. My slave's plan was to
burn the wood to make it the right shape; but as mine was to hew it,
I set him to work with my tools; and in two months' time we had made a
good strong boat; but it took a long while to get her down to the shore.

Friday had the whole charge of her; and, large as she was, he made her
move with ease, and said, "he thought she go there well, though great
blow wind!" He did not know that I meant to make a mast and sail. I cut
down a young fir tree for the mast, and then I set to work at the sail.
It made me laugh to see my man stand and stare, when he came to watch me
sail the boat. But he soon gave a jump, a laugh, and a clap of the hands
when he saw the sail jibe and fall, first on this side, then on that.

The next thing to do was to stow our boat up in the creek, where we dug
a small dock; and when the tide was low, we made a dam, to keep out the
sea. The time of year had now come for us to set sail, so we got out all
our stores, to put them in the boat.

One day I sent Friday to the shore, to get a sort of herb that grew
there. I soon heard him cry out to me, "O grief! O bad! O bad! O out
there boats, one, two, three!" "Keep a stout heart," said I, to cheer
him. The poor man shook with fear; for he thought that the men who
brought him here, had now come back to kill him.

"Can you fight?" said I.

"Me shoot; but me saw three boats; one, two, three!"

"Have no fear; those that we do not kill, will be sure to take fright at
the sound of our guns. Now will you stand by me, and do just as you are

"Me die when you bid die."

I gave him a good draught of rum; and when he had drunk this, he took up
an axe and two guns, each of which had a charge of swan shot. I took two
guns as well, and put large shot in them, and then hung my great sword
by my side. From the top of the bill, I saw with the help of my glass,
that the boats had each brought eight men, and one slave. They had come
on shore near the creek, where a grove of young trees grew close down to
the sea.

They had with them three slaves, bound hand and foot, and you who read
this, may guess what they were brought here for. I felt that I must try
and save them from so hard a fate, and that to do this, I should have
to put some of their foes to death. So we set forth on our way. I gave
Friday strict charge to keep close to me, and not to fire till I told
him to do so.

We went full a mile out of our way, that we might get round to the wood
to bide there. But we had not gone far, when my old qualms came back
to me, and I thought, "Is it for me to dip my hands in man's blood? Why
should I kill those who have done me no harm, and mean not to hurt me?
Nay, who do not so much as know that they are in the wrong, when they
hold these feasts. Are not their ways a sign that God has left them
(with the rest of their tribe) to their own dull hearts? God did not
call me to be a judge for Him. He who said, 'Thou shalt not kill,' said
it for me, as well as the rest of the world."

A throng of thoughts like these would rush on my mind, as if to warn me
to pause, till I felt sure that there was more to call me to the work
than I then knew of. I took my stand in the wood, to watch the men at
their feast, and then crept on, with Friday close at my heels. Thus we
went till we came to the skirts of the wood. Then I said to. Friday, "Go
up to the top of that tree, and bring me word if you can see the men."

He went, and quick as thought, came back to say that they were all round
the fire, and that the man who was bound on the sand would be the next
they would kill. But when he told me that it was a white man, one of my
own race, I felt the blood boil in my veins. Two of the gang had gone to
loose the white man from his bonds; so now was the time to fire.

At the sound of our guns, we saw all the men jump up from the ground
where they sat. It must have been the first gun the I had heard in their
lives. They knew not which way to look. I now threw down my piece, and
took up a small gun; Friday did the same; and I gave him the word to
fire! The men ran right and left, with yells and screams.

I now made a rush out of the wood, that they might see me, with my man
Friday at my heels, of course. We gave a loud shout, and ran up to the
white man as fast as we could. There he lay on the hot sand. I cut the
flag, or rush, by which he was bound, but he was too weak to stand or
speak, so I gave him some rum. He let me know by all the signs that he
could think of, how much he stood in my debt for all that I had done for

I said, "We will talk of that bye and bye; but now we must do what we
can to save our lives." Friday, who was free to go where he chose, flew
here and there, and put all the men to the rout. They fled in full haste
to their boats, and were soon out at sea; and so we got rid of our foes
at last.

The man whom we had found on the sand told us that his name was Carl,
and that he came from Spain. But there was one more man to claim our
care; for the black men had left a small boat on the sands, and in this
I saw a poor wretch who lay half dead. He could not so much as look up,
so tight was he bound, neck and heels. When I cut the bonds from him he
gave a deep groan, for he thought that all this was but to lead him out
to die.

Friday then came up, and I bade him speak to the old man in his own
tongue, and tell him that he was free. This good news gave him strength,
and he sat up in the boat. But when Friday came to hear him talk, and
to look him in the face, it brought the tears to my eyes to see him kiss
and hug the poor old man, and dance round him with joy, then weep, wring
his hands, and beat his own face and head, and then laugh once more,
sing, and leap. For a long time he could not speak to me, so as to, let
me know what all this meant. But at length he told me that he was the
son of this poor old man, and that his name was Jaf.

