L U -.
---. r :'
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND:
THE BOY WHO WOULD BE ROBINSON CRUSOE
or.5 -uu -)d .-rfo
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
R OS- T ON:
HEsRY A. rIOVNG 4
E. R O IZ L ..-
0 % In Wvmlwwoft-~
- :: : :- :
AIOTHtR Robinson Crusoe story I Such is the ex-
clamation of both parents and boys in one and the
same breath, when they take up this volume. But
how differently does the same expression explain
their meaning I The parent utters it withfear; the.
boy with delight; what a strange contrast The
one because he.fears it will excite the mind of his
child, and make him desire to lead a roving life, and
undergo the'same privation and perils, which appear
so delightfuLto his excited imagination in the book,
but which, alas, are so terrible to suffer in reality.
While the boy, so full of spirit incident to his age,
sees but the attractive portion of the narrative, and
knows nothing of the realities, as he has never.expe-
rienced them in his comfortable home.
Since the publication of Defoe's great work, his
Robinson Crusoe story has had many imitators in
every language; and their number has increased
rapidly in the last few years. But we believe not
one of them, charming as they may be, has the anti-
dote to the poison they so quietly instil. This arises
from several causes, principally because they are
written entirely for the amusement and not the instruc-
tion of the youth for whom they are intended.
The present volume is the first of its kind, and
will please both parents and their boys, for the ob-
ject constantly had in view is to inculcate in the
minds of youth that all these enchanting stories of
Robinson Crusoe life are but mere delusions, and by
placing before them an actual picture of what they
Swill find the reality to be, to prove such to be the
case. Yet the story of little Robert is told with such
a charming vivacity that every reader becomes deeply
interested in his actions, from the time that he reads
Robinson Crusoe and becomes crazed on the subject,
and starts off to do likewise, until he is glad to get
to his comfortable quarters at home once more. His
fishing and gunning, building a house, cooking his
own victuals, roosting in a tree, being drenched with
rain, hungry and weary, will all fascinate his readers.
Parents cannot place a better book in their boys'
hands, as it is the most sensible and agreeable book
of all the stories of Crusoe life.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
BZPERIENCE TEACHETH MANY THIrGS, AND ALL MEN ARE ITf
.ROBERT, a boy of twelve years old, wasthe
-only son of the rich Count Hochberg; and of
all the splendid and costly gifts he had re-
ceived on Christmas eve, he loved none so
well as a neatly bound book, ornamented
with pictures, and bearing the title of Rob-
inson Crusoe." But we must confess that at
the time when those: beautiful presents were
so lavishly conferred, he had bestowed but
little attention on the book; turning- over
the leaves hastily and glancing at the pic-
tures, he laid it aside in order to examine
.more closely the other treasures of St. Nicho-
10 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
las, which, as they glittered and sparkled in
all the dazzling brilliancy of high polish,
formed a strong contrast to the plain and un-
pretending exterior of the book.
Such a variety-what was there not spread
out upon that long table Here was a perfect
equipment of armor, handsomely plated with
silver; the shining helmet was adoihed with red
and white ostrich feathers, which waved grace-
fully with every movement of the wearer, while
the breastplate or corselet, was ornamented
with a large gilded sun, and on the triangular
shield was painted the armorial bearings of the
family. And then the sword, it was a real
sword, with golden figures on the hilt, and was
hung to the belt of red leather by a silver chain.
And there was a new sleigh, just suited to the
little poney in the stable, which Robert had
visited, and admired the quiet gentleness with
which he received food from his hand.
But this was not all which the generous pa-
tron of the Christmas season had brought. A
small hunting rifle, handsomely inlaid with sil-
ver, a cutlass and game-bag, together with a
huntsman's horn, powder-flask and shot-pouch,
all elegant enough to provoke a love of wood-
THE -HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 11
craft in a book-worm. Nothing that apper-
taiied to the equipment of a true sportsman
was wanting. And the large box that held so
much, turned out to be a checker-board and
draughts, a gold watch, and -so many, many
beautiful things that it would take up too much
time to attempt to enumerate all of them, if
indeed we kAew the names-but in the bottom,
there still lay the plain, unattractive book,
with its green cover and its pictures of Robin-
son and his man Friday; indeed, it was quite
pretty, had it been looked at by itself, but be-
side those golden and silver gilt articles, those
warrior and huntsman equipment, it was no-
thing. There it lay, and there it might lay,
until Robert should, gradually becoming ac-
customed to the glittering panoply and costly
toys, grow weary of playing with them, as was
very certain to be the case. This happened
verysoon. For sparkling, glittering and showy
as they appeared on the outside, in this as in
many other things in the world, consisted their
whole value. The eyes of the boy soon ceased
to be dazzled by the glare, and he endeavored
to find out some intrinsic worth. He found his
efforts vain, for they did not possess any.
12 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
Searching through the box one day, the he-
glected book fell into his hands. The out-
t ide was certainly very plain, but what, glorious
treasures were hidden within'that unattractive
i 'xteior! The boy read and read, and as every
page :disclosed, new wealth, he dwelt upon it
as a miser gloats upon his gold. Howitdaz-
zled' his eyes, anid filled bhis soul with lofty
imaginings. He was no longer a boy, but a
i man in 'spirit, enduring perils and conquer-
ing difficultieslike the renowned hero and lord
6f the Juan Fernandez. He forgot his meals,
'whilst his fancy banquetted on the entrancing
food presented to it, as the leaves flew rapidly
.from beneath his hand-there never was such
a book; :his armor, with sword, and helmet, and
knightly appendages could ho longer awaken
any martial enthusiasm-they might rust asdid
.:i those of the' ancient heroes'; the birds were
S ierfecily safe from any inroads into their forest
16 iainin order to try the hunting apparatus,
and the little poney in the stable might neigh
ii.ntil he was tired, for the new sleigh wia
i standing in a corner of the outer hall, covered
with dust, and Robert' did hot care that it was
so.' I He was so.completely absorbed, that no-
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 13
thing troubled him. He neither saw nor wanted
anything, nor thought nor dreamed of aught
Sut that green covered book, from bhich he
inow never parted, he carried it with him where-
-ever he wientr took it to bed with him and laid
it under his pillow, so that as soon as he awoke
in the morning he had it close at hand, and
Resumed the history at the place which the
night had interrupted.
SNeverin his life had he enjoyed any book like
this, and great 'as was the -pleasure it gave
Shim, it was not lessened from excess; for its
continuance.was not limited to a few hours or
'days, but weeks passed over, and the tide of
enjoyment was as full and flowing as when, he
had first pored over its attractive pages.
With an intense interest he followed the
-fortunes of Robinson; his clandestine depar-
ture from home, his journey to England, his
voyage, shipwreck and lonely life upon the
desert island, that far, far from any civilized
'portion of the earth, lay in all its grand. and
primitive solitude in the midst of the ocean.
And his manly battling with privations of
every kind! Poor Robinson! Our young hero
accompanied him in fancy to the sea-shore,
14 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
helped him to gather muscles to appease his
gnawing hunger, rejoiced with him in his dis-
covery of a spring, mourned with him when
he tumbled down from the tree in his sleep,
on the branches of which he had roosted,
hoping to find a safe asylum from the wild
beasts-whose reign was now for the firsttime
disturbed. He followed him step by step
through his efforts for improving his condi-
tion, rejoicing in his success, and sympathizing
at his failure. And when times grew better
with him-that was real joy, when he had
found a place of shelter for himself, and had
taken some lamas, and, got them within the
enclosure. How interested he was as he read
of his gradually becoming accustomed to soli-
tude, and how he repented of his faults, and
acknowledged that all had worked together
for good, and turned his heart to the practice
of a pure and steady devotion. And then, too,
Robert would laugh at his dread of the sava-
ges, and reproach him for a silly fellow to be
frightened at the sight of a few bones or foot-.
prints on the sand, not being able to recognize
the voice of his own parrot, and keep such a
twisting and turning round rather than go to
his hut in a straight direction.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 15
But when the savages really came in their
canoes! Then the boy's heart throbbed
wildly; Robinson's own could not have been
more disturbed. And the flight of the priso-
ner Friday! Ah! then he was more delighted
with Robinson than-'ever, for his kind and
brave conduct with relation to the poor fugi-
tive, over whose stupidity our young hero
laughed heartily, for," he would say, Friday
is a good fellow, but he is too silly for any-
thing. Just to think of his putting his.hand,
into the boiling water to take hold of the fish
or frog, or whatever other creature he thought
was -the occasion of the confusion, and thus
badly scalding that most useful member. And
even worse than that, was his awkward attempt
to dress himself in the clothes given him by
Robinson, putting his legs in the sleeves of the
jacket, and trying to make the trowsers fit
his arms. It was too funny."
But afterwards Robert began really to love
the faithful savage. His attachment to his
master, his willingness to perform every service,
his quickness at learning, and his obedience,
all this won Robert's heart, and he felt as if
he could almost have kissed him, although he
6 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
Swas an Indian... In short, he read the book
with rhe greatestt attention, from rlr fir.t, page
.to the last, ten times through, 'and still wa
not satisfied to quit it. He envied Robinson's
happiness in being able to do so many things
for himself, and he wished hundreds of times
that he wouldd -have lived with him on his-desert
island, helping him to cook, hunt, fish, turn
earthen pots, and, in short, share all his des-
tiny in that lonely home.
"You are a young blockhead," said his
father, to ihom he one day expressed this wish,
:."uch a life as this may come very pleasantly
before you from being read of in a book, but
remember you would have to be very hungry
and thirsty to enable you to relish the raw
food, as you would have neither fire nor utensils
to cook.it. .'You would begin to look back to
what:you had left behind,and long for our well
filled dinner-table. And besides, Robinson
was a very different lad from you; he knew
how to help himself. But you, silly boy, what
single thing could you do, were you to be a
castaway on a desert island ?"
0, father, do not you believe I could do
fust as well as Robinson ?" answered Robert
.THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 17
I wisk I only had an opportunity of trying!
And then-he did not succeed all at once, for
he made his: things badly at first, and it
was on1y by practice and patient perseverance,
that he'aucceeded at last. 0 father, I would
venture my life just to play Robinson. You
should see how lightly I would-regard.difficul-
ties, and despise all hindrances! 0 dear
father, just let me try !"
'"I verily believe the reading of this book
has turned your head, Robert," said his father,
smiling. "Here in our own country, you
would soon get enough of such sport. You would
not play Robinson long. Look out of the win-
dow. How would you build a house of snow
And cocoa-nut trees, do you think they will
shoot up out of the frozen earth? What a
foolish boy you are. Give up your ridiculous
notions, or I will take your book from you and
lock it up. Friday, at whose simplicity you
laugh, was certainly-a great deal'wiser than
you. If he had all the comforts that you pos-
sess, it would have been.very hard for him to
wish himself in that lonely and deserted place.
