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- --- 1
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
IN WORDS OF
AUTHOR OF "ROBINSON CRUSOE IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE," "EVENINGS
AT HOME IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE."
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
416 BROOME STREET.
PHILADELPHIA: J. B. LIPPINCOTT & Co.
BY THE SAME AUTHOR,
Uniform with this Edition of The Swiss Family
ROBINSON CRUSOE IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE,
With Coloured Illustrations, price $1.50 cloth extra.
EVENINGS AT HOME IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE,
With Coloured Illustrations, price.$1.50 cloth extra.
THE kind reception given to the
author's system of writing in words of
one syllable has encouraged her to add
to her works the popular story of
"The Swiss Family Robinson" as a
twin book to Robinson Crusoe."
The monosyllabic rule has been strictly
adhered to throughout, the only excep-
tion occurring necessarily in the title of
the book itself. The author's object
has been to provide what the reviewer
of her former works in the Atzenezium
has called "a field of exercise for a
child who has just learnt to conquer
words." "There is sure to be some
success," he continues; "and it is a
great point in all teaching to let the
first independent exercise be one in
which victory is really to be won by
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,
FOR six days a fierce wind set in, which
tore our sails to shreds; the white foam
of the waves swept our decks, and the
storm drove our ship so far out of its
course, that there was no one on board
who could tell where we were. All
were worn out with toil and care, and the
oaths of the men were heard no more,
but they fell on their knees to pray.
My wife and boys clung round me
in great dread; but I said to them,
" God can save us if He will. He
knows each rock that lies hid, and
sees each storm as it comes; yet if He
2 The Swiss Family Robinson.
should think it good to call us to
Him, let us not grieve at it: we shall
not part." At these words I saw my
wife dry her tears, and from that time
she was more calm.
All at once we heard the cry of
"Land! Land !" The ship had struck
on a rock, and the force of the shock
with which she went threw us off our
Then came a loud crack as if the
ship had split in two, when we heard
the chief mate call out, Launch the
boats!" These words went like a
sword through my heart, and the
cries of my boys grew more and more
Fear not, my dear ones," said I;
"the ship still lifts us out of the sea,
and the land is near. Stay here, and
I will try to save you."
The Swiss Family Robinson. 3
I went on deck, but was soon thrown
down by the wild surge of the sea.
Once more there came a wave of such
huge bulk that I strove with it in
vain, and fell flat on the deck.
The ship was all but in two. The
whole of the crew had got in the boat,
and I could see the last man cut the
rope. I gave a loud call for them to wait
till we could join them; but ftom the
roar of the waves my voice was not
heard, and all hope from the boat was
The stern, which held those most
dear to me on earth, stood like a wedge,
with a rock on each side of it. I could
see in the south a trace of land, which
though wild and bare, was now the
aim of all my hopes; for there was no
more aid to be had from man.
I left the deck to go down to my
4 The Swiss Family Robinson.
wife and boys. I then put on a calm
look, and said, Be of good cheer. If
the wind should go down we may yet
reach the land."
This made my dear boys dry their
tears, for at all times they put their
trust in what I told them. But my
wife, who knew best how to read my
thoughts, saw how full of care they
were; and by a sign I made known
to her that I had not much hope that
the wind would go down.
"Let us take some food," said she;
"it will give us strength."
Night came on, and it grew dark;
we heard the wild waves boil with rage,
and they tore down the planks with
a loud crash. How could the boats
live through such a storm as this ?"
The boys went to bed and slept, all
The Swiss Family Robinson. 5
but Fritz, whom I took with me on
deck to watch. He and I could swim;
but as the rest could not, we set our
thoughts to work out some plan by
which we could get them to land,
should the ship break up.
There were casks on board, and we
thought we might bind two of them fast
with ropes, and leave a space in which
to place one of the boys, who might put
an arm in each cask, and so float to
shore; the same for the rest of them,
and one for my wife. We put by
some knives, string, and such like
things, which we thought might be
of use in case we should reach the
At length Fritz, worn out with hard
work, fell to sleep. My wife and I
had too much on our minds for rest.
We brought the load of our grief, our
6 The Swiss Family Robinson.
doubts, and fears, to the throne of God,
and left them there; for we did our
best not to give way to them, lest they
should chill our sense of God's love,
and dry up the spring of our faith in
Oh, how the time did seem to lag
with us through that long dark night!
But, like all things else, it came to an
end at last. Words are too weak to
tell of the joy with which I saw from
the deck the first faint streak of dawn
shoot up the sky.
The wind was now more calm, the
sea less rough, and this brought a ray
of hope to my heart. I went to fetch
my wife and boys on deck; and the
young ones were struck with awe to
find no one there. The crew, where
are they?" said they. "Who works
the ship ?"
The Swiss Family Robinson. 7
"My boys," said I, "One more
strong than man has brought us through
it till now, and if He think fit He
will stretch out His arm to save us.
Let all hands set to work, and think
the while on this, God helps us
when we help those round us. Now
we must think of what it will be best
for us to do."
Fritz.-" Let us leap in the sea and
swim to shore."
Ned.-" That may do well for you
who can swim ; but all the rest of us
would sink. Can we not make a raft
on which we could all go ?"
"That might do," said I, "if we
had strength for the work, and if a
raft were a more safe thing to go to
land on. But set off, boys, all of you,
and seek for what there is on board
that may be of use to us."
8 The Swiss Family Robinson.
As for me, I made my way to
where the food was kept, and my wife
went to the live stock and fed them,
for they were much in want of food.
Fritz sought for arms, and Ned for
tools. Jack, by chance, went were the
Chief Mate's two great dogs were
kept, who leapt on him in play, and
were so rough that he gave a cry, as
he thought they meant to tear him;
but want of food had made them too
weak to be fierce, and in a short time
he got up from where he fell, and rode
on the back of one of the dogs, and
with a grave look came up to me as
I left the hold whence I had been
drawn by his cries. I could not keep
a smile from my face when I told him
of the great risk he had run, and that
he ought to be on his guard with dogs
that had been kept from food so long.
The Swiss Family Robinson. 9
Now my boys all came round me
with their stores. Fritz had found six
guns, some bags of shot, and some
horn flasks, and these held all that we
could want for the use of our arms.
Ned brought an axe, a spade, knives,
nails, and the like; but young Frank
brought a large box, which it was as
much as he could do to hold, and when
the rest of the lads saw what was in
it, they gave a loud laugh. You may
laugh if you will," said I, but Frank
has brought the best prize of all, for
these fish hooks, of which I see the
box is full, may save our lives ; still
Fritz and Ned have done well too."
For my part," said my wife, I do
but bring good news. I have found
a cow, an ass, two goats, six sheep, and
a sow. I have fed them, and I hope
they will do well."
10 The Swiss Family Robinson.
I told my boys that I thought they
had all done great things, save Jack.
" But," said I, "he has brought me
two great mouths to fill, which will do
more harm than good."
Jack.-" The dogs can help us to
hunt when we get to land."
"Ah !" said I, "but can you tell
us how to reach the land ?"
