Citation
The Swiss family Robinson

Material Information

Title:
The Swiss family Robinson
Uniform Title:
Schweizerische Robinson
Creator:
Wyss, Johann David, 1743-1818
Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880 ( Editor )
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Bradbury, Agnew and Co ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London ;
Glasgow ;
Manchester ;
Publisher:
George Routledge and Sons
Manufacturer:
Bradbury, Agnew, & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
x, 566 p., [18] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 20 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Castaways -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Robinsonades -- 1889 ( rbgenr )
Family stories -- 1889 ( local )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre:
Robinsonades ( rbgenr )
Family stories ( local )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
England -- Manchester
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Frontispiece and plates printed in colors.
Statement of Responsibility:
a new translation from the original German, edited by William H.G. Kingston ; With ninety-five illustrations on wood.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027029895 ( ALEPH )
ALJ0688 ( NOTIS )
26971196 ( OCLC )

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This item has the following downloads:


Full Text



















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THE

SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON

A Nebo Translation from the Original German

EDITED BY
WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON

ATLA
ae



WITH NINETY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS ON WOOD

LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limitrp
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
CLASGOW, MANCHESTER, AND NEW YORK



NOTE.

“The Swiss Family Robinson” is so general a
favourite that it is hoped a fresh version may prove
acceptable.

It has been translated by members of my family
from the German, with the omission of the long
sententious lectures found in the original, and some

slight alterations calculated to enliven the narrative.

W.H GK.



CONTENTS.

—i—

CHAPTER I.

_ Storm-tossed—Wrecked—Deserted—Supper—We make swimming-
belts for the children—An anxious night—The gale moderates—
We examine our cargo—Jack introduces two new acquaintances—
How shall we get on shore ?—Jack’s plan—We adopt it—The use
of a lever—Our tub-boat completed—Another night on the wreck
—We collect a cargo—And embark—Jack’s friends will not be left
behind—Steer for the shore—Once more on land—We erect a tent
—Glue soup—Jack makes the acquaintance of a lobster—Emnest
shirks the water—Oysters and salt—How shall we eat our soup ?
—Ermnest solves the difficulty—Fritz returns—The sucking-pig—
How to open an oyster and how to eat it—The dogs devour the
agouti—Fritz’s anger—Our first night in the new country . . it

PAGE

CHAPTER II.

A morning consultation—Breakfast—A way on an expedition—Over the
stream and through the grass—An unexpected reinforcement—
Search in vain for our comrades—Rest by a stream—Fritz finds a
“yound bird’s nest”—Natural history of a cocoa-nut—Calabash
trees—The use of gourds—How to make a bottle—A lovely but

‘ Jonely scene—Sugar-canes—Monkeys of use—Cocoa-nut milk
turned to champagne—Turk kills an unfortunate mother monkey—
Carry the orphan home—Display our treasures—A. sumptuous
supper—Ernest’s penguin—Champagne turned to vinegar—A fight
with jackals—A curious sentinel—A visit to the wreck—We rig our
craft—Stow a cargo—Sleep on board—Floats for our herd—We
embark—Encounter a shark—Land . : ‘ z ‘ «. 3t

b



iv

Contents.



CHAPTER III.

PAGE

The mother relates her adventures—Proposes that we should build a nest

—How Jack treated the jackal skin—How the boys were surprised
by a bustard—How they found the mangrove tree—How the dogs
caught the crabs—We discuss the possibility of making a house in
the tree—To bed once more—We start for the wreck—The shark
again—Return to land—Franz’s craw-fish—Bridge-building—We
pack up—A family removing in patriarchal style—A prickly enemy
—Jack shoots it—We reach our new home— Fritz rids our poultry
of an enemy—Little Franz finds the figs—Dinner—We prepare
materials for our nest—Flamingoes—Roast and tame—The use of
trigonometry—A cord carried over the bough—The rope ladder
made—We mount our tree—Sleep under the roots—The building
of the nest—Retire to roost for the first time . : . .

CHAPTER IV.

69

A day of rest—A parable for the young people— Quiet recreation—Geo- -

graphical nomenclature—The margay and porcupine skins made of
use—An expedition to Tentholm—Potatoes, potatoes—Tropical
vegetation—The use of the Karatas—Jack’s greediness and its
punishment—Ernest discovers cochineal—Arrive at Tentholn—
‘The poultry rebellious—Return to Falconhurst—Ernest roused out
early—We collect wood for a sledge—Master Knips turns thief-=
Franz’s plan for the saving of ammynition—Ernest and I take the
sledge to Tentholm —Ernest’s laziness exemplified—He catches a
salmon—We start far home—Kill a kangaroo—And cook it 4

CHAPTER V.

Jack and Ernest disappear—Fritz and I start for the wreck—The boys’

ambuscade—We form a raft—Ransack the vessel—Again embark
—A turtle in sight—Fritz harpoons it—The turtle acts as ‘‘ Steam
Tug”—Safe ashore—Return home—Jack’s clay field—A fresh
discovery—The mother’s cellar—A trip to the wreck—The pin-
nace—Jack’s raid on the Lilliputians—A secret revealed—A new
method of grinding flour—Wholesome or poisonous ?—Bread-

114

making in earnest. . . 5 . . x : + 145



Contents Vv



CHAPTER VI
PAGE

Now for the pinnace—Repeated visits to the wreck—The pinnace built
—How shall we cut her out—The difficulty solved—We fit her out
—Vire a salute—The mother’s surprise—We visit Falconhurst—
Attend to our fruit trees—Athletics—The lasso—An excursion—

A Bustard captured—Ernest discovers a magician—Jack fights
him—The Liane Rouge—We turn carvers—Ernest’s alarm—The
old sow again—We discover a sleeping beauty—Return with it
to the camp—Knips pronounces our apples ‘good’—Return to
Falconhurst’ . : : ° 7 . : : - 168

CHAPTER VII.

Fritz and I return to the Calabash wood—Fritz shoots a ruffed grouse
—We come across wax-berry bushes—Sociable grosbeaks—Fritz
captures a parrot—A lecture on ants—Caoutchouc trees—The sago-
palm, and the edible worms—Return with sugar-canes to Falcon-
hurst—Candle-making—How to make butter without a churn—
Plant trees and adorn Tentholm—Last visit to the wreck—The first
ducklings on the island—Falconhurst again—An excursion—We
pitch our tent—Fritz and Jack ascend the cocoa-nut trees—Ernest
brings us a delicacy—Loss of Grizzle—Jack and I go in pursuit—
Giant bamboos-—Encounter with buffaloes—The buffalo calf—
Find a jackal’s Jair—Reach our camp—What happened in our
absence—Fritz’s pet-—Sago manufacture—Meet with our sow and
her family again—How Ernest tamed the eagle . : ‘ . 196

CHAPTER VIII.

Prop our young trees—A lecture on grafting—A new idea broached—
Why should we not build stairs within the trunk of our tree ?—
Jack finds one objection—I make a beehive, and we drive the bees
from the tree—Stair-making—Additions to our family of domestic
animals—The education of the ‘ pets ’—Shoe-making—We lead
water from the stream to Falconhurst—A strange animal ap-
proaches—Our old ass and his companion—The onager captured
—FProvisioning our winter quarters—Capture of ruffed grouse—
We discover flax—The rainy season . ¢ Lame 0‘ - 233



Contents,

CHAPTER IX.

PAGE

Spring again—We begin to hew a cave—Jack makes a discovery —We

drive the foul air from the cavern—The mother and her boys join
us—We explore the cave—Fit it up as our winter-quarters—The
herring-bank—We catch seals—Fishing on a grand scale—Isinglass
and caviare—We visit our plantations—An expedition to establish
a colony—The building of ‘‘ Woodlands ”—Jack and Fritz return

to Falconhurst for provisions—Ernest and I explore—A ‘‘beast —

with a bill” —We build a canoe—Franz undertakes the education
of Grumble—We continue our work at the cave—Carpet making
—Thanksgiving-day—A startling salute—Athletics and shooting
—Prize giving—Manufacture of bird-lime—Fritz and Jack ride off
for caoutchouc-—Shoot a crane and badger--Find ‘‘ Woodlands”
tumed upside down by monkeys—Discover Gensing . : .

CHAPTER X.

Bird-lime—A midnight raid—The massacre at Woodlands—Capture

of Molucca pigeons—A pigeon-house—Fritz and I prepare a
conjuring trick—Great success of our experiment—Lichen and
nutmegs discovered—Jack’s adventure—The loom manufactured
—Winter stores prepared—The rainy season sets in—Interior of
our house arranged—We study languages—The return of Spring—
A stranded whale—An account of coral—We go to work on the
whale’s carcass—Remarks on the habits of the whale . . ;

CHAPTER Xi.

The blubber of the whale boiled and stored—A unique machine

—Expedition to Prospect Hill—Whale’s tongue is voted no
delicacy—We Jand on Whale Island—Jack discovers a strange
skeleton—Turtle turning—Towed ashore—The loom completed—
Return of the herring shoals—Basket making—We manufacture a
sedan chair—Ernest’s wild ride therein—A boa constrictor appears
—He retreats to the marsh—Suspense—Poor Grizzle’s fate—An
awful scene—Death of the monster—An account of snakes—
Remedies for, poisoned bites—Ernest writes Grizzle’s epitaph—
The serpent stuffed and placed inthe museum . . .

257

308

341



Contents. vii



CHAPTER XII.
PAGE

We examine the marsh—A cave discovered—We find the floor covered
with fuller’s earth—Discharge our pistols—Jack’s fright--Ernest
captures an eel—An expedition towards the Gap—vVisit Fal-
conhurst and Woodlands, and examine the country round—
Franz shoots a capybara—Emest and Knips fight the rats—A
lecture on musk—Cinnamon apples—A peccary hunt—We
prepare the peccary meat—Disasters at Prospect Hill—An ex-
ploring expedition through the Gap—We find our barrier broken
down—Across the desert—Strange objects in the distance—
An account of ostriches—An ostrich slain—We discover the nest
—A mud tortoise—We encounter bears—A desperate fight—
Back again to camp—We skin the bears and smoke their flesh—
Pepper found—Three of the boys start on an expedition—I dis-
cover talc . ‘ . ‘ é é . . . ° + 369

CHAPTER XIII.

The boys return and give an account of their adventures—How they
captured the antelopes—How Fritz caught the rabbits, and Jack
rode down the gazelles—How they followed the honey bird, and
Jack tried to rob the bees’ byke—We sup on the bears? paws—
Across the desert again—Sight three ostriches—The male bird
captured—We secure him between Storm and Grumble—The
mother’s astonishment at our new pet-—Return to Woodlands
—Home again—We establish colonies on Shark and Whale
Islands—Turn our attention to agriculture—The difficulties of
ostrich training-—My patent saddle and bridle—I exercise my
ingenuity in various trades. 9. www lg 410

CHAPTER XIV.

The rainy season again—The building of the cajack—The mother
invents a swimming dress—A visit to our colonies—Mysterious
seaweed—The mother’s surprise—A visit to Whale Island—Mis-
chievous pigs—The three boys return from a day’s hunting—
They display their treasures—A new skinning apparatus—We
make a crushing machine—An early harvest—We prepare a
threshing floor—Reaping in Italian fashion—Threshing also in
Italian fashion—Return of the herring shoals . 8 . % , 434



Vili Contents:



CHAPTER XV.
PAGE

Trial of the cajack—Fritz kills a walrus—We carry home its head—
The storm—Where is Fritz?—Safe at last—The fishing season—
An expedition proposed—Three of the boys start for Woodlands
—Pigeon post—Encounter with an hyeena—Wood Lake explored
—A tapir—Prospect Hill pillaged—A tragedy—The boys in
danger—We join them—We build a summer-house— Discover
the cacao plant—Fritz ascends the stream—He sees elephants and
hippopotami—Jack’s ‘‘ moist secret ””— We return to Rockburg—
Grace and Beauty—Shark Island is fortified . s . + « 452

CHAPTER XVI.

Ten years afterwards—Our farms and farmyards-—Fritz makes a voyage
of discovery—Cape Minster and the Swallow’s Nests—Pearl
oysters—A magnificent bay—The strange message—An excursion
to Pearl Bay—Fritz proposes to search for the stranger and pre-
pares his canoe for her reception—The pearl fishery—An encoun-
ter with a wild boar—Jack’s accident—Trufflee—A midnight
alarm—The lion and his mate—Our enemies overcome—Juno’s
death—We set sail for Rockburg—Fritz leavesus - - 487

CHAPTER XVII

Juno’s epitaph—Fritz does not appear—We start in search of him—A
cachalot whale—The unexpected appearance of a savage—Fritz
in a dusky disguise—He leads us to Fair Isle and shows us the
wonders therein—The stranger—Fritz narrates his adventures—
How he saw Toucans—Encountered a tiger—Lost Pounce--Found
the smoking-rock and Jenny Montrose—The history of the
_ stranger—Wolves dispute our right to the whale—Coco joins his
brethren—Jack and Jenny search for the truant—We leave Pearl
Bay—A hearty reception—A visit to Falconhurst—Jack displays

our stud—The rainy season again . : : . . - . 517

CHAPTER XVIII.

Spring and its accompanying work—The mysterious guns—Who fired
them—A storm—Fritz and I reconnoitre—The English brig—We
visit her in the yacht—Captain Littlestone—We are cordially
welcomed—Mr. Wolston and his family—An earnest consultation
—Our visitors at Rockburg—The supper—Who is for Europe

. and who for New Switzerland ?—The decision—Farewell .. . 547



_LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

‘THE WRECK.

PENGUIN. .

-RETURNING THANKS .

LOBSTER ,
AGOUTI.
OYSTERS .

ERNEST FEEDING THE DOGS
THE FIRST NIGHT ASHORE

CASCADE

28

. °

A PLEASANT REST.

CALABASH
MONKEYS
JACKAL .
SHARK ,

SHOOTING THE SHARK
GREAT BUSTARD
GREEN CRABS
ANGEL FISH .

CRAWFISH

HYSTRIX CRISTATA .

TUFT-TAILED PORCUPINE

SEAL. .
FLAMINGO

.

.

.

SECURING THE FLAMINGO

ORTOLAN .
JASMINE
PINE-APPLE
SALMON



fase
PAGE : PAGE
3 | KANGAROO .. : . . 137
16 | SHOOTING THE KANGAROO , 139
18 | RODENTS : ; . - 141
21 | GREEN TURTLE : . . 150
25 | JACK’S RAID ON THE PENGUINS I61
26 | A FAMILY PROCESSION . . 182
28 | “A WILD BOAR! A WILD
30 ROM colts oh eh e180
34. | IGUANAS . : : » « 193
36 | AMERICAN BLUE JAY. - 197
39 | RUFFED GROUSE . +» 199
47 | GREEN PARROT . . —. 203
54 | ANT BEAR algae: + + 205
63 | LITTLE ANT-EATER 7 . 207
64. | ENCOUNTER WITH BUFFALOES 223
74 | KNIP’S EDUCATION . + + 244
77 | JACK RIDES POST-HASTE TO
85 FALCONHURST . . 261
87 | HERRING . ‘ : . . 266
94 | STURGEON . . . » 271
96 | THE BUILDING OF WOODLANDS 277
99 | BLACK SWANS . ; » «279
104 | DUCKBILL-PLATYPUS . . 281
107 | JUNO MAKES A DISCOVERY . 283
11g | CRANE . : . ‘ + 301
125 | MARMOT . : . oe 303
126 | BADGER : : : + 305
135 | A RAID UPON THE PIGZONS . 309



x List of Illustrations,



PAGE PAGE
NICOBAR PIGEON . . . 317 | WALRUS , . o ee 455
WHALE . . : , . 332 | A STORM . eT heterodt etd SQ
TURTLE TURNING . . . 347 | HYANA . © 6 0 + 464
BOA CONSTRICTOR ° - 361 | POUNCE BRINGS DOWN A
SECRETARY BIRD, » . 363 HERON . 7 : > 467
ANOTHER GROTTO : + 371 | DEMOISELLE CRANE. - . 468
BITTERN . rayne. » . 376 | TAPIR . . . o- 4 469
CAPYBARA. 2 : . 377 | ELEPHANT . 7 +. 473
BEAVER RAT. : » « 379 | HIPPOPOTAMI AT HOME » 479
CIVET CAT . . . 381 | AN ALARMING ACQUAINTANCE 481
PECCARIES 7 7 . . 385 } BULL FROG -. on Ee SA BF
A PLEASANT REST, . . 393 | ESCULENT SWALLOW . *. 495
MUD TORTOISE... + « 398 | PEARL OYSTERS . - . 499
‘CA BEAR! A BEAR!” . . 400 | WILD BOAR: . . . » 508
A DESPERATE ENCOUNTER . 403 | LIONS : : 7 » » $13
CONDOR . . : s » 405 | CACHALOT WHALE . - 519
ANTELOPE . . . - 411 | TOUCANS . . . « + 528
GAZELLE . : ° « . 414 | TIGER. . . . - 531
A NOVEL STEED . . . 429 | THE BAY . 0 Fa Sen § 32
FRANZ’S NEW HAT . +» 431 | CORMORANT . . JP OSE 534.
THRESHING IN ITALIAN THE SIGNAL o «6 551

FASHION, «© « + 449





THE

, SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

CHAPTER. of.

Storm-tossed—Wrecked—Deserted—Supper—We make swimming-belts:
for the children—An anxious night—The gale moderates—We examine
our cargo—Jack introduces two new acquaintances — How shall we get |

"on shore ?—Jack’s plan—We adopt it—The use of a-lever—Our tub-!
boat completed—Another night on the wreck—We collect a cargo—
And embark—Jack’s friends will not be left behind—Steer for the
shore—Once more on land—We erect a tent—Glue soup—Jack makes-
the acquaintance of a lobster—Ernest shirks the water—Oysters and
salt—How shall we eat our soup ?—Ernest solves the difficulty—Fritz
returns—The sucking-pig—How to open an oyster and how to eat it
—The dogs devour the agouti-—Fritz’s. anger—Our first night in the
new country.

FOR many days we had been tempest-tossed. Six
times had ‘the darkness closed over a wild and terrific:
scene, and returning light as often brought but renewed -
distress, for the raging storm increased in fury until en
the seventh day all hope was lost.

We were driven completely out of our course ;' no:
conjecture could -be formed’ as to our whereabouts...
The crew had lost heart, and were utterly exhausted
by incessant labour.

The riven: masts had gone by the board, leaks had»
B



2 The Swiss Family Robwnson.

been sprung in every direction, and the water, which
rushed in, gained upon us rapidly.

Instead of reckless oaths, the seamen now uttered
frantic cries to God for mercy, mingled with strange
and often ludicrous vows, to be performed should
deliverance be granted.

Every man on board alternately commended his
soul to his Creator, and strove to bethink himself of |
some means of saving his life.

My heart sank as I looked round upon my family in
the midst of these horrors. Our four young sons were
overpowered by terror. “Dear children,” said I, “if
the Lord will, He can save us even from this fearful
peril; if not, let us calmly yield our lives into His
hand, and think of the joy and blessedness of finding
ourselves for ever and ever united in that happy home
above.”

At these. words my weeping wife looked bravely up,
and, as the boys clustered round her, she began to cheer
and encourage them with calm and loving: words.
I rejoiced to see her fortitude, though my heart was.
ready to break as I gazed on my dear ones.

We knelt down together, one after another praying
with deep earnestness and emotion. Fritz, in parti-
cular, besought help and deliverance for his dear
parents and brothers, as though quite forgetting him-.
self.

Our hearts were soothed by the never-failing comfort
of child-like confiding prayer, and the horrors of our



Wreck of the Shy. 8

a



situation seemed less overwhelming. “Ah,” thought
[, “the Lord will hear our prayer! He will help
us.” é

Amid ‘he roar of the thundering waves I suddenly

heard the cry of “Land! land!” while at the same



THE WRECK.

inscant the ship struck with a ftightful shock, which
threw everyone to the deck, and seemed to threaten
her immediate destruction.

vreadful sounds betokened the breaking up of the
ship, and the roaring waters poured in on all sides.

Then the voice of the captain was heard above the
B2



4 The Swiss Family Robinson.

—_— oe ey



tumult, shouting, “Lower away the boats! --We are
lost !”

“Lost!” I exclaimed, and the word went like a
dagger to my heart; but seeing my children’s terror
renewed, I composed myself, calling out cheerfully,
“Take courage, my boys! we are all above water
yet. There is the land not far off, let us do our best
to reach it. You know God helps those that helo
themselves!” With that, I left them and went on
deck. What was my horror when through the foam
and spray I beheld the only remaining boat leave
the ship, the last of the seamen spring into her and
push off, regardless of my cries and entreaties that
we might be allowed to share their slender chance
of preserving their lives. My voice was drowned in
the howling of the blast, and even had the crew
wished it, the return of the boat was impossible.

Casting my eyes despairingly around, I became
gradually aware that our position was by no means
hopeless, inasmuch as the stern of the ship contain.
ing our cabin was jammed between two high rocks,
and was partly raised from among the breakers which
dashed the forepart to pieces, As the clouds of mist
and rain drove past, I could make out, through rents.
in the vaporous curtain, a line of rocky coast, and,
rugged as it was, my heart bounded towards it as
a sign of help in the hour of need. Yet the sense
of our lonely and forsaken condition weighed heavily
upon me as I returned to my family, constraining











Our first Night alone. 5



myself to say with a smile, “ Courage, dear ones!
Although our good ship will never sail more, she is
so placed that our cabin will remain above water,
and. to-morrow, if the wind and waves abate, I see
no reason why we should not be able to get ashore.”

These. few words had an immediate effect on the
spirits of my children, who at once regarded our
problematical chance of escaping as a happy ccr-
tainty, and began to enjoy the relief from the violent
pitching and rolling of the vessel.

My wife, however, perceived my distress and anxiety,
in spite of my forced composure, and I made her com-
prehend our real situation, greatly fearing the effect
of the intelligence on her nerves. Not for a moment
did her courage and trust in Providence forsake her,
and on seeing this, my fortitude revived.

“We must find some food, and take a good supper,”
said she, “it will never do to grow faint by fasting too
long. We shall require our utmost strength to-
morrow.”

Night drew on apace, the storm was as fierce as ever,
and at intervals we were startled by crashes announcing
further damage to our unfortunate ship.

“God will help us soon now, won't He, father?” said
my youngest child.

“You silly little thing,” said Fritz, my eldest son,
sharply, “don’t you know that we must not settle what
God is to do for us? We must have patience and wait
His time.”



6 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Very well said, had it been said kindly, Fritz, my boy.
You too often speak harshly to your brothers, although
you may not mean to do so.”

A. good meal being now ready, my youngsters ate
heartily, and retiring to rest were speedily fast asleep.
Fritz, who was of an age to be aware of the real danger
we were in, kept watch with us. After a long silence,
“Father,” said he, “don’t you think we might contrive
swimming belts for mother and the boys? with those we
might all escape to land, for you and I can swim.”

“Your idea is so good,” answered I, “that I shall
arrange something at once, in case of an accident during
the night.”

We immediately searched about for what would answer
the purpose, and fortunately got hold of a number of
empty flasks and tin canisters, which we connected two
and two together so as to form floats sufficiently buoyant
‘to support a person in the water,and my wife and young
sons each willingly put one on. I then provided myself
with matches, knives, cord, and other portable articles,
trusting that, should the vessel go to pieces before day-
light, we might gain the shore, not wholly destitute.

Fritz, as well as his brothers, now slept soundly.
Throughout the night my wife and I maintained our
prayerful watch, dreading at every fresh sound some fatal
change in the position of the wreck.

At length the faint dawn of day appeared, the long
weary night was over, and with. thankful hearts we per-
ceived that the gale had begun to moderate ; blue sky



1 Search throughout the Ship. 7



‘was seen above us, and the lovely hues of sunrise
-adorned the eastern horizon. :

I aroused the boys, and we assembled on the remain-
ing portion of the deck, when they, to their surprise,
‘discovered that no one else was on board.

“ Hallo, papa! what has become of everybody! - Are
the sailors gone? Have they taken away the boats ?
_ Oh, papa! why did they leave us\behind? What can
we do by ourselves !” \

“ My good children,” I replied, “ we must not despair,
although we seem deserted. See how those on whose
‘skill and good faith we depended have left us cruelly to
our fate in the hour of danger. God will never do so.
‘He has not forsaken us, and we will trust Him still.
Only let us bestir ourselves, and each cheerily do his
best. Who has anything to propose ?”

“The sea will soon be calm enough for swimming,”
said Fritz.

“And that would be all very fine for you,” exclaimed
Ernest, “but think of mother and the rest of us! Why
not build a raft and all get on shore together ?”

“We should find it difficult, I think, to make a raft
that would carry us safe to shore. However, we must

‘contrive something, and first let each try to procure what
-will be of most use to us.”

Away we all went to see what was to be found, I
‘myself proceeding to examine, as of greatest conse-
‘quence, the supplies of provisions and fresh water within
our reach.



8 The Swiss Family Robinson.



‘My wife took her youngest son, Franz, to help her to

feed the unfortunate animals on board, who were in a
-pitiful.plight, having been neglected-for several days.
_ Fritz hastened to the arm chest, Ernest to look for
tools ; and Jack went towards the captain’s cabin, the
door of which he no sooner opened, than out sprang two
‘splendid large dogs, who testified their extreme delight
and gratitude by such tremendous bounds that they
knocked their little deliverer completely head over heels,
frightening him-nearly out of his wits. Jack did not long
-yield either.to fear or anger;-he presently recovered
-himself, the dogs seemed to ask. pardon by vehemently
licking his face and hands, and so, seizing the’ larger by
the ears, he jumped on his back, and, to my great
‘amusement, coolly rode to. meet me as I came up the
hatchway.

--When we re-assembled in fhe cabin, we all clsplayed
our treasures.

Fritz brought a couple of guns, shot belt, povdes flasks,
and plenty of bullets.

Ernest produced a cap full of-nails, an axe, and a
hammer, while pincers, chisels, and augers stuck out of
all his pockets.

Little Franz carried a box, and eagerly began to show
us the “nice sharp little hooks” it contained. “Well,

1”

‘done, Franz!” cried I, “these fish hooks, which you
the youngest have. found, may contribute more than
anything else in the ship to save our lives by procuring

food for us. Fritz and Ernest, you have chosen well.”



A Novel Style of Craft. 9

se



“Will you praise me too?” said my dear wife. “I
have nothing to show, but I can give you good news,
Some useful animals are still alive ; a cow, a donkey,
two goats, six sheep, a ram, and a fine sow. I was but
just in time to save their lives by taking food to
them.”

“All these things are excellent indeed,” said I ; “but
my friend Jack here, has presented me with a couple of
huge hungry useless dogs, who will eat more than any
of us.”

“Oh, papa! they will be of use! Why, they will
help us to hunt when we get on shore!”

“No doubt they will, if ever we do get on shore, Jack ;
but I must say I don’t know how it is to be done.”

“Can’t we each get into a big tub, and float there?”
returned he. “TI have often sailed splendidly like that,
round the pond at home.”

“My child, you have hit on a capital idea,” cried I,
“Now, Ernest, let me have your tools, hammers, nails,
Saws, augers, and all; and then make haste to collect
any tubs you can find !”

We very soon found four large casks, made of sound
wood, and strongly bound with iron hoops; they were
floating with many other things in the water in the hold,
but we managed to fish them out, and drag them to a
suitable place for launching them. They were exactly
what I wanted, and I succeeded in sawing them across
the middle. Hard work it was, and we were glad enouch
to stop and refresh ourselves with wine and biscuits.



10 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



My eight tubs now stood ranged in a row near the
water's edge, and I looked at them with great satisfac-
tion ; to my surprise, my wife did not seem to share my
pleasure! .

“T shall never,” said she, “ muster courage to get into
one of these!”

“Do not be too sure of that, dear wife ; when you see
my contrivance completed, you will perhaps prefer it to
this immoveable wreck.”

I next procured a long thin plank on which my tubs
could be fixed, and the two ends of this I bent upwards
so as to form a keel. Other two planks were nailed
along the sides of the tubs; they also being flexible,
were brought to a point at each end, and all firmly
secured and nailed together. I felt satisfied that in
smooth water this craft would be perfectly trustworthy.
But when we thought all was ready for the launch, we
found, to our dismay, that the grand contrivance was so
heavy and clumsy, that even our united ciforts could
not move it én inch.

“J must have a lever,” cried I. “Run and fetch the
capstan bar!” 1

Fritz quickly brought one, and, having formed rollers
by cutting up a long spar, I raised the fore-part of
my boat with the bar, and my sons placed a roller
under it.

“ How is it, father,” inquired Ernest, “ that with that
thing you alone can do more than all of us together?”

I explained, as well as I could ina hurry, the princi-



Preparations for leaving the Wreck. IE



ple of the lever; and promised to have a long talk cn
the subject’ of Mechanics, should we have a future
opportunity.

I now made fast a long rope to the stern of our boat,
attaching the other end to a beam ; then placing a second
and third roller under it, we once more began to push,
this time with success, and soon our gallant craft was
safely launched : so swiftly indeed did she glide into the
water that, but for the rope, she would have passed
beyond our reach. The boys wished to jump in directly ;
but, alas, she leaned so much on one side that they could
not venture to do so,

Some heavy things being thrown in, however, the
boat righted itself by degrees, and the boys were so
delighted that they struggled which should first leap in
to have the fun of sitting down in the tubs, But it was
plain to me at once that something more was required
to make her perfectly safe, so I contrived out-riggers to
preserve the balance, by nailing long poles across at
the stem and stern, and fixing at the ends of each empty
brandy casks. Then the boat appearing steady, I got
in; and turning it towards the most open side of the
wreck, I cut and cleared away obstructions, so as to
leave a free passage for our departure, and the boys
brought oars to be ready for the voyage. This impor-
tant undertaking we were forced to postpone until the
next day, as it was by this time far too late to attempt
it. It was not pleasant to have to spend another night in
so precarious a situation ; but, yielding to necessity, we



12 The Swiss Family Robinson.

sat down to enjoy a comfortable supper, for during our
exciting and incessant work all day we had taken nothing
but an occasional biscuit and a little wine.

We prepared for rest in a much happier frame of mind
than on the preceding day, but I did not forget the
possibility of a renewed storm, and therefore made every
one put on the belts as before.

I persuaded my wife (not without considerable diffi-
culty), to put on a sailor’s dress, assuring her she would
find it much more comfortable and convenient for all
she would have to go through. She at last consented
to do this, and left us for a short time, reappearing with
much embarrasment and many blushes, in a most be-
coming suit, which she had found in a midshipman’s
chest. We all admired her costume, and any awkward-
ness she felt soon began to pass off; then retiring to our
berths, peaceful sleep prepared us all for the exertions
of the coming day.

We rose up betimes, for sleep weighs lightly on the
hopeful, as well as on the anxious. After kneeling
together in prayer, “Now my beloved ones,” said I,
“with God’s help we are about to effect our escape.
Let the poor animals we must leave behind, be well
fed, and put plenty of fodder within their reach: in a
few days we may be able to return, and save them like-
wise. After that, collect everything you can think of
which may be of use to us.”

The boys joyfully obeyed me, and I selected from the
large quantity of stores they got together, canvas to















We Steer for the Shore. 13



make a tent, a chest of carpenter’s tools, guns, pistols,
powder, shot, and bullets, rods and fishing tackle, an
iron pot, a case of portable soup, and another of biscuit.
These useful articles of course took the place of the
ballast I had hastily thrown in the day before.

With a hearty prayer for God’s blessing, we now
began to take our seats, each in his tub. Just then we
heard the cocks begin to crow, as though to reproach
us for deserting them. “Why should not the fowls go
with us!” exclaimed I. “If we find no food for them,
they can be food for ws!” ‘Fen hens and a couple of
cocks were accordingly placed in one of the tubs, and
secured with some wire-netting over them.

The ducks and geese were set at liberty, and took to
the water at once, while the pigeons, rejoicing to find
themselves on the wing, swiftly made for the shore.
My wife, who managed all this for me, kept us waiting
for her some little time, and came at last with a bag as
big as a pillow in her arms. “ This is my contribution,”
said she, throwing the bag to little Franz, to be, as I
thought, a cushion for-him to sit upon.

All being ready, we cast off, and moved away from
the wreck. My good, brave wife, sat in the first com-
partment of the boat; next her was Franz, a pretty little
boy, nearly eight years cld. Then came Fritz, a hand-
some, spirited young fellow of fifteen; the two centre
tubs contained the valuable cargo; then came our bold,
thoughtless Jack; next him Ernest, my second son
intelligent, well-informed, and rather indolent. I my-



14 The Swiss Family Robinson.

self, the anxious, loving father, stood in the stern,
endeavouring to guide the raft with its precious burden
‘to a safe landing-place.

The elder boys took the oars, every one wore a float
belt, and had somcthing useful close to him in case of
being thrown into the water.

The tide was flowing, which was a great help to the
young oarsmen. We emerged from the wreck and
glided into the open sea. All eyes were strained to get
a full view of the land, and the boys pulled with a will;
but for some time we made no progress, as the boat
kept turning round and round, until I hit upon the right:
way to steer it, after which we merrily made for the
shcre.

We had. left the two dogs, Turk and Juno, on the
wreck, as being both large mastiffs we did not care to
have their additional weight on board our craft; but
when they saw us apparently deserting them, they set
up a piteous howl, and sprang into the sea. Iwas sorry
to see this, for the distance to the land was so great that
I scarcely expected them to be able to accomplish it.
They followed us, however, and, occasionally resting their
fore-paws on the outriggers, kept up with us well. Jack
was inclined to deny them this their only chance of
safety. “Stop,” said I, “that would be unkind as well
as foolish; remember, the merciful man regardeth the
life of his beast.”

Our passage though tedious was safe; but the nearer

we approached the shore the Jess inviting it anpeared ;





The Shore safely reached. 15



the barren rocks seemed to threaten us with misery and
want.

Many casks, boxes, and bales of goods floated on the
water around us.. Fritz and I managed to secure a
couple of hogsheads, so as to tow them. alongside.
With the prospect of famine before us, it was desirable
to lay hold of anything likely to contain provisions.

By-and-by -we began to perceive that, between and
beyond the cliffs, green grass and trees were discernible.
Fritz could distinguish many tall palms, and Ernest
hoped they would prove to be cocoa-nut trees, and
enjoyed the thoughts of drinking the refreshing
milk.

“T am very sorry I never thought of bringing away
the Captain’s telescope,” said I.

“Oh, look here, father!” cried Jack, drawing a little
spy-glass joyfully out of his pocket.

By means of this glass, I made out that at some
distance to the left the coast was much more inviting, a
strong current however carried us directly towards the
frowning rocks, but I presently observed an opening,
where a stream flowed into the sea, and saw that our geese
and ducks were swimming towards this place. I steered
after them into the creek, and we found ourselves in a
small bay or inlet where the water was perfectly smooth
and of moderate depth. The ground sloped gently
upwards from the low banks to the cliffs which here
retired inland, leaving a small plain, on which it was
easy for us to land. Every one sprang gladly out of the





PENGUIN.



We pitch our Tent. 17



boat but little Franz, who, lying packed in his tub like a
potted shrimp, had to be lifted out by his mother.

The dogs had scrambled on shore before us; they
received us with loud barking and the wildest demon-
strations of delight. The geese and ducks kept up an
incessant din, added to which was the screaming and
croaking of flamingoes and penguins, whose dominion we
were invading. The noise was deafening, but far from
unwelcome to me, as I thought of the good dinners the
birds might furnish.

As soon as we could gather our children around us on
dry land, we knelt to offer thanks and praise for our
merciful escape, and with full hearts we commended
ourselves to God’s good keeping for the time to
come.

All hands then briskly fell to the work of unloading,
and oh how rich we felt ourselves as we did so! The
poultry we left at liberty to forage for themselves, and
set about finding a suitable place to erect a tent in which
to pass the night. This we speedily did; thrusting a
long spar into a hole in the rock, and supporting the
other end by a pole firmly planted in the ground, we
formed a framework over which we stretched the sail-
cloth we had brought ; besides fastening this down with
pegs, we placed our heavy chests and boxes on the
border of the canvas, and arranged hooks so as
to be able to close up the entrance during the
night.

“When this was accomplished, the boys ran to collect

CG



18 The Swiss Famaly, Lobinson.



RETURNING THANKS,

moss and grass, to spread in the tent for our beds, while,
I arranged a fire-place with some large flat stones, near,
the brook which flowed close by. Dry twigs and sea-



Fack makes a Prize. 19

_—

weed were soon in a blaze on the hearth, I filled the
iron pot with water, and giving my wife several cakes of
the portable soup, she established herself as our cook,
with little Franz to help her.

He, thinking his mother was melting some glue for
carpentering, was eager to know “ what papa was going
to make next?” oar

' “This is to be soup for your dinner, my child. Do
you think these cakes look like glue?”

“Ves, indeed I do?” replied Franz, “And I should
not much like to taste glue soup! don’t you want some
beef or mutton, Mamma?”

“Where can I get it, dear?” said she, “ we are a long
way from a butcher's shop! but these cakes are made of
the juice of good meat, boiled till it becomes a strong
stiff jelly—people take them when they go to sea,
because on a long voyage they can only have salt meat,
which will not make nice soup.”

Fritz meanwhile leaving a loaded gun with me, took
another himself, and went along the rough coast to see
what lay beyond the stream; this fatiguing sort of walk
not suiting Ernest’s fancy, he sauntered down to the
beach, and Jack scrambled among the rocks searching
for shellfish.

I was anxious to land the two casks which were
floating alongside our boat, but on attempting to do so,
I found that I could not get them up the bank on which
we had landed, and was therefore obliged to look for a
more convenient spot. As I did so, I was startled by

a2



20 The Swiss Famity Robinson.



hearing Jack shouting for help, as though in great
danger. He was at some distance, and I hurried to.

wards him with a hatchet in my hand. The little fellow

stood screaming in a deep pool, and as I approached, I
saw that a huge lobster had caught his leg in its power-
ful claw. Poor Jack was in a terrible fright; kick as he
would, his enemy still clung on. I waded into the water,

and seizing the lobster firmly by the back, managed ta.
make it loosen its hold, and we brought it safe to land

Jack, having speedily recovered his spirits, and anxious
to take such a prize to his mother, caught the lobster in
both hands, but instantly received such a severe blow
from its tail, that he flung it down, and passionately hit
the creature with a large stone. This display of temper
vexed me. “You are acting in a very childish way, my
son,” said I, “Never strike an enemy in a revengeful
spirit.” Once more’ lifting the lobster, Jack ran tri-
umphantly towards the tent.

“Mother, mother! a lobster! A lobster, Ernest! look
here, Franz! mind, he’ll bite you ! Where’s Fritz?”
All came crowding round Jack and his prize, wondering
at its unusual size, and Ernest wanted his mother to
‘make lobster soup directly, by adding it to what she was
now boiling. ,

She, however, begged to decline making any such
experiment, and said she preferred cooking one dish at a
time. Having remarked that the scene of Jack’s adven-
ture afforded a convenient place for getting my casks on
shore, I returned thither and succeeded in drawing them













Move Discoveries. 2





—

up on the beach, where I set them on end, and for the
present left them.

On my return I resumed the subject of Jack’s lobster,
and told him he should have the offending claw all to
himself when it was ready to be eaten, congratulating
him on being the first to discover anything useful.

“As to that,” said Ernest, “I found something very



LOBSTER.

good to eat, as well as Jack, only I could not get at them
without wetting my feet.”

“Pooh!” cried Jack, “I know what he saw—nothing
but some nasty mussels—I saw them too. Who wants
to eat trash like that! Lobster for me!”

“T believe them to be oysters, not mussels,” returned
Ernest calmly.

“Be good enough, my philosophical young friend, to
fetch a few specimens of these oysters in time for our
next meal,” said I; “we must all exert ourselves, Ernest,



22 The Swiss Family Robinson.

for the common good, and pray never let me hear you
object to wetting your feet. See how quickly the sun
has dried Jack and me.”

“T can bring some salt at the same time,” said Ernest,
“T remarked a good deal lying in the crevices of the
rocks ; it tasted very pure and good, and I concluded
it was produced by the evaporation of sea water in
the sun.”

“Extremely probable, learned sir,” cried I; “ but if you
had brought a bag full of this good salt instead of merely
speculating so profoundly on the subject, it would have |
been more to the purpose. Run. and fetch some
directly.”

It proved to be salt sure enough, although so impure
that it scemed useless, till my wife dissolved and strained
it, when it became fit to put in the soup.

“ Why not use the sea water itself?” asked Jack.

“ Because,” said Ernest, “it is not only salt, but bitter
too. Just try it.”

“Now,” said my wife, tasting the soup with the stick
with which she had been stirring it, “dinner is ready, but
where can Fritz be?” she continued, a little anxiously.

“ How are we to eat our soup when he does come?” I
asked ; “we have neither plates nor spoons, and we can
scarcely lift the boiling pot to our mouths. We are in
as uncomfortable a position as was the fox to whom
the stork served up a dinner in a jug with a long
neck,”

“Oh, for a few cocoa-nut shells!” sighed Ernest.





How shall we eat our Soup ? 23

“Oh, for half a dozen: plates and as many silver
spoons !” rejoined I, smiling,

“Really though, oyster-shells would do,” ‘said he,
after a moment’s thought: °

“True, that is an idea worth having! ‘Off with
you, my boys, get the oysters and clean out a few
shells.) What though-our spoons have no handles,
and we do burn our fingers a: little in baling the soup
out.” a

Jack was away and up to his knees in the water ina
moment detaching the oysters. Ernest followed mere
leisurely, and still unwilling to wet his feet, stood by the
margin of the pool and gathered in his handkerchief the
oysters his brother threw him; as he thus stood he picked
up and pocketed a large mussel shell for his own use.
As they returned with a good supply we heard a shout
from Fritz in the distance; we returned it joyfully, and
he presently appeared before us, his hands behind his
back, and a look of disappointment upon his coun-
tenance.

“ Unsuccessful !” said he.

“Really!” I replied; “never mind, my boy, better luck.
next time.”

“Oh, Fritz!” exclaimed his brothers who had looked
behind him, “a sucking-pig, a little sucking-pig- Where:
did you get it? How did you shoot. it? Do let us
see it!”

Fritz then with sparkling eyes exhibited his prize.

“Tam glad to see the result of your prowess, my boy,”



24 The Swiss Family Robinson.
said I; “but I cannot approve of deceit, even as a joke ;
stick to the truth in jest and earnest.”

Fritz then told us how he had been to the other side
of the stream. | “ So different from this,” he said; “ it is
really a beautiful country, and the shore, which runs
down to the sea in a gentle slope, is covered with all
sorts of useful things from the wreck. Do let us go
and collect them. And, father, why should we not
return to the wreck and bring off some of the animals?
Just think of what value the cow would be to us, and
what a pity it would be to lose her. Let us get her on
shore, and we will move over the stream, where she will
have good pasturage, and we shall be in. the shade
instead of on this desert, and, father, I do wish——” _.

“ Stop, stop, my boy!” cried I. “ All will be done in
good time. To-morrow and the day after will bring
work of their own. And tell me, did you see no traces
of our shipmates ?”

“Not a sign of them, either on land or sea,. living
or dead,” he replied.

“But the sucking pig,” said Jack, ‘“ where did you get
it?”

“Tt was one of several,” said Fritz, “which I found
cn the shore; most curious animals they are, they
hopped rather than walked, and every now and then
would squat down on their hind legs and rub their
snouts with their fore-paws. Had not I been afraid
of losing them all, I would have tried to catch one
alive, they seemed so tame.”



An Agoutt, 25

Meanwhile, Ernest had been carefully examining the
animal in question.

“This is no pig,” he said ; “and except for its bristly
skin, does not. look like one. See its teeth are not
like those of a pig, but rather those of a squirrel. In



AGOUTI.

fact,” he continued, looking at Fritz, “your sucking
pig is an Agouti.” ,

“Dear me,” said Fritz, “listen to the great pro-
fessor lecturing! He is going to prove that a pig is
not a pig!” .

“ You need not be so quick to laugh at your brother,”



26 The Swiss Family Robinson.





said I, in my turn; “he is quite right. I, too, know the
Agouti by descriptions and pictures, and there is little
doubt that this is a specimen. The little animal is a
native cf North America, where it: makes its’ nest
under the roots of trees, and lives upon fruit. But,
Ernest, the Agouti not only looks something like a pig,
but most decidedly grunts like a porker.”



OYSTERS,

While we were thus talking, Jack had been vainly en-
deavouring to open an oyster with his large knife. “Here
is a simpler way,” said I, placing an oyster on the fire ;
it immediately opened. “Now,” I continued, “who
will try this delicacy?” All at first hesitated to
partake of them, so unattractive did they appear.
Jack, however, tightly closing his eyes and making
a face as though about to take medicine, gulped one
down. We followed his example, one after the other,

















































Ernest's Prudence. 27



each doing so rather to provide himself with a
spoon than with any hope of cultivating a taste for
oysters,

Our spoons were now ready, and gathering round
the pot we dipped them in, not, however, without
sundry scaided fingers. Ernest then drew from his
pocket the large shell he had procured for his own
use, and scooping up a good quantity of soup he put
it down to cool, smiling at his own foresight.

“Prudence should be exercised for others,” I re-
marked ; “your cool soup will do capitally for the
dogs, my boy; take it to them, and then come and —
eat like the rest of us.”

Ernest winced at, this, but silently taking up his shell
he placed it on the ground before the hungry dogs, who
lapped up its contents in a moment; he then returned,
and we all went merrily on with our dinner. While we
were thus busily employed, we suddenly discovered that
our dogs, not satisfied with their mouthful of soup, had
espied the Agouti, and were rapidly devouring it. Fritz
seizing his gun flew to rescue it from their hungry jaws,
and before I could prevent him, struck one of them with
such force that his gun was bent. The poor beasts ran
off howling, followed .by a shower of stones from Fritz,
who shouted and yelled at them so fiercely, that his
mother was actually terrified. I followed him, and as
soon as he would listen to me, represented to him how
despicable as well as wicked was such an outbreak of
temner : “for,” said I, “you have hurt, if not actually















ERNEST FEEDING THE DOGS,



first Night on Land. 29



tvounded, the dogs; you have distressed and terrified
your mother, and spoiled your gun.”

Though Fritz’s passion was easily aroused it never
lasted long, and speedily recovering himself, immediately
he entreated his mother’s pardon, and expressed his
sorrow for his fault.

By this time the sun was sinking beneath the hori-
zon, and the poultry, which had been straying to some
little distance, gathered round us, and began to pick up
the crumbs of biscuit which had fallen during our re-
past. My wife hereupon drew from her mysterious bag
some handfuls of oats, peas, and other grain, and with
them began to feed the poultry. She at the same time
showed me several other seeds of various vegetables.
“That was indeed thoughtful,” said I; “but pray be
careful of what will be of such value to us; we can
bring plenty of damaged biscuits from the wreck,
which though of no use as food for us, will suit the
fowls very well indeed.”

The pigeons now flew up to crevices in the rocks, the
fowls perched themselves on our tent pole, and the
ducks and geese waddled off cackling and quacking to
the marshy margin of the river. We too, were ready
for repose, and having loaded our guns, and offered up’
our prayers to God, thanking him for his many mercies
to us, we commended ourselves to his protecting care,
and as the last ray of light departed, closed our tent
and lay down to rest.

The children remarked the suddenness of nightfall,



30 The Swiss Family Robinson.

for indeed there had been little or no twilight. This
convinced me that we must be not far from the equator,
for twilight results from the refraction of the sun’s rays;
the more obliquely these rays fall, the further does the
partial light extend, while the more perpendiculariy
they strike the earth the longer do they continue their
undiminished force, until, when the sun sinks, they
totally disappear, thus producing sudden darkness.

Se







CHAPTER IL.

A morning consultation—Breakfast—Away on an expedition—Over the
stream and through the grass~An unexpected reinforcement—Search
in vain for our comrades—Rest by a stream—Fritz finds a ‘round
bird’s nest’’—Natural history of a cocoa-nut—Calabash trees—The
use of gourds—How to make a bottle—A lovely but lonely scene—
Sugar-canes—Monkeys of use—Cocoa-nut milk turned to champagne
—Turk kills an unfortunate mother monkey—Carry the orphan home
—Display our treasures—A sumptuous supper—Ernest’s penguin—
Champagne turned to vinegar—A fight with jackals—A curious sentinel
—A visit to the wreck—We rig our craft—Stow a cargo—Sleep on
board—Floats for our herd—We embark—Encounter a shark—Land
—Relate our adventures. .

WE should have been badly off without the shelter of
our tent, for the night proved as cold as the day had
been hot, but we managed to sleep comfortably, every
one being thoroughly fatigued by the labours of the
day. The voice of our vigilant cock, which as he
loudly saluted the rising moon, was the last sound I
heard at night, roused me at daybreak, and I then
awoke my wife, that in the quiet interval while yet our
children slept, we might take counsel together on our
situation and prospects... It was plain to both of us
that in the first place, we should ascertain if possible
the fate of our late companions, and then examine into



32 The Swiss Family Robinson.



the nature and resources of the country on which we
were stranded.

We therefore came to the resolution that, as soon as
we had breakfasted, Fritz and I should start on an expe-
dition with these objects in view, while my wife remained
near our landing-place with the three younger boys.

“Rouse up, rouse up, my boys,” cried I, awakening
the children cheerfully. “Come and help your mothet
to get breakfast ready.”

“As to that,” said she, smiling, “we can but set on
the pot, and boil some more soup!”

