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JACK AND THE DONKEY.
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TH E FAVORITE LIBRARY
.- 'ADVENTURES OF A SHIPWRECKED FAMILY ON AN
UNINHABITED ISLAND NEAR NEW GUINEA.
Profusely Illustrated in Black and White, and
with Colored. Plates.
DEWOLFE, FISKE & CO.
LIST OF BOOKS IN LIBRARY.
LIVES OF THE PRESIDENTS.
WOOD'S NATURAL HISTORY.
CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.
Swiss FAMILY ROBINSON.
GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES.
AUNT MARTHA'S CORNER CUPBOARD.
ARABIAN NIGHT'S ENTERTAINMENTS.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
DEWOLFE, FISKE & Co.
Swiss FAMILY ROBINSON.
SHIPWRECKED AND ALONE.
HE storm, which had lasted for six long and terrible days,
appeared on the seventh to redouble its fury. We were
driven out of our course far to the south-east, and all trace
of our position was lost.
Sailors and passengers were alike worn out with fatigue and
long watching; indeed, all hope of saving the ship had disappeared.
The masts were split and overboard, the sails rent, and the water
in the hold from a leak made us expect every moment to be swal-
lowed up in the waves,
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
-Nothing could now be heard among the crew or the passengers
but earnest prayers to God for mercy !-knowing that His power
alone could save them from death.
My children stood clinging to their mother, and trembling
with fear in our little cabin, and I endeavoured to cheer them by
"My children, God can save us if it is His will; if not, we
must resign ourselvesto what He judges is best for us.
My poor wife on this wiped her tears and became calm, to give
courage to her boys ; and yet I could scarcely restrain my grief.
At last we knelt together and offered our united prayers to the
Almighty for succour: my eldest boy Fritz prayed aloud most
earnestly that God would save his dear parents and brothers, seem-
ing not to think at all of his own safety.
All at once was heard above the fury of the storm the cry,
Land land !" At the same moment we felt a shock so violent
that I believed the ship had struck on a rock, and would imme-
diately fall to pieces. The sounds of cracking timber, and the rush
of water quickly proved that I was not mistaken. The voice of the
captain made itself heard in terrible tones, We are lost lower
the boats !" and the words struck like a sword to my heart.
"Lost !" I exclaimed in my terror; but the piteous cries of
my children aroused me. I must not allow them to despair at this
awful moment. Keep up your courage !" I exclaimed. God
can help us still if we trust in Him !" I will go at once, and try
to discover whether some way of deliverance may not be left for us"''
I went up quickly on deck, but as I endeavoured to advance,.
wave after wave passed over me. The first, for which I was unpre-
pared, dashed me to the ground; but I struggled to withstand the
force of the next by clinging to the side of the ship, and then what
a sight presented itself!
One boat was far out at sea, and a sailor-the last to leap on
board the other boat-was about to cut the rope and let it drift
away. When I realized the fact that they were escaping, and had
left me and my dear ones to perish, I raised my voice in earnest
entreaty. I cried, I prayed, I implored them to return and rescue
SHIPWRECKED AND ALONE.
us. All to no purpose. My voice was lost amid the roar of the
storm, and even had I been heard, the fury of the waves made the
return of the boats an impossibility.
For a few moments I looked around me in despair. Then,
with a sudden hope, I observed the position of the vessel. The
bow had sunk forward, leaving the stern high above the water as
far as a kind of partition situated amidships, which separated the
captain's and the other cabins from the steerage of the ship.
Added to this, I found that the wreck was fixed in this position
Between two rocks, and therefore likely to remain in safety, especi-
ally if.the storm abated. Then I turned my attention towards the
shore. A misty rain obscured the view, and perhaps made it ap-
pear more barren and desolate; yet I determined to strain every
nerve in an effort to reach a spot upon which I now placed my
highest hopes of safety. I went below to the cabin and addressed
m.- y dear ones hopefully.
"Take courage," I said as I entered, "all hope is not lost.
S The ship is fixed between the rocks, and this little place of refuge
is high'above the water. To-morrow, if the wind and waves sub-
side, ve may be able to reach the land."
SMy boys received this news with joy. But my wife discovered
S my hidden anxiety in spite of my calmness. I knew by her manner
that her confidence in God was still unshaken, and this gave me re-
SHer first act was to search in the steward's room for provisions,
and with such success that a plentiful supper was quickly prepared
"Let us take food," she said; "nourishment for the body
gives strength to the spirit, and we may have a very disturbed
And so it truly proved. The three younger boys retired to
rest after supper, and were soon fast asleep, overcome with fatigue
and excitement. Fritz, the eldest, a youth of fourteen, preferred to
share the watch with his parents. We discovered after awhile one
of his reasons for wishing to sit up with us.
As night advanced the storm still continued, and the waves
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
broke over the lower part of the ship with undiminished fury. A
cracking noise told us that the planks and beams of the wreck were
strained by their force, and a continual trembling caused a dread
that every moment the vessel would fall in pieces.
After one of these shocks Fritz exclaimed,
"My father, do you think we could find any swimming-belts
S on board for my mother and the boys? You and I could swim on
shore if anything happened to the wreck, but they cannot swim."
Not a bad thought, my boy," I replied: "we will search at
But no swimming-belts could be obtained, and I contrived a
plan which I hoped would prove successful. In the steward's cabin
we found a number of empty barrels strong enough to support a
person in the waves. These we fastened together, and tied them.
under the arm-pits of the three boys and my wife. We also sup-
plied ourselves with knives, string, a tinder-box and matches, and
other useful but not cumbrous articles, and then seated ourselves to
await calmly the result, hoping that, should the vessel fall to pieces,
we might be able to gain the shore partly by swimming and partly
by being borne on the waves.
Fritz, however, worn out, retired to rest and slept soundly. I
and my brave wife remained awake, listening to each shock that
threatened a change in the position of the vessel. It was, indeed,
a sad night for us both; we passed it in prayer and consultation re-
specting our future, till with thankful hearts we observed the first
glimmer of daylight, and felt that we were safe. As morning
advanced the wind lulled, the sky cleared and with joyful eyes we
gazed at the brilliant colours that glowed in the east as the sun rose
foretelling a bright day.
S In a cheerful voice I roused the boys, and led them with their
mother on deck. Then for the first time 'they became aware that
we were alone on the ship.
S"Oh, papa !" exclaimed Jack, "where are the sailors and
the other passengers? How are we to get to land?-are they
gone ?-why did they not take us ?"
"My children," I said, "our companions have left us to our
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
fate, but we must not despair. If we exert ourselves and do all we
can, God in His mercy will help us."
"The sea is calm enough to reach the shore by swimming,"
"Swimming would be all right for you," said Ernest, "but
not for us, who can't swim."
"Suppose we search the ship, and see if any materials for a
raft can be found," I suggested.
I proceeded at once to the provision stores, which, to my great
satisfaction, were well supplied with both food and water. My
wife and the youngest boy went to visit the animals ; Fritz ran to
the armory, and Ernest to the ship-carpenter's workshop. As Jack
opened the door of the captain's cabin, two large dogs sprang out,
and, full of joy, bounded upon him so roughly, that they threw him
down. This startled the little man, and he at first cried out in
alarm; but recovering himself quickly, rose to his feet, and mount-
ing on the back of the largest dog, he rode gravely towards me, just
as I appeared coming up from the ship's hold.
One by one we returned to the cabin, each bringing what he
considered would be the most useful in our position.
Fritz brought powder, small shot, bullets, and two guns.
Ernest held in his hand a hatful of nails and a hammer, while from
his pocket stuck out a pair of pincers and a hatchet. Even little
Frank had a packet of fishing-hooks and lines.
"As to myself," said my dear wife, "I have only brought
good news. I am delighted to tell you that there are still alive on
the ship a coiv, a donkey, two goats, six sheep, a ram and a sow."
"You have all done well," I said at last, "yet I am afraid
Master Jack has brought two tremendous eaters instead of anything
useful; we shall find it difficult to feed them when we get on
"Oh but papa," exclaimed Jack, "the dogs will help us to
Yes," I replied, "but how are we to get there? "
Can we not sail in tubs ? said Jack, "I have often done so
on the pond at home."
SHIPWRECKED AND ALONE.
Happy thought' I exclaimed; "let us see what can be
found-in the hold."
My wife and the boys, excepting Jack, followed me to the hold
where we found four large empty casks, and set to work at once to
saw them apart through the middle. After great exertion, I coh-
templated -with pride the eight half casks or tubs as they stood side
by side on the deck.
I could never dare to trust myself on the open sea in one of
those things," said my wife with a sigh.
"Do not alarm yourself too soon, dearivife," I replied; "my
work is not yet finished; you will find that these tubs are much
better for us than a wrecked vessel which is a fixture in the rocks."
After a search I discovered a-long plank, and upon this I
fastened my eight tubs. Two other planks we nailed firmly to the
tubs on each side, and brought together at the ends to form the
-stem and stern. In reality I had made a narrow boat divided into
eight compartments, all strong and well fitted.
But, alas my wonderful contrivance was found so heavy that
.in spite of our united efforts we were not able to move it an inch.
Fetch me one of the capstan-rods," I cried, "I can use it as
Fritz ran to find one. Then I cut off some pieces of wood
from the sail-yards for rollers, and lifting the lower part of my boat
with-the iron bar, Fritz placed them underneath.
Then I fastened a rope to the tub-raft with a strong knot, and
after placing the two rollers under it and givi-ng it a slight push, we
had the pleasure of seeing our little vessel glide from the lower deck
towards the sea. But she descended with such rapidity that had I
not taken the precaution to fasten the rope to a beam on the wreck,
she would have been carried far out of our reach. Unfortunately,
S- the boat leaned so much on one side that no one would have dared
to embark in it; but I saw in a moment what it wanted. I quickly
gathered up all the heavy things around me, and threw them as
ballast into the tubs. The boat immediately righted itself, but I
saw plainly that the slightest obstruction would capsize the craft.
To avoid this danger, I thought I might contrive to manufacture
10 SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
some of those paddles which savage nations use to balance their
canoes even against adverse winds.
Fritz and I found two long sail-yards, which were fastened,
one in front and the other at the hinder part of the boat, so that
they could be moved without in any way interfering with the prog-
ress of our little raft.
To the end of each of these we fixed two little empty- casks
which were to serve as a counterpoise and nothing now remained
but to secure the oars for our voyage on the morrow.
At last we gladly sought repose after the fatigues of the day,
but I took the precaution to desire my boys to attach the empty
cans and flasks to their arms as a means of safety, should-anything
happen to the ship. I advised my wife also to dress herself in
sailor's clothes, as more convenient for swimming should she be
thrown into the water.
She objected greatly at first, but eventually I convinced her of
the means of safety the dress would prove in case of accident, and
she retired from the cabin to make the change.
When she re-appeared I could not help paying her a compli-
ment, for the middy's dress became her admirably. Perhaps my
bright hopes for the morrow made her forget her boyish appear-
ance and we retired to rest in our berths and slept peacefully till
A DESOLATE ISLAND.
The next morning at daybreak we were all awake, for hope as
well as care is no friend to sleep. As soon as we had offered our
prayers to God, I said to my children,
I hope now, that with the aid of the Almighty, we shall soon
be out of danger. And, first, let us provide food and water for the
poor animals enough to last for -several days; perhaps we may be
I. I j IICTN. .
ERNEST FEEDINrl THE DOGS.
S7ISS FAMILY ROBI\SON.
able to return for them. And will you, my boys, collect together
all that we shall require to take with us for our most pressing wants.
My first care had been to place on board our little barque a
b-.rrel of powder, three fowlingpieces, .guns, pistols, and a supply
of bullets, with a bullet-mould and lead to prepare more when these
were gone. To my wife and each of the boys I gave a game-bag
filled with provisions.
I also loaded the two unoccupied tubs of the boat with an
iron pot for cooking, a fishing line and rod, a box of nails, a ham-
mer, saw, hatchet, pincers, and a quantity of sail-cloth, with which
to erect a tent.
When all was ready, we knelt once more to ask protection on
our perilous voyage. I then -placed the boys each in a boat, and
waited for my wife.
We were about to follow the children into the boat, when all
at once the cocks began to crow and the hens to cluck in such a
mournful manner, that they appeared to. be complaining at being
I think we might manage to take them with us," I said;
''for if they are not cared for now we cannot expect them to be'of
use to us by-and-bye."
So two cocks and ten hens were placed in the tubs, and I con-
trived a kind of lattice-work to keep them from jumping out. The
ducks, geese, and pigeons I merely set free, feeling convinced that
they would find their way to land, either through the air or by
At length when we were all safely stowed away in our tubs, I
cut the cable and placed myself at the helm. In the first tub was
my wife, close behind her little Frank ; the two next tubs contained
the ammunition, the sail-cloth, the tools the provisions, anid the
chickens; Fritz occupied the fifth; Ernest and Jack the sixth and
seventh; and I had taken the last for myself, that I might guide
the vessel containing my family by the stern oar, which served for
It was just half-tide as we quitted the vessel, and I counted
upon that to carry us to lanl.
A DESOLATE ISLAND.
Presently we were startled by hearing the two dogs, which had
been left on the wreck, whining piteously; and in a few moments
They sprang into the sea and swam after us. They were too heavy
for us to add to the weight by taking them on board our frail
barque. Turk was a large English mastiff, and Floss, equally
large, a Danish hound. I pitied them, however, for I feared they
would not be able to swim for such a distance ; yet, now and then,
they supported themselves very cleverly, by resting their fore-paws
on the planks which balanced the tubs, and followed us as a rear-
guard without much trouble.
After awhile, finding we made but little progress, I took
another oar, and by guiding the boat into the current of the flowing
tide, our navigation became less difficult, and we found ourselves
approaching nearer to the shore.
Around us floated chests, casks, and bales of goods-the
dMbris of the ill-fated ship.- Fritz and I hooked some of them with
our oars, and fastened them to our raft.
As we drew nearer, the land lost much of its wild and sterile
-aspect, and Fritz, who has the eye of a falcon, declared that he
could already distinguish trees, and amongst them palms and
I was.beginning to regret that I had forgotten to bring the
telescope from the captain's cabin, when Jack drew from his
pocket a smaller one, and offered it to me.
Presently I perceived a narrow bay, towards which our ducks
'and geese were rapidly swimming in advance of us, as if to lead
This creek in the shore presented also a much more pleasant
aspect, and as I guided our boat towards the entrance, I found the
water only just sufficiently deep to float it; and we arrived at last,
after some little trouble, at a spot where it was so shallow that the
shore was on a level with the top of our tubs.