It would be a hard task for me to tell of all the quaint, signs Friday
made to show his joy. He went in and out of the boat five or six times,
sat down by old Jaf, and held the poor old man's head close to his
breast to warm it; then he set to work to rub his arms and feet, which
were cold and stiff from the bonds. I told Friday to give him some rum
and bread; but he said, "None! Bad dog eat all up self." He then ran off
straight to the house, and took no heed of my calls, but went as swift
as a deer.

In an hour's time, he came back with a jug in his hand. The good soul
had gone all the way to the house, that Jaf might have a fresh draught
from my well; and with it he brought two cakes, one of which I bade him
take to Carl, who lay in the shade of a tree. His limbs were stiff and
cold, and he was too weak to say a word.

I set my man to rub his feet with rum, and while he did so, I saw Friday
turn his head round from time to time, to steal a look at the old man.
Then we brought Carl and Jaf home from the boat on our backs, as they
could not walk. The door of my house was at the top, and the poor sick
men could not climb the steps by which I got in, so we made for them a
tent of old sails.

I was now a king of these three men, as well as Lord of the isle; and
I felt proud to say, "They all owe their lives to their king, and would
lay them down for him if he bade them do so." But I did not think that
my reign was so soon to come to an end. The next thing for us to do was
to give Carl and Jaf some food, and to kill and roast a kid, to which we
all four sat down, and I did my best to cheer them.

Carl in a few days grew quite strong, and I set him to work to dig some
land for seed; for it was clear we should want more corn now that we had
two more mouths to fill. So we put in the ground all the stock of grain
I had, and thus we all four had as much work as we could do for some
time. When the crop grew, and was ripe, we found we had a good store of

We made a plan that Carl and Jaf should go back to the main land, to
try if they could get some of the white men who had been cast on shore
there, to come and live with us; so they got out the boat, and took
with them two guns and food for eight days. They were to come back in a
week's time, and I bade them hang out a sign when they came in sight, so
that we might know who they were.

One day, Friday ran up to me in great glee, and said, "They are back!
They are back!" A mile from shore, there was a boat with a sail, which
stood in for the land; but I knew it could not be the one which our two
friends had gone out in, for it was on the wrong side of the isle for
that. I saw too, through my glass, a ship out at sea. There were twelve
men in the boat, three of whom were bound in chains, and four had fire

Bye and bye, I saw one of the men raise his sword to those who were
in chains, and I felt sure that all was not right. Then I saw that the
three men who had been bound were set free; and when they had come on
shore they lay on the ground, in the shade of a tree. I was soon at
their side, for their looks, so sad and worn, brought to my mind the
first few hours I had spent in this wild spot, where all to me was wrapt
in gloom.

I went up to these men, and said:

"Who are you, Sirs?"

They gave a start at my voice and at my strange dress, and made a move
as if they would fly from me. I said, "Do not fear me, for it may be
that you have a friend at hand, though you do not think it." "He must be
sent from the sky then," said one of them with a grave look; and he took
off his hat to me at the same time. "All help is from thence, Sir," I
said; "but what can I do to aid you? You look as if you had some load of
grief on your breast. I saw one of the men lift his sword as if to kill

The tears ran down the poor man's face, as he said,

"Is this a god, or is it but a man?" "Have no doubt on that score, Sir,"
said I, "for a god would not have come with a dress like this. No, do
not fear--nor raise your hopes too high; for you see but a man, yet one
who will do all he can to help you. Your speech shows me that you come
from the same land as I do. I will do all I can to serve you. Tell me
your case." "Our case, Sir, is too long to you while they who would kill
us are so near. My name is Paul. To be short, Sir, my crew have thrust
me out of my ship, which you see out there, and have left me here to
die. It was as much as I could do to make them sheath their swords,
which you saw were drawn to slay me. They have set me down in this isle
with these two men, my friend here, and the ship's mate."

"Where have they gone?" said I.

"There, in the wood, close by. I fear they may have seen and heard us.
If they have, they will be sure to kill us all."

"Have they fire-arms?"

"They have four guns, one of which is in the boat."

"Well then, leave all to me!"

"There are two of the men," said he, "who are worse than the rest. All
but these I feel sure would go back to work the ship."

I thought it was best to speak out to Paul at once, and I said, "Now if
I save your life, there are two things which you must do." But he read
my thoughts, and said, "If you save my life, you shall do as you like
with me and my ship, and take her where you please."

I saw that the two men, in whose charge the boat had been left, had come
on shore; so the first thing I did was to send Friday to fetch from it
the oars, the sail, and the gun. And now the ship might be said to be in
our hands. When the time came for the men to go back to the ship, they
were in a great rage; for, as the boat had now no sail nor oars, they
knew not how to get out to their ship.

We heard them say that it was a strange sort of isle, for that sprites
had come to the boat, to take off the sails and oars. We could see them
run to and fro, with great rage; then go and sit in the boat to rest,
and then come on shore once more. When they drew near to us, Paul and
Friday would fain have had me fall on them at once. But my wish was to
spare them, and kill as few as I could. I told two of my men to creep
on their hands and feet close to the ground, so that they might not be
seen, and when they got up to the men, not to fire till I gave the word.

They had not stood thus long, when three of the crew came up to us. Till
now, we had but heard their voice, but when they came so near as to be
seen, Paul and Friday stood up and shot at them. Two of the men fell
dead, and they were the worst of the crew, and the third ran off. At the
sound of the guns I came up, but it was so dark that the men could not
tell if there were three of us or three score.