“Why! you forget Jack’s fine lobster!” replied I.
“What has become of it, Jack ? ”

“Tt has been safe in this hole in the rock all night,
father. You see, I thought as the dogs seem to like
good things, they might take a fancy to that as well as
to the agouti.”

“ A very sensible precaution,” remarked 1; “I believe
even my heedless Jack will learn wisdom in time. It
is well the lobster is so large, for we shall want to take
part with us on our excursion to-day.”

At the mention of an excursion, the four children
were wild with delight, and, capering around me, clapped
their hands for joy.

d

“ Steady there, steady !” said I, “you cannot expect
all to go. Such an expedition as this would be toa
dangerous and fatiguing for you younger ones. Fritz
and I will go alone this time, with one of the dogs,
leaving the other to defend you.”



An Excursion. 33

ee ee rere a ee



We then armed ourselves, each taking a gun anda
game bag; Fritz in addition sticking a pair of pistols
in his belt, and I a small hatchet in mine; breakfast
being over, we stowed away the remainder of the
lobster and some biscuits, with a flask of water, and
were ready for a start.

“Stop!” Texclaimed, we have still left something
very important undone.”

“Surely not,” said Fritz.

“Yes,” said I, “we have not yet joined in morning
prayer. We are only too ready, amid the cares and
pleasures of this life, to forget the God to whom we owe
all things.” Then having commended ourselves to his
protectirg care, i took leave of my wife and children,
and bidding them not wander far from the boat and tent,
we parted not without some anxiety on either side, for
we knew not what might assail us in this unknown region,

We now found that the banks of the stream were on
both sides so rocky that we-could get down to the
water by only one natrow passage, and there was no
corresponding path on the other side. I was glad to
see this however, for I now knew that my wife and chil-
dren were on a comparatively inaccessible spot, the other
side of the tent being protected by steep and precipitous
cliffs. Fritz and I pursued our way up the stream
until we reached a point where the waters fell froma
considerable height in a cascade, and where several
large rocks lay half covered by the water; by means of

these we succeeded in crossing the stream in safety.
D



34. The Swiss Family Robinson.

We thus had the sea on our left, and a long line of
_rocky heights, here and there adorned with clumps of
trees, stretching away inland to the right. We had
forced our way scarcely fifty yards through the long
rank grass, which was here partly withered by the sun
and much tangled, when we heard behind us a rustling,



CASCADE.

and on looking round saw the grass waving to and fro,
as if some animal were passing through it. Fritz .
instantly turned and brought his gun to his shoulder,
ready to fire the moment the beast should appear. I
was much pleased with my son’s coolness and presence
of mind, for it showed me that I might thoroughly rely
upon him on any future occasion when real danger
might occur ; this time, however, no savage beast rushed
_-out, but our trusty dog Turk, whom, in our anxiety
at parting, we had forgotten, and who had been sent
after us doubtless by my thoughtful wife.

From this little incident, however, we saw how dan-



Searching for our Companions. 35
gerous was our position, and how difficult escape would
be should any fierce beast steal upon us unawares: we
therefore hastened to make our way to the open sea-
shore. Here the scene which presented itself was
indeed delightful. A background of hills, the green
waving grass, the pleasant groups of trees stretching
here and there to the very water’s edge, formed a lovely
prospect. On the smooth sand we searched carefully
for any trace of our hapless companions, but not the
mark of a footstep could we find.

“Shall I fire a shot or two?” said Fritz ; “that would
bring our companions, if they are within hearing.”

“It would indeed,” I replied, “or any savages that
may be here. No, no; let us search diligently, but as
quietly as possible.”

“ But why, father, should we trouble ourselves about
them at all? They left us to shift for ourselves, and I
for one don’t care to set eyes on them again.”

“You are wrong, my boy,” said I. “In the first place,
we should not return evil for evil; then, again, they
might be of great assistance to us in building a house of
some sort; and lastly, you must remember that they
took nothing with them from the vessel, and may be
perishing of hunger.”

Thus talking, we pushed on until we came to a
pleasant grove which stretched down to the water's
edge ; here we halted to rest, seating ourselves under a
large tree, by a rivulet which murmured and splashed

along its pebbly bed into the great ocean before us, A
D2

+



36 The Swiss Family Robinson.

oe





A PLEASANT REST.

thousand gaily-plumaged birds flew twittering above us,
and Fritz and I gazed up at them.
My son suddenly started up.













































































































A Round Bird’s-nest. 37

“ A monkey,” he exclaimed ; “I am nearly sure I saw
a monkey.”

As he spoke he sprang round to the other side of the
tree, and in doing so stumbled over a round substance,
which he handed to me, remarking, as he did so, that it
was a round bird’s nest, of which he had often heard.

“You may have done so,” said I, laughing, “ but you
need not necessarily conclude that every round hairy
thing is a bird’s nest ; this, for instance, is not one, but a
cocoa-nut.”

We split open the nut, but, to our disgust, found the
kernel dry and uneatable.

“Hullo,” cried Fritz, “I always thought a cocoa-nut
was full of delicious sweet liquid, like almond milk.”

“ So it is,” I replied, “when young and fresh, but as it
ripens the milk becomes congealed, and in course of
time is solidified into a kernel. This kernel then dries as
you see here, but when the nut falls on favourable soil,
the germ within the kernel swells until it bursts through
the shell, and, taking root, springs up a new tree.”

“JT do not understand,” said Fritz, “how the little
germ manages to get through this great thick shell,
which is not like an almond or hazel nut-shell, that is
divided down the middle already.”

“Nature provides for all things,” I answered, taking
up the pieces. “Look here, do you see these three round
holes near the stalk; it is through them that the germ
obtains egress. Now let us find a good nut if we can.”

As cocoa-nuts must bs over-ripe before they fall



Qo

2 The Swiss Family Robinson.



naturally from the tree, it was not without difficulty that
we obtained one in which the kernel was not dried up.
When we succeeded, however, we were so refreshed by
the fruit that we could defer the repast we called our
dinner until later in the day, and so spare our stock of
provisions.

Continuing our way through a thicket, and which was
so densely overgrown with lianas that we had to clear
a passage with our hatchets, we again emerged on the
seashore beyond, and found an open view, the forest
sweeping inland, while on the space before us stood at
intervals single trees of remarkable appearance.

These at once attracted Fritz’s observant eye, and he
pointed to them, exclaiming,

“Oh, what absurd-looking trees, father! See what
strange bumps there are on the trunks.”

We approached to examine them, and I recognized
them as calabash trees, the fruit of which grows in this
curious way on the stems, and is a species of gourd,
from the hard rind of which bowls,.spoons, and bottles
can be made. “ The savages,” I remarked, “are said to
form these things most ingeniously, using them to con-
tain liquids: indeed, they actually cook food in them.”

“Oh, but that is impossible,” returned Fritz. “I am
quite sure this rind would be burnt through directly it
was set on the fire.”

“T did not say it was set on the fire at all. When
the gourd has been divided in two, and the shell or rind
emptied of its contents, it is filled with water, into



Calabash Trees. 39

which the fish, or whatever is to be cooked, is put ; red-
hot stones are added until the water boils; the food
becomes fit to eat, and the gourd-rind remains un-
injured.” 4

“That is a very clever plan: very simple too, [I
daresay I should have hit on it, if I had tried,” said
Fritz.

“The friends of Columbus thought it very easy to



CALABASH.

make an egg stand upon its end when he had shown

them how to do it. But now suppose we prepare somé

of these calabashes, that they may be ready for use when:
we take them home.”

Fritz instantly took up one of the gourds, and tried to
split it equally with his knife, but in vain: the blade
slipped, and the calabash was cut jaggedly. “What a
nuisance!” said Fritz, flinging it down, “the thing is
spoiled; and yet it seemed so simple to divide it
properly.” Te

“Stay,” said 1; “you are toc impatient, those pieces:



40 The Swiss Family Robznson.



are not useless. Do you try to fashion from them a
spoon or two while I provide a dish.”

I then took from my pocket a piece of string, which I
tied tightly round a gourd, as near one er.d of it as I
could; then tapping the string with the back of my knife,
it penetrated the outer shell. When this was accom-
plished, I tied the string yet tighter; and drawing the
ends with all my might, the gourd fell, divided exactly
as I wished.

’ cried Fritz. “What in the world
put that plan into your head ?”

“That is clever!’

“Tt is a plan,” I replied, “which the negroes adopt,
as I have learned from reading books of travel.”

“Well, it certainly makes a capital soup-tureen, and a
soup-plate too,” said Fritz, examining the gourd. “ But
supposing you had wanted to make a bottle, how would
you have set to work ?”

“Tt would be an easier operation than this, if possible.
All that is necessary, is to cut a round hole at one end,
then to scoop out the interior, and to drop in several
shot or stones; when these are shaken, any remaining
portions of the fruit are detached, and the gourd is
thoroughly cleaned, and the bottle completed.”

“That would not make a very convenient bottle
though, father ; it would be more like a barrel.”

“True, my boy; if you want a morc shapely vessel,
you must take it in hand when it is younger. To
give it a neck, for instance, you must tie a bandage

round the young gourd while it is still on the tree,



The Use of Gourds. 4



and then all wiil swell but that part which you have
checked.”

As I spoke, I filled the gourds with sand, and left
them to dry; marking the spot that we might return fer
them on our way back.

For three hours or more we pushed forward, keeping
a sharp look-out on either side for any trace of our com-
panions, till we reached a bold promontory, stretching
some way into the sea, from whose rocky summit I
knew that we should obtain a good and comprehensive
view of the surrounding country. With little difficulty
we reached the top, but the most careful survey of the
beautiful landscape failed to show us the slightest sign
or trace of human beings. Before us stretched a wide
and lovely bay, fringed with yellow sands, either side
extending into the distance, and almost lost to view in’
two shadowy promontories ; inclosed by these two arms
lay a sheet of rippling water, which reflected in its depths
the glorious sun above. The scene inland was no less
beautiful; and yet Fritz and- I both felt a shade of
soneliness stealing over us as we gazed on its utter
solitude.

“Cheer up, Fritz, my boy,” said I, presently. “ Re-
member that we chose a settler’s life iong ago, before
we left our own dear country ; we certainly did not
expect to be so entirely alone—but what matters a few
people, more or less. With God’s help, let us endeavour
to live here contentedly, thankful that we were not cast
upon some bare and inhospitable island. But come, the



42 Lhe Swiss Famely Robinson.





Bo fae sho te a a cnet ce ae rg cy ae an

heat here is getting unbearable ; let us find some shady
zlace before we are completely broiled away.”

We descended the hill and made for a clump of palm
trees, which we saw at a little distance. To reach this,
we had to pass through a dense thicket of reeds, no
pleasant or easy task; for, besides the difficulty of
forcing our way through, I feared at every step that we
might tread on some venomous’ snake. Sending Turk
in advance, I cut one of the reeds, thinking it would be
a more useful weapon against a reptile than my gun. I
had carried it but a little way, when I noticed a thick
juice exuding from one end. I tasted it, and to my
delight, found it sweet and pleasant. I. at once knew
that I was standing amongst sugar-canes. Wishing
Fritz to make the same discovery, I advised him to
cut a cane for his defence; he did so, and. as he
beat the ground before him, the reed split, and
his hand was covered with the juice. He carefully
touched the cane with the tip of his tongue, then,
finding the juice sweet, he did so again with less hesi-
tation; and a moment afterwards sprang back to me,
exclaiming,—

“Oh, father, sugar-canes, sugar-canes! Taste it. Oh,
how delicious, how delightful ! do let us take a lot home
to mother,” he continued, sucking cagerly at the cane!

“Gently there,” said I, “take breath a moment,

_ moderation in all things, remember. Cut some to take
home if you like, only don’t take more than you can
conveniently carry.”



Monkeys of Servite. 43

“In spite of my warning, my son cut a dozen or more
of the largest canes, and stripping them of their leaves,
carried them under his arm. We then pushed through
the cane-brake, and reached the clump of palms for
which we had been making; as we entered it a troop of
monkeys, who had been disporting themselves on the
ground, sprang up, chattering and grimacing, and before
we could clearly distinguish them, were at the very top
of the trees.

Fritz was so provoked by their impertinent gestures
that he raised his gun, and would have shot one of the
poor beasts.

“Stay,” cried I, “never take the life of any animal need-
lessly, A live monkey up in that tree is of more use to
us than a dozen dead ones at our feet, as I will show you.”

Saying this, I gathered a handful of small stones, and
threw them up towards the apes. The stones did not
. go near them, but influenced by their instinctive mania
for imitation, they instantly seized all the cocoa-nuts
within their reach, and sent a perfect hail of them down
upon us.

Fritz was delighted with my stratagem, and rushing
forward picked up some of the finest of the nuts. We
drank the milk they contained, drawi~ it through the
holes which I pierced, and then, splitting the nuts open
with the hatchet, ate the cream which lined their shells.
After this delicious meal, we thoroughly despised the
lobster we had been carrying, and threw it to Turk,
who ate it gratefully: but far from being satisfied, the



44 The Swiss Family Robinson.
poor beast began to gnaw the ends of the sugar-canes, and
to beg for cocoa-nut. I slung a couple of the nuts over
my shoulder, fastening them together by their stalks, and
Fritz having resumed his burden, we began our home-
ward march. ,

I soon discovered that Fritz found the weight of his
canes considerably more than he expected: he shifted
them from shoulder to shoulder, then for a while carried
them under his arm, and finally stopped short with a
sigh. “I had no idea,” he said, “that a few reeds would
beso heavy.”

“Never mind, my boy,” i said, “ Patience and cour-
age! Do you not remember the story of {sop and
his bread-basket, how heavy he found it when he started,
and how light at the end of his journey. Let us each
take a fresh staff, and then fasten the bundle crosswise
with your gun.”

We did so, and once more stepped forward, Fritz
presently noticed that I from time to time sucked the
end of my cane.

“ Oh, come,” said he, “that’s a capital plan of yours,
father, I'll do that too.”

So saying, he began to suck most vigorously, but not
a drop of the juice could he extract. “ How is this es
he asked. ‘“ How do you get the juice out, father?”

“ Think a little,” I replicd, “ you are quite as capable as
I am of finding out the way, even if you do not know
the real reason of your failure.”

- *Oh, of course,” said he, “it is like trying to suck



A New Luxury. 45

——— a



marrow from a marrow bone, without making a hole at
the other end.”

“Quite right,” I said, “you form a vacuum in your
mouth and the'end of your tube, and expect the air to
force down the liquid from the other end whiclr it cannot
possibly enter.”

Fritz was speedily perfect in the accomplishment of
sucking ‘sugar-cane, discovering by experience the neces-
sity for a fresh cut at each joint or knot in the cane,
through which the juice could not flow; he talked of the
pleasure of initiating his brothers in the art, and of how
Ernest would enjoy the cocoa-nut milk, with which he
had filled his flask.

“ My dear boy,” said I, “you need not have added that
to your load? the chances are it is vinegar by the time
we get home. In the heat of the sun, it will ferment
soon after being drawn from the nut.”

“Vinegar! Oh, that would be a horrid bore! I must
look directly, and see how it is getting on,” cried Fritz,
hastily swinging the flask from his shoulder, and tugging
out the cork. With a loud ‘pop’ the contents came
forth, foaming like champagne.

“There now!” said I, laughing as he tasted this new
luxury, “you will have to exercise moderation again,
friend Fritz! I daresay it is delicious, but it will go to
your head, if you venture deep into your flask.”

“My dear father, you cannot think how good it is!
Do take some. Vinegar, indeed! This is like excellent

wine.”



46 The Swiss Family Robinson.

We were both invigorated by this unexpected draught,
and went on so merrily after it, that the distance to the
‘ place where we had left our gourd dishes seemed less
than we expected. We found them quite dry, and very
light and easy to carry.

Just as we had passed through the grove in which we
breakfasted, Turk suddenly darted away from us, and
sprang furiously among a troop of monkeys, which were
gambolling playfully on the turf at a little distance from
the trees. They were taken by surprise completely, and
the dog, now really ravenous from hunger, had seized,
and was fiercely tearing one to pieces before we could
approach the spot.

His luckless victim was the mother of a tiny little
monkey, which being on her back when the dog flew at
her, had hindered her flight ; the little creature attempted
to hide among the grass, and in trembling fear watched
the tragic fate of its mother. On perceiving Turk’s
bloodthirsty design, Fritz had eagerly rushed to the
rescue, flinging away all he was carrying, and losing his
hat in his haste. All to no purpose as far as the poor
mother ape was concerned, and a laughable scene ensued,
for no sooner did the young monkey catch sight of him,
than at one bound it was on his shoulders, and, holding
fast by his thick curly hair, it firmly kept its seat in spite
of all he could do to dislodge it. He screamed and
- plunged about as he endeavoured to shake or pull the
creature off, but all in vain, it only clung the closer to
his neck, making the most absurd grimaces.











Frits Protégé. 47

ide Sipe, a at 9 so te Sian S



1 laughed so much at this ridiculous scene, that I could
scarcely assist my terrified boy out of his awkward
predicament.

At last, by coaxing the monkey, offering it a bit of



MONKEYS.

biscuit, and gradually disentangling its small sinewy
paws from the curls it grasped so tightly, I managed
to relieve poor Fritz, who then looked with interest at
the baby ape, no bigger than a kitten, as it lay in my
arms.

«What a jolly little fellow it is!” exclaimed he, “do
let me try to rear it, father. I daresay cocoa nut milk
would do until we can bring the cow and the goats from
the wreck. If he lives he might be useful to us. 1
believe monkeys instinctively know what fruits are
wholesome and what are poisonous.”

“Well,” said I “Ict the little crphan be yours. You



48 The Swiss Family Robinson.

bravely and kindly exerted yourself to save the mother’s
life, now you must train her child carefully, for unless
you do so its natural instinct will prove mischievous
instead of useful to us.”

Turk was meanwhile devouring with great satisfaction ©
the little animal's unfortunate mother. I could not
grudge it him, and continued hunger might have made
him dangerous to ourselves. We did not think it neces-
sary to wait until he had dined, so we prepared to
resume our march.

The tiny ape seated itself in the coolest way imagin-
able on Fritz’s shoulder, I helped to carry his canes, and
we were on some distance before Turk overtook us,
looking uncommonly well pleased, and licking his chops
as though recalling the memory of his feast.

He took no notice of the monkey, but it was very
uneasy at sight of him, and scrambled down into Fritz’s
arms, which was so inconvenient to him that he devised
a plan to relieve himself of his burden. Calling Turk,
and seriously enjoining obedience, he seated the monkey
on his back, securing it there with a cord, and then
putting a second string round the dog’s neck that he
micht lead him, he put a loop of the knot into the
comical rider’s hand, saying gravely, “ Having slain the
parent, Mr. Turk, you will please to carry the son.”

At first this arrangement mightily displeased them
both, but by and by they yielded to it quietiy; the
monixey especially amused us by riding along with the
air of a person perfectly at his easc.



Our Return. £9



~

“We look just like a couple of mountebanks on their-
way to a fair with animals to’ exhibit,” said I. “What
an outcry the children will make when we appear !”

My son enquired to what species of the monkey tribe
I thought his protégé belonged, which led to a good deal
of talk on the subject, and conversation beguiling the
way, we found ourselves ere long on the rocky margin
of the stream and close to the rest of our party. .

Juno was the first to be aware of our approach, and
gave notice of it by loud barking, to which Turk replied
with such hearty good will, that his little rider, terrified
at the noise his steed was making, slipped from under
the cord and fled to his refuge on Fritz’s shoulder,
where he regained his composure and settled himself
comfortably.

Turk, who by this time knew where he was, finding
himself free, dashed forward to rejoin his friend, and
announce our coming. .

One after another our dear ones came running to the
opposite bank, testifying in various ways their delight at
our return, and hastening up on their side of the river, as
we on ours, to the ford at which we had crossed in the
morning. We were quickly on the other side, and, full of
joy and affection, our happy party was once more united.

The boys suddenly perceiving the little animal which
was clingine close to their brother, in alarm at the
tumult of voices, shouted in ecstasy.

“A monkey! a monkey! oh how splendid! where
did Fritz find him? What may we give him to eat?

E



50 The Swiss Fanwtly Robinson.



Oh, what a bundle of sticks! Look at those curious
great nuts father has got }”

We could neither check this confused torrent of ques- -
tions, nor get in a word in answer to them.

At length when the excitement subsided a little, I
was able to say a few words with a chance of being
listened to. “I am truly thankful to see you all safe
and well, and, thank God, our expedition has been very
satisfactory, except that we have entirely failed to dis-
cover any trace of our shipmates.”

“TF it be the will of God,” said my wife, “to leave us
alone on this solitary place, let us be content; and
rejoice that we are all together in safety.”

“Now we want to hear all your adventures, and let
us relieve you of your burdens,” added she, taking my
game bag.

Jack shouldered my gun, Ernest took the cocoa nuts,
and little Franz carried the gourds, Fritz distributed
the sugar canes amongst his brothers, and handing
Ernest his gun replaced the monkey on Turk’s back.
“ Ernest soon found the burden with which Fritz had
laden him too heavy to histaste. His mother perceiving
this, offered to relieve him of part of the load. He gave
up willingly the cocoa nuts, but no sooner had he done
so than his elder brother exclaimed—

“Hullo, Ernest, you surely do not know what you
are parting with ; did you really intend to hand over
those good cocea nuts without so much as tasting
them?”



We arsplay our Treasures. 51

peewee ee a a a rs A



“What? ho! are they really cocoa nuts?” cried Ernest,
“Do let me take them again mother, do let me look at
them.” “No, thank you,” replied my wife with a smile.
“T have no wish to see you again overburdened.” “Oh
but I have only to throw away these sticks, which are
of no use, and then I can easily carry them.”

“ Worse and worse,” said Fritz; “I have a particular
regard for those heavy useless sticks, Did you ever
hear of sugar canes ?”

The words were scarcely out of his mouth when
Ernest began to suck vigorously at the end of the
cane with no better result, however, than Fritz had
obtained as we were on the march.

“Here,” said Fritz, “let me show you the trick of it,”
and he speedily set all the youngsters to work extract-
ing the luscious juice..

My wife, as a prudent housekeeper, was no less de-
lighted than the children with this discovery ; the sight
of the dishes also pleascd her greatly, for she longed to
see us eat once more like civilised beings. We went
into the kitchen and there found preparations for a truly
sumptuous meal. Two forked sticks were planted in
the ground on either side of the fire, on these rested a
rod from’ which hung several tempting looking fish,
opposite them hung a goose from a similar contrivance,
slowly roasting while the gravy dropped into a large
shell placed beneath it. In the centre sat the great.
pot from which issued the smell of a most delicious

soup. To crown this splendid array, stood an open
‘ E2



52 The Swiss Family Robinson.

hogshead full of Dutch cheeses, All this was very
pleasant to two hungry travellers, but I was about to
beg my wife to spare the poultry until our stock should
have increased, when she, perceiving my thought, quickly
relieved my anxiety. “This is not one of our geese,”
she said, “ but a wild bird Ernest killed.”

“Yes,” said Ernest, “it is a Penguin, I think, it let me
get quite close, so that I knocked it on the head with a
stick. Here are its head and feet which I preserved to
show you; the bill is, you see, narrow and curved down-
wards, and the feet are webbed. It had funny little bits
of useless wings, and its eyes looked so solemnly and
sedately at me, that I was almost ashamed to kill it.
Do you not think it must have been a Penguin? ”.

“T have little doubt on the matter, my boy,” and I
was about to make a few remarks on the habits of this
bird, when my wife interrupted me and begged us to
come to dinner and continue our natural history con-
versation at some future time. We then sat down
before the appetising meal prepared for us, cur gourds
coming for the first time into use, and having done it

‘full justice, produced the cocoa. nuts ky way of dessert.
“ Here is better food for your little friend,” said I to Fritz,
who had beenvainly endeavouring to persuade the monkey
to taste dainty morsels of the food we had been eating ;
“the poor little animal has been accustomed to nothing
but its mother’s milk; fetch me a saw, one of you.”

I then, after extracting the milk of the nuts from their
natural holes, carefully cut the shells in half, thus pro-



A Midnight Attack. 53

viding several more useful basins. The monkey was
perfectly satisfied with the milk, and eagerly sucked the
corner of a handkerchief dipped in it. Fritz now
‘suddenly recollected his delicious wine, and producing
his flask, begged his mother to taste it. “Try it first
yourself,” said I; Fritz did so, and I instantly saw by
his countenance that the liquor had passed through the
first stage of fermentation and had become vinegar.

“Never mind, my boy,” said my prudent wife, when
she learned the cause of his wry faces, “we have wine
already but no vinegar; I am really pleased at the
transformation.”

The sun was now rapidly sinking behind the horizon,
and the poultry retiring for the night warned us that we
must follow their example. Having offered up our
prayers, we lay down on our beds, the monkey crouched
down between Jack and Fritz, and we were all soon fast
asleep. .

We did not, however, long enjoy this; repose a loud
barking from our dogs, who were on guard outside the
tent, awakened us, and the fluttering and cackling of our
poultry warned us that a foe was approaching. Fritz
and I sprang up, and seizing our guns rushed out.
There we found a desperate combat going on, our gallant
dogs, surrounded by a dozen or more large jackals, were
fighting bravely, four of their opponents lay dead, but
the others were in no way deterred by the fate of their
comrades. Fritz and I, however, sent bullets through
the heads of a couple more, and the rest galloped



BA The Swiss Family Robinson.



off. Turk and Juno did not intend that they should
escape so cheaply, and pursuing them, they caught,
‘killed, and devoured another of the animals, regardless
-of their near relationship. Fritz wished to save one



JACKAL.

of the jackals that he might be able to show it to his
brothers in the morning ; dragging therefore the one that
he had shot near the tent, he concealed it, and we once
more returned to our beds.

Soundly and peacefully we slept until cock-crow next
morning, when my wife and I awoke, and began to
discuss the business of the day.



A Strange Sa 55

“It seems ces necessary, my dear wife,’ I
began, “to return at once to the wreck while it is yet
calm, that we may save the poor animals left there, and
‘bring on shore,many articles of infinite value to us,
which, if we do not now recover, we may finally lose
entirely. On the other hand, I feel that there is an
immense deal to be done on shore, and that I ought not
to leave you in such an insecure shelter as this tent.”

* Return to the wreck by all means,” replied my wife,
cheerfully. “Patience, order, and perseverance will help
us through all our work, and I agree with you that a
visit to the wreck is without doubt our first duty. Come,
let us wake the children, and set to work without
delay.”

They were soon roused, and Fritz overcoming his
drowsiness before the others, ran out for his jackal ; it
was cold and stiff from the night air, and he placed it
on its legs before the tent, in a most life-like attitude,
and stood by to watch the effect upon the family. The
dogs were the first to perceive their enemy, and growl-
ing, seemed inclined to dispose of the animal as they
had disposed of its brethren in the night, but Fritz
called them off. The noise the dogs made, however,
had the effect of bringing out the younger children, and
many were the exclamations they made at the sight ot
the strange animal.

“A yellow dog!” cried Franz.

“A wolf!” exclaimed Jack.

“Tt is a striped fox,” said Ernest.



56 The Swiss Family Robinson.





_. “Hullo,” said Fritz. “The greatest men may make
mistakes. Our Professor does not know a jackal when
he sees one.”

_ “But really,” continued Ernest, examining the animal,
“T think it is a fox.”

“Very well, very well,” retorted Fritz, “no doubt you
know better than your father! He thinks it is a jackal.”
“Come boys,” said I, “no more of this quarrelling ;
you are none of you very far wrong, for the jackal
partakes of the nature of all three, dog, wolf, and
fox.”

_ The monkey had come out on Jack’s shoulder, but no
sooner did it catch sight of the jackal, than it fled
precipitately back into the tent, and hid itself in a heap
of moss until nothing was visible but the tip of its little
nose. Jack soothed and comforted the frightened little
animal, and I then summoned them all to prayers, soon
after which we began our breakfast. So severely had
we dealt with our supper the previous night, that we
had little to eat but the biscuits, which were so dry and
hard, that, hungry as we were, we could not swallow
much, Fritz and I took some cheese to help them down,
while my wife and younger sons soaked theirs in water.
Ernest roamed down to the shore, and looked about for
shell-fish. Presently he returned with a few whelks,
«“ Ah,” said he, “if we had but some butter.” “My good
boy,” I replied, “Your perpetual IF IF, quite annoys
me, why do you not sit down and eat cheese like the
rest of us.” “Not while I can get butter ;” he said, “see



Ernest makes a Discovery. 57



here, father,” and he pointed to a large cask, “that barrel
contains butter of some sort or another, for it is oozing
out at the end.”

“Really, Ernest,” I said, “we are indebted to you. I
. will open the cask. So saying, I took a knife and care-
fully cut a small hole, so that I could extract the butter
' without exposing the mass of it to the effects of the air
and heat. Filling a cocoa-nut shell, we once more sat
down, and toasting our biscuits before the fire, spread
them with the gcod Dutch butter. We found this
vastly better than the dry biscuit, and while we were
thus employed, 1 noticed that the two dogs were lying
unusually quietly by my side. I at first attributed this
drowsiness to their large meal during the night, but I
soon discovered that it arose from a different cause ; the
faithful animals had not escaped unhurt from their late
combat, but had received several deep and painful
wounds, especiaily about the neck. The dogs began to
lick each other on the places which they could not reach
with their own tongues, and my wife carefully dressed
the wounds with butter from which she had extracted
the salt by washing.

A sudden thought now struck Ernest, and he wisely
remarked, that if we were to make spiked collars for
the dogs, they would in future escape such dangerous
wounds. “Oh yes,” exclaimed Jack, “and I will make
them, may I not, father?”

“Try by all means, my little fellow,” said I, “and
persuade your mother to assist you, and now, Fritz,” I



58 The Swiss Family Robtnson.



‘continued, “we must be starting, for you and I are to
make a trip to the wreck.” I begged the party who
were to remain on shore, to keep together as much as
‘possible, and having arranged a set of signals with my
wife, that we might exchange communications, asked a
blessing on our enterprise. I erected a signal post, and
while Fritz was making preparations for our departure,
hoisted a strip of sailcloth as a flag; this flag was to
remain hoisted so long as all was well on shore, but
should our return be desired, three shots were to be
fired and the flag lowered.

All was now ready, and warning my wife that we
might find it necessary to remain all night on the vessel,
we tenderly bade adieu and embarked. Except our
guns and ammunition we were taking nothing, that we
might leave as much space as possible for the stowage
of a large cargo. Fritz, however, had resolved to bring
his little monkey, that he might obtain milk for it as
soon as possible. We had not got far from the shore,
when I perceived that a current from the river set in
directly for the vessel, and though my nautical know-
ledge was not great, I succeeded in steering the boat
into the favourable stream, which carried us nearly
three-fourths of our passage with little or no trouble to
ourselves; then, by dint of hard pulling, we accom-
plished the whole distance, and, entering through the
breach, gladly made fast our boat and stepped on board.
‘Our first care was to sec to the animals, who greeted us

with joy—lowing, bellowing, and bleating as we ap-



We wistt the Wreck. 59

proached ; not that the poor beasts were hungry, for
they were all still well supplied with food, but they were
apparently pleased by the mere sight of human beings.
Fritz then placed his monkey by one of the goats, and
the little animal immediately sucked the milk with
evident relish, chattering and grinning all the while ; the
monkey provided for, we refreshed ourselves with some
wine and biscuits. “Now,” said I, “we have plenty to
do; where shall we begin ?”

“Let us fix a mast and sail to our boat,’ answered
Fritz; “for the current which brought us out will not
take us back ; whereas the fresh breeze we met would
help us immensely had we but a sail.”

“Capital thought,” I replied; “let us set to work at
once.”

I chose a stout spar to serve as a mast, and having
made a hole in a plank nailed across one of the tubs,
we, with the help cf a rope and a couple of blocks,
stepped it and secured it with stays. We then dis-
covered a lug-sail,-which had belonged to one of the
ships’ boats ; this we hoisted ; and our craft was ready to
sail. Fritz begged me to decorate the mast-head with a
red streamer, to give our vessel a more finished appear-
ance. Smiling at this childish but natural vanity, I
complied with his request. I then contrived a rudder,
that I might be able to steer the boat; for though I
knew that an oar would serve the purpose, it was
cumbrous and inconvenient. While I was thus em-
ployed, Fritz examined the shore with his glass, and



60 The Surtss Family Robinson.

soon announced that the flag was flying and all was
well.

So much time had now slipped away, that we found
we could not return that night, as I had wished. We
signalled our intention of remaining on board, and then
spent the rest of our time in taking out the stones we
had placed in the boat for ballast, and stowed in their
place heavy articles, of value to us. The ship had
sailed for the purpose of supplying a young colony, she
had therefore on board every conceivable article we
could desire in our present situaticn, our only difficulty
indeed was to make a wise selection, A large quantity
of powder and shot we first secured, and as Fritz con-
sidered that we could not have too many weapons, we
added three excellent guns, and a whole armful of
swords, daggers, and knives. We remembered that
knives and forks were necessary, we therefore laid in a
large stock of them, and kitchen utensils of all sorts.
Exploring the captain’s cabin, we discovered a service
of silver plate and a cellaret of good old wine; we then
went over the stores, and supplied ourselves with potted
meats, portable soups, Westphalian hams, sausages, a bag
of maize and wheat, and a quantity of other seeds and
vegetables. I then added a barrel of sulphur for matches,
and as much cordage as I could find. All this—with
nails, tools, and agricultural implements—completed our
cargo, and sank our boat so low, that I should have
been obliged to lighten her had not the sea been calm.

Night drew on, and a large fire, lighted by those on



Lading the Boat. 61



shore, showed us that all was well. We replied by
hoisting four ship’s lanterns, and two shots announced
us that our signal was perceived ; then, with a heart-felt
prayer for the safety of our dear ones on shore, we
retired to our boat, and Fritz at all events was soon
sound asleep. For a while I could not sleep, the
thought of my wife and children—alone and unprotected,
save by the great dogs—disturbed my rest.

The night at length passed away. At day-break
Fritz and I arose, and went on deck. I brought the
telescope to bear upon the shore, and with pleasure saw
the flag still waving in the morning breeze; while I
kept the glass directed to the land, I saw the door of
the tent open, and my wife appear and look steadfastly
towards us.

I at once hoisted a white flag, and in reply, the flag
on shore was thrice dipped. Oh, what a weight seemed
lifted from my heart as I saw the signal !

“ Fritz,’ I said, “I am not now in such haste to get
back, and begin to feel compassion for all these poor
beasts. I wish we could devise some means for getting
them on shore.”

“We might make a raft,” suggested Fritz, “and take
off one or two at a time.”

“True,” I replied; “it is easy enough to say, ‘make
a raft,’ but to do it is quite another thing.”

“Well,” said Fritz, “I can think of nothing else,
unless indeed we make them such swimming belts as
you made for the children.”



62 The Sw¢ss fared Robinson.



“Really, m my ae that idea is worth Renee: Iam.
not joking, indeed,” I continued, as I saw him smile ;
“we may get. every one of the animals ashore in that
way.”

So saying, I caught a fine sheep, and proceeded. to
put our plan into execution. I first fastened a broad
piece of linen round its belly, and to this attached some
corks and empty tins; then with Fritz’s help, 1 flung
the animal into the sea—it sank, but a moment after-
wards rose and floated famously.

“ Wurrah!” exclaimed Fritz, “ we will treat them all
like that.” We then rapidly caught the other animals
and provided them one after the other with a similar
contrivance. The cow and ass gave us more trouble
than did the others, for, for them we required something
more buoyant than the mere cork; we at last found
some empty casks and fastened two to each animal by
thongs passed under its belly. This done the whole
herd were ready to start, and we brcught the ass to one
of the ports to be the first to be launched. After some
manceuvring we got him in a convenient position, and
then a sudden heave sent him plunging into the sea.
fle sank, and then, buoyed up by the casks, emerged
head and back from the water. The cow, sheep, and
goats followed him one after the other, and then the
sow alone remained. She seemed, however, determined
not to leave the ship ; she kicked, struggled, and squealed
so violently, that I really thought we should be obliged
to abandon her; at length, after much trouble, we







Floating the Herd. " “Os
succceded in sending her out of the port after the others,
and when once in the water, such was the old lady’s
energy that she quickly distanced them, and was the
first to reach the shore.

We had fastened to the horns or neck of each animal
a cord with a float attached to the end, and now em-
barking, we gathered up these floats, set sail, and steered
for shore, drawing our herd after us.

Delighted with the successful accomplishment of our
task, we got out some biscuits,and enjoyed a midday
meal; then, while Fritz amused himself with his monkey,



I took up my glass and tried to make out how our dea:
ones on shore were employing themselves. As I was
thus engaged, a sudden shout from Fritz surprised me
I glanced up; there stood Fritz with his gun to his
shoulder, pointing it at a huge shark ; the monster was
making for one of the finest sheep ; he turned on his side _
to seize his prey ; as the white of his belly appeared .
Fritz fired. The shot took effect, and our enemy disap-
peared, leaving a trace of blood on the calm water.







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































os

eee

py
;

Tw

ee ee

= PEGARG



SHOOTING THE SHARK.



A Fearful Enemy. 65

Py)



‘Well done, my boy,” I cried, “you will become a
crack shot one of these days; but I trust you will not
often have such dangerous game to shoot.” Fritz’s
eyes sparkled at his success and my praise, and reload-
ing his gun, carefully watched the water. But the shark
did not again appear, and borne onwards by the breeze,
we quickly neared the shore, Steering the boat to a
convenient landing place, I cast off the ropes- which
secured the animals, and let them get ashore as best
they might.

There was no sign of my wife or children when we
stepped on land, but a few moments afterwards they
appeared, and with a shout of joy ran towards us. We
were thankful to be once more united, and after asking
and replying to a few preliminary questions, proceeded
to release our herd from their swimming belts, which,
though so useful in the water, were exceedingly incon-
venient on shore. My wife was astonished at the
apparatus.

“ How clever you are,” said she.

“T am not the inventor,” I replied, “the honour is due
to Fritz. He not only thought of this plan for bringing
off the animals, but saved one at least of them from a
most fearful death.” And I then told them how bravely
he had encountered the shark.

My wife was delighted with: her son’s success, but
declared that she would dread our trips to the vessel
more than ever, knowing that such savage fish inhabited
the waters.



66 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Fritz, Ernest, and I began the work of unloading our
craft, while Jack, seeing that the poor donkey was still
encumbered with his swimming belt, tried to free him
from it. But the donkey would not stand quiet, and the
child’s fingers were not strong enough to loosen the
cordage; finally, therefore, he scrambled upon the
animal’s back, and urging him on with hand and foot,
trotted towards us.

“Come, my boy,” I said, “no one must be idle here,
even for a moment; you will have riding practice enough
hereafter ; dismount and come and help us.” _

Jack was soon on his feet. “But I have not been idle
all day,” he said; “look here!” and he pointed to a belt
round his waist. It was a broad belt of yellow hair in
which he had stuck a couple of pistols and a knife.’ “And
see,” he added, “ what I have made for the dogs. Here,
Juno, Turk,” the dogs came bounding up at his call, and
I saw that they were each supplied with a collar of the
same skin, in which were fastened nails, which bristled
round their necks in a most formidable manner.

“Capital, capital! my boy,” said I, “but where did
you get your materials, and who helped you ?”

“Except in cutting the skin,” said my wife, “he had
no assistance, and as for the materials, Fritz’s jackal
supplied us with the skin, and the needles and thread
came out of my wonderful bag. You little think how
many useful things may be had from that same bag; it
is woman’s duty and nature, you know, to see after
trifles.”



A Delicious Supper. 67



Fritz evidently did not approve of the use to which
his jackal’s hide had been devoted, and holding his nose,
. begged his little brother to keep at a distance; “really,
Jack,” he said, “you should have cured the hide before
you: used it, the smell is disgusting; don’t come near
me.”
“It's not the hide that smells at all,” retorted Jack,
“it is your nasty jackal itself that you left in the sun.”
“Now, boys,” said I, “no quarrelling here; do you,
‘Jack, help your brother to drag the carcase to the sea,
-and if your belt smells after that you must take it off and
dry it better.”
The jackal was dragged off, and we then finished our
“wotk- of unloading our boat. When. this. was accom-
plished we started for our tent, and finding there no
preparation for supper, I said, “ Fritz, let us have a West-
phalian ham.”
“Ernest,” said my wife, smiling, “let us see if we
cannot conjure up some eggs.” ,
Fritz got out a splendid ham and carried it to his
mother triumphantly, while Ernest set before mea dozen
white balls with parchment-like coverings.
+ “Turtles’ eggs!” said I. “Well done, Ernest, where
did you get them ?”
“That,” replied my wife, “shall be told in due course
when we relate our adventures; now we will see what

4

they will do towards making a supper for you; with
these and your ham I do not think we shall starve.”

Leaving my wife to prepare supper, we returned to the
F20



68 The Swiss Family Robinson.

shore and brought up what of the cargo we had left there ;
then, having collected our herd of animals, we returned to
the tent.

The meal which awaited us was as unlike the first
supper we had there enjoyed as possible. My wife had
improvised a table of a board laid on two casks, on this
was spread a white damask tablecloth, on which were
placed knives, forks, spoons, and plates for each person.
A tureen of good soup first appeared, followed by a
capital omelette, then slices of the ham; and finally some
Dutch cheese, butter, and biscuits, with a bottle of the
captain’s canary wine, completed the repast.

While we thus regaled ourselves, I related to my wife
our adventures, and then begged she would remember
her promise and tell me all that had happened in my
absence.



CHAPTER. HI,

The mother relates her adventures—Proposes that we should build a
nest—How Jack treated the jackal skin—How the boys were surprised
by a bustard—How they found the mangrove tree—How the dogs
caught the crabs—We discuss the possibility of making a house in the
tree—To bed once more—We start for the wreck—The shark again—
Return to land—Franz’s craw-fish—Bridge-building—We pack up—
A family removing in patriarchal style—A prickly enemy—Jack shoots
it—We reach our new home—Fritz rids our poultry of an enemy—
Little Franz finds the figs—Dinner—We prepare materials for our
nest—Flamingoes—Roast and tame—The use of trigonometry—A
cord carried over the bough—The rope ladder made—We mount our
tree—Sleep under the roots—The building of the nest—Retire to
roost for the first time.

“T WILL spare you a description, (said my wife,) of
our first day’s occupations ; truth to tell, I spent the time
chiefly in anxious thought and watching your progress
and signals. I rose very early this morning, and with
the utmost joy perceiving your signal that all was right,
hastened. to reply to it, and then while my sons yet
slumbered, I sat down and began to consider how our
position could be improved. ‘For it is perfectly im-
possible, said I to myself, ‘to live much longer where
we are now. The sun beats burningly the livelong day
on this bare rocky spot, our only shelter is this poor tent,
beneath the canvas of which the heat is even more



70 The Swiss Family Robinson.





oppressive than on the open shore. Why should not I
and my little boys exert ourselves as well as my husband
and Fritz? Why should not we too try to accomplish
something useful? If we could but exchange this melan-
choly and unwholesome abode for a pleasant shady
dwelling-place, we should all improve in health and
spirits. Among those delightful woods and groves where
Fritz and his father saw so many charming things, I feel
sure there must be some little retreat where we could
establish ourselves comfortably ; there must be, and I
will find it.’

“By this time the boys were up, and I observed Jack
very quietly and busily occupied with his knife about
the spot where Fritz’s jackal lay. Watching his pro-
ceedings, I saw that he had cut two long narrow strips
of the animal’s skin, which he cleaned and scraped very
carefully, and then taking a handful of great nails out
of his pocket, he stuck them through the skin points
outwards, after which he cut strips of canvas sailcloth
twice as broad as the thongs, doubled them, and laid
them on the raw side of the skin so as to cover the
broad flat nail heads, At this point of the performance,
‘Master Jack came to me with the agreeable request
that I would kindly stitch the canvas and (moist) skin
together for him. I gave him needles and thread, but
could not think of depriving him of the pleasure of dcing
it himself.

“ However, when I saw how good-humouredly he per-
severed in the work with his awkward unskilful fingers,



An Exploring Expedition. 71



I took pity upon him, and conquering the disgust I felt,
finished lining the skin dog-collars he had so ingeniously
contrived. After this I was called upon to complete in
the same way a fine belt of skin he had made for himself.
I advised him to think of some means by which the skin
might be kept from shrinking.

“Ernest, although rather treating Jack’s manufacture
with ridicule, proposed a sensible enough plan, which
Jack forthwith put in execution. He nailed the skin,
stretched flat, on a board, and put it in the sun to dry.

“My scheme of a journey was agreed to joyously by
my young companions. Preparations were instantly
set on foot: weapons and provisions provided: the
two elder boys carrying guns, while they gave me
charge of the water flask, and a small hatchet.

“Leaving everything in as good order as we could at
the tent, we proceeded towards the stream, accompanied
by the dogs. Turk, who had accompanied you on your
first expedition, seemed immediately to understand that
we wished to pursue the same route, and proudly led the
way.

“As I looked at my two young sons, each with his
gun, and considered how much the safety of the party
depended on these little fellows, I felt grateful to you,
dear husband, for having acquainted them in childhood
with the use of fire-arms.

“Filling our water-jar, we crossed the stream, and
went on to the height from whence, as you described,
a lovely prospect is obtained, at the sight of which a



72 The Swiss Family Robinson.



pleasurable sensation of buoyant hope, to which I had
long been,a stranger, awoke within my breast.

“A pretty little wood in the distance attracted my
notice particularly, and thither we directed our course.
But soon finding it impossible to force our way through
the tall strong grass which grew in dense luxuriance
higher than the children’s heads, we turned towards
the open beach on our left, and following it we reached
a point much nearer the little wood, when; quitting the.
strand, we made towards it.

“We had not entirely escaped the tall grass, however,
and with the utmost fatigue and difficulty were strug-
gling through the reeds, when suddenly a great rushing
noise terrified us all dreadfully. A very large and
powerful bird sprang upward on the wing, Both boys
attempted to take aim, but the bird was far away before
they were ready to fire.

“Oh dear, what a pity!’ exclaimed Ernest ; ‘now
if I had only had my light gun, and if the bird had
not flown quite so fast, I should have brought him
down directly !’

“Qh yes,’ said I, ‘no doubt you would be a
capital sportsman if only your game would always
give you time to make ready comfortably.’

“*But I had no notion that anything was going to
fly up just at our feet like that,’ cried he.

““*f\ good. shot,’ I replied, ‘must be prepared for
surprises: neither wild birds nor wild beasts will send
you notice that they are about to fly or to run,’



Sportsmen taken by Surprise. 73



“‘What sort of bird can it have been?’ enquired
Jack.

“Oh, it certainly must have been an eagle,’ answered
little Franz, ‘it was so very big!’

““Just as if every big bird must be an eagle!’ re-
plied Ernest, in a tone of derision.

“«TLet’s see where he was sitting, at all events!’ said I.

“Jack sprang towards the place, and instantly a second
bird, rather larger than the first, rushed upward into the
air, with a most startling noise.

“The boys stood staring upwards, perfectly stupefied,
while I laughed heartily, saying, ‘Well, you are first-
rate sportsmen, to be sure! You certainly will keep
my larder famously well supplied !’

“At this, Ernest coloured up, and looked inclined to
try, while Jack put on a comical face, pulled off his
cap, and with a low bow, called after the fugitive:

_ “Adieu for the present, sir! I live in hopes of an-
other meeting !’

“On searching the ground carefully, we discovered a
rude sort of nest made untidily of dry grass. It was
empty, although we perceived broken egg-shells at .no
great distance, and concluded that the young brood
had escaped among the grass, which, in fact, we could
see was waving at a little distance, as the little birds
ran through it.

“Now look here, Franz,’ said Ernest, presently, ‘just
consider how this bird could by any possibility have been
an eagle. Eagles never build on the ground, neither can



74 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



































































































































































































































































































































































































ih
WHE

a
4



GREAT BUSTARD,

their young leave the nest and run as soon as they are
out of the egg. That isa peculiarity of the gallinaceous
tribe of birds alone, to which then these must belong.



oy

Splendid Trees, 75





The species, I think, is indicated by the white belly and
dull red colour of the wing coverts which I observed in
these specimens, and I believe them to be bustards,
especially as I noticed in the largest the fine moustache-
like feathers over the beak, peculiar to the Great Bus-
tard.’

“* My dear boy!’ I said, ‘your eyes were actively em-
ployed, I must confess, if your fingers were unready with
the gun. And after all, it is just as well, perhaps, that
we have not thrown the bustard’s family into mourning.’

“Thus chatting, we at length approached my pretty
wood. Numbers of birds fluttered and sang among the
high branches, but I did not encourage the boys in
their wish to try to shoot any of the happy little
creatures, We were lost in admiration of the trees of
this grove, and I cannot describe to you how wonderful
they are, nor can you form the least idea of their enor-
mous size without seeing them yourself. What we had
been calling a wood proved to be a group of about a
dozen trees only, and, what was strange, the roots sus-
tained the massive trunks exalted in the air, forming
strong arches, and props and stays all around each in-
dividual stem, which was firmly rooted in the centre.

“T gave Jack some twine, and scrambling up one of the
curious open-air roots, he succeeded in measuring round
the trunk itself, and made itout to be about eighteen yards,
I saw no sort of fruit, but the foliage is thick and abun-
dant, throwing delicicus shade on the ground beneath,
which is carpeted with soft green herbage, and entirely



46 The Swiss Famity Robinson.







free from thorns, briars, or bushes of any kind. It is the.
most charming resting-place that ever was seen, and I
and the boys enjoyed our midday meal immensely in
this glorious palace of the woods, so grateful to our:
senses after the glare and heat of our journey thither.
The dogs joined us after a while. They had lingered
behind on the sea-shore, and I was surprised to see them
lie down and go comfortably to sleep without begging
for food, as they do usually when we eat.

