The Baldwin Library
-- -- --. =- r
IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE.
ADAPTED FROM THE ORIGINAL.
ILL USTRA TED.
A. L BURT COMPANY,
PUBLISHERS, NEW YORIE
Omnwazen, 1895, By
m6 CASSELL PUBLISHING 006
dii righms r'eweVOI.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
WHEN one has a good tale to tell, he should try to be
brief, and not say more than lie can help ere he makes a
fair start; so I shall not say a word of what took place on
board the ship till we had been six days in a storm. The
barque had gone far out of her true course, and no one on
board knew where we were. The masts lay in splints on
the deck, a leak in the side of the ship let more in than
the crew could pump out, and each one felt that ere long
he would find a grave in the deep sea, which sent its spray
from side to side of what was now but a mere hulk.
"Come, boys," said I to my four sons, who were with
me, God can save us if it please him so to do ; but, if
this is to be our last hour, let us bow to his will-we shall
at least go down side by side."
My dear wife could not hide the tears that fell down
her cheeks as I thus spoke to my sons, but she was calm,
and knelt down to pray, while the boys clung round hei
as if they thought she could help them.
Just then we heard a cry of "Land! land!" felt a
shock, and it was clear that we had struck on a rock, for
we heard a loud cry from one of the men, We are lost I
Launch the boat; try for your lives! "
I went at once on deck, and found that all the boats had
The Swiss Family Robinson.
been let down, and that the las, of the crew had just left
the ship. I cried out for the men to come back and take
us with them, but it was in vain.
I then thought that our last chance was gone. Still, as
I felt that the ship did not sink, I went to the stern, and
found, to my joy, that she was held up by a piece of rock
on each side, and made fast like a wedge. At the same
time I saw some trace of land, which lay to the south, and
this made me go back with some ho-e that we had still a
As soon as I got down stairs I took my wife by the
hand, and said, Be of good cheer, we are at least safe for
some time, and if the wind should veer round, we may yet
reach the land that lies but a short way off. "
I said this to calm the fears of my wife and sons, and it
did so far more than I had a right to hope.
Let us now take some food," said my wife. "We are
sure to need it, for this will no doubt be a night to try our
My wife got some food for her boys, which we were glad
to see them eat, poor as it was; but we could not share
their meal. Three out of the four were put to bed in their
berths, and soon went to sleep; but Fritz, who was our
first child,; would not leave us. He said, like a good son,
that he would try to be of some use, and think what could
If we could but find some cork," said Fritz to me in a
low tone, "we might make floats. You and I will not
need them, for we can swim, but the rest will want some
such means to keep them up."
"A good thought," said I. Let us try to find what
things there are in the ship that we can thus make use of."
rTe Swiss Fam ty J Robiunw
We soon found some casks and, ropes, and with cnees
we made a kind of float for each of the three boys, and
then my wife made one for her own use. This done, we
got some knives, string, and such things as we could make
fast to our belts. We did not fail to look for and find a
flint and steel, and the box in which the burnt rags were
kept, for these were at that time in use as the means to
strike a light.
Fritz, who was now well-nigh worn out, lay down on
his bed and slept like the rest. As for me and my poor
wife, we kept watch, each i~ fear lest the next wave should
!ift the ship off the rock and break it up.
I need not tell you how glad we were when we saw the
first gleam of light. At dawn the wind did not blow so
strong, the sky was clear of clouds, and we saw the sun
rise, and with it rose our hopes. I soon had my wife
and sons on deck.
Where are the men ? said they. "How can we steer
the ship ? "
My dear boys," said I, He who has kept us safe till
now will still aid us., Let all hands set to work, and leave
the rest to God."
At these words we all went to work with a will. My
wife went to feed the live stock; Fritz set off in search of
arms, and the means to make use of them; and Ernest
made his way to the tool chest. Jack ran to pick up what
he could find, but as he got to one of the doors he gave it
a push, and two huge dogs sprang out and leaped at him.
He thought at first that they would bite him, but he soon
found that they meant him no harm, and one of them let
him get on his back and ride up to me a, T came from the
hold of the ship.
The Swiss family Robinson.
When the boys had done their search, and the spoil was
brought on deck, we thought we had found all that we
should need. As for me," said my wife, I have brought
good news, for I find we have still on board a cow, an ass,
two goats, six sheep, a ram, a pig, and a sow, and I have
found food for them all."
All that you bring will be of use," said I; but I fear
that Jack's dogs will do us more harm than good."
Not at all," said Jack, for they can help us to hunt
when we get to land."
Well said, Jack. And now let us see what we can do
that will aid us to get there."
We then took the casks that we had found, and Ernest
and I soon cut them in half. With these tubs we made
a kind of raft, though it was no slight task. The tubs, in
fact, were a fleet of eight small round boats, made so fast
to some planks that no one of them could float from the
rest. The next thing to be done was to launch the raft.
This we at length did, and when the boys saw it slide
down the side of the ship and float on the sea, they gave
a loud shout, and each one tried who should be the first to
get on it. I made it fast to the ship, and there left it.
I then told my wife to change her dress for that of one
of the crew which she had found, as her skirts would have
got in her way when she had to climb. She did not at
first like this, but did so as soon as she saw the truth of
what I told her.
At last, when all was done, we went to bed, and slept as
sound as if we had been on land.
BUILDINfG TE TU3-BOAT
The SwwSa Family -/obinaon.
WE were all up at the break of day, and knelt down to
thank God that he had kept us from harm through the
We then put all the things on the raft, and ten live hens
and two cocks were put in one of the tubs. Some ducks
and geese we let go, in the hope that they would swim to
the shore; and a pair of doves were set free, as they could
fly to the land.
There was a place in the raft for each of us. In the
first tub sat my wife; in the next Frank, who was eight
years old; in the third Fritz, not quite twice the age of
rank; in the fourth were the fowls, and some old sails
that would make us a tent; the fifth was full of good
things in the way of food; in the sixth stood Jack, a bold
lad, ten years old; in the next Ernest, twelve years of age,
well taught, but too fond of self, and less fond of work
than the rest; while I sat in the eighth, to guide the raft
that was to save all that was dear to me in the world.
As soon as the dogs (Bill and Jack by name) saw us push
off from the ship they leaped in the sea, swam near the raft,
and kept well up with us.
The sea was calm; so that we felt quite safe. We made
good use of the oars, and the raft bore its freight straight
to the land; but as we drew near to the shore the sight of
the bare rocks led us to think that we might still be in need
of food and drink when that which we had was gone.
As we got near, the coast lost its bare look, and we were
glad to see that there was no lack of trees. We s v.
TAe Swiss Famik -Robinmon.
found a bay, to which the ducks and geese had found their
way, and here we saw a place where we could land.
As soon as we had made the raft fast with a strong rope,
we took out all our wealth, and made a tent with the old
sail cloth we had brought with us, and stuck a pole in the
ground to keep it up. This done, I sent the boys to get
some moss and dry grass to make our beds with. With
the flint and steel we soon set fire to some dry twigs, and
my wife made a pot of soup with what she had brought
from the ship.
Fritz, who had charge of the guns, chose one, and took
a stroll by the side of a stream, while Jack went in search
of shell fish, which he thought he might find on the rocks.
My share of the work was to save two large casks which
were near the shore. While I was up to my knees in the
sea I heard a shrill cry, which I knew to come from Jack.
I got out at once, took up an axe, and ran to his help. I
found him with his legs in a rock pool, where a large crab
held him by his toes. It soon made off as I came near;
but I struck at it with the axe, and brought it out of the
pool. Jack then took it up, though it gave him a pinch
or two ere he found out how to hold it, and ran off in high
glee to show what he had caught.
When I got back to the tent, I found that Ernest had
brought us news that he had seen salt in the chinks of the
rocks, and that shell fish were not scarce.
Well, my boy, if you are sure you saw them, I will
ask you to go back for some. We must each do some
work for the good of all."
He went, and soon found the salt, left by the sea on the
rocks, which the sun had made quite dry. There was some
sand with it, but my wife did not take long to find a way
Fritz now brought torth his prize. When I saw it \ knew it was not a pig, but a, swift beast
known as the A-gou-ti.-Page 13. Swia Fawmiy RoMnsmo
T1e &~iss cazmiy Robinson
to cure that. She had been to a fresh stream with a large
jug; from this I saw her pour some on the salt, strain it
through a cloth, and let it drip in a cup, so that all the
sand was left on the cloth.
When the soup was made hot we had each a taste, and
all said that it was good.
Be not in too great haste," said my wife, we must
wait for Fritz; but if he were here, I do not see how we
are to take our soup, for we have no plates nor spoons."
"If we had but some large nuts," said Ernest, "we
might cut them in half, and they would make good bowls."
Quite true," said I; but as there are none, we may as
well wish for delf bowls and real spoons at once."
Now I have it," quoth Ernest. "Let us use the shells
I saw on the shore."
Off ran Jack to the shore, with Ernest at his heels, and
back they both came with large and small shells for us all.
Just then Fritz came in, with a look of gloom on his
face, which I could see was a sham.
You do not mean to tell me you have come back with
nought 1" said I, as he put out his hands as if to prove
that such was the case. But Jack, who had been round
him, cried out, "No, no! he's got a pig !-such a fine one.
Tell us where you found it."
Fritz now brought forth his prize. When I saw it, I
knew, from what I had read, that it was not a pig, but a
swift beast, known in these parts, that lives on fruit and
nuts, and hides in the earth.*
I like the place much more than I do this spot,"
said he. "The shore lies low, and there are planks,
casks, chests, and all sorts of things, that the sea has
TAe ws 2i8 Faiy i0j RooznsonI
thrown up. Why not leave this place at once, and go
There is a time for all things," said I. "We must at
least rest here for one night."
We all sat down to take our soup with the shell spoons.
Ernest took from his coat a large shell, which he had hid
till now, put it in the soup, and then set it down to cool.
"You do not show want of thought," said I to him.
"But I am not glad to see that you think so of your self,
and do so much for your own ease, when all the rest do so
much for yours. Now, that shell full of soup you must
give to our two dogs. We can all dip our small shells in
the pot, and you must do as we do."
I knew he felt hurt at this, but he gave it to the dogs at
once, and they soon made quick work of their share of the
The sun was low when our meal came to an end. The
fowls came round us to pick up the stray crumbs we had
let fall, and my wife took out her bag of grain and fed the
cocks and hens, and sent them to roost on the top of our
We took care to load our fire-arms, in case we might
need them in the night; sang a hymn of praise to God.
and then left our fate in his hands.
As soon as I heard the cock crow, and saw by the light
that it was break of day, I got out of bed and spoke to my
wife as to what we should do next.
"First," said I, "Fritz and I will make a tour of the
"Look, look he cried, "there are some Mon-keys; let me
have a shot at them." "Do not do that," I said, and held his
arm.-Page 17. Swiss Fam7ily Ro~inon.
Thk Swiss Aa.wrndily -obinson.
coast, and try to find some of the men who left the ship,
for if they are here they may be in want."
"But," saidFritz, who heard me from his bed, "why should
we search for those who left us to die on the wreck ? "
Well, I will tell you," said I. First, we should do to
them as we would wish them to do to us, not as they have
done; next, we know that they took no food with them,
and we should not leave them to starve; and last, it may
be that they can help us, though now they stand more in
need of our aid."
The boys were soon up, and we all sat down to a good
meal. That done, Fritz and I got our guns. I put a pair
of small arms in his belt, gave him a game bag, and told
him to take an axe. I took some food for us both, and a
full flask, out of which we could drink if we should stray
far from a stream.
When we took our leave, my wife and the three boys
were in tears. The dog Bill we left to guard the tent, but
Turk went with us, and ran by our side.