Yes," said my brave Frank, "put
us each in a great tub and let us float
to shore. I went on Aunt's pond in
A good thought !" said I ; "we may
take a hint from a child. Be quick,
boys, give me the saw, with some
nails, and we will see what we can
I found some casks in the ship's
hold, which we brought on deck; they
were made of strong wood, and were
The Swiss Family Robinson. 11
bound with hoops; in fact, were just
the right thing. My boys and I cut
each of these four casks in two with
our saw; but it was a work of great
toil to join eight tubs, so as to make
them all the same height.
We drank some wine which we found
in one of the casks, and this gave us fresh
strength for our work. At last our job
came to an end, and we saw with joy
our small fleet of boats all in a line;
yet I could not guess how it was that
my wife should be still so sad at heart.
"I could not trust my life in
one of those tubs !" said she. But
I told her to wait till the work was
done. I then sought out a long thin
plank, and put the tubs on it; but
left a piece at each end to form a curve
like the keel of a ship. We then
drove in nails to make the tubs firm
12 The Swiss Family Robinson.
to the planks, and in the same way
put boards on each side of it, so as
to make a sort of boat, which I thought
might float in a calm sea.
But to our grief we found that our
raft was of such a weight that we could
not move it an inch. I sent Fritz to
bring me the jack screw, and with this
and a thick pole I found I could lift
one end of the boat. Ned said he
thought the screw was slow. "What
we gain in time we lose in force," said
I. "The jack is not meant to move
fast, but to raise weights; and the more
weight there is, of course the more slow
it must be." I then took a strong rope
to fix to the stern of the boat, one end
of which I bound fast to the beam
of the ship. I next put two round
poles for the boat to roll on, and went
to work with the jack to launch it.
The Swiss Family Robinson. 3
The boys all stood on the ship's deck
in great joy to see it glide off, and then
float like a swan on the waves; and
had it not been for the rope, it would
have gone off to sea. But our raft
leant so much to one side that there
was not one of the boys who would
dare to go in it.
At this I was quite cast down, when
all at once I thought the cause must
be that it was too light: so I threw in
all I could lay hold of, and soon made
my boat fit for use.
Which of us is to go in first ?" said
the boys, who all made a rush at once.
But this I put a stop to, as I thought
that-full of fun as they were-they
might tip the boat on one side, and get
thrown in the sea.
It was now time to clear the way for
the flight. I got in one of the tubs and
14 The Swiss Family Robinson.
made the boat fast in a cleft in the
ship's side. I then came back with
an axe and a saw, and cut off from the
wreck, right and left, all that might
come in our way. The next thing was
to look out for some oars, and we had
the good luck to find some.
This had been a day of hard work
for us all. One more night was to be
spent on board the wreck, though we
knew not that it would be there till the
dawn of the next day. And now we
sat down to a meal, for we had scarce
had time to snatch a piece of bread all
day. We then went to rest, and were
more at our ease than we had been on
the past night.
I thought the best thing my wife
could do would be to wear the dress of
a youth who had been one of the ship's
crew, as it would be more warm, and
The Swiss Family Robinson. 15
would suit the raft best, and be most
fit for all the toils that were in store for
her. She felt strange in her new dress,
but at last I saw her laugh at it, as did
our young ones. She then went to her
berth and slept well, which gave her
strength for the next day.
AT dawn we all woke up, and I said,
"We must now, my dear boys, go on
the wide sea in search of a home.
Give all the poor beasts on board the
wreck food to last them for some days.
We could not take them with us, but
we might come back in our tubs for
them. Are you all here? Get what
you wish to take with you, but let it be
16 The Swiss Family Robinson.
things that will meet our wants when
we get to land."
I had put the guns on our raft, and
I told my wife and the lads each to
seek for a game bag, a chest of tools
and nails, and sails to make a tent
with; and the boys brought so much
that I thought we must leave half,
though I took out of the tubs those
things which I had thrown in to give
Just as we got on board the cock
gave a loud crow as a hint that we had
left no food for him and the hens. So
I took all the birds with us, geese,
ducks, fowls, and doves. We put
twelve of them in a tub with a lid
to it, and the rest we let loose, in the
hopes that the geese and ducks might
swim to shore, and the fowls and doves
The Swiss Family Robinson. 17
Where was my wife all this time ?
She came at last with a huge bag, which
she threw in the tub that held her dear
Frank, and I made sure it was meant
for a seat for him.
This is the way we each took our
place on the raft:-In the first tub sat
my wife; in the next, Frank; in the
third, Fritz, a good big boy, with sound
sense and full of life; in the fourth, our
dear Jack, ten years old, yet stout of
heart; and the fifth and sixth held all
sorts of food. Then in the next tub
stood Ned, who was twelve years old,
with more thought of self than the rest,
and slow to move. I was in the eighth
tub, bent on my task, which was to
guide the boat that held all that was
most dear to me in this world.
As we left the wreck the tide rose,
which I thought might be a help to us.
18 The Swiss Family Robinson.
We each took an oar, in hopes that in
the end we should reach the blue
shore. But, oh, how far off it did
For some time it was all in vain, as
the boat would turn round and round.
But at last I found the way to steer it
so as to make it go straight on.
As soon as the two dogs saw us
leave the ship, they leapt in the sea and
swam up to us; but though my boys
had a great wish to take them with us,
I could not let them come in the boat,
lest they should tip it down on one side.
This was a source of great grief to all,
for we did not think they would have
the strength to swim to shore. Be that
as it might, Spring and Flox took to
the waves with a dash, as much as to
say they did not mean to be left. They
came up now and then to put their fore
The Swiss Family Robinson. 19
paws on the raft, and by this means
they kept up with us.
We went on and on, and I had much
doubt if we should reach the land.
As we drew near to it, my hopes were
the more faint, so drear did the coast
seem; and, worst of all, it had a dark
ridge of rocks in front of it, that wore
the look of a frown, as if to warn us off.
Now and then we came up to some
casks from the wreck, and we drew
them with us all the way, by means
of a rope. We did not cease to ply
our oars till we got to the coast, and
then, to our great joy, we found a break
in the chain of the rocks, and the sharp
eye of Fritz made out some trees. I
could not see them, but, by good luck,
Jack had brought a small glass, which
he drew from his pouch with some
pride, and gave it to me. By the aid
20 The Swiss Family Robinson.
of this I saw a small creek with rocks
on each side of it; and as I found that
the ducks and geese made up to it,
I knew it was all right. It was, in
short, a small bay, and there we got
All who could do so leapt to land in
a trice; and our poor Frank, who had
been laid down in his tub like a salt
fish, did his best to crawl out, but had
to wait for my wife to help him. The
dogs, which were the first to get to
shore, leapt round us with a loud bark;
the ducks and the geese kept up their
cry; and the fowls, which we had just
let loose, lent their cluck. All these
sounds, with the noise of the boys' talk,
made a strange din.
The first thing we did when we
came safe to land, was to bow down
and give thanks to God, in whose
V < ^- ;- ~ _-
IL :i^^^p^^ 1
;f ^ >' '. '' 'i -. < ^
The Swiss Family Robinson. 21
hands were our lives. To cast off our
own strength, and lay hold of the
Lord's, is the way to be strong-too
strong for earth and hell to shake us.
If we make God our guide, how can
we go wrong? If we make Him our
shield, why need we fear? If we make
His Word the lamp of our feet, how
can we stray? He is our life, our
God, our all; the Lord is our strength.