Yes, my son, it is very easy to dream over
things as we sit beside a cheerful fire,-or at a
.18 THE HERO' OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
plentifuftable, but the reality is a very differ.
-ent thing, as you, my dear Robert, may one
day 6nd out."
Robert turned his eyes on the frost-wreathed
windows, and looked through the fanciful
tracery formed by the hand of winter. The
stream was frozen, icicles were hanging from
the eaves, and snow covered the roofs and
highways ; .the trees, stripped of their summer
robes, were bending under a weight of crysIal
Sgems, and for the moment Robert had no fur-
ther desire to play Robinson, but still he did
tot abandon'his design altogether, but com-
forted himself for, his present disappointment
by looking forward to its accomplishment in the
S" Well, but father," said he, when we go
to the country, as we always do in summer,
then you niust let me prove to you that I can
do like Robinson. You shall see how cleverly,
I can help myself. I will.live alone, build a
hut, make a fire, do my own cooking, and
Shoot birds and hunt roots. What a plea-
sure it will be! And you do not know father
what else ? After I have been there for a few
weeks by myself, you can'send my cousin
'THE BERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 19,
Willibald, or if he should not like tile plan,
for be is a queer fellow, the sonof our Hoch-
berg farmer, George; youknow.we have always
Splayed together, and he shall bemyman Friday.
0 pray, dear father, let us play Robinson !"
"Robert," said the Count gravely, "I did not
suppose you were such a real blockhead. Ask
your cousin Willibald; he will laugh in your
face. And besides, what is to become of your
lessons while you are playing Robinson?
Have some sense, my boy. You know Iindulge
you in everything reasonable, but this--it is
really too ridiculous. Come now," he continued,
with some sternness, seeing Robert about to
speak, "be silent! I will not hear another word
on the subject. Sit down and study your Latin
Grammar; begin at Mensa a table-Menesa
tables, and so.on. And you need to use
double industry, for I must tell you that ydur
teacher has latterly complained of your negli-
gence in getting your lessons. You cannot
keep your attention confined to your book, for
you have nothing in your head but Robinson
and his man Friday. Now I say once for all,
give up this foolish whim, or I shall look up
the books as I threatened."
20 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
i O"0 nA, father, dear father," cried Robert,
"do not do that! Mr. Brook shall have no
more to complain of me. I will be as atten-
tive and industrious as I was before Christ-.
mas, only, dear father, let me keep my book,
my precious, glorious book of Robinson Cru-
SThe Count held up his finger threateningly.
Very well," said he at last, i for this time
I will trust you; but Robert, if you do not
banish this silly idea from your brain, I shall
not continue to treat it as a ridiculous jest.
If you wish.to become a. useful, capable man,
you must qualify yourself to fill a responsible
position in the world, and to do this properly
requires great industry and perseverance."
SRobert saw that- his father- was in earnest,
and as he did not wish -to lose his treasured
book, he studied iis pages rather less and those
of his grammar rather more. Mr. Brook, his
teacher, professed himself satisfied with his
progress, and his -father said nothing more
about depriving him of his book. .But diligent
as he was, and anxious to please his father,
he could not yet subdue his wish to play Roe
binson. His truant fancy pointed the perfect
THE HERO OF F LCON'S ISLAND. 21
freedom of a i.,nely life on a desert, iiand, in
the most enchanting colors; and to his distorted
mental vision, nothing in the world looked so
glorious as to dwell in solitude, and have a
right to a realm that none could dispute. He
saw himself wandering wherever he pleased,.
untrammelled by the fetters of social observ-
ances, his gun upon his shoulder and cutlass
in his belt, and at all events a faithful dog by
his side, very wisely considering-that is if
there was ahy wisdom in the whole affair-that-
wild animals were not abundant .in our coun-
try, as the lamas on Robinson's island, where
he had only to put out his hands to catch
0, if summer was only come!" he thought
to himself, "then we would leave this pent-up
city and go to the country; ah, let us only
once get there, I will give father no rest until
he shall say yes. In the meantime I will find
out whether cousin Willibald will act Friday,
for if he does not I must have George."
Robert soon had an opportunity of ques-
tioning his cousin, for like hiniself he always
lived in the city during the winter, and. as the
boys were s- nearly the same age,, they were
22 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
much together. It so happened that on
the afternoon of the same day:Willibald came
to visit his uncle, Count Hochberg. Robert
soon took him to his own room, and commenced
speaking on the subject now uppermost in his
"Willibald," said he, as he showed him the
book, "have you ever read Robinson ?"
"Yes indeed, who has not," answered Willi-
bald. "It is a glorious book, and has given
me much pleasure."
"You are right, it is a glorious book," cried
Robert, his lately repressed enthusiasm now
fairly rekindled; "do you know that I have
the greatest desire to play Robinson. Hbw
I do wish we were in the country. In the
neighborhood of our house is such a nice
island in the creek, it belongs to father--you
remember the 'Falcon island, we played there
often enough last summer, and ran about in
the woods-how, do you see, I am going to beo
Robinson, and live on that island. It is plenty
arge enough. There is a thick wood and
abundance of game; good water and roots are
not wanting. And then, look you, I will
build a hut with my own hands, of the branches
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 23
of trees and skins, arid have a flock and shoot
animals-in a word, live like Robinson. Is it
not a glorious idea, Willibald ? What do you
think of it ? and would not you like to be my
"Turn myself into a jack-pudding?" said
Wiliibal.l, very coldly. ".I.thank you for the
offer. You had better hunt up another Friday.
Glorious cooking it would be; no,, I would
rather sit down to table, and eat a good din-
ner prepared by a regular cook, than have
any Robinson-roasts. Such nonsense, Robert;
surely you are not so silly; give up the foolish
notion at once."
Give it up? No, that I will not," re-
plied Robert peevishly, for he was vexed that
his proposal had been sb coldly received, and
felt disappointed in his cousin, of whose ready
co-operation he had not the smallest doubt.
"What a tame fellow you are, Willibald!:
You care for nothing but eating and drinking,
and a piece of pie tastes better to you' than a
dish of soup made by yourself. But I am of
a different opinion, and would greatly prefer
to make a fire in the forest, set a pot over it,
and make a nice stew of a hare or a couple'of
24 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
birds; when it is done, it will taste so good,
eaten under the green trees. 0 what a plea-
sure it will be I think it is charming:!"
"Charming or not charming, I think you
will soon have enough of it," replied Willi--
bald. Only try it; you will not find cooking
as easy as you expect. And if you'have no-
thing to cook, how then?"
"Pooh! as if on Falcon Island there was
not plenty of birds.and other game, and father
will not care how many I shoot'" said Robert.
You.had better consider whether or not you
will be my man Friday. It is all the same
to me, for if you do not, George, our.farmer's
son, will be glad to come; I know he will."
"Well, then, engage him at once," replied
Willibald, "for I am not going to play Friday.
But I tell you what I will do, I shall laugh at
you to my heart's content, when you shall
have acted Robinson for a few days. You will
have enough of it. But Robert," he added
more seriously, "do get rid of this silly idea.
It is glorious toread that wonderfully absorb-
ing book, but to go act over what it tells of.
is, believe me, really too ridiculous" .
You think yourself such a wiseacre, tha .
;THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 25
you believe you know everything better than
anybody else," cried Robert, now fairly in a
passion, as he turned his back on his cousin.-
But his cousin's disparaging remarks did
not at all weaken his resolution to play Robin-
son; the idea was now too firmly rooted to be
eradicated, and as Willibald would not lisitei,
he spoke with several of his schoolmates, boys
of his own age, but with no better success.
Some stared in amazement, others thought
him crazy, but the most laughed outright, and
all declared it to be too.visionary. Not one but
admitted that Robinson Crusoe was a charm-
ing book to read, but each boy confessed that
he had no desire to be in the shipwrecked
sailor's place, neither could one be found will-
ing to earn the Crusoe laurels at the required
price. Ridicule, however, in this case had no
effect. Robert became very angry, and al-
though he spoke no more of his plan, he dwelt
upon it in secret, and most heartily despised
those "tame fellows that could not bear a lit-
The winter passed away, and the warm sun
of spring melted the snow on the roofs 'and
streets; the great icicles fell to the ground
26 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
with a crash, the meadows put on their vernal
garb, the hedges wore their green livery, the
buds swelled and burst forth into bloom; na-
Sure once more smiled, for the whole earth
stood forth in renewed beauty.
Count Hochberg left the city in May, and
taking his son and all his household, proposed
passing the summer at Hochberg castle, a fine
estate he inherited from his ancestors, and was
situated within a convenient distance from the
It stood upon .a ill, and with its tall towers
and imposing front presented a conspicuous
feature in the lovely landscape, and the scene
which the indwellers might survey from the
windows every day was one which nature had
endowed with lavish hand. From its elevated
position it commanded a wide scope, and there
was a mingling of varied beauties in the pic-
ture, that lay so gloriously spread out-before it
-forests, meadows, far-off villages, and moun-
tains yet more distant, and above all, Falcon
Island, where our young hero was resolved to.
perform his Robinsonade.
It lay in the midst of the stream, and was
of considerable size. It was a pleasant pace
THE hERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 27
m summer, for its whole surface was'cove-ed
with forest trees. Beeches, oaks, birch ..d
the red-leaved: ash,, mingled their different
shades of foliage harmoniously together, and
formed a grateful shelter from the noon-tide
heat, and now, at the time of the Count's arri-
val, they were in. the highest degree of beauty
afforded by the May-time bloom.
Robert saw no object in the glowing pano-
rama before him but one, namely, Falcon
Island. He looked constantly towards it from
the windows of the castle, and one thought only
occupied his mind.
"0 if I can. only succeed in getting
my father's consent Falcon Island is the
very thing for Robinson's island; a' better
place cannot be found. Water all round, no
high road leads to it, so solitary and shut out,
one can there be Robinsan in earnest; and
that I do not suffer hunger or any other want,
shall be my own look-out."
Still he uttered no word of his wish to his
father, butfwaited patiently until midsummer
came, at which time he had four weeks of vaca-
tion, and at this time he resolved to renew his
petition to his father, and gain his consent to
28 THE HERP OF FALOON'S ISLAND.
-his adventurous plan. He studied with re-
doubled diligence, and was most careful in
preparing his lessons, so that the Count should
hot say to him on this occasion, as he did once
before, You have something else to do, learn
mensa a table, mense tables, and so on."