“The longer we remained in this enchanting place, the
more did it charm my fancy ; and if we could but manage
to live in some sort of dwelling up among the branches
of those grand, noble trees, I should feel perfectly safe
and happy. Itseemed to me absurd to suppose we should
ever find another place half so lovely, so I determined
to search no further, but return to the beach and see if
anything from the wreck had been cast up by the waves,
which we could carry away with us.

“Before starting, Jack persuaded me to sit quietly a
little longer, and finish making his belt and the spike-
collars for the dogs, for you must know that the child
had actually been carrying the board on which these
were stretched all this time, so that tiey should get the
full benefit of the sun. As they were now quite dry, I
completed them easily, and Jack girded on the belt with
great pride, placing his pistols in it, and marching about
in a most self-important style, while Ernest fitted the
collars on the two dogs.

“On reaching the shore, we found it strewed with



Turtles Eggs. 77



many. articles, doubtless of value, but all too heavy for
us to lift. We rolled some casks, however, beyond high-













































































GREEN CRARS.

water mark, and dragged a chest or two also higher
on the beach; and, while doing so, observed that
our dogs were busy among the rocks. They were
carefully watching the crevices and pools, and every
now and then would pounce downwards and seize
something which they swallowed with apparent
xelish.

“«They are eating crabs, said Jack. ‘No wonder
they have not seemed hungry lately.’

“And, sure enough, they were catching the little green



78 The Swiss Family Robinson.



crabs with which the water abounded. These; however,
did not apparently entirely satisfy them.

“Some time afterwards, just as we were about to turn .

inland towards the ford, we noticed that Juno was
scraping in the sand, and turning up some*round sub-
stances, which she hastily devoured. Ernest went to
see what these were, and reported in his calm way that
the dog had found turtles’ eggs,

“¢ Qh,’ cried I, ‘then let us by all means share in the
booty!’ Mrs. Juno, however, did not at all approve of
this, and it was with some difficulty that we drove her
aside while we gathered a couple of dozen of the eggs,
stowing them in our provision bags.

“While thus employed, we caught sight of a sail which
appeared to be merrily approaching the shore beyond
the cliffs. Ernest declared it must be our raft. Little
Franz, always having the fear of savages before his eyes,
began to look frightened, and fora moment I myself
was doubtful what to think.

“ However, we hastened to the stream; and, crossing it
by the stepping-stones, came in sight of the landing-
place, where we joyfully met you.

“Now I hope you approve of the proceedings of your
exploring party, and that to-morrow you will do me the
favour of packing everything up, and taking us away to
live amongst my splendid trees,”

« Aye, little wife,” said 1; “so that is your idea of
comfort and security, is it! A tree, I do not know how
many feet high, on which we are to perch and roost like













Full Text















_ Gee a oft

es Lf Fe

































































THE

SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON

A Nebo Translation from the Original German

EDITED BY
WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON

ATLA
ae



WITH NINETY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS ON WOOD

LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limitrp
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
CLASGOW, MANCHESTER, AND NEW YORK
NOTE.

“The Swiss Family Robinson” is so general a
favourite that it is hoped a fresh version may prove
acceptable.

It has been translated by members of my family
from the German, with the omission of the long
sententious lectures found in the original, and some

slight alterations calculated to enliven the narrative.

W.H GK.
CONTENTS.

—i—

CHAPTER I.

_ Storm-tossed—Wrecked—Deserted—Supper—We make swimming-
belts for the children—An anxious night—The gale moderates—
We examine our cargo—Jack introduces two new acquaintances—
How shall we get on shore ?—Jack’s plan—We adopt it—The use
of a lever—Our tub-boat completed—Another night on the wreck
—We collect a cargo—And embark—Jack’s friends will not be left
behind—Steer for the shore—Once more on land—We erect a tent
—Glue soup—Jack makes the acquaintance of a lobster—Emnest
shirks the water—Oysters and salt—How shall we eat our soup ?
—Ermnest solves the difficulty—Fritz returns—The sucking-pig—
How to open an oyster and how to eat it—The dogs devour the
agouti—Fritz’s anger—Our first night in the new country . . it

PAGE

CHAPTER II.

A morning consultation—Breakfast—A way on an expedition—Over the
stream and through the grass—An unexpected reinforcement—
Search in vain for our comrades—Rest by a stream—Fritz finds a
“yound bird’s nest”—Natural history of a cocoa-nut—Calabash
trees—The use of gourds—How to make a bottle—A lovely but

‘ Jonely scene—Sugar-canes—Monkeys of use—Cocoa-nut milk
turned to champagne—Turk kills an unfortunate mother monkey—
Carry the orphan home—Display our treasures—A. sumptuous
supper—Ernest’s penguin—Champagne turned to vinegar—A fight
with jackals—A curious sentinel—A visit to the wreck—We rig our
craft—Stow a cargo—Sleep on board—Floats for our herd—We
embark—Encounter a shark—Land . : ‘ z ‘ «. 3t

b
iv

Contents.



CHAPTER III.

PAGE

The mother relates her adventures—Proposes that we should build a nest

—How Jack treated the jackal skin—How the boys were surprised
by a bustard—How they found the mangrove tree—How the dogs
caught the crabs—We discuss the possibility of making a house in
the tree—To bed once more—We start for the wreck—The shark
again—Return to land—Franz’s craw-fish—Bridge-building—We
pack up—A family removing in patriarchal style—A prickly enemy
—Jack shoots it—We reach our new home— Fritz rids our poultry
of an enemy—Little Franz finds the figs—Dinner—We prepare
materials for our nest—Flamingoes—Roast and tame—The use of
trigonometry—A cord carried over the bough—The rope ladder
made—We mount our tree—Sleep under the roots—The building
of the nest—Retire to roost for the first time . : . .

CHAPTER IV.

69

A day of rest—A parable for the young people— Quiet recreation—Geo- -

graphical nomenclature—The margay and porcupine skins made of
use—An expedition to Tentholm—Potatoes, potatoes—Tropical
vegetation—The use of the Karatas—Jack’s greediness and its
punishment—Ernest discovers cochineal—Arrive at Tentholn—
‘The poultry rebellious—Return to Falconhurst—Ernest roused out
early—We collect wood for a sledge—Master Knips turns thief-=
Franz’s plan for the saving of ammynition—Ernest and I take the
sledge to Tentholm —Ernest’s laziness exemplified—He catches a
salmon—We start far home—Kill a kangaroo—And cook it 4

CHAPTER V.

Jack and Ernest disappear—Fritz and I start for the wreck—The boys’

ambuscade—We form a raft—Ransack the vessel—Again embark
—A turtle in sight—Fritz harpoons it—The turtle acts as ‘‘ Steam
Tug”—Safe ashore—Return home—Jack’s clay field—A fresh
discovery—The mother’s cellar—A trip to the wreck—The pin-
nace—Jack’s raid on the Lilliputians—A secret revealed—A new
method of grinding flour—Wholesome or poisonous ?—Bread-

114

making in earnest. . . 5 . . x : + 145
Contents Vv



CHAPTER VI
PAGE

Now for the pinnace—Repeated visits to the wreck—The pinnace built
—How shall we cut her out—The difficulty solved—We fit her out
—Vire a salute—The mother’s surprise—We visit Falconhurst—
Attend to our fruit trees—Athletics—The lasso—An excursion—

A Bustard captured—Ernest discovers a magician—Jack fights
him—The Liane Rouge—We turn carvers—Ernest’s alarm—The
old sow again—We discover a sleeping beauty—Return with it
to the camp—Knips pronounces our apples ‘good’—Return to
Falconhurst’ . : : ° 7 . : : - 168

CHAPTER VII.

Fritz and I return to the Calabash wood—Fritz shoots a ruffed grouse
—We come across wax-berry bushes—Sociable grosbeaks—Fritz
captures a parrot—A lecture on ants—Caoutchouc trees—The sago-
palm, and the edible worms—Return with sugar-canes to Falcon-
hurst—Candle-making—How to make butter without a churn—
Plant trees and adorn Tentholm—Last visit to the wreck—The first
ducklings on the island—Falconhurst again—An excursion—We
pitch our tent—Fritz and Jack ascend the cocoa-nut trees—Ernest
brings us a delicacy—Loss of Grizzle—Jack and I go in pursuit—
Giant bamboos-—Encounter with buffaloes—The buffalo calf—
Find a jackal’s Jair—Reach our camp—What happened in our
absence—Fritz’s pet-—Sago manufacture—Meet with our sow and
her family again—How Ernest tamed the eagle . : ‘ . 196

CHAPTER VIII.

Prop our young trees—A lecture on grafting—A new idea broached—
Why should we not build stairs within the trunk of our tree ?—
Jack finds one objection—I make a beehive, and we drive the bees
from the tree—Stair-making—Additions to our family of domestic
animals—The education of the ‘ pets ’—Shoe-making—We lead
water from the stream to Falconhurst—A strange animal ap-
proaches—Our old ass and his companion—The onager captured
—FProvisioning our winter quarters—Capture of ruffed grouse—
We discover flax—The rainy season . ¢ Lame 0‘ - 233
Contents,

CHAPTER IX.

PAGE

Spring again—We begin to hew a cave—Jack makes a discovery —We

drive the foul air from the cavern—The mother and her boys join
us—We explore the cave—Fit it up as our winter-quarters—The
herring-bank—We catch seals—Fishing on a grand scale—Isinglass
and caviare—We visit our plantations—An expedition to establish
a colony—The building of ‘‘ Woodlands ”—Jack and Fritz return

to Falconhurst for provisions—Ernest and I explore—A ‘‘beast —

with a bill” —We build a canoe—Franz undertakes the education
of Grumble—We continue our work at the cave—Carpet making
—Thanksgiving-day—A startling salute—Athletics and shooting
—Prize giving—Manufacture of bird-lime—Fritz and Jack ride off
for caoutchouc-—Shoot a crane and badger--Find ‘‘ Woodlands”
tumed upside down by monkeys—Discover Gensing . : .

CHAPTER X.

Bird-lime—A midnight raid—The massacre at Woodlands—Capture

of Molucca pigeons—A pigeon-house—Fritz and I prepare a
conjuring trick—Great success of our experiment—Lichen and
nutmegs discovered—Jack’s adventure—The loom manufactured
—Winter stores prepared—The rainy season sets in—Interior of
our house arranged—We study languages—The return of Spring—
A stranded whale—An account of coral—We go to work on the
whale’s carcass—Remarks on the habits of the whale . . ;

CHAPTER Xi.

The blubber of the whale boiled and stored—A unique machine

—Expedition to Prospect Hill—Whale’s tongue is voted no
delicacy—We Jand on Whale Island—Jack discovers a strange
skeleton—Turtle turning—Towed ashore—The loom completed—
Return of the herring shoals—Basket making—We manufacture a
sedan chair—Ernest’s wild ride therein—A boa constrictor appears
—He retreats to the marsh—Suspense—Poor Grizzle’s fate—An
awful scene—Death of the monster—An account of snakes—
Remedies for, poisoned bites—Ernest writes Grizzle’s epitaph—
The serpent stuffed and placed inthe museum . . .

257

308

341
Contents. vii



CHAPTER XII.
PAGE

We examine the marsh—A cave discovered—We find the floor covered
with fuller’s earth—Discharge our pistols—Jack’s fright--Ernest
captures an eel—An expedition towards the Gap—vVisit Fal-
conhurst and Woodlands, and examine the country round—
Franz shoots a capybara—Emest and Knips fight the rats—A
lecture on musk—Cinnamon apples—A peccary hunt—We
prepare the peccary meat—Disasters at Prospect Hill—An ex-
ploring expedition through the Gap—We find our barrier broken
down—Across the desert—Strange objects in the distance—
An account of ostriches—An ostrich slain—We discover the nest
—A mud tortoise—We encounter bears—A desperate fight—
Back again to camp—We skin the bears and smoke their flesh—
Pepper found—Three of the boys start on an expedition—I dis-
cover talc . ‘ . ‘ é é . . . ° + 369

CHAPTER XIII.

The boys return and give an account of their adventures—How they
captured the antelopes—How Fritz caught the rabbits, and Jack
rode down the gazelles—How they followed the honey bird, and
Jack tried to rob the bees’ byke—We sup on the bears? paws—
Across the desert again—Sight three ostriches—The male bird
captured—We secure him between Storm and Grumble—The
mother’s astonishment at our new pet-—Return to Woodlands
—Home again—We establish colonies on Shark and Whale
Islands—Turn our attention to agriculture—The difficulties of
ostrich training-—My patent saddle and bridle—I exercise my
ingenuity in various trades. 9. www lg 410

CHAPTER XIV.

The rainy season again—The building of the cajack—The mother
invents a swimming dress—A visit to our colonies—Mysterious
seaweed—The mother’s surprise—A visit to Whale Island—Mis-
chievous pigs—The three boys return from a day’s hunting—
They display their treasures—A new skinning apparatus—We
make a crushing machine—An early harvest—We prepare a
threshing floor—Reaping in Italian fashion—Threshing also in
Italian fashion—Return of the herring shoals . 8 . % , 434
Vili Contents:



CHAPTER XV.
PAGE

Trial of the cajack—Fritz kills a walrus—We carry home its head—
The storm—Where is Fritz?—Safe at last—The fishing season—
An expedition proposed—Three of the boys start for Woodlands
—Pigeon post—Encounter with an hyeena—Wood Lake explored
—A tapir—Prospect Hill pillaged—A tragedy—The boys in
danger—We join them—We build a summer-house— Discover
the cacao plant—Fritz ascends the stream—He sees elephants and
hippopotami—Jack’s ‘‘ moist secret ””— We return to Rockburg—
Grace and Beauty—Shark Island is fortified . s . + « 452

CHAPTER XVI.

Ten years afterwards—Our farms and farmyards-—Fritz makes a voyage
of discovery—Cape Minster and the Swallow’s Nests—Pearl
oysters—A magnificent bay—The strange message—An excursion
to Pearl Bay—Fritz proposes to search for the stranger and pre-
pares his canoe for her reception—The pearl fishery—An encoun-
ter with a wild boar—Jack’s accident—Trufflee—A midnight
alarm—The lion and his mate—Our enemies overcome—Juno’s
death—We set sail for Rockburg—Fritz leavesus - - 487

CHAPTER XVII

Juno’s epitaph—Fritz does not appear—We start in search of him—A
cachalot whale—The unexpected appearance of a savage—Fritz
in a dusky disguise—He leads us to Fair Isle and shows us the
wonders therein—The stranger—Fritz narrates his adventures—
How he saw Toucans—Encountered a tiger—Lost Pounce--Found
the smoking-rock and Jenny Montrose—The history of the
_ stranger—Wolves dispute our right to the whale—Coco joins his
brethren—Jack and Jenny search for the truant—We leave Pearl
Bay—A hearty reception—A visit to Falconhurst—Jack displays

our stud—The rainy season again . : : . . - . 517

CHAPTER XVIII.

Spring and its accompanying work—The mysterious guns—Who fired
them—A storm—Fritz and I reconnoitre—The English brig—We
visit her in the yacht—Captain Littlestone—We are cordially
welcomed—Mr. Wolston and his family—An earnest consultation
—Our visitors at Rockburg—The supper—Who is for Europe

. and who for New Switzerland ?—The decision—Farewell .. . 547
_LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

‘THE WRECK.

PENGUIN. .

-RETURNING THANKS .

LOBSTER ,
AGOUTI.
OYSTERS .

ERNEST FEEDING THE DOGS
THE FIRST NIGHT ASHORE

CASCADE

28

. °

A PLEASANT REST.

CALABASH
MONKEYS
JACKAL .
SHARK ,

SHOOTING THE SHARK
GREAT BUSTARD
GREEN CRABS
ANGEL FISH .

CRAWFISH

HYSTRIX CRISTATA .

TUFT-TAILED PORCUPINE

SEAL. .
FLAMINGO

.

.

.

SECURING THE FLAMINGO

ORTOLAN .
JASMINE
PINE-APPLE
SALMON



fase
PAGE : PAGE
3 | KANGAROO .. : . . 137
16 | SHOOTING THE KANGAROO , 139
18 | RODENTS : ; . - 141
21 | GREEN TURTLE : . . 150
25 | JACK’S RAID ON THE PENGUINS I61
26 | A FAMILY PROCESSION . . 182
28 | “A WILD BOAR! A WILD
30 ROM colts oh eh e180
34. | IGUANAS . : : » « 193
36 | AMERICAN BLUE JAY. - 197
39 | RUFFED GROUSE . +» 199
47 | GREEN PARROT . . —. 203
54 | ANT BEAR algae: + + 205
63 | LITTLE ANT-EATER 7 . 207
64. | ENCOUNTER WITH BUFFALOES 223
74 | KNIP’S EDUCATION . + + 244
77 | JACK RIDES POST-HASTE TO
85 FALCONHURST . . 261
87 | HERRING . ‘ : . . 266
94 | STURGEON . . . » 271
96 | THE BUILDING OF WOODLANDS 277
99 | BLACK SWANS . ; » «279
104 | DUCKBILL-PLATYPUS . . 281
107 | JUNO MAKES A DISCOVERY . 283
11g | CRANE . : . ‘ + 301
125 | MARMOT . : . oe 303
126 | BADGER : : : + 305
135 | A RAID UPON THE PIGZONS . 309
x List of Illustrations,



PAGE PAGE
NICOBAR PIGEON . . . 317 | WALRUS , . o ee 455
WHALE . . : , . 332 | A STORM . eT heterodt etd SQ
TURTLE TURNING . . . 347 | HYANA . © 6 0 + 464
BOA CONSTRICTOR ° - 361 | POUNCE BRINGS DOWN A
SECRETARY BIRD, » . 363 HERON . 7 : > 467
ANOTHER GROTTO : + 371 | DEMOISELLE CRANE. - . 468
BITTERN . rayne. » . 376 | TAPIR . . . o- 4 469
CAPYBARA. 2 : . 377 | ELEPHANT . 7 +. 473
BEAVER RAT. : » « 379 | HIPPOPOTAMI AT HOME » 479
CIVET CAT . . . 381 | AN ALARMING ACQUAINTANCE 481
PECCARIES 7 7 . . 385 } BULL FROG -. on Ee SA BF
A PLEASANT REST, . . 393 | ESCULENT SWALLOW . *. 495
MUD TORTOISE... + « 398 | PEARL OYSTERS . - . 499
‘CA BEAR! A BEAR!” . . 400 | WILD BOAR: . . . » 508
A DESPERATE ENCOUNTER . 403 | LIONS : : 7 » » $13
CONDOR . . : s » 405 | CACHALOT WHALE . - 519
ANTELOPE . . . - 411 | TOUCANS . . . « + 528
GAZELLE . : ° « . 414 | TIGER. . . . - 531
A NOVEL STEED . . . 429 | THE BAY . 0 Fa Sen § 32
FRANZ’S NEW HAT . +» 431 | CORMORANT . . JP OSE 534.
THRESHING IN ITALIAN THE SIGNAL o «6 551

FASHION, «© « + 449


THE

, SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

CHAPTER. of.

Storm-tossed—Wrecked—Deserted—Supper—We make swimming-belts:
for the children—An anxious night—The gale moderates—We examine
our cargo—Jack introduces two new acquaintances — How shall we get |

"on shore ?—Jack’s plan—We adopt it—The use of a-lever—Our tub-!
boat completed—Another night on the wreck—We collect a cargo—
And embark—Jack’s friends will not be left behind—Steer for the
shore—Once more on land—We erect a tent—Glue soup—Jack makes-
the acquaintance of a lobster—Ernest shirks the water—Oysters and
salt—How shall we eat our soup ?—Ernest solves the difficulty—Fritz
returns—The sucking-pig—How to open an oyster and how to eat it
—The dogs devour the agouti-—Fritz’s. anger—Our first night in the
new country.

FOR many days we had been tempest-tossed. Six
times had ‘the darkness closed over a wild and terrific:
scene, and returning light as often brought but renewed -
distress, for the raging storm increased in fury until en
the seventh day all hope was lost.

We were driven completely out of our course ;' no:
conjecture could -be formed’ as to our whereabouts...
The crew had lost heart, and were utterly exhausted
by incessant labour.

The riven: masts had gone by the board, leaks had»
B
2 The Swiss Family Robwnson.

been sprung in every direction, and the water, which
rushed in, gained upon us rapidly.

Instead of reckless oaths, the seamen now uttered
frantic cries to God for mercy, mingled with strange
and often ludicrous vows, to be performed should
deliverance be granted.

Every man on board alternately commended his
soul to his Creator, and strove to bethink himself of |
some means of saving his life.

My heart sank as I looked round upon my family in
the midst of these horrors. Our four young sons were
overpowered by terror. “Dear children,” said I, “if
the Lord will, He can save us even from this fearful
peril; if not, let us calmly yield our lives into His
hand, and think of the joy and blessedness of finding
ourselves for ever and ever united in that happy home
above.”

At these. words my weeping wife looked bravely up,
and, as the boys clustered round her, she began to cheer
and encourage them with calm and loving: words.
I rejoiced to see her fortitude, though my heart was.
ready to break as I gazed on my dear ones.

We knelt down together, one after another praying
with deep earnestness and emotion. Fritz, in parti-
cular, besought help and deliverance for his dear
parents and brothers, as though quite forgetting him-.
self.

Our hearts were soothed by the never-failing comfort
of child-like confiding prayer, and the horrors of our
Wreck of the Shy. 8

a



situation seemed less overwhelming. “Ah,” thought
[, “the Lord will hear our prayer! He will help
us.” é

Amid ‘he roar of the thundering waves I suddenly

heard the cry of “Land! land!” while at the same



THE WRECK.

inscant the ship struck with a ftightful shock, which
threw everyone to the deck, and seemed to threaten
her immediate destruction.

vreadful sounds betokened the breaking up of the
ship, and the roaring waters poured in on all sides.

Then the voice of the captain was heard above the
B2
4 The Swiss Family Robinson.

—_— oe ey



tumult, shouting, “Lower away the boats! --We are
lost !”

“Lost!” I exclaimed, and the word went like a
dagger to my heart; but seeing my children’s terror
renewed, I composed myself, calling out cheerfully,
“Take courage, my boys! we are all above water
yet. There is the land not far off, let us do our best
to reach it. You know God helps those that helo
themselves!” With that, I left them and went on
deck. What was my horror when through the foam
and spray I beheld the only remaining boat leave
the ship, the last of the seamen spring into her and
push off, regardless of my cries and entreaties that
we might be allowed to share their slender chance
of preserving their lives. My voice was drowned in
the howling of the blast, and even had the crew
wished it, the return of the boat was impossible.

Casting my eyes despairingly around, I became
gradually aware that our position was by no means
hopeless, inasmuch as the stern of the ship contain.
ing our cabin was jammed between two high rocks,
and was partly raised from among the breakers which
dashed the forepart to pieces, As the clouds of mist
and rain drove past, I could make out, through rents.
in the vaporous curtain, a line of rocky coast, and,
rugged as it was, my heart bounded towards it as
a sign of help in the hour of need. Yet the sense
of our lonely and forsaken condition weighed heavily
upon me as I returned to my family, constraining





Our first Night alone. 5



myself to say with a smile, “ Courage, dear ones!
Although our good ship will never sail more, she is
so placed that our cabin will remain above water,
and. to-morrow, if the wind and waves abate, I see
no reason why we should not be able to get ashore.”

These. few words had an immediate effect on the
spirits of my children, who at once regarded our
problematical chance of escaping as a happy ccr-
tainty, and began to enjoy the relief from the violent
pitching and rolling of the vessel.

My wife, however, perceived my distress and anxiety,
in spite of my forced composure, and I made her com-
prehend our real situation, greatly fearing the effect
of the intelligence on her nerves. Not for a moment
did her courage and trust in Providence forsake her,
and on seeing this, my fortitude revived.

“We must find some food, and take a good supper,”
said she, “it will never do to grow faint by fasting too
long. We shall require our utmost strength to-
morrow.”

Night drew on apace, the storm was as fierce as ever,
and at intervals we were startled by crashes announcing
further damage to our unfortunate ship.

“God will help us soon now, won't He, father?” said
my youngest child.

“You silly little thing,” said Fritz, my eldest son,
sharply, “don’t you know that we must not settle what
God is to do for us? We must have patience and wait
His time.”
6 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Very well said, had it been said kindly, Fritz, my boy.
You too often speak harshly to your brothers, although
you may not mean to do so.”

A. good meal being now ready, my youngsters ate
heartily, and retiring to rest were speedily fast asleep.
Fritz, who was of an age to be aware of the real danger
we were in, kept watch with us. After a long silence,
“Father,” said he, “don’t you think we might contrive
swimming belts for mother and the boys? with those we
might all escape to land, for you and I can swim.”

“Your idea is so good,” answered I, “that I shall
arrange something at once, in case of an accident during
the night.”

We immediately searched about for what would answer
the purpose, and fortunately got hold of a number of
empty flasks and tin canisters, which we connected two
and two together so as to form floats sufficiently buoyant
‘to support a person in the water,and my wife and young
sons each willingly put one on. I then provided myself
with matches, knives, cord, and other portable articles,
trusting that, should the vessel go to pieces before day-
light, we might gain the shore, not wholly destitute.

Fritz, as well as his brothers, now slept soundly.
Throughout the night my wife and I maintained our
prayerful watch, dreading at every fresh sound some fatal
change in the position of the wreck.

At length the faint dawn of day appeared, the long
weary night was over, and with. thankful hearts we per-
ceived that the gale had begun to moderate ; blue sky
1 Search throughout the Ship. 7



‘was seen above us, and the lovely hues of sunrise
-adorned the eastern horizon. :

I aroused the boys, and we assembled on the remain-
ing portion of the deck, when they, to their surprise,
‘discovered that no one else was on board.

“ Hallo, papa! what has become of everybody! - Are
the sailors gone? Have they taken away the boats ?
_ Oh, papa! why did they leave us\behind? What can
we do by ourselves !” \

“ My good children,” I replied, “ we must not despair,
although we seem deserted. See how those on whose
‘skill and good faith we depended have left us cruelly to
our fate in the hour of danger. God will never do so.
‘He has not forsaken us, and we will trust Him still.
Only let us bestir ourselves, and each cheerily do his
best. Who has anything to propose ?”

“The sea will soon be calm enough for swimming,”
said Fritz.

“And that would be all very fine for you,” exclaimed
Ernest, “but think of mother and the rest of us! Why
not build a raft and all get on shore together ?”

“We should find it difficult, I think, to make a raft
that would carry us safe to shore. However, we must

‘contrive something, and first let each try to procure what
-will be of most use to us.”

Away we all went to see what was to be found, I
‘myself proceeding to examine, as of greatest conse-
‘quence, the supplies of provisions and fresh water within
our reach.
8 The Swiss Family Robinson.



‘My wife took her youngest son, Franz, to help her to

feed the unfortunate animals on board, who were in a
-pitiful.plight, having been neglected-for several days.
_ Fritz hastened to the arm chest, Ernest to look for
tools ; and Jack went towards the captain’s cabin, the
door of which he no sooner opened, than out sprang two
‘splendid large dogs, who testified their extreme delight
and gratitude by such tremendous bounds that they
knocked their little deliverer completely head over heels,
frightening him-nearly out of his wits. Jack did not long
-yield either.to fear or anger;-he presently recovered
-himself, the dogs seemed to ask. pardon by vehemently
licking his face and hands, and so, seizing the’ larger by
the ears, he jumped on his back, and, to my great
‘amusement, coolly rode to. meet me as I came up the
hatchway.

--When we re-assembled in fhe cabin, we all clsplayed
our treasures.

Fritz brought a couple of guns, shot belt, povdes flasks,
and plenty of bullets.

Ernest produced a cap full of-nails, an axe, and a
hammer, while pincers, chisels, and augers stuck out of
all his pockets.

Little Franz carried a box, and eagerly began to show
us the “nice sharp little hooks” it contained. “Well,

1”

‘done, Franz!” cried I, “these fish hooks, which you
the youngest have. found, may contribute more than
anything else in the ship to save our lives by procuring

food for us. Fritz and Ernest, you have chosen well.”
A Novel Style of Craft. 9

se



“Will you praise me too?” said my dear wife. “I
have nothing to show, but I can give you good news,
Some useful animals are still alive ; a cow, a donkey,
two goats, six sheep, a ram, and a fine sow. I was but
just in time to save their lives by taking food to
them.”

“All these things are excellent indeed,” said I ; “but
my friend Jack here, has presented me with a couple of
huge hungry useless dogs, who will eat more than any
of us.”

“Oh, papa! they will be of use! Why, they will
help us to hunt when we get on shore!”

“No doubt they will, if ever we do get on shore, Jack ;
but I must say I don’t know how it is to be done.”

“Can’t we each get into a big tub, and float there?”
returned he. “TI have often sailed splendidly like that,
round the pond at home.”

“My child, you have hit on a capital idea,” cried I,
“Now, Ernest, let me have your tools, hammers, nails,
Saws, augers, and all; and then make haste to collect
any tubs you can find !”

We very soon found four large casks, made of sound
wood, and strongly bound with iron hoops; they were
floating with many other things in the water in the hold,
but we managed to fish them out, and drag them to a
suitable place for launching them. They were exactly
what I wanted, and I succeeded in sawing them across
the middle. Hard work it was, and we were glad enouch
to stop and refresh ourselves with wine and biscuits.
10 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



My eight tubs now stood ranged in a row near the
water's edge, and I looked at them with great satisfac-
tion ; to my surprise, my wife did not seem to share my
pleasure! .

“T shall never,” said she, “ muster courage to get into
one of these!”

“Do not be too sure of that, dear wife ; when you see
my contrivance completed, you will perhaps prefer it to
this immoveable wreck.”

I next procured a long thin plank on which my tubs
could be fixed, and the two ends of this I bent upwards
so as to form a keel. Other two planks were nailed
along the sides of the tubs; they also being flexible,
were brought to a point at each end, and all firmly
secured and nailed together. I felt satisfied that in
smooth water this craft would be perfectly trustworthy.
But when we thought all was ready for the launch, we
found, to our dismay, that the grand contrivance was so
heavy and clumsy, that even our united ciforts could
not move it én inch.

“J must have a lever,” cried I. “Run and fetch the
capstan bar!” 1

Fritz quickly brought one, and, having formed rollers
by cutting up a long spar, I raised the fore-part of
my boat with the bar, and my sons placed a roller
under it.

“ How is it, father,” inquired Ernest, “ that with that
thing you alone can do more than all of us together?”

I explained, as well as I could ina hurry, the princi-
Preparations for leaving the Wreck. IE



ple of the lever; and promised to have a long talk cn
the subject’ of Mechanics, should we have a future
opportunity.

I now made fast a long rope to the stern of our boat,
attaching the other end to a beam ; then placing a second
and third roller under it, we once more began to push,
this time with success, and soon our gallant craft was
safely launched : so swiftly indeed did she glide into the
water that, but for the rope, she would have passed
beyond our reach. The boys wished to jump in directly ;
but, alas, she leaned so much on one side that they could
not venture to do so,

Some heavy things being thrown in, however, the
boat righted itself by degrees, and the boys were so
delighted that they struggled which should first leap in
to have the fun of sitting down in the tubs, But it was
plain to me at once that something more was required
to make her perfectly safe, so I contrived out-riggers to
preserve the balance, by nailing long poles across at
the stem and stern, and fixing at the ends of each empty
brandy casks. Then the boat appearing steady, I got
in; and turning it towards the most open side of the
wreck, I cut and cleared away obstructions, so as to
leave a free passage for our departure, and the boys
brought oars to be ready for the voyage. This impor-
tant undertaking we were forced to postpone until the
next day, as it was by this time far too late to attempt
it. It was not pleasant to have to spend another night in
so precarious a situation ; but, yielding to necessity, we
12 The Swiss Family Robinson.

sat down to enjoy a comfortable supper, for during our
exciting and incessant work all day we had taken nothing
but an occasional biscuit and a little wine.

We prepared for rest in a much happier frame of mind
than on the preceding day, but I did not forget the
possibility of a renewed storm, and therefore made every
one put on the belts as before.

I persuaded my wife (not without considerable diffi-
culty), to put on a sailor’s dress, assuring her she would
find it much more comfortable and convenient for all
she would have to go through. She at last consented
to do this, and left us for a short time, reappearing with
much embarrasment and many blushes, in a most be-
coming suit, which she had found in a midshipman’s
chest. We all admired her costume, and any awkward-
ness she felt soon began to pass off; then retiring to our
berths, peaceful sleep prepared us all for the exertions
of the coming day.

We rose up betimes, for sleep weighs lightly on the
hopeful, as well as on the anxious. After kneeling
together in prayer, “Now my beloved ones,” said I,
“with God’s help we are about to effect our escape.
Let the poor animals we must leave behind, be well
fed, and put plenty of fodder within their reach: in a
few days we may be able to return, and save them like-
wise. After that, collect everything you can think of
which may be of use to us.”

The boys joyfully obeyed me, and I selected from the
large quantity of stores they got together, canvas to









We Steer for the Shore. 13



make a tent, a chest of carpenter’s tools, guns, pistols,
powder, shot, and bullets, rods and fishing tackle, an
iron pot, a case of portable soup, and another of biscuit.
These useful articles of course took the place of the
ballast I had hastily thrown in the day before.

With a hearty prayer for God’s blessing, we now
began to take our seats, each in his tub. Just then we
heard the cocks begin to crow, as though to reproach
us for deserting them. “Why should not the fowls go
with us!” exclaimed I. “If we find no food for them,
they can be food for ws!” ‘Fen hens and a couple of
cocks were accordingly placed in one of the tubs, and
secured with some wire-netting over them.

The ducks and geese were set at liberty, and took to
the water at once, while the pigeons, rejoicing to find
themselves on the wing, swiftly made for the shore.
My wife, who managed all this for me, kept us waiting
for her some little time, and came at last with a bag as
big as a pillow in her arms. “ This is my contribution,”
said she, throwing the bag to little Franz, to be, as I
thought, a cushion for-him to sit upon.

All being ready, we cast off, and moved away from
the wreck. My good, brave wife, sat in the first com-
partment of the boat; next her was Franz, a pretty little
boy, nearly eight years cld. Then came Fritz, a hand-
some, spirited young fellow of fifteen; the two centre
tubs contained the valuable cargo; then came our bold,
thoughtless Jack; next him Ernest, my second son
intelligent, well-informed, and rather indolent. I my-
14 The Swiss Family Robinson.

self, the anxious, loving father, stood in the stern,
endeavouring to guide the raft with its precious burden
‘to a safe landing-place.

The elder boys took the oars, every one wore a float
belt, and had somcthing useful close to him in case of
being thrown into the water.

The tide was flowing, which was a great help to the
young oarsmen. We emerged from the wreck and
glided into the open sea. All eyes were strained to get
a full view of the land, and the boys pulled with a will;
but for some time we made no progress, as the boat
kept turning round and round, until I hit upon the right:
way to steer it, after which we merrily made for the
shcre.

We had. left the two dogs, Turk and Juno, on the
wreck, as being both large mastiffs we did not care to
have their additional weight on board our craft; but
when they saw us apparently deserting them, they set
up a piteous howl, and sprang into the sea. Iwas sorry
to see this, for the distance to the land was so great that
I scarcely expected them to be able to accomplish it.
They followed us, however, and, occasionally resting their
fore-paws on the outriggers, kept up with us well. Jack
was inclined to deny them this their only chance of
safety. “Stop,” said I, “that would be unkind as well
as foolish; remember, the merciful man regardeth the
life of his beast.”

Our passage though tedious was safe; but the nearer

we approached the shore the Jess inviting it anpeared ;


The Shore safely reached. 15



the barren rocks seemed to threaten us with misery and
want.

Many casks, boxes, and bales of goods floated on the
water around us.. Fritz and I managed to secure a
couple of hogsheads, so as to tow them. alongside.
With the prospect of famine before us, it was desirable
to lay hold of anything likely to contain provisions.

By-and-by -we began to perceive that, between and
beyond the cliffs, green grass and trees were discernible.
Fritz could distinguish many tall palms, and Ernest
hoped they would prove to be cocoa-nut trees, and
enjoyed the thoughts of drinking the refreshing
milk.

“T am very sorry I never thought of bringing away
the Captain’s telescope,” said I.

“Oh, look here, father!” cried Jack, drawing a little
spy-glass joyfully out of his pocket.

By means of this glass, I made out that at some
distance to the left the coast was much more inviting, a
strong current however carried us directly towards the
frowning rocks, but I presently observed an opening,
where a stream flowed into the sea, and saw that our geese
and ducks were swimming towards this place. I steered
after them into the creek, and we found ourselves in a
small bay or inlet where the water was perfectly smooth
and of moderate depth. The ground sloped gently
upwards from the low banks to the cliffs which here
retired inland, leaving a small plain, on which it was
easy for us to land. Every one sprang gladly out of the


PENGUIN.
We pitch our Tent. 17



boat but little Franz, who, lying packed in his tub like a
potted shrimp, had to be lifted out by his mother.

The dogs had scrambled on shore before us; they
received us with loud barking and the wildest demon-
strations of delight. The geese and ducks kept up an
incessant din, added to which was the screaming and
croaking of flamingoes and penguins, whose dominion we
were invading. The noise was deafening, but far from
unwelcome to me, as I thought of the good dinners the
birds might furnish.

As soon as we could gather our children around us on
dry land, we knelt to offer thanks and praise for our
merciful escape, and with full hearts we commended
ourselves to God’s good keeping for the time to
come.

All hands then briskly fell to the work of unloading,
and oh how rich we felt ourselves as we did so! The
poultry we left at liberty to forage for themselves, and
set about finding a suitable place to erect a tent in which
to pass the night. This we speedily did; thrusting a
long spar into a hole in the rock, and supporting the
other end by a pole firmly planted in the ground, we
formed a framework over which we stretched the sail-
cloth we had brought ; besides fastening this down with
pegs, we placed our heavy chests and boxes on the
border of the canvas, and arranged hooks so as
to be able to close up the entrance during the
night.

“When this was accomplished, the boys ran to collect

CG
18 The Swiss Famaly, Lobinson.



RETURNING THANKS,

moss and grass, to spread in the tent for our beds, while,
I arranged a fire-place with some large flat stones, near,
the brook which flowed close by. Dry twigs and sea-
Fack makes a Prize. 19

_—

weed were soon in a blaze on the hearth, I filled the
iron pot with water, and giving my wife several cakes of
the portable soup, she established herself as our cook,
with little Franz to help her.

He, thinking his mother was melting some glue for
carpentering, was eager to know “ what papa was going
to make next?” oar

' “This is to be soup for your dinner, my child. Do
you think these cakes look like glue?”

“Ves, indeed I do?” replied Franz, “And I should
not much like to taste glue soup! don’t you want some
beef or mutton, Mamma?”

“Where can I get it, dear?” said she, “ we are a long
way from a butcher's shop! but these cakes are made of
the juice of good meat, boiled till it becomes a strong
stiff jelly—people take them when they go to sea,
because on a long voyage they can only have salt meat,
which will not make nice soup.”

Fritz meanwhile leaving a loaded gun with me, took
another himself, and went along the rough coast to see
what lay beyond the stream; this fatiguing sort of walk
not suiting Ernest’s fancy, he sauntered down to the
beach, and Jack scrambled among the rocks searching
for shellfish.

I was anxious to land the two casks which were
floating alongside our boat, but on attempting to do so,
I found that I could not get them up the bank on which
we had landed, and was therefore obliged to look for a
more convenient spot. As I did so, I was startled by

a2
20 The Swiss Famity Robinson.



hearing Jack shouting for help, as though in great
danger. He was at some distance, and I hurried to.

wards him with a hatchet in my hand. The little fellow

stood screaming in a deep pool, and as I approached, I
saw that a huge lobster had caught his leg in its power-
ful claw. Poor Jack was in a terrible fright; kick as he
would, his enemy still clung on. I waded into the water,

and seizing the lobster firmly by the back, managed ta.
make it loosen its hold, and we brought it safe to land

Jack, having speedily recovered his spirits, and anxious
to take such a prize to his mother, caught the lobster in
both hands, but instantly received such a severe blow
from its tail, that he flung it down, and passionately hit
the creature with a large stone. This display of temper
vexed me. “You are acting in a very childish way, my
son,” said I, “Never strike an enemy in a revengeful
spirit.” Once more’ lifting the lobster, Jack ran tri-
umphantly towards the tent.

“Mother, mother! a lobster! A lobster, Ernest! look
here, Franz! mind, he’ll bite you ! Where’s Fritz?”
All came crowding round Jack and his prize, wondering
at its unusual size, and Ernest wanted his mother to
‘make lobster soup directly, by adding it to what she was
now boiling. ,

She, however, begged to decline making any such
experiment, and said she preferred cooking one dish at a
time. Having remarked that the scene of Jack’s adven-
ture afforded a convenient place for getting my casks on
shore, I returned thither and succeeded in drawing them







Move Discoveries. 2





—

up on the beach, where I set them on end, and for the
present left them.

On my return I resumed the subject of Jack’s lobster,
and told him he should have the offending claw all to
himself when it was ready to be eaten, congratulating
him on being the first to discover anything useful.

“As to that,” said Ernest, “I found something very



LOBSTER.

good to eat, as well as Jack, only I could not get at them
without wetting my feet.”

“Pooh!” cried Jack, “I know what he saw—nothing
but some nasty mussels—I saw them too. Who wants
to eat trash like that! Lobster for me!”

“T believe them to be oysters, not mussels,” returned
Ernest calmly.

“Be good enough, my philosophical young friend, to
fetch a few specimens of these oysters in time for our
next meal,” said I; “we must all exert ourselves, Ernest,
22 The Swiss Family Robinson.

for the common good, and pray never let me hear you
object to wetting your feet. See how quickly the sun
has dried Jack and me.”

“T can bring some salt at the same time,” said Ernest,
“T remarked a good deal lying in the crevices of the
rocks ; it tasted very pure and good, and I concluded
it was produced by the evaporation of sea water in
the sun.”

“Extremely probable, learned sir,” cried I; “ but if you
had brought a bag full of this good salt instead of merely
speculating so profoundly on the subject, it would have |
been more to the purpose. Run. and fetch some
directly.”

It proved to be salt sure enough, although so impure
that it scemed useless, till my wife dissolved and strained
it, when it became fit to put in the soup.

“ Why not use the sea water itself?” asked Jack.

“ Because,” said Ernest, “it is not only salt, but bitter
too. Just try it.”

“Now,” said my wife, tasting the soup with the stick
with which she had been stirring it, “dinner is ready, but
where can Fritz be?” she continued, a little anxiously.

“ How are we to eat our soup when he does come?” I
asked ; “we have neither plates nor spoons, and we can
scarcely lift the boiling pot to our mouths. We are in
as uncomfortable a position as was the fox to whom
the stork served up a dinner in a jug with a long
neck,”

“Oh, for a few cocoa-nut shells!” sighed Ernest.


How shall we eat our Soup ? 23

“Oh, for half a dozen: plates and as many silver
spoons !” rejoined I, smiling,

“Really though, oyster-shells would do,” ‘said he,
after a moment’s thought: °

“True, that is an idea worth having! ‘Off with
you, my boys, get the oysters and clean out a few
shells.) What though-our spoons have no handles,
and we do burn our fingers a: little in baling the soup
out.” a

Jack was away and up to his knees in the water ina
moment detaching the oysters. Ernest followed mere
leisurely, and still unwilling to wet his feet, stood by the
margin of the pool and gathered in his handkerchief the
oysters his brother threw him; as he thus stood he picked
up and pocketed a large mussel shell for his own use.
As they returned with a good supply we heard a shout
from Fritz in the distance; we returned it joyfully, and
he presently appeared before us, his hands behind his
back, and a look of disappointment upon his coun-
tenance.

“ Unsuccessful !” said he.

“Really!” I replied; “never mind, my boy, better luck.
next time.”

“Oh, Fritz!” exclaimed his brothers who had looked
behind him, “a sucking-pig, a little sucking-pig- Where:
did you get it? How did you shoot. it? Do let us
see it!”

Fritz then with sparkling eyes exhibited his prize.

“Tam glad to see the result of your prowess, my boy,”
24 The Swiss Family Robinson.
said I; “but I cannot approve of deceit, even as a joke ;
stick to the truth in jest and earnest.”

Fritz then told us how he had been to the other side
of the stream. | “ So different from this,” he said; “ it is
really a beautiful country, and the shore, which runs
down to the sea in a gentle slope, is covered with all
sorts of useful things from the wreck. Do let us go
and collect them. And, father, why should we not
return to the wreck and bring off some of the animals?
Just think of what value the cow would be to us, and
what a pity it would be to lose her. Let us get her on
shore, and we will move over the stream, where she will
have good pasturage, and we shall be in. the shade
instead of on this desert, and, father, I do wish——” _.

“ Stop, stop, my boy!” cried I. “ All will be done in
good time. To-morrow and the day after will bring
work of their own. And tell me, did you see no traces
of our shipmates ?”

“Not a sign of them, either on land or sea,. living
or dead,” he replied.

“But the sucking pig,” said Jack, ‘“ where did you get
it?”

“Tt was one of several,” said Fritz, “which I found
cn the shore; most curious animals they are, they
hopped rather than walked, and every now and then
would squat down on their hind legs and rub their
snouts with their fore-paws. Had not I been afraid
of losing them all, I would have tried to catch one
alive, they seemed so tame.”
An Agoutt, 25

Meanwhile, Ernest had been carefully examining the
animal in question.

“This is no pig,” he said ; “and except for its bristly
skin, does not. look like one. See its teeth are not
like those of a pig, but rather those of a squirrel. In



AGOUTI.

fact,” he continued, looking at Fritz, “your sucking
pig is an Agouti.” ,

“Dear me,” said Fritz, “listen to the great pro-
fessor lecturing! He is going to prove that a pig is
not a pig!” .

“ You need not be so quick to laugh at your brother,”
26 The Swiss Family Robinson.





said I, in my turn; “he is quite right. I, too, know the
Agouti by descriptions and pictures, and there is little
doubt that this is a specimen. The little animal is a
native cf North America, where it: makes its’ nest
under the roots of trees, and lives upon fruit. But,
Ernest, the Agouti not only looks something like a pig,
but most decidedly grunts like a porker.”



OYSTERS,

While we were thus talking, Jack had been vainly en-
deavouring to open an oyster with his large knife. “Here
is a simpler way,” said I, placing an oyster on the fire ;
it immediately opened. “Now,” I continued, “who
will try this delicacy?” All at first hesitated to
partake of them, so unattractive did they appear.
Jack, however, tightly closing his eyes and making
a face as though about to take medicine, gulped one
down. We followed his example, one after the other,











































Ernest's Prudence. 27



each doing so rather to provide himself with a
spoon than with any hope of cultivating a taste for
oysters,

Our spoons were now ready, and gathering round
the pot we dipped them in, not, however, without
sundry scaided fingers. Ernest then drew from his
pocket the large shell he had procured for his own
use, and scooping up a good quantity of soup he put
it down to cool, smiling at his own foresight.

“Prudence should be exercised for others,” I re-
marked ; “your cool soup will do capitally for the
dogs, my boy; take it to them, and then come and —
eat like the rest of us.”

Ernest winced at, this, but silently taking up his shell
he placed it on the ground before the hungry dogs, who
lapped up its contents in a moment; he then returned,
and we all went merrily on with our dinner. While we
were thus busily employed, we suddenly discovered that
our dogs, not satisfied with their mouthful of soup, had
espied the Agouti, and were rapidly devouring it. Fritz
seizing his gun flew to rescue it from their hungry jaws,
and before I could prevent him, struck one of them with
such force that his gun was bent. The poor beasts ran
off howling, followed .by a shower of stones from Fritz,
who shouted and yelled at them so fiercely, that his
mother was actually terrified. I followed him, and as
soon as he would listen to me, represented to him how
despicable as well as wicked was such an outbreak of
temner : “for,” said I, “you have hurt, if not actually












ERNEST FEEDING THE DOGS,
first Night on Land. 29



tvounded, the dogs; you have distressed and terrified
your mother, and spoiled your gun.”

Though Fritz’s passion was easily aroused it never
lasted long, and speedily recovering himself, immediately
he entreated his mother’s pardon, and expressed his
sorrow for his fault.

By this time the sun was sinking beneath the hori-
zon, and the poultry, which had been straying to some
little distance, gathered round us, and began to pick up
the crumbs of biscuit which had fallen during our re-
past. My wife hereupon drew from her mysterious bag
some handfuls of oats, peas, and other grain, and with
them began to feed the poultry. She at the same time
showed me several other seeds of various vegetables.
“That was indeed thoughtful,” said I; “but pray be
careful of what will be of such value to us; we can
bring plenty of damaged biscuits from the wreck,
which though of no use as food for us, will suit the
fowls very well indeed.”

The pigeons now flew up to crevices in the rocks, the
fowls perched themselves on our tent pole, and the
ducks and geese waddled off cackling and quacking to
the marshy margin of the river. We too, were ready
for repose, and having loaded our guns, and offered up’
our prayers to God, thanking him for his many mercies
to us, we commended ourselves to his protecting care,
and as the last ray of light departed, closed our tent
and lay down to rest.