When we took all we had out of the
boat-how rich we felt with these few
things! We found a good place for
our tent in the shade of the rocks: so
we set to work with a pole and pegs,
and then we brought out the food.
I sent my sons to fetch some grass
and moss to spread in the sun to dry,
that we might sleep on it at night, and
while all the boys, down to Frank,
were at work at this, I found a place
22 The Swiss Family Robinson.
near a stream for us to cook in. The
flat stones of the rock made a good
hearth, and it did not take long to light
up a bright fire of dry twigs; then
I put in the pot some squares of the
new kind of soup, and left my wife and
Frank to cook our meal. The poor
child took this soup for glue, and said
he knew not how he could dine as there
was no meat to dress.
To land the guns was Fritz's care,
and he took one of them with him to
the side of the stream. Ned would
not join him, for the rough road was
not to his taste: so he bent his way to
the coast. Jack set off to a ridge of
rocks which ran down to the sea
to look for shell fish, while I went
to try and draw some of the casks on
shore. But I found that the place
where I had come to land was too steep
_ _- --s w -- -
p: l II
The Swiss Family Robinson. 23
to get them up; so I went in search
of one that lay more on a line with the
sea. I had not been there long when
I heard screams from my dear Jack.
I took up my axe and ran to his aid,
and found him up to his knees in a
pool with a huge crab, which held his
leg tight in its sharp claw. Though
the crab made off when I came up,
I did not lose sight of it, and as Jack
had a mind to take it home, I gave
it to him. But as soon as he took the
crab in his hand, it gave him such a
blow that the poor boy threw it off and
set up a sad wail once more, and it was
as much as I could do to keep a smile
from my lips. In a great rage my boy
flung a large stone at it, which put an
end to its life. When we came back
to the tent Jack said in a loud voice,
"A crab Such a huge crab! Ned !
24 The Swiss Family Robinson.
where's Fritz ? Take care it does not
bite you, Frank !" They all soon
came round him. "Yes, here's the
claw that caught hold of my leg," quoth
Jack; "but I paid him out, the rogue "
"What is it that you boast of?" said
I. You would not have come off so
well, had I not brought you aid in time;
and, pray, do you not call to mind the
blow on your face ? The poor crab
did but make use of his arms to save
his life; but you had to hurl a great
stone at him with yours: so you have
no cause to be proud, my boy."
Ned thought the crab would be a
good thing to put in the soup, but my
wife set it by for the next day. I then
went to that part of the shore where
it had been caught, and drew my casks
to land there.
I told Jack that he was the first boy
The Swiss Family Robinson. 25
to bring us food, for none of the rest
had done so.
"I saw some shell fish on a rock,"
said Ned; but I could not get at them,
for the sea made my feet wet."
Nay," said I, "I must beg of you
to get us some then; for we must all
work for the good of the rest, and take
no heed of wet feet, for the sun soon
"I may as well bring some salt at
the same time," said he; "I saw lots
of it in the cracks of the rocks, and
I think it must have been left there
by the sea."
No doubt, my young sage," said I.
"Where else could it have come from ?
And you would have done more good
to fill a bag with it, than to dwell on
the laws that brought it there. But
if you wish to eat your soup with a zest,
26 The Swiss Family Robinson.
be quick and get some salt." So he
set off, and soon came back with some;
but it was full of sand and earth.
To stir the pot my wife made use
of a small stick, and when she came to
taste that which clung to it, she said,
"The soup is good, but how are we
to drink it? We have brought no
plates nor spoons And how can we
raise this large pot to our lips ?"
We all cast a grave look at the pot-
our grave look then grew to a dull gaze
-when all at once we burst out in a
loud laugh at our sad plight.
"If we had but some large nuts,"
said Ned, we might split them and
make both spoons and plates of them !"
If," said I; but we have none!
We might as well wish for some fine
gold spoons with our coat of arms on
them, if it were of use to wish."
The Swiss Family Robinson. 27
"Well," said Ned, "we can use
"That is a good thought," said I;
"set off, Ned, at once, and get some.
And mind, my brave boys, no grunts,
and groans, though we find it hard to
hold our spoons, and you should have
to dip your hands in the hot soup."
"At these words off ran Jack, who
was up to his knees in the sea by the
time that Ned had got to the spot.
He tore down the shells from the rocks
and threw them to Ned, who put them
in his game bag (but took good care to
let a large one fall in his pouch for his
own use), and then they came back
with their spoil.
Fritz had not yet come home, and
my wife was full of care lest all was not
right with him; but just then we heard
his voice hail us some way off. He
28 The Swiss Family Robinson.
soon came up with a feint that he was
sad, and at the same time hid his hands.
But Jack, who took a peep, said in
a loud voice (by way of a joke), Good
sport; a young pig !" The beast
which Fritz had shot was in truth no
pig at all, but a kind of hare, which
lives on nuts and fruit.
Though all the rest of the boys had
a wish to hear Fritz tell of what he
had seen and done, I thought it right
to take my son Jack to task for the
false tale he had spread, though but
Fritz told us he had been on the left
side of the stream, where the land lies
low; and "as to the casks," said he,
"I could not count them, to say not
a word of chests, planks, and all sorts
of things from the wreck. Should we
not do well to go and fetch them ?
The Swiss Family Robinson. 29
And at dawn of day we ought to go
there to look to the live stock, for we
must at least have the cow: our bread
cakes would not be half so hard if
we had some milk to soak them in."
Ned.-" How much more nice, too,
they would be!"
Fritz.-" Then I found a wood, and
some rich grass for the cow. I can't
see why we should stay down here, in
this dull nook."
Stay," said I, "we are but just
come! But first tell me, did you see
a trace of our poor ship mates ?"
Fritz.-" No sign at all of man on
land or sea; but I saw a strange sort
of beast as big as a hog, with feet like
The time had now come to sit down
to our meal of soup ; the boys all burnt
their hands, of course, save Ned, who
30 The Swiss Family Robinson.
took his large shell from his pouch, and
when it was full of soup, set it down to
cool, quite proud of it.
"You have shown some thought, my
dear Ned," said I ;" but how is it you
take so much more care of your own
self than of the rest ? Now, pray, give
what is in the large shell to those poor
dogs. We can all dip our shells in the
pot, but the dogs can't do so: so they
may have your soup, and you must eat
as we do."
This struck the heart of Ned, and
when he put his shell on the ground
the dogs took their meal from it. As
we all sat with our eyes cast on our
shells to wait for the soup to get cool,
the dogs fell on Fritz's hare (for so he
chose to call it). All the boys sprang
up to drive them off; but Fritz, in a
great rage, took up his gun and struck
The Swiss Family Robinson. 31
one of them with the stock end of it,
till the force of the blows bent it, and
would have been the death of the dog
if I had not held him back.
As soon as he had had time to cool
I took him to task, and told him he had
thrown us all in a state of great fear;
and, what was still worse, he had spoilt
the gun, which might have been of so
much use to us; add to this the hard
blows he gave would kill most dogs.
" Rage such as this," said I, leads to
all crime. Do you not know what Cain
"Oh," said Fritz, I grieve to think
of what I have done."
As soon as we had had our meal
the fowls came round us to pick up the
crumbs. My wife then took out her
bag, and fed them with some grain.