Soon after their arrival at. Hochberg, our
Quixotic young hero had spoken.with George,
who had promised at once- to act Friday, al-
though he, had never read -Robinson, nor heard
anything of those far-famed adventures, not-
withstandinghe was a whole year older than Ro-
bert. The latter was delighted with the willing-
ness of the farmer's son. At last he had m'et
with a congenial soul, one who could understand
him and comprehend hisfavorite plan. What
perfect bliss it was to have a comrade, to whom
he could tell all his plans, one who would be
as humble-and submissive as Friday.
Robinson was not more fortunate in his
runaway savage, nor did Don Quixote possess
a greater treasure in his far-famed Sancho
panza, than himself with the peasant boy.
Each afternoon, when Mr. Brook, closing
the books, declared the lessons ended, Robert,
with his Robinson in his pocket, left the
THE HERO 0 FALCON'S ISI4ND. 29
library, and with fleet. foot repaired to the
castle-garden, where he always found George
waiting for him, in an arbor, which in a dis-
tant corner, and ibickly covered with ivy,
promised securityfrom intruders. There,
hidden by the dark.green leaves, they sat close
together, poring over the niagic pages, and so
completely absorbed in following the destiny
of the hero, whose example they were for the,
present determined should be the rule of their
life, that they observed not how the time sped.
"I am determined," Robert would.exclaim,
when in-the advancing twilight objects began
to grow indistinct, and the evening shadows
warned them that it was time .to separate, "I
am determined to be Robinson."
S"And so am I," echoed George, who had
caught a considerable portion of Robert's
enthusiasm, although he knew very little of
the matter. "I will be your faithful Friday I
The whole thing will go offfirst-rate. If your
father will only give-you leave, mine never
cares what I do."
They would then,take leave of each other,
first shaking hands as if in renewal of their
80 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
engagement, and promising to meet at the
same hour on the next day in the ivy bower,
to renew their beloved study of Robinson's ad-
ventures, and with admiration increased ,by
every page they read.,
But at length the day arrived on which the
important decision was to be made. The
school term was ended, the vacation- com-
meie.l1, Mi'. Brook went on a visit of a month's
length to his parents, and Robert, released
from the drudgery of books, felt himself a free
Naturally courageous, and encouraged by
.he invigorating influence of a lovely morning,
he boldly entered the library where his father
sat reading, and seating himself upon his knee,
looked so entreatingly in his face, that the
Count at once perceived he had some request
"Well, what is it, my son?" sinid he, smiling.
"I see you want something of me."
"Yes, dearest father," replied Robert.
But in the first place, Mr. Brook has not
been obliged to complain of me for a long time,
has he, father ?"
No, Robert," answered the Count, "and
THE BERO O FALCON'S ISLAND. 81
it so greatly rejoices me, th.r I will cheer
fully grant whatever you shall ask of me, pro-
riding that-you desire nothing unreasonable."
Oh, it is altogether reasonable, dear, good,
kind father, and you can grant it so easily,"
replied Robert: "I pray you, do ,ot refuse
me; say that you will not."
"In the first place,-my son," rejoined the
Count laughing, "I must know what it is you
wish me to grant. I cannot promise in the
dark, so speak it boldly, and then I will judge
whether or not I can gratify you."
"'Now then, father-ah, I am afraid you
will not," said Robert at first shyly, but taking
courage, the words-- let me during the vaca-
tion play Robinson on Falcon's Island," at
length burst forth.
It is impossible to describe the amazement
of Count Hochberg'on hearing-this singular
request. He was gravely silent for a moment
or two, at first, but at length he laughed
'Robert," he cried, "it is not possible you
still have this silly project in your head? I
believed you had forgotten it long ago; but
it is really too ridiculous;" and he continued
82 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
to laugh until Robert was nearly out of pa-
"Why so, father," remonstrated the boy
somewhat embarrassed; "I would give my
life almost; I cannot be disappointed, and I
am sure I have not asked anything unfeason-
able. And ever since Christmas, I have so
longed for it. -I beg you, dearest father, oh
do consent! You shall see that I will be
doubly d:iligernt when Mr. Brook returns. -
Robert, it is so foolishly ridiculous,", said
his father, "and you-are so young! It.is
impossible that you can provide for yourself,
not thirteenyears old; what are you thinking
Only let me try, father! You know I
can shoot birds as well as any of our hunts-
men, and there is plenty of game on the island.
1Nice roots grow there too, but supposing the
worst, as neither fruit nor potatoes grow in the
woods, let me take a couple of bags full when
"Why, you silly boy," 'said- the Count,
"supposing I humored you in this whim, you
want something more than game and potatoes.
You must have a shelter from the weather,
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 88
and there is no hut on the island; you will
have no bed, neither table nor chair-nothing !
"But there are plenty of trees, father
and bushes and leaves, and out of all of them
I can build a hut and make a nice bed. The
first night I will sleep in the branches like
Robinson,. and afterwards you will see how I
will get along, especially when -my man Fri-
day joins me."
"Indeed," exclaimed the Couini, have
you really engaged a man Friday ? The affair
has proceeded further than I could have sup-
"Yes indeed !" replied Robert, "our far-
mer's George is going to play that part. The
first day I am to be all alone, but Friday is
to join me on the next."
"This is truly glorious!" exclaimed Count
Hochberg, again indulging in a burst orhearty
laughter. You are a real adventurer, Robert,
and in future I must be very.careful what books
I put into your hands, especially those as-in-
teresting as Robinson. But at present, you \
must give me time for consideration. Leave
me in quiet until this evening, and you shall
then hear my decision. But do n(t hope for
84 THE HErO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
tco much. I doubt much ~whether I shall ae-
cide according to your wishes, and if I do, it
will only, be on certain conditions, which must
be fulfilled. Now go and play with your man
.Full of joy, Robert ran off to seek him.
He believed he had succeeded, since his father
instead of flatly refusing, had taken time to
consider, and.since he had done so, surely he
did not think the thing so altogether ridicu-
lous as he wished to make it appear.
But he misjudged his father. The Count
ordered his horse to be brought, and mount-
ing him rode to a neighboring town, where a
skilful physician in whose judgment he had
much confidence resided. To him he detailed
the wonderful idea that had taken possession
of his son's mind, and stating that he feared
it to be a species of monomania, inquired if
it would, or would not, be proper to suffer him
to carry out his plan, supposing the former
could be accomplished without injury to his
"I think it could," replied the physician,
After he had taken a hearty'laugh at our
hero's visionary project. The island is per-
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISA.'D. 35
reetly warm and dry, the nights are pleasant,
and Robert is a stout healthy boy, and I do
not believe he will as much as have a cold in
the head. It is'the only way to cure him;
for.he will have time to think, and he will be
certain, to perceive his folly, when he finds
things do not succeed according; to his wish,
Just give the young, gentleman his own will
for a day or two; I will go security he will
by that time be satisfied, and not want to play
Robinson a second.time. Self-will must bring
its own punishment. I suppose, sir, you have
endeavored. to represent the folly of such an
undertaking to your son, as well as to dissuade
him from it."
"Certainly, but the boy is so fully pos-
sessed with the idea, thatJI fear a disappoint-
ment would do him more harm than could re-
sult from making:the trial."
"Let him make it, sir, let him try it," said
Dr. who was a man of experienced
practice; "there is no danger of permanent
injury to his health, and the lesson given to
his self-willed undertaking will be one likely
to serve him through his whole life."
"Well, then," said the Count, "I suppose
86 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
I must let him have his will for this time
How long do you' think he ought to o;e per
mitted to remain on the island?"
Just as long as he chooses," replied Dr,
But if I mnay make a suggestion,.
S give your consent, only on condition that he
niust play Robinson during the whole time of
vacation. You can afterwards take your own
course, for the terms will certainly have to be
repealed by you."
"I think I understand you," remarked the
Count laughing. "i Master Robiison shall have
his will, and be monarch of the island and all
that he surveys. I will give him some arti-
cles, so that he need not really suffer; for in-
stance, a few' cooking utensils and potatoes.
I would not have him to hunger."
"Yes, that will be altogether right, but I
pray you do not add any other stores," said
the.Doctor. Potatoes are very wholesome
food, and not to be despised, even if eaten
without butter or salt-we shall not have long
to wait to see the end of the first act. At all
events, I will come eveiy day to see that no
injury can happen to his health, or in case of
a blight cold, be ready to attack it at once.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 87
But I think you need not be under any appre-
hension from that source. Robert will have
to suffer more inconveniences tlar. he dreams
of, but there is no other danger; he will not
remain long enough to provoke any."
I suppose, then, he must try how his plan
will succeed. I will no longer oppose any
hindrance," said the Count, laughing, as he re-
mounted his horse; nevertheless sad thoughts
swayed his heart as he rode back to the castle.
It was not long after his arrival, that Robert
stood before him, and looked up into his eyes
with an expression half hoping, half doubting;
but no answering glance gave an affirmative;
he was obliged to speak.
"Dear father, have you decided ? May I do
as I wish?"
"You may. I have no objection," answered
the Count with a smile.
The boy uttered a cry of joy, and danced
round the room in an exuberance of delight,
which could not be restrained. But this vio-
lent ebullition was of short duration, and when
the farce was partially abated, the Count took
him by the hand and held him fast.
"Remember, Robert," said he, "I mentioned
88 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
this morning that if I consented, it would be
on certain conditions only, and these you must
be sure to observe."
"In4eed I will, father, with joy-most joy-
fully a thousand times. What are they?"
"There are but two," answered the Count.
"The first is, that you suffer me to provide
you with some materials for kindling fire, tools
for building your house, and some potatoes,
for Falcon Island is not as productive as was
Robinson's in the Pacific."
"I am agreed to that, father," was Robert's
"The second is, that you must continue
your play of Robinson through the whole vaca-
tion; you dare not think of leaving the island
until Mr. Brook has returned from his jour-
Robert clapped his hands, as he exclaimed
joyfully, Agreed, agreed! that is the very
Thing I want."
"Very well, I am rejoiced to find we think
so much alike," said the Count. "Choose what-
ever things you will have need of for your island.
life, and get ready to depart in the morning;
the boat will land you at any point you wish.
STHE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 39
But will you breakfast before you leave thl
castle, or wait until you reach your kingdom?"
"I will wait, father. From to-morrow I will
be Robinson out and out, and you will soon
hear the report of my gun thundering in the
forest. I forgot; I durst not shoot? eh,
Certainly, shoot anything that you find
willing to be shot. I know you are quite ex-
pert and careful in handling a gun, and I
have so much confidence in you that I fear
nothing from your rashness. But now, give
me no reason tb repent of that confidence
from any act of unnecessary fool-hardiness."
No indeed, father, I will not," was.Robert's
assurance. I am so grateful for your kind-
ness that I will be very careful not to cause
you any uneasiness. But now I must go and
tell it all to my man Friday. After a week
he will come, and I will conduct him to my
palace, which by that time will be finished. O !
father, what pleasure it will be. I will think
upon it all my life, I am sure I shall."