The children remarked the suddenness of nightfall,
30 The Swiss Family Robinson.

for indeed there had been little or no twilight. This
convinced me that we must be not far from the equator,
for twilight results from the refraction of the sun’s rays;
the more obliquely these rays fall, the further does the
partial light extend, while the more perpendiculariy
they strike the earth the longer do they continue their
undiminished force, until, when the sun sinks, they
totally disappear, thus producing sudden darkness.

Se




CHAPTER IL.

A morning consultation—Breakfast—Away on an expedition—Over the
stream and through the grass~An unexpected reinforcement—Search
in vain for our comrades—Rest by a stream—Fritz finds a ‘round
bird’s nest’’—Natural history of a cocoa-nut—Calabash trees—The
use of gourds—How to make a bottle—A lovely but lonely scene—
Sugar-canes—Monkeys of use—Cocoa-nut milk turned to champagne
—Turk kills an unfortunate mother monkey—Carry the orphan home
—Display our treasures—A sumptuous supper—Ernest’s penguin—
Champagne turned to vinegar—A fight with jackals—A curious sentinel
—A visit to the wreck—We rig our craft—Stow a cargo—Sleep on
board—Floats for our herd—We embark—Encounter a shark—Land
—Relate our adventures. .

WE should have been badly off without the shelter of
our tent, for the night proved as cold as the day had
been hot, but we managed to sleep comfortably, every
one being thoroughly fatigued by the labours of the
day. The voice of our vigilant cock, which as he
loudly saluted the rising moon, was the last sound I
heard at night, roused me at daybreak, and I then
awoke my wife, that in the quiet interval while yet our
children slept, we might take counsel together on our
situation and prospects... It was plain to both of us
that in the first place, we should ascertain if possible
the fate of our late companions, and then examine into
32 The Swiss Family Robinson.



the nature and resources of the country on which we
were stranded.

We therefore came to the resolution that, as soon as
we had breakfasted, Fritz and I should start on an expe-
dition with these objects in view, while my wife remained
near our landing-place with the three younger boys.

“Rouse up, rouse up, my boys,” cried I, awakening
the children cheerfully. “Come and help your mothet
to get breakfast ready.”

“As to that,” said she, smiling, “we can but set on
the pot, and boil some more soup!”

“Why! you forget Jack’s fine lobster!” replied I.
“What has become of it, Jack ? ”

“Tt has been safe in this hole in the rock all night,
father. You see, I thought as the dogs seem to like
good things, they might take a fancy to that as well as
to the agouti.”

“ A very sensible precaution,” remarked 1; “I believe
even my heedless Jack will learn wisdom in time. It
is well the lobster is so large, for we shall want to take
part with us on our excursion to-day.”

At the mention of an excursion, the four children
were wild with delight, and, capering around me, clapped
their hands for joy.

d

“ Steady there, steady !” said I, “you cannot expect
all to go. Such an expedition as this would be toa
dangerous and fatiguing for you younger ones. Fritz
and I will go alone this time, with one of the dogs,
leaving the other to defend you.”
An Excursion. 33

ee ee rere a ee



We then armed ourselves, each taking a gun anda
game bag; Fritz in addition sticking a pair of pistols
in his belt, and I a small hatchet in mine; breakfast
being over, we stowed away the remainder of the
lobster and some biscuits, with a flask of water, and
were ready for a start.

“Stop!” Texclaimed, we have still left something
very important undone.”

“Surely not,” said Fritz.

“Yes,” said I, “we have not yet joined in morning
prayer. We are only too ready, amid the cares and
pleasures of this life, to forget the God to whom we owe
all things.” Then having commended ourselves to his
protectirg care, i took leave of my wife and children,
and bidding them not wander far from the boat and tent,
we parted not without some anxiety on either side, for
we knew not what might assail us in this unknown region,

We now found that the banks of the stream were on
both sides so rocky that we-could get down to the
water by only one natrow passage, and there was no
corresponding path on the other side. I was glad to
see this however, for I now knew that my wife and chil-
dren were on a comparatively inaccessible spot, the other
side of the tent being protected by steep and precipitous
cliffs. Fritz and I pursued our way up the stream
until we reached a point where the waters fell froma
considerable height in a cascade, and where several
large rocks lay half covered by the water; by means of

these we succeeded in crossing the stream in safety.
D
34. The Swiss Family Robinson.

We thus had the sea on our left, and a long line of
_rocky heights, here and there adorned with clumps of
trees, stretching away inland to the right. We had
forced our way scarcely fifty yards through the long
rank grass, which was here partly withered by the sun
and much tangled, when we heard behind us a rustling,



CASCADE.

and on looking round saw the grass waving to and fro,
as if some animal were passing through it. Fritz .
instantly turned and brought his gun to his shoulder,
ready to fire the moment the beast should appear. I
was much pleased with my son’s coolness and presence
of mind, for it showed me that I might thoroughly rely
upon him on any future occasion when real danger
might occur ; this time, however, no savage beast rushed
_-out, but our trusty dog Turk, whom, in our anxiety
at parting, we had forgotten, and who had been sent
after us doubtless by my thoughtful wife.

From this little incident, however, we saw how dan-
Searching for our Companions. 35
gerous was our position, and how difficult escape would
be should any fierce beast steal upon us unawares: we
therefore hastened to make our way to the open sea-
shore. Here the scene which presented itself was
indeed delightful. A background of hills, the green
waving grass, the pleasant groups of trees stretching
here and there to the very water’s edge, formed a lovely
prospect. On the smooth sand we searched carefully
for any trace of our hapless companions, but not the
mark of a footstep could we find.

“Shall I fire a shot or two?” said Fritz ; “that would
bring our companions, if they are within hearing.”

“It would indeed,” I replied, “or any savages that
may be here. No, no; let us search diligently, but as
quietly as possible.”

“ But why, father, should we trouble ourselves about
them at all? They left us to shift for ourselves, and I
for one don’t care to set eyes on them again.”

“You are wrong, my boy,” said I. “In the first place,
we should not return evil for evil; then, again, they
might be of great assistance to us in building a house of
some sort; and lastly, you must remember that they
took nothing with them from the vessel, and may be
perishing of hunger.”

Thus talking, we pushed on until we came to a
pleasant grove which stretched down to the water's
edge ; here we halted to rest, seating ourselves under a
large tree, by a rivulet which murmured and splashed

along its pebbly bed into the great ocean before us, A
D2

+
36 The Swiss Family Robinson.

oe





A PLEASANT REST.

thousand gaily-plumaged birds flew twittering above us,
and Fritz and I gazed up at them.
My son suddenly started up.







































































































A Round Bird’s-nest. 37

“ A monkey,” he exclaimed ; “I am nearly sure I saw
a monkey.”

As he spoke he sprang round to the other side of the
tree, and in doing so stumbled over a round substance,
which he handed to me, remarking, as he did so, that it
was a round bird’s nest, of which he had often heard.

“You may have done so,” said I, laughing, “ but you
need not necessarily conclude that every round hairy
thing is a bird’s nest ; this, for instance, is not one, but a
cocoa-nut.”

We split open the nut, but, to our disgust, found the
kernel dry and uneatable.

“Hullo,” cried Fritz, “I always thought a cocoa-nut
was full of delicious sweet liquid, like almond milk.”

“ So it is,” I replied, “when young and fresh, but as it
ripens the milk becomes congealed, and in course of
time is solidified into a kernel. This kernel then dries as
you see here, but when the nut falls on favourable soil,
the germ within the kernel swells until it bursts through
the shell, and, taking root, springs up a new tree.”

“JT do not understand,” said Fritz, “how the little
germ manages to get through this great thick shell,
which is not like an almond or hazel nut-shell, that is
divided down the middle already.”

“Nature provides for all things,” I answered, taking
up the pieces. “Look here, do you see these three round
holes near the stalk; it is through them that the germ
obtains egress. Now let us find a good nut if we can.”

As cocoa-nuts must bs over-ripe before they fall
Qo

2 The Swiss Family Robinson.



naturally from the tree, it was not without difficulty that
we obtained one in which the kernel was not dried up.
When we succeeded, however, we were so refreshed by
the fruit that we could defer the repast we called our
dinner until later in the day, and so spare our stock of
provisions.

Continuing our way through a thicket, and which was
so densely overgrown with lianas that we had to clear
a passage with our hatchets, we again emerged on the
seashore beyond, and found an open view, the forest
sweeping inland, while on the space before us stood at
intervals single trees of remarkable appearance.

These at once attracted Fritz’s observant eye, and he
pointed to them, exclaiming,

“Oh, what absurd-looking trees, father! See what
strange bumps there are on the trunks.”

We approached to examine them, and I recognized
them as calabash trees, the fruit of which grows in this
curious way on the stems, and is a species of gourd,
from the hard rind of which bowls,.spoons, and bottles
can be made. “ The savages,” I remarked, “are said to
form these things most ingeniously, using them to con-
tain liquids: indeed, they actually cook food in them.”

“Oh, but that is impossible,” returned Fritz. “I am
quite sure this rind would be burnt through directly it
was set on the fire.”

“T did not say it was set on the fire at all. When
the gourd has been divided in two, and the shell or rind
emptied of its contents, it is filled with water, into
Calabash Trees. 39

which the fish, or whatever is to be cooked, is put ; red-
hot stones are added until the water boils; the food
becomes fit to eat, and the gourd-rind remains un-
injured.” 4

“That is a very clever plan: very simple too, [I
daresay I should have hit on it, if I had tried,” said
Fritz.

“The friends of Columbus thought it very easy to



CALABASH.

make an egg stand upon its end when he had shown

them how to do it. But now suppose we prepare somé

of these calabashes, that they may be ready for use when:
we take them home.”

Fritz instantly took up one of the gourds, and tried to
split it equally with his knife, but in vain: the blade
slipped, and the calabash was cut jaggedly. “What a
nuisance!” said Fritz, flinging it down, “the thing is
spoiled; and yet it seemed so simple to divide it
properly.” Te

“Stay,” said 1; “you are toc impatient, those pieces:
40 The Swiss Family Robznson.



are not useless. Do you try to fashion from them a
spoon or two while I provide a dish.”

I then took from my pocket a piece of string, which I
tied tightly round a gourd, as near one er.d of it as I
could; then tapping the string with the back of my knife,
it penetrated the outer shell. When this was accom-
plished, I tied the string yet tighter; and drawing the
ends with all my might, the gourd fell, divided exactly
as I wished.

’ cried Fritz. “What in the world
put that plan into your head ?”

“That is clever!’

“Tt is a plan,” I replied, “which the negroes adopt,
as I have learned from reading books of travel.”

“Well, it certainly makes a capital soup-tureen, and a
soup-plate too,” said Fritz, examining the gourd. “ But
supposing you had wanted to make a bottle, how would
you have set to work ?”

“Tt would be an easier operation than this, if possible.
All that is necessary, is to cut a round hole at one end,
then to scoop out the interior, and to drop in several
shot or stones; when these are shaken, any remaining
portions of the fruit are detached, and the gourd is
thoroughly cleaned, and the bottle completed.”

“That would not make a very convenient bottle
though, father ; it would be more like a barrel.”

“True, my boy; if you want a morc shapely vessel,
you must take it in hand when it is younger. To
give it a neck, for instance, you must tie a bandage

round the young gourd while it is still on the tree,
The Use of Gourds. 4



and then all wiil swell but that part which you have
checked.”

As I spoke, I filled the gourds with sand, and left
them to dry; marking the spot that we might return fer
them on our way back.

For three hours or more we pushed forward, keeping
a sharp look-out on either side for any trace of our com-
panions, till we reached a bold promontory, stretching
some way into the sea, from whose rocky summit I
knew that we should obtain a good and comprehensive
view of the surrounding country. With little difficulty
we reached the top, but the most careful survey of the
beautiful landscape failed to show us the slightest sign
or trace of human beings. Before us stretched a wide
and lovely bay, fringed with yellow sands, either side
extending into the distance, and almost lost to view in’
two shadowy promontories ; inclosed by these two arms
lay a sheet of rippling water, which reflected in its depths
the glorious sun above. The scene inland was no less
beautiful; and yet Fritz and- I both felt a shade of
soneliness stealing over us as we gazed on its utter
solitude.

“Cheer up, Fritz, my boy,” said I, presently. “ Re-
member that we chose a settler’s life iong ago, before
we left our own dear country ; we certainly did not
expect to be so entirely alone—but what matters a few
people, more or less. With God’s help, let us endeavour
to live here contentedly, thankful that we were not cast
upon some bare and inhospitable island. But come, the
42 Lhe Swiss Famely Robinson.





Bo fae sho te a a cnet ce ae rg cy ae an

heat here is getting unbearable ; let us find some shady
zlace before we are completely broiled away.”

We descended the hill and made for a clump of palm
trees, which we saw at a little distance. To reach this,
we had to pass through a dense thicket of reeds, no
pleasant or easy task; for, besides the difficulty of
forcing our way through, I feared at every step that we
might tread on some venomous’ snake. Sending Turk
in advance, I cut one of the reeds, thinking it would be
a more useful weapon against a reptile than my gun. I
had carried it but a little way, when I noticed a thick
juice exuding from one end. I tasted it, and to my
delight, found it sweet and pleasant. I. at once knew
that I was standing amongst sugar-canes. Wishing
Fritz to make the same discovery, I advised him to
cut a cane for his defence; he did so, and. as he
beat the ground before him, the reed split, and
his hand was covered with the juice. He carefully
touched the cane with the tip of his tongue, then,
finding the juice sweet, he did so again with less hesi-
tation; and a moment afterwards sprang back to me,
exclaiming,—

“Oh, father, sugar-canes, sugar-canes! Taste it. Oh,
how delicious, how delightful ! do let us take a lot home
to mother,” he continued, sucking cagerly at the cane!

“Gently there,” said I, “take breath a moment,

_ moderation in all things, remember. Cut some to take
home if you like, only don’t take more than you can
conveniently carry.”
Monkeys of Servite. 43

“In spite of my warning, my son cut a dozen or more
of the largest canes, and stripping them of their leaves,
carried them under his arm. We then pushed through
the cane-brake, and reached the clump of palms for
which we had been making; as we entered it a troop of
monkeys, who had been disporting themselves on the
ground, sprang up, chattering and grimacing, and before
we could clearly distinguish them, were at the very top
of the trees.

Fritz was so provoked by their impertinent gestures
that he raised his gun, and would have shot one of the
poor beasts.

“Stay,” cried I, “never take the life of any animal need-
lessly, A live monkey up in that tree is of more use to
us than a dozen dead ones at our feet, as I will show you.”

Saying this, I gathered a handful of small stones, and
threw them up towards the apes. The stones did not
. go near them, but influenced by their instinctive mania
for imitation, they instantly seized all the cocoa-nuts
within their reach, and sent a perfect hail of them down
upon us.

Fritz was delighted with my stratagem, and rushing
forward picked up some of the finest of the nuts. We
drank the milk they contained, drawi~ it through the
holes which I pierced, and then, splitting the nuts open
with the hatchet, ate the cream which lined their shells.
After this delicious meal, we thoroughly despised the
lobster we had been carrying, and threw it to Turk,
who ate it gratefully: but far from being satisfied, the
44 The Swiss Family Robinson.
poor beast began to gnaw the ends of the sugar-canes, and
to beg for cocoa-nut. I slung a couple of the nuts over
my shoulder, fastening them together by their stalks, and
Fritz having resumed his burden, we began our home-
ward march. ,

I soon discovered that Fritz found the weight of his
canes considerably more than he expected: he shifted
them from shoulder to shoulder, then for a while carried
them under his arm, and finally stopped short with a
sigh. “I had no idea,” he said, “that a few reeds would
beso heavy.”

“Never mind, my boy,” i said, “ Patience and cour-
age! Do you not remember the story of {sop and
his bread-basket, how heavy he found it when he started,
and how light at the end of his journey. Let us each
take a fresh staff, and then fasten the bundle crosswise
with your gun.”

We did so, and once more stepped forward, Fritz
presently noticed that I from time to time sucked the
end of my cane.

“ Oh, come,” said he, “that’s a capital plan of yours,
father, I'll do that too.”

So saying, he began to suck most vigorously, but not
a drop of the juice could he extract. “ How is this es
he asked. ‘“ How do you get the juice out, father?”

“ Think a little,” I replicd, “ you are quite as capable as
I am of finding out the way, even if you do not know
the real reason of your failure.”

- *Oh, of course,” said he, “it is like trying to suck
A New Luxury. 45

——— a



marrow from a marrow bone, without making a hole at
the other end.”

“Quite right,” I said, “you form a vacuum in your
mouth and the'end of your tube, and expect the air to
force down the liquid from the other end whiclr it cannot
possibly enter.”

Fritz was speedily perfect in the accomplishment of
sucking ‘sugar-cane, discovering by experience the neces-
sity for a fresh cut at each joint or knot in the cane,
through which the juice could not flow; he talked of the
pleasure of initiating his brothers in the art, and of how
Ernest would enjoy the cocoa-nut milk, with which he
had filled his flask.

“ My dear boy,” said I, “you need not have added that
to your load? the chances are it is vinegar by the time
we get home. In the heat of the sun, it will ferment
soon after being drawn from the nut.”

“Vinegar! Oh, that would be a horrid bore! I must
look directly, and see how it is getting on,” cried Fritz,
hastily swinging the flask from his shoulder, and tugging
out the cork. With a loud ‘pop’ the contents came
forth, foaming like champagne.

“There now!” said I, laughing as he tasted this new
luxury, “you will have to exercise moderation again,
friend Fritz! I daresay it is delicious, but it will go to
your head, if you venture deep into your flask.”

“My dear father, you cannot think how good it is!
Do take some. Vinegar, indeed! This is like excellent

wine.”
46 The Swiss Family Robinson.

We were both invigorated by this unexpected draught,
and went on so merrily after it, that the distance to the
‘ place where we had left our gourd dishes seemed less
than we expected. We found them quite dry, and very
light and easy to carry.

Just as we had passed through the grove in which we
breakfasted, Turk suddenly darted away from us, and
sprang furiously among a troop of monkeys, which were
gambolling playfully on the turf at a little distance from
the trees. They were taken by surprise completely, and
the dog, now really ravenous from hunger, had seized,
and was fiercely tearing one to pieces before we could
approach the spot.

His luckless victim was the mother of a tiny little
monkey, which being on her back when the dog flew at
her, had hindered her flight ; the little creature attempted
to hide among the grass, and in trembling fear watched
the tragic fate of its mother. On perceiving Turk’s
bloodthirsty design, Fritz had eagerly rushed to the
rescue, flinging away all he was carrying, and losing his
hat in his haste. All to no purpose as far as the poor
mother ape was concerned, and a laughable scene ensued,
for no sooner did the young monkey catch sight of him,
than at one bound it was on his shoulders, and, holding
fast by his thick curly hair, it firmly kept its seat in spite
of all he could do to dislodge it. He screamed and
- plunged about as he endeavoured to shake or pull the
creature off, but all in vain, it only clung the closer to
his neck, making the most absurd grimaces.





Frits Protégé. 47

ide Sipe, a at 9 so te Sian S



1 laughed so much at this ridiculous scene, that I could
scarcely assist my terrified boy out of his awkward
predicament.

At last, by coaxing the monkey, offering it a bit of



MONKEYS.

biscuit, and gradually disentangling its small sinewy
paws from the curls it grasped so tightly, I managed
to relieve poor Fritz, who then looked with interest at
the baby ape, no bigger than a kitten, as it lay in my
arms.

«What a jolly little fellow it is!” exclaimed he, “do
let me try to rear it, father. I daresay cocoa nut milk
would do until we can bring the cow and the goats from
the wreck. If he lives he might be useful to us. 1
believe monkeys instinctively know what fruits are
wholesome and what are poisonous.”

“Well,” said I “Ict the little crphan be yours. You
48 The Swiss Family Robinson.

bravely and kindly exerted yourself to save the mother’s
life, now you must train her child carefully, for unless
you do so its natural instinct will prove mischievous
instead of useful to us.”

Turk was meanwhile devouring with great satisfaction ©
the little animal's unfortunate mother. I could not
grudge it him, and continued hunger might have made
him dangerous to ourselves. We did not think it neces-
sary to wait until he had dined, so we prepared to
resume our march.

The tiny ape seated itself in the coolest way imagin-
able on Fritz’s shoulder, I helped to carry his canes, and
we were on some distance before Turk overtook us,
looking uncommonly well pleased, and licking his chops
as though recalling the memory of his feast.

He took no notice of the monkey, but it was very
uneasy at sight of him, and scrambled down into Fritz’s
arms, which was so inconvenient to him that he devised
a plan to relieve himself of his burden. Calling Turk,
and seriously enjoining obedience, he seated the monkey
on his back, securing it there with a cord, and then
putting a second string round the dog’s neck that he
micht lead him, he put a loop of the knot into the
comical rider’s hand, saying gravely, “ Having slain the
parent, Mr. Turk, you will please to carry the son.”

At first this arrangement mightily displeased them
both, but by and by they yielded to it quietiy; the
monixey especially amused us by riding along with the
air of a person perfectly at his easc.
Our Return. £9



~

“We look just like a couple of mountebanks on their-
way to a fair with animals to’ exhibit,” said I. “What
an outcry the children will make when we appear !”

My son enquired to what species of the monkey tribe
I thought his protégé belonged, which led to a good deal
of talk on the subject, and conversation beguiling the
way, we found ourselves ere long on the rocky margin
of the stream and close to the rest of our party. .

Juno was the first to be aware of our approach, and
gave notice of it by loud barking, to which Turk replied
with such hearty good will, that his little rider, terrified
at the noise his steed was making, slipped from under
the cord and fled to his refuge on Fritz’s shoulder,
where he regained his composure and settled himself
comfortably.

Turk, who by this time knew where he was, finding
himself free, dashed forward to rejoin his friend, and
announce our coming. .

One after another our dear ones came running to the
opposite bank, testifying in various ways their delight at
our return, and hastening up on their side of the river, as
we on ours, to the ford at which we had crossed in the
morning. We were quickly on the other side, and, full of
joy and affection, our happy party was once more united.

The boys suddenly perceiving the little animal which
was clingine close to their brother, in alarm at the
tumult of voices, shouted in ecstasy.

“A monkey! a monkey! oh how splendid! where
did Fritz find him? What may we give him to eat?

E
50 The Swiss Fanwtly Robinson.



Oh, what a bundle of sticks! Look at those curious
great nuts father has got }”

We could neither check this confused torrent of ques- -
tions, nor get in a word in answer to them.

At length when the excitement subsided a little, I
was able to say a few words with a chance of being
listened to. “I am truly thankful to see you all safe
and well, and, thank God, our expedition has been very
satisfactory, except that we have entirely failed to dis-
cover any trace of our shipmates.”

“TF it be the will of God,” said my wife, “to leave us
alone on this solitary place, let us be content; and
rejoice that we are all together in safety.”

“Now we want to hear all your adventures, and let
us relieve you of your burdens,” added she, taking my
game bag.

Jack shouldered my gun, Ernest took the cocoa nuts,
and little Franz carried the gourds, Fritz distributed
the sugar canes amongst his brothers, and handing
Ernest his gun replaced the monkey on Turk’s back.
“ Ernest soon found the burden with which Fritz had
laden him too heavy to histaste. His mother perceiving
this, offered to relieve him of part of the load. He gave
up willingly the cocoa nuts, but no sooner had he done
so than his elder brother exclaimed—

“Hullo, Ernest, you surely do not know what you
are parting with ; did you really intend to hand over
those good cocea nuts without so much as tasting
them?”
We arsplay our Treasures. 51

peewee ee a a a rs A



“What? ho! are they really cocoa nuts?” cried Ernest,
“Do let me take them again mother, do let me look at
them.” “No, thank you,” replied my wife with a smile.
“T have no wish to see you again overburdened.” “Oh
but I have only to throw away these sticks, which are
of no use, and then I can easily carry them.”

“ Worse and worse,” said Fritz; “I have a particular
regard for those heavy useless sticks, Did you ever
hear of sugar canes ?”

The words were scarcely out of his mouth when
Ernest began to suck vigorously at the end of the
cane with no better result, however, than Fritz had
obtained as we were on the march.

“Here,” said Fritz, “let me show you the trick of it,”
and he speedily set all the youngsters to work extract-
ing the luscious juice..

My wife, as a prudent housekeeper, was no less de-
lighted than the children with this discovery ; the sight
of the dishes also pleascd her greatly, for she longed to
see us eat once more like civilised beings. We went
into the kitchen and there found preparations for a truly
sumptuous meal. Two forked sticks were planted in
the ground on either side of the fire, on these rested a
rod from’ which hung several tempting looking fish,
opposite them hung a goose from a similar contrivance,
slowly roasting while the gravy dropped into a large
shell placed beneath it. In the centre sat the great.
pot from which issued the smell of a most delicious

soup. To crown this splendid array, stood an open
‘ E2
52 The Swiss Family Robinson.

hogshead full of Dutch cheeses, All this was very
pleasant to two hungry travellers, but I was about to
beg my wife to spare the poultry until our stock should
have increased, when she, perceiving my thought, quickly
relieved my anxiety. “This is not one of our geese,”
she said, “ but a wild bird Ernest killed.”

“Yes,” said Ernest, “it is a Penguin, I think, it let me
get quite close, so that I knocked it on the head with a
stick. Here are its head and feet which I preserved to
show you; the bill is, you see, narrow and curved down-
wards, and the feet are webbed. It had funny little bits
of useless wings, and its eyes looked so solemnly and
sedately at me, that I was almost ashamed to kill it.
Do you not think it must have been a Penguin? ”.

“T have little doubt on the matter, my boy,” and I
was about to make a few remarks on the habits of this
bird, when my wife interrupted me and begged us to
come to dinner and continue our natural history con-
versation at some future time. We then sat down
before the appetising meal prepared for us, cur gourds
coming for the first time into use, and having done it

‘full justice, produced the cocoa. nuts ky way of dessert.
“ Here is better food for your little friend,” said I to Fritz,
who had beenvainly endeavouring to persuade the monkey
to taste dainty morsels of the food we had been eating ;
“the poor little animal has been accustomed to nothing
but its mother’s milk; fetch me a saw, one of you.”

I then, after extracting the milk of the nuts from their
natural holes, carefully cut the shells in half, thus pro-
A Midnight Attack. 53

viding several more useful basins. The monkey was
perfectly satisfied with the milk, and eagerly sucked the
corner of a handkerchief dipped in it. Fritz now
‘suddenly recollected his delicious wine, and producing
his flask, begged his mother to taste it. “Try it first
yourself,” said I; Fritz did so, and I instantly saw by
his countenance that the liquor had passed through the
first stage of fermentation and had become vinegar.

“Never mind, my boy,” said my prudent wife, when
she learned the cause of his wry faces, “we have wine
already but no vinegar; I am really pleased at the
transformation.”

The sun was now rapidly sinking behind the horizon,
and the poultry retiring for the night warned us that we
must follow their example. Having offered up our
prayers, we lay down on our beds, the monkey crouched
down between Jack and Fritz, and we were all soon fast
asleep. .

We did not, however, long enjoy this; repose a loud
barking from our dogs, who were on guard outside the
tent, awakened us, and the fluttering and cackling of our
poultry warned us that a foe was approaching. Fritz
and I sprang up, and seizing our guns rushed out.
There we found a desperate combat going on, our gallant
dogs, surrounded by a dozen or more large jackals, were
fighting bravely, four of their opponents lay dead, but
the others were in no way deterred by the fate of their
comrades. Fritz and I, however, sent bullets through
the heads of a couple more, and the rest galloped
BA The Swiss Family Robinson.



off. Turk and Juno did not intend that they should
escape so cheaply, and pursuing them, they caught,
‘killed, and devoured another of the animals, regardless
-of their near relationship. Fritz wished to save one



JACKAL.

of the jackals that he might be able to show it to his
brothers in the morning ; dragging therefore the one that
he had shot near the tent, he concealed it, and we once
more returned to our beds.

Soundly and peacefully we slept until cock-crow next
morning, when my wife and I awoke, and began to
discuss the business of the day.
A Strange Sa 55

“It seems ces necessary, my dear wife,’ I
began, “to return at once to the wreck while it is yet
calm, that we may save the poor animals left there, and
‘bring on shore,many articles of infinite value to us,
which, if we do not now recover, we may finally lose
entirely. On the other hand, I feel that there is an
immense deal to be done on shore, and that I ought not
to leave you in such an insecure shelter as this tent.”

* Return to the wreck by all means,” replied my wife,
cheerfully. “Patience, order, and perseverance will help
us through all our work, and I agree with you that a
visit to the wreck is without doubt our first duty. Come,
let us wake the children, and set to work without
delay.”

They were soon roused, and Fritz overcoming his
drowsiness before the others, ran out for his jackal ; it
was cold and stiff from the night air, and he placed it
on its legs before the tent, in a most life-like attitude,
and stood by to watch the effect upon the family. The
dogs were the first to perceive their enemy, and growl-
ing, seemed inclined to dispose of the animal as they
had disposed of its brethren in the night, but Fritz
called them off. The noise the dogs made, however,
had the effect of bringing out the younger children, and
many were the exclamations they made at the sight ot
the strange animal.

“A yellow dog!” cried Franz.

“A wolf!” exclaimed Jack.

“Tt is a striped fox,” said Ernest.
56 The Swiss Family Robinson.





_. “Hullo,” said Fritz. “The greatest men may make
mistakes. Our Professor does not know a jackal when
he sees one.”

_ “But really,” continued Ernest, examining the animal,
“T think it is a fox.”

“Very well, very well,” retorted Fritz, “no doubt you
know better than your father! He thinks it is a jackal.”
“Come boys,” said I, “no more of this quarrelling ;
you are none of you very far wrong, for the jackal
partakes of the nature of all three, dog, wolf, and
fox.”

_ The monkey had come out on Jack’s shoulder, but no
sooner did it catch sight of the jackal, than it fled
precipitately back into the tent, and hid itself in a heap
of moss until nothing was visible but the tip of its little
nose. Jack soothed and comforted the frightened little
animal, and I then summoned them all to prayers, soon
after which we began our breakfast. So severely had
we dealt with our supper the previous night, that we
had little to eat but the biscuits, which were so dry and
hard, that, hungry as we were, we could not swallow
much, Fritz and I took some cheese to help them down,
while my wife and younger sons soaked theirs in water.
Ernest roamed down to the shore, and looked about for
shell-fish. Presently he returned with a few whelks,
«“ Ah,” said he, “if we had but some butter.” “My good
boy,” I replied, “Your perpetual IF IF, quite annoys
me, why do you not sit down and eat cheese like the
rest of us.” “Not while I can get butter ;” he said, “see
Ernest makes a Discovery. 57



here, father,” and he pointed to a large cask, “that barrel
contains butter of some sort or another, for it is oozing
out at the end.”

“Really, Ernest,” I said, “we are indebted to you. I
. will open the cask. So saying, I took a knife and care-
fully cut a small hole, so that I could extract the butter
' without exposing the mass of it to the effects of the air
and heat. Filling a cocoa-nut shell, we once more sat
down, and toasting our biscuits before the fire, spread
them with the gcod Dutch butter. We found this
vastly better than the dry biscuit, and while we were
thus employed, 1 noticed that the two dogs were lying
unusually quietly by my side. I at first attributed this
drowsiness to their large meal during the night, but I
soon discovered that it arose from a different cause ; the
faithful animals had not escaped unhurt from their late
combat, but had received several deep and painful
wounds, especiaily about the neck. The dogs began to
lick each other on the places which they could not reach
with their own tongues, and my wife carefully dressed
the wounds with butter from which she had extracted
the salt by washing.

A sudden thought now struck Ernest, and he wisely
remarked, that if we were to make spiked collars for
the dogs, they would in future escape such dangerous
wounds. “Oh yes,” exclaimed Jack, “and I will make
them, may I not, father?”

“Try by all means, my little fellow,” said I, “and
persuade your mother to assist you, and now, Fritz,” I
58 The Swiss Family Robtnson.



‘continued, “we must be starting, for you and I are to
make a trip to the wreck.” I begged the party who
were to remain on shore, to keep together as much as
‘possible, and having arranged a set of signals with my
wife, that we might exchange communications, asked a
blessing on our enterprise. I erected a signal post, and
while Fritz was making preparations for our departure,
hoisted a strip of sailcloth as a flag; this flag was to
remain hoisted so long as all was well on shore, but
should our return be desired, three shots were to be
fired and the flag lowered.

All was now ready, and warning my wife that we
might find it necessary to remain all night on the vessel,
we tenderly bade adieu and embarked. Except our
guns and ammunition we were taking nothing, that we
might leave as much space as possible for the stowage
of a large cargo. Fritz, however, had resolved to bring
his little monkey, that he might obtain milk for it as
soon as possible. We had not got far from the shore,
when I perceived that a current from the river set in
directly for the vessel, and though my nautical know-
ledge was not great, I succeeded in steering the boat
into the favourable stream, which carried us nearly
three-fourths of our passage with little or no trouble to
ourselves; then, by dint of hard pulling, we accom-
plished the whole distance, and, entering through the
breach, gladly made fast our boat and stepped on board.
‘Our first care was to sec to the animals, who greeted us

with joy—lowing, bellowing, and bleating as we ap-
We wistt the Wreck. 59

proached ; not that the poor beasts were hungry, for
they were all still well supplied with food, but they were
apparently pleased by the mere sight of human beings.
Fritz then placed his monkey by one of the goats, and
the little animal immediately sucked the milk with
evident relish, chattering and grinning all the while ; the
monkey provided for, we refreshed ourselves with some
wine and biscuits. “Now,” said I, “we have plenty to
do; where shall we begin ?”

“Let us fix a mast and sail to our boat,’ answered
Fritz; “for the current which brought us out will not
take us back ; whereas the fresh breeze we met would
help us immensely had we but a sail.”

“Capital thought,” I replied; “let us set to work at
once.”

I chose a stout spar to serve as a mast, and having
made a hole in a plank nailed across one of the tubs,
we, with the help cf a rope and a couple of blocks,
stepped it and secured it with stays. We then dis-
covered a lug-sail,-which had belonged to one of the
ships’ boats ; this we hoisted ; and our craft was ready to
sail. Fritz begged me to decorate the mast-head with a
red streamer, to give our vessel a more finished appear-
ance. Smiling at this childish but natural vanity, I
complied with his request. I then contrived a rudder,
that I might be able to steer the boat; for though I
knew that an oar would serve the purpose, it was
cumbrous and inconvenient. While I was thus em-
ployed, Fritz examined the shore with his glass, and
60 The Surtss Family Robinson.

soon announced that the flag was flying and all was
well.

So much time had now slipped away, that we found
we could not return that night, as I had wished. We
signalled our intention of remaining on board, and then
spent the rest of our time in taking out the stones we
had placed in the boat for ballast, and stowed in their
place heavy articles, of value to us. The ship had
sailed for the purpose of supplying a young colony, she
had therefore on board every conceivable article we
could desire in our present situaticn, our only difficulty
indeed was to make a wise selection, A large quantity
of powder and shot we first secured, and as Fritz con-
sidered that we could not have too many weapons, we
added three excellent guns, and a whole armful of
swords, daggers, and knives. We remembered that
knives and forks were necessary, we therefore laid in a
large stock of them, and kitchen utensils of all sorts.
Exploring the captain’s cabin, we discovered a service
of silver plate and a cellaret of good old wine; we then
went over the stores, and supplied ourselves with potted
meats, portable soups, Westphalian hams, sausages, a bag
of maize and wheat, and a quantity of other seeds and
vegetables. I then added a barrel of sulphur for matches,
and as much cordage as I could find. All this—with
nails, tools, and agricultural implements—completed our
cargo, and sank our boat so low, that I should have
been obliged to lighten her had not the sea been calm.

Night drew on, and a large fire, lighted by those on
Lading the Boat. 61



shore, showed us that all was well. We replied by
hoisting four ship’s lanterns, and two shots announced
us that our signal was perceived ; then, with a heart-felt
prayer for the safety of our dear ones on shore, we
retired to our boat, and Fritz at all events was soon
sound asleep. For a while I could not sleep, the
thought of my wife and children—alone and unprotected,
save by the great dogs—disturbed my rest.

The night at length passed away. At day-break
Fritz and I arose, and went on deck. I brought the
telescope to bear upon the shore, and with pleasure saw
the flag still waving in the morning breeze; while I
kept the glass directed to the land, I saw the door of
the tent open, and my wife appear and look steadfastly
towards us.

I at once hoisted a white flag, and in reply, the flag
on shore was thrice dipped. Oh, what a weight seemed
lifted from my heart as I saw the signal !

“ Fritz,’ I said, “I am not now in such haste to get
back, and begin to feel compassion for all these poor
beasts. I wish we could devise some means for getting
them on shore.”

“We might make a raft,” suggested Fritz, “and take
off one or two at a time.”

“True,” I replied; “it is easy enough to say, ‘make
a raft,’ but to do it is quite another thing.”

“Well,” said Fritz, “I can think of nothing else,
unless indeed we make them such swimming belts as
you made for the children.”
62 The Sw¢ss fared Robinson.



“Really, m my ae that idea is worth Renee: Iam.
not joking, indeed,” I continued, as I saw him smile ;
“we may get. every one of the animals ashore in that
way.”

So saying, I caught a fine sheep, and proceeded. to
put our plan into execution. I first fastened a broad
piece of linen round its belly, and to this attached some
corks and empty tins; then with Fritz’s help, 1 flung
the animal into the sea—it sank, but a moment after-
wards rose and floated famously.

“ Wurrah!” exclaimed Fritz, “ we will treat them all
like that.” We then rapidly caught the other animals
and provided them one after the other with a similar
contrivance. The cow and ass gave us more trouble
than did the others, for, for them we required something
more buoyant than the mere cork; we at last found
some empty casks and fastened two to each animal by
thongs passed under its belly. This done the whole
herd were ready to start, and we brcught the ass to one
of the ports to be the first to be launched. After some
manceuvring we got him in a convenient position, and
then a sudden heave sent him plunging into the sea.
fle sank, and then, buoyed up by the casks, emerged
head and back from the water. The cow, sheep, and
goats followed him one after the other, and then the
sow alone remained. She seemed, however, determined
not to leave the ship ; she kicked, struggled, and squealed
so violently, that I really thought we should be obliged
to abandon her; at length, after much trouble, we

Floating the Herd. " “Os
succceded in sending her out of the port after the others,
and when once in the water, such was the old lady’s
energy that she quickly distanced them, and was the
first to reach the shore.

We had fastened to the horns or neck of each animal
a cord with a float attached to the end, and now em-
barking, we gathered up these floats, set sail, and steered
for shore, drawing our herd after us.

Delighted with the successful accomplishment of our
task, we got out some biscuits,and enjoyed a midday
meal; then, while Fritz amused himself with his monkey,



I took up my glass and tried to make out how our dea:
ones on shore were employing themselves. As I was
thus engaged, a sudden shout from Fritz surprised me
I glanced up; there stood Fritz with his gun to his
shoulder, pointing it at a huge shark ; the monster was
making for one of the finest sheep ; he turned on his side _
to seize his prey ; as the white of his belly appeared .
Fritz fired. The shot took effect, and our enemy disap-
peared, leaving a trace of blood on the calm water.




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































os

eee

py
;

Tw

ee ee

= PEGARG



SHOOTING THE SHARK.
A Fearful Enemy. 65

Py)



‘Well done, my boy,” I cried, “you will become a
crack shot one of these days; but I trust you will not
often have such dangerous game to shoot.” Fritz’s
eyes sparkled at his success and my praise, and reload-
ing his gun, carefully watched the water. But the shark
did not again appear, and borne onwards by the breeze,
we quickly neared the shore, Steering the boat to a
convenient landing place, I cast off the ropes- which
secured the animals, and let them get ashore as best
they might.

There was no sign of my wife or children when we
stepped on land, but a few moments afterwards they
appeared, and with a shout of joy ran towards us. We
were thankful to be once more united, and after asking
and replying to a few preliminary questions, proceeded
to release our herd from their swimming belts, which,
though so useful in the water, were exceedingly incon-
venient on shore. My wife was astonished at the
apparatus.

“ How clever you are,” said she.

“T am not the inventor,” I replied, “the honour is due
to Fritz. He not only thought of this plan for bringing
off the animals, but saved one at least of them from a
most fearful death.” And I then told them how bravely
he had encountered the shark.

My wife was delighted with: her son’s success, but
declared that she would dread our trips to the vessel
more than ever, knowing that such savage fish inhabited
the waters.
66 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Fritz, Ernest, and I began the work of unloading our
craft, while Jack, seeing that the poor donkey was still
encumbered with his swimming belt, tried to free him
from it. But the donkey would not stand quiet, and the
child’s fingers were not strong enough to loosen the
cordage; finally, therefore, he scrambled upon the
animal’s back, and urging him on with hand and foot,
trotted towards us.

“Come, my boy,” I said, “no one must be idle here,
even for a moment; you will have riding practice enough
hereafter ; dismount and come and help us.” _

Jack was soon on his feet. “But I have not been idle
all day,” he said; “look here!” and he pointed to a belt
round his waist. It was a broad belt of yellow hair in
which he had stuck a couple of pistols and a knife.’ “And
see,” he added, “ what I have made for the dogs. Here,
Juno, Turk,” the dogs came bounding up at his call, and
I saw that they were each supplied with a collar of the
same skin, in which were fastened nails, which bristled
round their necks in a most formidable manner.

“Capital, capital! my boy,” said I, “but where did
you get your materials, and who helped you ?”

“Except in cutting the skin,” said my wife, “he had
no assistance, and as for the materials, Fritz’s jackal
supplied us with the skin, and the needles and thread
came out of my wonderful bag. You little think how
many useful things may be had from that same bag; it
is woman’s duty and nature, you know, to see after
trifles.”
A Delicious Supper. 67



Fritz evidently did not approve of the use to which
his jackal’s hide had been devoted, and holding his nose,
. begged his little brother to keep at a distance; “really,
Jack,” he said, “you should have cured the hide before
you: used it, the smell is disgusting; don’t come near
me.”
“It's not the hide that smells at all,” retorted Jack,
“it is your nasty jackal itself that you left in the sun.”
“Now, boys,” said I, “no quarrelling here; do you,
‘Jack, help your brother to drag the carcase to the sea,
-and if your belt smells after that you must take it off and
dry it better.”
The jackal was dragged off, and we then finished our
“wotk- of unloading our boat. When. this. was accom-
plished we started for our tent, and finding there no
preparation for supper, I said, “ Fritz, let us have a West-
phalian ham.”
“Ernest,” said my wife, smiling, “let us see if we
cannot conjure up some eggs.” ,
Fritz got out a splendid ham and carried it to his
mother triumphantly, while Ernest set before mea dozen
white balls with parchment-like coverings.
+ “Turtles’ eggs!” said I. “Well done, Ernest, where
did you get them ?”
“That,” replied my wife, “shall be told in due course
when we relate our adventures; now we will see what

4

they will do towards making a supper for you; with
these and your ham I do not think we shall starve.”

Leaving my wife to prepare supper, we returned to the
F20
68 The Swiss Family Robinson.

shore and brought up what of the cargo we had left there ;
then, having collected our herd of animals, we returned to
the tent.

The meal which awaited us was as unlike the first
supper we had there enjoyed as possible. My wife had
improvised a table of a board laid on two casks, on this
was spread a white damask tablecloth, on which were
placed knives, forks, spoons, and plates for each person.
A tureen of good soup first appeared, followed by a
capital omelette, then slices of the ham; and finally some
Dutch cheese, butter, and biscuits, with a bottle of the
captain’s canary wine, completed the repast.

While we thus regaled ourselves, I related to my wife
our adventures, and then begged she would remember
her promise and tell me all that had happened in my
absence.
CHAPTER. HI,

The mother relates her adventures—Proposes that we should build a
nest—How Jack treated the jackal skin—How the boys were surprised
by a bustard—How they found the mangrove tree—How the dogs
caught the crabs—We discuss the possibility of making a house in the
tree—To bed once more—We start for the wreck—The shark again—
Return to land—Franz’s craw-fish—Bridge-building—We pack up—
A family removing in patriarchal style—A prickly enemy—Jack shoots
it—We reach our new home—Fritz rids our poultry of an enemy—
Little Franz finds the figs—Dinner—We prepare materials for our
nest—Flamingoes—Roast and tame—The use of trigonometry—A
cord carried over the bough—The rope ladder made—We mount our
tree—Sleep under the roots—The building of the nest—Retire to
roost for the first time.

“T WILL spare you a description, (said my wife,) of
our first day’s occupations ; truth to tell, I spent the time
chiefly in anxious thought and watching your progress
and signals. I rose very early this morning, and with
the utmost joy perceiving your signal that all was right,
hastened. to reply to it, and then while my sons yet
slumbered, I sat down and began to consider how our
position could be improved. ‘For it is perfectly im-
possible, said I to myself, ‘to live much longer where
we are now. The sun beats burningly the livelong day
on this bare rocky spot, our only shelter is this poor tent,
beneath the canvas of which the heat is even more
70 The Swiss Family Robinson.





oppressive than on the open shore. Why should not I
and my little boys exert ourselves as well as my husband
and Fritz? Why should not we too try to accomplish
something useful? If we could but exchange this melan-
choly and unwholesome abode for a pleasant shady
dwelling-place, we should all improve in health and
spirits. Among those delightful woods and groves where
Fritz and his father saw so many charming things, I feel
sure there must be some little retreat where we could
establish ourselves comfortably ; there must be, and I
will find it.’

“By this time the boys were up, and I observed Jack
very quietly and busily occupied with his knife about
the spot where Fritz’s jackal lay. Watching his pro-
ceedings, I saw that he had cut two long narrow strips
of the animal’s skin, which he cleaned and scraped very
carefully, and then taking a handful of great nails out
of his pocket, he stuck them through the skin points
outwards, after which he cut strips of canvas sailcloth
twice as broad as the thongs, doubled them, and laid
them on the raw side of the skin so as to cover the
broad flat nail heads, At this point of the performance,
‘Master Jack came to me with the agreeable request
that I would kindly stitch the canvas and (moist) skin
together for him. I gave him needles and thread, but
could not think of depriving him of the pleasure of dcing
it himself.

“ However, when I saw how good-humouredly he per-
severed in the work with his awkward unskilful fingers,
An Exploring Expedition. 71



I took pity upon him, and conquering the disgust I felt,
finished lining the skin dog-collars he had so ingeniously
contrived. After this I was called upon to complete in
the same way a fine belt of skin he had made for himself.
I advised him to think of some means by which the skin
might be kept from shrinking.

“Ernest, although rather treating Jack’s manufacture
with ridicule, proposed a sensible enough plan, which
Jack forthwith put in execution. He nailed the skin,
stretched flat, on a board, and put it in the sun to dry.

“My scheme of a journey was agreed to joyously by
my young companions. Preparations were instantly
set on foot: weapons and provisions provided: the
two elder boys carrying guns, while they gave me
charge of the water flask, and a small hatchet.

“Leaving everything in as good order as we could at
the tent, we proceeded towards the stream, accompanied
by the dogs. Turk, who had accompanied you on your
first expedition, seemed immediately to understand that
we wished to pursue the same route, and proudly led the
way.

“As I looked at my two young sons, each with his
gun, and considered how much the safety of the party
depended on these little fellows, I felt grateful to you,
dear husband, for having acquainted them in childhood
with the use of fire-arms.

“Filling our water-jar, we crossed the stream, and
went on to the height from whence, as you described,
a lovely prospect is obtained, at the sight of which a
72 The Swiss Family Robinson.



pleasurable sensation of buoyant hope, to which I had
long been,a stranger, awoke within my breast.

“A pretty little wood in the distance attracted my
notice particularly, and thither we directed our course.
But soon finding it impossible to force our way through
the tall strong grass which grew in dense luxuriance
higher than the children’s heads, we turned towards
the open beach on our left, and following it we reached
a point much nearer the little wood, when; quitting the.
strand, we made towards it.

“We had not entirely escaped the tall grass, however,
and with the utmost fatigue and difficulty were strug-
gling through the reeds, when suddenly a great rushing
noise terrified us all dreadfully. A very large and
powerful bird sprang upward on the wing, Both boys
attempted to take aim, but the bird was far away before
they were ready to fire.

“Oh dear, what a pity!’ exclaimed Ernest ; ‘now
if I had only had my light gun, and if the bird had
not flown quite so fast, I should have brought him
down directly !’

“Qh yes,’ said I, ‘no doubt you would be a
capital sportsman if only your game would always
give you time to make ready comfortably.’

“*But I had no notion that anything was going to
fly up just at our feet like that,’ cried he.

““*f\ good. shot,’ I replied, ‘must be prepared for
surprises: neither wild birds nor wild beasts will send
you notice that they are about to fly or to run,’
Sportsmen taken by Surprise. 73



“‘What sort of bird can it have been?’ enquired
Jack.

“Oh, it certainly must have been an eagle,’ answered
little Franz, ‘it was so very big!’

““Just as if every big bird must be an eagle!’ re-
plied Ernest, in a tone of derision.

“«TLet’s see where he was sitting, at all events!’ said I.

“Jack sprang towards the place, and instantly a second
bird, rather larger than the first, rushed upward into the
air, with a most startling noise.

“The boys stood staring upwards, perfectly stupefied,
while I laughed heartily, saying, ‘Well, you are first-
rate sportsmen, to be sure! You certainly will keep
my larder famously well supplied !’

“At this, Ernest coloured up, and looked inclined to
try, while Jack put on a comical face, pulled off his
cap, and with a low bow, called after the fugitive:

_ “Adieu for the present, sir! I live in hopes of an-
other meeting !’