We soon got to the banks of a stream; but then had to
make our way down its course. It took us some time to
reach the sea shore. There was not a boat to be seen, or
any sign that the ship's crew had found the land. We
left the shore, and went through a wood full of tall trees.
Here Fritz struck some hard thing on the ground with his
foot, which we found to be a Co-coA NUT. He gave it a
blow with his axe, and broke the shell, and we both sat
down to rest, and eat the nut.
At the end of the wood we came to a plain which gave
us a clear view of the place, Fritz, who was on the look
out, ran off with Turk to some strange trees that he saw
on the right.
The Swiss Family Robinson.
When I got up to him, it gave me no small joy to find
that it was a gourd tree.
Try," said I, "if you can get hold of one of those
queer lumps that grow on it."
With that he brought one down, and we had a look at it.
Now, of this," said I, we can make a plate, a dish, or
a flask. Wild men set great store by its shell, which they
use to hold their food and drink."
We then set to work to make plates of the gourds.
When we had made some eight or ten bowls, and some
flat ones for plates, we laid %hem out in the sun to dry, and
then went on our way.
We could see, not far off, a grove of fine palm trees, but
to reach them we should have to pass through reeds and
long grass. I knew this was just the place to find snakes,
so we each cut a cane, that we might beat them off should
we meet with any. As I took hold of my staff I felt a
gum or juice ooze out of the end. I put my tongue to it,
and found it of a sweet taste. This led me to suck the
reed, and I then knew that we had met with the SU-GAR
CANE. By this time Fritz had done the same, for I could
see that he held his cane to his mouth.
Do not suck too much of it," said I, or it will make
you ill; but let us cut some of the best and take them
back with us, for those at home will prize so great a treat."
It did not take us long to reach the place where the
palms grew, and then we sat down in the shade to eat the
food we had brought with us. Do you see those nuts at
the top of the trees, Fritz ? said I.
To be sure I do; but they are far too high to reach.
Look, look he cried, there are some MON-KEYS; let me
have a shot at them"
The Swiss family Robinsol.
Do not do that," I said, and held his arm ; it will do
us no good to kill them, and I think I can make use of
them." With that I threw some stones up at the tree
where they were, though they had got safe out of my
reach. They then made a loud noise, took hold of the
nuts that were near, and flung them straight at us. The
trick made Fritz laugh, who soon had hard work to pick
up the nuts that were thrown at him.
We broke some of the nuts, and put the juice of the
canes in the thick white cream which forms close to the
shell; and this made us a dish that Fritz said was fit for a
Fritz and I then made fast some nuts to a string, which
I tied round my waist, while he took up his canes, and we
both set off on our road home.
ON our way back we took up the gourd bowls and
plates, which we found quite dry and hard as bone, and
put them in our bags. We had scarce got through the
wood, when Turk made a dart in front of us, and we saw
a troop of apes rush out of the way. But he gave a leap
and brought down one that could not climb so fast as the
rest, for she had a young one in her arms. Turk made
short work of the poor thing, for ere Fritz could call the
dog off, the ape was dead. The young one, as soon as it
saw Fritz, sprang on his back, put its paws in his curls,
and would not let go. I at length got the ape from Fritz'i
back, and took it up in my arms like a child. We found
I threw some stones up at the Mon-keys, they made a loud noise, took hold of the nuts thbL
wee ear, and fung them straight at ua-Page 18. Swis amily Robhwo
The Swiss Family Robinson,
that it was too young to seeic its own food, and, as Fritz
said he should like to take it home, we put it on Turk's
back. Turk did not at first like this, but we soon got him
to bear the ape, which held so tight by the hair on the
dog's neck, that it could not well fall off. Fritz then led
Turk with a string, that he might not stray out of sight
mRITZ AND HIS YOUNG PROTEGe
or throw off his charge, which I think he would have done
had we not been on the watch.
It did not take us long to reach the bank of the stream
near to our home.
I need not tell yon how ,lad my wife and sons were to
The Swiss Family Rooinson.
see us safe back, or with what joy the boys took the real
live ape" out of Fritz's arms.
At length, when they got more staid, I told them that
we had brought them all sorts of good things, but that we
had not met with any of the men of whom we went in
search. God's will be done," said my wife, let us thank
him that you have come back safe to us. This day to me
has been an age; but put down your loads, for we must
now go in and hear what you have to tell."
Fritz and I then told them, by turns, where we found
the things we brought with us, how we made and dried the
plates and bowls, cut the canes, and caught the ape in the
wood. Our tales had not come to an end when we were
told that it was time to sup. Ernest had shot a wild goose,
and some fish had been caught in the stream. With these,
and the Dutch cheese that we brought from the ship, we
made a good meal; but the boys would not rest till we
broke some of the nuts, from which they drank the milk,
made sweet with the juice of the canes. I must tell you
that we ate our food in great state from our gourd rind
plates, which my wife said she should prize more than if
they were made of pure gold.
That night the ape went to bed with Jack and Fritz, and
we all slept in peace till the cocks on the roof of the tent
woke us up.
Next day Fritz and I went back to the wreck to save the
live stock, and get what else we had left that might be of
use to us. We found it no light task, for we had to make
floats for the cow, the ass, the sheep, and the goats, throw
them in the sea, and tie them with ropes to our raft. We
put on board the raft a vast deal of food that had not been
spoiled by the sea, though tlE waves had made a breach
I ho Swiss Faminiy Robins.on
i the sides of the wreck. We then put to sea with our
train of live stock made fast to the stern.
We had not gone far when I heard a loud cry of fear
from Fritz, "We are lost! We are lost eI e what a
great shark is on its way to ,s l"
SHOOTING THP SHARK.
Though pale with fright, he took aim with his gun, and
shot the fish in the head It sank at once, but left a track
of blood in the sea, vlhich I knew to be a sign that we
were once more safe We then got to land, and made
fast our freight to the shore. Ere we had done this our
The Swiss Family .Robinson
friends came to give us what help they could to get the
beasts out of the stream, and take them up to the tent.
The poor things were well nigh worn out; but we took
good care of them, and put them to rest on some dry grass
that my wife had laid out for them.
That night we did not sup on the ground. My wife
had spread a cloth on the top of a cask, and we each sat
on a tub. With the knives and forks that we had found
in the ship we ate a dish of hot ham and eggs, nor did we
fail to test the wine that I had brought with me in a small
cask from the wreck.
Ere bed time my wife had told me that while I was at
the wreck she had gone in search of some place in which
we could build a house.
"And did you find one, my dear ?' I said.
"Oh, yes," said she. We can take you to a great tree
that will serve us well, if we can but get across the stream
with our goods."
"But would you have us roost, like fowls, in a tree I
How do you think we could get up to our perch "
"Was there not a large lime tree in our town in whick
they built a ball room, with stairs up the trunk 1 "
"To be sure there was," said I; "and if we can not
build in it, we can at least make use of its shade, and
dwell in a hat on the roots."
Ernest said that he took a string, and found that it was
twelve yards round. This led me to think that my wife's
scheme was by no means a bad one, and that I would have
a look at the tree the next day.
When I had heard all they had to tell, we knelt down
to pray, and then sought a good night's rest, which the
toils of the day made us muwb iw need of.
We crept up the shore step by step, and we got so near that
Ernest brought down some o; the birds with a stick.--Page 23.
wiss Family Robion.
2Te Swises fbnmilfy obinen.
WHEYN I rose from my bed the next day, I said to my
wife: Does it not seem, my dear, as if God had led us to
this place, and that we should do wrong to leave it !"
What you say may be quite true, so far as it goes,"
she said; "but I must tell you that the mid day heat is
more than we can bear, and that if we stay here we may
have to keep watch at night, for there are, no doubt, wild
beasts of some kind that will find us out; and we should
not trust too much to our dogs, who may lose their lives
in a fight with them."
"I dare say you are right," said ; "but I do not yet
see how we can cross the stream. \ e shall first have to
build a bridge."
The boys were now aAl out of their beds; and while my
wife went to milk the cow and cook some food, I made my
plans known to them. They were all glad when they
heard that we were to leave, and each said he would help
to build the bridge.
The first thing to be done was to find some strong
planks; and Fritz, Ernest, and I went down to the shore,
and got in the boat, which the tide soon took down to the
On a piece of land which lay to the left we could see
some large dark thing, round which flew a flock of sea
galls. We put up a sail and caught a gust of wind which
had sprung up, and this soon brought the boat to the spot.
We made no noise, but crept up the shore step by step,
and we got so near that Ernest brought down some of the
birds with a stick. Fritz was the first to find out that
24 TAO Swiss fvam#2Yf Robinam.
what the sea gulls had just left was the huge fish he had
shot in the sea. We cut off some rough skin, which we
thought might serve for files, and then went back to the
boat. I took a glance at the shore ere I got in, and to
my great joy saw that some of the planks and spars from
the wreck lay on the ground not far off. Our next care
was to bind these so as to made a raft, which we tied to
the stern of the boat, and then, by the use of our oars,
soon made our way up the stream to the place where the
bridge was to be built. Our young friends were glad to
see us back so soon, and ran to meet us; Jack had a cloth
in his hand, in which was a store of cray fish and'crabs
just caught in some of the nooks of a rock up the stream.
"Do not fail to give God thanks," said I, that our lot has
been cast where we can pick up more food than we can eat."
It would take a long time to tell how we brought all the
wood up to the spot, built piers of stone in the stream, and
put the planks one by one in the place; it was late at night
when we left off work, and once more sought our tent.
The next day we saw the sun rise and took our first
meal in haste, for we knew we should have a long day's
toil. All the stores that we could not take with us were
laid by in the tent, the door of which was made safe by a
row of casks that we put round it. My wife and Fritz
soon led the way; the cow int next; then the ass, with
Frank on its back. Jack led the goats, and on the back
of one of them sat the ape. Ernest took charge of the
sheep, and I brought up the rear as chief guard. We took
care to cross the bridge one at a time, and found it bear
our weight well; but once or twice we thought the cow
would step in the stream, or ft off the boards, when she
went to the sides to drinl
Jack cried out, "Be quick! here is a strange beast with quills as
long as my arm." The dogs ran and I with them, and found a
jgrg Ppr-cu-pipe in the grass.-Page 25. swiss FaOily ?pbinaLn.
The Swiss iS mity 1Robinwa.
Just as we had left the bridge, Jack cried out, "Be
quick here is a strange beast with quills as long as my
arm." The dogs ran, and I with them, and found a large
POR-OU-PINE in the grass. It made a loud noise, and shot
out its quills at the dogs, and made them bleed. At this
Jack shot at the beast, which fell dead on the spot. My
wife's first thought was to dress the wounds made by the
quills, which had stuck in the nose of one of the dogs,
while the boys made haste to pluck some of the quills from
the skin of their strange prize.
At last our march came to an end, and I saw for the
first time the great trees that my wife had told me of.
They were of vast size, and were, I thought, fig trees.
"If we can but fix our tent up there," I said, we shall
have no cause to dread, for no wild beasts can reach us."
We sent Frank off to find sticks, with which to make a
fire, and my wife made some soup of the flesh of the beast
we had slain, though we did not like it so well as we did
the ham and cheese we brought with us.
THE meal at an end, my first thought was to make some
steps by means of which we could reach the first strong
branch of the tree. Ernest and I went in search of some
thick canes that grew in the sands hard by. These we cut
down, bound them to four long poles, and thus made a
pair of steps that would, we thought, reach far up the
On our way back from the sands, one of the dogs made
a dart at a clump of reeds, and a troop of large birds rose
Thew Swm8s Family Robimfon-.
on the wing with a loud noise. Fritz let fly at them, and
brought down two at a shot. One of them fell quite dead,
but its mate, though hurt in the wing, made use of its
long legs so well, that it would have got off if Bill had not
held it. The joy of Fritz, to have caught such a strange
bird, was so great that he would have us at once bind it by
the neck and take it back with us. "Look," said Ernest,
"what fine plumes he has, and you see he has web feet like
a goose, and has long legs like a stork: thus he can run
on land as fast as he can swim." Yes," said I, and he
can fly with more speed through the air, for these birds
have great strength in their wings. In fact, few birds have
such means of flight as the FLA-MIN-GO."