When they had had their fill, our
32 The Swiss Family Robinson.
doves flew to the rocks, the fowls took
their perch on the tent, and the ducks
and geese went to roost in a marsh near
The sun sank all at once, and it was
time for us to go to rest. We took
care to load the guns, then knelt down
to pray, and went to our beds of moss;
but, hot as the day had been, we found
the night was cold.
Once more I took a peep out, to see
if all was still, and then lay down to
rest, and we all slept.
AT break of day I heard the cock
crow; in fact, it woke me from my
sleep. The first thing I did was to
The Swiss Family Robinson. 33
rouse up my wife, and tell her of a plan
I had thought of, which was to go all
round the coast of the isle in search
of our friends from the wreck, and she
thought as I did, that this ought to be
our first care.
My wife, who saw that we could not
all go, said she would stay where she
was with her three young ones, while
Fritz and I went on our search. I
told her that to get back by the light of
day we must start at once, and should
want a good meal first; yet what was
there for us to eat ? "Jack's great
crab will be the thing," said she; but
it was not to be found. So whilst my
wife made up the fire and put on the
pot, I woke up the boys. Where is
the crab ?" said I to Jack; and he
brought it from a hole in the rock,
where he had put it to be out of the
34 The Swiss Family Robinson.
reach of the dogs, which ate up all that
they could find. Said I to Jack,
" Will you give up your crab to Fritz ?
We think the claw that caught hold
of your leg will make a good meal for
him to start on, for we shall soon be on
a long march, and we must first break
When he heard this, Jack gave up
his crab with a good grace.
Ned and the two young ones leapt
round me like kids, to beg of me to let
them join us. But," said I, "if you
all go, who is to take care of our new
I meant to take Turk, and with him
and our gun I thought we should make
a great show of strength. I then bade
Fritz tie up Flox and get out the guns.
Fritz gave a deep blush, and did his
best to get his gun straight. I let him
The Swiss Family Robinson. 35
go on for some time, and then told him
to take one of mine, for I knew he felt
pain for what he had done. The dog,
too, gave a snarl at him; but though
he held out some of the hard bread to
him, and gave him a kind stroke on the
head, still it was all one, for Turk
would not trust him, while Flox would
lick his hand.
Give him the claw of my crab,"
Fear not, Jack, my boy," said Ned,
"for they will be sure to meet with
nuts. Think of a nut as big as your
head, with a cup full of milk in it!"
Please bring it to me if you find
one, Fritz," said Frank.
I then told them all that we would
pray to God first to bless our work,
and then lose no time, but set off at
36 The Swiss Family Robinson.
"Ding dong! Ding dong! Ding
dong!" said my wild Jack, as in play
he took off the sound of the church
bells; but I chid him for it, and told
him that though love for the Lord was
a thing of joy, yet it was not right to
joke while we were on our knees to
pray to Him.
Poor Jack came and knelt down close
to me, to show me that he saw what
I had said to him in the same light as
I did. I gave all the three boys a
kiss, and took leave of my wife and
I thought it best to load the gun
which I had left with my wife, and told
her to keep near the boat, as it would
prove her best friend in time of need.
We all wept when we took leave, for we
did not know what our fate might be; but
the noise of the swift stream which we
The Swiss Family Robinson. 37
had to cross would seem to drown the
sobs of those we had left, and we bent
our thoughts on the work we had in
We each took a large bag for game,
a gun, and an axe. The right bank of
the stream was so steep that there was
but one place through which we could
cross it, and that was near the sea.
But at last, with some toil, we got to
the left bank. We had not gone more
than a few yards through grass which
was as tall as we were, when we heard
a noise as if some wild beast ran
through it up to the spot where we
I felt proud to see that Fritz was so
brave as to stand and point his gun
to the place whence the sound came.
What was our joy to find that this fierce
foe should turn out to be Turk, whom
38 The Swiss Family Robinson.
our grief, when we took leave of my
dear ones, drove from our thoughts,
and we made no doubt that they had
sent him off to join us. Fritz did
not fire, and I gave him all praise
for this, as by so rash an act we should
have lost our best friend.
The sea was on our left, and on our
right ran a chain of rocks, from the side
of which spread fine woods, and on the
skirts of these we took our way. We
kept a bright look out for our ship
mates. Fritz had a great wish to fire
his gun to show them where we were,
in case they might be near us; but
I told him I thought there would be
a risk in that, for if there were wild
tribes on the isle, they might rush on
us, and kill us.
Fritz-" I can't see why we should
search for the crew at all. I am sure
The Swiss Family Robinson, 39
the brutes left us to our fate on the
Fritz," said I, we must do good to
those that hate us, if they stand in need
of our help. You must bear in mind
that we have things from the wreck
which they have as much right to as
we, and that there would not have been
room for us in the boats; add to this,
if they were cast in the sea by the storm,
which I make no doubt they were, we
should have been lost too."
Fritz-" But we might make such
good use of our time if we were to go
to the wreck to bring the live stock on
Should we not do more good," said
I, "to save the life of a man than that
of an ass, or a cow? The beasts on
board the ship have food to last them
some days, and while the sea is so calm
there is no fear."
40 The Swiss Family Robinson.
We now came to a small wood which
ran down to the sea shore, in the shade
of which we ate our food, whilst birds
stood on the boughs all round us, whose
gay plumes made up for their harsh
Turk gave a loud bark at what we
thought must be an ape in one of the
trees, and when Fritz ran to look out
for it, he fell on a large round bird's
nest; at least, so he thought it was.
But when I broke the shell, I found it
was one of the nuts which Ned had
set his heart on.
But," said Fritz," where is the
sweet milk which he talks so much
I told him the milk was found in the
nuts when they were half ripe; but as
this nut was ripe, the juice had got
thick and hard.
: sapJ:"3 p
? b d
P flr z fe st -
r :B ;"p : "li a "9 hl
Wc--a 3 :'
Ci"YII B L I F lr.l'LI
: gJI ,Ii
,t;- ii;S L
The Swiss Family Robinson. 41
It took us a long time to get through
the wood; but at last we left this maze
of boughs and roots, and came to a
broad plain, where, to my joy, I found
the gourd tree, which bears fruit on its
The shells of these gourds," said I,
"will make plates, cups, spoons, and
Fritz leapt with glee at the thought.
"Now we can drink our soup like
men of high rank," said he; and he
soon set to work to cut spoons from the
rind, in which he put sand, so that the
sun should not warp them, and left
them to dry till we came back.
Can you tell me why the gourd
tree bears fruit on the stem, and not on
the boughs ?" said I.
To be sure; the boughs would not
bear the weight of it," quoth he.
42 The Swiss Family Robinson.
We then set out once more on our
search, and I took up my glass to spy
round me, but saw no signs of our
friends. At last we got to a tongue
of land that ran out in the sea, to the
top of which we came at last with much
toil, and from it we had a fine view
of sea and land, but still no trace of
man; and I felt sure that our mates
had been lost in the sea.
We now sat down once more to rest.
" This sea," said I, "which looks so
calm, ought to fill our minds with
thoughts of peace; yet while I think
of those who, but four days since, were
swept off by the rude lash of its wild
waves, and, as I fear, lie dead in this
smooth sea, its smile would seem to
mock them !"