“On searching the ground carefully, we discovered a
rude sort of nest made untidily of dry grass. It was
empty, although we perceived broken egg-shells at .no
great distance, and concluded that the young brood
had escaped among the grass, which, in fact, we could
see was waving at a little distance, as the little birds
ran through it.

“Now look here, Franz,’ said Ernest, presently, ‘just
consider how this bird could by any possibility have been
an eagle. Eagles never build on the ground, neither can
74 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



































































































































































































































































































































































































ih
WHE

a
4



GREAT BUSTARD,

their young leave the nest and run as soon as they are
out of the egg. That isa peculiarity of the gallinaceous
tribe of birds alone, to which then these must belong.
oy

Splendid Trees, 75





The species, I think, is indicated by the white belly and
dull red colour of the wing coverts which I observed in
these specimens, and I believe them to be bustards,
especially as I noticed in the largest the fine moustache-
like feathers over the beak, peculiar to the Great Bus-
tard.’

“* My dear boy!’ I said, ‘your eyes were actively em-
ployed, I must confess, if your fingers were unready with
the gun. And after all, it is just as well, perhaps, that
we have not thrown the bustard’s family into mourning.’

“Thus chatting, we at length approached my pretty
wood. Numbers of birds fluttered and sang among the
high branches, but I did not encourage the boys in
their wish to try to shoot any of the happy little
creatures, We were lost in admiration of the trees of
this grove, and I cannot describe to you how wonderful
they are, nor can you form the least idea of their enor-
mous size without seeing them yourself. What we had
been calling a wood proved to be a group of about a
dozen trees only, and, what was strange, the roots sus-
tained the massive trunks exalted in the air, forming
strong arches, and props and stays all around each in-
dividual stem, which was firmly rooted in the centre.

“T gave Jack some twine, and scrambling up one of the
curious open-air roots, he succeeded in measuring round
the trunk itself, and made itout to be about eighteen yards,
I saw no sort of fruit, but the foliage is thick and abun-
dant, throwing delicicus shade on the ground beneath,
which is carpeted with soft green herbage, and entirely
46 The Swiss Famity Robinson.







free from thorns, briars, or bushes of any kind. It is the.
most charming resting-place that ever was seen, and I
and the boys enjoyed our midday meal immensely in
this glorious palace of the woods, so grateful to our:
senses after the glare and heat of our journey thither.
The dogs joined us after a while. They had lingered
behind on the sea-shore, and I was surprised to see them
lie down and go comfortably to sleep without begging
for food, as they do usually when we eat.

“The longer we remained in this enchanting place, the
more did it charm my fancy ; and if we could but manage
to live in some sort of dwelling up among the branches
of those grand, noble trees, I should feel perfectly safe
and happy. Itseemed to me absurd to suppose we should
ever find another place half so lovely, so I determined
to search no further, but return to the beach and see if
anything from the wreck had been cast up by the waves,
which we could carry away with us.

“Before starting, Jack persuaded me to sit quietly a
little longer, and finish making his belt and the spike-
collars for the dogs, for you must know that the child
had actually been carrying the board on which these
were stretched all this time, so that tiey should get the
full benefit of the sun. As they were now quite dry, I
completed them easily, and Jack girded on the belt with
great pride, placing his pistols in it, and marching about
in a most self-important style, while Ernest fitted the
collars on the two dogs.

“On reaching the shore, we found it strewed with
Turtles Eggs. 77



many. articles, doubtless of value, but all too heavy for
us to lift. We rolled some casks, however, beyond high-













































































GREEN CRARS.

water mark, and dragged a chest or two also higher
on the beach; and, while doing so, observed that
our dogs were busy among the rocks. They were
carefully watching the crevices and pools, and every
now and then would pounce downwards and seize
something which they swallowed with apparent
xelish.

“«They are eating crabs, said Jack. ‘No wonder
they have not seemed hungry lately.’

“And, sure enough, they were catching the little green
78 The Swiss Family Robinson.



crabs with which the water abounded. These; however,
did not apparently entirely satisfy them.

“Some time afterwards, just as we were about to turn .

inland towards the ford, we noticed that Juno was
scraping in the sand, and turning up some*round sub-
stances, which she hastily devoured. Ernest went to
see what these were, and reported in his calm way that
the dog had found turtles’ eggs,

“¢ Qh,’ cried I, ‘then let us by all means share in the
booty!’ Mrs. Juno, however, did not at all approve of
this, and it was with some difficulty that we drove her
aside while we gathered a couple of dozen of the eggs,
stowing them in our provision bags.

“While thus employed, we caught sight of a sail which
appeared to be merrily approaching the shore beyond
the cliffs. Ernest declared it must be our raft. Little
Franz, always having the fear of savages before his eyes,
began to look frightened, and fora moment I myself
was doubtful what to think.

“ However, we hastened to the stream; and, crossing it
by the stepping-stones, came in sight of the landing-
place, where we joyfully met you.

“Now I hope you approve of the proceedings of your
exploring party, and that to-morrow you will do me the
favour of packing everything up, and taking us away to
live amongst my splendid trees,”

« Aye, little wife,” said 1; “so that is your idea of
comfort and security, is it! A tree, I do not know how
many feet high, on which we are to perch and roost like







A Removal Discussed. 79



the birds? If we had but wings or a balloon, it would, 1
own, be a capital plan.”

“Laugh as much as you like,” returned my wife, “my
idea is not so absr :d as you make it out. We should
be safe up there from jackals’ visits during the night.
And I know I have seen at home in Switzerland, quite
a pretty arbour, with a strong floor, up among the
branches of a lime tree, and we went up a staircase to
reach it. Why could not we contrive a place like that,
where we could sleep safely at night ?”

“J will consider the idea seriously, my wife,” said I;
“serhaps something may come of it, after all! Mean-
time, as we have finished supper, and night is coming
on, let us commend ourselves to Almighty protection
and retire to rest.”

Beneath the shelter of our tent, we all slept soundly,
like marmots, until break of day; when, my wife and
I awaking, took counsel together as to future pro-
‘ceedings.

Referring to the task she had the previous evening
proposed for me, I remarked that to undertake it would
. involve so many difficulties that it was highly necessary

to look closely into the subject.

, “In the first place,” said I, “I am unwilling hastily to
‘quit a spot to which I am convinced we were providen-
‘tially led as a landing-place. See how secure it is;

guarded on all sides by these high cliffs, and accessible

only by the narrow passage to the ford, while from
this point it is so easy to reach the ship that the
80 The Swiss Family Robinson.

whole of its valuable cargo is at our disposal. Suppose
we decide to stay patiently here for the present—until,
at least, we have brought on shore every thing we
possibly can?”

“T agree with you to a certain extent, dear husband,”
replied she ; “but you do not know how dreadfully the
heat among the rocks tries me. It is almost intolerable
to us who remain here all day while you and Fritz are
away out at sea, or wandering among the shady woods,
where cool fruits refresh, and fair scenes delight you.
As to the contents of the ship, an immen.e deal has
been cast ashore, and I would much ra‘her give up all
the remainder, and be spared the painful anxiety it gives
me when you even talk of venturing again on the faith-
less deep.”

“Well, I must admit that there is much right on your
side,” I continued ; “suppose we were to remove to your
chosen abode, and make this rocky fastness our magazine
and place of retreat in case of danger. I could easily
render it still more secure, by blasting portions of the
rock with gunpowder. But a bridge must be con-
structed in the first place, to enable us to cross bag and
baggage.”

“Oh, I shall be parched to death before we can leave
this place, if a bridge has to be made,” cried my wife
impatiently. “Why not just take our things on our
backs and wade across as we have done already? The
cow and the donkey could carry a great deal.”

“That they will have to do, in whatever fashion we
Preparations for the Fourney. 81



make the move,” said I; “but bags and baskets we must
have, to put things in, and if you will turn your attention
to providing those, I will set about the bridge at once.
It will be wanted not once, but continually ; the stream
will probably swell and be impassable at times, and
even as it is, an accident might happen.”

“Well! well!” cried my wife, “I submit to your
opinion ; only pray set about it without delay, for I long
to be off. It is an excellent idea to make a strong place
among the cliffs here; the gunpowder especially, I shall
be delighted to see stored here when we go away, for it
is frightfully dangerous to keep so much as we have
close to our habitation.”

“ Gunpowder is indeed the most dangerous and at the
same time the most useful thing we have,” said I, “and
for both these reasons we must be especially careful of
it. In time I will hollow out a place in the rock whert
we can store it safe from either fire or damp.”

By this morning’s consultation we had settled the
weighty question of our change of abode, and alsa
chalked out work for the day.

When the children heard of the proposed move their
joy was boundless; they began at once to talk of it as
our “journey to the Promised Land,” and only regretted
that time must be “wasted,” as they said, in bridge-
‘building before it could be undertaken.

Every one being impatient for breakfast that work
might be begun at once, the cow and goats were milked,
and, having enjoyed a comfortable meal of biscuit boiled

&
82 Phe Swess Family Robinson.



in milk, I prepared to start for the wreck, in order to
obtain planks for the proposed bridge. Ernest as well
as Fritz accompanied me, and we were soon within the
influence of the current, and were carried swiftly out to
sea. : Fritz was steering, and we had no sooner passed
beyond the islet at the entrance of the bay, so as to
_ come in sight of its seaward beach, than we were aston-
ished to see a countless multitude of sea-birds; gulls,
and others, which rose like acloud into the air, disturbed
by our approach, and deafened us by their wild and
screaming cries. I'ritz caught up his gun, and would
have sent a shot among them had I permitted it. I was
very curious to find out what could be the great attrac-
tion for all this swarm of feathered fowl; and, availing
myself of a fresh breeze from the sea, I set the sail and
directed our course towards the island.

The swelling sail and flying pennant charmed Ernest;
while Fritz bent his keen eyes eagerly towards the sandy
shore, where the flocks of birds were again settling.

Presently he shouted: “Aha! now ‘I see what they
are after! They have got a huge monster of a fish
there, and a proper feast they are making! Let’s have
a nearer look at it, father!”

We could not take our boat very close in, but we.
managed to effect a landing at a short distance from the’
festive scene; and, securing the raft by casting a rope
round a large stone, we cautiously drew near the object
of interest.

It proved to. be a monstrous fish,.on whose flesh:
wee ee Feast. | 83



these multitudes of birds were ravenously feeding ; and
it was extraordinary to watch the ferocity, the envy, the
gluttony, and all manner of evil passions, exhibited
among the guests at this banquet. ,

“There was nothing on this sandy beach whee we
passed yesterday, I am certain, father,” said Fritz. “It |
seems strange to see this creature stranded here.”

“Why, Fritz!” cried Ernest, “it must be the shark !
your,shark, you know! I believe I can see where you;
hit him in the head.”

“You are right, I do believe, Ernest,” said I, “though.
I think your imagination only can distinguish the gun-
shot wounds among all the pecking and tearing of the
voracious birds there. Just look, boys, at those. terrific
jaws, beneath the strangely projecting snout. See the rows.
upon rows of murderous teeth, and thank God we were
delivered from them! Let us try if we can induce these
greedy birds to spare us a bit of the shark’s skin; it
is extremely rough, and when dry may be used like a.
file.” oa

Ernest drew the ramrod from his gun, and charged so
manfully into the crowd, that striking right and left
he speedily killed several, whilst most of the others
took to flight. Fritz detached some broad strips of
skin with his knife, and we returned towards the boat.

Perceiving with satisfaction that the shore was strewn
with just the sort of boards and planks I wanted, I lost
no time in collecting them; and, forming a raft to tow

after us, we were in a short time able to direct our course
G2
84 The Swiss Os Robinson.

homeward, without visiting the wreck at all. As we
sailed along, extremely well pleased with..our good
fortune, Fritz, by my direction, nailed part of the
shark’s skin flat on boards to dry in the sun, and the
rest on the rounded mast.

“Will that bea good plan, father?” anes he, “it
will be quite:bent and crooked when it hardens.”
- “That is just what I want it to be,” said -I, “we may
happen to find it useful in that form as well as flat. It
would be beautiful shagreen if we could smooth and
polish it.”

“I thought,’ remarked -Ernest, “that shagreen was
made from asses’ hide.”

“And you thought rightly,” said I. “The best ,
shagreen is prepared. in Turkey, Persia, and Tartary,
from the skins of horses and asses. In these skins,
the roughness is produced artificially ;. while the skin
is newly flayed and still soft, hard grains of corn are
spread on the under surface, and pressed into it as it
dries. These grains are afterwards removed, and the
roughness imparted to the appearance of the skin re-
mains indelibly ; shagreen is useful in polishing joiner’s
work, and it is made in France from the rough skin of a
hideous creature called the angel-fish.”

“ Angel-fish!”.. exclaimed: Fritz, “what a name to.
give to anything ‘hideous’ father!”

“There are bad angels as well as good ones,” observed
Ernest, in his dry quiet way; “it is better to leave people.
to see for themselves which is meant.”






























































































































































































































































































































ANGEL FISH.
86 Tike Swiss Family Robinson.



By this time we were close in shore; and, lowering the
sail, we soon had ‘our craft with the raft in tow, safely
moored to the bank.

No one was in sight, not a sound to be heard, so with
united voice we gave a loud cheery halloo, which after a
while was answered in shrill tones, and the mother with
her two boys came running from behind the high rocks
between us and the stream, each carrying a small bundle
in a handkerchief, while little Franz held aloft a landing
net.

_ Our return so soon was quite unexpected, and they

anxiously enquired the reason, which we soon explained;
and then the mysterious bundles were opened, and a
great number of fine crawfish displayed ; whose efforts to
escape by scuttling away in every direction, directly they
were placed in a heap on the ground, caused immense
fun and laughter as the boys pursued and brought them
back, only to find others scrambling off in a dozen
different ways.

“Now, father, have we not done well, to-day!” cried
Jack, “did you ever see such a splendid crawfish? Oh,
there were thousands of them, and I am sure we have
got two hundred here at least. Just look at their claws!”

“No doubt you were the discoverer of these fine crabs,
eh Jack ?” said I.

“No! fancy young Franz being the lucky man!”
answered he. “He and I went towards the stream while
mother was busy, just to look for a good place for the
bridge, Franz was picking up pebbles and alabasters,













































































































































































































































Franz’s Crawfish. 87





some because they were’so pretty, some to strike sparks
with in the dark, and some he insisted were ‘ gold’
‘Jack!’ ‘Jack!’ cried he presently, ‘come and see the
crabs on Fritz’s jackal!’ You know we threw it away
there, and to be sure it was swarming with these creatures.



CRAWFISIL,

Are you glad we have found them, father? Will ey,
be good to eat?”

“Very excellent, my boy, and we may be thankful
that food for our wants is thus provided day by day.”

When each party had related the day’s adventures,
and while the mother was cooking the crawfish, we
went to bring our store of planks to land. Even this
apparently simple operation required thought, and _I had -
to improvise rope-harness for the cow and the donkey,
by which we could make them drag each board sepa-
rately from the water’s edge to the margin of the
stream.

Jack showed me where he thought ue bridge should
be, and I certainly saw no better place, as the banks


88 The Swiss family Robinson.
were at that point tolerably close to one another, steep,
and of about equal height.

“ How shall we find out if our planks are long enough
to reach across?” said I. “A surveyor’s table would ke
useful now.”

“What do you say to a ball of string, father?” said
Ernest. “Tie one end to a stone, throw it across, then
draw it back, and measure the line!”

Adopting my son’s idea, we speedily ascertained the
distance across to be eighteen feet. Then allowing
three feet more at each side, I calculated twenty-four
feet as the necessary length of the boards.

The question as to how the planks were to be laid
across was a difficult one. We resolved ts discuss it
during dinner, to which we were now summoned. And
my wife, as we sat resting, displayed to me her needle-
work. With hard labour had she made two large
canvas bags for the ass to carry. Having no suitable
needle, she had been obliged to bore the hole for each
stitch with a nail, and gained great praise for her inge-
nuity and patience. Dinner was quickly despatched, as
we were all eager to continue our engineering work. A
scheme had occurred to me for conveying one end of a
plank across the water, and I set about it in this way.
There fortunately were one or two trees close to the
stream cn either side; I attached a rope pretty near one

nd of a beam, and slung it loosely to the tree beside
us; then, fastening a long rope to the other end, I crossed
with it by means of broken rocks and stones, and having
Bridge Making. 89
a pulley and block, I soon arranged the rope on a strong
limb of the opposite tree, again returning with the end
to our own side.

Now putting my idea to the proof, I brought the ass
and the cow, and fastening this rope to the harness I
had previously contrived for them, I drove them steadily
away from the bani. To my great satisfaction, and the
surprise and delight of the boys, the end of the plank
which had been laid alongside the stream began gently
to move, rose higher, turned, and soon projecting over
the water continued to advance, until, having described
the segment of a circle, it reached the opposite bank ;
I stopped my team, the plank rested on the ground, the
bridge was made! So at least thought Fritz and Jack,
who in a moment were lightly running across the
narrow way, shouting joyfully as they sprang to the
other side.

Our work was now comparatively easy. A second
and third plank were laid beside the first; and when
these were carefully secured at each end to the ground
and to the trees, we very quickly laid short boards side
by side across the beams, the boys nailing them lightly
down as I sawed them in lengths; and when this was
done, our bridge was pronounced cemplete. Nothing
could exceed the excitement of the children. They
danced to and fro on the wonderful structure, singing,
shouting, and cutting the wildest capers.

I must confess I heartily sympathized with their

triumphant feelings.
90 The Swiss Family Robinson.

Now that the work was done, we began to feel how
much we were fatigued, and gladly returned to our tent
for refreshment and repose. © . ;

Next morning, while we breakfasted, I made a little
speech to my sons on the subject of the important move
we were about to make, wishing to impress them with a
sense of the absolute necessity of great caution.

“ Remember,” said I, “ that, although you all begin to
feel very much at your ease here, we are yet complete
strangers to a variety of dangers which may surprise us
unawares. I charge you, therefore, to maintain good
order, and keep together on the march. No darting off
into bye-ways, Jack. No lingering behind to philoso-
phise, Ernest. And now all hands to work.”

The greatest activity instantly prevailed in our camp,
Some collected provisions, others packed kitchen utensils,
tools, ropes, and hammocks, arranging them as burdens
for the cow and ass. My wife pleaded for a seat on the
latter for her little Franz, and assuring me likewise that
she could not possibly leave the poultry, even for a
night, nor exist an hour without her magic bag, I agreed
to do my best to please her, without downright cruelty
to animals.

Away ran the children to catch the cocks and hens.
Great chasing, fluttering, and cackling ensued ; but with
no success whatever, until the mother recalled her pant-
ing sons, and, scattering some handfuls of grain with-
in the open tent, soon decoyed the fowls and pigeons
into the enclosure ; where, when the curtain was dropped, -
On the Merch. gI



they were easily caught, tied together, and placed on the
cow. This amiable and phlegmatic animal had stood
calmly chewing the cud, while package after package
was disposed on her broad back, nor did she now object
even to this noisy addition to her load. I placed a
couple of half-hoops over all; and, spreading sail-cloth
on them, put the fowls in darkness, and they rapidly
became quiet ; and the cow, with the appearance ot
having a small waggon on her back, was ready to start.

Franz was firmly seated on the ass, amidst bags and
bundles of all sorts and sizes ; they rose about him like
cushions and pillows, and his curly head rested on the
precious magic bag, which surmounted all the rest.

Having filled the tent with the things we left behind,
closing it carefully, and ranging chests and casks around
it, we were finally ready to be off, each well equipped
and in the highest spirits.

Fritz and his mother led the van.

Franz (the young cavalier), and the sober-minded

cow followed them closely.
. Jack conducted the goats; one of these had also a
rider, for Knips* the monkey was seated on his foster-
mother, whose patience was sorely tried by his restless-
ness and playful tricks.

.The sheep were under Ernest’s care, and I brought
up the rear of this patriarchal band, while the two dogs
kept constantly running backwards and forwards in the
character of aides-de-camp.

* German, Knipps, a mannikin.
92 The Swiss Family Robinson.

“We seem delightfully like those simple and pastoral
tribes I have read of,” said Ernest, as we proceeded,
“whose whole lives are spent in shifting from place to





place, without any wish to settle.”

“Yes,” said I. “Among the Arabs, Tartars, and
some other Eastern naticns, this mode of life is natural.
They for that reason are called Nomades.

“These tribes are amply provided with camels and
horses, and effect their journeys more quickly and con-
veniently than we are likely to do with these deliberate
quadrupeds of ours. Whatevér you young folks may
think, I suspect your mother and I will be quite satisfied
with one such undertaking. At least I hope she will be
contented with the nest she intends me to build for her
up in her wonderful trees.”

With honest pride I introduced my wife to my bridge,
and after receiving from her what I considered well-
merited praise for my skill in its construction, we passed
over it in grand procession, reinforced unexpectedly on
the opposite side by the arrival of our cross-grained
old sow. The perverse creature had obstinately re-
sisted our attempts to bring her with us, but finding
herself deserted, had followed of her own accord,
testifying in the most unmistakable manner, by angry

grunts and squeals, her entire disapproval of our
proceedings.

I soon found we must, as before, turn down to the sea
beach, for not only did the rank grass impede our pro-
gress, but it also tempted the animals to break away

A Prickly Foe. i 93



from us, and, but for our watchful dogs, we might have
lost several of them.

On the firm open sands we were making good way,
when to my annoyance, both our dogs suddenly left
us, and springing into the thick cover to our right, com-
menced a furious barking, following by howling as if in
fear and violent pain.

Not for a moment doubting that some dangerous
animal was at hand, I hastened to the spot, remarking
as I went the characteristic behaviour of my three sons.

Fritz cocked his gun and advanced boldly, but with
caution.

Ernest looked disconcerted, and drew back, but got
ready to fire.

While Jack hurried after Fritz without so much as
unslinging his gun from his shoulders.

Before I could come up with them, I heard Jack
shouting excitedly,

“Father! father! come quickly !a huge porcupine ! a
“most enormous porcupine!” _

Sure enough, the dogs were rushing round and round
a porcupine, and having attempted to seize it, were
already severely wounded by its quills. Each time they
came near, the creature, with a rattling noise, bristled up
its spines.

Somewhat to my amusement, while we weré looking
at the curious defence this creature was making, little
Jack stepped close up to it, with a pocket pistol in his
hand, and shot it dead, making jure of it by a couple of


94. The Swiss Family Robwnson.





hearty raps on the head, and then giving way to a burst
of boyish exultation, he called upon us to help to con-
vey his prize to his mother. This it was not by any
means easy todo. Sundry attempts resulted in bloody
fingers, till Jack, taking his pocket-handkerchief, and



































HYSTRIX CRISTATA.

fastening one corner round its neck, ran off, dragging
it after him to where his mother awaited us. | 5

“ Hullo, mother! here's a jolly beast, isn’t it? I shot
it, and it’s good to eat! Father says so! I only wish
you had seen how it terrified the dogs, and heard the
rattling and rustling of its spines, Oh, it is a fearful.

ereature!”
Facts about Porcupines. 95

Ernest, examining it carefully, pronounced its incisor
teeth, its ears and feet, to resemble those of the human
race, and pointed out the curious crest of stiff hairs on
its head and neck.

‘“T have read of another species,” said he, “called the
Tuft-tailed Porcupine, which must be even more curious-
looking than this is. It has short flat quills, and a
scaly tail ending in an extraordinary tuft, like a bunch
of narrow strips of parchment. It cannot be such a dis-
agreeable enemy to encounter as this fellow.”

“Were you not afraid, Jack,” asked I, “lest the
porcupine should cast some of his quills like darts at
you?”

“Of course not,” returned he, “I know well enough
that is nothing but a fable!”

“A fable!” said I, “why look at your mother! she
is drawing five or six spines out of each of the
dogs!”

“Ah, those stuck into them when they so fiercely
fell upon it in their attack. Those are the shortest
quills, and seem very slightly fixed in its skin.
The long quills bent aside when Juno pressed against
them.”

“ You are perfectly right, my boy,” said I ; “ there is no
truth in the old idea of shooting out the spines. But
now, shall we leave this prickly booty of yours, or at-
tempt to take it with us?”

“ Oh, please, father, let us take it! Why, it is good to
eat!”












TUFT-TAILED PORCUPINE.
Our New Home. 97

—_—

Smiling at the child’s eagerness, and willing to please
him, I made a somewhat awkward bundle of the porcu-
pine, wrapping it in several folds of cloth, and added it
to the donkey’s load.

Our party then resumed the march, which, with little
interruption, was continued steadily, until we came in
sight of our future place of residence.

The wonderful appearance of the enormous trees, and
the calm beauty of the spot altogether, fully came up to
the enthusiastic description which had been given to me.
And my wife gladly heard me say that if an abode could
be contrived among the branches, it would be the safest
and most charming home in the world.

We hastily unloaded the ass and cow, securing them,
as well as the sheep and goats, by tying their fore-feet
loosely together. The doves and poultry were set at
liberty, and we sat down to rest among the soft herbage
while we laid our plans for the night.

Fritz soon left us, but presently two shots were fired,
and he appeared holding a fine tiger-cat by the hind
lees, which, with the intensest delight, he exhibited to
each in turn.

“Well done, Fritz!” cried I. “Our cocks and hens
would have had an unfortunate night of it but for this
lucky shot of yours. It is to be hoped he has left nod
companion nearathand. You must be on the look-out.”

“ How curious it seems,” remarked Ernest, “ that God
should create hurtful animals like this.”

“To our feeble and narrow vision many of the ways
B
98 The noes Lr HO. Robinson.

of the Infinite and Eternal Mind are ee
I replied. “What our. limited reason cannot grasp, let
us be content to acknowledge as the workings of Al- ,
mighty power and wisdom, and thankfully trust in that
‘Rock, which, were it not ‘higher than’ we, would
afford no sense of security to the immortal soul.
That animals should prey upon one another is a
means of preserving a due balance in the world of
nature, and in many ways these beasts of prey are also
useful to man. What beautiful and warm furs are pro-
cured by hunters just in those countries where no other
covering would defend the inhabitants from the wintry
cold !—as, for instance, the skins of bears, wolverines,
and arctic foxes, wild cats, and many others.”

“The skin of the seal, or sea-dog, is also valuable,”
said Ernest.

“Tt is,” I replied, “and in its own element that
creature preys on fish as the dog did on land animals
before his race became domesticated by man. But now,
Fritz, tell us how you obtained your prize.”

“Observing that something moved among the
branches,” said he, “I went softly round the tree with
my gun, and making sure the creature was a wild cat
I fired and brought it down. It was severely wounded,
but, rising in a fury, it attempted to climb the tree,
when J, luckily having a loaded pistol, gave if a quietus.
And do tell me, father, what sort of cat it is.’

“It is a mercy the brute did not fly at your reat
instead of attempting to escape,” said I. “It belongs to
Fritz Sane a TE 99

a

a.fierce and blonidthisety race—that of the ocelots.or
tiger-cats, natives of the tropical parts of America. I
should say this was a margay, and as it would have
proved a cruel foe, not only of our poultry, but also of
our sheep and goats, I am well pleased that you have

rid us of it.”



“May I have the beautiful skin, father? And will
you tell me what will be the best use to make of it?”

“T advise you to skin the animal very carefully, and
of the handsome black and yellow tail, make a hunting-
belt for yourself. The paws—let me see—why, I fancy
the paws might be made famous cases for knife, fork,
and spoon, and look well hanging from the belt. The
skin of the body you had better preserve until you find
some suitable use for it.”
100 The Swiss Family Robinson.



. «Oh, father, what a splendid plan!” cried-Jack-+. “do
tell me some good use for my porcupine.” tt
'.“T think its feet may make cases also; at.least, you.
may try. The quills, I am sure, may be used for pack-
ing needles, and for tipping arrows, and I should try to
make defensive armour for the dogs out of the rest.
They may fall in with foes more dangerous than any we
have yet seen.”

“To be sure, father, the very thing!” shouted Jack in
high glee. “I have seen pictures of boar hunts, in which
the dogs were protected by a sort of leather coat of
mail. That will be grand!”

After giving this advice, I got no peace until I had
shown my boys how to act upon it, and in a short time
each had his prize fastened up by the hind legs, and
carefully slitting the skin, was stripping it from the
carcase,

Ernest, meanwhile, was fetching large flat stones in
order to form a fire-placc, while Franz gathered
sticks, as his mother was anxious to prepare some food.

“ What sort of tree do you suppose this to be, father?”
enquired Ernest, seeing me examining that under which
we were encamping. “Is not the leaf something like a
walnut ?”

“There is a resemblance, but in my. opinion these
gigantic trees must be mangroves or wild figs. I have
heard their enormous height described, and also the
peculiarity of the arching roots supporting the main
trunk raised abeve the soil.”
- Franz makes a Discovery. IOl

-— a



Just then little Franz came up with a large bundle of
sticks, and his mouth full of something he was eating
with evident satisfaction.

“Oh, mother!” cried he, “this is so good! So
delicious ! ” :

“Greedy little boy!” exclaimed she in a fright.
“What have you got there? Don’t swallow it, what-
ever you do. Very likely it is poisonous! Spit it all
out this minute!’ And the anxious mother quickly
extracted from the rosy little mouth the remains of a
small fig.

“ Where did you find this?” said I.

“ There are thousands lying among the grass yonder,”
replied the little boy. “ They taste very nice. I thought
poison was nasty. Do you think they will hurt me?
The pigeons and the hens are gobbling them up with
all their might and main, papa ! 1

“T think you have no cause. for alarm, dear wife,” I
said. “The trees seem to be the fig-bearing mangrove of
the Antilles. But remember, Franz, you must never eat
anything without first showing it to me, never mind how
good it seems. If birds and monkeys eat a fruit or vege-
table, it is usually safe to believe it wholesome,” added I,
turning to the other boys, who instantly taking the hint,
coaxed Franz to give them the figs he still had in his
pocket, and ran to offer them to Knips, who was closely
watching the skinning of the tiger-cat and porcupine,
apparently giving his opinion on the subject with much
chattering and gesticulation.
102 The Swiss Famity Robinson.



“Here, Knips, allow me to present you with a fig!”
cried Jack, holding one out to the funny little creature. °

Knips took it readily, and after turning it about, and
sniffing and smelling it, he popped it into his mouth,
with such a droll grimace of delight and satisfaction that
the boys all laughed and clapped their hands, crying
“Bravo, Knips! you know a good thing when you see it
don’t you, old fellow! Hurrah!”

My wife, with her mind set at rest on the question of
the figs, now continued her preparations for dinner.

The flesh of the margay was given to the dogs, but
part of the porcupine was put on the fire to boil, while
we reserved the rest for roasting.

I employed myself in contriving needles for my wife’s
work, by boring holes at one end of the quills, which I
did by means of a red hot nail, dnd I soon had a nice
packet of various sizes, which pleased her immensely. I
also laid plans for making proper harness for our beasts
of burden, but could not attempt to begin that while so
many wants more pressing demanded attention.

We examined the cifferent trees, and chose one which
seemed most suited to our purpose. The branches
spread at a great height above us, and I made the boys
try if it were possible to throw sticks or stones over one
of these, my intention being to construct a rope ladder
if we could once succeed in getting a string across a
strong bough.

Finding we could not succeed in that way, I resolved
other schemes in my mind, and meantime went with
Preparations for the Night. 103



Jack and Fritz to a small brook close by, where I showed
them how to place the skins to steep and soften in the
water, with stones placed on them to keep them beneath
the surface.

When dinner was over, I prepared our night quarters,
I first slung our hammocks from the roots of the tree,
which, mecting above us, formed an arched ‘roof, then
covering the whole with sail-cloth, we made a temporary
tent, which would at least keep off the night damps and
noxious insects.

Leaving my wife,engaged in making a set of harness
for the ass and cow, whose strength J intended to em-
ploy the following day in drawing the beams up to our
tree, I walked down with Fritz and Ernest to the beach
to look for wood suitable for building our new abode
and also to discover, if possible, some light rods to form
a ladder. For some time we hunted in vain, nothing
but rough drift wood was to be seen, utterly unfit for our
purpose. Ernest at length pointed out a quantity of
bambocs half buried in the sand. These were exactly
what I wanted, and stripping them of their leaves I cut
them into lengths of about five feet each; these I bound
in bundles to carry to the tree, and then began to look
about for some slight reeds to serve as arrows.

I presently saw what I required in a copse ata little
distance. We advanced cautiously lest the thicket should
contain some wild beast or venomous serpent. Juna
rushed ahead ; as she did so a flock of flamingoes, which
had been quietly fecding, rose in the air. Fritz instantly
104 Lhe Swiss Family Robison.



firing brought a couple of the birds to the - ground,
the rest of the squadron sailing away in perfect order,

their plumage continually changing, as they dew, from

























FLAMINGO,

beautiful rose to pure white, as alternately their snowy
wings and rosy breasts were visible. One of those which
fell was perfectly dead, but the other appeared only
slightly wounded in the wing, for it made-off across the





























A New Pet. 105



swampy ground. I attempted to follow, but soon found
that progress was impossible on the marsh ; Juno, how-
ever, chased the bird and, seizing it, speedily brought it
to my feet. Fritz and Ernest were delighted at the sight
of our prize.

“What a handsome bird!” exclaimed they. “Is it
much hurt? Let us tame it and let it run about with
the fowls.”

“Tts plumage is much more brilliant than that of the
dead one,” remarked Fritz. ¢

“Yes,” safd Ernest, “this is a full grown bird, while
yours is younger ; it is some years before they reach
perfection. See what long active legs it has, like those
of a stork, while with its great webbed feet it can swim
faster than agoose. Earth, air, or water is all the same
to the flamingo, it is equally at home in any one of the
three.”

“Well,” said Fritz, “let us take the dead one to mother
and get her to introduce it to the other element and see
what it will make of that; if it is young and tender, as
you say, it should make a delicious roast.”

Fritz and Ernest then carried the birds and bamboos
to the tree, while I proceeded to cut my reeds. I chose
those which had flowered, knowing that they were harder,
and having cut a sufficient quantity of these, I selected
one or two of the tallest canes I could find to assist me
in measuring the height of the tree. I then bound them
together and returned to my family.

“Do you mean to keep this great hungry bird Fritz
106 | The Swtss Family Robinson.



has brought ?” said my wife, “it is another mouth to feed,
remember, and provisions are still scarce.”

' #Luckily,” I replied, “the flamingo will not eat grain
like our poultry, but will be quite satisfied with insects,
fish, and little crabs, which it will pick up for itself. Pray
reassure yourself, therefore and let. me see to the poor
bird’s wound.”

So saying, I procured some wine and butter and
anointing the wing, which though hurt was not broken.
I bound it up, and then took the bird to the stream
where I fastened it by a long cord to .a stake and left it
to shift for itself In a few days the wound was healed,
and the bird, subdued by kind treatment, became rapidly
tame,

While I was thus employed my sons were endeavouring
to ascertain the height of the lowest branch of the tree
from the ground. They had fastened together the long
reeds I had brought. with them, and were trying to
measure the distance, but in vain; they soon found that
were the rods ten times their length they could not touch
the branch.

* “ Fillo, my boys,” I said, when I discovered what they
Were about, “that is not the way to set to work. Geo-
metry will simplify the operation considerably; with its
help the altitude of the highest mountains are ascertained,
we may, therefore, easily find the height of that branch.”

So saying, I measured out a certain distance from the

base of the tree and marked the spot, and then by’ means

of a rod, whese length I knew, and imaginary lines, 1
, DS d > ?


















SECURING THE FLAMINGO.
108 The Swiss Family Robinson.



calculated the angle subtended by the trunk of the tree
from the ground to the root of the branch. This done,
I was able to discover the height required, and, to the
‘astonishment of the younger children, announced that
we should henceforth live thirty feet above the ground.
This I wanted to know, that I might construct a ladder
of the necessary length.

Telling Fritz to collect all our cord, and the others to
roll all the twine into a ball, I sat down and taking the
reeds, speedily manufactured half a dozen arrows and
feathered them from the dead flamingo. I then took a
strong bamboo, bent it and strung it so as to form a bow.
When the boys saw what I had done they were delighted,
and begged to have the pleasure of firing the first shot.

‘ No, no!” said I, “I did not make this for mere
pleasure, nor is it even intended as a weapon, the arrows
are pointless. Elizabeth,” I continued to my wife, “can
you supply me with a ball of stout thread from your
wonderful bag ?”

“Certainly,” replied she, “I think that a ball of thread
was the first thing to enter the bag,” and diving her hand
deep in, she drew out the very thing I wanted.

“ Now, boys,” I said, “I am going to fire the first shot,”
and I fastencd one end of the thread to one of my arrows
and aimed at a large branch above me. The arrow flew
upwards and bore the thread over the branc4 and fell at
our feet. Thus was the first step in cur undertaking
accomplished. Now for the rope ladder!

Fritz had obtained two coils of cord each about forty
The Tree Scaled. TO9

feet in length ; these we stretched on the ground side by
side ;. then Fritz cut the bamboos into pieces of two
feet for the steps of the ladder, and as he handed them
to me, I passed them through knots which I had pre-
pared in the ropes, while Jack fixed each end with a nail
driven through the wood. When the ladder was finished,
I carried over the bough a rope by which it might be
hauled up. This done, I fixed the lower end of the
ladder firmly to the ground by means of stakes, and all
was ready for an ascent. The boys who -had been
watching me with intense interest were each eager to be
first.

- “Jack shall have the honour,” said I, “as he is the
lightest, so up with you, my boy, and do not break your
neck.”

Jack, who was as active as a monkey, sprang up the
ladder and quickly gained the top.

“Three cheers for the nest!” he exclaimed, waving
his cap. “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for our jolly nest !
What a grand house we will have up here; come along,
Fritz!”

His brother was soon by his side, and with a hammer
and nails secured the ladder yet more securely. I fol-
lowed with an axe, and took a survey of the tree. It
was admirably suited to our purpose; the branches were
very strong and so closely interwoven that no beams
would be required to form a flooring, but when some o1
the boughs were lopped and cleared away, a few planks

would be quite sufficient.
EIO The Swiss Family Robinson.



I now called for a pulley, which my wife fastened to:
the cord hanging beside the ladder, I hauled it up, and.
finding the boys rather in my way, told them to go down |
while I proceeded to fasten the pulley to a stout branch.
above me, that we might be able to haul up the beams
we should require the next day.. I then made other
preparations that there might be no delay on the morrow,
and a bright moon having arisen, I by its light continued
working until I was quite worn out, and then at length
descended. I reached the ground, but to my surprise
found that the two boys were not there. They had not
been scen. A moment afterwards, however, all anxiety
was dispelled, for amongst the topmost boughs I heard
their young voices raised in the evening hymn. Instead
of descending, they had, while I was busy, climbed up-
wards, and had been sitting in silent admiration of the
moonlight scene, high above me. They now joined us,
and my wife showed me the results of her labour. She
had made two complete scts of harness. I congratulated .
her upon her. success, and we then sat down to supper.
On a cloth spread out upon the grass were arranged
a roast shoulder of porcupine, a delicious bowl of soup
made from a piece of the same animal, cheese, butter,
and biscuits, forming a most tempting repast. Having
done this ample justice, we collected our cattle, and the
pigeons and fowls having retired to roost on the neigh-
bouring trees, and on the steps of our ladder, we made
up a glorious fire to keep off any prowling wild beasts,
and ourselves lay down. The children, in spite of the
Building the Nest. IIL



novelty of the hammocks, were quickly asleep. - In vain
I tried to follow their example; a. thousand: anxious
thoughts presented. themselves, and as quickly as I dis-
pelled them others rose in their place.. The night wore
on, and I was still awake; the fire burned low, and J
rose and replenished it, with dry fuel.. Then again I
climbed into my hammock, and towards morning fell
asleep.

Early next morning we were astit, and dispersed to
our various occupations: My wife milked the goats
and cow; while we gave-the animals their food, after
which we went down to the beach, to collect more
wood for our building operations. To the larger beams
we harnessed the cow and ass, while we ourselves
dragged up the remainder. Fritz and I then ascended
the tree, and finished the preparations I had begun the
night before, all useless boughs we lopped off, leaving
a few about six feet from the floor, from which we might
sling our hammocks, and others still higher, to support
a temporary roof of sailcloth. My wife made fast the
planks to a rope passed through the block I had fixed
to the bough above us, and by'this means Fritz and I
hauled them up.. These we arranged side by side on
the foundation of boughs, so as to form a smooth solid
floor, and round this platform built a bulwark: of
planks, and then throwing the sailcloth over the higher
branches, we drew it down and firmly nailed it. Our
house was thus enclosed on three. sides, for behind the
great trunk protected -us, while. the front was left. open
112 The Swiss Family Robinson.



to admit -the fresh sea breeze which blew directly in.

“We then hauled up our hammocks and bedding and
slung them from the branches we had left for that pur-
pose. A few hours of daylight still remaining, we
cleared the floor from leaves and chips, and then de-
scended to fashion a table and a few benches from the
remainder of the wood. After working like slaves all
day, Fritz and I flung ourselves on the grass, while my
wife arranged supper on the table we had made. _

“Come,” said she at length, “come and taste flamingo
stew, and tell me how you like it. Ernest assured me
that it would be much better stewed than roasted, and I
have been following his directions.”

Laughing at the idea of Ernest turning scientific 06k
we sat down. The fowls gathered round us to pick up
the crumbs, and the tame flamingo joined them, while
master Knips skipped about from one to the other,
chattering and mimicking our gestures continually. To
my wife’s joy, the sow appeared shortly after, and was
presented with all the milk that remained from the day’s
stock that she might be persuaded to return every night.

“For,” said my wife, “this surplus milk is really of no
use to us, as it will be sour before the morning in this
hot climate.”

“You are quite right,” I replied, “but we must con-
trive to make it of use. The next time Fritz and I
return. to the wreck we will bring off a churn amongst
the other things we require.”

“Must vou really go again to that dreadful wreck ?”





We retire to Roost. 113

said my wife shuddering. “You have no idea how
anxious I am when you are away there.”

“Go we must, I am afraid,” I replied, “but not for a
day or two yet. Come, it is getting late. We and the
chickens must go to roost.”

We lit our watch fires, and, leaving the dogs on guard
below, ascended the ladder. Fritz, Ernest, and Jack
were up in a moment. Their mother followed very
cautiously, for though she had originated the idea ot
building a nest, she yet hesitated to entrust herself at
such a terrific height from the ground. When she was
safely landed in the house, taking little Franz on my
back, I let go the fastenings which secured the lower
end of the ladder to the ground, and swinging to and
fro, slowly ascended.

Then for the first time we stood ail together in our
new home. I drew up the ladder, and, with a greater
sense of security than I had enjoyed since we landed on
the island, offered up our evening prayer, and retired for
the night.
CHAP tik 1V.

A day of rest—A parable for the young people — Quiet recreation—Geo-
The margay and porcupine skins made of
use—An expedition to Tentholm—Potatoes, potatoes—Tropical vege-
tation—The use of the Karatas—Jack’s greediness and its punishment
—Ernest discovers cochineal— Arrive at Tentholn—The poultry
rebellious—Return to Falconhurst—Ernest roused out early—We
collect wood for a sledge—Master Knips turns thief—Franz’s plan for
the saving of ammunition—Ernest and I take the sledge to Tentholm
—Frnest’s laziness exemplified—He catches a salmon—We start for
home—Kill a kangaroo—And cook it.



_ NEXT morning all were early awake, and the children
sprang about the tree like young monkeys.

“What shall we begin to do, father?” they eed
“What do you want us to do, to-day.”

Rest, my boys,” I replied, “rest.”

“ Rest?” repeated they. “Why should we rest?”

“«Six days shalt thou labour and do all that thou hast
to do, but on the seventh, thou shalt do no manner of
work,’ This is the seventh day,” I replied, “on it, there-
fore, let us rest.”

“ What, is it really Sunday?” said Jack; “how jolly!
oh, I wont do any work ; but I’ll take a bow and arrow
and shoot, and we'll climb about the tree and have fun
all day.”
A aay of Rest. 115



“That is not resting,’ said I, “that is not the way
you are accustomed to spend the Lord’s day.”

“No! but then we can’t go to church here, and there
is nothing else to do.”

“We can worship here as well as at home,” said I.

“ But there is no church, no clergyman, and no organ,”
said Franz.

“ The leafy shade of this great tree is far more beauti-
~ ful than any church,” I said; “there will we worship our
Creator. Come, boys, down with you: turn our dining
hall into a breakfast room.”

The children, one by one, slipped down the ladder.

“My dear Elizabeth,” said I, “this morning we will
devote to the service of the Lord, and by means of a
parable I will endeavour to give the children some
serious thoughts ; but, without books, or the possibility
of any of the usual Sunday occupations, we cannot kcep
them quiet the whole day; afterwards, therefore, I shall
allow them to pursue any innocent recreation they
choose, and in the cool of the evening we will take a
walk.”

My wife entirely agreed with my proposal, and havine
breakfasted, the family assembled round me, as we sat
in the pleasant shade on the fresh soft grass.

After singing some hymns and offering heartfeit
prayers to the Almighty Giver of all good, I told the
children I would relate to them a parable instead of
preaching asermon,

“Oh that will be delightful! I like the parables in

12
116 The Swiss Family Robtuson.

the Bible better than anything,” said Franz. “When
can we hear you read out of the Bible again, father?”

« Ah, my little boy, your words reproach me,” returned
I. “While eagerly striving, to procure from the ship
what would feed our bodies and provide for their comfort,
I blush to think that I have neglected the Bread of Life,
the word of God. I shall search for a Bible on my next
return to the wreck: although our own books were
nearly all destroyed, I am pretty sure to find one.”

At these words, my wife arose and, fetching her magic
bag, she drew from it a copy of the Holy Scriptures,
which I thankfully received from her hand; and after
reading aloud from its sacred pages, I spoke as follows :

« A Great King, ruling in power and splendour over a
vast realm of light and love, possessed within its boun-
daries a desolate and unfruitful island. This spot he
made the object of his special care; and, lavishing on it
all the varied resources of his might and goodness, it
bloomed in beauty, and became the happy residence of
a band of colonists who were charged not only with the
cultivation and improvement of the soil, but each indi-
vidually was bound to cherish in his soul the spirit of
love and true allegiance to his Sovereign. While this
faithful union was maintained,.the colony flourished ;
and the noblest virtues exalted and rendered happy the
existence of every member of the race. That a discon-
tented and rebellious spirit should ever have infected
these fortunate subjects of so loving a master, seems
incredible, yet so it was; disobedience and pride
A Parable. : LET



brought misery and punishment, the fair prospects of
the colony were blighted, the labours of the colonists
were unblessed, and total separation from the parent
kingdom seemed inevitable. A message of pardon—of
free forgiveness—was nevertheless accorded to these
rebels ; and to all who, humbly accepting it, moulded
their future lives to the will of the Great King (now
revealed in a character ever: more gracious than -before)
was held out the promise of removal at last from among
the ruins caused by the great rebellion, to the glory
and undimmed splendour of the realm of Light and
Blessedness.”

Having interested the children, I then, leaving alle-
gory, pressed simply and earnestly home to each young
heart the truths I sought to teach; and, with a short
prayer for a blessing on my words, brought the service
to a close.

After a thoughtful pause, we separated, and each
employed himself as he felt disposed.

I took: some arrows, and endeavoured to point them
with porcupine quills.

Franz came to beg me make a little bow and arrow
for him to shoot with, while Fritz asked my advice
about the tiger-cat skin and the cases he was to contrive
from it. Jack assisted with the arrow making, and
inserting a sharp spine at one end of each reed made it
fast with pack-thread, and began to wish for glue to
ensure its remaining firm.

“Oh, Jack! Mamma's soup is as sticky as any-
118 The Swiss Fanily Robinsen.



thing!” cried Franz; “shall I run and ask for a cake
of it?”

“No, no, little goose! better look for some real glue
in the tool-box.” ‘

“There he will find glue, to be sure,” said I, “and the
soup would scarcely have answered your purpose. But
Jack, my boy, I do not like to hear you ridicule your
little brother's idea. Some of the most valuable dis-
coveries have been the result of thoughts which originally
appeared no wiser than his.”

While thus directing and assisting my sons, we were
surprised by hearing a shot just over our heads; at the
same moment two small birds fell dead at our feet, and
looking up, we beheld Ernest among the branches, as
bending his face joyfully towards us, he cried, “ Well hit!
well hit! a good shot wasn’t it ?”

Then slipping down the ladder, and picking up the
birds, he brought them to me. One was a kind of
thrush, the other asmall dove called the Ortolan, and
esteemed a very great delicacy on account of its ex-
quisite flavour. As the figs on which these birds came
to feed were only just beginning to ripen, it was
probable that they would soon flock in numbers to our
trecs; and by waiting until we could procure them in
large quantities, we might provide ourselves with valu-
able food for the rainy season, by placing them, when
half cooked, in cases with melted lard or butter poured
over them.

By this time Jack had pointed a good supply of
Weapons for Franz. 119



arrows, and industriously practised archery. I finished
the bow and arrows for Franz, and expected to be left



ORTOLAN,

an peace; but the young man next demanded a quiver,
and [had to invent that also, to complete his equipment.

‘It was.casily done by stripping a piece of bark from a
120 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



small tree, fitting a flat side and a bottom to it, and then
a string. Attaching it to his shoulders, the youthful
hunter filled it with arrows and went off; looking, as his
mother said, like an innocent little Cupid, bent on
conquest. =

Not long after this, we were summoned to dinner, and
all right willingly obeyed the call.

During the meal I interested the boys very much by
proposing to decide on suitable names for the different
spots we had visited on this coast.