My wife thought the great bird might need more food
than we could spare. I told her that it would feed on small
fish and worms, and not rob our geese of their grain. I
then tied him to a stake near the stream; and in a few
days we were glad to find that he knew us, and would
come at a call, like a tame bird.
While I sat on the grass with my sons, late in the day,
I thought I would try to make a bow and thus save our
shot. This I did with a long cane and a piece of string,
and then made a dart with a sharp point, which I shot off
and found it would go straight. The branch of the tree
on which we were to fix our hut was so high that our steps
would not near reach it. I tied some strong thread to the
dart, and shot it over the branch; then tied a piece of rope
to the end of the thread, and drew that up, and at last
made a long row of cane steps, with a rope at each side,
which we drew up to the first strong branch. The boys
were now all in haste to climb the tree, but I chose that
Jack, who was light of build and sure of foot, should go
The Swiss Family Robinson.
up first and try the strength of our work. Fritz went up
next with some nails, and made the ropes fast to the tree,
while I drove stakes in the ground to keep them firm at
the foot. It was now time for me to mount, and up I went
with an ax to lop off the twigs and smooth the bough that
was to form the ground of our new house. I sent the boys
down out of my way, and kept hard at work till it was
late, for the sky was clear, and the moon lent me her beams
of light to see by.
When I came down my wife spread a good meal on the
ground, which we ate as best we could, and then made our
beds of dry moss, round which we put heaps of twigs.
These we set light to, as watch fires to keep off wild beasts
and snakes. The toils of the day had made the boys tired,
and they were soon in a sound sleep, but my wife and I
took it in turns to watch through the whole night.
We were all out of our beds as soon as light was in the
sky, and set to work to hoist up the planks that were to
form the floor of our hut. These we laid down on the
branch, with their ends made fast to a cross piece of wood
that we had to fix to the trunk of the tree. Our nails were
long, and we drove each one of them home, so that we
had no cause to fear the strength of our work. By the
time we had done this the day was far spent, and we were
all glad to lay by our tools and rest our limbs. That night
we lit our fires round the tree, tied the dogs to the roots,
and went up to sleep out of harm's way for the first time
since we left the ship. When the steps were drawn up we
all felt that we were now safe at last, and that we had
brought the toils of the day to a good end.
T26 Swiss Famdily Robinmen
WE did not wake next day till the sun shone in upori
us. I told my wife and sons that as it was the Lord's day
we would do no work. Our beasts and birds had first to
be fed. This was done by my wife, who then brought us
some hot milk, and made us sit down on the grass and
take it. When our meal was done, I got on a log in front
of my sons, and we all sang a psalm we knew by heart.
Then I sought to teach them, and spoke to them thus :
There was once on a time a Great King, who had two
vast realms, the Land of Light and Truth, and the Land
of Night and Sloth. Those who dwelt in the first were
full of life and joy. The King held his court at the Place
of Rest, where all was bright.
This King had a land, nor far off, where those for whom
he had so much love should dwell ere they went one by
one to the Place of Rest. This land was the Home of
Earth. He gave to his Son the right to rule the host that
dwelt in the Home of Earth, and set forth to them what
they were to do, and all the ills that would come to them
if they did not do as they were bid.
"At first they were all glad to hear the way in which
they were to live, and the terms on which they could reach
the Land of Light and Truth. Sad to tell, they soon broke
the King's laws, and paid no heed to what they knew to
be his will. Still there were a few who did as they had
been taught, and dwelt in peace, in the hope that they
would please the King and at last reach the place where
he held his court.
The Swiss Family Robinson.
From time to time ships came to the Home of Earth,
and at last a great ship was sent, the name of which was
The Grave, which bore the flag of Death. To the good
it was a sign of hope, but the bad were thrown by the
sight of it into a state of gloom. These ships were not
seen till they came close to the shore, and then the crew
were sent forth to find those whom they were told to seize.
Some went back with them full of joy, but most were seen
to weep and mourn their fate. So soon as they were
brought in sight of the Great King, the Prince took those
who had done well, and put a white robe on them; but
those who went their own way when on the Home of
Earth, he sent down to toil in deep, dark mines till time
shall be no more."
When my sons had heard my tale to the end they all
knew what it meant; I then drew from them their views
of what they ought to do to please and serve the Great
King. We then sang a hymn; and my wife drew from
her bag the BI-BLE, which I gave to one of the boys, who
read from it in a clear, loud voice. When this was brought
to a close, we all knelt down on the grass to pray, and to
ask God to bless the means we took to learn his will.
We did no work that day, but took a long stroll up the
banks of the stream.
The next day Ernest and Jack tried their skill with the
bow, and brought down some small birds that came to the
great tree in quest of figs. I gave them leave to kill what
they could; for I knew if put in casks made air tight with
grease, they would keep for a time, and might prove a
boon, if our stock of food should get low.
When we sat down to dine, the thought struck me that
it would be well to give ,ome name to each part of the
The &oiss Family Robinson.
land that was known to us. This was at first the source
of some fun, for Fritz said we should call the bay where
we had found the shell spoons by the name of Spoon Bay;
but Jack, who still had a mark on his toe where the crab
gave him a pinch, thought we ought to term it Crab Bay.
If you will let me give it a name," said my wife, "I
should wish to know it by some term that will make us
bear in mind how good God was to lead our raft there, and
I don't think Safe Bay will be a bad name for it."
So let it be," said I; and from that time Safe Bay had
"What shall be the name of the spot where we spent
our first night on shore 1 You shall give that its name,"
said I to Fritz.
"Let us call it Tent House."
"That will do," said I. And now for the spot at the
mouth of Safe Bay, where we found our planks "
"Shark Point," said Ernest. The place from which
Fritz and I sought for a trace of our ship mates was to be
known as No Man's Cape. Then we had the Boys'
Bridge, which name I gave it from a wish to please my
sons, who had done so much to build it.
But what shall we call the place which is most dear to
us all' "
"Now, my dear," said I to my wife, it is your turn.
What shall we say "
Let us call it The Nest," said she; and with that I gave
each of my young birds a glass of sweet wine.
Here's to The Nest,' said I; and may we live long
to bless the day and the means that brought us here."
When the heat of the day was past, I told my sons that
I should be glad to take a walk with them. My wife said
I made a sledge and put such of the casks as held our food on
it, and with the ass to draw it, went back to the Nest.-Page 81.
fS"ivs WnAmilti obinson
The Sw ss t&umily Robinson,
that she should like to go with us; so we left The Nest in
charge of Turk, and bent our course to the banks of the
stream. On our way we went past some shrubs and rare
herbs, which my wife knew well how to made use of should
we fall sick; and Ernest found a large spot of ground on
which grew a fine kind of PO-TA-TO. At these the boys
set to work with such zeal, that we soon had a full bag of
the ripe fruit. We then went on toTent House, which we
found in the same state as when we left it to cross the
stream on our way to the great tree.
We found that our ducks and geese had grown so wild
that they would not come near us; so, while my wife and
I went to pick up such things as we thought we might take
back with us, Ernest and Fritz were sent to catch them,
and to tie their legs and wings, and in this way we got
them at last to The Nest.
IT took the whole of the next day to make a sledge, to
which we tied the ass, and drove to Tent House. On our
sledge we put such of the casks which held food, and took
them back to The Nest. Fritz and I went once more to
the wreck, and this time we brought off chests of clothes,
pigs of lead, cart wheels, sacks of maize, oats, peas, and
wheat. With a strong bar we broke down some of the
doors, and took such parts of the ship as we thought would
aid us to build our house, which as yet was far less safe
than I could wish. These we bound with cords, and made
them float back at the stern of the raft.
When we got to the shore my wife and the three boys
TAO Swiss Family Robinsom
were there to greet us. My first care was to send for the
sledge, and with this we took most of our new wealth up
to The Nest.
The next day I told my sons that they must now learn
to run, to leap, to climb, and to throw stones straight at a
mark, as all these things would be of great use to them in
their new mode of life.
I next taught them to use the LAS-SO, by means of which
men catch the wild horse on the vast plains of the New
World. I tied two stones to the ends of a cord some yards
in length, and flung off one of them at the trunk of a young
tree; the cord went round and round it in a coil, and
bound it so tight that I could have drawn it to me had it
not been fast in the ground. This trick the boys were not
slow to learn; and Fritz, in a short time, could take an
aim as well with a stone as he could with his gun.
As yet we had not seen much of the isle; for it took
most of our time to build the house. But one day we
made up our minds that we would all start on a tour. We
rose at dawn, put the ass in the sledge, took what food we
thought we should need, and set out from The Nest just as
the sun rose.
When we can to th.e wood where Fritz found the ape, he
told them by what means we got the nuts, but now there
were no apes there to throw them down.
Oh, if one would but fall from the trees," he said.
The words had but just left his lips when a large nut
fell at his feet. He made a start back, and two more came
down near the same spot.
As the nuts were far from ripe, I was at a loss to know
how they could fall off thP trees for I could not see an ape
nor a bird neat
The Swiss Family Robinson. 83
I went close up to the tree, and saw a large land crab
on its way down the trunk. Jack struck a blow at him
with a stick, but did not hit the beast. He then took off
his coat and threw it on the crab's head, while I made an
end of him with an axe. I told them that these crabs climb
the trees and break off the nuts, as we had seen, and then
come down to feast on them at their ease.
But how do they crack the nuts ?" said Jack.
They make a hole through the shell at the thin end,
and then suck them dry."
The dead crab was put in the sledge, and we went on
through the wood. When we came to the Gourd Wood,
we sat down to make some more bowls and flasks to take
back with us. Ernest had gone to try what new thing he
could find, but' he had not been from us long, when we
heard him call out-
A wild boar! A great wild boar! Come here, pray!"
We took up our guns, and went at once with the dogs
to the spot. We soon heard Turk give a loud bark, and
just then we heard Ernest laugh, and saw the two dogs
come through a clump of brush wood, with our old sow
fast by the ears. She did not seem to like the way in
which they had put an end to her feast of fruit, so she ran
back as soon as we told the dogs to let go their hold of her
'1" But with all our sport," said Fritz, we have a poor
show of game. Let us leave the young ones, and set off
to see what we can meet with." Ernest sat down with
Frank, and we left them and my wife at the gourd tree,
while Fritz and Jack set off with me to a high rock which
we saw on the right. Fritz, look here," said Jack, as he
made his way to the rock
TIe Swiss Famly Robinson.
"What have you found now said Fritz.
I don't know what it is, but it's a fine prize."
When I went up I saw at once that it was a large
1-GU-A-NA, the flesh and eggs of which are both good for
food. I had heard that these and such like beasts will
stand still if you play an air on a pipe. So I crept near,
and made a low sound with my lips, while I held in my
right hand a stout stick, to which I had tied a cord with a
noose, and in my left hand a slight wand. I saw it first
move its tail, and then draw its head from side to side, as
if to look where the sound came from. I then threw the
noose round its neck, drew it tight, got on its back with a
leap, and thrust the wand up its nose, which is the sole
part of the beast where there are no hard scales. It bled
at once, and was soon dead, nor did it seem to feel any
pain. Our prize, which was near five feet long, was no
slight weight to lift. I got it at last on my back, and thus
we went back to the gourd tree, where we found the rest
It took us a long time to reach The Nest that night. My
wife did her best to dress some of the flesh of the land
crab, but it was tough, and did not taste so nice as the
soup made from the beast that we had caught by the nose.