It fell out just as I could wish, for I heard the men ask, "To whom must
we yield, and where are they?" Friday told them that Paul was there with
the king of the isle, who had brought with him a crowd of men! At this
one of the crew said, "If Paul will spare our lives, we will yield."
"Then," said Friday, "you shall know the king's will." Then Paul said to
them, "You know my voice; if you lay down your arms the king will spare
your lives!"

They fell on their knees to beg the same of me. I took good care that
they did not see me, but I gave them my word that they should all live,
that I should take four of them to work the ship, and that the rest
would be bound hand and foot, for the good faith of the four. This was
to show them what a stern king I was.

Of course I soon set them free, and I put them in a way to take my place
on the isle. I told them of all my ways, taught them how to mind the
goats, how to work the farm, and make the bread. I gave them a house to
live in, fire arms, tools, and my two tame cats, in fact, all but Poll
and my gold.

As I sat on the top of the hill, Paul came up to me. He held out his
hand to point to the ship, and with much warmth took me to his arms, and
said, "My dear friend, there is your ship! For she is all yours, and so
are we, and all that is in her."

I cast my eyes to the ship, which rode half a mile off the shore, at the
mouth of the creek, and near the place where I had brought my rafts to
the land. Yes, there she stood, the ship that was to set me free, and to
take me where I might choose to go. She set her sails to the wind, and
her flags threw out their gay stripes in the breeze. Such a sight was
too much for me, and I fell down faint with joy. Paul then took out a
flask which he had brought for me, and gave me a dram, which I drank,
but for a good while I could not speak to him.

Friday and Paul then went on board the ship, and Paul took charge of her
once more. We did not start that night, but at noon the next day I left
the isle!

That lone isle, where I had spent so great a part of my life--not much
less than thrice ten long years.

When I came back to the dear land of my birth, all was strange and new
to me. I went to my old home at York, but none of my friends were there,
and to my great grief I saw, on the stone at their grave, the sad tale
of their death.

As they had thought, of course, that I was dead, they had not left me
their wealth and lands, so that I stood much in want of means, for it
was but a small sum that I had brought with me from the isle. But in
this time of need, I had the luck to find my good friend who once took
me up at sea. He was now grown too old for work, and had put his son
in the ship in his place. He did not know me at first, but I was soon
brought to his mind when I told him who I was. I found from him that the
land which I had bought on my way to the isle was now worth much.

As it was a long way off, I felt no wish to go and live there so I made
up my mind to sell it, and in the course of a few months, I got for it a
sum so large as to make me a rich man all at once.

Weeks, months, and years went by; I had a farm, a wife, and two sons,
and was by no means young; but still I could not get rid of a strong
wish which dwelt in my thoughts by day and my dreams by night, and that
was to set foot once more in my old isle.

I had now no need to work for food, or for means of life; all I had to
do was to teach my boys to be wise and good, to live at my ease, and
see my wealth grow day by day. Yet the wish to go back to my wild haunts
clung round me like a cloud, and I could in no way drive it from me,
so true is it that "what is bred in the bone will not come out of the

At length I lost my wife, which was a great blow to me, and my home was
now so sad, that I made up my mind to launch out once more on the broad
sea, and go with my man Friday to that lone isle where dwelt all my

I took with me as large a store of tools, clothes, and such like goods
as I had room for, and men of skill in all kinds of trades, to live in
the isle. When we set sail, we had a fair wind for some time, but one
night the mate, who was at the watch, told me he saw a flash of fire,
and heard a gun go off. At this we all ran on deck, from whence we saw a
great light, and as there was no land that way, we knew that it must be
some ship on fire at sea, which could not be far off, for we heard the
sound of the gun.

The wind was still fair, so we made our way for the point where we saw
the light, and in half an hour, it was but too plain that a large ship
was on fire in the midst of the broad sea. I gave the word to fire off
five guns, and we then lay by, to wait till break of day. But in the
dead of the night, the ship blew up in the air, the flames shot forth,
and what there was left of the ship sank. We hung out lights, and our
guns kept up a fire all night long, to let the crew know that there was
help at hand.

At eight o'clock the next day we found, by the aid of the glass, that
two of the ship's boats were out at sea, quite full of men. They had
seen us, and had done their best to make us see them, and in half an
hour we came up with them.

It would be a hard task for me to set forth in words the scene which
took place in my ship, when the poor French folk (for such they were)
came on board. As to grief and fear, these are soon told--sighs, tears,
and groans make up the sum of them--but such a cause of joy as this was,
in sooth, too much for them to bear, weak and all but dead as they were.

Some would send up shouts of joy that rent the sky; some would cry and
wring their hands as if in the depths of grief; some would dance, laugh,
and sing; not a few were dumb, sick, faint, in a swoon, or half mad; and
two or three were seen to give thanks to God.

In this strange group, there was a young French priest who did his best
to soothe those round him, and I saw him go up to some of the crew,
and say to them, "Why do you scream, and tear your hair, and wring your
hands, my men? Let your joy be free and full, give it full range and
scope, but leave off this trick of the hands, and lift them up in
praise; let your voice swell out, not in screams, but in hymns of thanks
to God, who has brought you out of so great a strait, for this will add
peace to your joy."