“For,” said I, “it will become more and more trouble-
some to explain what we mean, unless we do so.
Besides which, we shall feel much more at home if we
can talk as people do in inhabited countries: instead of
saying, for instance, ‘the little island at the mouth of
our bay, where we found the dead shark,’ ‘the large
stream near our tent, across which we made the bridge,’
‘that wood where we found cocoa nuts, and caught the
monkey,’ and so on. Let us begin by naming the bay
in which we landed. What shall we call it?”

“ Oyster Bay,” said Fritz.

“No, no !—Lobster Bay,” cried Jack, “in memory of
the old fellow who took a fancy to my leg!”

“T think,” observed his mother, ‘that, in token
of gratitude for our escape, we should call it Safety
Bay.

This name met with general approbation, and was
forthwith fixed upon.

Other names were quickly chosen. Our first place of
Turks Arniour. 121



abode we called Tentholm; ‘the islet in the bay,
Shark’s Island ; and the reedy swamp, Flamingo Marsh,
Tt was some time before the serious question of a name
for our leafy castle could be decided. But finally it was
entitled Falconhurst ;* and we then rapidly named the
few remaining points: Prospect Hill; the eminence we
first ascended; Cape Disappointment, from whose
rocky heights we had strained our eyes in vain search for
our ship’s company ; and Jackal River, as a name for the
large stream at our landing place, concluded our geo-
graphical nomenclature

In the afternoon the boys ene on with their various
employments. Fritz finished his cases, and Jack asked
my assistance in carrying out his plan of making a
cuirass for Turk, out of the porcupine skin. After tho-
roughly cleansing the inside, we cut and fitted it round
the body of the patient dog; then when strings were
sewn on, and it became tolerably dry, he was armed
with this ingenious coat cf mail, and a most singular
figure he cut !

Juno strongly objected to his friendly approaches, and
got out of his way as fast as she could ; and it was clear
that he would easily put to flight the fiercest animal he
might. encounter, while protected by armour. at once
defensive and offensive.

I determined to make also a helmet for Jack out of
the remainder of the skin, which to his infinite delight I
speedily did.

* Torst, in German, meahs “nest” or ‘cyrie,”
122 The. Swiss Lfanily Robinson.



Amid these interesting occupations the evening drew
on, and after a pleasant walk among the sweet glades
near our abode, we closed our Sabbath day with prayer
and a glad hymn of praise, retiring to rest with peaceful
hearts.

Next morning, I proposed an expedition to Tentholm,
saying I wished to make my way thither, by a different
route. We left the tree well armed; I and my three
elder sons each carrying a gun and game bag, while
little Franz was equipped with his bow and quiver full
of arrows. A most curious party we formed: Fritz
adorned with his belt of margay skin, and Jack, with
his extraordinary head-dress, looked like a couple_of
young savages. Their mother and I walked together ;
she, of the whole party, being the only one unarmed,
carried a jar in which to get butter from Tentholm ;
we were preceded by the dogs—Turk armed most
effectually with his cuirass of porcupine skin, and Juno
keeping at a respectful distance from so formidable a
companion. Master Knips fully intended to mount his
charger as usual; but when he saw him arrayed appa-
rently in a new skin, he approached him carefully, and
touching him with one paw, discovered that such a
hide would make anything but an agreeable seat; the
‘grimace he made was most comical, and chattering
vociferously he bounded towards Juno, skipped on her
back, seated himself, and soon appeared perfectly re-
conciled to the change of steed. The Flamingo saw us
starting, and, having been much petted during the last
An invaluable Discovery. 123

a

day or two, considered himself entitled to accompany
us; for some time he kept beside the children, follow-
ing first one and then another as they explored the wood
on either side; their irregular course, however, at length
_ disgusted him, and, abandoning them, he walked sedately
by my side. We strolled on in the cool evening air,
following the course of the stream; the great trees
overshadowed us, and the cool green sward stretched
away. between them at our fect. The boys roamed
ahead of me, intent on exploration. Presently I heard
a joyful shout, and saw Ernest running at full speed
towards me, followed by his brothers. In his hand he
held a plant, and, panting for breath, and with sparkling
eyes, he held it up to me.

“Potatoes! potatoes! father,” he gasped out.

“ Yes,” said Jack, “acres and acres of potatoes!”

“My dear Ernest,” said I, for there was no mistaking
the flower and leaf, and the light clear-green bulbous
roots, “you have indeed made a discovery; with the
potato we shall never starve.”

“But come and look at them,” said Jack, “come and
feast your eyes on thousands of potatoes.”

We hurried to the spot : there, spread out before us,
was a great tract of ground, covered with the precious
plant.

“Tt would have been rather difficult,” remarked Jack,
“ not to have discovered such a great field.”

“Very likely,” replied Ernest, smiling ; ‘but I doubt

if you would have discovered that it was a potato field.”
124 The Swiss ee Robinson. +



zs bers not,” said fa “you are a welcome, at
all events, to the honour of the discovery ; I'll have the
honour of being ‘the first to get a supply of them.” So
saying, he dug up, with hands and knife, a number of
plants, and filled his game-bag with the roots. The
monkey followed his example, and scratching away
with .his paws most cleverly, soon had a heap beside
him. So delighted were we with the discovery, and
so cager were we to possess a large supply of the roots,
that we stopped not digging until every bag, pouch, and
pocket was filled. Some wished to return at once to
Falconhurst, to cook and taste our new acquisition ; but
this I overruled, and we continued our march, heavily
laden, but delighted.

“How,” said I, “can we thank the Giver of all these
blessings, sufficiently >?”

“Oh,” said Franz, “we can say, ‘We thank thee, O
Lord, for all thy goodness and me and bless us, for
Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.’”

“That would not be sufficient,” said Fritz. “Do
you think it would be enough, just to say to father and
mother: ‘Thank you for all you do,’ and not to show
that we were really thankful, by loving them and doing
what we can to please them?”

“Vou are quite right, Fritz,” said 1; “Franz did not
say all that was necessary, he should have added, ‘ Give
me grace to do Thy will, and to obey Thee in all
things.” ;

_ As. we thus walked: we reached, the head of our
A refreshing Scene. 125

-gtreamlet, where it fell from the rocks above in a
beautiful, sparkling, splashing cascade. We crossed
and entered the tall grass on the other side. We
forced our way through with difficulty, so thick and
tangled were the reeds. Beyond this, the landscape
was most lovely. Rich tropical vegetation flourished
&2 every side: the tall stately palms, surrounded by



JASMINE.

{uxuriant ferns ; brilliant flowers and graceful creepers ;
the prickly cactus, shooting up amidst them ; aloe, jas-
mine, and swect-scented vanilla; the Indian pea, and
above all the regal pine-apple, loaded the breath of the
evening breeze with their rich perfume. The boys were
delighted with the pine-apple, and so eagerly did they
fall to, that my wife had to caution them that there were
no doctors on our territory, and. that if they became
ill, they would have to cure themselves as. best they
might, .
126 The Swiss Family Robinson.

This advice, however, seemed to have small effect on
my sons, and showing Knips what they wanted, they
sent him after the ripest and best ‘fruit.

While they were thus employed, I examined the
other shrubs and bushes. Among these I presently
noticed one which I knew well from description to be
the karatas.



PINE-APPLE,

“Come here, boys,” I said; “ here is something of far
more value than your pine-apples. Do you see that
plant with long pointed leaves and beautiful red ,
flower? That is the karatas. The filaments of the
leaves make capital thread, while the leaves them-
selves, bruised, form an invaluable salve. The pith
- of this wonderful plant may be used either for tinder
or bait for fish. Suppose, Ernest, you -had been
wrecked here, how would you have made a fire with- '
out matches, or flint and steel?”
The Karatas. 127

“As the savages do,” replicd he; “I would rub two
pieces of wood together until they kindled.”

“ Try it,” I said ; “but, if you please, try it when you
have a whole day before you, and no other work to be
done, for I am certain it would be night before you
accomplished the feat. But see here,” and I broke a
dry twig from the karatas, and peeling off the bark, laid
the pith upon a stone. I struck a couple of pebbles
over it, and they emitting a spark, the pith caught
fire.

The boys were delighted with the experiment. I then
drew some of the threads from the leaves, and presented
them to my wife.

“ But what,” said Fritz, “is the use of all these .other
prickly plants, except to annoy one? Here, for in-
stance, is a disagreeable little tree.”

“That is an Indian fig,” said I. “It grows best on
dry, rocky ground ; for most of its nourishment: is de-
rived from the air. Its juice is used, I believe,
medicinally, while its fruit is pleasant and whole-
some.”

Master Jack was off in a moment when he heard of a
new delicacy, and attempted to gather some of the fruit,
but in vain ; the sharp thorns defied his efforts, and with
bleeding hands and rueful countenance, he returned. I
removed the thorns from his hands, and making a
sharp wooden skewer, I thrust it into a fig, and quickly
twisted it from its branch and split it open with a knife,
still holding it upon the skewer. The rest followed my

wen
128 The Swiss Family Robinson.

example, and we regaled ourselves upon the fruit, which
we found excellent. Ernest carefully examined the fig
he was eating. “What are these?” he exclaimed,
presently ; “little red insects! they cling all over’ the
fruit, and I cannot shake them off. Can they’ be
cochineal ?”

He handed me the fig, and I examined it atten-
tively.

“You are quite right, my boy,” I said; “there is no
doubt this is the real cochineal. However, though it is
worth its weight in gold to European traders, it is of
- little use to us, I em. afraid, unless any of you care to
appear in gay colours, The cochineal, you know, forms
the most lovely scarlet dye.”

“No, thank you,” said Jack, “ but we will take a lot of
it when we go home again. Now let us find something
more useful to us.” And they thereupon plied me in-
cessantly with questions concerning every plant and
shrub we Daesees

“Stop, stop,” I said at length; “the most learned
naturalist would be much puzzled with many of these
trees ; and I, who have never seen any of them before,
‘and know them merely by description, cannot pretend

to tell you the names, or explain to yew the uses of cne _
quarter of them.” 7

Discussing, however, the properties of such shrubs as
I did know, we at length reached Tentholm. Every-
thing was safe, and we set to work to collect what we
wanted, I opened the butter cask, Som which my wife
Angling Extraordinary 129

filled her pot. Fritz saw after the ammunition, and
Jack and Ernest ran down to the beach to capture the
geese and ducks. This they found no easy matter, for
the birds, left so long alone, were shy, and nothing
would induce them to come on shore and be caught.
Ernest at length hit upon an ingenious plan. He took
some pieces of cheese, and tied them to long strings.
This bait he threw into the water, and the hungry ducks
instantly made a grab at it; then with a little skilful
manceuvring he drew them on shore. While Jack and
he were thus busily employed catching and tying the
rebels together by the feet, we procured a fresh supply
of salt, which we packed upon Turk’s back, first reliev-
ing him of his coat of mail. The birds we fastened to
our game-bags, and carefully closing the door of our
tent, started homewards by the sea-shore. After a
cheerful and pleasant walk, we once more reached our
woodland abode. I released the birds, and, clipping
their wings to prevent their leaving us, established them
on the stream. Then, after a delicious supper of
potatoes, milk, and butter, we ascended our tree and
turned in.

Having remarked a great deal of drift-wood on the
sands the preceding evening, it occurred to me that it
would be well to get some of it, and make a kind of
sledge, so that the labour of fetching what we wanted
from our stores at Tentholm might not fall so heavily
on ourselves.

I awoke early, and roused Ernest as my assistant,
K
130 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



wishing to encourage him to overcome his natural fault
of indolence. After a little stretching and yawning, he
got up cheerfully, pleased with the idea of an expedition
while the others still slept, and we made our way to the
beach, taking with us the donkey, who drew a large
broad bough, which I expected to find useful in bringing
back our load.

As we went along, I remarked to Ernest that I sup-
posed he was rather sorry for himself, and grudged
leaving his cosy hammock and pleasant dreams at this
untimely hour.

“Oh, father, do not laugh at my laziness! Indeed I
mean to cure myself of it. I am very glad to go with
you. I intended to shoot some more of the ortolans this
morning, but there will be plenty of time afterwards.
The boys will be shooting at them, I daresay, but I
don’t expect they will have any great luck.”

“Why not, pray ?” inquired I.

“T don’t believe they will know what shot to use at
first, and, besides, they will most likely shoot upwards at
the birds and be sure to miss them, on account of the
great height and thickness of the branches and foliage.”

“Well, Ernest, you certainly possess the gifts of
prudence and reflection, as well as observation. These”
are valuable ; but sudden action.is so often necessary in
life, that I advise you to cultivate the power of instantly
perceiving and deciding what must be done in cases of
emergency. Presence of mind is a precious quality,
which, although natural in some characters, may be
Absent without Leave. Tega

acquired in a certain degree by all who train them-
selves to it.”

Once on the sea-shore, our work was quickly accom-
plished, for selecting the wood I thought fit for my pur-
pose, we laid it across the broad leafy branch, and, with
some help from us, the donkey dragged a very fair load of
it homewards, with the addition of a small chest which
I raised from among the sand which nearly covered it.

We heard the boys popping away at the birds as we
drew near. They hastened to meet us, and inquired
where we had been, looking curiously at the chest,
which I allowed them to open, while I asked my wife to
excuse our “absence without leave;” and after sub-
mitting to her gentle reprimand, I explained my plan
for a sledge, which pleased her greatly, and she already
imagined it loaded with her hogshead of butter, and on
its way from Tentholm to Falconhurst.

The chest proved to be merely that of a common
sailor, containing his clothes, very rnuch wetted by the
sea water.

The boys exhibited an array of several dozen birds,
and related, during breakfast, the various incidents of
failure and success which had attended their guns.
Ernest had rightly guessed the mistakes they would
make, but practice was making them perfect, and they
seemed disposed to continue their sport, when their
mother, assuring them that she could not use more birds
than those already killed, asked if I did not think some

means of snaring them might be contrived, as much
K2
132 The Swiss Family Robinson.



powder and shot would be expended if they fired on at
this rate.

Entirely agreeing with this view of the subject, I de-
sired the lads to lay aside their guns for the present, and

the younger ones readily applied themselves to making
snares of the long threads drawn from the leaves of the
karatas in a simple way I taught them, while Fritz and
Ernest gave me substantial assistance in the manufac-
ture of the new sledge.

We were busily at work, when a tremendous disturb-
ance among our fowls led us to suppose that a fox or
wild cat had got into their midst.

The cocks crowed defiantly, the hens fluttered and
cackled in a state of the wildest excitement. We has-
tened. towards them, but Ernest remarking Master Knips
slipping away, as though conscious of some misdemeanour,
went to watch him, and presently caught him in the act
of eating a new-laid egg, which he had carried off and
hidden among the grass and roots. Ernest found several
others. These were very welcome to my wife, for
hitherto the hens had not presented us with any eggs.
Hereafter she determined to imprison the monkey every
morning until the eggs had been collected. |

Soon after this. as Jack was setting the newly-made
snares among the branches, he discovered that a pair of
our own pigeons were building in the tree. It was very
desirable to increase our stock of these pretty birds, and
I cautioned the boys against shooting near our tree
while they had nests there, and also with regard to the























What ts Gunpowder ? 133



snares, which were meant only to entrap the wild-fig-
eaters,

Although my sons were interested in setting the
snares, they by no means approved of the new order
to eccnomise the ammunition. No doubt they had
been discussing this hardship, for little Franz came to
me with a brilliant proposal of his own.

“Papa,” said he, “why should not we begin to plant
some powder and shot immediately? It would be so
much more useful than bare grain for the fowls,

His brothers burst into a roar of laughter, and I
must confess I found it no easy matter to keep my
countenance.

“Come, Ernest,” said I; “now we have had our
amusement, tell the little fellow what gunpowder
really is.”

“It is not seed at all, Franz,” Ernest explained.
“Gunpowder is made of charcoal, sulphur, and saltpetre,
mixed cleverly together ; so you see it cannot be sown
like corn, any more than shot can be planted like peas
and beans.”

My carpentering meantime went on apace. In order
to shape my sledge with ends properly turned up in
front, 1 had chosen wood which had been part of the
bow of the vessel, and was curved in the necessary way
for my purpose. Two pieces, perfectly similar, formed
the sides of my sleigh, or sledge, and I simply united
these strongly by fixing short bars across them. Then,
when the ropes of the donkey’s harness were attached
134 The Swiss Family Robinson.



to the raised points in front, the equipage was com-
plete and ready for use.

My attention had been for some time wholly en-
grossed by my work, and I only now observed that the
mother and her little boys had been busily plucking
above two dozen of the wild birds, and were prepar-
ing to roast them, spitted :n a row on a long, narrow
sword blade, belonging to one of our ship’s officers.

It seemed somewhat wasteful to cook so many at
cnce ; but my wife explained that she was getting them
ready for the butter-cask I was going to fetch for her
on the new sledge, as I had advised her to preserve
them half-cooked, and packed in butter.

Amused by her promptitude, I could do nothing less
than promise to go for her cask directly after dinner.
For her part, she was resolved in our absence to
have a grand wash of linen and other clothes, and
she advised me to arrange regular baths for all the
boys in future.

Early in the afternoon Ernest and I were ready to be
off, equipped as usual. Fritz presented us each with a
neat case of Margay skin to hang at our girdles. _

We harnessed both cow and ass to the sledge, and,
accompanied by Juno, cheerfully took cur departure,
choosing the way by the sands, and reaching Tentholm
without accident or adventure.

There, unharnessing the animals, we began at once to
load the sledge, not only with the butter-cask, but with
a powder-chest, a barrel of cheese, and a variety of other


(See p. 138.)

SALMON.
736 The Swiss Family Rovtnson.



articles,—ball, shot, tools, and Turk’s armour, which had
been left behind on our last visit. ;

Our work had so closely engaged our attention, that
when we were ready to leave it and go in search
of a good bathing-place, we discovered that our two
animals had wandered quite out of sight, having
crossed the bridge to reach the good pasture beyond
the river,

I sent Ernest after them, and went alone to the
extremity of the bay. It terminated in bold and pre-
cipitous cliffs, which extended into the deep water, and
rose abruptly, so as to form an inaccessible wall of rock
and crag. Swampy ground, overgrown with large canes,
intervened between me and these cliffs. I cut a large
bundle of the reeds, and returned to Ernest. It was
some time before I found him, comfortably extended
full length on the ground near the tent, and sleeping as
sound as a top, while the cow and the ass, grazing at
will, were again making for the bridge.

“Get up, Ernest, you lazy fellow !” exclaimed I, much
annoyed ; “why don’t you mind your business? Look at
the animals! They will be over the river again!”

“ No fear of that, father,” returned he, with the utmost
composure. “TI have taken a couple of boards off the —
bridge. They won't pass the gap.”

I could not help laughing at the ingenious device
by which the boy had spared himself all trouble; at
the same time I observed that it is wrong to waste
the precious moments in sleep when duty has to be
OLR WP
AN ct

KANGAROO, (See J. 140.)

AL

7 2


138 The Swiss Family Robinson.



performed. I then bid him go and collect some salt,
Which was wanted at home, while I went to bathe.

On coming back, much refreshed, I again missed
Ernest, and began to wonder whether he was still
gathering salt, or whether he had lain down somewhere
to finish his nap, when I heard him loudly calling,—

“Father, father! I’ve caught a fish! an immense
fellow he is. I can scarcely hold him, he drags the line
so!”

Hastening towards the spot, I saw the boy lying in
the grass, on a point of land close to the mouth of the
stream, and with all his might keeping hold of a rod.
The line was strained to the utmost by the frantic
efforts of a very large fish, which was attempting to free
itself from the hook.

I quickly took the rod from him, and giving the fish
more line, led him by degrees into shallow water.
Ernest ran in with his hatchet and killed him.

It proved to be a salmon of full fifteen pounds weight,
and I was delighted to think of taking such a valuable
prize to them.

“ This is capital, Ernest!” cried I; “you nave cleared.
yourself for once of the charge of laziness! Let us now
carry this splendid salmon to the sledge. I will clean
and pack it for the journey, that it may arrive in good
condition, while you go and take a bath in the sea.”

All this being accomplished, we harnessed our beasts
to the well-laden vehicle, and replacing the boards on
the bridge, commenced the journey home.





























































































SHOOTING THE KANGAROO. (See 2. 140.)


140 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



We kept inland this time, and were skirting the
borders of a grassy thicket, when Juno suddenly left us,
and plunging into the bushes, with fierce barking hunted
out, right in front of us, the most. singular-looking
creature I ever beheld. It was taking wonderful flying
leaps, apparently in a sitting posture, and got over the
ground at an astonishing rate. I attempted to shoot it
as it passed, but missed. Ernest, who was behind me,
observed its movements very coolly, and secing that the
dog was puzzled, and that the animal, having paused,
was crouching among the grass, went cautiously nearer,
Ared at the spot he had marked, and shot it dead.

The extraordinary appearance of this creature sur-
prised us very much. It was as large as a sheep, its
head was shaped like that of a mouse; its skin also was

of a mouse-colour, it had long ears like a hare, and a
tail like a tiger’s. The fore-paws resembled those of a
squirrel, but they seemed only half-grown, while the hind-
legs were cnormous, and so long, that when upright on
_ them the animal would look as if mounted on stilts,

For some time we stood silently wondering at the
remarkable creature before us. I could not recollect to
have seen or heard of any such,

“Well, father,” said Ernest at last, “I should say this
was about the'queerest beast to be met with anywhere.
Iam glad I knocked it over. How they will all stare
when I carry it home!”

“You have had a lucky day altogether, certainly ;’
said I; “but T crinot think what this animal can be’






RODENTS
T4.8 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Examine its teeth, and let us see to what class of
mammalia it belongs. We may be led to guess at its.
name in that way.”

“T see four sharp incisor teeth, father,—two upper.
and two under, as a squirrel has.”

“Ah! then he is a rodent. What rodénts car you
remember, Ernest?”

“T do not know them ali, but there are the mouse,
the marmot, the squirrel, the hare, the beaver, the

2”

jerboa



“The jerboa!” I exclaimed, “the jerboa! now we
shall have it. This is really very like a jerboa, only far
larger. It must be a kangaroo, one of the class of
animals which has a pouch or purse beneath the body,
in which its young can take refuge. They were dis-
covered in New Holland, by the great Captain Cook,
and I congratulate you on being the first to obtain a
‘I added, laughing, as I

1?

specimen in New Switzerland
extemporized the name.

The kangaroo was added to the already heavy load
on our sledge, and we proceeded slowly, arriving late
at Falconhurst, but meeting with the usual bright
welcome.

Very eager and inquisitive were the glances turned
towards the sledge, for the load piled on it surpassed all
expectation : we on our part staring in equal surprise at
the extraordinary rig of the young folks who came to-
meet us.

One wore a long night-shirt, which, with a belt, was
The Dee unloaded. IAS



a convenient ear in front, but trailed behind i
orthodox ghost fashion.

Another had on a very wide pair of trousers, braced
up so short that each little leg looked like the clapper
in a bell.

The third, buttoned up in a pea-jacket which came
down to his ankles, looked for all the world like a
walking portmanteau.

Amid much joking and laughter, the mother explained
that she had been washing all day, and while their clothes
were drying, the boys amused themselves by dressing up
in things they found while rummaging the sailor’s chest,
and had kept them on, that Ernest and I might see the
masquerade. It certainly amused us, but made me
regret that so little belonging to ourselves had been
saved from the wreck, in consequence of which the
children had scarcely a change of linen.

Turning now to our new acquisitions, we excited great
interest by exhibiting each in turn; the large salmon,
but more especially the kangaroo, surprised and de-
lighted everyone.

Fritz alone wore a look expressive of dissatisfaction,
and I saw that he was envious of his younger brother's
success. Vexed that so noble a prize had fallen to
Ernest’s gun, instead of his own, he treated it rather
slightingly; but I could see that he was struggling
against his jealous feelings, and he, after a while,
succeeded in recovering his good humonr, and joined
pleasantly in the conversation.
144 The Swiss Fi as) LOLITE



eat 7 an,

“What a Rene flay s sport you ee he alto«
gether!” said he, coming close up to me. “It will be my
turn to go out with you next, will it not, father? Just
about here there is nothing to shoot, and I have found it
very dull.”

“Still you have been doing your duty, my dear boy:
you were entrusted with the care of the family, and a
youth of manly charactzr will not depend for e heppings)
on mere excitement.”

As the shades of night w»roached, we made haste to
conclude the day’s work, by preparing the kangaroo,

part for immediate use, and part for salting. . The.
animals were fed, and a plentiful allowance of salt made
to them. Our own supper of broiled salmon and
potatoes was dispatched with great appetite, and we
retired, with thankful hearts, to sound and well-earned
repose,
CHAPTER V.

jack and Ernest disappear—Fritz and I start for the wreck—The boys
ambuscade—We form a raft—Ransack the vessel—Again embark—A
turtle in sight—Fritz harpoons it—The turtle acts as ‘Steam Tug’—
Safe ashore—Return home—Jack’s clay field—A fresh discovery—The
mother's cellar—A trip to the wreck—The pinnace—Jack’s raid on
the Lilliputians—A secret revealed—A new method of grinding flour—
Wholesome or poisonous ?—Bread-making in earnest.

NEXT morning, while the breakfast was getting ready,
I attended to the beautiful skin of the kangaroo, which
I was anxious to preserve entire; and afterwards, when
Fritz had prepared everything in readiness for our trip
to the wreck, I called Ernest and Jack in order to give
them some parting injunctions. They, however, had
disappeared directly after breakfast, and their mother
could only guess, that, as we required potatoes, they
might have gone to fetch a supply. I desired her to
reprove them, on their return, for starting away without
leave ; but, as it appeared they had taken Turk, I satis-
fied myself that no harm was likely to vefall them,
although it was not without reluctance that I left my
dear wife alone with little Franz, cheering her with
hopes of our speedy return with new treasures from the
wreck,

Advancing steadily on our way, we crossed the bridge
L
146 The Swiss Family Robinson.

at Jackal River, when suddenly, to our no small
astonishment, Jack and Ernest burst out of a hiding.
place where they had lain in wait for us, and were
enchanted with the startling effect of their unexpected
appearance upon their unsuspecting father and brother.
It was evident that they fully believed they might now
go with us to the wreck.

To this notion I at once put a decided stop, although I
could not find in my heart to scold the two merry rogues
for their thoughtless frolic, more especially as I particu-
larly wished to send back a message to my wife. I told
them they must hurry home, so as not to leave their
mother in suspense, although, as they were already
so far, they might collect some salt. And I instructed
them to explain that, as my work on board would take
up a long time, she must try to bear with our absence
fora night. This I had meant to say when we parted,
but my courage had failed, knowing how much she
would object to such a plan, and I had resolved to return
in the evening.

On consideration, however, of the importance of con-
structing a raft, which was my intention in going, and
_ finishing it without a second trip, 1 determined to
_ remain on board for the night, as the boys had, un-
| intentionally, given me the chance of sending a message
to that effect.

“Good-bye boys, take care of yourselves! we're off,”
shouted Fritz, as I joined him in the tub-boat, and we
shoved off.
We build a Raft. 147



The current carried us briskly out of the bay; we
were very soon moored safely alongside the wreck,
and scrembling up her shattered sides, stood on what
remained of the deck, and began at once to lay our
plans.

I wanted to make a raft fit to carry on shore a great
variety of articles far too large and heavy for our present
boat. A number of empty water-casks seemed just
what was required for a foundation: we closed them
tightly, pushed them overboard, and arranging twelve
of them side by side in rows of three, we firmly
secured them together by means of spars, and then
proceeded to lay a good substantial floor of planks,
which was defended by a low bubwark. In this way we
soon had a first-rate raft, exactly suited to our purpose.

It would have been impossible to return to land that
same evening, for we were thoroughly fatigued by our
labours, and had eaten only the light refreshment we
had brought in our wallets, scarcely desisting a moment
from our work.

Rejoicing that we were not expected home, we now
made an excellent supper from the ship’s provisions,
and then rested for the night on spring mattresses,
a perfect luxury to us, after our hard and narrow
hammocks.

Next morning we actively set about loading the raft
and boat: first carrying off the entire contents of our
own cabins; and, passing on to the Captain’s room, wz

removed the furniture, as weil as the doors and window-
; L2

x
148 The Swiss Family Robinson.

frames, with their bolts, bars, and locks. We next took
the officers’ chests, and those belonging to the carpenter
and gunsmith ; the contents of these latter we had tc
remove in portions, as their weight was far beyond
our strength.

One large chest was filled with an assortment of fancy
goods, and reminded us of a jeweller’s shop, so glitter-
ing was the display of gold and silver watches, snuff-
boxes,’ bucklez, studs, chains, rings, and all manner or
trinkets ; these, and a box of money, drew our attention
for a time ; but more useful to us at present was a case
of common knives and forks, which I was glad to find,
as more suited to us than the smart siiver ones we had
previously taken on shore. To my delight we found,
most carefully packed, a number of young fruit trees;
and we read on the tickets attached to them the names,
so pleasant’to European ears, of the apple, pear, chest-
nut, orange, almond, peach, apricot, plum, cherry, and
vine.

: The cargo, which had been destined for the supply of
a distant colony, proved, ia fact, a rich and almost
inexhaustible treasure to us. Ironmongery, plumber’s
tools, lead, paint, grind-stones, cart wheels, and all that
was necessary for the work of a smith’s forge, spades
and plough-shares, sacks of maize, peas, oats, and
wheat, a hand-mill, and also the parts of a saw-mill
so carefully numbered that, were we strong enough, it
would be easy to put it up, had been stowed away.

So bewildered were we by the wealth around us that.
Wealth I; nexhausteble. 149

be AE si ri peas Hie Ios SA AM ok NE LET
for some time we were at a loss as to what to remove
to the raft. It would be impossible to take everything ;
yet the first storm would complete the destruction of
the ship, and we should lose all we left behind.
Selecting a number of the most useful articles, however,
including of course the grain and the fruit trees, we
gradually loaded our raft. Fishing lines, reels, cordage,
and a couple of harpoons were put on board, as well as
a mariner’s compass.

Fritz, recollecting our encounter with the shark,
placed the harpoons in readiness ; and amused me by
seeming to picture himself a whaler, flourishing his
harpoon in most approved fashion.

Early in the afternoon, both our crafts. were heavily
laden, and we were ready to make for the shore. The
voyage was begun with. considerable anxiety, as, with
the raft in tow, there was some danger of an accident.

But the sea being calm and the wind favourable, we
found we could spread the sail, and our progress was
very satisfactory.

Presently, Fritz asked me for the telescope, as he had
observed something curious floating at a distance.
Then handing it back, he begged me to examine the
object ; which I soon discovered to be a turtle asleep
on the water, and of course unconscious of our approach.

“Do, father, steer towards it !” exclaimed he.

I accordingly did so, that he might have a nearer
look at the creature. Little did I suspect what was to
follow. The lad’s back was turned to me, and the


iN TURTLE,



Gh
A dangerous Cruise. 15.

broad sail was between us, so that I could not perceive
his actions; when, all of a sudden, I experienced a shock,
and the thrill as of line running through a reel. Before
I had time to call out,a second shock, and the sensation
of the boat being rapidly drawn through the water,
alarmed me.

“Fritz, what are you about?” cried I “you are send-
ing us to the bottom.”

“JT have him, hurrah! I have him safe!” shouted he,
in eager excitement.

To my amazement, I perceived that he really had
struck the tortoise with a harpoon ; a rope was attached
to it, and the creature was running away with us.

Lowering the sail and seizing my hatchet, 1 hastened
forward, in order to cut the line, and cast adrift at once

“turtle and harpoon.

“Father! do wait!” pleaded the boy, “there is no
danger just yet? I promise to cut the line myself the
instant it is necessary! Let us catch this turtle if we
possibly can.”

“My dear boy, the turtle will be a very dear bargain,
if he upsets all our goods into the sea, even if he does
not drown us too. For heaven’s sake, be careful! I will
wait a few minutes, but the instant there is danger, cut
the line.”

As the turtle began to make for the open sea, I
hoisted the sail again; and, finding the opposition too
much for it, the creature again directed its course land-
ward, drawing us rapidly after it. The part of the
152 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



shore, for which the turtie was making, was considerably
to the left of our usual landing-place. The beach there
shelved very gradually, and at some distance from land
we grounded with a sharp shock, but fortunately with-
out a capsize.

The turtle was evidently greatly exhausted, and no
wonder, since it had been acting the part of a steam tug,
and had been dragging, at full speed, a couple of heavily
laden vessels. Its intention was to escape to land; but
I leaped into the water, and wading up to it, despatched
it with my axe. Such was its tenacity of life, however,
that it did not cease its struggles, until I had actually
severed its head from its body.

As we were by no means far from Falconhurst, Fritz
gave notice of our approach by firing off his gun, as well
as shouting loudly in his glee ; and, while we were yet
engaged in securing our boats and getting the turtle on
shore, the whole family appeared in the distance hasten-
ing eagerly towards us ; and our new prize, together with
the well-laden boat and raft, excited the liveliest interest,
my wife's chief pleasure, however, consisted in seeing us
safely back, as our night’s absence had disturbed her,

_and she was horrified by the description of our
dangerous run in the wake of the fugitive turtle.

Being anxious to remove some of our goods before
night, the boys ran off to fetch the sledge ; while I, having
no anchor, contrived to moor the boats by means of
some of the heavy blocks of iron we had brought.

It required our united strength to get the turtle
We display our Turtle, ES

hoisted on to the sledge, its weight being prodigious ; we
found it, indeed, with the addition of the sapling fruit-
trees, quite a sufficient load.

We then made the best of our way home, chatting
merrily about our various adventures. The first thing
to be done on arriving was to obtain some of the
turtle’s flesh to cook for supper. To my wife this ap-
peared necessarily a work of time, as well as of diffi-
culty ; but I turned the beast on its back, and soon de-
tached a portion of the meat from the breast with a
hatchet, by breaking the lower shell; and I then directed
that it should be cooked, with a little salt, shell and all.

“ But let me first cut away this disgusting green fat,”
said my wife with a little shudder. “See how it sticks all
over the meat. No one could eat anything so nasty.”

1”
.

“Leave the fat, whatever you do exclaimed I.
“Why, my dear, that is the very best part, and the
delight of the epicure. If there be really too much,
cut some off—it can be used as lard, and let the dogs
make a supper of the refuse.”

“And the handsome shell!” cried Fritz; “I should
like to make a water-trough of that, to stand near the
brook, and be kept always full of clear water. How
useful it would be !”

“That is a. capital idea,” I replied, “and we may
manage it easily, if we can find clay so as to make a
firm foundation on which to place it.”

“ Oh, as to clay,” said Jack, “I have a grand lump ot
clay there under that root.”
154 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Well done, my lad! when did you find it?”

“He found a bed of clay near the river this morning,”
said his mother, “and came home‘in such a mess, I had
regularly to scrape his clothes and wash him tho-
roughly !”

“Well, mother, I can only tell you I should never in
all my days have found the clay, if I had not slipped
and fallen amongst it.”

“That I can well believe,’ returned his mother; —
“only, to hear your talk this morning, one would have
thought your discovery of clay the result of very arduous
search indeed.”

“When you have ended the question of the clay and
the turtle-shell,” said Ernest, “I should like to show you
some roots I found to-day; they are getting rather dry
now. They look something like radishes, although the
plant itself was almost a bush; but I have not ventured
to taste them, although our old sow was devouring them
at a great rate.”

“Tn that you did wisely, my boy. Swine eat many
things injurious to men. Let me see your roots. How

did you discover them ?”
' “J was rambling in the wood this morning, and came.
upon the sow, very busy grubbing under a small bush,
. and eating something ravenously ; so I drove her away,
and found a number of these roots, which I brought for
you to see.” .

“Indeed, Ernest,” I exclaimed, after taking the roots
in my hand and considering them attentively, “I am
Ernest discovers Mantoc. 155

inclined to believe that you have really made a brilliant
discovery! If this proves to be,as I expect, the manioc
root, we might lose every other eatable we possess, and
yet not starve. In the West Indies, cakes called
cassava bread are made frcm it; and, already having
potatoes, we shall be very independent if we can succeed
in preparing flour from-these roots. Great care must be
taken in the manufacture to express the juice, otherwise
the flour may be injurious and even poisonous.

“ If we can collect a sufficient quantity, we will attempt
bread-making. I think I know how to set about it.”

Finding there was still time to make another trip with
the sleage, I went off with the elder boys, leaving Franz
with his mother; and we all looked forward with satis-
faction to the prospect of the princely supper they were
to have ready for us, for our day’s work had been none
of the lightest.

“J have been thinking about my turtle, father,” said
Fritz, as we went along ; “is not the shell very valuable?
Surely beautiful combs, boxes, and a number of orna-
mental things are made of tortoise-shell, and if so, it
seems a pity to use it fora water-trough.”

“Vour turtle, Fritz, is only fit for eating, its shell is
worthless as regards ornament; whereas the species
whose shell is prized so much is unfit for food. Tortoise-
shell is subjected to the action of heat, the outer layer
peels off, leaving a beautifully marked, semi-transparent
surface, which is susceptible of a very high polish.”

The sledge quickly received its second load from the
156 Lhe Swiss Family Robtnson.

raft. Chests, four cart-wheels, and the hand-mill were
placed on it, with all manner of smaller articles, and
we lost no time in returning to Falconhurst.

The mother welcomed us joyfully, for she said we had
been -regularly overworked during the last two days,
“ However, now you are come home to rest,” said she,
“and you little think what refreshment awaits you here
in the shade. Come-and see my cellar!” and she
smilingly exhibited a small cask, half sunk in the
ground, and well sheltered with leaves and branches,

“Ah! you wonder where this came from,’ continued
the mother; “well, I found it myself on the sands, to-day,
while you were all absent ; and fancying it was wine of
some sort, I got it up here on purpose to be ready for
you. The boys are most anxious to know what sort of
Wine it will prove to be.”

AAs the simplest method of ascertaining this, I inserted
a straw at the vent-hole, and presently announced that
in all my life I had never enjoyed a more delicious
draught of canary sack. The mother was immensely
pleased to find that her exertions in my behalf had not
been thrown away, and the boys pressed round me,
armed with straws, and begging for a taste.

After so strongly expressing my own enjoyment of
the wine, it seemed unreasonable to deny them this, and
I let them come in turns, but was speedily obliged to
call a halt; for the rogues got so eager and excited that I
had to reprove them for their creediness, and warn them

of the risk they ran of being intoxicated. In fact, I
An early Vistt to the Shore. 157

blamed myself for allowing them to have this strong
wine as a beverage at all. They were wholly unaccus-
toned to it, and were besides fatigued and very hungry.
Supper was more to the purpose; and, as the turtle
proved delicious, it was heartily enjoyed, and gave us
strength to haul the mattresses we had brought from
the ship, up into our sleeping-rooms, so that very re:
freshing slumbers closed the day.

Early, next morning, I got up without rousing any ot
the others, intending to pay a visit to the beach; for I
had.my doubts about the safety of my vessels on the
open shore: The dogs were delighted when I descended
the ladder, and bounded to meet me; the cocks crowed
and flapped their wings; two pretty kids gambolled
around ; all was life and energy: the ass alone seemed
disinclined to begin the day, and, as I especially required
his services, this was unfortunate. I put his morning
dreams to flight, however, and harnessed him to the
sledge ; the cow, as she had not been milked, enjoyed
the privilege of further repose, and with the rest of the
family, I left her dozing.

My fears as to the safety of the boats were soon dis-
_ pelled, for they were all right; and, being in haste to
return, the load I collected from their freight was but a
light one, and the donkey willingly trotted home with it,
he, as well as I, being uncommonly ready for breakfast.
Approaching the tree, not a sound was to be heard, not
a soul was to be seen, although it was broad day; and
great was my good wife’s surprise, when, roused by the
158 The Swiss Family Robinson.



clatter and hullabaloo I made, she started up, and be-
came aware of the late hour !

“What can have made us oversleep ourselves like
this?” she exclaimed. “It must be the fault of those |
mattresses, they are delightful, but really too lulling ; see
the children are sound asleep still.”

With much stretching and many yawns, the boys at
last came tumbling down from the tree, rubbing their
eyes and seeming but half awake; Ernest last, as usual.

“Come, my boys,” said I, “this will never do! Your
beds were too luxurious last night, I see; in my own
opinion, however, I felt there was something else to
blame besides the comfortable mattresses, and I made a
mental resolve that the captain’s fine canary should be
dealt with very sparingly in future. “So now for prayers
and breakfast,’ I continued, “and then off to work; I
must have our cargo landed in time to get the boats off
with the next tide.”

By dint of downright hard work, we accomplished
this, and i got on board with Fritz as soon as they were
iloat; the rest turned homewards, but Jack lingered
behind with such imploring looks, that I could not resist
taking him with me.

My intention had been simply to take the vessels
round to the harbour in Safety Bay, but the calm see
and fine weather tempted me to make another trip to
the wreck. It took up more time than I expected,
so that, when on board, we could only make a further

examination of the cargo, collect a few portable articles
Lalhiputeans. 159
and then avail ourselves of the sea-breeze which would
fail us later in the evening.

To Jack the pleasure of hunting about in the hold, was
novel and charming, and very soon a tremendous rattling
and clattering heralded his approach with a wheel-barrow,
in the highest spirits at his good fortune in having found
such a capital thing in which to bring home potatoes.

He was followed by Fritz, whose news was still more
important. He had found, carefully packed and en-
closed within partitions, what appeared to be the sepa-
rate parts of a pinnace, with rigging and fittings complete,
even to a couple of small brass guns. This was a great
discovery, and I hastened to see if the lad was right.
Indeed he was, but my pleasure was qualified by a sense
of the arduous task it would be to put such a craft to-
gether so as to be fit for sea. For the present, we had
barely time to get something to cat and hurry into the
boat, where were collected our new acquisitions, namely,
a copper boiler, iron plates, tobacco-graters, two grind-
stones, a small barrel of powder, and another of flints,
two wheel-barrows besides Jack’s, which he kept under
his own especial care.

As-we drew near the shore, we were surprised to see
a number of little figures ranged in a row along the
water's edge, and apparently gazing fixedly at us. They
seemed to wear dark coats and white waistcoats, and
stood quite still with their arms dropping by their sides,
only every now and then one would extend them gently,
as though longing to embrace us.
160 The Swiss Family Robinson.

“ Ah! here at last come the pigmy inhabitants of the
country to welcome us!” cried I, laughing.

“Oh, father!” exclaimed Jack, “I hope they are
Lilliputians! I once read in a book about them, so
there must be such people you know, only these look
rather too large.”

“You must be content to give up the Lilliputians and
accept penguins, my dear Jack,” saidI. “We have not
before seen them in such numbers, but Ernest knocked
one down, if you remember, soon after we landed. They
are excellent swimmers, but helpless on land, as they
can neither fly nor run.”

We were gradually approaching the land as I spoke,
and no sooner was the water shallow, than out sprang
Jack from his tub, and wading ashore, took the unsus-
pecting birds by surprise, and with his stick laid half a
dozen, right and left, either stunned or dead at his feet.
The rest escaped into the water, dived, and disappeared.

As these penguins are disagreeable food, on account
of their strong oily taste, I was sorry Jack had attacked
them ; but going to examine them when we landed,
some of the fallen arose from their swoon, and began
solemnly to waddle away, upon which we caught them,
and tying their feet together with long grass, laid them
on the sand to wait until we were ready to start.

The three wheel-barrows then each received a load,
the live penguins seated gravely were trundled along by
Jack, and away we went at a great rate.

The unusual noise of our approach set the dogs






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“GLORY IB FAI

JACK’S RAID ON THE PENGUINS.

M
162 The Swiss Family Robinson.



barking furiously, but discovering us, they rushed forward
with such forcible demonstrations of delight, that poor
little Jack, who, as it was, could scarcely manage his
barrow, was fairly upset, penguins and all. This was too
much for his patience, and it was absurd to see how he
started up and cuffed them soundly for their boisterous
behaviour, :

This scene, and the examination of our burdens,
caused great merriment: the tobacco-grater and iron
plates evidently puzzling everybody.

I sent the boys to catch some of our geese and ducks,
and bid them fasten a penguin to each by the leg, think-.
ing that it was worth while to try to tame them.

My wife had exerted herself in our absence to provide
..a good store of potatoes, and also of manioc root. I
- admired her industry, and little Franz said, “ Ah, father!
~ I wonder what you will say when mother and I give you
some Indian corn, and melons, and pumpkins, and
cucumbers !”

“Now you little chatterbox!” cried ‘she, “ you have
fet out my secret! Iwas to have the pleasure of sur- °
prising your father when my plants were growing up.”

“Ah, the poor disappointed little mother!” said I.
“Never mind! Iam charmed to’ hear about it, Only
do tell me, where did those seeds come from ?”

“Out of my magic bag, of course!” replied she. “And
each time I have gone for potatoes, I have sown seeds
in the ground which was dug up to get them; and I
have planted potatoes also,”
The Tobacco-graters. 163

“ Well done, you wise little woman!” I exclaimed.
“Why you are a model of prudence and industry!”

“But,” continued she, “I do not half like the appear:
ance of those tobacco-graters you have brought. Is it
possible you are going to make snuff? Do, pray, let us
make sure of abundance of food for our mouths, before
we think of our noses!”

“Make your mind easy, my wife,” said I. “I have
not the remotest intention of introducing the dirty,
ridiculous habit of snuffing into your family! Please
to treat my graters with respect, however, because they
are to be the means cf providing you with the first fresh
bread you have seen this many a long day.”

“What possible connection can there be between
bread and tobacco-graters? I cannot imagine what
you mean, ani to talk of bread where there are no
ovens is only tantalising.”

« Ah, you must not expect real loaves,” said I. “But
on these fiat iron plates I can bake flat cakes or scones,
which will be excellent bread ; I mean to try at once
what I can do with Ernest’s roots. And first of all, I
want you to make me a nice strong canvas bag.”

This the mother willingly undertook to do, but she
evidently had not much faith in my powers as a baker,
and I saw her set on a good potful of potatoes before
beginning tc work, as though to make sure of a meat
without depending on my bread.

Spreading a large sail-cloth on the ground, I sum-
moned my boys and set to work. Each took a grater

pre
164 The Swiss Family Robinson.

and a supply of well-washed manioc root, and when all
were seated round the cloth,—“ Once, twice, thrice! Off!”
cried I, beginning to rub a root as hard as I could against
the rough surface of my grater. My example was in-
stantly followed by the whole party, amid bursts cf merri-
ment, as each remarked the funny attitude and odd
gestures of his neighbours while vehemently rubbing,
rasping, grating and grinding down the roots allotted ta
him. No one was tempted by the look of the flour to
stop and taste it, for in truth it looked much like wet
sawdust.

“ Cassava bread is highly esteemed in many parts of
the New World, and I have even heard that some Euro-
peans there prefer it to the wheaten bread of their own
country. There are various species of manioc. One
sort grows quickly, and its roots ripen in a very short
time. Another kind is of somewhat slower growth.
The roots of the third kind do not come to maturity for
two years. The two first are poisonous if caten raw,
yet they are preferred to the third, which is harmless,
because they are so much more fruitful, and the flour
produced is excellent if the scrapings are carefully
pressed.”

“ What is the good of pressing them, father?” inquired
Ernest.

“Tt is in order to express the sap, which contains the
poison. The dry pith is wholesome and nourishing.
Still, I do not mean to taste my cakes, until I have tried
their effect on our fowls and the ape.’
Expressing the Manioe Sap. 165





By this time our supply of roots being reduced te
damp powder, the canvas bag was filled with it, and
tying it tightly up, I attempted to squeeze it, but soon
found that mechanical aid was necessary in order to
express the moisture. My arrangements for this pur-
pose were as follows. A strong straight beam was
made flat on one side, smooth planks were laid across
two of the lower roots of our tree ; on these we placed
the sack, above the sack another plank, and over that
the long beam ; one end was passed under a root near
the sack, the other projected far forward. And to that
we attached all the heaviest weights we could think of,
such as an anvil, iron bars, and masses of lead. The
consequent pressure on the bag was enormous, and the
sap flowed from it to the ground,

“Will this stuff keep any time?” inquired my wife,
who came to see how we were getting on. “Or must all
this great bagful be used at once? In that case we shall
have to spend the whole of to-morrow in baking cakes.”

“ Not at all,” I replied ; “ once dry, the flour in barrels
will keep fresh a long time. We shall use a great deal
of this, however, as you shall see.”

“Do you think we might begin now, father?” said
Fritz. “There does not seem the least moisture
remaining.”

“Certainly,” said I. “But I shall only make one
cake to-day for an experiment ; we must see how it
agrees with Master Knips and the hens before we set
up a bakehouse in regular style.”
165 ‘The Swiss Family Robinson.

I took out a couple of handfuls of flour for this pur-
pose, and with a stick loosened and stirred the remain-
der, which I intended should again be pressed. While
an iron plate placed over a good fire was getting hot,
I mixed the meal with water and a little salt, kneaded
it well, and forming a thickish cake, laid it on the hot
plate, when one side presently becoming a nice yellow
brown colour, it was turned and was quickly baked.

It smelt so delicious, that the boys quite envied the
two hens and the monkey, who were selected as the
subjects of this interesting experiment, and they silently -
watched them gobbling up the bits of cake I gave them,
until Fritz turned to me, saying, “ Suppose the cake is
poisonous, what effect will it have on the creatures?
Will they be stupefied, or will they suffer pain ?”