We all sprang out joyfully from the boat excepting little Frank,
who was obliged to be assisted by his mother. The dogs, who had
arrived as soon as ourselves bounded with joy and barked around
us in the wildest manner. The geese and ducks quacked loudly to
SWIJ.S FAMILY ROBINSON.
welcome us. To this and the barking of the dogs were added the
cries of the flamingoes, who flew away as we appeared, mingled
with the screams of the penguins perched on the rocks.
But these noises and confusion of sounds did not make us
forget that we were safe; and our first act was to fall upon our
knees and thank God for having mercifully preserved us in the
hour of danger, and pray to Him to continue to grant us His
We then commenced unloading the boat.
After choosing a suitable spot, we prepared to erect a tent as
a place of shelter for the night, and in this we quickly succeeded,
A DESOLA TE ISLAND.
having all the necessary materials. One of the poles, which had
served to balance the boat, was firmly fixed in the ground; and the
end of another pole placed on the top of it, the opposite end being
fixed in the crevice of the rock.
Over this framework we threw our sail-cloth, fastening it firmly
to the ground with a number of stakes.
For greater security our chests and other heavy articles were
placed round the cloth to keep out the wind, and Fritz attached.
hooks to the edges in front, that we might draw them together
during the night. Then I sent the children to gather as much:
moss and grass as they could find, and lay it in the sun to dry.
While they were thus engaged, I piled up a number of large
stones at some distance from the tent, to form a fireplace, on the
borders of the little creek by which we had reached the land.
Branches of trees and dried wood I found readily, and gathering
Sarmfuls, I placed them on my stone hearth, and soon had a cheer-
Upon this I placed our iron pot full of water, and into it my
wife threw one of the tablets she had brought with her, for she had
intended us to have soup for dinner.
Meanwhile Fritz had loaded his gun and took his way along
the banks of the stream. Ernest, remarking that to seek for game
upon a desert coast did not appear very agreeable, turned towards
the sea, while Jack wandered among the rocks to search for shells.
I-employed myself in drawing from the water the two casks which
we had secured in our transit from the ship to the shore.
I discovered, however,, that while the water at the spot on
which we landed was convenient for unloading the boat, it had not.
depth enough to float it when heavily laden. While I stood con-
sidering what was best to be done, I heard Jack cry out as if in
terror. Seizing a hatchet, I ran in the direction of his voice, and
saw him in the water up to his knees, and an enormous lobster or
crab holding him by the leg in one of his claws, while Jack tried 'in
vain to get rid of his enemy.
I at once jumped into the water, disabling him with my hatchet,
I brought him ashore, to Jack's great delight.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Burning with impatience to show his beautiful carti\e to-: -M
mother, he caught .the creature in both hands; but h:irdly ha.d-i'e
touched it when it struck him such a violent blow with iti tail that
he threw it on the ground and began to cry.
I terribly offended him by laughing outright, and in his anger
he took up a stone and stunned the fallen foe by a blow on the head.
Jack, finding the lobster helpless, ran in triumph to his mother,
"See, mamma Ernest! Frank! look, I've caught a lobster-
such a.large one Where is Fritz ? "
Everyone came round him and congratulated him on his suc-
cess; and Ernest suggested that the creature should be at once
cooked for dinner, and that it would make delicious soup. But his
mother decided that it should be set aside till we had more need of it.
I think," cried Ernest, I have seen some animals quite as
good..to eat as Jack's lobster; but I did not care to get any, because
I should have had to wade through the water."
"What an excuse!'" exclaimed Jack. "Afraid of getting
wet! and they were only mussels after all, I dare say, and not fit to -
"In my opinion they are oysters," replied Ernest, "and they
are not at any great depth in the water."
"'And pray, Mr. Philosopher, if they are oysters, why did you
not bring us some for dinner? In our present position every sort
of wholesome food is acceptable; and to fear getting wet is absurd !
You see that the sun has dried my clothes and Jack's already."
"I forgot that, papa," replied Ernest, "or I could have
brought salt as well. I saw a great quantity in the crevices of the
rocks, left there by the sea, I suppose."
-'Of course, my son. Well, now go and fetch some of this
salt, unless you would like to eat your soup without it, Ernest."
In a short time he returned with what was evidently common
salt, but so mixed with sand, that I should have thrown it away
had not my wife prevented me from doing so.
"I can improve it," she said, "by dissolving it in fresh-
water, and straining it through a piece of linen."
j.A K A N E, THE LA NL, C R.%
A DESOLATE ISLAND. 17
And so it proved, for the pure salt fell through, and my wife
threw it into the soup.
"Why could we not use sea-water?'' asked Jack.
bitter taste is very strong when sea-water is boiled.
SQuite right, Ernest," I said. Sea-water contains a bitu-
men very disagreeable to the taste, which does not exist in crystal-
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
My wife now informed us that the soup was ready, but Fritz
,had not returned. Where could he be? While we waited, she re-
How are we to eat the soup now it is prepared ? We can-
not possibly lift a great burning pot to our lips, nor fish out the
biscuits with our hands, and we have neither spoons nor cups. I
think," she added, laughing, "we are in the same predicament as
the fox in the fable, when the stork offered him his breakfast in a
jug with a long narrow neck!"
We all laughed heartily, especially when Ernest said,
"If we only had cocoanut-shells divided in two, they would
make splendid cups !"
"No doubt," I replied; "why don't you wish we had a
dozen silver spoons at hand? Wishing is useless; can you not in-
"Those shells I saw would serve us for spoons capitally 1"
"A bright idea, my boy,-although, as our oyster-shell spoons
will have no handles, we shall be obliged to burn our fingers in
getting out the soup. However, oyster-shells are better than noth-
ing, boys, so run and get as many as you can."
Away started Jack. Ernest followed slowly, and when he
reached the spot, there was Jack up to his knees in the water. As
he stood still, dreading to wet his feet, Jack detached the oysters
and threw them to his brother.
"You can gather them up and help me carry them," he said,
" if you are so afraid of the water.''
Ernest gladly assented, and they quickly obtained a sufficient
number. Presently they appeared at the tent, carrying a supply of
At this moment Fritz approached, walking slowly with his
hands behind his back, and his head bowed as if in great trouble.
': "I have found nothing," he said, dolefully.
S"Absolutely nothing?" I said.
"Nothing," was the reply.
But his brothers slipping quietly behind him exclaimed,
A DESOLA TE ISLAND.
Oh, Fritz and you've got a little pig? Where did you find
it? Did you kill it? Oh, do show it to us.'
Fritz then, with a self-satisfied air, placed before me the first
result of his hunting exploits.
And then he told us he had wandered to the other side of the
creek, and found the vegetation very different; green grass, pleasant
meadows, and such magnificent trees to shade us from the heat.
"And, papa," he added; "there are chests and boxes and
spars floating about from the wreck. Can we not go and fetch
them? If the animals were here that we left on board, it would be
easy to find food for them; and how useful they would be, especi-
ally the cow, to supply us with milk. Don't let us stay in this
"Patience, patience, my boy," I said. "One thing at a
time. To'-morrow we will try what can be done. But, tell me,
did you see anything of our fellow-passengers?"
No, papa; not a single trace on sea or land. And, papa, I
think this place is an island; and," he added quickly, there are
pigs here, because I have shot one; but I don't think it exactly re-
-sembles the pigs iri Europe, for its paws are more like those of a
hare. I saw several in the grass; they had no fear of me, so I
ventured quite close, and saw them sitting on their hind legs, and
feeding themselves like squirrels."
"This is not a pig at all, Fritz," said Ernest, "it has hair like
silk, ani four large cutting teeth in front. I believe it is an animal
I've read.about in my Natural History called an agouti."
Ernest, I believe, is right," I cried; "I have never seen the
ago-ti; but the appearance of this animal corresponds entirely with
the descriptions I have read, as well as the pictures."
While we were discussing this question, Jack was using his ut-
most efforts to open an oyster with his knife, but without success.
"You will never succeed, Jack," I said, "unless you place
the oysters on the hot embers; they will then open of themselves.
In a few minutes Jack brought me an open oyster.
"See, my children,"' I said; "this is considered a great deli-
cacy, let us taste it."
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
The boys, after looking more closely at the glutinous object,
appeared reluctant to make the attempt, but they knew that they
must each eat one to obtain a shell for a spopn.
The empty shells were at last obtained, and we hastened to
put our new fashioned spoons in use.
Suddenly, while we were enjoying our soup the dogs spied the
dead agouti, and before we could prevent them they had de-
Fritz started up in a rage, and seizing his gun, flew at the
dogs as if he would kill them, and when they rushed from him in
terror he threw stones after them, which caused them to howl with
My angry voice recalled him to himself, and when his rage
calmed down, I talked to him seriously about his hasty temper
which so pained me. He looked very much ashamed as I thus
talked to him, and owned he was wrong, and presently I observed
~ -=- --~sla~l
A VOYAGE OF DISCO VERY.
him trying to make friends with the dogs; I hoped, therefore, that
my words had done good.
As sunset approached, the poultry gathered round us and began
to pick up the crumbs, and then I discovered the valuable contents
of a bag which my wife had placed in the tub with little Frank.
She opened it now, and scattered oats, peas, and barley, which were
eagerly swallowed by pigeons and poultry.
We now began to think about retiring to rest. We had agreed
to watch alternately during the night, but in spite of all my efforts
I could not keep awake. Unconsciously my eyelids closed softly,
slumber fell upon me, and this our first night on our land of safety
was passed calmly and without alarms.
A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY.
At early dawn we were aroused by the crowing of the cocks,
and my wife and I consulted together on the best plan to adopt in
our proceedings during the day. She agreed with me that not
only was it necessary to search for some trace of our fellow-pas-
sengers, but also to explore the country before we decided upon
our future resting-place. She understood readily that it would be
impossible for the whole family to venture on such an expedition.
She proposed, therefore, that I should take Fritz, as he was the
strongest and the most useful, and leave the younger boys under
The boys were soon awake, even Ernest did not require much
to rouse him, and then I inquired of Jack what had become of the
He ran at once to fetch it from a crevice in the rock, where he
had hidden it for safety.
"I was determined the dogs should not devour it, as they did
the agouti, papa,'" he said.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
Certainly you take care of what belongs to yourself, my boy,"
S I said, "but they are happier who care for the wants of others. I
think also you ought to give up to Fritz the claws of the lobster
which I promised you, to provide him with a dinner on his journey
"A journey a journey !" they all cried; 'are we going?"
and they began to jump and dance round me like young kids.
"This time it is impossible," I said; "we know not what
dangers we may meet. Fritz and I have strength to bear the
fatigue of a long journey. You must stay here with your mother,
in safety. We shall take Turk with us, and leave Floss to guard
When I desired Fritz to take his gun and an axe, with a game-
bag, he blushed, and asked my permission to choose another instead
of his own.
To this I readily agreed, although I would not notice the blush.
I knew that he had injured his gun in trying to strike the dogs on
the previous evening, and I felt pleased to see that he still remem-
bered his outburst of temper with shame.
I told him, however, to place two small pistols in his belt, while
I loaded the game-bag with powder and shot, some biscuits and a
bottle of water.
By this time breakfast was ready; it consisted of the lobster and
some biscuits. The flesh, however, of the fish was so hard that no
one regretted its loss when Fritz placed what remained in the game-
And then kneeling together we asked God in His mercy still
to protect us, and especially to watch over us while we were
At last we departed, not without grief and hesitation, for we
knew not what might happen to us before we met again; Fritz and
I heard the sorrowful adieus of those we left behind till we reached
the banks of the stream which we intended to cross.
The ground here rose abruptly, and was so rocky and steep
that we were obliged to follow the current for a long time, to find
a spot at which to cross.
A PLEASANT REST.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
-After walking a long distance, the stream grew narrower, and
at length we reached its source, from which it tumbled over rocks
and stones down a precipice; forming a cascade in its -descent.
Across the narrowest part we contrived to leap from stone to
stone, and after a struggle over broken rocks and tall withered
grass, we reached the opposite bank in safety.
We had not advanced a hundred steps, when we .heard a
strange noise, and a rustling in th grass behind us. I stopped, and
saw Fritz fearlessly raise his gun and wait calmly for the unknown
enemy, which proved to be no other than our dog Turk. In our
trouble we had forgotten to call him, and he had been sent after us.
Pursuing our journey we reached the sea-shore. Here we stood
still for a while, looking in every direction across the ocean, in the
hope of discovering the boats containing our fellow-passengers; but
not even in the sand could we find any trace of the footsteps of man.
"Why should we-trouble ourselves about those who forsook us
so cruelly?" asked Fritz.
"For several reasons, my boy,'' I replied; and first, because
we ought always to return good for evil, and therefore if they could
not be useful to us, we might help them greatly, for they carried
nothing away from the wreck, and .may be dying of hunger."
Silently reflecting, we continued our walk inland, and at the end
of two hours arrived at the entrance of a wo6d. Here we halted,
and seated ourselves in the cool shade by a rippling brook which
flowed under the trees.
Presently Fritz fancied he saw an ape among the foliage, and
the uneasiness of Turk, who barked furiously, confirmed him in his
idea. He rose to assure himself that he was right, and while
looking up, and regardless of his steps, he struck his foot violently
against something round which had fallen in his path.
He picked it up, and bringing it to me, he said, "What is
this, papa? I think it must be the nest of some bird.'
I smiled as I replied, It is a nut, my boy, a cocoanut too."
Some birds make round nests, I know," he persisted.
"Certainly they do, but that is no reason that this should be
a nest. Do you not remember that the cocoanut has two shells, the
A VOYAGE OF DISCOVER Y
outer one thin and covered with fibres, and the inner one hard and
containing a milky fluid? Break it, Fritz, and you will find the
inner nut or kernel inside."
He obeyed, but the nut was evidently an old one, for the in-
side of the kernel was quite decayed and unfit to eat.
Fritz was disappointed; he had expected to find the sweet
milk and the white lining to the inner shell. I proposed that we
should go farther into the wood, where no doubt grew other cocoa-
nut-trees, and perhaps meet with a fresher nut.
-At length, after walking for nearly four hours, we arrived at a
kind of peninsula, which stretched far out into the sea and termi-
nated in a small but steep hill.
Up this we climbed with some difficulty; but when we reached
the top, a glorious prospect repaid us for our trouble.
After gazing with delight on this fertile spot, we turned towards
the sea, and examined with our glass its vast expanse, but no trace
of our companions could be discovered. The same result followed
our search through the glass over the inland prospect. No habita-
tions of man or signs of his presence could be discovered.
After some minutes of silence, I said,
Fritz, God has prepared for us another destiny to the one we
anticipated. He has chosen for us the life of colonists, and our
confidence in our heavenly Father has not been misplaced. He
orders all things for the best, and we will try to be as happy as
possible in our lonely island."