I hope so, my son," said Count IIochberg,
turning away in order to conceal the smile
that played upon his lips. "But in case,
40 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
Robert," he continued, you find yourself
in want of anything, you have only to fire
your gun three times, at short intervals, and
help shall be sent at once. Do not forget ta
do this, there is no knowing what might hap-
You are quite right, father," said Robert,
as he ran out of the room to seek Friday, and
tell him the joyful news.
"Father has consented!" shouted Robert,
as he waved his hat, and George added an
accompaniment not less joyful or less loud in
tone, and they at once consulted on their plan
of action, first resolving to make the best use
of the time they were allowed to spend on the
island. After George had resolved to make
his appearance on Falcon's Island without
fail on that day week, the boys separated, not
to meet again until it would be time to act to-
gether in a new scene.
Robert went back to the castle, laid his gun,
powder-horn, htinting-knife, and everything
he proposed carrying with him to his lonely
isle, in readiness, and then went to bed hoping
to have a foreshadowing of the glorious future
in his dreams. But sleep came not, for joy
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 41
prevented its approach. Towards morning
he slumbered, but although he dreamed, and
those capricious visitants placed the shadows
of a Robinson-life vividly before him, they did
not choose the brightest scenes for the inter-
He started up from uneasy sleep at least
ten times during the night, so that he could
not compose himself readily again. And wbhy
was this ? Is it not often the case with more
than our visionary boy? His most ardent
wish had been granted, and although the fu-
ture promised him an endless fund of enjoy-
ment, the brightest was not all glowing, but
like everything else, attended with its con-
THE FIRST DAY.
"NOBODY WITH ME AT SEA BUT MYSELF."
THE first rays of the sun were just visible
above the horizon, when Robert started from
the couch which had been visited by glowing
fancies rather than refreshing sleep ; instead
of lazily putting forth one foot, as was his usual
custom-in which habit, by the way, he was
not at all singular, for we have known many
given to the like practice-he sprung forth on
both of those useful members, and with cor-
responding activity began the necessary ope-
ration of dressing. We must, however, confess
his toilet was but carelessly made ; for an old
proverb tells us that things done in a hurry
are very seldom done well; his waistcoat was
put on wrong side out, and he had only drawn
on one sleeve of his coat, when he went to his
father's room to take leave of him.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 48
"To be sure," said he, "I would much
rather steal off as Robinson did, but my father
is so good that I do not like to vex him, and
besides, Robinson was often troubled to think
of his own wickedness in leaving home with-.
out permission, and then my father is deter-
mined to go with me to the boat, which, if I
must tell the truth, I would much rather he
His father had slept quite as little as his son;
he was uneasy as to the issue of this Quixotic
adventure, and very apprehensive that it might
end in disaster; but having resolved to let
Robert have his own way for a time, in order
to cure him of his folly, he was already up and
prepared to see the first act of the farcical pro-
Deep silence still reigned in the castle;
only one or two of the servants, whom the
Count had desired to be in readiness, were
stirring; the gray veil of night was but par-
tially withdrawn, but the sweet and sacred in-
fluence of the early morning, ushered in by
the chants of birds, and sounds that heralded
the awakening of nature, was to be felt in full
force on this, one of the loveliest of summer
44 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
days. The dew glittered like diamonds upon
the fresh green grass, and the light breeze
came laden with the perfume of flowers, and
played among the green leaves of thle hedges,
over which the bees were already roaming.
But Robert neither saw nor cared for any
of these things. The boat which lay moored
at the shore of the lake, was far more attractive
to his eyes at present, for that was to be the
means of transporting him to the charming
Falcon Island, where he was to perform such
a heroic part. But if he was somewhat dis-
pleased to have his father's company to the
shore, he was more so, when he discovered
the reason of the servants having been up at
this early hour.
On stepping into the boat, he found such
stores of provisions as savored, according to
his notions, entirely too much of civilized life,
and altogether opposed to the circumstances
in which Robinson began his absolute reign
on the lonely island in the Pacific.
There was quite a stock of provisions on
board ; a bag of potatoes and other vegetables,
together with some ordinary utensils for do-
mestic purposes, such as a small pot for cook-
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 45
ing, two or three plates, a knife, fork, and
spoon, a little salt and sugar, and some other
articles, which being in daily use are little
prized, but would be greatly missed if they
Robert was absolutely opposed to taking
any of these conveniences to Falcon Island,
it was so unRobinson-like; he would a great
deal rather seek and find his own provisions,
like the hero of the Juan Fernandez," and
begged his father to let the servants carry all
back to the castle. The Count, however, insisted
that they should remain in the boat, and Robert
found himself forced to yield.
There is one comfort," said he to himself,
I am not obliged to use them, unless I please,
and I know I am not going to do it; a little
iron kettle to make soup in is quite enough,
and so I shall not trouble myself to ciirry the
other things from the boat."
"Farewell, dear father," said he alonw. is
he turned towards the Count, and took his
hand, "I must once more thaiik you for grant-
ing me this favor; be assured I will not abuse
your kindness, and do not have the least uneasi-
ness about me, for I shall get along first-rate."
46 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
"I have every confidence in you, my son,"
replied the Count, and hope you will enjoy
the sovereignty of Falcon Island to your
heart's content. I trust you will perform
everything in true Robinson style in your
quiet realm, and be perfectly happy in find-
ing.yourself 'monarch of all you survey,' and
if the undertaking proves as plea;srut as you
anticipate, why-you can 'play Robinson
again next summer.' I give you my permis-
sion beforehand that you shall."
0 father, how kind you are," cried Robert,
whilst his eyes lightened with pleasure, and
he sprang into the boat.
"Come Hans, push off; and now, dear
father, farewell-for four weeks farewell !"
The boat left the shore and flew swiftly
over the smooth waters of the lake, from which
the heavy masses of mist had already retreated,
and now reflected the glowing, rosy image of
the sun, as ,he came forth like a ball of fire
from above the horizon.
Robert had little desire of speaking with
any one; but as Hans had frequently taken him
with him when he went fishing, he thought,
therefore, it would not be treating his old friend
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 47
well not to say something, so he accordingly
began: Hans," said he, "don't you think
it will be nice to play Robinson on Falcon
"Play what ?" cried Hans, who had never
heard of Crusoe in his life.
"Play Robinson," answered our hero; "cut
down trees, build a house, and tame goats,
just like Robinson did, you know."
"Never hear'n of him," replied Hans
"who's to help you cut trees, and build houses?
Anybody going to settle there ?"
"No," cried Robert, a little angrily, "there
is to be no one but myself. Robinson lived
all alone, and I am going to do so too."
How long will it take you to play it out,
young gentleman?" asked Hans, with a mis-
chievous twinkle of the eye.
"Fourweeks," said Robert. "Iwishitwas
four months instead."
Whew-h-e-w-w !" whistled Hans. "I am
thinking you'll tire before that time comes
round, but--here we are; come Master Robert,
let's pull ashore."
The strand of the little island was soon
reached, and although Robert, had previously
48 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
determined not to use anything that was cal-
culated to remind him of civilized life, he now
helped Hans to draw the boat up to the shore,
and performed his share of unloading, with-
out any exhibition of reluctance.
When the last article was landed, the fisher-
man re-entered the boat, and bidding our
young hero farewell, while a meaning smile
played over his rude and sun-embrowned fea-
tures, rowed vigorously back to the mainland.
What words can express the delight of
Robert, when he saw himself at last in the
enjoyment of his favorite wish ; was it really
true, or was he dreaming? He found himself
entirely alone, shut out from all the real
world; and if the great Pacific did not bound
the shores of his lonely isle, the lake did, and
he was not only as solitary as Robinson, but
quite as absolute a monarch of the little realm,
for like the shipwrecked sailor he was the first
"settler," as the Yankees say.
It was truly delightful-a lonely island;
no sound of human voice or trace of human
footstep; no' companionship with the pelf-
.loving herd that crowd the walks of every-
day life; no, he was alone in the forest, alone
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 49
with the feathered and four-footed denizens
of that, as yet, uninvaded territory; and the
rabbits, deer, and hares-what troops of them
he would have; he could tame them, and win
their love-there was no reason why he should
not be a true and genuine Robinson out and
How happy he was! With a feeling of
enjoyment, to which, until this morning, he
had been a stranger, he inhaled the balmy
breathing of the forest; he listened in per-
fect rapture to the birds, as they twittered
among the leaves, or sung madrigals in the
branches, and quite as joyful as themselves,
he broke forth into a song that penetrated far
into the shadowy glades, and awoke the echoes
that had slept for the dear knows how long.
And all jesting aside, his perfect rapture is
not to be wondered at or derided.
Notwithstanding his Quixotic propensity,
although the occasion of his being there was
visionary in the highest degree, his must have
been an insensible and worthless heart, that
would not be more or less operated upon by
the all-pervading influence of nature, when
50 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
exerted at such an hour, and attended by such
The glorious works of the great Creator
are full of charms, and inspire feelings that
prove how great is the sympathy that exists
throughout the whole creation, between the
animate and inanimate objects formed by the
Mighty Hand; and although our silly boy was
not conscious of the presence of the sacred
power to which he was yielding, he was never-
theless completely overwhelmed by its magi-
cal force. His mind, which had been in a
perfect whirl for some days previous, was now
calmed down to a more sober frame than he
had experienced for several months, and feel-
ing inexpressibly happy, he threw himself
down on the grass beneath the shadow of an
ancient oak, whose thick trunk and knotted
branches proclaimed it a patriarch of the
forest, and reminded the spectator of ages that
had gone by, of whose record it might well be
deemed worthy to be the chronicler.
But although he was more able to reflect
than he had been, it was not to dream of times
when this forest monarch was an acorn, that
he lay musing. His favorite wish was now
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 51
being brought into fruition, and he could lie
here on the grass and project plans for the
settlement of his kingdom, for he had four
whole weeks before him; four whole weeks,
during which time he was not to be dictated
to by any one, and such being the case, he
knew he could accomplish great things.
Smile not, young reader, at our young hero's
views. Kingdoms have been lost and won in
far less time than the four weeks allotted to
Robert, and it need not be thought ridiculous
that he should lie down and plan his affairs so
seriously. Remember, he had but four weeks,
in which time he must build his house, cut
down trees, and sow grain.
As he lay ruminating, the magnitude of the
undertaking increased, the more he thought
of the great work which he was resolved to
perform; and although just now luxuriating
in the enjoyment of perfect solitude, we must
confess the faint vision of the distant but ex-
pected Friday was anything but a shadow on
the bright atmosphere in which his fancy lived.