“That depends upon the nature of the poison.
Some cause violent pain, as colchicum, hellebore, and
aconite. Others produce stupefaction and paralysis, as
opium, hemlock, and prussic acid; while others again,
as strychnine, are followed by violent convulsions, or, as
belladonna, by delirium. The effects of course vary
according to the quantity taken, and such remedies
should be applied as will best counteract the effect of
each poison: emetics in any case to remove as much
as possible of the noxious substance, combined with oils
and mucilaginous drinks to soothe and protect the
stomach in the case of irritants; stimulants, such as
spirits, ammonia, or strong coffee to rouse from the stupor
of the narcotics ; and sedative drugs, which are perhaps
Bread Making. 167
in themselves poisons, to counteract the over stimulation
of the nerves caused by the convulsant poisons. But
now let us think no more of poisons; here is supper
ready, and we need not be afraid to eat roast penguin
and potatoes.”

No sooner said than done; we left the fowls picking
up the least crumb they could find of the questionable
food, and assembled to enjoy our evening meal. The
potatoes were as usual excellent, the penguin really not so
bad as I expected, although fishy in taste and very tough.

Next morning every one expressed the tenderest con-
cern as to the health of Knips and the hens; and lively
pleasure was in every countenance when Jack, who ran
first to make the visit of inquiry, brought news of their
perfect good health and spirits.

No time was now to be lost, and bread-baking com-
menced in earnest. A large fire was kindled, the plates
heated, the meal made into cakes, each of the boys busily
preparing his own, and watching the baking most eagerly.
Mistakes occurred, of course; some of the bread was
burnt, some not done enough ; but a pile of nice tempt-
ing cakes was at length ready, and with plenty of good
milk we breakfasted right royally, and in high spirits at
our success,

Soon after, whilst feeding the poultry with the frag-
ments of the repast, I observed that the captive penguins
were quite at ease among them and as tame as the
geese and ducks ; their bonds were therefore loosed, and
‘they were left as free as the other fowls.
CHAPTER VI

Now for the pinnace—Repeated visits to the wreck—The pinnace built—
How shall we cut her out—The difficulty solved—We fit her out—
Vire a salute—The mother’s surprise—We visit Falconhurst—Attend
to our fruit trees—Athletics—The lasso—An excursion—A Bustard
captured—Ernest discovers a magician—Jack fights him—The Liane
Rouge—We turn carvers—Ernest’s alarm—The old sow again—We
discover a sleeping beauty—Return with it to the camp—Knips pro-
nounces our apples ‘ good’—Return to Falconhurst.

HAVING now discovered how to provide bread for my
family, my thoughts began to revert to the wreck and
all the valuables yet contained within it. Above all, I
was bent on acquiring possession of the beautiful pinnace,
and aware that our united efforts would be required to
do the necessary work, I began to coax and persuade
the mother to let me go in force with all her boys except
Franz.

She very unwillingly gave her consent at last, but not .
until I had faithfully promised never to pass a night on
board. I did so with reluctance, and we parted, neither
feeling quite satisfied with the arrangement.

The boys were delighted to go in so large a party,
and merrily carried provision-bags filled with cassava
bread and potatoes.

Reaching Safety Bay without adventure, we first paid
avisit to the geese and ducks which inhabited the marsh
A Geological Puzstle. 169

there, and having fed them and seen they were thriving
well, we buckled on each his cork-belt, stepped into the
tub-boat, and, with the raft in tow, steered straight for
the wreck.

When we got on board, I desired the boys to collect

whatever came first to hand, and load the raft to be
ready for our return at night, and then we made a
minute inspection of the pinnace.

I came to the conclusion that difficulties, well-nigh
insuperable, lay between me and the safe possession of
the beautiful little vessel. She lay in a most un-get-at-
able position at the further end of the hold, stowed in
so confined and narrow a space, that it was impossible
to think of fitting the parts together there. At the same
time these parts were so heavy, that removing them to
a convenient place piece by piece was equally out of the
question.

I sent the boys away to amuse themselves by rum-
maging out anything they liked to carry away, and sat
down quietly to consider the matter. ©

As my eyes became used to the dim light which en-
tered the compartment through a chink or crevice here
and there, I perceived how carefully every part of the
pinnace was arranged and marked with numbers, so that
if only I could bestow sufficient time on the work, and
contrive space in which to execute it, I might reasonably
hope for success.

“Room! room to work in, boys! that’s what we need
in the first place!” I cried, as my sons came to see what
170 The Swiss Family Robinson.



plan I had devised, for so great was their reliance on
me, that they never doubted the pinnace was to be ours.

“Fetch axes, and let us break down the compartment
and clear space all round.”

To work we all went, yet evening drew near, and but
little impression was made on the mass of woodwork
around us. We had to acknowledge that an immense
amount of labour and perseverance would be required
before we could call ourselves the owners of the useful
and elegant little craft, which lay within this vast hulk
like a fossil shell embedded in a rock. ,

Preparations for returning to shore were hastily made,
and we landed without much relish for the long walk to
Falconhurst, when. to our great surprise and pleasure,
we found the mother and little Franz at Tentholm
awaiting us. She had resolved to take up her quarters
there during the time we should be engaged on the
wreck. “In that way you will live nearer your work,
and I shall not quite lose sight of you!” said she, with a
pleasant smile.

“You are a good, sensible, kind wife,” I exclaimed,
delighted with her plan, “and we shall work with the
greater. diligence, that you may return as soon as pos-
sible to, your dear Falconhurst.”

“Come and see what we have brought you, mother!”
cried Fritz; “a good addition to your stores, is it not?”
and he and his brothers exhibited two small casks of
butter, three of flour, corn, rice, and many other articles
welcome to our careful housewife.
My Experiment. 171

Our days were now spent in hard work on board,
first cutting and clearing an open space round the pin-
nace, and then putting the parts together. We started
early and returned at night, bringing each time a valu-
able freight from the old vessel.

At length, with incredible labour, all was completed.
The pinnace stood actually ready to be launched, but
imprisoned within massive wooden walls which defied
our strength.

It seemed exactly as though. the graceful vessel had
awakened from sleep, and was longing to spring into
the free blue sea, and spread her wings to the breeze.
I could not bear to think that our success so far should
be followed by failure and disappointment. Yet no
possible means of setting her free could I conceive, and
I was almost in despair, when an idea occurred to me
which, if I could carry it out, would effect her release
without further labour or delay.

Without explaining my purpose, I got a large cast-

-jron mortar, filled it with gunpowder, secured a block of
oak to the top, through which I pierced a hole for the
insertion of the match, and this great petard I so placed,
that when it exploded, it should blow out the side of
the vessel next which the pinnace lay. Then securing
it with chains, that the recoil might do no damage, I
told the boys I was going ashore earlier than usual, and
calmly desired them to get into the boat. Then light.-
ing a match I had prepared, and which would burn
some time before reaching the powder, I hastened after
E72 _ The Swiss Family Robinson.



them with a beating heart, and we made for the
land.

We brought the raft close in shore and began to uns
load it; the other boat I did not haul up, but kept her
ready to put off at a moment’s notice ; my anxiety was
unobserved by anyone, as I listened with strained nerves
for the expected sound. It came !—a flash! a mighty
roar—a grand burst of smoke!

My wife and children, terror-stricken, turned their
eyes towards the sea, whence the startling noise came,
and then in fear and wonder, looked to me for some
explanation. “Perhaps,” said the mother, as I did not
speak, “ perhaps you have left a light burning near some
of the gunpowder, and an explosion has taken place.”

“Not at all unlikely,” replied I quietly; “we had a
fire below when we were caulking the seams of the
pinnace. I shall go off at once and see what has hap-
pened. Will any one come?”

The boys needed no second invitation, but sprang
into the boat, while I lingered to re-assure my wife by
whispering a few words of explanation, and then joining
them, we pulled for the wreck at a more rapid rate than
we ever had done before.

No alteration had taken place in the side at which we
usually boarded her, and we pulled round to the further
side, where a marvellous sight awaited us. A huge rent
‘appeared, the decks and bulwarks were torn open, the
water was covered with floating wreckage—all seemed
in ruins; and the compartment where the pinnace
The Pinnace Freed. 173

rested was fully revealed to view. There sat the little
beauty, to all appearance uninjured ; and the boys, whose
attention was taken up with the melancholy scene of
ruin and confusion around them, were astonished to
hear me shout in enthusiastic delight: “ Hurrah! she is
ours! The lovely pinnace is won! we shall be able to
launch her easily after all. Come, boys, let us see if she
has suffered from the explosion, which has set her free.”

The boys gazed at me for a moment, and then guess-
ing my secret, “You planned it yourself, you clever,
cunning father! Oh, that machine we helped to make,
was on purpose to blow it up!” cried they ; and eagerly
they followed me into the shattered opening, where, to
my intense satisfaction, I found everything as I could
wish, and the captive in no way a sufferer from the
violent measures I had adopted for her deliverance.

The boys were deeply interested in examining the
effects of the explosion, and in the explanation I gave
them, of the principle, and proper way to manage a
petard.

It was evident that the launch could now be effected
without much trouble; I had been careful to place
rollers beneath the keel, so that by means of levers and
pulleys we might, with our united strength, move her
forward towards the water. A rope was attached by
which to regulate the speed of the descent, and then, all
hands putting their shoulders to the work, the pinnace
began to slide from the stocks, and finally slipped gently
and steadily into the water, where she floated as if
‘174 The Swiss Family Robinson.





conscious it was her native element; while we, wild
with excitement, cheered and waved enthusiastically.
We then only remained long enough to secure our prize
carefully at the most sheltered point, and went back to
Tentholm, where we accounted for the explosion ; saying
that having blown away one side of the ship, we should
be able to obtain the rest of its contents with a very few
more days’ work.

These days were devoted to completing the rigging,
the mounting of her two little brass guns, and all neces-
sary arrangements about the pinnace. It was wonderful
what martial ardour was awakened by the possession of
a vessel armed with two real guns. The boys chattered
incessantly about savages, fleets of canoes, attack, de-
fence, and final annihilation of the invaders.

T assured them that, brilliant as their victories would
doubtless be, we should have good cause to thank God
if their fighting powers and new-born valour were never
put to the test.

The pinnace was fully equipped and ready to sail,
while yet no idea of the surprise we were preparing for
her had dawned upon my wife, and I permitted the
boys, who had kept the secret so well, to fire a salute
when we entered the bay.

Casting off from the ship, and spreading the sail, our
voyage began. The pinnace glided swiftly through the
water, I stood at the helm, Ernest and Jack manned
the guns, and Fritz gave the word of command,
“Fire!” Bang! bang! rattled out a thrilling report,
A startling Salute. 175
which echoed and re-echoed among the cliffs, followed
by our shouts and hurrahs.

The mother and her little boy rushed hastily forward
from near the tent, and we could plainly see their alarm
and astonishment; but specdily recognising us, they
waved joyfully, and came quickly to the yatiding place
to meet us.

By skilful management we brought the pinnace near
a projection of the bank, and Fritz assisted his mother
to come on board, where, breathless with haste and ex-
citement, she exclaimed, ‘“ You dear, horrid, wonderful
people, shall I scold you or praise you? You have
frightened me out of my wits! To see a beautiful
little ship come sailing in was startling enough, for I
could not conceive who might be on board, but the
report of your guns made me tremble with fear—and
had I not recognised your voices directly after, I should
have run away with Franz—Heaven knows where!
But have you really done all this work yourselves?”
she continued, when we had been forgiven for terrifying
her with our vain-glorious salute. “What a charming
little yacht! I shonld not be afraid to sail in this
myself.”

After-the pinnace had been shown off, and received
the admiration she deserved; while our industry, skill,
and perseverance met with boundless praise, “Now,”
said my wife, “you must come with me, and see how
little Franz and I have improved our time every day
of your.absence.” :
176 The Swiss Family Robinson,

We all landed, and with great curiosity followed the
mother up the river towards the cascade ; where, to our
astonishment, we found a garden neatly laid out in beds
and walks; and she continued, “We don’t frighten
people by firing salutes in honour of our performances ;
although, by-and-by, I too shall want fire in a peaceable
form. Look at my beds of lettuce and cabbages, my
rows of beans and peas! Think what delicious dinners
I shall be able-to cook for you, and give me credit fot
my diligence.”

“My dear wife!” I exclaimed, “this is beautiful!
You have done wonders! Did you not find the work
too hard?”

“The ground is light and easy to dig hereabouts,”
she replied. “I have planted potatoes, and cassava
roots, there is space for sugar-canes, and the young
fruit trees, and I shall want you to contrive to irrigate
them, by leading water from the cascades in hollow |
bamboos. Up by the sheltering rocks I mean to have
pine-apples and melons, they will look splendid when
they spread there. To shelter the beds of European
vegetables from the heat of the sun, I have planted
seeds of maize round them. The shadow of the tall
plants will afford protection from the burning rays. De
you think that is a good plan?”

“T do indeed; the whole arrangement is capital.
Now, as sunset approaches, we must return to the tent
for supper and rest, for both of which we are all quite
ready.”
We return to Falconhurst. 177

The time passed in happy talk over our many new
interests; every one had the pleasant sensation which
attends successful labour, as well as experiencing the
joy of affording unexpected pleasure to others; and I
especially pointed out to my sons, how truly genuine
happiness consists in that, rather than in mere self-
gratification.

Next morning, my wife said: “If you can exist on
shore long enough to visit Falconhurst, dear husband, I
should like you to attend to the little fruit trees. I.
fear they have been too much neglected. I have watered
them occasionally, and spread earth over the roots as
they lay, but I could not manage to plant them.”

“You have done far more than I could have expected,
my wife,” I replied, “and provided you do not ask me
to give up the sea altogether, I most willingly agree to
your request, and will go to Falconhurst as soon as the
raft is unloaded, and everything safely arranged here.”

Life on shore was an agreeable change for us all,
and the boys went actively to work, so that the stores
were quickly brought up to the tent, piled in order, and
carefully covered with sailcloths, fastened down by pegs
all round. The pinnace being provided with an anchor,
was properly moored, and her elegant appearance quite
altered the look of our harbour, hitherto occupied only
by the grotesque tub-boat, and flat uninteresting raft.

Taking an ample supply of everything we should
require at Falconhurst, we were soon comfortably re-

established in that charming abode, its peaceful shade
N
178 The Swiss Family Robtnson,

seeming more delightful than ever, after the heat and
hard work we had lately undergone.

Several Sundays had passed during our stay at Tent-
holm, and the welcome Day of Rest now returned
‘again, to be observed with heartfelt devotion and grate-
ful praise.

I did not attempt too much in the form of preaching,
as I could not have secured the attention of my hearers
to any long-winded discourse, but they were interested
in the Bible-reading and simple instructions I drew
from it, and their young voices joined sweetly in favourite
hymns, which my wife sang from memory.

In the evening, I desired my boys to let me sce their
dexterity in athletic exercises, such as running, leaping,
wrestling, and climbing; telling them that they must
keep up the practice of these things, so as to grow
‘strong active men, powerful to repel and cope with
danger, as well as agile and swift-footed to escape from
it. No man can be really courageous and self-reliant

vithout an inward consciousness of physical power and
capability.

“T want to see my sons strong, both morally and
physically,” said I; “that means, little Franz,” (as the
large blue eyes looked inquiringly up at me ;) “brave to
‘do what is good and right, and to hate evil, and strong
to work, hunt, and provide for themselves and others,
and to fight if necessary.”

On the following day, the boys seeming disposed to
carry out my wishes by muscular exercise of ‘all sorts, I
A novel Weapon. 179

encouraged them by saying, I meant to prepare a
curious new weapon for them, only they must promise
not to neglect the practice of archery : as to their guns,
I had no reason to fear they would be laid aside.

Taking a long cord, I attached a leaden bullet to
each end, and had instantly to answer a storm of ques-
tions as to what this could possibly be for.

“This is a miniature lasso,” said I1; “the Mexicans,
Patagonians, and various tribes of South America, make
use of this weapon in hunting, with marvellous dexterity,
only, having no bullets, they fasten stones to their ropes,
which are immensely longer than this. One end isswung
round and round the mounted hunter’s head, and then cast
with skill and precision towards the animal he wishes
to strike; immediately drawing it back, he can repeat
the blow, and either kill or wound his prey. Frequently,
however, the intention is to take the animal, wild horse,
or buffalo, or whatever it may be, alive; and in that
case, the lasso is thrown, while riding in hot pursuit, in
such a way as to make the stone twist many times round
the neck, body, or legs of the fugitive, arresting him
even in full career.”

“Qh, father, what a splendid contrivance! Will you
try it now? There is the donkey, father! do catch
the donkey.”

Not at all certain of my powers, I declined to practise
upon a live subject, but consented to make a trial of
skill by aiming at the stump of a tree at no great
distance.
180 The Swiss Family Robinson.



My success surpassed my own expectations ; the
stump was entwined by the cord in such a way as to
leave no doubt whatever as to the feasibility of the
wonderful performances I described ; and I was assailed
by petitions from the boys, each anxious to possess a
lasso of his own, without a moment’s delay.

As the manufacture was simple, their wishes were
speedily gratified, and lasso-practice became the order
of the day.

Fritz, who was the most active and adroit, besides
having, of course, the greatest muscular strength, soon
became skilled in the art.

That night a change came over the weather, and
early next morning I perceived that a gale of wind was
getting up. From the height of our trees I could see
that the surface of the sea was in violent agitation.

It was with no small satisfaction that I thought of
our hard-won pinnace, safely moored in the harbour,
and recollected that there was nothing to call us to the
wreck for the next few days.

My attention was by no means monopolised by my
sons and their amusements. The good mother had
much to show me demanding my approval, advice, or
assistance, as the case might be.

A good supply of wild pigeons and ortolans had been
-snared, partly cooked, and preserved in lard. Of these
she showed me her small cask well filled.

Then the nests of various pairs of tame pigeons were
exhibited, but her chief care was the unpromising con-
An Expedition to Calabash iVood. 181

dition of her dear little fruit trees, for, having been for-
gotten, they were so dry and withered, that unless planted
without further delay, she feared we should lose them.

This needful work we set about, therefore, at once,
proposing afterwards an excursion to the Calabash
Wood, in order to manufacture a large supply of vessels
and utensils of all sorts and sizes.

Every one was inclined for this expedition ; conse-
quently the planting of the orchard was carried on with
surprising vigour, but was not completed until towards
evening ; and then all sorts of arrangements were made
for an early start next day. The mother and Franz
were to be of the party, and their equipment took some
time, for we meant to make a grand family excursion
attended by our domestic pets and servants !

By sunrise we were all astir, and everything quickly
made ready fora start. ©

The sledge loaded with ammunition and baskets of
provisions, and drawn by the donkey, was to be used
for carrying home our gourd manufactures, as well as
any other prize we might fall in with.

Turk, as usual, headed the procession, clad in his coat
of mail.

Then came the boys with their guns and game-bags.
Their mother and I. followed, and behind trotted Juno,
not in very good spirits, poor dog! because Master
Knips, who had no idea of being left alone, must needs
ride on her back.

On this occasion I took two guns with me, one










& FAMILY PROOSSSIOM
We Capture a Bustard. ros



loaded with.shot for game, another with ball for our
defence against beasts of prey.

Flamingo Marsh was quickly crossed, and the magni-
ficent country beyond lay extended in all its beauty and
fertility before our eyes. It was new to my wife and
two of the boys, and the lovely prospect enchanted them.

Here Fritz and Jack turned aside into the bush,
where presently loud barking was followed by the quick
report of a gun, and a large bird, which had risen from
the thicket, fell heavily to the ground before us. Far
from resigning itself, however, to death or captivity, it
sprung to its feet, and, unable to fly, rushed away with
extraordinary speed, hotly pursued by the excited dog,
while Fritz ran panting in the same direction, and Juno,
eager to join the chase, sprang aside so suddenly, that
her rider was flung unceremoniously on the sand, as she
darted to intercept the retreat cf the active bird. This
she cleverly acccmplished, but its defence was main-
tained so fiercely, as it struck out with its powerful legs
snd sharp claws, that neither Fritz nor the dogs could
master it.

I hastened to their assistance, and found Juno holding
on nobly by the wing she had seized, while the bird,
which proved to be a magnificent bustard, struggled and
fought fiercely. Watching my opportunity, I threw a
large handkerchief over it, and with difficulty succeeded |
in binding its legs and wings. It was borne in triumph
to the rest of our party, who meantime had been reclin-
ing on the sand.
184 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“What have you got?” “What has Fritz shot?”
cried the boys, starting up at our approach. “A
bustard ! oh, that is splendid!”

“To be sure, it is the one we missed that day, don’t
you remember, mother? Ah, ha! old fellow, you are
done for this time!” said Jack.

“T think this is a hen bustard, it is the mother bird,”
said Ernest.

“ Ah, yes, poor thing!” exclaimed my wife, in a tone
of concern; “it is most likely the same, and I know she
had a brood of young birds, and now they will be left
unprotected and miserable. Had we not better let her
go?”

“Why, my dear, kind-hearted wife, that was weeks
and weeks ago! Those little birds are all strong and
big by this time, and I daresay Mrs. Bustard here has
forgotten all about them. Besides, she is badly wounded,
and we must try to cure the hurt. If we succeed, she
will be a valuable addition to our poultry-yard; if we
cannot, you shall roast her for dinner.”

Resuming our march, we next arrived at the Monkey
Grove, which was the scene of the tragi-comic adventure
by which Fritz became the guardian of the orphan ape.

While he amused us all by a lively and graphic de-
scription of the scene, Ernest was standing apart under
a splendid coco-nut palm, gazing in fixed admiration at
the grand height of the stem, and its beautiful graceful
crown of leaves. The cluster of nuts beneath these

evidently added interest to the spectacle, for, drawing
Fack encounters a Land-crab. 185

~—

quietly near him, I heard a long-drawn sigh, and the
words—

“Tt’s awfully high! I wish one would fall down!”

Scarcely had he uttered these words, than, as if by
magic, down plumped a huge nut at his feet.

The boy was quite startled, and sprang aside, looking
timidly upwards, when, to my surprise, down came
another.

“Why, this is just like the fairy tale of the wishing-
cap!” cried Ernest. “My wish is granted as soon as
formed |”

“T suspect the fairy in this instance is more anxious
to pelt us and drive us away, than to bestow dainty
gifts upon us,” said I. “I think there is most likely a
cross-grained old ape sitting up among those shadowy
leaves and branches.” :

We examined the nuts, thinking they were perhaps
old ones, and had fallen, in consequence, naturally, but
they were not even quite ripe.

Anxious. to discover what was in the tree, we all
surrounded it, gaping and gazing upwards with curious
eyes.

“Hollo! Isee him!” shouted Fritz presently. “ Oh,
a hideous creature! what can it be? flat, round, as big
asa plate, and with a pair of horrid claws! Here he
comes! He is going to creep down the tree !”

At this, little Franz slipped behind his mother, Ernest
took a glance round to mark a place of retreat, Jack

raised the butt-end of his gun, and every eye was fixed
186 The Swiss Family Robinson.



on the trunk of the tree, down which a large land-crak
commenced a leisurely descent. As it approached
within reach, Jack hit at it boldly, when it suddenly
dropped the remaining distance, and opening its great
claws, sidled after him with considerable rapidity, upon
which he fairly turned tail and ran. We all burst into
a roar of laughter, which soon made him face about,
and then, to our infinite amusement, the little fellow
prepared for a fresh onset ; laying down all he was car-
rying, pulling off his jacket and spreading it wide out in
both hands, he returned to the charge, suddenly threw
his garment over the creature, wrapped it well round it,
and then pummelled it with all the strength of his fists.

For a few minutes I cculd do nothing but laugh, but
then running to him with my hatchet, I struck several.
sharp blows on his bundle, which we opened carefully,
and found within the land-crab perfectly dead.

“Well, this is an ugly rascal!” cried Jack; “if he
hadn’t been so hideous, I should not have dealt so
severely with him. I wasn’t a bit afraid. What is the
creature’s name?”

“This is a crab, a land-crab,” said I, “ of which there
are many varieties, and this, I think, is called a caco-nut
crab, or at least it deserves the name, for it is evidently
very fond of eating these nuts, since it takes the trouble
to climb the trees for them ; the difficulty of getting at
‘he kernel, too, is considerable. You showed no little
presence of mind, Jack, when you thought of catching it
id your jacket ; in fact it might have been more than a
The “ Liane Rouge.” 187

match for you otherwise, for some are most determined
fighters, and are very swift too. Now let us take it, as
well as the nuts, to the sledge, and go on our way.”

Progress became difficult, for we were constantly
stopped in passing through the wood, by having to cut
away the hanging boughs and creeping plants which
interlaced them. FE.cnest was behind, and by-and-by
called me back to see what proved to be an important
discovery ; from the several stalks of one of these
creepers flowed clear told water, and I recognised the
“liane rouge,” which 1s known in America, and is so
precious to the thirsty hunter or traveller. This is truly
one of God’s gocd gifts to man!

The boys were much delighted with this curious plant.
“Only fancy, mothey,” said Ernest, as he showed it to
her, “how cheering and refreshing to find this if one
were lost and alone in a vast forest, wandering for days
and days without being near a proper spring of water.”

“But are you certain it is safe to drink this?” asked
she,

I assured her it was so, and advised the boys to cut
enough to quench the thirst of the whole party, including
our animals. This they did, only finding it necessary, as
with the sugar canes, to cut air holes above the joints.

After struggling onward for a short time, we emerged
from the thickets into open ground, and saw the calabash
trees in the distance. As we drew near, their curious
appearance and singular fruit caused much surprise and
also amusement, for we were speedily established among
188 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



the trees, where, as I chose and cut down the gourds
most likely to be useful, every one engaged merrily in
the work of cutting, carving, sawing, and scooping some
manner of dish, bowl, cup, jar, or platter, according to
his several taste or ability.

We were to dine here, and after a time Fritz and Jack
began to prepare a fireplace, their great ambition being
to heat the stones red hot, and cook the crab in a hollow
gourd. Their mother, therefore, left them to their own
devices, and attended to the hungry animals, unharness-
ing the ass to graze, and giving coco-nut milk to the
poor little monkey, who had been obliged to travel in a
covered basket for some time, lest he should be lost in
the woods. The wounded bustard had been completely
forgotten, and from heat and thirst was suffering greatly
until her friendly care revived it, and it was tied to a
tree and allowed to move about, its fierce spirit greatly
tamed by adversity.

The cooking operations came to a stand soon after
the fire was lighted, for it appeared that we had no more
water in the jars we had brought, so the boys proposed
to go in search of a spring. I agreed to accompany
them; Ernest also wished to join us, and as our intention
was to examine merely the surrounding wood, I saw no
objection to leaving their mother and Franz for a short
time.

Very soon after our exploration began, Ernest, who was
in front, turned with a face of terror, shouting, “A wild
boar! an immense wild boar, father! Do come quick!”
int
co
Ne}

A sudden Alarms.





‘4 WILD BOAR! A WILD BoAR!”

And sure enough I heard a loud snorting and puffing
as some large animal passed hastily through the thick
underwood beyond us. “After him lads, after him!”
190 7, te a Family Robinson.

cried I, av aett forwards. “Call the dogs! stand
ready to fire!” And we pressed through the bushes to
the spot where Ernest had seen the creature. The
ground was grubbed up, and some potatoes lay about,
showing that we had disturbed him at his mid-day meal.
Ernest and Jack were more disposed to gather the roots
than to follow up the chase. Fritz and I alone went after
the dogs, who eagerly pushed on, and by the sounds we
heard had evidently attacked the boar at no great distance.
Terrific barking, snarling, and. grunting, guided us to the
scene of action, and we beheld our mastiffs one on each
side of a large respectable-looking pig, holding on by
the great ears, while the animal on seeing us, appeared
rather to beseech our interference than to propose to
offer a desperate resistance.

In a moment the truth became apparent! The
captive grunter was no fierce native of the forest, but
our own run-away sow! Our excitement had been
wound to so high a pitch, that the discovery was quite a
shock, and we felt half angry with the creature who had
disappointed us; then the absurdity of the whole thing
made us laugh heartily, and calling off the dogs, the old
lady was released from her ignominious position. Our
laughter resounding through the wood, brought Ernest
and Jack from their potatoes, to see what was going on.

“ Much use you two would have been suppose we had
required help,” cried Fritz, as they recognized their old
friend.

« Ah, well, you see,” returned Jack, “Ernest and I had
A Sleeping Beauty. 19i



a sort of a kind of presentiment that this was going to be
the old sow. And just look at our fine potatoes!”

A good deal of joking on the subject ensued, but was
interrupted by Ernest, who drew our attention to fruit
resembling apples on the surrcunding bushes, and on
the grass beneath them.

The sow.was making amends for the fright and pain
she had endured by munching and crunching this fruit
at a great rate. Fritz feared that it might be the
poisonous manchineel, against which I once warned
them, but on examining it, I was induced to pronounce
a more favourable opinion, and we collected a quantity
in hopes that, if the monkey approved of it as well as
the cold sow, we might be able to enjoy a feast ourselves.

All this time not a drop of water had we seen, and
our own thirst increasing, we felt eager to procure some
before returning to our resting-place.

Jack preceded us, and we made our way towards a
high rock, which rose above the thickets, when he
suddenly startled us by a loud cry of “A crocodile!
father ! father! A crocodile!”

- “Nonsense, boy! A crocodile of all things, in this
iry, parched forest, where we can’t get so much as a
mouthful of water!”

‘ On advancing to where Jack stood, I perceived that

his mistake was not so very silly after all, for I beheld

an iguana, one of the largest of the lizard species, and a

truly formidable-looking fellow. I was glad to assure

Jack that the strange creature he had found was per-
192 The Swiss Family Robinson.



fectly harmless, and that its flesh being esteemed a
delicacy, it would be a valuable prize to carry back
with us.

In another moment Fritz would have fired, but arrest-
‘ing his hand,—* Your shot,” I said, “would probably
only wound the animal, and being extremely tenacious
‘of life, it would certainly escape us; we must gain
possession of the sleeping beauty by a gentler method.”

“You are not going to kiss it, are you, father?” asked
Jack, with a grin.

I tried to rebuke him for his impertinence, but, failing,
‘I commenced operations. I first attached a cord and
running-noose to a stout stick, and holding a light
switch in‘ my other hand, I began to approach the
creature with soft, slow steps, while the boys looked on
with the utmost curiosity.

Presently I began very softly to whistle a sweet, yet
very lively air, which I continued more and more dis-
tinctly as I drew near the lizard; until, awaking, it
seemed to listen with pleasure—raising its head as.
though better to catch the sounds, or to discover whence
they came.

When near enough, I began gently to stroke and
tickle him with the wand, continuing to whistle the
prettiest tunes I could think of; and the lizard gave
signs of pleasurable contentment, stretching his limbs
and- moving his tail in token of enjoyment.

Suddenly, availing myself of a movement of his head,
‘ cast the noose over it, drew the cord tight, and placing




4 IGUANAS, 9
194 a Swiss Family Robinson.

my foot on the ee I was about to kill it © piercing
the nostril—almost the only vulnerable part in this
singular reptile—when Jack received such a slap from
its tail, which it was furiously driving in all directions,
as sent him rolling over like a nine-pin. At the same
time he opened his jaws, when the boys took fright at
the row of sharp teeth, and thinking that the sooner he
was dead the better, were for battering him with sticks,
but I assuring them my method would kill him more -
quickly and without pain, thrust my rod into his nostril,
on which the blood flowed and the lizard soon expired.

The boys seemed to think me as wonderful a person
as a snake-charmer, and the success of my stratagem,
as well as of the means by which the lizard was slain,
called forth great admiration, since they never had
heard of the animal, nor of the method of capturing it
so commonly practised in the West Indies.

Now came the question of how we were to carry this
unwieldly burden. I had a great dislike to killing any
creature and leaving it useless behind me; so, without
more ado, I fairly took it on my back, and marched off
with it.

As we came towards the Calabash Wood, we could
hear the voices of the deserted mother and child calling
us in anxious tones; for indeed our protracted absence
alarmed them. We shouted joyously in reply, and our
appearance, as we issued from the woods, afforded them
welcome relief from their fears, although the dreadful

' creature on my back startled them not a little,
Guavas. 195

There was so much to tell, so much to be seen, that
for a time hunger and thirst were forgotten ; and no one
thought even of the water we had vainly gone in search
of, until Master Knips, having slyly possessed himself
of some of our new-found apples, was discovered munch-
ing away and enjoying them amazingly—which instantly
gave the boys a strong wish to eat some also; and as
the bustard likewise pecked at them without hesitation,
I felt sure there could be no danger; and on tasting
them, I concluded it was the fruit of the Guava, a West
Indian plant, which we were delighted to have.

Although refreshing, this fruit rather sharpened than
appeased our appetites, and we were glad to eat the
provisions we had brought from home, without waiting
to cook anything, as we had originally intended.

It was, in fact, high time to move homewards, and we
thought it best not to encumber ourselves with the
sledge and the greater part of its load, but to leave it
until the next day. The ass was laden with the iguana
and the bustard ; and little Franz, tired as he was, looked
in vain for a spare seat on its back.

Our road home lay through a majestic forest of oak
trees, beneath which lay numberless acorns, some of which
we gathered as we went along; and at length, before
night closed in, we all reached Falconhurst in safety.

When supper was ready, we were thankful to recruit
our exhausted strength by eating heartily of a piece of
broiled iguana, with potatoes and roast acorns, which
tasted like excellent chestnuts,
CHAPTER VII

Fritz and I return to the Calabash wood—Fritz shoots a ruffed grouse—
We come across wax-berry bushes—Sociable grosbeaks—Fritz captures
a parrot—A lecture on ants—Caoutchouc trees—The sago-palm, and
the edible worms—Return with sugar-canes to Falconhurst—Candle-
making—How to make butter without a churn—Plant trees and adorn
Tentholm—Last visit to the wreck —The first ducklings on the island—
Falconaurst again—An excursion—We pitch our tent—Fritz.and Jack
ascend the cocoa-nut trees—Ernest brings us a delicacy—Loss of
Grizzle—Jack ond I go in pursuit—Giant bamboos-—Encounter with
buffaloes—The buffalo calf—Find a jackal’s lair—Reach our camp—
What happened in our absence--Fritz’s pet—Sago manufacture—Meet
with our sow and her family again—How Emest tamed the eagle.

THE first thing to be done on the following day was
to return to the Calabash Wood, to fetch the sledge
with the dishes, bowls, and baskets we had made.

Fritz alone accompanied me. I desired the other
boys to remain with their mother, intending to explore
beyond the chain of rocky hills, and thinking a large
party undesirable on the occasion.

Passing through the wood of evergreen oaks, we
observed our sow feasting on the acorns, evidently not
a whit the worse for the fright we had given her the
previous day—in fact, she appeared more friendly dis-
posed towards us than usual, possibly considering us as
her deliverers from the jaws of the savage dogs. —
A Visit to Calabash Wood. 197



AMERICAN BLUE JAY.

Many birds tenanted this grove, and were undisturbed
by our movements, until Fritz fired and shot a beautiful
198 The Swiss Family Robinson.



blue jay, and a couple of parroquets, one a brilliant
scarlet, the other green and gold.

Fritz was in the act of re-loading his gun, when an
unaccountable noise struck our ears, and put us instantly
on the alert, because it appeared like the dull thumping
sound of a muffled drum, and reminded us of the
~ possible presence of savages.

With the greatest caution we drew nearer the sound,
concealing ourselves among the low bushes and thick
grass and creepers, until we reached an open glade ;
where, standing on an old prostrate log, was a beauti-
ful bird, about the size of a cock, of a rich chestnut
brown colour, finely mottled with dark brown and grey.
On the shoulders were curious tufts of velvety black
feathers, glossed with green. He was ruffling his wings,
erecting his tail and neck feathers, strutting and wheel-
ing about in a most strange and stately fashion. After
manceuvring for some time in this manner, greatly to
the edification of a party of birds resembling him but
without any ruff, who, assembled round the stump, were
enjoying his performances, he spread out his tail like a
fan, stiffened his wings, and began to strike with them
in short, rapid beats, faster and faster, until a rumbling
sound like very distant thunder was produced, and the
whirring wings enveloped him asin acloud. This was
the drumming noise which had alarmed us, increased, as
I imagine, by the wing strokes falling at times on the
decayed and hollow stump on which the curious panto-
mime was acted.












































































RUFFED GROUSE.
300 The Swiss Family Robinson.



I was watching it with-the utmost interest, when 2
shot from behind me was fired, and in a moment the
play was at an end; my over-hasty son had ‘changed
the pretty comedy, into a sad and needless tragedy.
The enthusiastic drummer fell dead from his perch, and
the crowd of admiring companions fled in dismay.

The cruel interruption of a scene so rare and remark-:
able annoyed me extremely, and I. blamed Fritz for
firing without my leave. I felt sure the bird was the
ruffed grouse, and a very fine specimen. We placed it
on the ass, which was patiently awaiting our return, and
went on our way.

The sledge was quite safe where we had left it; it
‘was early in the day, and I resolved to explore, as I had
intended, the line of cliff and rocky hills, which, at more
or less distance from the sea-shore, extended the whole
length of coast known or visible to us.

I desired to discover an opening, if any. existed, by —
which to penetrate the interior of the country, or to
ascertain positively that we were walled in and pole
on this portion of the coast.

Leaving Calabash Wood behind us, we advanced
over ground covered with manioc, potatoes, and many
plants unknown. to us; pleasant streamlets watered the
fruitful soil, and the view on all sides was open. and
agreeable.

Some bushes attracted my notice, loaded with small
white berries, of peculiar appeazance like wax, and very
_ Sticky when plucked. I recognised in this a plant called ~
The Wax Berry. 201

—



by botanists, Myrica cerifera, and with much pleasure
explained to Fritz that, by melting and straining these
berries, we might easily succeed in making candles, and
afford very great satisfaction to the mother, who did not
at all approve of having to lay her work aside and retire
to rest the moment the sun set. The greenish wax to
be obtained would be more brittle than bees’ wax, but
it would burn very fairly, and diffuse an agreeable per-
fume. Having the ass with us, we lost no time in
gathering berries enough to fill one of the large canvas
bags he carried, and we then continued our route.

Very soon we met with another natural curiosity, the
‘curious appearance of which surprised us much. This
was the abode, under one roof, of a whole colony of
birds, about the size of yellow hammers, but of plain
brown plumage. The nests were built in a mass round
the stem and among the branches of a tree standing
alone, and a kind of roof formed of grass, straws, and
fibres covered them all, and sheltered the community
from rain and the heat of the sun. There were numbers
of openings into the irregular sides of the group of
dwellings, the nests resembling different apartments in
a house common to all; twigs and small branches
emerged here and there from the walls, and served as
perches for the young birds, and resting-places and posts
of observation for all. The general appearance of the
establishment reminded us of a huge bath-sponge.
The feathered inhabitants swarmed in and out by
thousands, and we saw among them .many beautiful
202 The Swiss Family Robinson.

little parrots, who seemed in many instances to contest »
possession of the nest with the lawful owners.

Fritz, being an expert climber and exceedingly anxious
to examine the nests more closely, ascended the tree,
hoping to obtain one or two young birds, if any were.
hatched. He put his hand into several holes, which were
empty ; but at last his intended theft and robbery met
with repulse and chastisement he little expected ; for,
reaching far back into a nest, his finger was seized and
sharply bitten by a very strong beak, so that with a cry he
withdrew his hand, and shook it vigorously to lessen the
pain. Recovering from the surprise, he again and more
resolutely seized the unkind bird, and, despite its shrieks
and screams, drew it from its retreat, crammed it into
his pocket, buttoned up his coat, and slid quickly to the
ground, pursued by numbers of the captive’s relations,
who darted from the other holes and flew round the
robber, screeching and pecking at him in a rage.

Fritz’s prize was not one of the real owners of the
nests, which were those of the sociable grosbeak, but
a very pretty small green parrot, with which he was
greatly pleased, and which he at once determined to
tame and teach to speak; for the present, it was care-
fully remanded to prison in his pocket.

This curious colony of birds afforded us matter for
conversation as we went on our way ; their cheerful
sociable habits, and the instinct which prompted them to.
unite in labour for the common good, appearing most
wonderful to us.
A curious Colony. 203







GREEN PARROT.

“Exaiaples of the kind, however,” said J, “are
numerous, in various classes of animals. Beavers, for
204. . The Swiss Family Robinson.



instance, build and live together in a very remarkable
way. Among insects, bees, wasps, and ants, are well
known as social architects ; in like manner, the coral
insect works wonders beneath the ocean waves, by
force of perseverance and united effort.”

“T have often watched ants at work,” said Fritz; “it
is most amusing to see how they carry on the various
works and duties of their commonwealth.”

“Fave you ever noticed how much trouble they take
with the eggs?” inquired I, to see how far he understood
the process; “carrying them about in the warmth of
the sun until they are hatched ?”

“ Ah! that israther the chrysalis of the antworm, or
larva which is produced from an egg. I know they
are called ants’ eggs, but, strictly speaking, that is
incorrect.”

“You are perfectly right, my boy. Well, if you have
taken so much interest in watching the little ants of
your native country, how delighted and astonished
you would be to see the wonders performed by the
vast tribes of large ants in foreign lands.

“Some of these build heaps or nests, four or six feet
high and proportionately broad, which are so strong
and firm that they defy equally sunshine and rain.
They are, within, divided into regular streets, galleries,
vaults, and nurseries. So firmly are these mounds
built, that with interior alterations, a deserted one might
be used for a baking-oven. .

“ The ant, although respected since the davs of King


ANT-BEAR,.
206 The Swiss Family Robinson.

Solomon, as a model of industry, is not in itself an
attractive insect.

“Tt exudes a sticky moisture, its smell is unpleasant,
and it destroys and devours whatever eatable comes in
its way. Although, in our own country it does little
harm; the large ants of foreign lands are most destruc-
tive and troublesome ; it being very difficult to check
their depredations. Fortunately they have enemies by
whose exertions their numbers are kept down; birds,
other insects, and even four-footed beasts prey upon
them. Chief among the latter is the Ant-bear, or
Tamanoir, of South America, a large creature six: or.
seven feet in length, covered with long ccarse hair,
drooping like a heavy plume over the hind quarters.
The head is wonderfully elongated and very narrow;
it is destitute of teeth, and the tongue resembles some-
what a great red earth-worm.. It has immensely strong
curved claws, with which it tears and breaks down and
scratches to pieces the hard walls of the ant-heaps; then,
protruding its sticky tongue, it coils and twists it about
among the terrified millions disturbed by its attack ;
they adhere to this horrible invader, and are drawn
irresistibly backwards into the hungry toothless jaws
awaiting them.

“ The Little Ant-eater is not more than about twenty-
one inches in length, has a shorter and more natural
looking head, and fine silky fur. It usually lives in
trees.”

I was pleased to find my memory served me so well
Ants and Ant-eaters. 207



LITTLE ANT-EATER.

on this subject, as it interested my boy amazingly ; and
occupied us for a considerable time while we travelled

onwards.
208 ihe Swiss Family Robinson.



Arriving presently at a grove of tall trees, with very
strong, broad, thick leaves, we paused to examine them ;
they bore a round fig-like fruit, full of little seeds and of
a sour harsh taste.

Fritz saw some gummy resin exuding from cracks in
the bark, and it reminded him of the boyish delight
afforded by collecting gum from cherry-trees at home,
so that he must needs stop to scrape off as much as he
could. He rejoined me presently, attempting to soften
what he had collected in his hands; but finding ir
would not work like gum, he was about to fling it away,
when he suddenly found that he could stretch it, and
that it sprang back to its original size.

“Oh father, only look! this gum is quite elastic! Can
it possibly be indiarubber ?”

“What!” cried I; “let me see it! a valuable dis-
covery that would be, indeed ; and I do believe you are
perfectly right !”

“Why would it be so very valuable, father?” en-
quired Fritz. “TT have only seen it used for rubbing out
pencil marks.”

“Indiarubber,” I replied, “or, more properly, caout-
chouc, is a milky resinous juice which flows from certain
trees in considerable quantities when the stem is pur-
posely tapped. These trees are indigenous to the South
American countries of Brazil, Guiana, and Cayenne.
The natives, who first obtained it, used to form bottles
by smearing earthen flasks with repeated coatings of

‘the gum when just fresh from the trees; and wher.
A Sago-Patm. 209



hardened and sufficiently thick, they broke the mould,
shook out the fragments, and hung the bottles in the
smoke, when they became firmer and of a dark colour.
While moist, the savages were in the habit of drawing
rude figures and lines on the resin by way of ornament:
these marks. you may have observed, for the bottles,
obtained from the natives by the Spaniards and Portu-
guese, have for years been brought to Europe, and cut
into portions to be sold for use in drawing. Caoutchouc
can be put to many uses, and I am delighted to have
it here, as we shall, I hope, be able to make it into
different forms; first and-foremost, I shall try to manu-
facture boots and shoes.”

Soon after making this discevery, we reached the
cocoa-nut wood, and saw the:bay extending before us, an¢
the great promontory we called Cape Disappointment,
which hitherto had always bounded our excursions,

In passing through the wood, I remarked a smaller
sort of palm, which, among its grand companions, I had
not previously noticed. One of these had been broken
by the wind, and I saw that the pith had a peculiar
mealy appearance, and I felt convinced that this was
the world-renowned sago-palm.

In the pith I saw some fat worms or maggots, and
suddenly recollected that I had heard of them before as
feeding on the sago, and that in the West Indies they
are eaten as a delicacy.

I felt inclined to try what they tasted like; so at
once kindling a fire, and placing some half-dozen,

Pp
210 The Swiss Family Robinson.



sprinkled with salt, on a little wooden spit, I set them
to roast.

Very soon rich fat began to drop from them, and
they smelt so temptingly good, that all repugnance’ to
the idea of eating worms vanished ; and, putting one like
a pat of butter on a baked potato, I boldly swallowed it,
and liked it so much, that several others followed in the
same way. Fritz also summoned courage to partake ot
this novel food; which was a savoury addition to our
dinner of baked potatoes.

Being once more ready to start, we found so dense a
thicket in the direct route, that we turned aside without
attempting to penetrate it, and made our way towards
the sugar brake near Cape Disappointment. This we
could not pass without cutting a handsome bundle of
sugar-canes, and the donkey carried that, in addition to
the bag of wax berries.

In time we reached the sledge in Calabash wood:
the ass was unloaded, everthing placed on the sledge,
and our patient beast began calmly and readily to
drag the burden he had hitherto borne on his back.

No further adventure befel us, and we arrived in the
evening at Falconhurst, where our welcome was as warm
as usual—all we had to tell, listened to with the greatest
interest, all we had to show, mosteeagerly examined,
the pretty green parroquet enchanting the boys most
particularly. i

An excellent supper was ready for us, and with
thankful hearts we enjoyed it together ; then, ascending
We turn Chandlers, 2I1





to our tree-castle, and drawing up the ladder after
us, we betook ourselves to the repose well earned and
greatly needed after this fatiguing day.

The idea of candle-making seemed to have taken the
fancy of all the boys; and next morning they woke,
one after the other, with the word candle on their lips.
When they were thoroughly roused they continued to
talk candles ; all breakfast-time, candles were the subject
of conversation; and after breakfast they would hear of
nothing else but setting to work at once and making
candles,

“ So be it,” said I; “let us become chandlers.”

I spoke confidently, but, to tell the truth, I had in my
own mind certain misgivings as to the result of our
experiment. In the first place, I knew that we lacked
a very important ingredient—animal fat, which is
necessary to make candles burn for any length of time
with brilliancy. Besides this, I rather doubted how far
my memory would recall the various operations necessary
in the manufacture. Of all this, however, I said nothing;
and the boys, under my direction, were soon at work.
We first picked off the berries and threw them into a
large shallow iron vessel placed on the fire. The green
sweet-scented wax was rapidly melted, rising to the surface
of the juice yielded by the berries. This we skimmed
off and placed in a separate pot by the fire, ready for
use; repeating the operation several times, until we had
‘collected sufficient liquid wax for our purpose. I then

took the wicks my wife had prepared, and dipped them

P2
p
212 The Swiss Family Robinson.



one after the other into the wax, handing them as I did
so to Fritz, who hung them up ona bush todry. The
coating they thus obtained, was not very thick ; but, by
repeating the operation several times, they at length
assumed very fair proportions, and became real sturdy
candles. Our wax being at an end, we hung these in a
cool shady place to harden; and that same night we sat up
like civilized beings three whole hours after sunset, and
Falconhurst was for the first time brilliantly illuminated.

We were all delighted ‘with the success of our
experiment.

“You are indeed clever,” said my wife; “1 only wish
that with your ingenuity you. would show me how to
make butter. Day after day I have the annoyance of
seeing a large supply of good cream go bad under my
very eyes, simply because I have no use to which to put
it. Invent a plan, please do.”

*T think that perhaps I can help you,” I replied after
2 little consideration; “not that I can claim the honour
of the invention of my plan, that is due to the Hotten-
tots. IY will see what I can do. Jack, bring me one of
our gourd bottles.”

1 took the gourd, one of those I had previously pte-
pared, with a small hole at one end and well hollowed
out and cleaned; this I partially filled with cream and
then corked up the hole tightly.

“ Here boys,” said I, “you can continue the operation,
while I turn carpenter and,make a cart to take the place

of our sledge.”
Planting an Avenue 213



I gave them their directions, and then set about my
own work. They fixed four posts in the ground, and
to them fastened a square piece of sail-cloth by four
cords attached to the corners. In this cradle they
placed the gourd of cream, and, each taking a side,
rolled it backwards and forwards continuously for half
an hour.

“ Now,’ I cried, looking up from my work, “open
the gourd and take the contents to your mother, with
my compliments.”

They did so; and my good wife’s eyes were de-
lighted with the sight of a large lump of capital fresh
butter.