As we descended the hill we perceived at some little distance a
grove of palm-trees; but to reach it we had to cross a large space of
ground thickly overgrown with tall reeds, so interlaced with each
other that our progress was most difficult.
We advanced slowly and cautiously, for at every step we feared
that we should tread upon venomous snakes. I .therefore sent Turk
on.before, that he might give us warning; and, as a further means
of defence, I cut from the reeds, which were tall and thick, one of
the strongest I could find, and carried it in my hand.
Very soon, to my astonishment, a glutinous liquid ran between
my fingers. I touched it with my lips, and jts .sweet taste proved
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
to me at once that we had discovered a wild overgrowth of sugar-
Presently I told Fritz, who was a little in advance of me, to
cut a reed as a protection, but I said nothing of the sugar. I left
o him the pleasure of finding it out for himself.
He obeyed at once, seized the cane, and commenced bran-
dishing it over his head and striking the reeds right and left, to
frighten away the serpents. In so doing he broke it, and set free
an abundance of the juice, which streamed upon his hands.
Without a word he tasted it, and immediately sucked his
fingers, laughing and jumping for joy as he cried,
"Papa oh, papa! it is the sugar-cane Only taste it I am
sure it is sugar-cane. I can cut down enough sugar-sticks to carry
with us, to refresh ourselves on our way home, and that mamma and
my brothers may share in the pleasure of our discovery."
I can have no objection, Fritz; but will it not be too heavy
a load to carry such a distance? "
My advice fell powerless. Fritz cut down a dozen of the
finest and largest canes, and tied them in a bundle, which he took
under his arm. We then continued our way till the cane forest
came to an end, and we found ourselves in the grove of palm-trees.
SPresently a troop of monkeys, alarmed at our appearance as
well as at the furious barking of Turk, sprang to the top of the trees
with such rapidity, that we could not follow their movements with
I had only just time to notice that these creatures had perched
themselves on the cocoanut-trees, and therefore that I could make
them useful, when I saw Fritz throw down his bundle of canes, seize
his gun, and point it at one of the monkeys.
My hasty cry arrested his hand.
"What are you about, Fritz? What advantage will you gain
by destroying even one of those poor animals ? "
"Why should they not be killed?" he said, angrily. "Just
look how they are showing their teeth at us. I believe they are
spiteful, malicious creatures."
FRITZ RESTRAINED FROM SHOOTING THE MONKEY.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
"I think I know a better way to make them useful than if
you were to kill a dozen. I am going to try, but take care of your
I picked up some stones as I spoke, which I threw at the mon-
keys, .but not high enough to reach them. Their rage at this
increased to fury, and presently they plucked and poured down
upon us a perfect hail of cocoanuts. The nuts fell around us in
every direction, and we had to save ourselves as best we could in
the shelter of the trees, or by jumping aside to avoid them.
Fritz laughed so heartily, that he -had scarcely strength left to
escape; but when the cocoanut shower ceased, he gathered up as
many as he could carry with eager satisfaction.
I selected a few of the cocoanuts, the stalks of which still ad-
hered ; these I tied together, to enable me to carry them more
easily. Fritz took up his bundle of sugar-canes, and, thus laden,
we started on our walk homeward to rejoin our family.
THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY.
In a very short time I discovered that Fritz began to feel the
bundle of canes lie heavily on his shoulders. He shifted it from
one to the other continually, and at last, placing it under his arm,
with a sigh exclaimed,
"'Really, papa, I never could have supposed these reeds would
prove so heavy.'
"Patience and courage, my boy," I- replied. "Your burden
will diminish; for we shall have occasion often to refresh ourselves
before we reach home. Give me a cane, which shall be a staff as
well as a cruise of honey; and I advise you to follow my example.
Tie the rest tightly to the end of your gun, and carry it across your
THE 'HOMEWARD JOURNEY
As we continued our journey, Fritz remarked that I was suck-
ing the end of the cane.
"How cleverly you manage, papa," he said; "I have tried
with all my efforts to obtain sugar from one of the canes, but I can-
Reflect a little," I replied, "and perhaps you will find it
After a few minutes of silence, he exclaimed.
"Papa, I have discovered the reason : I believe if I make a
hole just above the first joint of the cane, that the juice will come.''
While he thus spoke, he pierced a small opening with the point
of his penknife, and the sweet liquid passed freely into his mouth.
But," said he, we must not be extravagant with our refresh-
ing liquid, or we shall have nothing left to carry to the tent but dry
sticks." Do not let that trouble you," said I, for the heat of
the sun will most likely turn the sweet juice sour."
At any rate," said Fritz, I have some bottles full of cocoa-
nut milk in my game-bag, tightly corked down, that will be a treat
"Don't make too sure, Fritz. You may find a bottle full of
vinegar instead of cocoanut milk when we reach home; it quickly
Shall we try one now?" he asked.
A bottle was taken from the bag; and as we endeavoured to
force the cork out, it burst forth with an explosion like gunpowder,
and the contents flew into the air, frothing and foaming like cham-
"The movement in walking has caused it to ferment," I said
as I tasted the liquor, and it is really very pleasant and refreshing.'
Fritz followed my example.
Mamma will like this," he said, as we continued our way.
We had scarcely entered the wood in which we had dined when
Turk rushed past us, barking furiously at a group of monkeys.
Alarmed at the barking of the dog, they sprang into the trees
out of his way-all but a female monkey, who carried a little one
on her back, and could not escape.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Before we reached him, Turk had seized the poor animal, and
although Fritz rushed to the rescue, throwing off his hat and the
sugar-canes, he arrived too late to save her.
The baby monkey had fallen on the grass when Turk seized its
mother. The instant the little one caught sight of Fritz, with one
spring he jumped on his back and clung firmly to his hair. Seeing
there was no danger, the annoyance to Fritz and the grimaces of
the little monkey rendered it impossible for me to help laughing
I hastened, however, to remove the unwelcome guest. It was
not much larger than a kitten, and evidently incapable of providing
The little creature has lost its mother, and has taken you for
its adopted father, Fritz," I said, joking him.
"'The little rogue !" laughed Fritz, he has pulled my hair
But do let me keep it and bring it up. We can feed it with
cocoanut milk; or if we get the cow and the goat from the ship,
there will be milk to spare. And perhaps the instinct of this little
creature may help us to discover if the fruits and vegetables we find
are fit for food."
"I cannot object, my son," I replied; "and I am pleased to
find you have no foolish resentment against the poor little beast.
You shall bring it up; and, according to the manner in which it is
trained, its instinct will be useful or hurtful.'
Taking the bundle of sugar-canes, we continued our walk.
Presently we heard Turk trotting after us ; and the presence of the
dog alarmed the monkey, and he nestled in Fritz's bosom for pro-
A sudden thought flashed across the youth's mind. He took
a piece of string from his pocket and tied the little monkey on the
Turk at first objected to this arrangement, but we induced him
This scheme of Fritz amused me .greatly; and presently I
said, with a laugh.
- -. I-.
A GLORIOUS PROSPI'CT.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
We are approaching our home like two mountebanks going
to a fair with a monkey and a performing dog.'
: When we reached the tent, I fund a wonderful repast prepar-
ing for'us at the cooking place.
Upon a large fire burning on the stone hearth stood the iron
pot- full of soup. From a piece of wood, which rested at each end
on two other pieces fixed in the ground, hung a goose roasting, the
fat falling into dried oyster shells underneath it.
Several kinds of fish were cooking on the hot stones; and, best
of all, there stood at a little distance one of the chests I had saved
from the wreck. My wife and the boys had contrived to drag it
up from the river side and open it, and I could see it contained a
large number of Dutch cheeses wrapped in thin sheets of lead.
While we were enjoying the fish, which were very good, Fritz
asked if his mother would not like to taste the cocoanut champagne.
"Taste it first yourself, Fritz," I said.
"Ho !" he exclaimed presently, with a wry face, it is vine-
"As I expected, my boy; but never mind, vinegar is very
good with fish;" and as I spoke I poured some into my gourd
basin, and the rest followed my example.
It was near sunset by the time we had finished, and necessary,
therefore, to prepare our beds for the night. My wife and the boys
had provided a large quantity of dry moss and grass to spread on
the floor of our tent, and we expected, in consequence, to find our
beds softer than on the preceding night.
The poultry were already gone to roost on the ridge of the tent,
and the geese and ducks had betaken themselves to their night
quarters. And after offering our evening prayer, we entered the
tent. The baby ape entered with us, and Fritz and Jack took the
little motherless creature to. sleep between them, to protect him
from the cold.
We had not been asleep long, however, when I was aroused by
the restless movements of the fowls and the barking and yelping of
the dogs. Seizing my gun, I rushed out quickly, followed by my
wife and Fritz, who were also armed.
A SUCCESSFUL 1VO YAGE. 33
In amazement I perceived, by the light of the moon, that a
great battle was going on at a little distance, between a number of
jackals and our brave dogs. Already they had settled three or four
of their assailants, and those who remained surrounded them, hop-
ing to take them at a disadvantage; but the two courageous animals
kept them at bay. Fritz and I fired together, two of the jackals
fell dead on the sand; and our second volley wounded others, while
the rest took to flight.
Fritz asked permission to bring the jackal he had killed away
rom the dogs; he wished to preserve it, to show to his brothers in
the morning. Not without great efforts, however, could he drag
the dead body of the animal to the tent, for it was unusually large.
We returned to the sleepers, who had not been disturbed by the
unusual noise, and fell asleep again almost immediately, and did
not wake till the crowing of the cocks announced the return of the
A SUCCESSFUL VOYAGE.
I at once began to consult my wife, and seek her advice.
'"What shall I undertake first to-day, dear wife?" I said. "I -
know a voyage to the ship is absolutely necessary, if we wish to
save the animals from starving; and there are so many things on
the wreck that would be useful to us. On the other hand, we
have much to do here, and above all, to construct a new dwelling
"Do not be uneasy, dear husband,'' she replied; 'most cer-
tainly a voyage to the wreck is first necessary, for should a storm
arise, everything on board would be lost."
After arranging that the younger boys should, remain on shore
with their mother, and Fritz accompany me, I roused the sleepers.
SFritz was ready quickly, and rushed out of the tent to find the
dead jackal. The cold night air had stiffened it, so that he could
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
easily stand it on its legs at the entrance of the tent, like a sentry.
Then he waited impatiently for his brothers to appear, and won-
dered what they would say.
But Fritz had forgotten the dogs. No sooner did they catch
sight of one of their enemies on his legs, than they rushed forward
to attack it; and it was with great difficulty that he kept them from
destroying the animal.
Meanwhile those in the tent were wondering what could be the
matter with the dogs. They came out, one by one. The little
monkey peeped out, with a look of fear; but no sooner did he per-
ceive the jackal than he rushed into the farthest corner of the tent,
and buried himself in one of the beds of moss so completely, that
he entirely disappeared from our sight, excepting the tip of his
Many opinions were offered by the boys about the strange
animal. Ernest said it was a fox, Jack a wolf, and Frank called it
a yellow dog.
"Ho, ho!" cried Fritz; "my learned Doctor Ernest, you
recognized the agouti, but you are mistaken now. A fox indeed ? "
Come, come, my children, do not quarrel about the animal,''
I said; "you are all right in one respect. The jackal is said by
naturalists to belong to the same family as the fox, the wolf, and
My words produced peace. Then we assembled once more for
our morning prayer, and asked God to guide and protect us during
At breakfast we were obliged to content ourselves with biscuits,
which were so hard, that our teeth could scarcely break them. Fritz
asked for cheese, and went behind the tent to procure some from
the cask. Ernest followed him, and presently returned with a
bright face and exclaimed.
Oh, papa, if we could only open that other cask !"
What cask, and why ? "
"Well, there is a large cask just outside, and through a little
crack, some greese runs out; and I am sure it looks exactly like
SHOOTING THE SHARK.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
"If what you say is true, my boy," I exclaimed, "you shall
have the first slice of bread and butter, as a reward for your dis-
We all sallied out to examine this wonderful cask, and very
quickly proved that the boy was right.
In a few minutes we obtained a cocoanut cup full of beautiful
salt butter. We softened the biscuits easily now, by covering them
with butter and holding them to the fire till it melted, so that, after
all, we had a delicious breakfast. During our meal, the dogs lay
quietly by our side, and did not seem at all anxious for their share
of our breakfast. I examined the poor animals, and found that
they had been bitten and wounded in several places, especially
about the neck. My wife washed some butter: then giving it to
Jack, she desired him to anoint their wounds with it.
The animals very shortly commenced licking their wounds,
and in a few days were completely healed.
"If we could find some spiked collars on the ship,'' said Fritz,
"it would be a protection to our brave dogs."
Oh !" cried Jack, "I can make some spiked collars, and
good ones too, if mamma will help me."
"I can promise you that, little boaster," replied his mother;
"and we shall see what powers of invention you possess "
"But it is time for us to commence our work," I said. Get
ready, Fritz; your mother and I have decided that you shall
accompany me to the vessel, and you, my dears, must stay with
We took dnly our guns and ammunition with us, for we knew
that sufficient provisions could be found on the wreck. And as I
was about to step into our tub boat, Fritz appeared with the little
monkey on his shoulder, being anxious, as soon as possible, to
obtain for the poor creature fresh milk.
We arrived safely at last, and moored our little boat alongside
the vessel, which we entered at the opening already made when we
Fritz, with the little monkey in his arms, ran towards the
place in which we had left the animals.
A SUCCESSFUL VOYAGE.
He placed the monkey near the goat, and in a very few
minutes "Master Monkey, with many grimaces, was enjoying a
delicious feast of goat's milk.
After we had supplied the animals with fresh food and water,
we commenced a search for provisions for ourselves.
Then Fritz proposed that we should have a sail for our little
"For," he said, "when we return, the current will not help
us, but the wind would, if we had a sail."
This idea of Fritz about a sail appeared so excellent, that I
determined to take his advice. A sailyard was quickly found, of
which to make a mast, and another, thinner, by which I could
regulate the sail. I went to the sail room and cut off a piece of
cloth, then, with the assistance of Fritz, I fixed it in our little
boat. Fritz brought me a little coloured silk kerchief to fasten to
the top of the mast, as a pennant.
To complete the equipment, I attached to each end of the boat
two thick cords, to one of which was adapted an oar, and I found
I could work it myself with as much ease as the tiller.
All this occupied a long time, and I found that we could not
possibly reach the shore before night. We had arranged, as a sig-
nal of our intention to remain on the wreck all night, to raise a
flag, and we hastened to do so while daylight continued.