We had now to pass through ground
on which grew a vast crop of canes,
The Swiss Family Robinson. 43
which made it hard work for us to walk,
and I felt some fear that there might
be snakes in it, which I knew chose
out such spots, so we made Turk go
in front of us, that he might start them,
and with his loud bark put us on our
When I cut the canes, I was much
struck to see a juice like glue come
out, and of course I must needs taste
it. I found it was sweet, and gave me
as much strength as a glass of wine.
But when Fritz put it to his lips, he
"Oh, such luck! What will the
boys say to this ? "
He ate so much of it that I felt
bound to check him; and when we
left he took a load of the canes on his
We now came to a wood of palm
44 The Swiss Family Robinson.
trees, where a group of apes took fright
at us, and at the bark of the dog they
fled to the top of the trees, and there,
with grins and shrill cries, sat to watch
us. I held back Fritz's arm, for he
would have shot at them.
"We have no right," said I, to kill,
save for food; and, in fact, these apes
will be of more use to us with life in
them, than if they were dead, as I will
show you. I then threw stones at
them, and they in their rage took nuts
by the score to hurl at me, so we soon
had a good store of the nuts, from
which we drank the milk. We gave
Turk the rest of the crab, bound up
a store of nuts by the stems, and set off
on our way home.
The Swiss Famzly Robinson. 45
As we went, we must needs suck the
canes, for they were so good, till Fritz
had great fears that there would be but
a poor feast for those whom we had left
at home. But I told him I thought
there was more cause of fear from the
sun, which might turn the juice sour;
in that case there would be no need to
Well, my flask is full of milk for
them, that's one good thing," said
Nay," said I, there is more fear
still of the nuts, for you may make sure
that they will turn sour."
We now got to the spot where we
had left the spoons, and we found them
46 The Swiss Family Robinson.
quite dry, and as hard as a bone. We
had not gone far when Turk made a
dart at a troop of apes, who sprang from
place to place in sport. He bit hold
of one of them that held her young one
in her arms, which made her flight
Fritz ran with all his might to save
the old ape from Turk's jaws, and so
lost his hat, canes, and cups; but he
found that she was dead. The young
ape leapt on his back, and put its paws
in his curls, and no cries or threats
could rid him of it.
I ran up to him with a laugh, for
I saw the ape was too young to hurt
him. As it would not stir, all Fritz
could do was to take the cub home
as it was; for since it had lost its dam,
the young thing would fain look to him
to screen it from harm. It was but the
The Swiss Family Robinson. 47
size of a cat, though the old ape was
as tall as Fritz.
I did not wish to have one more
mouth to fill; but Fritz was loth to part
with his pet, and said that till we had
the cow, it should have his share of
the milk from the nuts. In the mean
time Turk made a meal of the old ape,
from which Fritz strove to drive him.
Nay," said I, "if you drive the dogs
off such game as they have the luck to
find, they might spring on one of the
young boys some day when they are
much in want of food. Fritz thought
we were well off to have two such fine
dogs, and that the ass too would be
of great use to us.
When Turk came up to join us the
young ape took fright at him, and crept
up the breast of Fritz's coat.
He did not care to have him quite
48 The Swiss Family Robinson.
so near, and the thought struck him
that he would tie the cub with a cord
to Turk's back, and lead the dog.
Turk did not at all like this at first;
but a threat and a coax made him yield
in the end.
We went on at a slow pace for some
time, and I could but think of the state
of joy in which our young ones would
be thrown when they saw us come
home with the ape like two Beast Show
We had but just got to the banks
of the stream which ran near our tent,
when we heard Flox give a loud bark,
as much as to say, Here they are!"
Then Turk gave a bark, to tell them,
" Here we come!" But at these
sounds the young ape took fright, and
leapt from Turk's neck to Fritz's head,
and come down he would not.
. .. .. ----
l I i7
The Swiss Family Robinson. 49
Turk was but too glad to break loose,
that he might run to meet Flox and
the boys, who were soon at our side,
and in great glee to see us back once
more. Each boy had a kiss, and then
came shouts of praise at the sight of the
An ape a real live ape Oh what
a love! How did you catch him?"
burst from the lips of Ned and Jack;
but Frank, who stood in some fear of
him, said, I call him a fright."
Jack.-" I am sure his looks are twice
as good as yours. See how he laughs.
How I should like to see him eat !"
Ned.-" Now, if we had but some
of the nuts with milk in them! Have
you found some ?"
But I fear you have met with some
risks," said my wife.
It was in vain to try to tell them all
50 The Swiss Family Robinson.
at once what we had done. At length,
when they let us have some peace, I
told them where we had been, and that
we had brought them all sorts of good
things; but that I had not seen a trace
of our friends from the ship.
God's will be done !" said my wife.
" Let us thank Him that He has
brought you safe back to us. This day
has been like a whole week to me!
But put down your load, and let us
hear you talk of all that you have seen
and done. We, too, have found work
to do, though we have not gone through
all the toil that you must have had.
Boys, see if you can ease them of
Jack took my gun, Frank the gourds,
and my wife the game bags. Fritz
soon gave out the canes, and put the
ape on Turk's back, to the great glee of
The Swiss Family Robinson. 51
the rest of the boys. He gave his gun
to Ned, who said the gourds were of
too great a weight for him to take, so
my dear wife lent a hand, and we went
on our way to the tent.
Fritz.-" It strikes me that if Ned
knew that the gourds held his dear nuts
with milk in them, he would not give
them up so soon."
Ned.-" Give them to me; I will
take them, and the gun too."
My wife had a good meal for us at
the fire. She had put some sticks in
the shape of a fork on the hearth,
which made a rest for a thin spit, on
which all sorts of fish were put to roast,
and a goose too. Frank was set to
turn the spit, and the pot was on the
fire, from which came forth the fumes
of some good soup.
At the back of the hearth stood one
52 The Swiss Family Robinson.
of the casks, which held a Dutch cheese
in a case of lead. All this was sweet
to our sight and smell, and we felt sure
would soon be so to our taste; and for
the time we lost sight of the fact that
we were on a lone shore where, till
now, man's foot had not been set.
I could not think my boys or my
wife had lost much time since we left
them; but I told them that they must
not kill our geese quite so fast, as we
ought to keep them for stock.
Have no fear," said my wife, "this
is not one of our own, it is a wild goose
which was brought home by Ned;
Jack and Frank caught the fish at the
rocks, while I brought the cask up to
the tent and broke the lid of it, to
get to this good cheese."
Fritz.-" Let's feed our young ape,
who has lost his dam's milk."
The Swiss Family Robinson. 53
Jack.-" I have been to try him, and
he will not eat."
I told the boys that he must be fed
with the milk from the nuts till he
could eat. Jack said he should have
all his share; but Ned and Frank, on
their part, had a wish to taste the
Jack.-" Nay; but the poor cub
must live !
And so must we all," said my wife;
"so now come and sup, and we will
have the nuts by and by."
We sat down on the ground, and
the meal was spread. My boys cut
the nuts in two with our saw, and made
spoons of the shells. Jack took good
care that the poor ape should have his
share; and the way the boys fed him
was to put the end of a cloth in the
milk, and then let the cub suck it.