The next day, they were all in a right frame of mind, so I gave them
what stores I could spare, and put them on board a ship that we met with
on her way to France, all save five who, with the priest, had a wish to
join me.

But we had not set sail long, when we fell in with a ship that had been
blown out to sea by a storm, and had lost her masts; and, worse than
all, her crew had not had an ounce of meat or bread for ten days. I
gave them all some food, which they ate like wolves in the snow, but I
thought it best to check them, as I had fears that so much all at once
would cause the death of some of them.

There were a youth and a young girl in the ship who the mate said he
thought must be dead, but he had not had the heart to go near them, for
the food was all gone. I found that they were faint for the want of it,
and as it were in the jaws of death; but in a short time they both got
well, and as they had no wish to go back to their ship, I took them with
me. So now I had eight more on board my ship, than I had when I first
set out.

In three months from the time when I left home, I came in sight of my
isle, and I brought the ship safe up, by the side of the creek, which
was near my old house.

I went up to Friday, to ask if he knew where he was. He took a look
round him, and soon, with a clap of the hands, said "O yes! O there! O
yes! O there!" Bye and bye, he set up a dance with such wild glee, that
it was as much as I could do to keep him on deck. "Well, what think you,
Friday?" said I; "shall we find those whom we left still here?--Shall we
see poor old Jaf?" He stood quite mute for a while, but when I spoke
of old Jaf (whose son Friday was), the tears ran down his face, and the
poor soul was as sad as could be. "No, no," said he, "no more, no, no

As we caught sight of some men at the top of the hill, I gave word to
fire three guns, to show that we were friends, and soon we saw smoke
rise from the side of the creek. I then went on shore in a boat, with
the priest and Friday, and hung out a white flag of peace. The first man
I cast my eyes on at the creek, was my old friend Carl, who, when I was
last on the isle, had been brought here in bonds.

I gave strict charge to the men in the boat not to go on shore, but
Friday could not be kept back, for with his quick eye he had caught
sight of old Jaf. It brought the tears to our eyes to see his joy when
he met the old man. He gave him a kiss, took him up in his arms, set
him down in the shade, then stood a short way off to look at him, as one
would look at a work of art, then felt him with his hand, and all this
time he was in full talk, and told him, one by one, all the strange
tales of what he had seen since they had last met.

As to my friend Carl, he came up to me, and with much warmth shook my
hands, and then took me to my old house, which he now gave up to me. I
could no more have found the place, than if I had not been there at all.
The rows of trees stood so thick and close, that the house could not be
got at, save by such blind ways as none but those who made them could
find out. "Why have you built all these forts?" said I. Carl told me
that he felt sure I should say there was much need of them, when I heard
how they had spent their time since they had come to the isle.

He brought twelve men to the spot where I stood, and said, "Sir, all
these men owe their lives to you." Then, one by one, they came up to me,
not as if they had been the mere crew of a ship, but like men of rank
who had come to kiss the hand of their king.

The first thing was to bear all that had been done in the isle since I
had left it. But I must first state that, when we were on the point to
set sail from the isle, a feud sprang up on board our ship, which we
could not put down, till we had laid two of the men in chains. The next
day, these two men stole each of them a gun and some small arms, and
took the ship's boat, and ran off with it to join the three bad men on

As soon as I found this out, I sent the long-boat on shore, with twelve
men and the mate, and off they went to seek the two who had left the
ship. But their search was in vain, nor could they find one of the rest,
for they had all fled to the woods when they saw the boat. We had now
lost five of the crew, but the three first were so much worse than the
last two, that in a few days they sent them out of doors, and would have
no more to do with them, nor would they for a long while give them food
to eat.

So the two poor men had to live as well as they could by hard work, and
they set up their tents on the north shore of the isle, to be out of the
way of the wild men, who were wont to land on the east side. Here they
built them two huts, one to lodge in, and one to lay up their stores
in; and the men from Spain gave them some corn for seed, as well as some
peas which I had left them. They soon learned to dig, and plant, and
hedge in their land, in the mode which I had set for them, and in short,
to lead good lives, so that I shall now call them the "two good men."

But when the three bad men saw, this, they were full of spite, and came
one day to tease and vex them. They told them that the isle was their
own, and that no one else had a right to build on it, if they did not
pay rent. The two good men thought at first that they were in jest, and
told them to come and sit down, and see what fine homes they had built,
and say what rent they would ask.

But one of the three said they should soon see that they were not in
jest, and took a torch in his hand, and put it to the roof of the but,
and would have set it on fire, had not one of the two good men trod the
fire out with his feet. The bad man was in such a rage at this, that he
ran at him with a pole he had in his hand, and this brought on a fight,
the end of which was that the three men had to stand off. But in a short
time they came back, and trod down the corn, and shot the goats and
young kids, which the poor men had got to bring up tame for their store.