The remainder of the day was employed in removing from our
boat the stones and other useless things we had thrown in as ballast,
replacing them with articles of more importance.
As night came on I was delighted to see the blaze of a large
fire on the rocks, which our dear ones had lighted to prove that all
was well. In return we attached four ship's lanterns to the wreck
as a signal that we were safe.
After our evening prayer to Heaven for protection to them and
ourselves, we laid ourselves down to rest; and although our posi-
tion in the little tub-boat was not quite comfortable, we slept
soundly from fatigue till morning.
A LIVING FREIGHT.
Early the next morning I was up on deck directing my tele-
scope towards the tent which sheltered my family.
Meanwhile Fritz prepared a good breakfast, and very soon I
saw with joy my wife leave the tent and look earnestly towards the
ship. Instantly we hoisted a piece of white linen in the air, and
received in reply a triple salute from the flag which we had placed
on the shore. As soon as we had finished breakfast, I said,
Now, Fritz, I think we ought to lose no time in getting away
from the vessel; but how are we to save the poor animals?"
"If we construct a raft, we might take them all," said Fritz.
"A raft is not so easy to make as you imagine, Fritz," I re-
plied; ''especially without proper materials.'
After a slight pause, Fritz exclaimed.
Could we not fasten round the smaller animals the cork
girdles that we made for ourselves?'
But these girdles were too weak to support the larger animals,
and another plan suggested itself.
Four empty casks were found, which we fastened together with
a piece of sail-cloth, not close to each other, but far enough apart
for the cloth to pass under the animal and support it, while the
casks hung on each side like panniers. These were placed under
the cow and the donkey, and the sail-cloth and the tubs fastened
by straps across their backs.
Round the horns of the cow and the neck of the ass was placed
a cord, with a piece of wood at the end, so that we might guide
them in the water.
For the sheep and the goat the cork girdles were found suffi-
cient. At last our task was completed; and then came the difficulty
of launching our living freight into the sea.
A LIVING FREIGHT. 39
We led them to the lower part of the ship, and made the first
experiment by giving the donkey a push into the water. He fell
with great force, but recovered himself quickly, and began to swim
between his two casks with grace and ease.
The cow's turn came next, and as she was of far more value to
me than the ass, I confess I felt very anxious; but I pushed her in
S gently, and with equal success.
We managed the smaller animals easily, excepting the sow,
S who resisted furiously; and when at last she was forced into the
; water, she swam so quickly away from the boat, that to reach the
S guiding string would have been impossible, so we were obliged to
S leave her to her fate.
After this we did not lose a moment, but detached our cables,
jumped into our boat, and commenced our voyage towards the
shore with a favourable wind, which filled the little sail and carried
us forward pleasantly. In fact, we found the assistance of the wind
of great service for the animals weighed heavily upon our little
skiff; and without the sail, rowing would have been hard work.
But our exertions in saving the poor animals from the wreck
would have been useless if the sharp eyes of Fritz had not discov-
ered in time a threatened danger.
Good Heavens!" he exclaimed, all at once, "we are lost!
A monster fish is coming towards us!"
"Lost! How ?" I cried, half angry, half alarmed.
But as Fritz seized his gun and loaded it, I saw the creature
approaching, and followed his example.
'Be ready to fire," I said quickly, as the monster with light-
ning speed drew nearer, as if about to seize the nearest sheep. At
the same instant Fritz, who is a good marksman, fired, and both
balls entered the head of the monstrous shark, which immediately
plunged and disappeared. From time to time he rose to the sur-
face, while a long track of blood on the water marked his course,
and convinced us that the shots had taken effect.
I again seized the rudder, and as the wind blew favourably to-
wards the bay, I guided the little ship in that direction, and, after
a few turnings and windings, arrived at a spot from whence the
SWISS -FAMIL Y -ROBINSON.
animals might be.able to land easily. I set them free from the
ropes; and while I lowered the sail they scrambled on to the beach.
No one was there to welcome us, which made me feel anxious.
But we had scarcely stepped on shore, when sounds of joy rang
in our ears, and presently a little band came jumping and dancing
towards us, followed by their mother.
THES SPIKED COLLARS.
After the first transports of joy at this happy reunion had
passed and we became calm, I began to describe some of our ex-
ploits and the success of our expedition. But to my wife the
greatest wonder appeared to be that we had managed to bring the
Fritz suggested the plan of bringing them on floats,'" I said.
," I must give hin~ the credit ,of that, '
A LIVING FREIGHT.
Fritz and I had only been able to release the cow from the
casks, therefore Jack found plenty of employment in taking off the
swimming-belts from the sheep and the goats. Presently, how-
ever, he spied the donkey with his tub panniers. These he tried
in vain to remove; and finding it beyond his power, he jumped
upon the donkey's back in spite of the casks, and rode to meet us
in grand style, forcing the animal forward with his hands and heels.
It was impossible to help laughing at the singular spectacle;
but as I lifted the little man down, I felt still more amused. He
wore a belt covered with hair, in which was stuck a pair of small
"Where on earth did you find that smuggler's costume?" I
"I made it myself, papa," he replied. And look at the
I turned at the words, and saw to my surprise that each of
them wore a collar stuck full of nails with the points outward, and
forming an excellent shield against the attacks of wild beasts.
"Well," I said, this is a clever invention, by boy. Is it
all your own?"
"Yes, papa," said Jack. "Mamma only helped me when
there was something to sew."
"But where did you get the skin and the needle and thread ?"
"I brought needles and thread in my bag from the ship,'
said his mother; and the collars are made of the jackal's skin as
well as Jack's girdle.''
Fritz felt rather annoyed at hearing that Jack had cut up the
jackal's skin, but he concealed his displeasure as well as he could.
I then gave them another object of interest. I perceived that
my wife was making preparations for supper, and I whispered to
Fritz to fetch one of the Westphalia hams which still lay in the tub.
I saw by the looks of the boys that they longed to ask questions;
but as Fritz in a few minutes returned, there was a general cry,
"Oh, what a treat! A ham mamma, a ham I How nice it
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Ah !" exclaimed my wife, you must restrain your longing
till to-morrow; it will be so much nicer when it is cooked. Besides,
I have a dozen eggs for supper which we found on our travels to-day,
and Ernest thinks they are the eggs of a turtle.
"I am sure they are turtles' eggs," said Ernest, "for we
found them among the sands on the seashore."
"You are quite right, my boy," I said; as he placed them
While your mother prepares our supper, we will go and look
after the animals."
At these words I rose, and the boys all followed me gladly.
Jack had succeeded in setting them all free, excepting the sow.
Ernest, however, called the dogs, and they seized her ears while we
removed the swimming girdle; then we fetched a few knives, forks,
spoons, and plates, from the boat, and returned to the tent.
Our repast proved delicious. Fried ham, cheese, biscuits, and
a good omelette fornied a splendid feast, and there was plenty to
spare for the dogs, the sheep and goats, the chickens and pigeons,
who quickly assembled near us, to gather up what remained.
After supper, I sent Fritz to the boat for a bottle of canary
wine, from the case we had found in the captain's cabin ; and then
I asked my wife to relate the adventures and discoveries made by
herself and the boys during the day.
I need not say much about the occurrences of the first day of
your absence," said she, "for, in truth, I was too uneasy to com-
mence any undertaking with the boys, or to leave our landing-
"'This morning, however, I was on the beach early, and
noticed your signal that all was safe.''
"All at once I thought, While my husband and son are work-
ing on the ship, cannot I and the boys try and explore the country ?
and perhaps find a more pleasant and shady spot on which to dwell.
I recalled your description of the beautiful fields and meadows
through which you had passed, and thought we could find the way
by crossing the brook at the falls, as you had done.
"Having decided on this undertaking, I told the boys, and
A LIVING FREIGHT.
without delay we prepared for our journey. The boys collected and
prepared their guns, and provided themselves with ammunition, a
cutlass, and an axe. I carried the provisions and water-flasks, as
well as a light gun. Thus armed, we started on our journey,
accompanied by the two dogs, and hopeful of success. Turk, who
had been with you, appeared to consider himself our guide, and in
a very short time we reached the spot at which you crossed the
brook, and succeeded, though not without trouble, in reaching the
"As we proceeded, I could not help reflecting that our safety
rested in a great measure on two young boys, because they under-
stood the use of firearms.
Presently we came upon a most beautiful and fertile spot.
The prospect on every side was glorious, and at a distance I could
discern what appeared to be a little wood, to which the way seemed
easy and straight before us ; but we presently found ourselves in the
midst of tall grass, as high as the boys' heads, through which it was
hard to pass.
'' suddenly a strange noise frightened us all, and in a moment
a large bird rose from the grass, and flew over our heads. But be-
fore the boys could fire the bird was far away.
"'Oh, what a pity!' cried Ernest: 'if I had only had my
light gun, or if the bird had not flown so quickly, I would soon
have had him down.'
Ah, yes,' I said; 'but a good marksman is always ready at
a moment's warning.'
'It must have been an eagle, I think,' said little Frank; it
was so large.'
As if all large birds were eagles i' remarked Ernest, but
we may as well examine the place from which the bird rose, and
discover what he was doing there. I think they are bustards.'
''Jack ran quickly to the spot, when suddenly another and
larger bird rose, with rustling wings, almost in his face, startling the
boy with its unexpected appearance. He looked so completely
struck dumb, *hat I could not help laughing. However, he quickly
recovered himself, and we all went together to the place. Here we
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
found a kind of large nest, made apparently of thick dry grass; it
was empty, excepting a few broken egg-shells, from which, no
doubt, the young birds had not long before escaped, and from the
agitation of the grass I had every reason lo believe that the brooa
were close at hand.
"While talking, we reached the grove of trees to which we
had directed our steps. A crowd of unknown birds seemed to wel-
come us with their song, or flew round us gaily.
"But what wonderful trees they were in this grove I have
never in my life seen such tall trees, and, far from being a wood, as
I supposed, there were scarcely more than a dozen trees, but so leafy
at their summits, that at a distance they appeared like a forest.
"What astonished me, also, was that the trunks seemed to be
supported by a kind of buttress. Enormous roots appeared to have
driven the thick stem out of the earth, and raised it to the skies.
However, it was firmly fixed in the ground, and where the roots
left it the thickness was immense.
Jack climbed up one of the outer roots, and measured the
stem with a piece of string. Its circumference was about eighteen
feet; the height of the tree, from the ground to the summit, might
be about sixty yards. The leaves were large and full, and the
spreading branches formed a delightful shade.
"'The form of the leaf was like that of .our nut-trees, but I
could discover no fruit. The grass growing round the roots is thick
and green, and there are no signs of thorns or underwood, so that
altogether this grove of ttees forms a delightful resting-place. So
much did it please us, that we determined to stay there in the cool
shade, and rest in this palace of the greenwood, while we enjoyed
our midday meal.
I could not contemplate the richness and beauty of this
lovely spot without the idea arising in my mind, that if we were
able to establish ourselves on one of these trees, we should be in
"On our way home, I discovered by what means the hunger
of the dogs had been appeased; they were catching crabs in the
rnj'~Fla A!1 4.r J I~~L
BUILDING THE BRIDGE.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
shallow water near the shore, and separating the shells with their
paws, while they eagerly devoured their contents.
Presently, we saw Floss scratching out from the sand some-
thing round, and swallowing it with avidity. Ernest, who was
nearer to the dog, guessed what it was in a moment.
"' It is the egg of a turtle,' he exclaimed; 'and I dare say
there are more.'
It cost some trouble to drive away the animal, but we suc-
ceeded at last in rescuing a dozen eggs, which we placed carefully
in our provision bag.
At this moment I glanced towards the sea, and saw a little
sail rapidly approaching the shore. Ernest said it was his father
and Fritz in the boat.
Frank was afraid it would contain savages, who might land
and eat us up. At last I perceived that Ernest was right, and then
we all turned to run round the rocks hastily, and soon found ourselves
in each other's armss"
While listening to this recital night came on, and it was time
for us to seek repose in sleep, after the fatigues of the day.
We arranged ourselves once more in our places as usual, but
with much greater comfort, upon the mattresses, and under the soft
woollen coverlets, I had brought from the wreck.
Next morning my wife and I rose early to talk over the changes
we were about to make. In fact, I hesitated to decide, for to make
a dwelling upon a high tree in a grove seemed impossible.
"I think there is nothing absurd in my idea,"' she said. "At
all events, now we are not safe at night from the visits of the jackals,
or other similar customers; and I know that in our Fatherland I
once saw a linden tree, on which persons could ascend by a stair-
case to a pretty little bower, with a suitable floor between the
branches. Why could we not have something of the same sort, and
make a sleeping place in the trees of the grove ?''
"I begin to think you are right, dear wife, for if all that now
remains of the wreck should be lost by the destruction of the vessel,
we might at least have a convenient place to reside in, and fertile
ground to cultivate. The rocks which surround it will serve as a
protection. But let us wait, at least till we have brought from the
wreck all the useful things we can.''
I do not think it is necessary to wait for that," said my wife;
''you do not know what we suffer here from the heat of the sun,
while you are on the sea."
"Your earnestness makes you eloquent, dear'wife," I said,
"but you forget that we cannot take our cattle and our possessions
to the opposite shore, without building a bridge."
Then we must wait for ever," she replied, if we wait for
that. I thought it would be easy for the ass and the cow to carry
what we most needed across the river, and bring the other things
I" We should have to do this even with a bridge," I remarked.
" Iand the boys, however, will commence at once to construct a
wooden bridge if you will prepare bags and packing-cases for our
The boys were quickly aroused, and on hearing the plan of
bridge-building, were full of eager delight.
Meanwhile I prepared our boat for a voyage to the ship, to
obtain planks and beams for building the bridge.
On reaching the shore, I saw with joy that a number of planks
and beams had been loosened from the wreck, and cast on the sands
by the waves, which would spare me the trouble I anticipated of
seeking them on the vessel. I immediately determined to choose
those most suitable for building our bridge, haul them in by means of
a boat-hook, and attach them to our little skiff in the form of a float
We again put to sea with our floating cargo, and with the wind
in our favour.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
We were now approaching the shore; I lowered the sail, and,
presently we lay alongside the old spot, having returned in less than
four hours from the time we started. We were not expected, there-
fore none of our dear ones were there to welcome us. However,
we raised our voices, and the sound was echoed back from the rocks
in every direction. Very soon the mother and her two boys came
running towards us in surprise at our speedy return. They each
carried a large and well-filled pocket handkerchief, and Frank
'dragged after him a fishing net attached to a long wooden rod.
When they reached us, Jack opened his handkerchief, allowing
to fall on the ground before our eyes a number of magnificent fresh-
The mother and Frank followed his example, and there they
lay in a sprawling heap.