FRITZ and I spent the whole of the next day in the
woods. We took the ass and one of the dogs with us,
but left all else at home.
Our way first lay through a dense wood, where we saw
no end of small birds, but sucn game could not now tempt
ROK SALT GROTTO,
The Swiss Family Robznson.
Fritz to waste his shot. We then had to cross a vast
plain, and to wade through the high grass, which we did
with care, lest we should tread on some strange thing that
might turn and bite us.
We came at last to a grove of small trees, and in their
midst I saw a bush, which I knew to be the wax tree, for
the wax grew on it like white beads. I need not say how
glad I was to find so great a prize. We had up to this
time gone to bed as soon as the sun went down, for we had
no lamp to use; but as we could now make wax lights, I
told Fritz that we nad found what would add two or three
hours per day to our lives. We took as much of the wax
as would serve us for some time, and then made our way
out of the grove.
How came you," said Fritz, "to know so much of the
queer beasts, trees, and plants that we have found here ? "
When young," said I, I used to read all the books
that fell in my way; and those that told of strange lands
and what was to be seen in them had for me as great a
charm as they have for Ernest, who has read a great
deal, and knows more of plants than you do."
Well," said he, "I will do the same if I but get the
chance. Can you tell what is the name of that huge
tree on the right 1 See, there are balls on the bark."
We went close to it, and found that these balls were of
thick gum, which the sun had made quite hard. Fritz tried
to pull one of them off, but felt that it clung tight to the
bark, though he could change its shape with his warm
hands. "Look," said he, "I feel sure that this is the
IN-DI-A RUB-BER which we used to clean our school books
with." I took a piece of it in my hand, and said, To be
sure it is What shall we not find in this rich land ? I
Tke ,SUwiss Paanihj Robinson7
then told him how the men in the New World made flasks
of this gum, in which form it is sent to all parts of the
world. And I do not see why we should not make boots
of it in the same way. We have but to fill a sock with
sand, then put gum all round it, while in a soft state, till it
is as thick as we need, then pour the sand out, and we
shall have made a shoe or a boot that will at least keep
out the damp, and that is more than mine do just now."
Not far from this we came to a bush, the leaves of which
were strewn with a white dust; and close by were two or
three more in the same state. I cut a slit in the trunk of
one of these, and found it full of the white dust, which I
knew by the taste to be SA-GC We took all of this that we
could get out of the tree, for it would add to our stock of
food; and when our bags were full we laid them on the back
of the ass, and set off to find our way back to The Nest.
Each day brings us fresh wealth," said my wife; but
I think we might now try to add to our goods." I knew
that she had some fear lest we should one day get lost in
the woods, or meet with wild beasts, so I at once said that
we would now stay at home, at least for some days.
My first work was to make some wax lights, for my wife
could then mend our clothes at night, while we sat down
to talk. This done, the next task they gave me was to
make a churn. I took a large gourd, made a small hole
in the side, and cut out as much as I could, so as to leave
but the rind. In this I put the cream, laid a piece on the
hole, and bound it up so that none could come out. The
boys then held a cloth, and on it I put the gourd, which
they rolled from side to side. They kept up this game
with great mirth for near an hour, when my wife took off
the string, and found that the churn had done its work well
Te Swoiss Ihmiliy Robinson.
As our sledge was not fit to use on rough roads, my next
work was to make a cart. I had brought a pair of wheels
from the wreck, so that my task did not prove a hard one.
While I was thus at work, my wife and the boys took
some of the fruit trees we had brought with us, and put
them in the ground where they thought they would grow
best. On each side of the path that led from The Nest to
the Boys' Bridge they put a row of young nut trees. To
make the path hard we laid down sand from the sea shore,
and then beat it down with our spades.
We were for six weeks at this and such like work. We
were loth to spare any pains to make The Nest, and all
that could be seen near it, look neat and trim, though there
were no eyes but our own to view the scene.
One day I told my sons that I would try to make a
flight of stairs in place of the cane steps with rope sides,
which were, to tell the truth, the worst part of our house.
As yet we had not used them much, but the rain would
some day force us to keep in the Nest, and then we should
like to go up and down stairs with more ease than we could
now climb the rude steps. I knew that a swarm of bees
had built their nest in the trunk of our tree, and this led
me to think that there might be a void space in it some
way up. Should this prove to be the case," I said, our
work will be half done, for we shall then have but to fix
the stairs in the tree round the trunk." The boys got up
and went to the top of the root to tap the trunk, and to
judge by the sound how far up the hole went. But they
had to pay for their want of thought: the whole swarm of
bees came out as soon as they heard the noise, stung their
cheeks, stuck to their hair and clothes, and soon put them
The Swo8s Family Robinma. 39
We found that Jack, who was at all times rash, had
struck the bees' nest with .his axe, and was much more
hurt by them than the rest. Ernest, who went to his work
in his slow way, got up to it last, and thus did not get
more than a sting or two, but the rest were some hours ere
they could see out of their eyes. I took a large gourd,
which had long been meant to serve for a hive, and put it
on a stand. We then made a straw roof to keep it from
the sun and wind, and as by this time it grew dark, we
left the hive there for the night.
Next day, the boys, whose wounds were now quite well,
went with me to help to move the bees to the new home
we had made for them. Our first work was to stop with
clay all the holes in the tree but one through which the
bees were wont to go in to their nest. To this I put the
bowl of a pipe, and blew in the smoke of the weed as fast
as I could. At first we heard a loud buzz like the noise
of a storm afar off: but the more I blew my pipe the less
grew the sound, till a; last the bees were quite still.
We now cut out a piece of the trunk, three feet square,
and this gave us a fhll view of the nest. Our joy was
great to find such a stock of wax, for I could see the comb
reach far up the tree. I took some of the comb, in which
the bees lay in swarms, and put it by on the plank.
We then put the gourd on the comb that held the
swarm, and took care that the queen bee was not left out.
By these means we soon got a hive of fine bees, and the
trunk of the tree was left free for our use.
We had now to try the length of the hole. This we
did with a long pole, and found it reached as far up as the
branch on which our house stood.
We now cut a square hole in that side of the trunk next
The Swiss Family Robinson.
the sea shore, and made one of the doors that we had
brought from the ship to fit in the space. We then made
the sides smooth all the way up, and with planks and the
staves of some old casks, built up the stairs round a pole
which we made fast in the ground. To do this we had to
make a notch in the pole and one in the side of the trunk
for each stair, and thus go up step by step till we came to
the top. Each day we spent a part of our time at what
we could now call the farm, where the beasts and fowls
were kept, and did odd jobs as well, so that we should not
make too great a toil of the flight of stairs, which took us
some six weeks to put up.
One day Fritz caught a fine EA-GLE, which he tied by
the leg to a branch of the tree, and fed with small birds.
It took hba -1cioln while to tame, but in time he taught it
to percn o~ mis wrist, and to feed from his hand. He once
let it go, and thought he would have lost it, but the bird
knew it had a good friend, for it came back to the tree at
night. From that time it was left free, though we thought
that some day its love of war and wild sports would tempt
it to leave us for the rocks of the sea shore, where Fritz
had first found it.
Each of my boys had now some pet to take care of, and,
I may say, to tease, for they all thought they had a fair
right to get some fun out of the pets they could call their
own; but they were kind to them, fed them well, and kept
In what I may term my spare time, which was when I
left off work out of doors, I made a pair of gum shoes for
each of my sons, in the way I had told Fritz it could be
done. I do not know what we should have done had we
not found the gum tree, for the stones soon wore out the
~----=C--~--?--- =- --
Tke Swiss Pyzmily -Robinson.
boots we had, and we coula not have gone through the
woods or trod the hard rocks with bare feet.
By this time our sow had brought forth ten young pigs,
and the hens had each a brood of fine chicks. Some we
kept near us, but most of them went to the wood, where
my wife said she could find them when she had need to use
I knew the time must now be near when, in this clime,
the rain comes down day by day for weeks, and that it
would wash us out of The Nest if we did not make a good
roof to our house. Then our live stock would need some
place where they could rest out of the rain. The thatch
for The Nest was of course our first care; then we made a
long roof of canes for our live stock, and on this we spread
clay and moss, and then a thick coat of tar, so that it was
rain proof from end to end. This was held up by thick
canes stuck deep in the ground, with planks made fast to
them to form the walls, and round the whole we put a row
of cask staves to serve for rails. In this way we soon had
a barn, store room, and hay loft, with stalls for the cow,
the ass, and what else we kept that had need of a place to
,RANK one day found some long leaves, to which, from
theii shape, he gave the name of sword leaves. These he
brought home to play with, and then, when he grew tired
of them, threw them down. As they lay on the floor,
Fritz took some of them in his hand, and found them so
limp, that he said he could plait them, and make a whip
The Swiss Family Jitobinson.
for Frank to drive the sheep and goats with. As he split
them up to do this, I could not but note their strength.
This led me to try them, and I found that we had now a
kind of flax plant, which was a source of great joy to my
"You have not yet found a thing," she said, "that
will be of more use to us than this. Go at once and
search for some more of these leaves, and bring me the
most you can of them. With these I can make you hose,
shirts, clothes, thread, rope; in shc't, give me flax, and
make me a loom and some frames, and I shall be at no loss
for work when the rain comes."
I could not help a smile at my wife's joy when she
heard the name of flax; for there was still much to do ere
the leaves could take the shape of cloth. But two of the
boys set off at once to try to find some more of the flax.
While they were gone, my wife, full of new life, and
with some show of pride, told me how I should make the
loom by means of which she was to clothe us from head
to foot. In a short time they came back, and brought
with them a good load of the plant, which they laid at her
feet. She now said she would lay by all else till she had
tried what she could make of it. The first thing to be
done was to steep the flax. To do this we took the plant
down to the marsh, tied up in small bales, as they pack
hemp for sale. The leaves were then spread out in the
pond, and kept down with stones, and left there in that
state till it was time to take them out and set them in the
sun to dry, when they would be so soft that we could peel
them with ease. It was two weeks ere the flax was fit for
us to take out of the marsh. We spread it out on the
grass in the sun, where it dried so quick that we took it
The Swise .Family Robinson.
home to The Nest the same day. It was then put by till
we could find time to make the wheels, reels, and combs
which my wife said that she would want to turn our new
found plant to its best use.
We now made haste to lay up a store of canes, nuts,
wood, and such things as we thought we might want; and
took care, while it was still fine, to sow wheat, and all the
grain we had left in our bags was soon put in the ground.
The fear that the rain might come and put a stop to our
work led us to take our meals in haste, and to make the
days as long as we could see, We knew that the rain was
close at hand, for the nights were cold; large clouds could
be seen in the sky, and the wind blew as we had not felt
it since the night our ship struck on the rock.
The great change came at last. One night we were
woke up out of our sleep with the noise made by the rush
of the wind through the woods, and we could hear the
loud roar of the sea far off. Then the dense storm clouds
which we had seen in the sky burst on us, and the rain
came down in floods. The streams, pools, and ponds on
all sides were soon full, and the whole plain round us met
our view as one vast lake. By good luck, the site of our
house stood up out of the flood, and our group of trees
had the look of a small isle in the midst of the lake.
We soon found that The Nest was not built so well as
we thought, for the rain came in at the sides, and we had
good cause to fear that the wind would blow the roof off.
Once the storm made such a rush at it that we heard the
beams creak, and the planks gave signs that there was
more strain on them than they could bear. This drove us
from our room to the stairs in the trunk, on which we sat
in a state of fear till the worst of the storm was past.