One day when the two men were out, they came to their home, and said,
"Ha! there's the nest, but the birds are flown." They then set to work
to pull down both the huts, and left not a stick, nor scarce a sign on
the ground to show where the tents had stood. They tore up, too, all the
goods and stock that they could find, and when they had done this, they
told it all to the men of Spain, and said, "You, sirs, shall have the
same sauce, if you do not mend your ways."

They then fell to blows and hard words, but Carl had them bound in
cords, and took their arms from them. The men of Spain then said they
would do them no harm, and if they would live at peace they would help
them, and that they should live with them as they had done till that
time, but they could not give them back their arms for three or four

One night Carl--whom I shall call "the chief," as he took the lead of
all the rest--felt a great weight on his mind, and could get no sleep,
though he was quite well in health. He lay still for some time, but as
he, did not feel at case, he got up, and took a look out. But as it was
too dark to see far, and he heard no noise, he went back to his bed.
Still it was all one, he could not sleep; and though he knew not why,
his thoughts would give him no rest.

He then woke up one of his friends, and told him how it had been with
him. "Say you so?" said he "What if there should be some bad plot at
work near us!" They then set off to the top of the hill, where I was
wont to go, and from thence they saw the light of a fire, quite a short
way from them, and heard the sounds of men, not of one or two, but of a
great crowd. We need not doubt that the chief and the man with him now
ran back at once, to tell all the rest what they had seen; and when they
heard the news, they could not be kept close where they were, but must
all run out to see how things stood.

At last they thought that the best thing to do would be, while it was
dark, to send old Jaf out as a spy, to learn who they were, and what
they meant to do. When the old man had been gone an hour or two, he
brought word back that he had been in the midst of the foes, though they
had not seen him, and that they were in two sets or tribes who were at
war, and had come there to fight. And so it was, for in a short time
they heard the noise of the fight, which went on for two hours, and at
the end, with three loud shouts or screams, they left the isle in their
boats. Thus my friends were set free from all their fears, and saw no
more of their wild foes for some time.

One day a whim took the three bad men that they would go to the main
land, from whence the wild men came, and try if they could not seize
some of them, and bring them home as slaves, so as to make them do the
hard part of their work for them. The chief gave them all the arms and
stores that they could want, and a large boat to go in, but when they
bade them "God speed," no one thought that they would find their way
back to the isle. But lo! in three weeks and a day, they did in truth
come back. One of the two good men was the first to catch sight of them,
and tell the news to his friends.

The men said that they had found the land in two days, and that the wild
men gave them roots and fish to eat, and were so kind as to bring down
eight slaves to take back with them, three of whom were men and five
were girls. So they gave their good hosts an axe, an old key, and a
knife, and brought off the slaves in their boat to the isle. As the
chief and his friends did not care to wed the young girls, the five men
who had been the crew of Paul's ship drew lots for choice, so that each
had a wife, and the three men slaves were set to work for the two good
men, though there was not much for them to do.

But one of them ran off to the woods, and they could not hear of him
more. They had good cause to think that he found his way home, as in
three or four weeks some wild men came to the isle, and when they
had had their feast and dance, they went off in two days' time. So my
friends might well fear that if this slave got safe home, he would be
sure to tell the wild men that they were in the isle, and in what part
of it they might be found. And so it came to pass, for in less than two
months, six boats of wild men, with eight or ten men in each boat, came
to the north side of the isle, where they had not been known to come up
to that time.

The foe had brought their boats to land, not more than a mile from the
tent of the two good men, and it was there that the slave who had run
off had been kept. These men had the good luck to see the boats when
they were a long way off, so that it took them quite an hour from that
time to reach the shore.

My friends now had to think how that hour was to be spent. The first
thing they did was to bind the two slaves that were left, and to take
their wives, and as much of their stores as they could, to some dark
place in the woods. They then sent a third slave to the chief and his
men, to tell them the news, and to ask for help.

They had not gone far in the woods, when they saw, to their great grief
and rage, that their huts were in flames, and that the wild men ran to
and fro, like beasts in search of prey. But still our men went on, and
did not halt, till they came to a thick part of the wood, where the
large trunk of an old tree stood, and in this tree they both took their
post. But they had not been there long, when two of the wild men ran
that way, and they saw three more, and then five more, who all ran the
same way, as if they knew where they were.

Our two poor men made up their minds to let the first two pass, and then
take the three and the five in line, as they came up, but to fire at one
at a time, as the first shot might chance to hit all three.

So the man who was to fire put three or four balls in his gun, and from
a hole in the tree, took a sure aim, and stood still till the three wild
men came so near that he could not miss them. They soon saw that one of
these three was the slave that had fled from them, as they both knew him
well, and they made up their minds that they would kill him, though they
should both fire.

At the first shot two of the wild men fell dead, and the third had a
graze on his arm, and though not much hurt, sat down on the ground with
loud screams and yells. When the five men who came next, heard the sound
of the gun and the slave's cries, they stood still at first, as if they
were struck dumb with fright. So our two men both shot off their guns in
the midst of them, and then ran up and bound them safe with cords.

They then went to the thick part of the wood, where they had put their
wives and slaves, to see if all were safe there, and to their joy they
found that though the wild men had been quite near them, they had not
found them out. While they were here, the chief and his men came up, and
told them that the rest had gone to take care of my old house and grove,
in case the troop of wild men should spread so far that way.