Who discovered them ?" I asked; Jack, I suppose it was
No, papa, it was our little Frank that performed this exploit.
I will tell you how it happened. While mamma was sewing, he
discovered them in the water. Mamma brought a fishing net, but
we took as many in our hands as by the net, without any difficulty,
and if you had not called us we could have taken many more."
"There are quite enough, Jack," I replied. ." Let us thank
God that He has not only given us what is necessary, but enough
and to spare."
After relating our own adventures, I and the elder boys went
to the shore to bring away the floating planks and beams.
I suddenly remembered the plan adopted by the Laplanders
with the reindeer who draw the sledges, and I was determined to
try it. I placed a cord round the horns of the cow and the neck
of the ass, and then passed it between their legs, and fastened the
end to a beam firmly. In this way we not only brought piece after
piece on shore, but were able also to drag them to the spot chosen
by Jack as the most suitable for the bridge, and, indeed, so it ap-
While examining the spot, a question suggested itself.
"Boys," I said, ','suppose our beams should not be long
enough to reach to the other side-the eye cannot measure the dis-
tance exactly-what shall we do?"
Could we not tie a stone to one end of a string, and throw
it across the river?" said Ernest.
"An excellent idea, Ernest," I replied; run, Jack, and
fetch the packthread."
Jack quickly returned, and by the contrivance suggested by
Ernest, we soon discovered that the distance from one side of the
river to the other was eighteen feet.
It appeared, therefore, quite necessary that the beams should
have three additional feet resting on each shore, and this would
require the under one, at least, to measure twenty-four feet. Hap-
pily, we found more than one which exceeded this length, and fully
answered our expectations.
But how could we throw such long and heavy pieces of wood
across the water ?"
While considering the subject the dinner hour arrived, and
finding nothing more could be done, we returned to the tent.
Our good housekeeper had prepared for us a dish of crabs,
which was very tempting. But before we commenced dinner, she
wished to show me the needlework which had employed her the
She produced two immense bags, which she had made out of a
piece of sail-cloth, and sewn with packthread.
I had no needle large enough to hold the thread," said the
mother, "so I contrived to sew with a nail, and by patience and
perseverance I have finished these travelling bags. They will hang
across the donkey's back like panniers, and contain a great quantity
of articles, when we change our home."
I praised my dear wife for her ingenuity, and then we all
seated ourselves to partake of the dinner.
It was passed over as quickly as usual, for we had no time to
lose, and then I and the boys returned to work. As we approached
the spot, a plan suggested itself which got us out of all our diffi-
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
I first placed a beam behind the trunk of a tree, to which I
fastened it at about four or five feet above the ground with a strong
cord; to the other end of the cord I tied a stone, and throwing it
across the river, I waded through the water after it. To a tree on
the opposite bank I adjusted a pulley, over which I threw the cord,
and returned with the end in my hand.
To this end I tied the ropes which were round the necks
of the cow and the ass, then passing the beam round to the
front of the tree, I led the animals away from the water. As they
moved slowly forward the beam rose gently, and then sank gradu-
ally, guided by the pulley, till the end rested on the opposite bank.
No sooner was this accomplished, than Fritz and Jack sprang
boldly on the beam, and danced lightly and rapidly across the new
bridge. I trembled as I saw them, but I refrained from uttering a
word of caution, lest they should fall from sudden fear.
Now the first beam was laid, the difficulties of the work were
greatly removed. The second and third, and fourth soon followed,
and the foundation of our bridge lay ready before our eyes.
We then cut a number of planks, of about eight or nine feet
long, to place across the breadth of the bridge, but I did not nail
them down firmly, as I wished to be able to remove them from the
bridge quickly in case of danger, to prevent the passage of enemies,
whether men or wild beasts.
It now seemed in every point perfect: the supports were firm,
and the passage across complete. I brought my wife to see it, and
she was astonished that we had accomplished the difficult piece of
work so rapidly.
But the great exertion necessary had exhausted our strength,
and as evening approached, we were glad to return to the tent and
seek the refreshment and repose which we so greatly needed. Once
more we knelt to offer our evening prayer, and to thank God for
His merciful care of us during the day.
THE JOURNEY TO THE WONDERFUL TREES.
On waking the next morning my first thought was to warn my
children of the danger they would incur if they crossed the bridge
carelessly, as they had done on the preceding night.
"And you must remember," I said, "it is necessary to be on
our guard, and keep close together in case of danger or attack "
Our first act was to load the ass and the cow with the travelling
bags containing our provisions, our tools, cooking utensils, and
other useful things. At last I was about to add some hammocks
and bed coverings to the donkey's load, when I was suddenly
checked by my wife, who said,
L L-;Z. ;f--2 _i_
~-- ~-- i)
c;re c ~arm
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
"We must not leave the chickens and pigeons alone here al
night, or there will be an end of them. Besides, I hoped that you
would find room for little Frank on the donkey's back."
Fortunately I had left a space between the two sacks which the
ass carried, so I placed him on the donkey.
In the meantime the boys had been endeavouring to collect the
fowls and the.pigeons by driving them into one spot. But all in
Leave them to me! exclaimed the mother; I will show
you what to do."
I At these words she called the chickens to her in coaxing tones,
throwing from* her apron a few grains of peas and crumbs of bis-
cuits. They all came round her quickly; and still scattering peas
and barley, she attracted them nearer the tent. The rest of the
corn she threw into the entrance; and as they rushed in, it was easy
work to close the tent and make them prisoners.
Fritz and I tied their legs together and placed them in pan-
niers on the back of the cow.
All the articles we left were placed within the tent and the en-
trance carefully closed.
To make it more secure we barricaded it with the full and
empty casks that remained.
I then arranged our little party for the journey. We were all
well armed, young and old, and full of spirits.
Fritz marched at the head of our procession with his mother,
followed by the cow and the ass and his cavalier, little Frank. The
goats, led by Jack, formed the third detachment, the little monkey
looking droll on the back of his foster mother. Ernest followed
with the sheep, and I walked last as the rear guard. The dogs
rushed here and there as our adjutants.
As the procession moved on slowly, Ernest remarked,
"Papa, I think this is a delightful way of travelling, and it iL
new to us. Are there not people who always travel in this manner?'
Yes,' I replied; even now the people of Tartary, Arabia,
and other tribes follow this sort of life, and are called nomadic races.
But for my part, I shall be glad when our wanderings are over."
-,, I )
A FORMIDABLE ENEMY.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Thus conversing, we arrived at the bridge, and at this point
the sow joined our procession, and we all happily crossed the bridge
together without accident.
We had scarcely proceeded any distance when the dogs sud-
denly started forward and disappeared in .the thick grass; and
presently their furious barking became mixed with howls of pain,
as if they were wounded and struggling with some wild beast.
Fritz hastily advanced to the spot with his gun raised and his
fihger on the trigger; Jack followed him fearlessly, carrying his
pocket pistol in his hand; while Ernest, who was nervous and timid,
ran behind his mother, yet making ready to fire in case of danger.
I felt the necessity of being cautious, and followed the boys anx-
iously with my gun in readiness. The boys reached the spot before
me, and the next moment Jack cried out,
Papa, come quick It is a large porcupine Such an enor-
mous beast Make haste !"
I saw as I hastily approached that he was right, and that the
dogs still continued the attack.
Jack, without thought of consequences, at once drew his pocket
pistol from his belt, took aim at the head so correctly, that the
creature fell dead at our feet.
A shout of joy from the boys at this removal of their alarming
enemy followed Jack's exploit, and, tying his pocket handkerchief
round the neck of the dead porcupine, he dragged it by the ends to
"Look, mamma !" he cried; isn't this a beautiful prize? I
killed it myself with my pocket pistol; and it will be useful, for
papa says the flesh is'good to eat."
After this we collected the animals and proceeded again on
We arrived at last without further incident in safety at the
Promised Land," as the boys called it.
Oh, what magnificent trees !' exclaimed Ernest. And look
at their height!"
"Indeed, they are magnificent !" I cried. "I have never
even imagined the existence of such trees I own, dear wife, that
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
this is a wonderful place. If we can climb these trees, and estab-
lish ourselves upon them, we may feel perfectly secure against any
We immediately commenced releasing the animals of their
load, and setting them free, to feed with the sheep and goats. Their
forelegs were tied loosely together with cords, that they might not
wander far from the spot. The sow we left to do as she pleased.
As to the fowls and pigeons, they were at once set at liberty,
to their great relief. We then seated ourselves to rest on the soft
green turf, and to consult on our future dwelling-place.
While discussing the subject with my wife, Fritz had wandered
out of sight, and suddenly we heard the report of a gun just behind us,
then a second report, and, in a few moments he reappeared, carry-
ing by its hind legs an enormous tiger-cat, which he held up before
us all proudly.
"Bravo, Master Sportsman !" I cried; "you have rendered
good service to our fowls and pigeons: your friend there would
have made sad havoc in our farm-yard this night, if you had not
But, Fritz, now tell me how you managed to kill this beast of
prey,, and where you found him."
"I saw a movement first among the foliage of a tree. I went
quietly and stood at the foot, and there, on a branch, I saw this
monster. The first shot brought him to my feet, but he was not
dead, and as he tried to rise I fired a second time, and he moved
"You may think yourself fortunate," I said, "that the crea-
ture did not fly at you after the first shot. I think the one you
just killed is a species of tiger-cat very common at the Cape
of Good Hope and in South America, and so voracious, that
even our sheep and goats would not be safe against such a formid-
"Well, papa," said Fritz, "can we not make use of this
"Indeed you can," I replied, "if you strip off the skin care-
fully, excepting from the legs; of these you can make cases for
A NIGHT'S LODGING.
knives, forks, and spoons, and of the tail a hunting-belt to carry
After this the young people gave me no rest till I had shown.
'hem how to remove the skin from the wild cat and the porcupine
without injuring it.
Meanwhile Ernest and little Frank were busily employed, one
in gathering stones to make a cooking place for their mother, and
the other in collecting dry branches of trees for a fire.
I had divided the porcupine into halves; one to be eaten
fresh, the other salted. The flesh of the tiger-cat we gave to the
dogs. Until dinner time I employed myself in planning our future
dwelling. I tied stones to the ends of pieces of rope, and tried to
throw them over the lower branches. The boys also exerted them-
selves, but we were too tired to succeed. It seemed impossible,
therefore, to establish our dwelling in the tree on that day, and,
after marking the spot with a heap of stones, gave up the idea.
Very soon my wife called us to dinner. We truly enjoyed the ex-
cellent soup, and the flesh of the porcupine she had boiled for us,
with biscuits as a substitute for bread.
A NIGHT'S LODGING.
After dinner I asked my wife to make a harness for the ani-
mals, that they might bring wood and beams from the beach the
She set herself to work immediately, with the needles I had
fashioned from the porcupine's quills, to make what I required.
Meanwhile I fastened the hammocks to the arched roots of the tree
I had chosen, and stretched over them a large piece of sail-cloth, to
protect us from the night dews. And then, satisfied that we should
at least have a shelter for the night, I hastened with Fritz and
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Ernest to the beach, hoping to discover some suitable materials with
which to construct a rope ladder.
The shore was strewn with beams and planks from-the wreck;
but these were too large and heavy for my purpose. Ernest sud-
A NIGHT'S LODGING.
denly discovered a number of bamboo canes, half buried in mud
With the help of the boys I joyfully disinterred the useful reeds,
and after scraping and cleaning them, found to my great satisfaction
that they would fully answer my purpose.
I then cut them into lengths of about four or five feet each, and
tied them into three bundles of equal.thickness, for myself and the
boys to carry. I chose also a few thinner canes, of which I intended
to make arrows for another purpose.
At a little distance from this spot I saw a thick bush of green
reeds, which was what I wanted.
As we approached the marsh, Floss suddenly started forward
as if she were mad, barking furiously amid the reeds. The next
moment a flock of superb flamingoes, which Floss had put to flight,
rose in the air with rushing wings above our heads.
Fritz, always alert and on his guard, instantly raised his gun and
fired, bringing down two of the hindmost. One of them fell dead
at a little distance, but the other, which was only slightly wounded
in the wing, rose quickly, and used his long legs as if he were on
stilts with the greatest swiftness.
I followed the wounded bird softly but as quickly as possible;
yet I should have failed-to overtake him had not Floss rushed for-
ward, and seizing the bird by the wing, held it firmly till I came up
The flamingo fought bravely for his-life, beating me with his
wings with great force; and it was only after a struggle that I suc-
ceeding in mastering him.
I took him gently under my arm, and returned to the place
where I had left the boys.
While gathering the reeds, I remembered that the savage nations
used them particularly for pointed arrows; yet the larger ones might
prove useful in another way. I therefore cut a few of the longest
I could find, saying,
We shall be able to measure the height of the trees with these,
Presently we arrived at our resting place, laden with the canes
SWISS FA.JJ/L Y ROB'rl SOA.
and our booty, and were received by Jack and Frank with outcries
of delight, especially when they espied the living flamingo. The
mother only did not share in their joy.
I fear," she said, '' that with so many living animals we shall
ind our supply of food for them quickly disappear."
I did not reply, for I was anxious to examine the wounds of
the poor flamingo.
I managed to anoint the wounds with butter, and after binding
them carefully with pieces of old linen, I fixed a stake firmly in the
ground near the river, and tied the bird's leg to it by a rope long
enough for him to reach the water, then I left him to his fate.
By this time the boys were impatient for me to commence my
measurement of the tree, even while with youthful jokes they
laughed at the idea of my success.
I seated myself on the grass, and hastily formed a bow with one
of the bamboo canes and a strong cord, and half a dozen arrows
from the pointed reeds. As they appeared too light, I filled the
hollow canes with wet sand, and attached feathers of the flamingo
to the lower end, so that the arrow might fly straight in the air.
When this was ready, I felt with satisfaction that my purpose was
The appearance of the bow and arrow brought all the young
people round me, exclaiming in joyful accents,
Oh a bow a bow and arrows What are you going to
do, papa? Oh let me shoot,-and me, and me!"
Patience, my children !" I cried ; "this time I must take the
precedence; besides, it is work, and not intended for amusement,
but use. Ask your mother if she has a strong coarse string to give
In a few moments my wife appeared with a whole skein of
strong thread. I took an arrow and fastened it to one end of the
skein of thread, which the boys unwound, and, placing it on the
bow, after one or two trials I sent it towards the tree in such a
direction that the arrow passed over one of the branches and fell on
the other side, carrying the string with it, and leaving it suspended
in the air.
A NIGHT'S LODGING. 61
Carefully holding the end of the string, I fastened a rope to it
and passed it over the branch. The two ends I nailed to the trunk,
to keep it from slipping off while we constructed our rope ladder.