54 The Swiss Family Robinson.
As night had now come on we all
went to rest. The young ape was laid
on some moss to keep him warm, with
Fritz and Jack by his side; the fowls
went to roost on the tent, and we were
all soon in a deep sleep.
But we had not slept long, when we
heard a great noise, which the dogs and
the fowls had set up, and we thought,
of course, that some foe was near. My
wife, Fritz, and I, each took a gun
and went out, when by the light of the
moon we saw a fierce fight, for our
brave dogs had round them a score
Fritz and I let off our guns, at which
two fell dead, and the rest fled, but
Turk and Flox soon put them to death,
and then, like true dogs, ate them. We
were glad to find it was no worse a foe,
and then went back to our beds, and
The Swiss Family Robinson. 55
slept till the cock woke us with his loud
crow, and then my wife and I set our
thoughts to work to make plans for the
WELL, my dear," said I, "I see
some toil lies in our path this day;
Fritz and I must go on our raft to the
wreck, for if we are to save the live
stock, we must go at once; and there
are bales and bales of goods on board
which may be of much use to us. Yet
I know not what to do first, for we must
have some place here to stow them in."
"All may be done," said my wife,
"in due time; and though I shall be
in a sad state of fear till I see you both
56 The Swiss Family Robinson.
back, still I yield to the good it will
be to us all, so let it be done this
I then went to rouse my boys. Fritz
was the first to jump up, and he ran
for a dead wolf, which he found had got
quite stiff. He put it on its legs at the
door of the tent, to make the rest of
the boys start; but as soon as the dogs
saw it, they sprang on it, and would
have torn it to shreds, had not Fritz
gone to work the right way this time,
which was to coax them off with food.
But this loud bark woke the boys, who
made a rush at the door of the tent
to see the cause of it all.
Jack was the first to come out, with
the ape on his arm; but as soon as the
young thing saw the wolf which lay
dead at the door, he sprang back to his
bed and hid in the moss, till no part
The Swiss Family Robinson. 57
of him but the tip of his snout could
be seen. Jack took the wolf for a dead
dog; and Ned, in a tone of some pomp,
said, This is a gold fox."
We then sat down to break our fast,
when Ned gave a sly look at a cask
which stood by.
Ah," said he, if we had but some
lard to spread on this hard bread, how
good it would be. Could we not get
at this cask ? "
He then brought out some lard from
a crack in the side of it.
"Your taste for good things, Ned,
has brought us a great boon. Come,
my boys, who wants bread and lard ?"
As our dogs lay at our feet, I saw
that they had got deep wounds in the
neck; so my wife put some of the
lard on them, which gave the poor
brutes much ease. Ned thought they
58 The Swiss Family Robinson.
ought to have spikes round their necks
to keep off their foes.
"I will make them some," said
While Fritz got out the boat, I set
up a high post, on the top of which
I put a piece of sail cloth for a flag, and
I told my wife and boys that they must
let it float in the air as long as all went
on well; but if they stood in need of
us they were to let down the flag and
fire a gun three times, when we should
come back with all speed. I told my
wife that we might have to stay on
board all night.
"Well," said she, if I thought you
would be on the raft, I should rest at
ease, but not if you slept on the wreck."
Our guns were all we took, as we
thought we should find food on board.
But I must add that Fritz would take
The Swiss Family Robinson. 59
the ape, that he might give it some
milk from the cow, as he thought it did
not seem quite up to the mark." So
we took our leave, and went off in the
When we had got mid way down the
bay, a strong stream drove us on for
three parts of the way; at last we came
to the creek of the rock from which
I had made my first start. Then we
went on board the ship.
Fritz's first care was to feed the live
things, each of which we heard greet
us in its own way. The young ape was
put to the goat to suck, and this he
did with so great a zest that it made
us hold our sides to laugh at so droll
Now that we had made our way to
the wreck, the next thing we had to
think of was how we should get back.
60 The Swiss Family Robinson.
We knew that the wind which blew
in our teeth as we came, would serve us
now if we had a sail ; so a mast and sail
were of course the first things for us to
look out for. We found a strong pole
for a mast, and to fix the sail to a yard
did not take us long. We then put
a plank on the top of the fourth tub on
our raft, and so made a deck. Fritz
ran up a red flag to the top of the mast
as a sign to those whom we had left on
shore, to let them know that we should
not go back that night.
The next day we found all sorts of
things that we could turn to some use
on shore, such as shot, tools, and cloth;
and we took care this time to bear in
mind spoons, knives, forks, plates, pots,
pans, and a jack to roast with.
We found a chest full of good things
to eat, such as the new kind of soup,
The Swiss Family Robinson. 61
hams, some bags of maize, wheat, seeds,
and herbs. We took all the tools we
could find room for, some guns, swords,
and a large roll of cloth. Our tubs
were full to the brim, and we left but
just room to stand. We now sent up
our flag to say that all was right, and
went to rest for the night.
AT break of day I went on deck to
look through a good glass which I had
found in the ship, and I could see my
wife with her face my way, as well as
the flag, which flew in the breeze. So
as I knew that all went well with her,
I sat down to eat a full meal.
As to the live stock, it was plain that
62 The Swiss Family Robinson.
if we made a raft for them, the beasts
would not rest on it; the great fat sow
might swim to land, but as to the rest we
did not see our way with them. At last
Fritz thought of a plan by which they
might reach the shore, but which it
took us two hours to put in force, and
this was the way of it: the cow and the
ass had a cask on each side of them,
well bound with strips of sail cloth, and
we put a block of wood on the head
of each to hold him by. We sent the
ass off by a hard push, and he swam
well when he had once made a plunge
or two. The cow, sheep, and goats,
all took to the sea as if they did not
mind it, but the sow broke loose from
us, and was the first to reach the land.
We then got in our boat, bound all
the blocks of wood (which held the beasts)
to its stern, and drew with us our train.
The Swiss Family Robinson. 63
We thought much of our sail, for with
such a load as we had, we could not
have got on with our oars.
Once more I took up the glass to
look for my wife and boys, when a
loud cry from Fritz rang in my ears:
We are lost! We are lost! See
that huge fish !"
But the bold boy took hold of his
gun, and sent two balls at its head, and
as it swam it left a track of blood.
We were now not far from the shore,
so we let down the sail and took our
oars, and when the beasts felt the
ground we cut off the wood and each
went on shore just in the way he
thought most fit.
So we came to land. But where
were all those whom we had left ? We
could see no trace of them!
But we had not long to wait; for
64 The Swiss Family Robinson.
they soon came up to greet us; and
when our first burst of joy had gone off,
we sat down to tell our tale from first
to last. My wife's joy was great to see
the ass, cow, sheep, sow, and goats, and
more than all, to hear how well Fritz's
plan to get them to land had been
brought to bear.
We then set to work to bring on
shore all our stores. I saw that Jack
wore a belt of skin, in which were put
fire arms. Said I, "Where could you
have found such a thing ?"
"I made it," said he, "and this is
not all; look at the dogs !"
The dogs had each a thong round
his neck, thick with spikes.
"It was I that thought of it," said
Jack, "but I had help when I came to
sew the nails on."
I told him I should like to know
S I .:
-, o.,,...-.. '--^ ~< ,- s- ..-
The Swiss Family Robinson. 65
where he got the thong, the nails, and
the thread from ?