271 Swisa Famil' Bobi8m.
Then we went down to the shed we had built on the
ground at the root of the tree, and made the best shift we
could. All our stores were kept here, so that the space
was too small to hold us, and the smell from the beasts
made it far from a fit place for six of us to dwell in; but
it was at least safe for a time, and this was of course the
first thing to be'thought of. To dress our food we had to
make a fire in the barn, and as there was no place to let
out the smoke, it got down our throats and made us cough
all the day long.
It was now for the first time that my wife gave a sigh
for her old Swiss home. But we all knew that it was of
no use to grieve, and each set to work to do all he could
to make the place look neat and clean. Some of our stores
we took up the stairs out of our way, and this gave us
more room. As we had cut square holes in the trunk of
the tree all the way up, and put in frames of glass that we
got from the ship, my wife could sit on the stairs, with
Frank at her feet, and mend our clothes. Each day I
drove from the barn such of the beasts as could bear to be
out in the rain. That we might not lose them, I tied bells
round their necks; and if we found that they did not come
back when the sun went down, Fritz and I went out to
bring them in. We oft got wet through to the skin, which
gave us a chill, and might have laid us up if my wife had
not made cloth capes and hoods for us to wear. To make
these rain proof, I spread some of the gum on them while
hot, and this, when dry, had the look of oil cloth, and kept
the head, arms, chest, and back free from damp. Our gum
boots came far up our legs, so that we could go out in the
rain and come back quite free from cold and damp.
We made but few fires, for the air was not cold, save
The Swiss Family Robinson.
for an hour or two late at night, and we did not cook more
than we could help, but ate the dried meat, fowls, and fish
we had by us.
The care of our beasts took us a great part of the day;
then we made our cakes and set them to bake in a tin plate
on a slow fire. I had cut a hole in the wall to give us
light, and put a pane of glass in it to keep out the wind,
but the thick clouds hid the suM from the earth, and the
shade of the tree threw a gloom round our barn, so that
our day light was but short, and night came on far too
soon. We then made use of our wax lights, and all sat
round a bench. My wife had as much as she could well
do to mend the rents we made in our clothes. I kept a
log, in which I put down, day by day, what we did and
what we had seen; and then Ernest wrote this out in a
neat, clear hand, and made a book of it. Fritz and Jack
drew the plants, trees, and beasts which they had found,
and these were stuck in our book. Each night we took it
in turns to read the Word of God, and then all knelt down
to pray ere we went to bed. Ours was not a life of ease,
it is true, but it was one of peace and hope; and we felt
that God had been so kind to us that it would be a great
sin to wish for what it did not please him to grant us.
My wife did all she could to cheer us, and it was no
strange thing for us to find that while we were out in the
rain with the live stock, she had made some new dish,
which we would scent as soon as we put our heads in at
the door. One night it was a thrush pie, the next a roast
fowl, or some wild duck soup; and once in a while she
would give us a grand feast, and bring out some of all
the good things we had in store.
In the course of our .tav in doors we made up our
The &oiss Faml&ai Robinsom 47
minds that we would not spend the next time of storm and
rain, when it should come round, in the same place. The
Nest would serve us well in that time of year when it was
fine and dry, but we should have to look out for some spot
where we could build a house that would keep us from the
rain the next time the storms came.
Fritz thought that we might find a cave, or cut one out
of the rocks by the sea shore. I told him that this would
be a good plan, but would take a long while to do. By
this time the boys were all well used to hard work, and
they thought they would much like to try their skill at
some new kind of work.
"Well," said I, we will go to the rocks round Tent
House the first fine day that comes, and try to find some
place that will serve to keep us from the next year's
I CAN not tell how glad we all were when we at last saw
a change in the sky, and felt once more the warm rays of
the sun. In a few days the floods sank in the earth, and
left the ground of a bright green hue; the air grew warm
and dry, and there were no more dark clouds to be seen in
We found our young trees had put forth new leaves,
and the seed we had sown had come up through the moist
ground. The air had a fresh sweet smell, for it bore the
scent of the bloom which hung like snow flakes on the
boughs of the fruit trees; the songs and cries of the birds
were to be heard on all sides, and we could see them fly
48 The Swiss Family Robinsotr.
from tree to tree in search of twigs to build their nests.
This in fact was the spring of the year, when all things
put forth new life; and we knew that the time was now
come when we could once more range the woods and till
the soil, and this made the boys leap for joy.
Some planks had been blown off the roof of The Nest,
and the rain had got in here and there; so our first job
was to mend our house, and make it fit to sleep in.
This done, Jack, Fritz, and I set out to Tent House.
We found it in a sad state. The storm had thrown down
the tent, blown off some of the sail cloth, and let in the
rain on our casks, some of which held a store of food.
Our boat was still safe, but the raft of tubs had broke up,
and what there was left of it lay in splints on the shore.
Our loss in the storm had been so great that I felt we
ought at once to seek for some place on the rocks where
we could put what was left.
We went all round the cliffs, in the hope that we might
find a cave, but in vain.
"There is no way but to hew one out of the rock," said
Fritz, for we must not be beat."
Well said, Fritz," said Jack; "we have each an axe.
Why not try this cliff at once 1 "
I gave them leave to try, and we soon set to work at
the rock. From this spot we had a good view of the
whole bay, and could see both banks of the stream.
With a piece of chalk I made a mark on the side of the
cliff, to show the width and height that the cave should be
cut. Then each took an axe to try what kind of stuff our
rock was made of. We found it a hard kind of stone;
and, as we were not used to this sort of work, we had not
done much when the time came for us to leave off.
At the end of five or six days we had got through the face of
*,e rook, and we found the stone soft.-Page 49.
Rfwiu Familay Rotauiw
T'e Swiss Family Robinson.
We came back next day, and got on with more speed,
though we thought it would not take us less than six
months to make the cave, if our work were done at the
same rate each day.
At the end of five or six days we had got through the
face of the rock, and we found the stone soft. In a day or
two more we came to what was but hard clay, which gave
way at a slight blow from the axe.
"We need not fear now," said I, for we shall soon
have a hole as large as we want."
With the earth we took out we made a ridge in front of
the cliff. The boys now got on so well, and dug so much
out, that I had hard work to throw up the earth on the
One day, as Jack stuck his piclk in at the back of the
cave, which was now more than eight feet from the front,
a great mass of the rock fell in, and he cried out, Look
here! I have got through."
Through what 1 said I. "Not through your hand,
"No, no, but through the rock."
At this, Fritz set up a loud laugh.
"Why not say through the world at once, and push
your crow bar in till you reach EU-ROPE, which, Ernest
says, lies in a straight line from our feet. I should like
to have a peep down such a hole, for I might thus get
a sight of our dear Swiss home."
Fritz and I went up to the wall and found that Jack was
right, for he had come to a clear space. His first thought
was to jump in; but as I knew that there might be foul
air in the cave, I would not let him risk his life.
The boys then set fire to some dry grass, and thrust it
TheL Swiss 1/hamny Robinson.
in the hole, but it went out at once, which was a sure sign
that the air was not fit to breathe.
I knew that we had brought from the wreck a box ful
of fire works, which were used on board to make signs to
ships far out at sea. I sent Fritz to Tent House for these,
though I thought that they might be too damp to make
use of. When he came back, I set light to some of them,
and threw them in the hole. They flew round, and threw
out a stream of sparks that lit up the cave. When these
were burnt out, we put in a heap of straw and threw a
light on it. This was now soon in a blaze, and gave us a
clear view of the cave; but it was too deep for us to see
Our joy was so great that we sent Jack off home to
The Nest to tell the good news, and to bring back some
wax lights. I did not deem it safe for us to go in the cave
in the dark, for there might be pools or deep dry pits in
Fritz and I had just thrown up on the bank the last
spade full of earth that had been dug out, when we heard
a loud shout. We got up on the top of the cave, and saw
that Jack had brought back a tribe at his heels. The large
car, drawn by the cow and the ass, came on at a slow pace,
led by Jack on a black ox, and in it were my wife, Frank,
By the help of a flint and steel I soon lit some of the
wax lights, and gave one to each. I went in first and led
the way, and the rest kept close at my back. We had not
gone on more than a few steps when we came to a dead
stop, struck with awe at the grand sight that met our view.
The walls and roof of the cave were lit up, as it were, with
star-like gems, while some hung down like glass drops
The Swiss Family Robinon.
from the roof, and some rose up from the ground at its
sides like blocks of spar. I broke off a piece and put it
to my tongue.
What does it taste like ? said Jack.
I find," said I, "that we are in a cave of rock salt."
We shall not have to scrape the rocks to get our salt
now," said Ernest, for there is more here than would
serve a whole town for a life time."
When we went back to The Nest that night we laid out
a plan for our new home, for there could be no doubt that
the cave was the best place for us to dwell in, though we
should still sleep in The Nest when we went on that side
of the stream.
The next day we all set to work; the floor of the cave
was quite smooth, and the walls dry, so that we could
build at once. We first cut holes in the sides of the rock
to let in the light, and then brought frames and panes of
glass from The Nest, and put them in. We then brought
all the planks and wood we could find, and built a strong
wall in the midst of the cave. On the right side of this
wall we made three rooms, two of which were to be used
as bed rooms, and one to take our meals in. On the left
side was a room for my wife to cook in, one to work in, to
which we gave the name of the shop, and a place with
stalls in it for our live stock. At the back of these was a
store house, where we could keep our stock of food and
the whole of our spare goods.
I need not say that it took us some months to do all this,
nor that we had to toil hard day by day, from morn till
night, ere we got to the end of our task; but the end did
come at last, and then the joy we felt that we had done all
this with our own hands more than paid us for our toil.
'We cut down a large patch of rye, m hen quails ran off at
thb sight of our dogs.-Page 53. Swiss Family Robin".
The Swiss Eamily Robinson.
OuI fields near Tent House had by this time brought'
forth good crops of wheat, maize, beans, and peas; but as
the work of the Cave had for some weeks kept us on this
side of the stream, we did not know in what state we
should find our crops at The Nest.
One day we all set out for our old home. We found our
corn fields of a rich brown hue, and saw that the wheat
was, for the most part, fit to reap. This, and a large patch
of rye, we cut down, and, as we did so, whole flocks of
birds took to wing when we got near them, while quails
were seen to run off at the sight of our dogs, who had no
lack of sport that day.
We laid by the seed that was quite ripe till the time
should come for us to sow it, and put the rest in sacks.
Some of the wheat was laid up in sheaves tll we should
have time to beat out the grain.
When we left The Nest for the Cave, we could uot find
the hand mill that we had brought from the ship. This
now came to light, and we took care to pack it up to take
with us, as we should want it to grind our corn.
That night we slept once more in the great tree; but I
must say that we did not now sleep so sound there as
we used to do, nor did we feel so safe as we did in our
rooms at Rock House.
The next day we were to start a plan by means of which
our live stock would not want so much of our care. They
had bred so fast that we could well spare some of them,
and these I thought might be left 'j some place to seek
The Swiss .Family .Robinson.
their own food, and yet be in reach should we want
My wife took from her hen roost ten young fowls, and I
took four young pigs, four sheep, and two goats. These
we put in our large cart, with such tools as we thought we
should need, tied the black ox, the cow, and the ass to the
shafts, and then set off from The Nest.
We had to cross a wide plain, and here we met with
some dwarf plants, on which, as Jack would have it, grew
Fritz ran to see what they were, and brought me a twig
to which clung balls of snow white down. I held it up to
show my wife, for I knew the sight would please her still
more than her sons.
See," said I, this is the COT-TON plant, which you
have oft tried to find. It seems to grow here as thick as
weeds, and, if I am a judge, it is of the best kind."
We got as much of this as our bags would hold, and
my wife took care to pluck some of the ripe seed, that we
might raise a crop in our grounds at Tent House.
At the end of the plain we came to the brow of a high
hill, from which the eye fell on a view the like of which
we had not yet seen. Trees of all kinds grew on the
sides of the hill, and a clear stream ran through the plain
at its base, and shone bright in the rays of the sun.