First I cut off a length of about a hundred feet from the ,rope,
and divided it into portions of fifty feet each. These I laid side by
side on the ground at about six inches apart, the boys eagerly assisting
me. Fritz cut the bamboo canes into equal lengths of two feet
each, Ernest brought them to me, I placed them between the two
ropes, fastened them tightly at each end, and then drove a nai,
through the fastening, to keep them from slipping; and thus we
completed a rope ladder.
I then attached it to one end of the cord which hung over the
branch, and drew it up till the top of the ladder reached the bough
and hung suspended from the tree.
t-,-,,. .b .'
and hung suspended from the tree.
SWISS FAMILY R-OBINSON.
Each of them wished to mount first,. but I chose Jack, as
being the lightest of the three elder ones, and the most agile.
The youngster scrambled up as swiftly as a cat, and reached
the top in safety.
I now believed that Fritz might venture; and when he also
reached the top and made the ladder fast to the tree, I resolved to
follow him myself and arrange what was still necessary. I took
with me a pulley, and, by means of a strong cord, I fastened it to
the highest branch I could reach. This I knew would enable me
next day to draw up the beams and planks which I might require.
I descended the ladder, satisfied with my success and full of confi-
dence in the future.
Presently I called Fritz and Jack to come down and help me
collect the animals, and to gather wood for the fire to burn all night
and protect us from the wild beasts.
They descended quickly; and after I had fastened the lower end
of the ladder to one of the roots, we attended to the wants of the
animals and the poultry, who were assembled round us asking for
food. After they had eaten a good supper, I was pleased to see the
poultry and pigeons perch themselves to roost on the rungs of our
ladder, and the four-footed beasts creep under the arched roots of
the tree, near our hammocks, and lay themselves down, perfectly
free from care.
By the time all this was finished my wife announced that sup-
per was ready.
The boys brought in a supply of figs, which they had picked
up during the day, and these formed an excellent dessert.
At last, after a short prayer, I sent my wife and the children
to their hammocks, which hung from the arched roots.
Then I lighted the wood which lay around us, and prepared to
watch the fire all night. Presently from the hammocks came sounds
of murmuring and woe. I inquired the cause, and was told that to
lie in a hammock was like being in a sack-they could neither move
hand nor foot, and that it was dreadful.
I laughed at their complaints, and told them how to place
themselves more comfortably.
A NIGHT'S LODGING. 63
Towards morning, sleep overpowered me so completely, that I
did not awake till late in the day, and found that my wife and the
boys were busily employed in preparing breakfast.
On descending from my hammock, I found that my wife had
harnessed the ass with the straps she had made the day previous, as
she intended to fetch the planks and beams for erecting our house
in the tree.
She proposed to take the younger boys, Ernest, Jack, and
Frank, with her for this purpose.
Fritz and I ascended the tree, and found that the centre of the
trunk from which the curving branches sprang was in every way
suitable for our purpose. These branches were strong, thick, and
close together, and near the trunk, before they bent downwards, al-
most horizontal for a considerable length; I decided, therefore, to
use these as beams for a flooring.
On the upper branches, at about five or six feet above us, I
determined to hang-our hammocks, and over these a little higher
up to stretch a large piece of sail-cloth as a ceiling and roof for our
The space between the sail-cloth and the floor I cleared by cut-
ting away branches that grew across it, and by the time my wife and
the boys returned with their first load, everything was in readiness.
By means of a pulley and a rope, which I had fastened to a
branch the night before, we were able to draw up piece by piece the
wood suitable for our flooring.
To make it secure I placed double planks, and when this was
completed, Fritz and I erected, with pieces of wood of about three.
. feet long, a hand-rail all round it, forming an enclosure which al-
ready appeared like a room, though without as yet walls or ceiling,
excepting those formed by the foliage of the tree.
The whole morning was occupied in this work; my wife and
the boys having in the meantime brought up three loads of planks
and beams from the beach.
After a slight repast we returned to our work in the tree,: and,
slinging up the hammocks on the branches, prepared to raise the
sail-cloth over all as a ceiling. This was a far more difficult task,
THI HOUSE IN THE TRRX.
A NIGHT'S LODGING.
and but for the help of the pulley, which we had to move for the
purpose, would never have been accomplished.
At length, to our great joy, we succeeded, and managed to
draw it over the upper branches; and then, by fastening the corners
to our hand-rail on three sides, we were able to leave the fourth side
uncovered as a means of entrance and light; and thus before sunset
this wonderful resting-place in the tree was completed to our great
We found several small planks which I thought would be suit-
able for a table and two benches, and I at once set to work, and by
nailing the planks on the highest parts of the roots for a table, and
on the lower curves for benches, I succeeded in forming a most
useful addition to our arrangements.
When we had finished our supper, the boys lighted a fire
round our tree, to protect not only ourselves, but the animals, who
again sought shelter under the roots. Indeed, we were all ready
for sleep and rest. The elder boys ascended the ladder with light-
ning speed. Their mother followed slowly and not without some
fear, but she arrived safely at last.
Little Frank still remained; and after unfastening the lower end
of the rope ladder from the roots, that I might draw it up after me,
I took the little one on my back and prepared to ascend.
Our double weight caused the unfastened ladder to swing
slightly in the air, and rendered the ascent difficult.
I laid myself to-rest in peace; indeed, we were all so fatigued,
that in a very few minutes we were sleeping sweetly in our ham-
mocks, and did not wake till the sun was high in the heavens.
After such a night of refreshing sleep the boys arose full of
spirits, and inquired eagerly,
"What are we going to do to-day, papa?"
'Nothing, my boys; not a single stroke of work."
"Ah, dear papa, you are joking!" cried one. "You are
making fun of us !"
"No, children," I replied, "I am not joking; it is Sunday
to-day, and we will keep it properly. And now let us consider
seriously what we are about to do. First we will sing a hymn and
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
offer our morning prayers, and then I will relate to you a parable."
"A parable! Oh, a parable from the Bible, papa?"
"My boys, we have not a Bible, yet: but I hope in my next
visit to the ship to bring- away a box of books from the captain's
cabin, and no doubt a Bible is among them."
As I knelt to offer our prayers and thanksgivings to God for
His merciful.care, the boys followed my example in silence.
Then we sang one or two hymns which we all knew by heart;
and my wife and the boys seating themselves on the ground beneath
our tree, I related to them my parable.
I paused as I finished my parable, and a short earnest prayer,
I closed the services of this our new Sunday worship.
I soon noticed that the young people were unsettted, and at
a loss for employment; I called them round me, and told them they
might employ the rest of the day in innocent recreations. They
were at liberty, therefore, to choose their own favourite occupa-
tions. Little Frank came to me at once with a request that, as he
was not allowed to have a gun, he might try to shoot with a bow
and arrow, and asked me to make a little one for him.
I could not refuse him; but first I had to grant Jack permis-
sion to let him try to use my large bow, and also to fix on the tips
of the arrows some porcupine's quills and points.
While thus employed I reflected on the advantage it would be
to my sons if they were able while young to use weapons, for sooner
or later our powder might fail, and then our means of obtaining
food in one way would be lost.
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE.
While waiting for dinner, Jack was eagerly trying his bow and
arrows, and shooting in every direction. I had already completed
a small bow and arrows for little Frank; but when I hoped to be
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE. 67
able to rest, he came to, me with an earnest request that I would
also make him a quiver.
"You know, papa," said the little man, "it is quite as proper
to have a quiver for the arrows, as a powder and shot-pouch for a
JACK WAS EAGERLY TRYING HIS BOW AND ARROWS.
I gave way to his wish, and stripping some flexible bark from
the branch of a tree, I glued it together in the form of a quiver,
which I hung across his shoulder, to his great delight.
When I had finished this, Fritz appeared with his tiger-cat's
skin and another inquiry ; but at this moment the mother called us
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
to dinner, the boys gladly threw aside their various employment,
to seat themselves at the table. During the meal I made a propo-
sition which I thought would be quite to their taste. '' My boys,''
I said, after dinner is over would it not be very convenient if
we were to give names suitable to the different spots we have visited
since we landed here? And in time, we may fancy ourselves in
a country well inhabited, and in places which we have known for a
"Oh!" cried Jack, "what a capital plan! where shall we
begin? at the bay in which we first landed?"
That should be named Oyster Bay,' cried Fritz : "don't
you remember the quantity of oysters we found ?"
"No," said Jack, 'Crab's Bay' would be the best, because
one caught hold of my leg while we were there."
I think," said his mother, "we ought to prove our thankful-
ness to God for saving us by calling it Deliverance Bay."
This name was highly approved of by all, and then I proposed
that our first resting-place should be called Tent House. The isle
at the entrance to the bay was to be named Shark's Island; and the
marsh where Fritz had killed a flamingo Flamingo Marsh.
"And now," I asked, "what title shall we give to our aErial
Many names were proposed, but mine at last set all others
aside. I decided that Falcon's Nest was far the most appropriate,
as well as being a poetical name.
It was easy to give names to the remaining places after this.
The promontory on which Fritz and I looked in vain for our fellow
passengers we named False Hope Point, and the river near our tent
home Jackal River.
After this arrangement was completed, dinner being ended, we
each returned to our work. While Fritz proceeded to finish his
skin case, Jack came to ask my assistance in making a coat of mail
for Turk out of the skin of the porcupine.
I first showed him how to clean it with sand and ashes, then I
assisted him in cutting out and forming bands of the prickly skin.
The inner side, while only half dry, was placed on the back of the
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE. 69
patient Turk, and fastened round his body; and in such armour it
seemed as if not even a hyena would be able to overpower him.
Jack decided to make a cap for himself out of the porcupine's
skin, as well as Floss's coat of mail; so he stretched the remainder
over the roots of the tree to dry, that it might be ready when he
had leisure to use it in making these articles.
Meanwhile Ernest and Frank were busy with their bows and
arrows, and becoming quite expert, sometimes assisted by Fritz and
Jack; but as the afternoon passed away, and the heat became less
oppressive, I invited my family to accompany me in a walk.
Which road shall we take?" I asked.
"To Tent House, I think," said my wife, "for we need a
fresh stock of provisions."
Ah, yes! said Ernest; and if we could manage to bring
over a few ducks and geese from the brook, that would be capital !"
Your reasons are of importance," I said, "so we will turn
our steps towards Tent House; not by the beach, however: we
must try to find a new route in the shadow .of the ridge of rocks
which borders our river. We shall then be shaded from the sun
till we reach the point at which the Jackal Brook falls over the
pebbles in its course, and that is not far from Tent House. It will be
nearly sunset on our return, and we can cross the bridge and come
back by the old road on the beach.
Our walk by the brook proved most unusually agreeable. Dur-
ing the whole route we enjoyed the pleasant shade from large trees
in full foliage, or from the ridge of rocks which extended for along
distance between the beach and the stream. The soft grass under
our feet formed a far more pleasant path than the pebbles and sand
of the shore. Altogether the place was so attractive, that my wife
and I did not hurry ourselves, but sauntered along at our ease,
while the boys rambled hither and thither in search of new discov-
eries. Before long I saw them approaching at full gallop, Ernest
arrived first, but gasping for breath and unable to utter a word for
a few moments.
"Papa!" he cried at last, when he recovered his voice,
"look potatoes potatoes !"
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
"What! what, my boy?" I exclaimed: "that is too gooo
news to be true, I fear."
"I know they are potatoes, papa," said Fritz confidently;
"and Ernest has been very lucky to discover such a valuable plant
for us. "
Let us go to the spot in which Ernest has found these bulbs,"
And with eager haste the boys led us to the place. A few
moments served to convince me of the joyful fact that a little forest
of potato plants in full flower lay at our feet.
Oh !'' cried Jack, ''I knew they were potatoes Oh what
a treat for us !"
And as he spoke he rushed forward, and kneeling down, began
to scrape away the earth and dig the roots up with his hands.
Master Monkey instantly sprang upon the ground and followed his
example; but he scraped and dug more quickly and cleverly than
Jack, for he picked out the most beautiful and the ripest, and after
smelling each he threw it aside, so that in a very short time quite a
large heap of potatoes had been gathered up, and our sack and
game bag were as full as possible of the valuable vegetable.
Ernest proposed that we should at once return to Falcon's
N-..:, for two reasons: first, because the potatoes were a heavy load;
and secondly, that we might cook them for supper, and have a feast.
But I reminded him that there existed still stronger reasons that we
should go on. So we continued our walk pleasantly and in good
spirits, in spite of the heavy load.
We walked on and at last a beautiful prospect lay before us,
very different from anything we had hitherto seen.
There were tropical plants of all descriptions, prickly shrubs
and flowers of every hue, which could only be reared in hothouses
at home: the Indian fig, the aloe, crested with white blossoms, the
tall stately c:'ctus, with its prickly leaf and amber flowers, the creep-
ing plants winding their tendrils over every stem, and spreading
perfume around us from their many-coloured blossoms.
But above all we were delighted to find fruit trees, and among
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE. 71
others, to our great joy, the royal anana or pineapple, which has
been named the king of fruits.
Presently I discovered among the various prickly-leaved plants
a karatas, a kind of aloe, partly in bloom, but chiefly covered w ith
young shoots. The plant was to me a welcome sight.
See, boys," I called out; "this is a much more valuable
discovery than the pineapple. The under foliage of this plant re-
sembles it, but the stem is far more elegant: observe how slender
and upright it grows, and then what a beautiful blossom "
I am glad to be able to inform your mother that when she
wishes to mend our clothes, I can supply her with thread."
Ah! indeed that will be a treasure to me," said my wife.
"Your trouble will be over now," I said, for in the leaf of
the karata is found all that you require."
With this I split a leaf in her presence, and drew out a quan-
tity of very strong yet beautifully fine thread; certainly not longer
than the leaf, yet still long enough to form a needleful. You see,
children, it is not safe to judge by appearances. The aloe, which
you despised, proves far more useful than the dainty pineapples,
which only tickle the palate."
Yes," cried Ernest, I'll own that now; but what is the use
of all the other prickly plants that grow here in such abundance?"
They are all useful in some way, no doubt." I replied, "al-
though we may not understand how. That plantain is a most
valuable tree. It bears a species of fig, which in climates like this
is very wholesome and refreshing.''
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Meanwhile Jack, who held a fig on the point of his knife, was
turning it round in every direction and examining it attentively.
"'Papa," he said at last,." there are such a lot of little insects
crawling about on this fig, quite at their ease, and they are as red
Let me look at them," I exclaimed. "Why, my boy, they
are cochineal, most truly and surely.'
"But what are cochineal?" he asked.