They then went back to the burnt huts, and when they came in sight of
the shore, they found that their foes had all gone out to sea. So they
set to work to build up their huts, and as all the men in the isle lent
them their aid, they were soon in a way to thrive once more. For five or
six months they saw no more of the wild men. But one day a large fleet
of more than a score of boats came in sight, full of men who had bows,
darts, clubs, swords, and such like arms of war, and our friends were
all in great fear.

As they came at dusk, and at the East side of the isle, our men had the
whole night to think of what they should do. And as they knew that the
most safe way was to hide and lie in wait, they first of all took down
the huts which were built for the two good men, and drove their goats to
the cave, for they thought the wild men would go straight there as soon
as it was day, and play the old game.

The next day they took up their post with all their force at the wood,
near the home of the two men, to wait for the foe. They gave no guns to
the slaves, but each of them had a long staff with a spike at the end of
it, and by his side an axe. There were two of the wives who could not be
kept back, but would go out and fight with bows and darts.

The wild men came on with a bold and fierce mien, not in a line, but
all in crowds here and there, to the point were our men lay in wait for
them. When they were so near as to be in range of the guns, our men shot
at them right and left with five or six balls in each charge. As the foe
came up in close crowds, they fell dead on all sides, and most of those
that they did not kill were much hurt, so that great fear and dread came
on them all.

Our men then fell on them from three points with the butt end of their
guns, swords, and staves, and did their work so well that the wild men
set up a loud shriek, and flew for their lives to the woods and hills,
with all the speed that fear and swift feet could help them to do. As
our men did not care to chase them, they got to the shore where they had
come to land and where the boats lay.

But their rout was not yet at an end, for it blew a great storm that day
from the sea, so that they could not put off. And as the storm went on
all that night, when the tide came up, the surge of the sea drove most
of their boats so high on the shore, that they could not be got off save
with great toil, and the force of the waves on the beach broke some of
them to bits.

At break of day, our men went forth to find them, and when they saw the
state of things, they got some dry wood from a dead tree, and set their
boats on fire. When the foe saw this, they ran all through the isle with
loud cries, as if they were mad, so that our men did not know at first
what to do with them, for they trod all the corn down with their feet,
and tore up the vines just as the grapes were ripe, and did a great deal
of harm.

At last they brought old Jaf to them, to tell them how kind they would
be to them, that they would save their lives, and give them part of the
isle to live in, if they would keep in their own bounds, and that they
should have corn to plant, and should make it grow for their bread. They
were but too glad to have such good terms of peace, and they soon learnt
to make all kinds of work with canes, wood, and sticks, such as chairs,
stools, and beds, and this they did with great skill when they were once

From this time till I came back to the isle my friends saw no more wild
men. I now told the chief that I had not come to take off his men, but
to bring more, and to give them all such things as they would want to
guard their homes from foes, and cheer up their hearts.

The next day I made a grand feast for them all, and the ship's cook and
mate came on shore to dress it. We brought out our rounds of salt beef
and pork, a bowl of punch, some beer, and French wines; and Carl gave
the cooks five whole kids to roast, three of which were sent to the crew
on board ship, that they, on their part, might feast on fresh meat from

I gave each of the men a shirt, a coat, a hat, and a pair of shoes, and
I need not say how glad they were to meet with gifts so new to them.
Then I brought out the tools, of which each man had a spade, a rake, an
axe, a crow, a saw, a knife and such like things as well as arms, and
all that they could want for the use of them.

As I saw there was a kind will on all sides, I now took on shore the
youth and the maid whom we had brought from the ship that we met on her
way to France. The girl had been well brought up, and all the crew had
a good word for her. As they both had a wish to be left on the isle,
I gave them each a plot of ground, on which they had tents and barns

I had brought out with me five men to live here, one of whom could turn
his hand to all sorts of things, so I gave him the name of "Jack of all

One day the French priest came to ask if I would leave my man Friday
here, for through him, he said, he could talk to the black men in their
own tongue, and teach them the things of God. "Need I add," said he,
"that it was for this cause that I came here?" I felt that I could not
part with my man Friday for the whole world, so I told the priest that
if I could have made up my mind to leave him here, I was quite sure that
Friday would not part from me.

When I had seen that all things were in a good state on the isle, I set
to work to put my ship to rights, to go home once more. One day, as I
was on my way to it, the youth whom I had brought from the ship that
was burnt, came up to me, and said, "Sir, you have brought a priest with
you, and while you are here, we want him to wed two of us."

I made a guess that one of these must be the maid that I had brought
to the isle, and that it was the wish of the young man to make her his
wife. I spoke to him with some warmth in my tone, and bade him turn it
well in his mind first, as the girl was not in the same rank of life as
he had been brought up in. But he said, with a smile, that I had made a
wrong guess, for it was "Jack of all Trades" that he had come to plead
for. It gave me great joy to hear this, as the maid was as good a girl
as could be, and I thought well of Jack; so on that day I gave her to
him. They were to have a large piece of ground to grow their crops on,
with a house to live in, and sheds for their goats.