We said at once that this should be the site of our new
farm. Close by we found a group of trees, the trunks of
which, as they stood, would do for the main props of the
I had long had a mind to build a boat, and here I at last
came on a tree that would suit. Fritz and I went for a
mile or two in search of what we could find, and by the
The Swiss jFami1y Robinson.
time we came back my wife had put up our tent for the
night. We then all sat down to sup, and went to rest on
beds made of the bags of the white down that we brought
from the trees on the plain.
The next day we rose at dawn. The trees which were
to form the frame of our farm house stood on a piece of
land eight yards long by five wide. I made a deep cut in
each of the trunks, ten feet from the ground, and put up
cross beams to form a roof, on which we laid some bark in
such a way that the rain would run off.
We were hard at work for some days at the Farm
House. The walls we built of thin laths and long reeds,
wove close for six feet from the ground, but the rest we
made of thin cross bars to let in both light and air. We
made racks to store hay and such like food for the live
stock, and put by some grain for the fowls, for our plan
was to come from time to time to feed them, till they got
used to the place.
Our work took us more time than we thought; and as
our store of food got low, we sent Fritz and Jack home to
bring us a fresh stock, and to feed the beasts we had left
at Tent House.
While they were gone, Ernest and I made a tour of the
woods for some miles round the new Farm. We first took
the course of the stream that ran by the foot of the hill.
Some way up we came to a marsh on the edge of a small
lake, and here in the swamp grew a kind of wild rice, now
ripe on the stalk, round which flew flocks of birds. We
shot five or six of these, and I was glad to note the skill
with which Ernest now used his gun. I took some of the
rice, that my wife might judge how far it was of use to us
The Swiss Family Robinson.
We went quite roand the lake, and saw plants and trees
that were not known to me, and birds that Ernest said he
had not seen in any of the woods near The Nest. But
we were most struck with the sight of a pair of black
swans, and a troop of young ones that came in their train.
Ernest would have shot at them, but I told him not to kill
what we did not want for use.
We did not get back till late in the day. Jack and
Fritz, whom we met just as we came round the foot of the
hill, had done their task well, for they had a good stock
of food in a sack that lay on the back of the ass, and they
brought the good news that all was well at home.
We spent four more days at the Farm, and then left it
in such a state as to be fit for our use when we chose to go
back to it.
The Farm House was but a part of our plan, for we had
made up our minds to build a sort of half way house, or
cot, in which we could rest on our way to the Farm. This
took us six days to do. The spot we chose lay by the side
of a brook, and was just such a place as would tempt one
to stop and rest in the shade of the trees, that grew on the
bank. While at the brook, I made a boat out of the tree
we found at the Farm, and took it back with us to Tent
House in the cart.
We had still two months ere the rain would set in, and
this left us time to put the last touch to our cave. We
laid the whole floor with clay, and spread on it some fine
sand, which we beat down till it was quite smooth and
firm. On this we put sail cloth, and threw down goat's
hair and wool made moist with gum. This was well beat,
and, when dry, made a kind of felt mat that was warm and
soft to tread on. and would keeU the damp from our feet.
The Swiss Family .Robinson.
By the time these works were done, our cave was in a
fit state for us to dwell in. We did not now dread the
rain, for we were safe out of its reach, and there was no
need that we should go out in it. We had a warm light
shop to work in by day, a snug place where we could take
our meals, and dry bed rooms in which we could sleep in
peace. Our live stock we kept in a shed at the back of
the cave, and our store room held all that we could want.
When the rain at length set in, we all had some task
that kept us close at work in the cave. My wife took her
wheel or her loom, both of which I had made for her, for
this kind of work fell to her share from choice. By the
help of the wheels of one of the ship's guns I had made a
lathe, and with this I could turn legs for stools and chairs.
Ernest, too, was fond of the lathe, and soon learned to do
such work quite as well as I.
At dusk, when we had done our work for the day, we
brought out our stock of books, and sat down to read by
the light of a lamp.
At times, Jack and Frank would play a tune on their
flutes, which I had made out of reeds; and my wife, who
had a sweet voice, would sing some of the old Swiss songs,
that brought to our minds the joys of home.
Though we were by no means dull, nor in want of work
to fill up our time, we were glad when the time came for
the rain to cease, and when we could gaze once more on
the green fields. We went out the first fine day, and took
a long walk by the base of the cliff. On the shore we
found a dead whale, which the sea had no doubt thrown
up in the storm. We had long felt the need of oil; for
though we had a lamp, we had naught but our wax lights
to put in it, and these gave a poor light to read by. The
On the shore we found a dead whale, which the sea had no doubt thrown up in the storm.-
Page 56 Swiss Familw RoBiHe.
The Swiss Family Rob~aons.
next day we cut up the whale, and put the flesh in tubs.
It was far from a clean job, for the oil ran down our
clothes and made them smell; but as we could change
them for new ones, thanks to the hemp and my wife's
skill, we did not mind that, for the oil was now worth more
to us than our clothes, though at one time we should not
have thought so.
One day we all set out on a tour to the Farm. Jack
and Frank had gone on first, while my wife and I were as
yet close to the Cave. All at once the boys came back,
and Fritz said, Look at that strange thing on its way up
the path. What can it be I "
I cast my eye on the spot, and cried out, Fly all of
you to the Cave! fly for your lives!" for I saw it was a
huge snake, or boa, that would make a meal of one of us,
if we did not get out of its way.
We all ran in doors, and put bars up to the doors of the
Cave. A large dove cote had been made on the roof, and
to this we got up through a hole in the rock.
Ernest took aim with his gun, and shot at the snake, so
did Fritz and Jack, but it gave no sign that they had hit
it. I then tried my skill, but it did not seem to feel my
shot any more than theirs, though I was sure I must have
struck its head. Just as we took aim at it once more, we
saw it turn round and glide through the reeds in the
Our fears kept us for three long days in the Cave. The
snake gave no sign that could lead us to think it was still
near, but the ducks and geese had left the spot where their
nests were, and this we knew to be a bad sign. On the
fourth day I went to the door, with a view to let out some
of the beasts to graze, for wea~re short of food for them,
The Swiss Famimy Robinson.
The ass was just at my back, and as soon as it saw the
light, made a rush to get out. Off it went, straight to the
sands, with its heels in the air, but just as it got to the
marsh we saw the boa glide out from the reeds, part its
wide jaws, and make for its prey. The ass at once saw
its foe, but stood still as if struck with fear, and in less
time than I take to tell it, our old friend was tight in the
folds of the boa.
This was a sad sight for all of us, yet we could not take
our eyes off the snake, but saw it crush the poor beast,
and then gorge its prey. When it had put the whole of
the ass out of sight, it lay down on the sand quite still, as
if it had gone to sleep or died.
"Now is the time to seal the fate of our foe," said I to
Fritz; and with that we went out with our guns. When
we got near, we both took a straight aim, and each put a
ball in its head. This made it move with a start, and
writhe as if in pain.
"See how its eyes glare on us with rage. Now load
your gun, and let us put a bit more lead in him."
Our next shot went in his eyes. It then shook as with
a strong spasm, and fell dead on the sand.
A shout of joy brought my wife and the three boys to
the spot. The state of fear they had been kept in for
three whole days had made them quite ill, but now thejoy
of Jack and Frank knew no bounds, for they leaped on
the snake and beat it as if they would go mad.
My wife said that the death of the boa took a great
weight off her mind, for she thought it would lie in wait
for us near the Cave, starve us out, and then kill us as it
had done the poor ass.
We slit up the snake. and took out the flesh of the ass,
The Swiss Family Robinson.
which the boys laid in a grave near Tent House. The boa's
skin we hung up at the door of the Cave, over which Er-
nest wrote the words, No ass to be found here," which
we all thought to be a good joke.
One day late in the spring I went with my three sons a
long way from the Cave. My wife and Frank were left
at our Half Way House, to wait till we came back, but
the dogs went with us. Our route lay far up the
course of a small stream, which had its source some
miles north of the Farm House. The ground was new to
us, but we could not well lose our way, for on the right
stood a hill from which we could see the whole of the
Ernest had gone with one of the dogs to a cave that he
had spied at the foot of the hill, but we saw him turn
round and run back with Turk at his heels. As soon as he
thought his voice would reach us, he cried out, A bear
A bear come to my help "
We could now see that there were two great beasts at
the mouth of the cave. At a word from us both the dogs
flew to fight the bear that stood in front.
Fritz took up his post at my side, while Jack and
Ernest kept in the rear. Our first shot was a miss," as
Jack said; but we took a sure aim the next time, and
both shots told. We would have let fly at them once
more from this spot, but as we thought we might hit our
brave dogs, who were now in the heat of a hard fight with
their foes, we ran up close to them.
Now, Fritz," said I, take a straight aim at the head
of the first, while I fire on the one at his back."
We both shot at once; the bears gave a loud growl, and
then, with a low moan, fell dead at our feet.
"Now, Fritz,'- said I, "take a straight aim at the head of the first bear, while I fire on the one at
his back."-Page 62. Swis Family Robinson.
The Swiss Family -Robinson.
As it was now time to go back, we put the bears in the
cave, but took care to cut off their paws, which form a
dish fit to grace the feast of a king.
We had a long walk back to the place where I had left
my wife. The boys told her what a hard fight the dogs
had with the bears, and how Fritz and I had shot them,
and then gave her the paws. With the aid of Frank she
had fed our live stock and brought in wood to make up
our watch fire for the night, so we sat down to sup at
once, and then went to rest.
Next day we put our beasts to the cart and drove as far
as the bear's den. As we came near to the spot a flock of
birds flew out of the mouth of the cave, two or three of
which Fritz brought down with his gun. It took us the
whole day to cut up the bears. The hams were laid by to
be smoke dried; while my wife took charge of the fat and
WE had now so much work to do, and the days and
weeks came and went so quick, that I do not think we
should have known the time of year had it not been for
Some days were spent at the Cave, where we made our
goods, ground our flour, stored our food, and kept our
tame live stock. Then we had to take care of our crops
on the fields near The Nest, and this took us two or three
days in each month. Once in ten days at least we went
It took us a whole day to cut up the bears. The hams
were laid by to be smoke-dried; and my wife' took charge
of the fat and the skins.--Page 64. Swiss Family Robinson.
Th S'wiss Family Robinson.
to the Farm on the hill, and at the same time made a call
at the Half Way House; so that there was not a day that
we had not our hands quite full. Now and then we went
out to hunt for sport or to add to our stock of beasts, which
had grown so large that there were few we could name
that had not been caught and brought home. We
had birds of the air, fowls of the land, and beasts of all
kinds, from the great black ox of the plain to the small
wild RAB-BIT that came and made its hole close by our
But there was one bird that we had not yet caught,
though we had seen it two or three times in the woods.
This was the Os-TRICH. Fritz found a nest with some
eggs in it, and this led us to make a tour with a view to
catch one of the old birds. We rose that day ere it was
light, and set out at dawn, each on the back of a good
As we should have to hunt through the woods, my wife
was left at home; and Ernest, who did not like rough
work, chose to stay with her. We made it a rule to
take one of the dogs with us when we went out to hunt,
but on this day we thought it wise to let them both come.
Fritz took us straight to where he had seen the nest,
which was not more than a few miles up the stream.
When we came in sight of the spot, we saw four great
birds, as if on their way to meet us. As they drew near
we kept the dogs well in, and made no noise, so that
they did not stop till they came near us.
Fritz had brought his Ea-gle with him, which he now
let fly. At one swoop the bird came down on the head
of the Os-trich, held on with its beak, and struck out its
wings with great force, as if to stun it.
The Swiss tmd;iiy Robinson.