Insects that live on the leaf of this plant, which contains red
sap, or on the blood-red berries, from which it obtains that bright
red colour. They are collected principally in America, where
people shake them from the trees into a cloth; they are then dried,
packed together, and form a very important part of the colour trade,
as from these insects is produced the richest and most beautiful
While thus talking we reached the shallow part of Jackal River,
and stepping cautiously over the pebbles, soon arrived at our tent.
Everything remained as we had left it, and in a very few minutes
we set about the businees which had brought us to the spot.
A whistle and a call from me quickly assembled our party, and
we took the road to Falcon's Nest.
As soon as we arrived the mother, without delay, prepared to
light a fire and cook the longed-for potatoes.
At length the much-praised and delicious potato supper was
ready, and we enjoyed it quite as much as we had anticipated.
After supper, not without heartfelt thanks to God for His mercies,
we retired, fatigued and sleepy, to our airy castle, and enjoyed
refreshing rest and repose till the morning.
I had noticed on the way home many things lying on the
strand which had been washed in from the wreck, especially some
pieces of curved wood, which appeared to me suitable to form a
sledge, which would enable us to bring the butter-cask and other
articles to Falcon's Nest with ease. I immediately resolved to rise
early next morning, proceed to the shore, and bring away whatever
appeared useful for that purpose.
At dawn I awoke, and roused Ernest, who rose hastily; and
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE. 73
in a very short time we descended from the tree, unnoticed by the
happy sleepers whom we left behind.
I decided to take the ass with us; so I cut down a strong
branch of a tree and fastened it to him by ropes, and we set off
toward the shore.
We soon came upon the spot on which lay the curved wood.
Very quickly these boards were laid on the branch of the tree
brought by the ass, while the smaller twigs which grew from it
served to prevent the wood from slipping.
As another means for this purpose we placed upon it a sea-
chest, which lay half-buried in the sand, and then turned our steps
towards Falcon's Nest.
The journey home was long and tedious. We had to help the
willing animal by the aid of two long poles, which we employed as
levers now and then to raise the load and send it forward.
My wife at first gently reproached me for leaving her and the
three boys without warning or farewell; but when she saw the wood,
and heard that I hoped to make of it a sledge for the purpose of
bringing the butter-cask and other articles to Falcon's Nest, she was
The chest was eagerly opened and examined, but found to
contain nothing of importance. It was simply a sailor's locker,
and the clothes and linen it held had been completely saturated and
spoilt by sea-water.
In our absence the two boys- had shot about five dozen grebes
At the same time they had used so much ammunition, that
when they wished to commence shooting again, their mother inter-
fered and represented to them that at such a rate their store of
powder and shot would soon fail, and that for the present she had
I fully agreed with this sensible- advice, and promised the boys
I would show them how to catch them in a trap that would kill
them at once, without causing them to linger in pain, and save our
powder and shot.
At this moment a great commotion arose among our poultry.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
They screamed and cackled and fluttered about in such alarm, that
I could only imagine a fox was in the midst of them. We ran with
all speed to the spot, the mother accompanying us, under the im-
pression that a hen had laid an egg.
Ernest by chance caught sight of the monkey, and saw him
rush under one of the arched roots with a newly-laid egg in his paw;
and as Ernest approached he disappeared behind the tree, for he
was longing to make a meal of his stolen prize; but Ernest was too
quick for him, and at length in the grass found the egg, hidden with
three others. Eagerly he carried the four eggs to his mother, who
received them with joy and thankfulness.
We resolved to prevent this freebooter from any future plunder
by depriving him of his liberty while the hens were laying, till we
had found a safe place of concealment for the eggs.
After this disturbance I hoped to be able to commence opera-
tions on my sledge, but I was again interrupted. Jack, who had
mounted our rope ladder to search for a suitable spot on which to
place the bird-traps, came down hastily with the agreeable news
that a pair of our pigeons were building a nest among the branches
I at once gave strict orders that there should be no shooting in
the trees, and that the idea of placing traps for the birds must for
the present be set aside; and at last I- found myself free to com-
mence making my sledge. The boys followed me to the spot at
which I had left the wood. As we walked, little Frank said,
"Papa, why can't we sow gunpowder instead of those seeds
to feed the animals ? it would be much more useful than fodder to
His brothers laughed heartily at the little one's fancy, and
"'Why, Franky, gunpowder is not a seed; it will not grow like
"Quite right, Ernest," I said; "but how then is it obtained?"
I know," he replied; 'it is made of saltpetre, sulphur, and
charcoal, mixed together."
I at once commenced the construction of my sledge. The
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE. 75
performance was very simple and quickly finished. I united the
two curved pieces of wood by three pieces across, one in front and
one behind, with a third in the middle; these were so placed that
the curve of the side-pieces stood highest in front.
I then fastened the drawing-ropes to the outer points, and my
sledge stood complete.
As I now for the first time raised my eyes from my work, and
was about to join the rest, I saw my wife and the boys occupied in
plucking the birds, while at least two dozen were roasting before the
fire on the blade of a Spanish sword belonging to one of the ship's
officers, as a spit.
The contrivance appeared to me very ingenious, but I could not
help remarking that it was extravagant to cook so many birds at once.
But," said my wife; we do not intend to make a feast fit
for company to-day; but as I am expecting you to fetch the cask of
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
butter for me, I am half cooking some of the birds, that they may
be in readiness to be wrapped in butter and preserved, according to
I prepared to start for Tent House with my sledge directly
after dinner. The mother proposed during my absence to have a
regular wash-up of the clothes and linen, while the boys were taking
a bath. I.promised that Ernest should bathe on the journey, as I
preferred to take him with me instead of Fritz, who was more able
to protect those who remained behind.
After dinner we set out on our expedition, and in addition to
arms, each carried not only a hunting-knife, but a beautiful case,
most ingeniously made by Fritz, containing a knife, fork, and
spoon, in our girdles of shark's skin.
We harnessed both the cow and the ass to the sledge, invited
Floss to accompany, us, but sent Turk back as a protection to those
As I knew the sledge would slide more easily on the sandy
shore, than through the high thick grass, I drove along the coast,
and arrived without adventure at our store house. We unharnessed
the animals, and left them to find pasture, while we loaded the
sledge, not only with the butter-cask, but also with the powder-
barrel, the other cask of cheese, the bullets, and small shot.
We were so absorbed in this work, that we did not at first
notice the absence of our animals, who, attracted by the fresh green
turf, had wandered away across the bridge over the Jackal Brook to
the opposite shore, and had quite disappeared. I desired Ernest to
go in search of them with the dog, while I endeavoured to find. a
convenient spot in which to bathe.
On arriving at Deliverance Bay, I for the first time noticed a
little creek, enclosed on one side by a marsh full of splendid
Spanish canes, and on the other by a chain of rocks stretching far
into the sea, and forming a most secluded bathing-place.
I called Ernest, but as he did not make his appearance, I be-
came anxious and went to look for him. What was my surprise at
discovering the youngster lying at full length in a shady spot behind
our tent, as sound asleep as a dormouse; while the two animals I
THE VISIT TO TENT HOUSE-THE SLEDGE. 77
had sent him to find were comfortably grazing unwatched, near him.
"Up, up! you lazy fellow !" I exclaimed, "why, these animals
might have crossed the bridge, and given us a pretty chase !"
"Oh, let them alone, papa, for that," he replied, as he lazily
roused himself. I have taken away a few planks from the bridge,
and it's not likely such timid fellows would venture over it now."
"While I take my bath, go and gather the store of salt," I
continued, seeing he looked ashamed at my reproof.
I found the sea bath most cool and refreshing, and hastened as
quickly as possible after coming out of the water to search for the
boy, that he might not lose this opportunity, when I suddenly heard
his voice exclaiming,
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Papa, papa, come quick A fish, an enormous fish I can
scarcely hold him; he is tearing away my line !"
I ran hastily in the direction of the voice, and found the boy
on the borders of the river, stretched upon the grass, and struggling
with all his might to retain a fish whose efforts threatened to draw
him into the water, line, rod, and all.
I quickly rendered him assistance, took the fishing-rod from
his hand, and lengthened the line to give the fish a little freedom;
and then gradually drew it into shallow water, where it was unable
to escape. Ernest immediately stepped into the water, and put an
end to its struggles with a blow of his hatchet.
I then drew the fish to shore, and found it was a magnificent
salmon of about fifteen pounds weight, which would form a most
excellent addition to our store of provision, and very much please
I determined to clean and prepare our booty, and sprinkle it
with salt, that we might carry it home in good condition.
While I performed this operation, and harnessed the cattle to
the sledge, I sent Ernest to have a bath. He did not keep me
waiting for long, and we very soon crossed the bridge on the way
back to Falcon's Nest.
Just as we reached the high grass, Floss rushed forward, bark-
ing loudly, and disappeared.
I followed her quickly, and saw a most singular-looking animal
flying from the dog with most astonishing leaps.
Ernest, carefully keeping his eye on the spot, moved nearer
with silent footsteps, and raising his gun, shot the animal dead.
We hastily ran with great curiosity to the scene of combat, and
with wonder and surprise discovered that Ernest had killed a female
We drew our booty to the sledge, and after placing it carefully
with the other treasures, continued our journey towards Facon's.
"Can you tell me anything about these animals, papa?"
asked Ernest, as we walked on slowly.
I have read accounts frQomn the books written by travellers,"
A VOYAGE TO THE WRECK-THE RAFT.
I replied; ''but' in a state of nature very little is known of their
habits, beyond what I have already told you. But by the hind
legs, which are three times as long as those in front, they are able
to take most astonishing leaps, not quite so high in proportion to
their size as the flea or the grasshopper, but equally surprising.
Should theie be any appearance of danger, they are able, by using
the tail, which is remarkable for its muscular strength, to spring
from the ground and mislead their pursuers, as the creature you
have shot misled and baffled the dog. Deprived of its tail, the
kangaroo would be a helpless creature, and quite unable to defend
We arrived at home safely and received a joyful welcome,
especially after a glimpse at the contents of the sledge, which my
wife and the boys proceeded to examine with wondering eyes.
The butter and cheese-casks, the canes, salt, salmon, and at
last, to crown the whole, the dead kangaroo; and I felt it a due to
Ernest to explain his share in procuring these additions to our store.
We closed this day with our usual occupation.
After unloading the sledge, I distributed salt to the animals,
which was to them a delicious feast.
We then sat down to a famous supper of the small fish caught
by Ernest, and some beautiful baked potatoes. Supper was very
soon finished, for we were tired out, and longing for rest and sleep,
which soon gathered us in its arms.
A VOYAGE TO THE WRECK-THE RAFT.
Early next morning, I decided on a voyage to the wreck; and
after giving Fritz orders to prepare everything in readiness for the
voyage, I called for Ernest and Jack, to give them my instructions
how to act during the absence of Fritz and myself; but they were
not to be found.
80 SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
Their mother conjectured that they might be gone to dig up
some more potatoes, which we again required.
Without delay we hastened forward, and had crossed the bridge
over Jackal River, when suddenly, to our great astonishment, Ernest
and Jack, with a shrill joyous cry, sprang upon us from behind, evi-
dently thinking it a good joke that they had taken their dear father
and brother by surprise.
I refused to take them with me as they wished, for their assist-
ance on the wreck was not required; but principally I was anxious
for them to return to Falcon's-Nest, because their absence would
make their mother uneasy.
I was glad of this opportunity, also, to send a message to my
wife, that we should be obliged to remain longer than usual on the
vessel, for the raft I wished to construct would most likely occupy
the whole day.
We steered our little boat into the current which flowed into
Deliverance Bay, and arrived very quickly at the wreck.
My first care was to find material for constructing a raft; for
the tub boat was neither large enough nor of sufficient strength to
carry a heavy load.
-In 'a very short time we found a number of water-casks, which
were emptied and tied together in rows to form a square, and then,
with nails and strong cords, we fastened upon them-not without
trouble, however-several planks, as a flooring to the raft.
We succeeded at length in constructing a firm and solid float,
capable of carrying three times as many articles as our little boat of
tubs, and with far more safety.
Yet, although we had worked most diligently the whole day,
the afternoon was far advanced before our task was completed.
I resolved, therefore, to remain on board all night; we at last
found time to search for a supper among the articles still remaining
on the ship.
The night's rest in the cabin was altogether delightful, and we
slept soundly till sunrise.
We arose next morning, and at once commenced actively the
task of loading our boats.
FRITZ AND THE WALRUS.
~ ~ ..---;. -
LANDING THE SEA-CHESTS.
. .. . _C __
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
After plundering the cabins we took the locks from the doors,
the bolts from the shutters, and added all these to our cargoes.
The contents of a couple of sea-chests, belonging to the ship's
officers, were to us a great treasure; but still greater were those of
the ship's carpenter and the gunsmith.
The captain's trunk was full of all sorts of things, some of them
so costly that we were quite dazzled. There lay gold and silver
watches, chains, buckles, studs, and a snuff-box; most probably
intended as presents, or as stock for a profitable trade which might
be commenced in a new colony. Besides these, a well-lined cash-
box full of money.
In addition to this, were tw6 dozen beautiful young European
fruit-trees, which had been most carefully packed for the voyage. I
recognized among them the pear, apple, orange, almond, peach,
chestnut, and vine, the fruit which in our dear native home we had
so often enjoyed.
Presently we discovered a number of iron bars of immense
strength, then a grindstone, wagon and cart-wheels, a complete set
of smith's tools, hatchets and shovels; chains, iron and copper wire,
a ploughshare, a hand-mill, and last, but not least, sacks full of
maize, peas, oats, and other grain; in a word, a seemingly inex-
haustible store of articles, evidently destined for the support of a
European colony to be established in distant lands.
There were even parts of a saw-mill, which it was evident
might be fitted together with a little trouble, if we had strength
enough to lift it.
And now the question arose, What should we take with us of
all these valuable things, and what leave behind?
I decided at last to choose what appeared the most useful, par-
ticularly powder and shot, iron, lead, grain, the fruit-trees, and
several tools, and of these to place on the raft and in our tub-boat
as much as we could possibly carry.
Among other things we found a large magnetic needle and a
On seeing two harpoons used in whale fishing, with a quantity
A VOYAGE TO THE WRECK--THE RAFT.
of strong cordage quite new attached to them, Fritz begged me to
fasten one of the harpoons to the bow of our little boat.
We were not ready to start with our cargoes till noon, for both
the crafts were heavily laden. The raft was fastened to our tub-
boat by ropes firmly attached to each corner, and then, not without
fear of some disaster, we directed our course towards the shore.
The wind lightened our work, and we proceeded for a consid-
erable distance without meeting with the least impediment.
While thus pleasantly approaching the shore, Fritz observed in
the distance a large and strange-looking body floating on the waves,
and asked me to examine it through the telescope.