The isle was now set out in this way: all the west end was left waste,
so that if the wild men should land on it, they might come and go, and
hurt no one. My old house I gave to the chief, with all its woods, which
now spread out as far as the creek, and the south end was for the white
men and their wives.

It struck me that there was one gift which I had not thought of, and
that was the book of God's Word, which I knew would give to those who
could feel the words in it, fresh strength for their work, and grace to
bear the ills of life.

Now that I had been in the isle quite a month, I once more set sail on
the fifth day of May; and all my friends told me that they should stay
there till I came to fetch them.

When we had been out three days, though the sea was smooth and calm, we
saw that it was quite black on the land side; and as we knew not what to
make of it, I sent the chief mate up the main mast to find out with his
glass what it could be. He said it was a fleet of scores and scores of
small boats, full of wild men who came fast at us with fierce looks.

As soon as we got near them, I gave word to furl all sails and stop the
ship, and as there was nought to fear from them but fire, to get the
boats out and man them both well, and so wait for them to come up.

In this way we lay by for them, and in a short time they came up with
us; but as I thought they would try to row round and so close us in, I
told the men in the boats not to let them come too near. This, though we
did not mean it, brought us to a fight with them, and they shot a cloud
of darts at our boats. We did not fire at them, yet in half an hour they
went back out to sea, and then came straight to us, till we were so near
that they could hear us speak.

I bade my men keep close, so as to be safe from their darts if they
should shoot, and get out the guns. I then sent Friday on deck, to call
out to them in their own tongue and ask what they meant. It may be that
they did not know what he said, but as soon as he spoke to them I heard
him cry out that they would shoot. This was too true, for they let fly
a thick cloud of darts, and to my great grief poor Friday fell dead, for
there was no one else in their sight. He was shot with three darts, and
three more fell quite near him, so good was their aim.

I was so mad with rage at the loss of my dear Friday, that I bade the
men load five guns with small shot, and four with large, and we gave
them such a fierce fire that in all their lives they could not have seen
one like it. Then a rare scene met our eyes: dread and fear came on them
all, for their boats, which were small, were split and sunk--three or
four by one shot. The men who were not dead had to swim, and those who
had wounds were left to sink, for all the rest got off as fast as they
could. Our boat took up one poor man who had to swim for his life, when
the rest had fled for the space of half an hour. In three hours' time,
we could not see more than three or four of their boats, and as a breeze
sprang up we set sail.

At first the man whom we took on board would not eat or speak, and we
all had fears lest he should pine to death. But when we had taught him
to say a few words, he told us that his friends--the wild men-had come
out with their kin to have a great fight, and that all they meant was
to make us look at the grand sight. So it was for this that poor Friday
fell! He who had been as good and true to me as man could be! And now in
deep grief I must take my leave of him.

We went on with a fair wind to All Saints' Bay, and here I found a sloop
that I had brought with me from home, that I might send men and stores
for the use of my friends in the isle. I taught the mate how to find the
place, and when he came back, I found that he had done so with ease.

One of our crew had a great wish to go with the sloop, and live on the
isle, if the chief would give him land to plant. So I told him he should
go by all means, and gave him the wild man for his slave. I found, too,
that a man who had come with his wife and child and three slaves, to
hide from the king of Spain, would like to go, if he could have some
land there, though he had but a small stock to take with him; so I put
them all on board the sloop, and saw them safe out of the bay, on their
way to the isle. With them I sent three milch cows, five calves, a horse
and a colt, all of which, as I heard, went safe and sound.

I have now no more to say of my isle, as I had left it for the last
time, but my life in lands no less far from home was not yet at an end.
From the Bay of All Saints we went straight to the Cape of Good Hope.
Here I made up my mind to part from the ship in which I had come from
the Isle, and with two of the crew to stay on land, and leave the rest
to go on their way. I soon made friends with some men from France, as
well as from my own land, and two Jews, who had come out to the Cape to

As I found that some goods which I had brought with me from home were
worth a great deal, I made a large sum by the sale of them. When we had
been at the Cape of Good Hope for nine months, we thought that the best
thing we could do would be to hire a ship, and sail to the Spice Isles,
to buy cloves, so we got a ship, and men to work her, and set out. When
we had bought and sold our goods in the course of trade, we came back,
and then set out once more; so that, in short, as we went from port to
port, to and fro, I spent, from first to last, six years in this part of
the world.

At length we thought we would go and seek new scenes where we could get
fresh gains. And a strange set of men we at last fell in with, as you
who read this tale will say when you look at the print in front of this

When we had put on shore, we made friends with a man who got us a large
house, built with canes, and a small kind of hut of the same near it.
It had a high fence of canes round it to keep out thieves, of whom, it
seems, there are not a few in that land. The name of the town was Ching,
and we found that the fair or mart which was kept there would not be
held for three or four months. So we sent our ship back to the Cape, as
we meant to stay in this part of the world for some time, and go from
place to place to see what sort of a land it was, and then come back to
the fair at Ching.

We first went to a town which it was well worth our while to see, and
which must have been, as near as I can guess, quite in the heart of this
land. It was built with straight streets which ran in cross lines.