We now rode up close to the scene of war. Jack first
flung a cord round the legs of the bird, which made it
fall to the ground. I then threw my pouch on its head,
and, strange to say, it lay down as still as a lamb.
I now tied both its legs with cords, but left it just room
to walk. We then made it fast to the two bulls that had
brought Jack and Frank all the way from home, and put
one of them on each side. They next got up on their
steeds, and I took the pouch from the head of the bird.
As soon as it could see, it gave a wild stare, and then
fought to get free.
The boys then put spurs to the flanks of their steeds,
and when the bird had made a few starts back, as if to
try the strength of the cords which held it, it set off with
a run, and the bulls at each side made it keep up a smart
Fritz and I now went in search of the nest, which we
soon found. I took the eggs from it and put them in a
bag I had brought to hold them, in which I put some
wool and moss, so that they should not break.
It did not take us long to get up to the two boys, who
had gone on first, and we were glad to find that the poor
bird had made up its mind to its fate, and kept up well
with the pace of the bulls.
When we got in sight of home, my wife and Ernest,
who had been on the look out for us, came forth to meet
us; and the strange way in which we brought home our
new prize made them laugh. I need not say that we took
great care of it.
The next day we built it a house, with a space in front
for it to walk up and down, round which were put rails,
so that it could not get out. At first it was shy, and
WKoADO AS A MADBUI MUm
The Swiass ami ly RobinsoMn
would not take any food, so that we had to force some
balls of maize down its throat; but in a short time it
took grain from the hands ef my wife, and soon grew
The boys now set to work to break it in for use. They
taught it first to bear them on its back. Then they put a
pair of string reins in its mouth, and made it turn which
way they chose to pull, and to walk, or run, or stand still,
as it was bid. Thus, in a month from the time we caught
it, the boys made it take them on its back to and from
the Farm or The Nest, in less than half the time an ox
would go; so that it came to be the best steed we had to
The eggs we found in the nest were put in a warm dry
place, and though we scarce thought our care would bring
live birds out of the shells, we had the joy to hatch three
of them, and this led us to hope that we should ere long
have a steed for each of our sons.
My work at this time was by no means light. Our hats
and caps were all worn out, and with skins of the musk
cat I had to make new ones. The bears' skins were laid
in the sun to dry, and of these we made fur coats, which
would keep us warm when the cold wet nights came round,
and there were some left to serve as quilts or rugs for our
I now tried my hand at a new craft. I dug some clay
out of the bed of the stream, and taught the boys to knead
it up with sand, and some talc that had been ground as
fine as road drift. I had made a lathe with a wheel, and
by its aid the clay left my hands in the shape of plates,
cups, pots, and pans. We then burnt them in a rude kiln,
And though at least one ha~V hrao with the heat and our
Tie Swiss Famiky Rob~inson.
want of skill, still those that came out whole more than
paid me for my toil, and kept up my wife's stock 4of delf.
Some of the jars were set round with red an; blue beads,
and these were put on a shelf as works of art, and kept
full of long dried grass.
The time was now at hand when we must reap our grain :
TREADING OUT THE CORN.
and store the ripe crops that were still on the ground;
and, in fact, there was so much to be done, that we scarce
knew fhat to do first The truth must be told that
our wants did not keep pace with jne growth of our
wealth, for the land was rich, and we had but a few mouths
The Swiss fPamily Robinson.
We knew that we might leave the roots in the ground
for some time, as the soil was dry, but that the grain would
soon spoil; so we made the corn our first care. When it
was all cut and brought home, our next task was to thresh
it. The floor of our store room was now as hard as a
rock, for the sun had dried it, and there was not a crack to
be seen. On this we laid the ears of ripe corn, from which
the long straw had been cut, and sent the boys to bring
in such of our live stock as were fit for the work to be
Jack and Fritz were soon on the backs of their steeds,
and thought it fine fun to make them course round the
floor and tread out the grain. Ernest and I had each a
long fork, with which we threw the corn at their feet, so
that all of it might be trod on. The ox on which Jack
sat put down hbi head and took a bunch of the ears in
Come," said Jack, "it is not put there for you to eat,
off you go!" and with that he gave it a lash with his
"Nay," said I, do you not know what God has said
in his Word --We must not bind up the mouth of the ox
that treads out the corn. This brings to my mind the
fact that the means we now take to thresh our wheat were
those used by the Jews in the days of old."
To sort the chaff from the grain we threw it up with our
spades while the land or sea breeze blew strong. The
draught which came in at the door took the light chaff
to the ground by its own weight.
The maize we left to dry in the sun, and then beat out
the grain with long skin -AuvWs By this means we got a
There was one bird that we had not yet caught though we had
sen some two or three times; this was the Os-trich.-Page 65.
Swiss Family Robinsoa,
'The Swiss Family .Robinson.
store of the soft leaves of ~his plant, which my wife made
use of to stuff our beds.
When all the grain had been put in our store room,
some in sacks and the rest in dry casks, we took a walk
one day to our fields, and found that flocks of birds, most
of which were quails, had come there to feed. This gave
us a fine day's sport with our guns, and the next year we
did not fail to look for them, so that the fields were made
to yield a stock of game as well as a crop of grain.
With but slight change in our mode of life, we spent
ten long years in our strange home. Yet the time did not
seem long to us. Each day brought with it quite as much
work as we could do, so that weeks and months and years
flew past, till at last we gave up all hope that we should
leave the isle or see our old Swiss home. the thought of
which was still dear to us.
But the lapse of ten years had wrought a great change
in our sons. Frank, who was but a mere child when we
first came, had grown up to be a strong youth; and Jack
was as brave a lad as one could wish to see. Fritz, of
course, was now a young man, and took a large share of
the work off my hands. Ernest had just come of age,
and his shrewd mode of thought and great tact was as
great a help to us as was the strength and skill of the
1 To crown all, it was a rare thing for their to be ill; and
they were free from those sins which too oft tempt young
men to stray from the right path. My wife and I did our
best to train them, so that they might know right from
wrong; and it gave us great joy to find that what we
told them sunk deep in their hearts, and, like ripe seed
sown in rich soil, brought forth good fruit.
The Swiss Family Robinon,.
I need not say that in the course of ten years we had
made great strides in those arts which our wants had first
led us to learn. When we first came the land near Tent
House was a bare waste; now it bore fine crops, and was
kept as neat as a Swiss farrn At the foot of the hill iby
the side of Rock Cave was a large plot of ground, whith
we laid out in beds, and here we grew herbs and shrubs,
and such plants as we used for food. Near this we dug a
pond, and by means of a sluice which led from the stream,
we kept our plants fresh in times of drought. Nor was
this the sole use we made of the pond; for in it we kept
small fish and crabs, and took them out with a rod and
line when we had need of food, and time to spare for that
kind of sport. In the ground round the mouth of the
Cave we drove a row of strong canes, bound at the top to
a piece of wood, so as to form a fence, up which grew a
vine, and, at each side, plants that threw a good show of
gay bloom crept up to meet it. Shells of great size and
strange shapes were got from the shore, and these we built
up here and there with burnt clay, so as to form clumps
of rock work, on which grew ferns and rare plants. All
this gave a charm to our home, and made the grounds
round it a source of joy when we laid by our work for the
day. In fact, we thought there was now scarce a thing
to wish for that we had not got.
Our cares were few, and our life was as full of joy and
peace as we could well wish; yet I oft cast a look on the
sea, in the hope that some day I should spy a sail, and
once more greet a friend from the wide world from which
we had been so long shut out. This hope, vague as it
was, led me to store up such things as would bring a
price, if we had the chance to sell them; they might prove
The ,Swis -qamilyj Robinsonm
p source of wealth to us if a ship came that way, or would
at least help to pay the charge of a cruise back to the land
we came from.
It is but just to say that the boys did not share my
hopes, nor did they seem to wish that we should leave
the place where they had been brought up. It was their
world, and the cave, to which we gave the name Rock
House, was more dear to them than any spot on the
Go back !" Fritz would say; "to leave our cave, that
we dug with our own hands; to part with our dear kind
beasts and birds; to bid good by to our farms, and so
much that is our own, and which no one in the world
wants. No, no You can not wish us to leave such a
My dear wife a.Ld I both felt that age would soon creep
on us, and we could not help some doubts as to the fate
of our sons. Should we stay and end our days here, some
one of us would live out the rest, and this thought came
oft to my mind, and brought with it a sense of dread I
could not get rid of. It made me pray to God that he
would save us all from so dire a fate as to die far from the
sound of the voice of man, with no one to hear our last
words, or lay us in the earth when he should call us to
My wife did not share this dread. "Why should we
go back 1 she would say. We have here all that we
can wish for. The boys lead a life of health, free from
sin, and live with us, which might not be the case if we
went out in the world. Let us leave our fate in the hands
f'Ae .9S"88 famy ton.soUnM
As Fritz and Ernest were now men, they were of course
free to go where they chose, and to come back when their
will led them home. Thus, from time to time they took
long trips, and went far from Rock House. They had fine
boats and strong steeds, and of these they made such good
use that there was scarce a spot for leagues round that was
not well known to them.
At one time, Fritz had been so long from home that we
had a dread lest he should have lost his way, or fell a prey
to wild beasts. When he came back he told us a long tale
of what he had seen and where he had been, and how he
had brought with him birds, beasts, moths, and such
strange things as he thought Ernest would like to see.
When he had done, he drew me out into our grounds and
said he had a strange thing to tell me. It seems that he
found a piece of white cloth tied to the foot of a bird
which he had struck down with a stick, on which were
these words: Save a poor soul, who is on the rock from
which you may see the smoke rise."
He thought that this rock could not be far off, and that
he ought to set off at once in search of it.
I have a thought," said he; "I will tie a piece of
cloth, like that I found, to the leg of the bird, and on it I
will write,' Have faith in God: help is near.' If the,
bird goes back to the place from whence it came, our
brief note may reach the eye of the lone one in the
He at once took the bird, which was an Al-ba-tross, tied the strip of cloth to its foot, and let it
Swiss Family Robinson
The Swiss Family Robinson.
rock. At any rate, it can do no harm, and may do some
He at once took the bird, which was an AL-BA-TROSS.
tied the strip of cloth to its foot, and let it go.
And now," said he, "tell me what you think of this.
If we should find a new friend, what a source of joy it will
be. Will you join me in the search 9 "
To be sure I will," said I; and so shall the rest; but
we will not yet tell them of this."
They were all glad to take a trip in the large boat, but
they could not make out why we went in such haste.
The fact is," said Jack, Fritz has found some queer
thing on the coast that he can't bring home, and wants us
to see it. But I dare say we shall know what it all means
in good time."
Fritz was our guide, and went first in his bark boat, or
CA-NOE. In this he could go round the rocks and shoals
that girt the coast, which would not have been safe for the
large boat. He went up all the small creeks we met
with on the way, and kept a sharp look out for the
smoke by which he would know the rock we came out to
I must tell you that once when he came to these parts
with Ernest he met with a TI-GER, and would have lost
his life had it not been for his pet the Ea-gle. The brave
bird, to save Fritz from the beast, made a swoop down on
its head. Fritz thus got off with a scratch or two, but the
poor bird was struck dead by a blow from the paw of its
foe. This was a sad loss to Fritz, for his pet had been a
kind friend, and would go with him at all times when he
Went far from home.
There was scarce a spot we came to that did not bring
The Swiss Pamnily Robinson.
to the mind of one of us some such tale as this, so that
we were full of talk while the boat bore us on.
We had been out some days, but could find no trace of
what we went in search. I rose from my berth at dawn,
and went on deck with Fritz. I told him that as we had
no clue to the place, we must now give up the search. He
did not seem to like this, but no more was said. That
day we spent on shore, and came back to our boat to
sleep at night. Next day we were to change our course,
and trace our way back, for the wind now blew from the
When I went on deck next day I found a short note
from Fritz, in which he told me that he could not give up
the search, but had gone some way up the coast in his
small boat. Let me beg of you," he wrote, "to lie in
wait for me here till I come back."