He lay for a full hour, listening to the music
of the woods, and the happiness of his soul was
Exhibited in every feature; his eyes sparkled,
52 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
his cheeks glowed, and a perpetual smile played
round his lips.
A slight feeling of hunger at length awakened
him from his day-dreams, and brought him
back to every-day realities. The song of
birds, the odors of the forest, and the prospect
of founding-a realm failed to silence the ad-
monitions of a craving stomach. This impe-
rious monitor became at last so positive in its
demands, that our hero was obliged to give
way, and although greatly regretting the dis-
turbance, began to think seriously of breakfast.
He rose rather lazily from his lair on the
grass, and approached the spot where the
hitherto-despised supply of provisions had been
deposited by Hans,.the fisherman, in hopes of
finding something which would satisfy his
urgent appetite without the trouble of cook-
ing. But his search was in vain ; vegetables
enough were there, but nothing that had ever
been near the fire.
"Raw potatoes!" said he, shocking! I
wonder if anybody ever did eat them. I could
not eat raw potatoes if I were starving; they
are, however, very good when boiled, but I do
not feel in a humor for cooking just now. I
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 53
suspect Robinson did get lazy fits sometimes,
although he does not tell about them. I won-
der what father is doing just now, eating his
breakfast I suppose. I wish I had taken a cup
of warm coffee and eaten plenty of bread and
butter before I left home, it would have served
me all day. Ah, well, Friday will come before
long, and then I will make him do the cook-
ing; I suppose he has boiled potatoes for his
mother many a time. But it is no use to fret
now, because I forgot to eat my breakfast;
what is done cannot be undone, and I know
how to help myself." And so once more ex-
amining the vegetables in the bag, he found
some carrots, a few of which he pared with a
knife, and ate with a tolerable appetite-for
hunger is so good a sauce that it can make
almost anything palatable, and going to a
small spring that flowed from under a rock at
the foot of a tree, he formed a primitive cup
from some oak leaves, and drank plentifully
of the pure beverage which nature had there
most liberally provided.
This is rather a slim breakfast," said he
to himself. "Robinson surely had eggs and
oysters for his morning meal, and either are
54 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
very good eating, far better than raw carrots;
but still I will not complain; I am not hungry
now, and to-morrow everything will go on
better. What a blockhead I was not to bring
some coffee-I do so dearly love coffee. But
now I think of it, Robinson had none, and he got
along very well without it. Ah he knew so
well how to help himself. I must now set
about doing something, and I suppose the first
thing I ought to, do, will be to build a house."
There was certainly some wisdom in this
determination, and he began at once to look
around for a suitable spot on which to build
his dwelling, for he very rightly supposed that
it was not the most pleasant thing in the world
to sleep in the open air, with the heavens for
a canopy, although adorned with the moon,
and spangled with stars. There would be a
sort of wild pleasure in doing so for a night
or two, but in four weeks, ah, that was a very
short time for improving his realm, but rather
too long to roost in a tree ; many things might.
happen ; most likely, if not certainly, it would
rain, and Robert had been used to consider
getting wet a great inconvenience. So, de-
termined to follow the example of Robinson
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 55
as closely as possible, he resolved to begin
building his house at once, and besides, as he
was naturally ambitious, he wished to show his
man Friday, when he should come, what he
had accomplished by his own unassisted efforts.
My young readers will, no doubt, and with
good reason, think him a silly boy, and laugh
at his ridiculous undertaking; but still, as
every incident we meet with in life serves to
aid the development of character, so our young
hero is not to be altogether despised, inas-
much as he exhibited a bold heart and self-
relying spirit, in the pursuit of his chimerical
"A bad workman quarrels with his tools;
But where there is a will, there is always a way."
OnR hero now began to look around for a
suitable spot on which to build his hut-a hut
to resemble Robinson's as nearly as'possible;
he wanted nothing better, for if he had found
an untenanted bhuse in ever so good condition
on the island, he would not have occupied it,
as it would constantly remind him of civilized
life, which he was most anxious to lose sight
of, while dwelling in his sylvan solitude.
There was a beautiful spot near the shore of
Sthe lake, extending perhaps for a hundred yards
along the beach; level, flat, covered with soft
green grass, and flanked with tall trees, which
formed a pleasant shade from the heat of the
advancing sun. The bright waters, rippled
gently by the morning breeze, flashed gaily in
his glowing beams, and danced and sparkled
in their course as if in hilarious enjoyment
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 57
of the natural beauty by which they were sur-
"Ah!" exclaimed Robert, "what a lovely
place. How nice it would be to build my hut
here; but no, on second thoughts, it will not
do. I can see the old towers of Hochberg so
plainly, I could not feel altogether Robinson-
like, so I must go further into the interior and,
see what I can find there. I must be alone,
entirely alone; I do not wish to see or hear
anything of the civilized world; no, I want to
be Robinson out and out, so I will try to do
just as he did." And accordingly, taking the
favorite volume from his pocket, he read a
chapter or two of that part of the renowned
hero's life which bore upon his present pur-
pose, in order to refresh his memory, if indeed
it was possible he had forgotten any incident
that had been mentioned, as occurring on the
Having satisfied himself in this.particular,
he next proceeded to penetrate to the interior
of his little realm. He remembered to have
seen a kind of meadow once, when he came
here on a fowling expedition with his father,
and as it now came up before his vivid fancy,
58 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
it seemed so appropriate to his plan, that he
believed his improvements must progress rapid-
ly, since nature, instead of opposing any hin-
drance, as she is very apt to do when her
realm is invaded, was now peculiarly pro-
It was indeed an inviting spot; and after
a walk of twenty minutes' length, he found it
in all its undisturbed loveliness. Tall oaks
raised their majestic heads like minarets to
the sky, and the fresh green space on which
the chastened sunbeams fell and danced in
many a mazy movement, was surrounded by
a thicket of briers and brushwood, so dense
that it formed an almost impenetrable wall
around the little circle, and seemed to shut it
out from the invasion of both man and animal,
as well as to invite the fabled merry-footed
wanderers of the night, there to hold their fairy
revels. It lay before him, silent, lonely, sepa-
rate from all the surrounding forest life; and
as our enthusiastic boy gazed upon it as it
lay spread out in its fresh and vernal loveli-
ness, his heart exulted in the prospect of the
luxurious enjoyment of the perfect solitude he
so long had coveted. The 'little men in green'
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 59
had not been there lately, as it appeared from
the state of the grass; it was very high, al-
most as'tall as himself, and in its rank luxu-
riance swayed to and fro in the morning
breeze like gentle undulations of the sea, and
accompanied by the soft murmur of the forest
was strongly suggestive of indolence and re-
pose. But our hero had neither time nor
thought for such fancies; his adventure was
in truth an ideal, but still its execution em-
bodied effort, and called for activity, and he
was ready to exercise both. Instead, there-
fore, of giving way to any dreaming mood,
such as poetical folks are prone to, or yield-
ing to any slumbrous influence that might per-
vade the place, he set himself most vigorously
The grass is very tall," said he, but
what harm does that do?"
As he yet spoke, he began to mow it down
with his hunting-cutlass, and carried it into
little heaps to dry in the sun, as he had seen
the haymakers do in his father's fields.
"There!" he cried, quite satisfied with his
beginning, although the sweat ran down from
his brow in streams, itfat' lopos something
60 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
like. I have not only the loveliest place in
the world to build my house upon, but I shall
have plenty of nice, new, dry hay to make me
a bed in the corner of my hut. It is perfectly
delightful to be here, and Friday will be so
astonished when he comes; how I will laugh
Any one to have seen Robert at his work
would have thought he had been a grass-mower
allhislife. He commenced his operations with
great vigor, and continued them with as much
perseverance as if he had been Robinson him-
self. He swung his little cutlass with that
peculiar movement used by mowers, and the
verdant spot was soon denuded of its summer
robe. This part of his preparation for building
being so far accomplished, a task which it took
him about an hour to perform, he stopped to
rest awhile, and as he did so, gazed not only
with complacency, but with pride ori this the
first work of his own hands.
"Father need not have made such a
rout about my playing Robinson," said he to
himself, for like his illustrious model, he re-
solved to utter his thoughts aloud; "it is a
great deal easier than 1 thought it would be.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 61
What a foolish fellow Willibald'was, not to
do as I wished him; how he would stare if he
knew how quickly I had finished mowing my
meadow. Robinson could not have done it
any better, and if he was here this moment
he would praise me.
"But now patience, patience; and yet I am
so anxious to have all finished, for Friday is
to come next week, and I shall have royal
sport to see how he will open his great eyes
when he sees what I have done. So then, I
must make haste and hurry on my work, that
all may be in real Crusoe order when he comes.
The building of my hut is not the least im-
portant task I have to perform, therefore I
must begin it without delay. Let me see, I
will place it here, just in the middle of this
meadow, and as the first requisite towards the
building, I must cut down a tree."
Unlike most pioneers, who generally carry
an axe with them when they go to explore a
new country, Robert had set out on his way
of discovery empty-handed, excepting his
hunting-knife ; he had, therefore, to return to
the spot on the beach where Hans the fisher-
man had landed the articles brought in the
62 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
boat, and seeking carefully among them for a
hatchet he remembered to have seen, was for-
tunate enough to find it. Armed with this
useful implement of forest-craft, he once more
turned his steps towards the meadow, which
having reached, he began felling two young
trees that stood near its border, intending that
they should form the corner-posts for his new
dwelling. It cost him a considerable effort
of strength, and many blows with his hatchet,
before his task was accomplished, but at length
he succeeded, and he felt like having achieved
a mighty conquest when he saw the trees pros-
trated before him. He then lopped off the
branches, leaving them upon the ground, and
dragging the trunks to the spot in the meadow
where the hut was to be set up. This was-hard
work for him, but he persevered with a zeal
truly praiseworthy, although his strength was
feeble and perspiration dropped from every
pore. His back ached from stooping, and his
hands smarted, for they were turn from hand-
ling the rough bark and tough branches of the
trees; the blood that oozed out from the lace-
rations was no pleasant sight, and to make
the whole matter worse, he saw his labor had
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 63
been in vain. The trunks of the trees, although
small, were too large and heavy for him to
handle, and when he attempted to sink them
into the earth, he found he had not the re-
quisite strength. Still he kept a stout heart,
but as often as he set them upright, they came
down with a crash to the earth.
"What a silly notion it was to think of
building a house!" said Robert aloud, as he
surveyed the destruction of his labors after
the third or fourth effort. "In reference to
a shelter, Robinson was more sensible than
myself; he found a dwelling ready made for
him in a cave, and as there are no caverns
here that I know of, I must provide one for
myself. I am very willing to do so, but every-
thing goes wrong. I could not have imagined
it was so hard to build a little bit of a cabin.