Jack then said, "The thong was
made out of the skin of Fritz's wolf,
and the rest came from the large
There is still more in it; do but
say what you want !" quoth my wife.
I sent Fritz to bring the ham from
the raft, and, to the joy of all, it was
"set out on the top of the lard cask. My
wife brought out twelve dove's eggs,
which were like white balls; and while
she spread our meal, Fritz and I took
our load out of the boat, and made use
of the ass to help us.
We sat down to cheese, ham, and
eggs, with the ass, cow, sheep, goats,
dogs, sow, and fowls all round us. The
geese and ducks kept to the marsh,
where they ate the small crabs. I sent
66 The Swiss Family Robinson.
Fritz for some wine from the stores;
and then my wife gave us a sketch of
all that she and the two young ones had
done while we were on the wreck.
"As to the way in which I spent the
first day," said she, I will spare your
kind heart, for I was in such great fear
that I kept my eye the whole time on
the flags and signs from the ship, which
with the aid of the glass I could see
well. But to day, as I was sure that
all went well with you, I set out with
the two dear boys in search of some
spot to pitch our tent in, that had more
to boast of than this poor bare place.
The Swiss Family Robinson. 67
We went forth with game bags, and
knives at our sides; the boys took our
food, and I shut up the tent door with
the hooks. Turk and Flox went with
us as our guides; but when we got to
the stream we were in a great strait, for
we knew not how to cross it. So we
kept for some time to the left bank,
when by hook or by crook the boys got
me through it.
"We had now come to what we
thought was a wood, which was in good
truth but a group of twelve trees, all
of a great height, and which would seem
as if the air was their home more than
the earth; and the trunks sprang from
roots, each of which made an arch to
hold up the boughs. Jack put a piece
of twine round the trunk of one of these,
to see what size it was, and found it to
be two score feet round the stem; and
68 The Swiss Family Robinson.
as far as we could judge, it was three
score feet high. A short smooth turf
grew at the foot, and near it ran a clear
brook with a bank of bright green moss
on each side of it. On the whole, it
was as sweet a spot as the eye could
rest on. Here we sat down to eat our
meal. The two dogs, which soon came
to join us, did not seem to crave for food,
as I thought they would, but lay down
to sleep at our feet.
"As for me, so safe and so full of
peace did this sweet spot seem, that
I could but think that if we were to
build a home on the top of these high
trees, I could find it in my heart to
spend the rest of my life here.
When we set out to go home we
took the road by the sea shore, in hopes
that the waves would have cast up things
from the wreck which might be of use
The Swiss Family Robinson. 69
to us. We found chests and casks
which we had not the strength to move
far, though we took them out of the
reach of the tide. In the mean time
the dogs caught small crabs which they
ate as fast as they could catch them. I
was glad to see this, as I knew the poor
things could not get their own food.
As we sat down a while to rest from
this hard work, I saw Flox scratch a
hole in the sand and eat some small
things out of it with a great zest. Ned
stood to watch him, and then said:
They are eggs round white eggs!
and such good ones!'
"We took twelve of them, and left
Flox the rest for her pains.
While we put our spoil in the game
bags, we saw in front of us a sail. Ned
was quite sure it was our raft, but
Frank was much in dread lest it should
70 The Swiss Family Robinson.
be a boat full of wild men who would
eat us up. Yet we soon drove off these
fears, and leapt from stone to stone, till
we got to the place where you were to
Then," said I, "I make out from
what you tell me, that you have found
a high tree where you would have us
perch like fowls. But how are we to
get up ?"
Oh," said my wife, "can you not
call to mind the large lime tree near our
town in which a ball room had been
made ? We went up to that by stairs;
so why could you not make stairs in
those huge stems ? There we should
live in peace, and have no fear of wolves
or foes that prowl by night."
I said I would think of what could
The Swiss Family Robinson. 7I
THE next day we set our wits to
work to make a plan. In the end we
thought that we would build a home on
the spot my wife spoke of in terms of
such high praise.
But the store house for our goods,"
said I, must be in the rock, as well
as a place to fly to in time of need,
which shall be known to none but
I told my wife that the first thing to
be done was to build a bridge, that we
might bring all our goods to the house
"A bridge! said my wife. "Why
can't we make use of a ford as we have
done? The cow and the ass could
take our stores."
72 The Swiss Family Robinson.
I told her that a bridge we must
have, and that the boys and I would
make it, while I set her to work to
stitch up some strong bags to put shot
As our minds were now made up
for this change of home, I woke up the
boys and told them of our plans. We
all gave a loud laugh when we saw the
young ape suck the goat, who took to
it as if she had been its dam. And as
to my wife to see her milk the cow, one
might vow that she had been born a
milk maid. She gave us some of the
warm milk, and put the rest in flasks
for us to take in the boat, and I then
had to go in search of planks of wood
to build the bridge with.
I took both Fritz and Ned with me
this time, as I saw we should have a
good load to bring on shore.
, p -< cs'-
"\ '^ -^ ^ i 4lm ^ -""h'--
~~~~ qi li
j- i e -- I | -b
, ^ *''.Naa^-* ^ ^
& ^-.. !
The Swiss Family Robinson. 73
When we came up to a small isle at
the mouth of the bay, we saw there a
vast flock of gulls and sea birds of that
kind, which, with their harsh cry, fed
on a huge fish. This fish was the shark
which Fritz had shot through the head,
and he found on it the marks of his
Ned struck some of the birds right
and left, and put the rest to flight. We
cut off the skin of the shark, which I
thought might be of use, and put it in
We found loads of planks there,
which had been thrown up by the high
tide, and as these were all that I could
wish for to build our bridge with, I did
not go to the wreck. We chose out
those which we thought would best suit
us, and by the aid of the jack screw
and some strong poles we bound them
74 The Swiss Family Robinson.
to the stern of the boat, and then put
off. As we went on, Fritz set to work to
dry the shark's skin to make files with,
and Ned in the mean while must needs
muse on the fact that the shark's mouth
is so made that to seize his prey he
must turn on his back, and this gives
his prey a chance to save their lives;
else, with such a maw, he would lay
waste the sea. At last we came to
land, and a loud call soon brought the
boys to our side.
They had been hard at work at the
banks of the stream. Frank had
round his neck a net full of fine craw
fish, and Jack had the same. Frank
was the first to find these fish," said
Jack, when he and I went in search
of the best place to build the bridge."
Thank you," said I; "then may be
you will plan the works."
The Swiss Family Robinson. 75
"Yes, yes," said Jack, "but just
hark at what we saw. When we got
to the stream, Frank gave a loud call
to me, and when I came up to him I
saw Fritz's wolf with a coat of crabs
on him I ran to fetch a net that we
found on the shore, and we caught all
these as soon as we had cast it, and
could have got more if you had not
just then come up."
I told Jack to keep as much as we
should want to eat, and put the rest
back in the stream, and I was glad to
find that we had such good food in our
reach. We now brought our planks
on shore. I thought well of Frank's
site for the bridge; but it was a long
"way from our store of planks. To get
these to the left side of the stream, we
bound a rope to the horns of the cow
(as its chief strength lies in the head),
76 The Swiss Family Robinson.
and one end we made fast to the
planks; and by the aid of the ass we
took all the wood we had need of to
the spot which the dear boys chose for
the site of our bridge.