When he had been gone two days, I felt that I ought to
tell my wife the cause of our trip, as it might ease her
mind, and she now had some fear lest her son should not
be safe. She heard me to the end, and then said that she
was sure he would not fail, but soon bring back good news.
As we were all on the look out for Fritz, we saw his boat
a long way off.
"There is no one with him in the boat," said I to my
wife; that does not say much for our hopes."
Oh, where have you been ?" said the boys, all at
once, as he came on board. But they scarce got a word
from him. He then drew me on one side, and said, with a
smile of joy, What do you think is the news I bring ? "
"Let me hear it," said I.
"Then I have found what I went forth to seek, and our
search has not been in vain,"
Once when Ernest was out on a hunt he met a Ti-ger, whick
struck his pet Ea-gle dead with a blow from his paw.-Page 75.
Swiss Family Robiron.
The Swiss Fwmily -Robinson.
And who is it that you have found 1 "
"Not a man," he said, "but a girl. The dress she wears
is that of a man, and she does not wish at first that her
sex should be known to more than we can help, for she
would not like to meet Ernest and the rest in that state, if
they knew that she had a girl. And, strange to tell," said
Fritz, she has been on shore three years."
While I went to tell the news to my wife, Fritz had
gone down to his berth to change his clothes, and I must
say that he took more care to look neat in his dress than
was his wont at home.
He,was not long, and when he came on deck he bid me
say no word to the rest of whom he had found. He leaped
like a frog in to his light craft, and led the way. We were
soon on our course through the rocks and shoals, and an
hour's sail, with the aid of a good breeze, brought us to a
small tract of land the trees of which hid the soil from our
view. Here we got close in to the shore, and made our
bark safe. We all got out, and ran up the banks, led
by the marks that Fritz had made in the soil with his feet.
We soon found a path that led to a clump of trees, and
there saw a hut, with a fire in front, from which rose a
stream of smoke.
As we drew near I could see that the boys did not know
what to make of it, for they gave me a stare, as if to ask
what they were to see next. They did not know how to
give vent to their joy when they saw Fritz come out of
the hut with a strange youth, whose slight make, fair face,
and grace of form, did not seem to match well with the
clothes that hung upon his limbs.
It was so long since we had seen a strange face, that we
were all loth to speak first, When I could gain my speech
The wiss Famity Robinson.
I took our new friend by the hand, and told her in words
as kind as I could call to my aid, how glad we were to
have thus found her.
Fritz, when he bade Ernest and Jack shake hands with
her, spoke of our new friend as James; but she could not
hide her sex from my wife, for her first act was to fall on
her breast and weep. The boys were not slow to see
through the trick, and made Fritz tell them that "James"
was not the name they should call her by.
I could not but note that our strange mode of life had
made my sons rough, and that years of rude toil had worn
off that grace and ease which is one of the charms of well
I saw that this made the girl shy of them, and that the
garb she wore brought a blush to her cheek. I bade my
wife take charge of her, and lead her down to the boat,
while the boys and I stood a while to speak of our fair
When we got on board we sat down to hear Fritz tell
how he came to find Miss Jane, for that was her real
name; but he had not told half his tale when he saw my
wife and her new friend come up on deck. She still had
a shy look, but as soon as she saw Fritz she held out her
hand to him with a smile, and this made us feel more at
The next day we were to go back to our home, and on
the way Fritz was to tell us what he knew of Miss Jane,
for his tale had been cut short when she came on the deck
with my wife. The boys did all they could to make her
feel at home with them, and by the end of the day they
were the best of friends.
The next day we set sail at sun rise ; for we had far to
The Swiss Family Robinson.
go, and the boys had a strong wish to hear Fritz tell his
When the boat had made a fair start, we all sat down
on the deck, with Jane in our midst, while Fritz told his
tale to the end.
Jane Rose was born in IN-DI-A. She was the child of
one Cap-tain Rose, whose wife died when Jane was but a
babe in arms. When ten years of age he sent her to a
first class school, where she was taught all that was fit for
the child of a rich man to know. In course of time she
could ride a horse with some skill, and she then grew fond
of most of the field sports of the East. As the Cap-tain
had to go from place to place with his troops, he thought
that this kind of sport would train her for the mode of life
she would lead when she came to live with him. But this
was not to be, for one day he told Jane that he must leave
the East, and take home the troops. As it was a rule
that no girl should sail in a ship with troops on board, he
left her to the care of a friend who was to leave near the
same time. He thought fit that she should dress in the
garb of a young man while at sea, as there would then be
no need for her to keep in her berth, and he knew that she
was strong and brave, and would like to go on deck, and
see the crew at their work. It gave the Cap-tain pain to
part with his child, but there was no help for it.
The ship had been some weeks at sea, when one day a
storm broke over it, and the wind drove it for days out of
its course. The crew did their best to steer clear of the
rocks, but she struck on a reef and sprung a leak. The
boats then put off from the wreck, but a wave broke over
the one in which Jane left, and she was borne, half dead
with fright, to the place where we found her. She had
T7Te Swiss Family Robinson.
been. thrown high up on the beach, and though faint and
sick, got out of the reach of the waves. She did not know
if those who were in the boat with her had lost their
lives, but she had seen no trace of them since.
When she had strength to walk, she found some birds'
eggs and shell fish, which she ate, and then went in search
of some safe place where she could rest for the night. By
good chance she had a flint and a knife; with these she set
light to some dry twigs, and made a fire, which she did
not once let out till the day she left. Her life was at first
hard to bear, but she was full of hope that some day a
ship would come near the shore, to which she could make
signs for help. The wild sports of the East in which she
took part had made her strong of limb, and she had been
taught to make light of such things as would vex most of
She built a hut to sleep ia, and made snares to catch
birds. Some of them she made use of for food, and some
she let go, with bits of cloth tied to their legs, on which
she wrote words, in the hope that they might meet the eye
of some one who could help her. This, as we knew, had
led Fritz to make his search, the end of which had brought
as much joy to us as to the young friend who now sat in
When Fritz had told us this, and much more, we came
in sight of Safe Bay. He then took Ernest with him in
his small boat, and left us to go up the stream as fast as he
could to Rock House, so as to make the place look neat
by the time we brought home our guest. The two boys-
for to us they were still boys-met us on the beach.
Fritz, with a look of pride, gave his hand to Jane, and I
could see a slight blush ise. to her cheek as she gave him
The Swiss Famniy Robinson.
hers. He then led her up the path, on each side of which
grew a row of young trees, and took her to a seat in our
grounds. There he and Ernest had spread out a feast of
our best food-fish, fowls, and fruit, and some of my
wife's choice jam-whilst our burnt clay plate made
a great show on the board, for it was set out with some
taste. We had a wish to show Jane that, though the
coast was a wild kind of place, still there were means
to make life a joy to those who dwelt on it, if they
chose to use them. As for Jane, the sight of our home,
the style of our feast, and the kind words of the boys,
were things so new to her, that she knew not what to
I shall tell no more than truth," she said, "when I
say that what you have shown me is of far more worth
than all the wealth I have seen in the East, and that I
feel more joy this day than I have felt in all the days of
my life. I can use no terms less strong than these to show
how much I thank you."
This was just the kind of speech to please the boys, for
there had been no one to praise their work till now.
When the meal was done, my wife brought out some of
her best wine, and we drank to the health of our guest in
great state, and with loud cheers. We then made a tour
of our house and grounds, that Jane might see the whole
of the place that from this time she was to make her home.
It would take me a long time to tell what she thought of
all she saw, or the neat things she said in praise of our
skill, as we took her from place to place. My wife's room,
in which were kept the pots and pans to dress our food,
and the plates, bowls, and cups, out of which we ate, took
her some time to view for .she had long felt the want of
T'he Swiss i'namily Robinson.
such things as she now saw we had made for our own use
out of what we could find.
The next day we all went to The Nest, and when the
rainy season came round, Jane knew the place quite as
well as we did. My wife found in her a true friend, for
she soon took a large share of the work off her hands, and
did it with so much skill, and with so strong a wish to
please us, that we grew to love her as if she had been our
When the time came for us to keep in doors from the
rain, the boys would oft lay by their work, and sit to hear
Jane talk of what she had seen in the East, and Ernest
and Fritz would read to her by turns such books as she
might choose. I was glad to see that this wrought a great
change in my sons, whose mode of life had made them
rough in their ways and loud in their speech-faults which
we did not think of sc long as there was no one to see or
When the spring came, the boys went in our boat to the
spot where they had found Jane, which we now knew by
the name of '- Jane's Isle," and brought back some beans,
which were new to them. These we found to be COF-FEE.
Jane told us that they were by no means scarce, but that
she had not made use of them, as she knew no way to
roast or grind the beans, which she found in a green
Do you think," said my wife, that the plant would
grow here? "
I then thought for the first time how fond she was of it.
There had been some bags on board the ship, but I had
not brought them from the wreck; and my wife had once
said that she would like to see the plant in our ground.
The Swiss Famiy .Robinson.
Now that we knew where to get it, she told me that it was
one of the few things that she felt the loss of. When the
boys heard this, they set out on a trip to Jane's Isle, and
while there they went to the spot where she had dwelt for
so long, and sought for what things she had left when she
same to live with us.
A FAMILY FEAoT.
All these were brought to Rock House, and I may tell
you that Fritz set great store by them. There were all
sorts of odd clothes, which she had made of the skin of
the sea calf; fish lines wrought out of the hair of her
head; pins made from the bones of fish; a lamp made out
of a shell, with a wick of the threads which she had
The Sw& 1Family Robinson.
drawn from her hose. There were the shells she used to
cook her food in; a hat made from the breast of a large
bird, the tail of which she had spread out so as to shade
her neck from the sun; belts, shoes, and odd things of a
My wife, who had now a friend of her own sex to talk
with, did not feel dull when the boys left us for a time, so
they had leave to roam where their wish led them, and to
stay as long as they chose. In the course of time they
knew the whole of the isle on which we dwelt. Ernest
drew a map of it to scale, so that we could trace their
course from place to place with ease. When they went
for a long trip they took some doves with them, and these
birds brought us notes tied to their wings from time to
time, so that we knew where they were, and could point
out the spot on the map.
I will not dwell on what took place now for some time,
for I find that each year was very much like the last. We
had our fields to sow, our crops to reap, our beasts to
feed and train; and these cares kept our hands at work,
and our minds free from the least thought of our lone
mode of life.
I turn to my log as I write this, and on each page my
oye falls on some thing that brings back to my mind the
glad time we spent at Rock House.
The Swiss Family Robison.
IN th spring time of the year, when the rain was past,
Fritz and Jack set off on a trip in their boat to Shark Isle.
The day was fine, the sky clear, and there was no wind,
yet the waves rose and fell as in a storm.
"See!" cried Jack, "here comes a shoal of whales.
They will eat us up."
There is no fear of that," said Fritz; whales will do
us no harm, if we do not touch them." This proved to be
the case. Though any one of them might have broke up
the boat with a stroke of its tail, they did not touch it,
but swam by in a line, two by two, like a file of
On Shark Isle, near the sho -, we had thrown up a
mound, and built a fort, on which were set two of the
ship's guns. These the boys made a rule to fire off,
with a view to let us know that they were safe,
and to try if the guns were still fit for use. This time
they found their charge quite dry, and the guns went off
with a loud bang.
They had just put a plug in the hole of one of the guns,
to keep out the wet, when they heard a sound roll through
Did you hear that said Jack. I am sure that noise
must have come from some ship at sea. Let us fire once
But Fritz thought they ought to go home at once and