What shall I do? I must have a house of
some kind, so I will try once more: but this
time I will commence a smaller one than I at
first intended. Robinson enlarged his after
Friday came, and why cannot I do so likewise?
I know that my Friday will come, but I wish
he were here just now."
"Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy
Can do all this he promises ?"
CASTING a look of regret on the trees now
.ying on the ground, and on which he had
wasted so much time and labor, Robert, not
yet discouraged in his sanguine expectations,
proceeded to look out for timber better suited
to his diminished views and unassisted strength.
The trees he now selected were not much thicker
in stem than bean-poles, but still the labor of
cutting them was considerable, as so many
were required. However, he persevered, still
comforting himself with repeating many sage
maxims he had often hic nd quoted, and now
recalled-not only as applicable but encourag-
"Business," said he, "is the very salt of
life, and a task begun is half ended-so hav-
ing made a beginning, I think it likely I shall
have my house fixed up so as to be able to sleep
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 65
in it to-night. I can finish it in the morning.
Ah! if I only had not wasted so much time
on those large trees; but it cannot be helped
now, and thereis no use in crying over spilled
milk,' so I will set bravely to work and make
up for the loss."
He did so, and dragging his poles, after he
had cut them, one by one to the meadow, he
had by the middle of.the day collected about
the tenth part of the materials required for
the building of his house. But, sad to tell,
by that time he was completely exhausted I
The day was very sultry; the sun poured
down his noontide rays on the meadow where
our hero was at work, as fiercely as he did upon
the traveller on the day when, as lEsop tells us,
he was contending with Eolus which should
rob the poor man of his cloak. Phoebus con-
quered at that time, and so he did now; our
poor Robert was also forced to yield. He had
not taken into consideration beforehand that a
play of Robinson Crusoe life demanded exer-
tions and ain expenditure of strength for which
his indulged and luxurious habits had formed
no constitution to meet.
He threw down his hatchet, wiped the per-
66 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
spiration from his streaming brow, and throw-
ing himself on the grass under the shade of a
tree, fanned himself most vigorously with his
hat, whilst he indulged in the soliloquy which,
as it closely appertained to the role of Robin-
son, had already become natural and familiar.
"I have done enough," said he, "for the pre-
sent, and I feel rather hungry, as I had a
slim breakfast this morning. I must begin
to see about dinner; and, indeed, I think I
would rather cook than build."
He started from his recumbent position, and
set off hastily towards the spot where his store
of provision was deposited; and as he jogged
along his memory called up a reminiscence of
the breakfast of raw carrots, the simplicity of
which meal had not been productive of sen-
sations so peculiarly pleasant as to make a re-
"It is no better than cow-feed, such eating
as that. I do almost wish this was 'Fairy
Island' instead of Falcon Island, for then one
would only have to say,' Table, spread thyself,'
and it would be done."
Robert, however, only indulged in this vein
of fancy by way of encouragement to his spirits,
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 67
which, if they could not be said to be flagging,
had at least lost that extreme of- buoyancy,
which had at first made him so happy, and
transported him so far beyond the bounds of
reason. He was no fool, although he had suf-
fered his brain to be filled with a chimerical
project. Sensible people have been known to
do things quite as ridiculous in degree, if not
in kind, and while our young readers may be
disposed to laugh at his folly, and call him a
silly blockhead, we hope they will forgive him
in the recognition of his persevering spirit and
cheerful endurance of the hardships brought
upon him by himself. He had no belief in
fairies or supernatural influences, although
such faith is not uncommon in Germany; that
he was a boy of lively imagination, and sub-
ject to visionary impressions, is evident from
the fact of his wishing to impersonate Robin-
son, but that he was fearless, and could be
industrious and self-denying, was also plainly
to be seen in the unshrinking determination
with which he met every obstacle.
"Straws show which way the wind blows,"
and trifles often tend to exhibit traits of cha-
racter, and develop properties, the existence
of which were heretofore unsuspected, and the .
68 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
lesson which Robert was about to learn from
a residence on his lonely island was not to be
He had heretofore viewed the matter from
its bright side only, now the sober realities
which mingle in the tissue of every under-
taking began to make themselves visible.
Difficulties clouded with their shadow the pros-
pect that a few hours before was so dazzlingly
brilliant, and it was with a feeling, which could
not be called exactly that of indifference, that
he now considered that there was no table in
this wilderness, but such as his own hand must
spread; no warm food, but such as himself
must prepare, and alas! his knowledge of the
culinary art was as limited as his experience
of human life, and man's daily wants, of which
he had urged so sore a test upon himself.
I see that I have been a great blockhead,"
said he, in a tone of vexation. This acknow-
ledgment proved that he had taken his first
salutary lesson, and its effect was likely to
be lasting, for he was suffering from hunger.
"I wonder how I am to cook! I have no dry
kindling wherewith to make a fire, and I left my
hatchet lying beside the fallen trees in the mea.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 69
dow. I see now that I have been very thought-
less. I ought to have gone to work with more
consideration. 0 dear, I am shockingly hungry!
I verily believe there is something in the air of
this place to sharpen the appetite, for I feel
perfectly ravenous. Hem! I wish I had a good
dish of soup, and a stout piece of roast-beef,
with some nice cooked potatoes from the
castle; truly, I never was so hungry all my
But as it is well known the stomach is a
monitor whose admonitions are not to be
silenced by any arguments or process of reason-
ing, the only way to satisfy its importunate
demands, is to comply with them at once; and
Robert, yielding to the necessities that en-
compassed him, began seriously to think of
preparing a warm dinner.
He had no fancy for a second meal of raw
carrots, and as he wished to make a fire in
order to carry on his plan of cooking some-
thing eatable, he would be obliged to return
to the meadow for his hatchet, without which
he would be unable to procure proper fuel.
On arriving there, he found he had it to search
for; this took up a considerable portion of
70 THE HERO OF. FALCON'S ISLAND.
time, as he had thrown it down so carelessly
that it cost him a full half hour before he dis-
covered where he had left it, and the delay
did not serve to brighten his humor, for his
hunger had increased to a painful degree.
I must make all possible haste to get
something to eat," was the thought that passed
through his mind, or I shall be ready to eat
myself. I could not have believed that work-
ing made people so hungry, if I had not tried
it. I have often wondered when I saw old
Peter the woodsman devouring such stores of
bacon and cabbage, but I shall know after
this that it is natural and necessary for those
who work hard to eat heartily."
He now ran 'back to the landing place with
all possible speed, for although very weary,
hunger, if it did not give him strength, spurred
him on to renewed efforts, so that in an in-
credibly short time he had cut and collected
some wood and had a blazing fire. The lat-
ter, however, cost him some trouble, for the
fuel was damp and did not burn readily.
He would, notwithstanding his willingness
to make the attempt, have scarcely been able
to succeed, had he not found a tinder box and
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 71
matches among the stores which his consider-
ate father had supplied, and although at first
he had absolutely rejected them, now began
really-to prize them.
His fire at last began to burn, and our hero
now deemed his greatest difficulty to be over-
come. He filled the little iron pot or sauce-
pan with water, and placed it over the fire; then
gathering up potatoes, carrots, or whatever
came first to hand, he threw them all in at
once, as he had seen the cook at the castle do,
without considering that the earth which usu-
ally adheres to such vegetables is to be washed
off as a necessary preparation for cooking.
The fire once in full glow continued its ser
vices, as Robert did not fail to feed it with dry
leaves, which he carried by armsfull and threw
into the blaze. With great delight he watched
the boiling pot, and with praiseworthy pa-
tience waited, hungry as he was, for a full
hour, until his vegetable soup should be per-
fectly cooked, and at the end of that time he
removed the kettle from the fire. Being very
hungry, and rather awkward at his novel oc-
cupation, he proceeded to business rather too
hastily, and forgetting that steam causes the
72 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
severest burn, he very incautiously put his
hand in the way, and he soon felt the evidence
of his want of thought.
"Ah," said he, as he examined his hands,
"this might have been a bad business. I have
great reason to rejoice that I have got off with
a few blisters. I have often heard old Peter
say 'bought wit is the best wit,' and I am not
going to fret for what I cannot help. And
now for a dish and spoon, for I do- not sup-
pose my porridge will taste the worse because
I have burned my hand."
Blowing his breath upon the injured part,
he ran to procure the desired articles, and re-
turned almost immediately to the spot, which
was to serve him both as dining-room and
kitchen. Hungry as he was, and anxious to
taste the dish which was the 'first trial of his
skill in cooking, the strong claims of appetite
did not render him insensible to the pain oc-
casioned by having burnt his hand; never-
theless he bore the smarting with a heroism
which a Spartan himself, had he been present,
could not fail to have admired. He dipped
his spoon into the pot, forgetting in his haste
the'dish he had brought, and transferred a por.
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 73
tion of the contents directly to his mouth;
but when -the mess diffused itself upon his
palate, he made a face whose expression was
the very opposite of pleasure, and was such a
strange mixture of the ludicrous and sad, that
any one standing by must have been provoked
to laughter. He discharged the unsavoury
fluid with little ceremony from his mouth,,
almost in the same instant that he tasted it,
for even the severe-hunger from which he was
suffering could not tempt him to swallow any-
thing so distasteful.
"What dreadful soup that is said he aloud.
"I thought it was quite an easy matter to
make soup. I have seen our cook make it, and
it seemed like nothing. I supposed it was only
necessary to put it in a pot and boil it. I am
sure I did so, and all I have got for my pains
is this nauseous stuff and a burned hand."
The poor boy, who in his ignorance of the
art of cookery, did not know that meat broth,
such as he had been accustomed to eat and
was very fond of, could. only be made with
meat and a certain admixture of vegetables,
had expected his soup to taste like that pre-
pared by the experienced cook at Hochberg
74 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
castle, and instead of the viand so grateful to
his palate, that palate was greeted with an
abominable mess of water, and the clay which
adhered to the potatoes and carrots, and which
he had never thought of washing off before he
put them in the pot to boil. Neither butter
nor salt had been added, and it was quite as
well that on the present occasion they had
not, as those two very useful articles of human
fare could not have redeemed Robert's soup,
so far as to render it eatable, even with keen
hunger for an accompaniment.
"I am a gieat dunce, that is certain," said
he, a blush of confusion accompanying the con-
fession, although there was no one in that lonely
spot to witness it. "I ought to have remem-
bered what I had seen old Mother Dorel our
cook do, and if I had, instead of beginning
at once to build, I would have seen it was bet-
ter to have shot a couple of birds or a rabbit.
I now know I ought to have put them in the
kettle, and then I should have had good soup.
Well, 'live and learn,' as old Peter says.
It shall not happen so again anyhow. But
let me see if the potatoes at least are not eat-
able, for I am half starving."