To find out the breadth of the
stream Ned hit off a good plan, which
was to tie a stone to a ball of twine and
fling it to the left bank, and then draw
it back, and in this way we could judge
of the width of the stream by the length
of the string. So we brought from the
coast those planks which were of the
right size. We found the stream was
one score feet wide ; but to give
strength I made the planks rest three
feet on each bank.
But now we were in a great strait;
for we knew not how we were to hoist
the planks on the left bank of the
stream, when the cow and the ass had
The Swiss Family Robinson. 77
brought them there. I said this
must be thought of while we ate our
meal. "Craw fish and Rice Milk"
was the bill of fare. But we were first
shown the two bags for the ass, which
my wife had made of the wolf's hide
with twine and a nail to pierce the holes
with. As we ate our meal, to talk of
our bridge was the one thing to do, and
we gave it the name of the Swiss
We then went to work, and sent the
ass and cow, with Ned and Jack on
their backs, to swim to the left bank
with the long planks, and so the thing
was done. I laid down boards on the
top of these strong planks cross ways;
but I would not fix them, as I thought
that if we should meet with a foe we
might want to take down the bridge.
When it was made, my wife and I went
78 The Swiss Family Robinson.
up and down it with as much glee as
the boys. Worn out with the toil of
the day, we then made our way home
and went to rest.
THE next day, with all my dear ones
round me, I went to pray; and we then
took leave of our first home on the isle,
for we had now to set out for our new
house in the trees. I bade my boys
keep near me in a group, and on we
We brought out the ass, the cow,
the sheep, and the goats. The bags
were put on the backs of the first two
of these, and were full of things of
The Swiss Family Robinson. 79
weight, such as pots, pans, cheese,
bread, and flour.
All was in trim for the march, when
my wife came in haste to beg of me to
make room for her large bag which
held so much; nor would she leave the
fowls, lest they should fall a prey to the
wolves; but her chief thought was to
have a seat found for Frank, as he
could not walk so far. I could but
smile at her wants, when room was so
scarce; but I gave in, and made a good
place for Frank on the back of the ass,
where he sat with a pack on each side
The boys came back, and said they
could not catch the fowls; but my wife
said she would soon bring them.
" Well, if you do," quoth our pert
Jack, I will let you roast me in the
place of the first chick you take."
80 The Swiss Family Robinson.
" Then my poor Jack," said she, you
will soon be on the spit! Look here!"
As she said this she threw down some
grain for them near the tent, and then
some more in the tent, which the fowls
came to eat; she then went in, shut the
door, and caught them all. To tie the
wings of each to its feet was soon done,
and they were put in nets, which were
slung on the cow and ass.
All that we could not take with us
we shut up in the tent, the door of
which we made fast, and put chests
and casks in front of it, and took our
way to our new home.
My wife and Fritz went first, then
came the cow and ass with their loads,
and Jack drove the goats. The young
ape sat on the back of his nurse, where
his grins and tricks did not fail to cheer
our hearts on the way, and he was quite
The Swiss Family Robinson. 81
a pet with us all. Next came Ned
with the sheep; then I, like the Jews of
old, with my flocks and herds in front
of me, came last. The two dogs ran
first to the front, then to the rear, as if
they thought we were all in their
OUR march was slow. We had ere
long to cross the new bridge, and here
we had one more than we had set out
with; for the sow-which was so wild
when it was her turn to be caught that
we had to leave her-now came to join
us, with grunts which would seem to
say, This change is not at all to my
82 The Swiss Family Robinson.
As soon as we had got to the left
side of the stream the beasts set off to
feed on the rich grass, and but for our
dogs, we should not have known how
to catch them; so I told our guard"
we would take the road near the coast,
where there was no grass to tempt
them. We had not left the long grass
half an hour, when our dogs made a
rush back to it with loud barks and
howls, as if they were in fight with
Fritz and Jack ran off to the spot
with their guns in their hands, when
Jack, who leapt in the high grass up
to the dogs, said, with a clap of the
Be quick: here's a great beast like
a Hedge Hog, with quills as long as
When I got up to it, it made a fierce
The Swiss Family Robinson. 83
noise, and was so bold as to set up its
quills at us, as it had done at the dogs,
who gave sad howls at the pain they
were put to. At last, to put an end
to the fight, Jack sent a shot in the
head of the poor beast, at which it
"Jack is proud of his feat," said
Fritz, "but he is too young to make
use of a gun, for he might have shot
one of the dogs, and what would be
still worse, one of us."
But I said that all did well to act for
the good of the rest.
My wife was then sent for, to see
this strange beast. Her first thought
was to dress the wounds of the poor
dogs made by the quills. As Jack had
a great wish to take so strange a beast
with us, I put it in some soft grass, so
that the quills might not break.
84 The Swiss Family Robinson.
At last we got to the end of the
march, and I must say I was much
struck with the trees; for they were
of a bulk which I could not have
thought of. And we gave all thanks
to my dear wife who had sought out so
nice a home for us.
We took the load from the backs of
the cow and ass, and bound fast their
fore legs, that they might not stray; but
the sow we let go in the way of her
own will, and the fowls and doves were
let loose. We then all sat down on
the grass to think of the best site for our
It was my wish to mount the tree
that night. All at once we heard the
sound of -a gun; but Fritz's voice set
us at our ease. He had crept out and
shot a fine Pole Cat, which he held up
to our view with great pride.
The Swiss Family Robinson. 85
Well done !" said I ; "you ought to
have the thanks of the fowls and doves,
for the cat would soon have made a
prey of them."
Pray shoot all the rest, Fritz, else
we shall not have a chick left for the
spit," said Ned.
I told Fritz to skin it at once, and
throw the flesh to the dogs. I left my
wife to cook our meal, while I made
the quills fit for her to sew with. To
do this I held a large nail in the fire
till it was red hot, and then sent it
through the head of the quill to make
All the time my thoughts were full
of my house in the air.
As we knew of no way to climb to the
top of the trees, I hung the beds (which
I had brought from the ship) from the
roots, for as I have said, they grew in
86 The Swiss Family Robinson.
the shape of an arch some way from
the ground, while on the top of the
roots we spread the sails to keep the
WHEN my wife sat down to sew, I
went with my sons to the shore in search
of wood to build our house with; and
we saw a vast deal that had been thrown
up by the high tide, but none fit for our
As I knew that a house could not
be built in a tree if there were no steps
to go up it, I did not at first see that
my way was clear.
But by and by the thought struck me
that we might make steps with two ropes
The Swiss Family Robinson. 87
for the sides, and bits of cane to mount
up by, which we did with great ease,
though we had to nail all the canes to
the ropes to make them safe. We
then drew them up by means of a cord,
which I shot up in the tree from a bow
with a weight at the end of it, so that
it might fall back to the ground.
All the boys were mad to climb up
it, but I chose Frank to go first, as he
was the least weight: so up he went while
we held the ropes firm. Then went
Fritz with the nails and tools, so that
the two boys sat on their perch in the
sky, and made loud cries to us poor folk
down on the dull earth.
Then I took boards up to make the
floor of the house with, and came down
by the light of the moon. But I was
in great fear when I iound that Fritz
and Jack had not been seen, and still