But I must own, when I came home to the place of my birth, I was much
struck to hear my friends say such fine things of the wealth and trade
of these parts of the world, for I saw and knew that the men were a mere
herd or crowd of mean slaves. What is their trade to ours, or to that of
France and Spain? What are their ports, with a few junks and barks, to
our grand fleets? One of our large ships of war would sink all their
ships, one line of French troops would beat all their horse, and the
same may be said of their ports, which would not stand for one month
such a siege as we could bring to bear on them.

In three weeks more we came to their chief town. When we had laid in a
large stock of tea, shawls, fans, raw silks, and such like goods, we set
out for the north. As we knew we should run all kinds of risks on our
way, we took with us a strong force to act as a guard, and to keep us
from the wild hordes who rove from place to place all through the land.
Some of our men were Scots, who had come out to trade here, and had
great wealth, and I was glad to join them, as it was by no means the
first time that they had been here.

We took five guides with us, and we all put our coin in one purse, to
buy food on the way, and to pay the men who took charge of us. One of us
we chose out for our chief, to take the lead in case we should have to
fight for our lives; and when the time came, we had no small need of
him. On the sides of all the roads, we saw men who made pots, cups,
pans, and such like ware, out of a kind of earth, which is, in fact, the
chief trade in this part of the world.

One thing, the guide said he would show me, that was not to be seen in
all the world else (and this, in good sooth, I could not sneer at, as
I had done at most of the things I had seen here), and this was a house
that was built of a kind of ware, such as most plates and cups are made
of. "How big is it?" said I, "can we take it on the back of a horse?"
"On a horse!" said the guide, "why, two score of men live in it." He
then took us to it, and I found that it was in truth a large house,
built with lath and the best ware that can be made out of earth. The
sun shone hot on the walls, which were quite white, hard, and smooth as
glass, with forms on them in blue paint. On the walls of the rooms were
small square tiles of the best ware, with red, blue, and green paint of
all shades and hues, in rare forms, done in good taste; and as they use
the same kind of earth to join the tiles with, you could not see where
the tiles met. The floors of the rooms were made of the same ware, and
as strong as those we have at home; and the same may be said of the
roofs, but they were of a dark shade. If we had had more time to spare,
I should have been glad to have seen more of this house, for there were
the ponds for the fish, the walks, the yards, and courts, which were
all made in the same way. This odd sight kept me from my friends for two
hours, and when I had come up to them, I had to pay a fine to our chief,
as they had to wait so long.

In two days more we came to the Great Wall, which was made as a fort
to keep the whole land safe,--and a great work it is. It goes in a long
track for miles and miles, where the rocks are so high and steep that
no foe could climb them; or, if they did, no wall could stop them. The
Great Wall is as thick as it is high, and it turns and winds in all
sorts of ways.

We now saw, for the first time, some troops of the hordes I spoke of,
who rove from place to place, to rob and kill all whom they meet with.
They know no real mode of war, or skill in fight. Each has a poor lean
horse, which is not fit to do good work. Our chief gave some of us leave
to go out and hunt as they call it, and what was it but to hunt sheep!
These sheep are wild and swift of foot, but they will not run far, and
you are sure of sport when you start in the chase. They go in flocks of
a score, or two, and like true sheep, keep close when they fly. In this
sort of chase it was our hap to meet with some two score of the wild
hordes, but what sort of prey they had come to hunt I know not. As soon
as they saw us, one of them blew some loud notes on a kind of horn, with
a sound that was quite new to me. We all thought this was to call their
friends round them, and so it was, for in a short time a fresh troop of
the same size came to join them; and they were all, as far as we could
judge, a mile off. One of the Scots was with us, and as soon as he heard
the horn, he told us that we must lose no time, but draw up in line, and
charge them at once. We told him we would, if he would take the lead.

They stood still, and cast a wild gaze at us, like a mere crowd, drawn
up in no line; but as soon as they saw us come at them, they let fly
their darts, which did not hit us, for though their aim was true, they
fell short of us. We now came to a halt to fire at them, and then went
at full speed to fall on them sword in hand, for so the bold Scot that
led us, told us to do.

As soon as we came up to them, they fled right and left. The sole stand
made was by three of them, who had a kind of short sword in their hands,
and bows on their backs, and who did all they could to call all the rest
back to them. The brave Scot rode close up to them, and with his gun
threw one off his horse, shot the next, and the third ran off, and this
was the end of our fight. All the bad luck we met with, was that the
sheep that we had in chase got off. We had not a man hurt, but as for
the foe, five of them were dead, and not a few had wounds, while the
rest fled at the mere noise of our guns.

Thus we went on our way from town to town, and now and then met some
of these wild hordes, whom we had to fight and I need not add that each
time we had the best of the fray. At last we made our way to the chief
town of the North Seas at the end of a year, five months and three days,
from the time when we left Ching. When I had been there six weeks, and
had bought some more goods; I took ship and set sail for the land of my
birth, which I had left, this time, for ten years, nine months and three

And now I must bring this tale of my life to a close, while at the age
of three score years and twelve, I feel that the day is at hand, when
I shall go forth on that sea of peace and love, which has no waves or
shores but those of bliss that knows no end.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Robinson Crusoe — in Words of One Syllable" ***

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