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
Whilst he yet spoke, he fished out a few of
those-valuable roots from the muddy fluid in
which they lay, and having taken off the skin
and sprinkled them with some salt, which his
father in his kind care had provided, he made
a hearty meal, and thought, upon the whole,
that potatoes were not such very bad food.
Indeed, these tasted so particularly good that
he ate nearly all that were in the pot, and with
a vanity by no means uncommon, attributed
somewhat of their palatableness to his own
manner of cooking, rather than to the gnawing
hunger which would have made almost any-
Our friend Robert's complacence was now
fully restored by the plentiful meal he had
eaten, and once more in good humor with him-
self, and nowise out of conceit with his Quix-
otic enterprise, he began anew to plan what
should be the next act.
"I have had enough for to-day, both of
work and food, and as I am determined not
to be placed in such a dilemma again, I will
hunt for the rest of the afternoon. Then I
can have a nice roast or stew for to-morrow, and
not have such a poor table as I have had to-
76 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
day. Potatoes are a useful and most excellent
vegetable, nevertheless a roasted rabbit or a
dish of hare soup is a great deal better. But
Isee, furnishing the table is not the pleasantest
part of the Robinson life, especially to a fel-
low who understands cooking as poorly as
myself. But still I will be patient. All will
go on better when Friday comes; one can
cook while the other works at the house, and
everything will then go on swimmingly.
Father might have let him come at once. Still,
I will not complain, but keep up my courage
until he arrives."
Throwing his gun over his shoulder, and
buckling on his game bag and powder-horn
with a feeling of greater importance than he
had ever yet known, our hero took his way
into the very heart of the forest. Everything
looked wild and solitary; in many places
rocks were piled upon each other; great trunks
of trees lay scattered about as they had been
blown down in those storms which desolate
both mountain and plain. Wild vines and
briery bushes, which matted themselves to-
gether, opposed a barrier to his ingress, and
weary as he was, he felt the undertaking to
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
be an arduous one. But as the rabbit leaped
forth on its way from one hiding-place to an-
other, and the wood pigeon came cleaving the
air in his whistling flight before him, or the
saucy squirrel looked out from his home in the
hollow tree and nibbled his nuts as if in mock-
ery of our hero's fasting, his courage rose again
to its former height, and all obstacles lessened in
proportion to its ascension. Every one knows
that the prospect of a good meal is a powerful
incentive to a hungry man, and although Rob-
ert was weary, very weary, he held resolutely
on his rugged way, the recollection of his bad
dinner serving as a spur whenever he felt dis-
posed to relax his speed.
The island was not lonely, as far as game
was concerned, but somehow-and it is always
the case that when one wants a thing badly
it is never to be found-nothing worth shoot-
ing came within the range of his bullets.
The pigeons were out of sight before he
could get his gun ready, the squirrels were
too quick, and the hares too cunning; they
looked at him from a safe distance rather
boldly, but as soon as he came nearer-pop !
-they were off like a shot, far swifter than
the bullets fired from his gun.
78 THE HERb OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
He wandered about for the rest of the day
through the tangled forest, enjoying its fra-
grant breath and coolness until its deepening
shadows warned him that the sun was ap-
proaching his setting point; he therefore con-
cluded it was the part of wisdom to return to his
meadow; and he found he was right, for when
he emerged from the leafy covert he saw the
western horizon refulgent with its last golden
rays. He reached the spot which he had re-
solved should be his home, and rather dismayed
at finding it so late, seated himself, drooping and
despondent, on the trunk of a fallen tree. On
examining his game bag, he found only one pair
of wild pigeons and a brace of yellow ham-
mers; he had wasted the whole fore and after-
noon, and had no house to sleep in, nor food
to still his hunger for a day. He surveyed
the trophies of his toil with a feeling of con-
tempt-it was a poor achievement for one
whose vivid imagination had projected so
much. "A few little birds!" he dreamed of
shooting a fawn, or at least a hare, and the
foolish things had kept entirely out of his
To make the matter worse, he again became
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 79
very hungry. His severe exercise had awak-
ened a sharp appetite, but what food could he
find on- that desolate island to silence the
clamorous craving of his stomach. He could
not eat his birds uncooked, and it was too late
to begin the process of fire-making and culi-
nary operations ; but whilst he brooded discon-
solately over the sad prospect of going sup-
perless to bed, he all at once recollected that
he had not eaten all the potatoes and carrots
he had tried to make broth of at dinner-time.
He sought the place where he had left the
iron pot, found all safe, and devoured the
cold carrots and potatoes with a great appe-
tite, although their taste was by no means
pleasant to his.hitherto pampered palate.
His meal being ended, and his discontented
stomach pacified, he once more had time to
think, and the first thought that claimed con-
sideration was where he was to sleep. His
hut, far from being finished, as he had antici-
pated it would be by sunset, was scarcely be-
gun; he could not think of lying on the bare
earth, and subjecting himself to visits from all
kinds of creeping things, so there was no other
way left, than for him to adopt the expedient re.
80 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
sorted to by Robinson, on the first night of his
arrival in his kingdom, which was to climb up
into a tree, and, like the birds, roost in the
Robert had thought over all the circum-
stances detailed in the adventures of his hero
times without number, and it was very de-
lightful for him to fancy himself in the same
situation, whilst he lay covered up in his own
soft bed, and sheltered-by the roof of his fa-
ther's castle. There was no doubt, according
to his views at that time, of the perfect en-
joyment there would be in being perched up
high in the branches of a tree, listening to the
breeze, as it whispered near him, surrounded
by the fresh green leaves, rocked as in a cra-
dle by the wind, and lulled to sleep by the li-
quid notes of the nightingale. But fancy and
reality are two very different things, and our
hero began to conceive, that now, when the
play was really to be acted, the part he had
chosen was a more serious affair than he had
anticipated, and not quite so pleasant in the
performance as he imagined it would be from
the reading. But the day being so far spent,
it was time to seek a place of shelter for him-
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 81
The hour of repose was approaching, the
birds were flying home to their nests in bush
and tree, the bat was flitting round in mazy
circles as if welcoming the twilight, and the
nighthawk soared high in the heaven, as if in
preparation for his nocturnal revel, and seek.
ing aid from the stars. Worn out with the
fatigues of the day, and somewhat disconsolate
that his anticipations had not been better
realized, he could not at once resolve to make
the necessary exertion; but night was gradu-
ally closing in and shrouding all distant ob-
jects in gloom, and the breeze, as it stole up-
wards from the lake, came laden with damp
and chill, alike penetrating and fraught with
danger to his lately overheated frame, and
made rest and shelter indispensable.
Forcing himself to the necessary action, he
rose and looked round to see what facilities
offered. He saw an oak at a short distance
from the stone on which he had been sitting;
it leaned over in such a manner that any one
might almost walk up the trunk into the
branches, so resolving to make his night quar-
ters there, he left his gun and game-bag at
the foot, and ascended without any difficulty
82 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
to a limb, which, covered with thick foliage,
promised rather a convenient resting-place.
He found it so at first, for a transverse branch
formed a support for his back, and he con-
gratulated himself on his discovery. His ex-
ultation, however, was of no long continuance,
for the branch was anything but soft, and his
spinal vertebrae were very sensitive; and cer-
tainly the contrast between roosting like a
fowl among the branches of a tree in the"
open air, and lying, whether sleeping or ru-
minating, in a soft feather-bed, within the
walls of a lordly castle, must be very great.
At least so it appeared at present to our
No question but that the farm-dogs at
Hochberg were resting more at their ease on
soft. clean straw, within their comfortable ken-
nels, than our Robert, the heir of the benevo-
lent owner of that rich and beautiful domain,
and who in his silly and chimerical project
has furnished occasion and a subject for our
story. Nor, dear young reader, is he as sin-
gular as you may at first suppose. Folly as-
sumes different shapes, and older people, and
those who ought to have more wisdom than a
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 83
boy of our hero's age, perpetrate as great fol-
lies every day; follies which, unlike his, are
never recorded, or scarcely mentioned, be-
cause they are so common. Fancy does or
would play strange freaks with all men con-
stantly, and there is nothing able to keep Fancy
in check but sober Reason, which wise people
will suffer to stand guard'over every impulse,
and without which the flighty lady will lead
every one astray.
"Have patience murmurer; no doubt that the poor varlet
Will soon recover his accustomed health."
ROBERT was altogether exhausted by the
time he had climbed to the spot where he in-
tended to nestle ; and weary, weary as he
was, what would he not have given for the
boon of a few hours undisturbed sleep But
he'found it impossible in his present position,
perched up as he was among the branches,
and turning from one side to another-for the
rough bark hurt him, and prevented his re-
maining five minutes in one position-the
drowsy god would not visit him there. The
birds chanted their sweetest vesper hymns,
the breeze piped its serial music in the branches
and whispered to the leaves,. but.Robert gave
no ear to the first, and was not consoled by
the latter, although both were just as he im-
agined they would be. His notions were un-
dergoing a rapid change, and besides what
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 85
did a tired out boy care for the warble of
birds, or the sighing of the zephyrs ? a soft
pillow would have been more acceptable than
all this whispering and chirping.
There is no mistake," said he, as he tried
to settle himself firmly on his swaying branch,
"but that there are many more inconvenien-
ces to be met with in this Robinson play than in
other sports. I do wonder how Crusoe could
declare he had slept comfortably in a tree; it
is so like roosting. Ah if I had only consid-
ered the matter a little more closely, I would
-." He did not say what he would have
done; but his grave countenance, and the sadly
significant shake of his head, expressed far
more meaning than could have been conveyed
by words. It was not hard to guess the lan-
guage of his heart, which was, "It would be
better thou wert lying in thy own soft bed,
leaving to some one else the pleasure of play-
Robert, although he had suffered his mind
to become possessed with a chimera, was yet
no fool. He felt that having commenced the'
farce he must play it out, and bringing all his
store of sense and natural firmness of purpose
86 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
to bear upon the matter, he determined to pro-
ceed resolutely to the end, let it cost him what
it might. To give up before a full trial had
been made he felt would be puerile, and place
him in such a ridiculous light that every one
would have a right to laugh at him. Poor
Friday too would be so disappointed, and
Willibald-ah he could bear anything better
than Willibald's mockery, and then his wise
cousin would so applaud himself for- not hav-
ing entered into the project; no, it would
never do either to give up or complain But
the wisest thing he could do at present, was
to dismiss all unpleasant thoughts and go to
sleep, for he had often heard old Peter say,
that "one hour's sleep before midnight was
worth, two after." After turning round and
round in his uneasy lair, he at last settled
himself in such a position as he thought would
secure him from falling when his senses were
locked in slumber.