I discovered at once that it was a turtle sleeping on the surface
of the water very comfortably, and totally unconscious of our
Fritz begged me to steer towards it, and I made straight to-
wards the sleeping animal.
All at once a violent shock caused the boat to turn and thrill,
while the noise as of rope running through a reel was followed by a
second shock and a rapid rushing forward of the boat.
In Heaven's name !" I cried, "what are you about, Fritz?
Caught caught !" cried the youth eagerly. I took him
I saw at once that my boy had really struck the turtle with the
harpoon, and that the wounded animal was swimming away rapidly,
and drawing the boat after him; for the harpoon was fastened by a
rope to the windlass.
I hastily lowered the sail, and rushed to the forepart of the
boat in order to cut the cord with my hunting-knife and set the
turtle free. But Fritz implored me to wait, assuring me there was
'' I can cut the rope instantly, if it is necessary,'' he said ; and
at last I gave way, and, with earnest injunctions to him to be care-
ful, I returned to the helm.
But, drawn by the turtle, we advanced with great rapidity, and
I noticed also that the turtle was endeavouring to reach the open
sea against the wind, which blew towards land. I immediately
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
hoisted the sail, and at last reached a soft sloping shore, where hap-
pily there was no danger of being driven against the rocks, and not
far from Falcon's Nest.
Fritz, raising his gun, fired in the air a shot, which so excited
the surprise and curiosity of our little colony that they all came run-
ning to the spot.
The taking of the turtle was proudly described, and we were
all thankful to God that this adventure had ended happily, without
fatal consequences to us or our boats.
I requested my wife to go with the boys and fetch from. Fal-
con's Nestthe animals and the sledge, that we might place at least
a part of our cargo in safety.
In the meantime the tide, having nearly reached the ebb,
retreated, and left our boat and the raft quite on dry ground.
The first article to be placed upon it was the turtle, which was
of an enormous size, and weighed at least three hundred pounds,
for with all our united strength it was as much as we could do to
place it on the sledge, and to keep it in its place we were obliged
to pile up the mattresses and other lighter articles round it.
It became necessary for us also to assist the two animals in
drawing their heavy load to Falcon's Nest, and for this purpose we
each exerted all our strength, some pushing, others pulling ; and so
we marched in joyous procession towards home.
On arriving, our first care was to unload the turtle, and to lay
the animal on his back, as otherwise we could not remove the shell
or make use of the delicate flesh. I seized a hatchet, and with one
blow on the breast of the animal I separated a part from the shell,
and cut off as much of the flesh as would serve for our supper. I
advised the mother to cook this rich food in the piece of shell, and
to add only a very little salt.
"The head, the paws, and the entrails we will give to the dogs."
"And the shell," cried Fritz, could we not make it into a
water trough? It would be so pleasant to have clean fresh water
for our bath, or to wash our hands.'
"That would indeed be useful," I replied, "if your plan
A VOYAGE TO THE WRECK--THE RAFT.
could be carried out; but we should want loam or clay to cement
"Oh! I can supply you with clay, then," exclaimed Jack,
putting in his word. There is a splendid heap under the roots of
I brought it home this morning from the banks of the river,"
"When you have decided about the water-trough," said
Ernest, I will show you some roots, papa, that I have discovered;
our old sow eats them up as if they were delicious. It appears to
me a sort of radish-root."
After examining the roots carefully, I exclaimed,
If I am not mistaken, my son, you have made a valuable
discovery. I believe this is the plant of which beautiful cakes,
called cassava cakes, are made in the East Indies. But it must be
carefully prepared, for it contains a dangerous poison. However,
you must show me the spot on which you found the roots, and if
there are any left we can try at least to make bread of it; and I
think we shall succeed."
While talking, we had been still busily engaged in unloading
the sledge, and that task being now completed, I again set off with
the three elder boys to fetch another load from the boat before
On reaching the shore, we hastily loaded the sledge with as
much as it would carry: the two chests, the wagon-wheels, and the
hand-mill, which the discovery of the manihot rendered doubly im-
portant and precious to us,-and as many smaller things as we could
find room for.
The supper of turtle which their kind mother had prepared for
us proved simply delicious. It was not, therefore, surprising, that
when we ascended to our sleeping-rooms in the tree, and laid our-
selves down on the mattresses we had brought from the ship, we
quickly sank into a sweet and refreshing sleep.
At daybreak I rose without awakening my sleeping family, for
I was anxious also to visit our vessels on the beach as quickly as
Harnessing the ass to the sledge I summoned the dogs to follow
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSONA
me, and then we took our way to the beach. I found the boat and.
the raft still safe : although the tide during the night had risen, the
pieces of lead and iron bars kept them from drifting away.
Without delay I placed upon the sledge a load, and returned
to Falcon's Nest in time for breakfast.
When I reached the tree, my family were still sleeping pro-
I made as much clatter and. noise as if a besieging army was
approaching, to arouse the sleepers. My wife was the first to ap-
pear, and was not a little surprised to find the day so far advanced.
After a hasty breakfast, we repaired again to the shore, for I
was anxious to have both the boat and the raft unloaded before
nodn, that they might be ready to float as soon as the tide served.
By the time we reached Falcon's Nest with our last load the
tide had risen, and I with Fritz hastily took leave of my wife and
the three younger boys; but Jack seemed so anxious to go that I
gave him permission, to his great delight.
I steered at once for Deliverance Bay, for the beautiful weather
and the calm sea tempted me to venture on another voyage to the
By the time we reached the vessel it was too late to carry away
anything of importance, so I merely collected together what could
be packed quickly and without much trouble. Jack found a wheel-
barrowN, and Fritz came to tell us that he had discovered something
far more useful than a wheelbarrow-the ship's pinnace, packed
carefully in the centre of an enclosure, every part complete, although
separated, and even supplied with two small cannon.
To raise the boat from its present position, and to get it pro-
perly fitted together and launched on the sea, would not only be a
work of time, but require a large amount of strength, exertion, and
This, however, was not the time to commence such an under-
taking; so I overlooked the boys as they loaded the raft, and
advised them to choose the most useful articles. Among others a
copper kettle, a grindstone, two large iron plates, a powder flask a
box of flint stones, several tobacco-graters, and two more wheel-
t ,;;,, ul1!
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
barrows besides Jack's. We again set sail, for I was anxious to
avoid the land breeze which generally rose after sunset.
As we neared the shore we observed with astonishment a group
of figures standing in a long row, and regarding us with great
"They are birds called penguins," I exclaimed.
While I thus spoke we were cautiously approaching the land;
but no sooner had the boat reached a spot where the water was
shallow, than Jack sprang out of his tub and waded to the shore.
Before the penguins had noticed him he was amongst them, and in
a very few moments had knocked down five or six of the birds.
My wife was delighted with our barrows and their contents,
excepting that she looked rather doubtfully at the iron plates and
She pointed out to me a splendid store of potatoes, which she
and the two boys had collected during our absence, and also a large
number of roots similar to those which Ernest had discovered on
the day previous.
The tobacco-graters were lying on the ground near us, and my
wife, pointing to them, inquired,
"What use are those tobacco-raspers, dear husband? "
"A little new bread will be a great treat to us, and to obtain
it these tobacco-raspers are indispensable. I hope, therefore, you
will no longer look upon them with such disdainful eyes." I re-
"Well!" she exclaimed, "what tobacco-graters have to dQ
with new bread I cannot imagine. Besides, where is the baking
oven, even if you had flour ? "
"Upon these iron plates," I replied, "flat cakes can be
baked. And as for flour, that can be obtained from the cassava-
roots discovered by Ernest. If you will make a small strong bag of
sail-cloth, we will try an experiment with our new pastry before
we sleep to-night."'
My wife agreed to get the bag ready, but I could see that she
dQubted my judgment, for she filled the newly-arrived copper kettle
A VOYAGE TO THE WRECK-THE RAFT.
with potatoes, which she placed on the fire, to be ready for our
supper in case the bread-baking should be a failure.
In the meantime I took a large piece of sail-cloth, and spread
it on the ground; and then, assembling my young folks, com-
menced at once without delay to instruct them in the art of making
bread from the cassava-root. In the hands of each I placed one of
the tobacco-graters and a root, and in a very short time it was
covered with what resembled moist sawdust.
When we had scraped a sufficient quantity of the cassava-root,
I filled the bag and tied the mouth of it tightly together, so that
when pressed the poisonous sap might flow out between the threads
of the cloth.
To obtain the means of pressing, I laid two or three smooth
planks on one of the roots of the fig-tree, and placing the bag of
flour upon them, covered it with another plank. Across this plank
I laid one of our levers, with one end under the arched root, and
heaping up on the other end lead, iron bars, stones, and every
heavy article I could find. And very soon the sap was seen flowing
to the ground.
"Papa," exclaimed Fritz, "I think we could commence
bread-making at once; not a drop of sap is falling from the bag
I am quite willing," I replied; "but before we attempt to
make bread for ourselves, a cake must be baked for the chickens and
the ape, and if they eat it without harm we can very safely follow
The bag was opened and the meal spread out to dry. I then
moistened a small quantity with water, and made a small cake.
This cake was then laid on one of the iron plates over a clear fire,
made, as usual, between large stones on the earth, and as soon as
the under side was brown, it was turned, and when sufficiently
baked, taken out to cool.
The cake exhaled such a delicious odour that the boys looked
with envy at the piece I gave to the ape, and I believe, had I not
firmly opposed their longing, they would also have helped them-
selves to a portion,
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
I noticed with satisfaction that the fowls were eagerly eating
up the crumbs, and Master Nip devouring his piece of the cake with
"See, my dear," I said, addressing my wife, "the animals
have eaten it all, and we must begin our baking performances early
to-morrow morning, if we find that our cassava-tasters are not the
worse for what they have eaten."
We seated ourselves to partake of supper. We found the po-
tatoes excellent. And we could once more thank God for His
benefits as we retired, with appeased appetites, to the longed-for
rest in our castle on the tree.
THE PINNACE AND THE PETARD.
The following morning our first care was to visit the fowls and
the monkey; but they were all as lively as ever; we therefore set
to work eagerly to bake for ourselves.
The boys were so proud of their performances, that each ate
his own cakes for breakfast; and certainly, with butter, I could
almost fancy I was eating hot rolls in our own dear country. A
large bowl of new milk added to our meal made it a repast fit for a
As I scattered the crumbs of this costly feast among our feathered
folk, I was surprised to observe that the penguin, which we had made
a prisoner, and tied to a tree, near the ducks and geese, seemed quite
at home, and followed their example in picking up the crumbs with-
out the least shyness. I decided, therefore, to release him from
confinement, and give him his liberty, to his great satisfaction.
While enjoying our breakfast, I expressed my strong desire to
pay another visit to the wreck with the boys, and by our united
efforts endeavour to manage the pinnace which we had discovered
on the previous day.
THE PIANACE AND THE PETARD.
The good mother at first was not to be convinced that anything
could make it necessary for me to venture again on the treacherous
sea. But she at length unwillingly consented, and then only on
condition that I would give my word to return the same evening,
and on no account remain another night on the wreck.
I reluctantly gave the promise she required, but her fears made
me uneasy, and I left her and Frank alone at last with many sighs
and a heavy heart.
The boys were delighted as usual at the prospect of anything
new. We packed up a good store of provisions, including cassava
cakes and potatoes, and buckled on our cork belts. Our way led
us to Deliverance Bay, at which we arrived without adventure, and
there we entered the tub-boat, and with the raft in tow, proceeded
on our way.
Immediately on arriving at the wreck, I advised the boys to
load the raft and the boat with the first things that came to hand, so
that at least we might not return empty, and then I hastened to have
one more look at the pinnace.
I discovered to my great satisfaction that each piece of the
vessel was carefully laid in its proper place, and, above all, num-
bered, and could therefore be matched together with ease and cor-
The evening.arrived before anything could be done to the pin-
nace, and we therefore without delay prepared to return home with
our load. What was our surprise and pleasure on reaching Deliver-
ance Bay to see the mother and little Frank on the shore waiting to
"We are going to remain at Tent House," said my wife, "till
you have cleared the wreck and finished all your business on board.
It will be a shorter voyage for you, and we shall be constantly within
sight of each other.''
I could scarcely thank my brave wife sufficiently for this pre-
caution, more especially as I knew how little she liked residing at
Tent House: and I was glad to be able to reward her self-denial by
placing before'her eyes two casks-of butter, three of flour, a case of
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.
corn and rice, with a number of useful articles, which were to her
of the greatest value.
Our voyages to the wreck until the pinnace was completed
occupied a week. We started early every morning regularly, and
returned home in the evening, heavily laden from the wreck, to
my wife's great satisfaction.
During our absence she and little Frank visited Falcon's Nest
almost daily, to look after the poultry and give them plenty of pro-
vender, as well as to fetch away potatoes from the field close by.
7HE PINNACE AND THE PETARD.
When we met together in the evening, we had plenty to talk about
while we enjoyed the delicious suppers which the mother had pro-
vided for us from her stores.
All this time we had been earnestly employed in reconstructing
the pinnace, which was at last ready to be set free from her prison.
Her appearance was neat and elegant. She had a tiller at her prow,
and a small quarter-deck on which to raise a mast and a sail like a
cutter, and, being of a light build, would not draw much water.
We had carefully caulked all the joints' and openings, and then cov-
ered them with pitch or ship's tar. On the quarter-deck we placed
the two little cannon and secured them with chains in the usual
manner on board ship.
And, after all, there sat the beautiful thing, immovable in its
prison; and before we could set the pinnace free, a storm might
arise and destroy it with the wreck. The thought of such a dis-
aster made me at \length determined upon a plan which was cer-
tainly a great risk.
I found in the steward's room an iron mortar, such as are
sometimes used for cooking, and fastened it upon a thick oaken
board with hooks. Then with a chisel I cut a groove in the board.
In this groove I laid a train of gunpowder, of such a length that it
would take more than an hour to reach the mortar when lighted at
the end by a match. I filled the mortar with powder, again fas-
tened the plank upon it, caulked every crevice with tar, and bound
the whole together with chains.
This terrible instrument I suspended in the enclosure occupied
by the pinnace, on the side from which I calculated that the recoil
of the explosion would not injure our little craft. Giving the boys
the order to go on board our little tub-boat quickly, I returned,
.lighted the fusee, and then, hastily embarking myself, steered away
speedily from the wreck.
We had arrived at Tent House, and were unloading the raft,
when a sudden and frightful noise on the sea, like the roar of
cannon, so alarmed my wife and the boys that they turned to run
away. My voice recalled them, but they still kept at a distance,
until my wife came towards- me and said,