This was easier to project than to accom-
plish, for the partial and capricious god sel-
dom comes when most desired, and his way-
wardness was fully exhibited at this time with
regard to our poor hero. He weighed down
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 87
the boy's eyelids with his leaden seal, but he
refused to lock up his senses and make him
oblivious of fatigue, disappointment and bad
dinners; so far from it, the, five useful facul
ties were rather in fuller play than usual.
It was in vain he tried to go to sleep. His
nest in thetree was by no means comfortable, for
the rough bark of the limb on which he rested,
and that of a higher one that formed his pil-
low, rubbed the skin from his tender cheeks,
-and hurt his bones. His whole body was in
pain from the severe exercise he had imposed
on himself throughout the day, and his
thoughts were in such a state of rebellion
that they refused all control. In spite of his
efforts to restrain them, they wandered to his
father's castle, placed its cheerful aspect be-
fore his eyes, showed him the substantial meal
which stood upon the supper table there, the
odour of which came up in fancy to his olfac-
tories, and, alas! only created an intense cra-
ving of appetite, which there was no means of
saisfying in this lonely island. But more at-
tractive than all the enchanting images of
home, society, food and security, that swept
consecutively before his highly excited spirit,
88 nih HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
was the recalled vision of a nice soft bed in a
room which he had always called his own, and
the comfort of which he had never appreciated
until this moment, when they were so sorely
At length, however, exhausted nature be--
gan to triumph; the material body gained
the victory over her twin sister, the anima-
ting spirit. Robert began to nod, and kind-
ly drawing her filmy veil over his senses, for-
getfulness gradually shrouded the painful oc-
currences of the day, although for a long time
they were not so entirely shut out, that
brighter visions could come in their place.
Still he was on the borders of the dreaming
land, and there is no telling to what distance he
might have advanced beyond its mazy pre-
cincts, when a sudden rustling near him in-
terrupted his further progress, and a soft
warm body, which alighted on his head, and
uttered a piercing shriek in his ear, fright.
ened sleep effectually away. Whatit was we
must tell in a different chapter.
"What curious tricks hath strong imagination
Oft in the night it fashioheth some fear,
SAnd makes a bush a bear, a bird a demon."
RROBERT was terribly alarmed to feel such a
weight resting upon his head; what could it
mean ? Robinson was not more terrified when
he saw the print of a man's foot in the sand,
than our poor hero, who was nestling in the
tree with a something-he -could not conjec-
ture what-settled heavily upon his head It
would be hard- to attempt to tell what his
thoughts were. Wild ideas of goblins, wood-
.spirits, and danger from nocturnal visitants-
subjects which he had often heard discussed
at full length by old Peter and his friend
George-came up every moment to his alrea-
dy disordered and vivid fancy; his affrighted
imagination pictured each succeeding image
more horrible than the last, until at length a
courage that was born of despair took the
90 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND..
place of terror, while streams of perspiration
attested how intense was the excitement of both
mind and body; but as we have before men-
tioned that he was far from being a coward,
and finding the creature, whatever it was,.did
not proceed to devour him at once, he at
length began to think how he might rid him-
self of such unpleasant company. Another
unearthly shriek in his ear strengthened his
dawning courage, and helped to animate it to a
degree exceeding that of his terror. HIe raised
his hand to his head, and resolutely grasped-
not a wood-monster or a wild-cat, but a huge
owl, which, finding himself for the first time
in human .hands, "and by no means treated in
so ceremonious a manner as became one of
his gravity, set up a violent hooting, and tes-
tified, that although Minerva the Wise had
chosen him for her favorite, he was silly.
enough to let himself be frightened by the
handling of a boy. We rather suppose he in-
tended his discordant exclamation to proceed
from fear, but as owl language is not easily
understood, he might only have been enter-
ing into an expostulation with Robert, for his
rudeness in dislodging him' from roosting on
THE HERO OF FALCON'S. ISLAND. 91
his head-that of an ordinary mortal-which
he ought rather to have considered an honor,
since his blue-eyed patroness, the daugh-
ter of Jove, carried him every where on the
top of her helmet. Our hero, no less angry
at the disturbance than frightened by the
shrill cries of the provoked bird, caught him
by one wing, and held him fast. The owl,
however, knew how, to defend himself more
effectually than by screaming, and bringing
his unconfined wing to bear, something in
the manner in which ships manage their ar4-
tillery, he flapped our young hero so valiant-
ly in the face, that although only a bird, and
half blind, he gained the victory. Robert
was glad to release his hold, and the next mo-
ment the intruder shot off with tfe speed of
an arrow through the darkness.
That hateful night owl!" murmured Ro-
bert, in a tone fully indicative of his displea-
sure, "after so much trouble as I had to get
to sleep, to be awakened by that ugly crea-
ture. Could he find no other place to roost
on except my head ? Oh, I was sleeping away
so nicely! I wonder if he will come back
92 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
He once more addressed himself to sleep,
but it was a long time before he could curl
himself up in his former position. At last,
after much turning, he succeeded; but slumber
was so effectually scared off that it did not
at once return. The song of the birds had
long been hushed, but the soft cadences of
the night breeze were not the only sounds
that disturbed the hush of the forest. Owls
were hooting at a distance, sometimes the cry
of a wild animal was heard to echo through
"the solitude, but all the time the monotonous
chirp of the wood cricket fell upon his ear,
and the tones were anything but suggestive
of cheerfulness. The moon, only in her se-
cond quarter, showed objects but indistinctly,
and the flickering shadows that danced upon
the ground, or flitted through the rustling
leaves, disturbed.his quiet sadly by reminding
him of all the ghost stories he had ever heard
in his life. Alone in a forest at midnight,
perched up in a tree, what wonder that they
shoel!d all come swarming up before him, or
that in his excited state he showed himself
under supernatural influence? l Alhoughl lar
from being a coward, funcy, vlhichi plYiv
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 93
.ricks even upon the wisest, began to people
the wilderness with strange shapes, and form
giants or misshapen dwarfs from the bushes,
as they waved in the night wind, or shim-
mered in the pale. andc unsteady moonlight.
He lay and trebled, but as nothing came, in
close contact as the owl had done, nature once
more asserted her right, and he fell into an
uneasy slumber. It was, however, short and
broken; sometimes his back admonished him
of the difference there was between sleeping
in a good bed and nestling in the branches
of a tree; to which was added the aching of
head, arms, and limbs, from their steady con-
tact wi'h the rough limbs on which he rested;
but upon the whole he was not as uncomfor-
table as he might have been, and he persua-
ded himself it would be quite endurable until
morning. His dreams, however, took the hue
of his waking thoughts-in the mystic realm
of sleep he was transformed into the real
Robinson on his desert island, and as he pass-
ed in his slumbering visions through many
phases of that renowned hero's life, the con-
sequence of some of the changes were precise-
ly the same. He believed to have heard the
94 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
voice which so startled Robinson out of a
sound slumber; "Where are you, Robinson
Crusoe-how came you here ?" and starting
up in the same consternation as did his ad-.
mired model, he lost Lis balance, and slipped
from his perch. As he was falling he caught
a branch by one hand, hoping to sustain him-
self by it, but his grasp was too weak; he
was obliged to relinquish his hold,-and he
came down plump upon the earth. Though
the effort could not save him, it served to
break the force of the fall, and happy was it
for him that the ground below was covered
with soft high grass, which prevented any in,
jury to arm or limb. He, therefore, although
much frightened, sustained no injury, except
a scratch on his head, which received'a thump
from the branch which he seized, and bled a
little; but it was of no importance.
"How very unfortunate," murmured he
drowsily, as still half asleep he gathered him-
self up from the ground' "It really seems
as if I am to meet with all the disasters en-
countered by poor Robinson, without any of
the advantages of being lord and master of a
lonely island, as he was. He had oysters,
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 95
cocoa-nuts, and found a cave to live in.
I have nothing to eat but potatoes and car-
rots, and have to build a house for myself.
This foolish Falcon Island is no. place to
play Robinson. I wish the thought had ne-
ver come into my head, for indeed it is not
half as nice sport as I thought it would be."
I was tired of it hours ago."
As he gave vent to his dissatisfaction in
these words, which he grumbled forth in a
tone of vexation, he clambered up once more
into. the tree, and settled himself in his former
position on the leaf-covered branch. It so
happened that his lair was more commodious
on this occasion; he sat more firmly on his
perch, and sleep taking pity on his misfor-
tunes, came now to his aid without much in-
vitation, and he slumbered until the morning
sun, shining full in his face, admonished him
that it was time to arise, or rather come down.
He did not obey at once, but went through
all the preliminaries which lazy boys practise
on awakening. He winked and rubbed his
eyes, yawned, turned, twisted, stretched him-
self right and left, before he could persuade,
himself to leave his nest. At last he made a
96 THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND.
desperate effort, and succeeded; but the pain
he endured when he reached the ground in-
creased the feeling of ill humor and discon-
tent, which now waited on every hour of his
self-constituted and absolute reign.
The morning sun rose bright and beautiful,
chasing before him the gray cool clouds that
accompanied night, and smiling upon the syl-
van beauties of the spot, still adorned with
the dew-pearls, his golden splendor made them
glitter as brightly as though they were real
diamonds. The sweet notes of birds were
heard chanting their matin hymns-myriads
of insects were flitting in the early light,
and the hum of life was all abroad when our
hero awoke. A soft breeze came up from the
lake, and sweet odours from fragrant shrubs
that grew around; the wide spreading trees,
the verdant carpet of grass, sprinkled with
wild flowers of various hues, together with
Trailing vines and blooming shrubs, presented
a mingling of summer beauties that would
have been perfectly entrancing to one less
worn out than was our poor Robert. But the
exuberance of his fancy had received a sore
check from the stern. realities of the previous
THE HERO OF FALCON'S ISLAND. 97
day. Experience is a determined foe to the
airy shapes created by her plastic wand, and
although our young-friend had yielded for
months to the illusive guidance of the one,
the last few hours, which had left him to the
tuition of the other-stern and efficient teacher
as she always is-effected a mighty change
in a short time. Happy for him that the,
lesson was taught him so early; better to
be laughed at as a visionary boy, than pointed
to as a foolish and wayward man.
Robert, therefore, had neither eye nor ear
for the natural beauties which were glowing
around him; he was in no mood to be charmed
with the wondrous splendor of creation, nor to
submit to its devotional influence. Distant
sounds that came up over the face of the wa-
ter, reminded him of the social life that ex-
isted at no great distance from his lonely isle,
and the shrill notes of Chanticleer answering
to his fellows as they "passed the reveille,"
from one farm to another, called up visions
in no ways unpleasant. A cheerful home,
a neatly spread table, with a warm breakfast
upon it, took the place of all other associa-
tions, and so vivid was the picture painted by