With my sons’ assistance the cart was in time com-
pleted; a clumsy vehicle it was, but strong enough
for any purpose to which we might put it, and, as
it proved, of immense use to us in collecting the
harvest.

We then turned our attention to our fruit-trees, which
we had planted in a plot ready for transplanting. The
walnut, cherry, and chestnut trees we arranged in
parallel rows so as to form a shady avenue from Falcon-
hurst to Family-bridge ; and between them we laid down
a tolerable road, that we might have no difficulty in
reaching Tentholm, be the weather bad as it might.
We planted the vines round the arched roots of our
_great mangrove, and the rest of the trees in suitable
spots; some near Falconhurst, and others away over.
Jackal river, to adorn Tentholm. Tentholm had been
214 The Swiss Family Robinson.



the subject of serious thoughts to me for some time

past, and I now turned all my attention thither. It

was not my ambition to make it beautiful, but to form
of it a safe place of refuge in a case of emergency.
My first care, therefore, was to plant a thick prickly
hedge, capable of protecting us from any wild animal,
and forming a tolerable obstacle to the attack of even
savages, should they appear. Not satisfied with this,
however, we fortified the bridge, and on a couple of
hillocks mounted two guns which we brought from the
wreck, and with whose angry mouths we might bark
defiance at any enemy, man or beast.

Six weeks slipped away while we were thus busily
occupied, six weeks of hard yet pleasant labour. We
greeted each Sunday and its accompanying rest most
gratefully, and on that day always especially thanked
God for our continued health and safety. I soon saw
that this hard work was developing in the boys remark-
able strength, and this I encouraged by making them
practise running, leaping, climbing, and swimming ; I
also saw, however, that it was having a less satisfactory
effect upon their clothes, which, though a short time
before remarkably neat, were now, in spite of the busy
mother’s mending and patching, most untidy and dis-
reputable. I determined, therefore, to pay another visit
to the wreck, to replenish our wardrobe and to see how

yauch longer the vessel was likely to hold together.

Three of the boys and I went off in the pinnace. The

old ship seemed in much the same condition as when
The last of the Wreck. 215



we had left her, a few more planks had gone, but that
was all.

“Come, boys,” cried I, “not an article of the slightest
value must be left on board; rummage her out to the
very bottom of her hold.”

They took me at my word: sailors’ chests, bales of
cloth and linen, a couple of small guns, ball and shot,
tables, benches, window shutters, bolts and locks, barrels
of pitch, all were soon in a heap on the deck. We
loaded the pinnace and went on shore. We soon re-
turned with our tub-boat in tow, and after a few more
trips nothing was left on board.

“One more trip,” said I to my wife, before we started
again, ‘“‘and there will be the end of the brave ship which
carried us from Switzerland. I have left two barrels of
gunpowder on board, and mean to blow her up.”

Before we lighted the fusee, I discovered a large
copper cauldron which I thought I might save. I made
fast to it a couple of empty casks, that when the ship
went up it might float. The barrels were placed, the
train lighted, and we returned on shore.

The supper was laid outside the tent, at a spot from
whence we might obtain a good view of the wreck.
Darkness came on. Suddenly a vivid pillar of fire rose
from the black waters, a sullen roar boomed across the
sea, and we knew that our good old ship was no
more.

We had planned the destruction of the vessel, we
knew that it was for the best; and yet that night we
216 The Swiss Lamtly Robinson.





went to bed with a feeling of sadness in our hearts, as
though we had lost a dear old friend.

Next morning all our sadness was dispelled, and it
was with pleasure that we saw the shore lined with a
rich store of planks and beams, the remnants of the
wreck. I soon found, too, the copper cauldron which
was successfully floated by the casks; this I got on
shore, and hauling it up among the rocks, stored under
it the powder casks we had landed the day before.
Collecting all these valuables gave us some little trouble,
and while we were thus engaged my wife brought us
good news. She had discovered that two ducks anda
goose had each reared a large family among the reeds
by the river ; and they presentty appeared waddling past
us, apparently vastly well-pleased with their performance.
We greeted them joyfully.

“Hurrah!” cried Ernest, “we'll be able to afford duck
and green peas some day soon, and imagine we're once
more civilized mortals.”

The sight of these birds reminded me of our family at
Falconhurst, and I announced my intention of paying
them a visit.

Every one was delighted, and every one would come
with me. As we approached Falconhurst I noticed that

several young trees in our avenue were considerably
_ bent by the wind, and this resolved me to make an
expedition next day to cut bamboos for their support.
As Fritz was the only one besides myself who had
visited Cape Disappointment and the surrounding
The Caoutchouc Tree. 214



country, my wife and the younger boys begged hard to
be allowed to accompany me. I consented ; and next
morning we started, bringing with us the cart, drawn by
the cow and ass, and laden with everything necessary
for an expedition of several days—a tent, provisions, a
large supply of amunition, and all sorts of implements
and utensils; for I intended to make a great collection
of fruits and the produce of different trees. It was a
lovely morning, and passing gaily through the planta-
tions of potatoes, manioc, and cassavas, we came to the
nests of the sociable grosbeak, the sight of which charmed
the children immensely.

We reached the wax trees, and there I called a halt,
for I wished to gather a sack or two of the berries that
we might renew our stock of candles. The berries were
soon plucked; and I stored them away amongst the
bushes, marking the spot that we might find them on
our return.

“Now for the caoutchouc tree,” said 1; “now for
waterproof boots’ and leggings to keep your feet dry,
Ernest.” To the caoutchouc tree we directed our steps,
and were soon busily engaged in stabbing the bark anu
placing vessels beneath to catch the sap. We again
moved forward ; and, crossing the palm wood, entered
upon a delightful plain bounded on one side by an
extensive field of waving sugar-cane, on the other by a
thicket of bamboos and lovely palms, while in front
stretched the shining sea, calm and noiseless.

“How beautiful!” exclaimed Jack, “let us pitch our
218 The Swiss Family Robinson.



tent here and stay here always instead of living at
Falconhurst. It would be jolly.”

“Very likely,” replied I, “and so would be the attacks
of wild beasts; imagine a great tiger lying in wait in
the thicket yonder, and pouncing out on us at night. No,
no, thank you, I much prefer our nest in the tree, or our
impregnable position at Tentholm. We must make this
cur head quarters for the present, however ; for, though
perhaps dangerous, it is the most convenient spot we
shall find. Call a halt and pitch the tent.”

Our beasts were quickly unyoked, the tent arranged,
a large fire lit, supper prepared, and we dispersed in
various directions, some to cut bamboos, and some to
collect sugar-cane. We then returned; and, as supper
was still not quite ready and the boys were hungry, they
decided to obtain some cocoa-nuts. This time, however,
no assistance was to be had from either monkeys or
land-crabs, and they gazed up with longing eyes at the
fruit above them.

“We can climb,” said Fritz, “up with you, boys.”

Jack and he each rushed at one of the smooth slippery
trunks ; right vigorously they struggled upwards, but to
no purpose, before they had accomplished one quarter
of the distance they found themselves slipping rapidly to
the ground.

“ Here, you young athletes,” cried I, “I foresaw this
difficulty, and have provided for it.” So saying I held
ap buskins of shark’s skin which I had previously pre-
pared, and which I now bound on to their legs. Thus
The Professor's Contribution. 219

poem mera



equipped they again attempted the ascent, and with a
loop of rope passed round their body and the trunk of
the tree, quickly reached the summit. My wife joined
me, and together we watched the boys as they ascended
tree after tree, throwing down the best fruit from each.

They then returned, and jestingly begged Ernest to
produce the result of his labour. The professor had
been lying on the grass gazing at the palms ; but, on this
sarcastic remark, he sprang to his feet. “ Willingly,” he
exclaimed, and seizing a pair of buskins he quickly
donned them. “Give me a cocoa-nut shell,” said he 1
gave him one, and he put it in his pocket. He ran toa
tree, and, with an agility which surprised us all, quickly
reached the top. No sooner had he done so than Fritz
and Jack burst into a roar of laughter. He had swarmed
a tree which bore no nuts. Ernest apparently heard
them ; for, as it seemed in a fit of anger, he drew his
knife and severed the leafy crest, which fell to the ground.
I glanced up at him, surprised at such a display of
temper. But a bright smile greeted me, and in a merry
tone he shouted:

“Jack, pick that palm-cabbage up and take it to
father; that is only half my contribution, and it is worth
all your nuts put together.”

He spoke truly: the cabbage palm is rare, and the
tuft of leaves at its summit is greatly prized by the
South Americans for its great delicacy and highly nutri-
tive qualities.

* Brayo!” I cried, “you have retrieved your character ;
220 The Swiss Family Robinson.



come down and receive the thanks of the company, what
are you waiting up there for ?”

“IT am coming presently,” he replied, “with the
second half of my contribution ; I hope it will be as
fully appreciated as the first.”

In a short time he slipped down the tree, and, advanc-
ing to his mother, presented her with the nutshell he
had taken up with him.

“ Here,” he said, “is a wine which the greatest con-
noisseur would prize. Taste it, mother,”

The shell. was filled with a clear rosy liquor, bright
and sparkling. My wife tasted it. “Excellent, excel-
lent,” she exclaimed. ‘“ Your very good health, my dear
boy!”

We drank the rosy wine in turn, and Ernest received
hearty thanks from all.

It was getting late, and while. we were enjoying our sup-
per before our tent, our donkey, who had been quietly
browsing near us, suddenly set up a loud bray, and,
without the least apparent cause, pricked up his ears,
threw up his heels, and galloped off into the thicket of
bamboos. We followed for a short distance, and I sent
the dogs in chase, but they returned without our friend,
and, as it was late, we were obliged to abandon the
chase.

I was annoyed by this incident, and even alarmed ;
for not only had we lost the ass, but I knew not what
had occasioned his sudden flight. I knew not whether
he was aware, by inst?nct, of the approach of some fierce
Ln search of Grizsle. 221



wild beast. I said nothing of this to my family, but,
making up an unusually large fire, I bade them sleep
with their arms by their sides, and we all lay down.

A bright morning awoke us early, and I rose and
looked out, thinking that perhaps our poor donkey
might have been attracted by the light of the fires, and
have returned. Alas, not a sign of him was to be seen.
«\s we could not afford to lose so valuable a beast, I de-
termined to leave no attempt untried to regain him.
We hurriedly breakfasted, and, as I required the dogs to
assist me in the search, I left my elder sons to protect
their mother, and bade Jack get ready for a day’s
march. This arrangement delighted him, and we

quickly set out.

For an hour or more we trudged onwards, directed by
the print of the ass’s hoofs. Sometimes we lost the
track for a while, and then again discovered it as we
reached softer soil. Finally this guide failed us alto-
gether, for the donkey seemed to have joined in witha
herd of some larger animals, with whose hoof-prints his
had mingled. I now almost turned back in des, air, but
Jack urged me to continue the search: “ For,” said he,
“if we once get upon a hill we shall see such a large
herd as this must be at almost any distance. Do let us
go on, father.”

I consented, and we again pushed forwards, through
bushes, and over torrents, sometimes cutting our way
with an axe,and sometimes plunging knee-deep through
aswamp. We at length reached the border of a wide
222 The Swiss Family Robinson.



plain, and on it, in the distance, I could see a herd of
animals, browsing on the rich grass. It struck me that
it might be the very herd to which our good donkey
had joined himself; and, wishing to ascertain whether
this was so, I resolved to make a detour through a
bamboo marsh, and get as near as possible to the animals
without disturbing them. The bamboos were huge,
many of them over thirty feet in height; and, as we
made our way through them, I remembered an account
of the giant cane of South America, which is greatly
prized by the Indians on account of its extreme useful-
ness ; the reeds themselves make masts for their canoes,
while each joint will form a cask or box. I was de-
lighted, for I had little doubt that the bamboos we were
among were of the same species. I explained this to
Jack, and as we discussed the possibility of cutting one
down and carrying a portion of it home, we reached the
border of the marsh, and emerged upon the plain.
There we suddenly found ourselves face to face with the
herd which we sought—a herd of buffaloes. They
looked up, and stared at us inquisitively, but without
moving. Jack would have fired, but I checked him.
“Back to the thicket,’ I said, “and keep back the
dogs |”

We began to retreat, but before we were again under
cover, the dogs joined us ; and, in spite of our shouts and
efforts to restrain them, they dashed forwards, and seized
a buffalo calf: This was a signal to the whole herd to
attack us. They bellowed loudly, pawed the ground,
































































































































































































































































































































































































































ENCOUNTER WITH BUFFALOES. 5
224 The Swiss Family Robinson.



and tore it up with their horns, and then dashed madly
towards us. Wehad not time to step behind a rock
before the leader was upon us. So close was he that
my gun was useless. I drew a pistol and fired. He
fell dead at my feet. His fall checked the. advance
of the rest. They halted, snuffed the air, turned
tail and galloped off across the plain. They were
gone, but the dogs still held gallantly to the calf
They dragged and tussled with him, but with their
utmost efforts could not bring him to the ground. '
How to assist them without shooting the poor beast, I
knew not; and this I was unwilling to do, for I hoped
that, if we could but capture him alive, we might in time
manage to tame him, and use him as a beast of burden.
Jack’s clever little head, however, suddenly devised a
plan for their aid, and with his usual promptitude he at
once put it into execution. He unwound the lasso,
which was coiled round his body, and, as the young bull
flung up his heéls, he cast it and caught him by his
hind legs. The noose drew tight, and in a twinkling
the beast was upon the ground. We fastened the other
end of the cord round a stout bamboo, called off the
dogs, and the animal was at our mercy.

“Now we have got him,” said Jack, as he looked at
the poor beast, lying panting on the ground, “what are
. we to do with him?”

“J will show you,” said I; “help me to fasten his
fore-legs together,and you shall see the next operation.”

The bull, thus secured, could not move; and while
A Buffalo captured. 225

-_—

Jack held his head I drew my knife and pierced the
cartilage of his nose, and when the blood flowed less
freely, passed a stout cord through the hole. I felt
some repugnance at thus paining the animal, but it was
a case of necessity, and I could not hesitate. We
united the ends of the cord, freed the animal, set him
upon his legs, and subdued and overawed, he followed
us without resistance. I now turned my attention to
the dead buffalo, but as I could not then skin it, I
contented myself with cutting off the most delicate



parts, its tongue, and a couple of steaks, and, packing
them in salt in my wallet, abandoned the rest to the
dogs. They fell upon it greedily, and we retired under
the shade to enjoy a meal after our hard work. The
dogs, however, were not to have undisputed possession
of the carcase ; vultures, crows, and other birds of prey,
with that marvellous instinct which always leads them
to a dead body, quickly filled the air, and, with dis-
cordant cries, swooped down upon ‘the buffalo. An
amusing contest ensued; the dogs again and again
drove off the intruders, and they, as often, returned
reinforced by others who swarmed to the spot. Jack,
with his usual impetuosity, wished to send a shot
in amongst the robber band, but I prevented him, for
I knew that the bird or two he might kill would be of
no use to us, while his shot would not drive away the
rest even had we wished it. Both we and the dogs
were at length satisfied, and as it was getting late, i

determined to give up for the present the search for
Q
226 The Sw7ss Family Robinson.



the ass, and to return to our camp. We again made
our way through the bamboos, but before we left the
thicket, I cut down one of the smallest of the reeds, the
largest of whose joints would form capital little barrels,
while those near the tapering top would serve as moulds
for our next batch of candles.

The buffalo, with a dog on either side and the rope
through his nose, was following us passively, and we
presently induced him to submit to a package of our
goods laid upon his back. We pushed rapidly forward,
Jack eager to display our latest acquisitior. As we
repassed the rocky bed of a stream we had crossed in
the morning, Juno dashed ahead, and was about to rush
into a cleft between the rocks, when the appearance of
a large jackal suddenly checked her further progress.
Both dogs instantly flew at the animal, and though
she fought desperately, quickly overpowered and
throttled her. From the way the beast had shown
fight, I concluded that her young must be close by,
probably within the very cleft Juno was about to enter.

Directly Jack heard this, he wished to creep in and
bring out the young jackals. I hesitated to allow him
to do so, for I thought it possible that the male jackal
might be still lying in wait within the cave. We
peered into the darkness, and after a while, Jack
declared he could discern the little yellow jackals, and
that he was quite sure the old one was not there. He
then crept in, followed’ closely by the dogs, and pre-
sently emerged bearing. in his arms a handsome cub of
A Fackal added to our Live Stock. 227





a beautiful golden yellow and about the size of a small
cat. He was the only one of the brood he had
managed to save, for Turk and Juno, without pity for
their youth or beauty, had worried all the rest. I did
not much regret this, however, for I firmly believe that,
had he saved them, Jack would have insisted upon
bringing up the whole litter. As it was I considered
that one jackal was, with our young bull, quite sufficient
an addition to our livestock.

During the halt we had made, I had fastened the
buffalo to a small tree, and as I now was again about
to move on, 1 recognized it as the dwarf-palm, whose
long sharp leaves form an excellent barrier if it is
planted as a hedge. I determined to return and get
some young plants to strengthen our hedge at Tent-
holm. It was late before we reached our camp, where
we found our family anxiously awaiting our return.

The sight of the new animals delighted the children
‘ immensely, and in their opinion amply compensated for
the loss of our poor donkey. Jack had to answer a
host of questions concerning their capture, and to give a
minute account of the affray with the buffaloes. This
he did, with graphic power certainly, but with so much
boasting and self-glorification, that I was obliged to
check him, and give a plain and unvarnished account of
the affair.

Supper-time arrived, and as we sat at that meal, for
which Jack and I were heartily thankful, my wife and hey

party proceeded to give an account of their day’s work.
02

r
228 The Swiss Family Robinson.

Ernest had discovered a sago-palm, and had, after
much labour, contrived to fell it. Franz and his mother
had collected dry wood, of which a huge heap now stood
before the tent sufficient to keep up a fire all the rest of
the time we should stay on the spot.. Fritz had gone
off shooting and had secured a good bag. While they
had been thus variously employed, a troop of apes had
visited the tent, and when they returned, they found the
place ransacked and turned upside down. The pro-
visions were eaten and gnawed, the potatoes thrown
about, the milk drunk and spilt, every box had been
peeped into, every pot and pan had been divested of its
lid, the palisade round the hut had been partly des-
troyed, nothing had been left untouched. Industriously
had the boys worked to repair the damage, and when
we returned not a sign was to be seen of the disorder.
No one would have guessed what had occurred from the
delicious supper we were eating.

After matters had been again arranged Fritz had
gone down to the shore and, amongst the rocks at Cape
Disappointment, had discovered a young eaglet which
Ernest declared to be a Malabar or Indian eagle; he
was much pleased with his discovery, and I recom-
mended him to, bring the bird up and try to train it to
hunt as a falcon.

“Look here though, boys,” said I, “you are now
collecting a good many pets, and I am not going to
have your mother troubled with the care of them all;
each must look after his own, and if I find one neglected,
The. Sago Palm. 229
whether beast‘or bird, I set it at liberty. Mark that and
remember it!” -

My wife looked: greatly relieved at this announcement,
and the boys-promised to obey my directions. Before
we retired for the night I prepared the buffalo meat I
had brought, I lit a large fire of green wood, and in the
smoke of this thoroughly dried both the tongue and
steaks. We then properly secured all the animals, Jack
took his little pet in his arms, and we lay down and
were soon fast asleep.

At daybreak we were on foot, and began to prepare
for a return to Falconhurst. ,

“You are not going to despise my sago, I hope,” said
Ernest ; “you have no idea what a trouble it was to cut
it down, and I have been thinking too that if we could
but split the tree, we might make a couple of long useful
troughs which might, I think, be made to carry water
from Jackal’s River to Tentholm. Is my plan worth
consideration ?”

“Indeed it is,” I replied; “and at all events we must
not abandon such a valuable prize as a sago-palm. I
would put off our departure for a day, rather than leave
it behind.”

We went to the palm, and with the tools we had with
us attempted to split the trunk. We first sawed off the
upper end, and then with an axe and saw managed to
insert a wedge. This accomplished, our task was less
difficult, for with a heavy mallet we forced the wedge in
further and further, until at length the trunk was split in
230 The Swiss Family Robinson.



twain. From one half of the trunk we:then removed
the pith, disengaging it, with difficulty, from the tough
wood fibres; at each end, however, I left a portion of the
pith untouched, thus forming a trough in which to work
the sago.

“Now, boys,” said I, when we had removed the pith
from the other half of the trunk, “off with your coats
and turn up your shirt-sleeves ; I am going to teach you
to knead.”

They were all delighted, and even little Franz begged
to be allowed to help. Ernest brought a couple of
pitchers of water, and throwing it in amongst the pith,
we set to work right heartily. As the dough was formed
and properly kneaded, I handed it to the mother who
spread it out on a'cloth in the sun to dry. This new
occupation kept us busy until the evening, and when it
was at length completed we loaded the cart with the sago,
a store of cocoanuts and our other possessions, that we
might be ready to start early on the following morning.
As the sun rose above the horizon, we packed up our
tent and set forth, a goodly caravan. I thought it
unfair to the cow to make her drag such a load as we
now had alone, and determined if possible to make the
young buffalo take the place of our lost donkey ; after
some persuasion he consented, and soon put his strength
to the work and brought the cart along famously. As
we had the trough slung under the cart we had ta
choose the clearest possible route, avoiding anything
like a thicket, we, therefore, could not pass directly by
A large addition to our Live Stock. 231



the candleberry and caoutchouc trees, and I sent Ernest
and Jack aside to visit the store we had made on our
outward journey.

They had not long: been gone when I was alarmed by
a most terrible noise.-accompanied by the furious barking
of the dog and shouts from Jack and Ernest. Thinking
that the boys had been attacked by some wild beast, I
ran to their assistance. A most ludicrous scene awaited
me when I reached the spot. They were dancing and
shouting round and round a grassy glade, and I as
nearly as possible followed their example, for in the
centre, surrounded by a promising litter, lay our old sow,
whose squeals, previously so alarming, were now sub-
siding into comfortable grunts of recognition. I did not
join my boys in their triumphal dance, but I was never-~
theless very much pleased at the sight of the flourishing
family, and immediately returned to the cart to obtain
biscuits and potatoes for the benefit of the happy
mother. Jack and Ernest meanwhile pushed further
on, and brought back the sack of candleberries and the
caoutchouc, and as we could not then take the sow
with us, we left her alone with her family and pro-
ceeded to Falconhurst.

The animals were delighted to see us back again,
and received us with manifestations of joy, but looked
askance at the new pets. The eagle especially came in
for shy glances, and promised to be no favourite. Fritz,
however, determined that his pet should at present do
no harm, secured him by the leg to a root of the fig-tree
232 The Swiss Family Robinson.



and uncovered his eyes. In a moment the aspect of the
bird was changed ; with his sight returned all his savage
instincts, he flapped his wings, raised his head, darted to
the full length of his chain, and before any one could
prevent him seized the unfortunate parrot which stood
near, and tore it to pieces. Fritz’s anger rose at the
sight, and he was about to put an end to the savage bird.

‘s Stop,” said Ernest, “don’t kill the poor creature, he
is but following his natural instincts; give him to me, and
I will tame him.”

Fritz hesitated. “No, no,” he said, “I don’t want
really to kill the bird, but I can’t give him up ; tell me
how to tame him, and you shall have Master Knip.”

“Very well,” replied Ernest, “I will tell you my plan,
and, if it succeeds, I will accept Knip as a mark of your
gratitude. Take a pipe and tobacco, and send the smoke
all round his head, so that he must inhale it; by degrees
he will become stupified, and his savage nature from that
moment subdued.”

Fritz was rather inclined to ridicule the plan, but
knowing that Ernest generally had a good reason for
anything of the sort that he proposed, he consented to
make the attempt. He soon seated himself beneath

“the bird, who still struggled furiously, and puffed cloud
after cloud upwards, and as each cloud circled round
the eagle’s head he became quieter and quieter, until he
sat quite still, gazing stupidly at the young smoker.

“Capital!” cried Fritz, as he hooded the bird, “capital,
Ernest ; Knip is yours,”.
CHAPTER VIII.

Prop our young trees—A lecture on grafling— A new idea broached —Why
should we not-build stairs within the trunk of our tree ?—Jack finds
one objection—I make a beehive, and we drive the bees from the tree
—Stair-making—Additions to our family of domestic animals—The
education of the ‘pets’—Shoe-making—We lead water from the
stream to Falconhurst—A strange animal approaches— Our old ass and
his companion—The onager captured—Provisioning our winter
quarters—Capture of ruffed grouse—We discover flax—The rainy
season.

NEXT morning the boys and I started with the cart
laden with our bundles of bamboos to attend to the
avenue of fruit trees. The buffalo we left behind, for
his services were not needed, and I wished the wound in
his nostrils to become completely cicatrized before I
again put him to work. We were not a moment too
soon; many of the young trees which before threatened
to fall had now fulfilled their promise, and were lying
prostrate on the ground, others were bent, some few
only remained erect. We raised the trees, and digging
deeply at their roots, drove in stout bamboo props, to
which we lashed them firmly with strong broad fibres.

“Papa,” said Franz, as we were thus engaged, and he
handed me the fibres as I required them, “are these
wild or tame trees?”
234 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Oh, these are wild trees, most ferocious trees,”
laughed Jack, “and we are tying them up lest they
should.run away, and in a little while we will untie
them and they will trot about after us and give us fruit
wherever we go. Oh, we will tame them; they shall
have a ring through their noses like the buffalo!” .

“That’s not true,” replied Franz, gravely, “but there
are wild and tame trees, the wild ones grow out in the
woods like the crab-apples, and the tame ones in the
garden like the pears and peaches at home. Which are
these, papa?”

“ They are not wild,” I replied, “but grafted or culti-
vated, or, as you call them, tame trees. No European
tree bears good fruit until it is grafted!” I saw a
puzzled look come over the little boy’s face as he heard
this new word, and I hastened to explain it. “Grafting,”
I continued, “is the process of inserting a slip or twig of
a tree into what is called an eye; that is, a knot or hole
in the branch of another. This twig or slip then grows
and produces, not such fruit as the original stock would
have borne, but such as the tree from which it was taken
would have produced. Thus, if we have a sour crab
tree, and an apple tree bearing fine ribston pippins, we
would take a slip of the latter, insert it in an eye of the
former, and in a year or two the branch which would
then grow would be laden with good apples.”

“But,” asked Ernest, “where did the slips of good
fruit trees come from, if none grow without grafting?”

“From foreign countries,’ I replied; “it is only in the
Lecture on ftorticulture. 235



cold climate of our part of the world that they require
this grafting; in many parts of the world, in more
southern latitudes than ours, the most luscious fruit
trees are indigenous to the soil, and flourish and bear
sweet wholesome fruit, without the slightest care or
attention being bestowed upon them ; while in England
and Germany, and even in France, these same trees
require the utmost exertion of horticultural skill to
make them bring forth any fruit whatever. Thus, when
the Romans invaded England they found there nothing
in the way of fruit trees but the crab-apple, nut bushes,
and bramble-bushes, but by grafting on these, fine
apples, filberts, and raspberries were produced, and it
was the same in our own dear Switzerland—all our
fruit trees were imported.”

“Were cherries, father? May we not even call
cherries Swiss? I always thought they grew nowhere
else.”

“T am afraid we cannot even claim cherries as our
own, not even the name of them; they are called
cherries from Cerasus, a State of Pontus, in Asia,
whence they were brought to Europe by Lucullus, a
Roman general, about seventy years before Christ.
Hazel nuts also came from Pontus; walnuts, again,
came originally from Persia. As for grapes, they are
of the greatest antiquity. We hear, if you remember, of
Noah cultivating vines, and they have been brought
from one place to another until they now are to be
found in most parts of the civilized world.”
236 The Swiss Family Robinson.





“Do you think all these trees will grow?” asked Fritz,
as we crossed Jackal River and entered our plantation
at Tentholm; “here are lemons, pomegranates, pistachio
nuts, and mulberries.”

“I have little doubt of it,” I replied, “we are evidently
within the tropics, where such trees as these are sure to
flourish. These pines, now, come from France, Spain,
and Italy ; the olives from Armenia and Palestine ; the
figs originally from the island of Chios ; the peaches and
apricots from Persia; plums from Damascus in Syria,
and the pears of all sorts from Greece. However, if our
countries have not been blessed in the same way with
fruit, we have been given wisdom and skill, which has
enabled us to import and cultivate the trees of other
lands.”

We thus talked and worked until every tree that

1

required the treatment was provided with a stout bam-
boo prop, and then, with appetites which a gourmand
might well have envied, we returned to Falconhurst
I think the good mother was almost alarmed at the way
we fell upon the corned beef and palm-cabbage she set
before us, but at length these good things produced the
desired effect, and one after another declared himself
satisfied. As we sat reclining after our labour and
digesting our dinner we discussed the various projects
we had in contemplation. “TI wish,” said my wife, “that
you would invent some other plan for climbing to the
nest above us; I think that the nest itself is perfect, i:
really wish for nothing better, but I should like to be
A Flight of Stairs projected. 237

able to get to it without scaling that dreadful ladder
every time; could you not make a flight of steps to
reach it?”

I carefully thought over the project, and turned over
every plan for its accomplishment.

“It would be impossible, I am afraid,” said I, “to
make stairs outside, but within the trunk it might be
done. More than once have I thought that this trunk
might be hollow or partly so, and if such be the case our
task would be comparatively easy. Did you not tell
me the other day that you noticed bees coming from a
hole in the tree?”

“Oh, yes,” said little Franz, “and I went to look at
them and one flew right against my face and stung me,
and I almost cried, but I didn’t.”

‘ Brave little boy,” said I. “Well, now, if the trunk
be sufficiently hollow to contain a swarm of bees, it may
be for all we can tell hollow the greater part of its
length, for like the willow in our own country it might
draw all its nourishment through the bark, and in spite
of its real unsoundness retain a flourishing appearance.

Master Jack, practical as usual, instantly sprang to
his feet to put my conjecture to the proof. The rest
followed his example, and they were all soon climbing
about like squirrels peeping into the hole, and tapping
the wood to discover by sound how far down the cavity
extended.

They forgot, in their eagerness, who were the tenants
of this interesting trunk. They were soon reminded of
238 The Swiss Family Robinson.



it. however, for the bees, disturbed by this unusual noise,
with an angry buzz burst out and in an instant attacked

the causers of the annoyance; they swarmed round

them, stung them on the hands, face, and neck, settled :

in their hair, and pursued them as they ran to me for
assistance. It was with difficulty that we got rid of
the angry insects, and were able to attend to the boys,
Jack, who had been the first to reach the hole, had fared

the worst and was soon a most pitiable sight, his face

swelled to an extraordinary degree, and it was only

by the constant application of cold earth that the pain
was alleviated. They were all eager to commence an
organized attack upon the bees at once, but for an hour
or more by reason of their pain they were unable to
render me much assistance. In the meanwhile I made
my arrangements. I first took a large calabash gourd,
for I intended to make a beehive, that, when we had
driven the insects from their present abode, we might
not lose them entirely. The lower half of the gourd J

flattened, I then cut an arched opening in the front for

a doorway, made a straw roof as a protection from the
rain and heat, and the little house was complete. _
Nothing more however could then be done, for the
irritated bees were still angrily buzzing round the tree.
I waited till dark, and then when all the bees had again
returned to their trunk, with Fritz’s assistance I carefully
stopped up every hole in the tree with wet clay, that the
bees might not issue forth next morning before we could
begin operations. Very early were we up and at work,
Flow we imprisoned the Bees. 230



I first took a holiow cane, and inserted one end through
the clay into the tree; down this tube with pipe and
tobacco I smoked most furiously.

The humming and buzzing that went on within was
tremendous; the bees evidently could not understand
what was going to happen. I finished my first pipeful,
and putting my thumb over the end of the cane, I
gave the pipe to Fritz to refill, He did so and I again
smoked. The buzzing was now becoming less noisy,
and was subsiding into a mere murmur. By the time I
had finished this second pipe all was still; the bees were
stupified.

“ Now then, Fritz,” said I, “quick with a hammer and
chisel, and stand here beside me.”

He was up in a moment, and, together, we cut a small
door by the side of the hole; this door however, we did
not take out, but we left it attached by one corner that
it might be removed at a moment’s notice, then giving
the bees a final dose of tobacco smoke, we opened it.

Carefully but rapidly we removed the insects, as they
clung in clusters to the sides of the tree, and placed
them in the hive prepared for their reception. As
rapidly I then took every atom of wax and honey from
their store house, and put it in a cask I had made ready
for the purpose.

The bees were now safely removed from the trunk,
but I could not tell whether, when they revived from
their temporary stupor, they might not refuse to occupy
the ‘house with which I had presented them, and insist
240 The Swiss Family Robinson.

on returning to their old quarters. To prevent the
possibility of this occurrence I took a quantity of tobacco,
and, placing it upon a board nailed horizontally within
the trunk, I lighted it and allowed it to burn slowly that
the fumes might fill the cavity. It was well I did so,
for, as the bees returned to consciousness, they left their
pretty hive and buzzed away to the trunk of the tree,
They seemed astonished at finding this uninhabitable,
and an immense deal of noisy humming ensued. Round
and round they flew, backwards and forwards between
the gourd and tree, now settling here and now there,
until, at length, after due consideration, they took
possession of the hive and abandoned their fcrmer
habitation to us the invaders of their territory. By the
evening they were quite quiet, and we ventured to open
the cask in which we had stored our plunder. We first
separated the honey from the honeycomb and poured it
off into jars and pots; the rest we then took and threw
into a vessel of water placed over a slow fire. It soon
boiled and the entire mass became fluid. This we
placed in a clean canvas bag, and subjected to a heavy
pressure. The honey was thus soon forced out, and we
stored it in a cask, and, though not perhaps quite equal
to the former batch in quality, it was yet capital. The
wax that remained in the bag I also carefully stored, for
I knew it would be of great use to me in the manufac-
ture of candles. Then after a hard day’s work we
turned in.

The internal architecture of the tree had now to be
The Staircase tn the Tree. 241



attended to, and early the following morning we prepared
for the laborious task. A door had first to be made, so
at the base of the trunk we cut away the bark and formed
an opening just the size of the door we had brought
from the captain’s cabin, and which, hinges and all, was
ready to be hung. The clearing of the rotten wood
from the centre of the trunk occupied us some time, but
at length we had the satisfaction of seeing it entirely
accomplished, and, as we stood below, we could look up
the trunk, which was like a great smooth funnel, and see
the sky above. It was now ready for the staircase, and
first we erected in the centre a stout sapling to form an
axis round which to build the spiral stairs ; in this we cut
notches to receive the steps, and corresponding notches
in the tree itself to support the outer ends. The steps
themselves we formed carefully and neatly of planks from
the wreck, and clenched them firmly in their places with
stout nails. Upwards and upwards we built, cutting
windows in the trunk as we required, to admit light and
air, until we were flush with the top of the centre pole.
On this pole we erected another to reach the top of the
tree, and securing it firmly, built in the same way round it
until we at length reached the level of the floor of the nest
above. To make the ascent of the stairs perfectly easy
we ran a hand-rail on either side, one round the centre
pillar, and the other following the curve of the trunk.
This task occupied us a whole month, and by the end
of that period, so accustomed had we become to having

a definite piece of work before us that we began to
R
242 The Swiss Family Robison.

consider what other great alteration we should uader-
take. We were, however, of course not neglecting the
details of our colonial establishment. There were all
the animals to be attended to, the goats and sheep had
both presented us with additions to our flock, and these
frisky youngsters had to be seen after ; to prevent them
straying to any great distance, for we had no wish to
lose them, we tied round their necks little bells, which
we had found on board the wreck, and which would
assist us to track them. Juno, too, had a fine litter of
puppies, but, in spite of the entreaties of the children, I
could not consent to keep more than two, and the rest
disappeared in that mysterious way in which puppies
and kittens are wont to leave the earth. To console
the mother, as he said, but also, I suspect, to save him-
self considerable trouble, Jack placed his little jackal
beside the remaining puppies, and, to his joy, found it
readily adopted. The other pets were also flourishing,
and were being usefully trained. The buffalo, after
giving us much trouble, had now become perfectly
Aomesticated, and was a very useful beast of burden,
besides being a capital steed for the boys. They guided
him by a bar thrust through the hole in his nose, which

was now perfectly healed, and this served the purpose ;
just as a bit in the mouth of a horse. I began his edu-
cation by securing round him a broad girth of buffalo-
hide and fastening to it various articles, to accustom
him to carrying a burden. By degrees he permitted this
to be done without making the slightest resistance, and
Accomplishments of our Pets. oA%

soon carried the paniers, before borne by the ass, readily
and willingly.

I then made Master Knip sit upon his back and hold
the reins I had prepared for him, that the animal might
become accustomed to the feeling of a rider, and finally
allowed Fritz himself to mount. The education of the ~
eagle was not neglected. Fritz every day shot small
birds for his food, and these he placed sometimes be-
tween the wide-spreading horns of the buffalo or goat,
and sometimes upon the back of the great bustard, that
he might become accustomed to pounce upon living
prey. These lessons had their due effect, and the bird,
having been taught to obey the voice and whistle of his
master, he was soon allowed to bring down small birds
upon the wing, when he stooped and struck his quarry ©
in most sportsmanlike manner. We kept him well away
from the poultry-yard lest his natural instincts should
show themselves, and he should put an untimely end to
some of our feathered pets.

Neither was Master Knip allowed to remiin idle, for
Ernest, now that he was in his possession, wished to
train him to be of some use. With Jack’s help he made
a little basket of rushes, which he so arranged with
straps that it might be easily fitted on to the monkey’s
back. Thus equipped he was taught to mount cocoa-
nut palms and other lofty trees, and to bring down their
fruit in the hamper.

Jack was not so successful in his educational attempts,
Fangs, as he had christened his jackal, used his fangs

R2


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Lyin LES) y

SS
SSE

Ve



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MUTT

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KNIPS’ EDUCATION.
Candle Making. 245



indeed, but only on his own account; nothing could
persuade him that the animals he caught were not at
once to be devoured, consequently poor Jack was never
able to save from his jaws anything but the tattered
skin of his prey. Not disheartened, however, he deter-
mined that Fangs could be trained, and that he would
train him.

These, and such like employments, afforded us the
rest and recreation we required while engaged in the
laborious task of stair-case building.

Among my minor occupations, I applied myself to
the improvement of our candles. Though the former
batch had greatly delighted us at first, yet we were
‘ goon obliged to acknowledge that the light they gave
was imperfect, and their appearance was unsightly ;
my wife, too, begged me to find some substitute for
the threads of our cotton neck-ties, which I had
previously used as wicks. To give the proper shape
and smoothness to the candles, I determined to use
the bamboo moulds I had prepared. My first idea
was to pour the wax in at the end of the mould,
and then when the candles were cooled to slip them
out ; but I was soon convinced that this plan would
not succeed. I therefore determined to divide the
moulds lengthways, and then, having greased them well,
we might pour the melted wax into the two halves
bound tightly together, and so be able to take out
the candles when cool without injuring them. The
wicks were my next difficulty, and as the mother posi-
246 The Swiss Family Robinson.



tively refused to allow us to devote our ties and hand-
kerchiefs for the purpose, I took a piece of inflammable
wood from a tree, a native of the Antilles, which I
thought would serve our purpose ; this I cut into long
slips, and fixed in the centres of the moulds. My
wife, too, prepared some wicks from the fibres of the
karata tree, which she declared would beat mine com-
pletely out of the field. We put them to the proof.

On a large fire we placed a pot, in which we pre-
pared our wax mixture—half bees’ wax and half wax
from the candle-berries. The moulds carefully pre-
pared—half with karata fibre, and half with wooden
splint wicks—stood on their ends in a tub of cold
water, ready to receive. the wax. They were filled;
the wax cooled ; the candles taken out and subjected
to the criticism of all hands. When night drew on,
they were formally tested. The decision was unani-
mous: neither gave such a good light as those with
the cotton wicks; but even my wife declared that
the light from mine was far preferable to that emitted
by hers, for the former, though rather flaring, burned
brilliantly, while the latter gave out such a feeble
and flickering flame that it was almost useless.

I then turned shoemaker, for I had promised my-
self a pair of waterproof boots, and now determined
to make them.

Taking a pair of socks, I filled them with sand, and
then coated them over with a thin layer of clay to form
a convenient mould ; this was soon hardened in the sun,
Waterproof Boots. 247



and was ready for use. Layer after layer of caoutchouc
I brushed over it, allowing each layer to dry before
the next was put on, until at length I considered that
the shoes were of sufficient thickness. I dried them,
broke out the clay, secured with nails a strip of buffalo-
hide to the soles, brushed that over with caoutchouc,
and I had a pair of comfortable, durable, respectable-
looking waterproof boots

I was delighted ; orders poured in from all sides, and
soon every one in the family was likewise provided for.

One objection to Falconhurst was the absence of
any spring close by, so that the boys were obliged to
bring water daily from the stream; and this involving
no little trouble, it was proposed that we should carry
the water by pipes from the stream to our present
residence. A dam had to be thrown across the river
some way up stream, that the water might be raised
to a sufficient height to run to Falconhurst. From
the reservoir thus made we led the water down by
‘pipes into the turtle’s shell, which we placed near our
dwelling, and from which the superfluous water flowed
off through the hole made in it by Fritz’s harpoon.
This was an immense convenience, and we formally
inaugurated the trough by washing therein a whole
sack of potatoes. Thus day after day brought its
own work, and day after day saw that work com-
pleted. We had no time to be idle, or to lament
our separation from our fellow creatures.

One morning, as we were completing our, spiral stair-
248 The Swiss Family Robinson.



case, and giving it such finish as we were capable of, we
were suddenly alarmed by hearing a most terrific noise,
the roaring or bellowing of a wild beast ; so strange
a sound was it, that I could not imagine by what animal
it was uttered.

Jack thought it perhaps a lion, Fritz hazarded a
gorilla, while Ernest gave it as his opinion, and I
thought it possible that he was right, that it was a
hyena. .

“Whatever it is,” said I, “we must prepare to receive
it; up with you all to the nest while I secure the door.”

Then arming the dogs with their collars, I sent them
out to protect the animals below, closed the door, and
joined my family. Every gun was loaded, every cye
was upon the watch. The sound drew nearer, and then
all was still ; nothing was to be seen. I determined to
descend and reconnoitre, and Fritz and I carefully crept
down; with our guns at full cock we glided amongst
the trees; noiselessly and quickly we pushed on further
and further; suddenly, close by, we heard the teriffic
sound again. Fritz raised his gun, but almost as quickly
again dropped it, and burst into a hearty fit of laughter.
There was no mistaking those dulcet tones—he-haw,
he-haw, he-haw,—resounded through the forest, and our
ass braying his approach right merrily appeared in sight.
To our surprise, however, our friend was not alone:
behind him trotted another animal, an ass no doubt, but
slim and graceful as a horse. We watched their move-
ments anxiously,





















































We catch an Onager. 249



“Fritz,” I whispered, “that is an onager. Creep back
to Falconhurst and bring me a piece of cord—quietly
now!”

While he was gone, I cut a bamboo and split it half-
way down to form a pair of pincers, which I knew would
be of use to me should I get near the animal. Fritz
" soon returned with the cord, and I was glad to observe
also brought some oats and salt. We made one end
of the cord fast to a tree, and at the other end made
atunning noose. Silently we watched the animals as
they approached, quietly browsing; Fritz then rose,
holding in one hand the noose, and in the other some
oats and salt. The ass seeing his favourite food thus held
out, advanced to take it ; Fritz allowed him to do so,and
he was soon munching contentedly. The stranger, on
seeing Fritz, started back; but finding her companion
show no signs of alarm, was reassured, and soon ap-
_ proached sniffing, and was about to take some of the
tempting food. In a moment the noose left Fritz’s
adroit hand and fell round her neck; with a single
bound she sprang backwards the full length of the cord,
the noose drew tight, and she fell to the earth half
strangled. I at once ran up, loosened the rope and
replaced it by a halter; and placing the pincers upon
her nose, secured her by two cords fastened between
two trees, and then left her to recover herself. .

Everyone hastened up to examine the beautiful animal
as she rose to the ground and cast fiery glances around.
She lashed out with her heels on every side; and, giving
250 The Swiss Family Robinson.





vent to angry snorts, struggled violently to get free.
All her endeavours were vain: the cords were stout, and
after a while she quieted down and stood exhausted
and quivering. I then approached: she suffered me to
. lead her to the roots of our tree, which for the present
formed our stables, and there I tied her up close to the
donkey, who was likewise prevented from playing truant.

Next morning I found the onager after her night’s
rest as wild as ever, and as I looked at the handsome
creature I almost despaired of ever taming her proud
spirit. Every expedient was tried, and at length, when
the animal was subdued by hunger, I thought I might
venture to mount her; and having given her the strongest
curb and shackled her feet, I attempted to doso. She
was as unruly as ever, and as a last expedient I resolved
to adopt a plan which, though cruel, was I knew at-
tended with wonderful success by the American Indians,
by. whom it is practised. Watching a favourable oppor-
tunity, I sprang upon the onager’s back, and seizing
her long ear in my teeth, in spite of her kicking and
plunging, bit it through. The result was marvellous,
the animal ceased plunging, and, quivering violently,
stood stock still, From that moment we were her
masters, the children mounted her one after the other,
and she carried them obediently and quietly. Proud,
indeed, did I feel as I watched this animal, which
naturalists and travellers have declared to be beyond
the power of man to tame, guided hither and thither by
my youngest son.
Our Wrinter-Quarters. 251

Additions to our poultry yard reminded me of the
necessity of providing some substantial shelter for our
animals before the rainy season came on; three broods
of chickens had been successfully hatched, and the little
-reatures, forty in all, were my wife’s pride and delight.
We began by making a roof over the vaulted roots of
our tree, forming the framework of bamboo canes which
we laid close together and bound tightly down ;
others we fixed below as supports. The interstices
were filled up with clay and moss; and coating the
whole over with a mixture of tar and lime-water, we
obtained a firm balcony, and a capital roof impervious
to the severest fall of rain. I ran a light rail round
the balcony to give it a more ornamental appearance,
and below divided the building into several compart-
ments. Stables poultry yard, hay and provision lofts,
dairy, kitchen, larder, and dining-hall were united under
one roof.

Our winter-quarters were now completed, and we
had but to store them with food. Day after day we
worked, bringing in provisions of every description.

As we were one evening returning from gathering
potatoes, it struck me that we should take in a store of
acorns ; and sending the two younger boys home with
their mother and the cart, I took a large canvas bag,
and with Fritz and Ernest, the former mounted on his
onager, and the latter carrying his little favourite, Knip,
made a detour towards the Acorn Wood.

We reached the spot, tied Lightfoot to a neighbouring
252 The Swiss Family Robinson.



tree, and began rapidly to fill the sack. As we were
thus engaged, Knip sprang suddenly into a bush close
by, from which, a moment afterwards, issued such
strange cries that Ernest followed to see what could
be the matter.

“Come!” he shouted ; “come and help me! I’ve got
a couple of birds and their eggs. Quick! Ruffed
grouse!”

We hurried to the spot. There was Ernest with a
fluttering, screaming bird in either hand; while, with his
foot, he was endeavouring to prevent his greedy little
monkey from seizing the eggs. We quickly tied the
legs of the birds, and removing the eggs from the nest,
placed them in Ernest’s hat ; while he gathered some
of the long, broad grass, with which the nest was woven,
and which grew luxuriantly around, for Franz to play
at sword-drill with. We then loaded the onager with
the acorns, and moved homewards. The eggs I covered
carefully with dry moss, that they might be kept warm,
and as soon as possible I handed them over to my wife
who managed the mother so cleverly that she induced
her to return to the eggs, and in a few days, to our
great delight, we had fifteen beautiful little Canadian
chicks.

Franz was greatly pleased with the “swords” his
brother brought him; but having no small companion
on whom to exercise his valour, he amused himself for
a short time in hewing down imaginary foes, and then
cut the reeds in slips, and plaited them to form a whip
New Zealand Flax. 253



for Lightfoot. The leaves seemed so pliable and strong,
that I examined them to see to what further use they
might be put. Their tissue was composed of long silky
fibres. A sudden thought struck me—this must be New
Zealand flax. I could not rest till I had announced
this invaluable discovery to my wife. She was no less
delighted than I was.

“Bring me the leaves!” she exclaimed. “Oh, what
a delightful discovery! No one shall now be clothed
in rags; just make me a spindle, and you shall soon
have shirts and stockings and trousers, all good home-
spun! Quick, Fritz, and bring your mother more
leaves !”

We could not help smiling at her eager zeal; but
Fritz and Ernest sprang on their steeds, and soon the
onager and buffalo were galloping home again, each
laden with a great. bundle of flax. The boys dismounted
and deposited their offering at their mother’s feet.

“Capital!” she exclaimed. “I shall now show you
that I am not at all behindhand in ingenuity. This
must be retted, carded, spun, and woven, and then with
scissors, needle, and thread I will make you any article
of clothing you choose.”

We decided that Flamingo Marsh would be the best
spot for the operation of steeping or “retting” the flax,
and next morning we set out thither; the cart drawn by
the ass, and laden with the bundles, between which sat
Franz and Knip, while the rest of us followed with
_ spades and hatchets, I described to my boys as we
254 The Swiss Family Robinson.



went along the process of retting, and explained to
them how steeping the flax leaves destroys the useless
membrane, while the strong fibres remain.

As we were employed in making beds for the flax
and placing it in them, we observed several nests of
the Flamingo. These are most curiously and skilfully
made of glutinous clay, so strong that they can neither
be overturned nor washed away. They are formed in
the shape of blunted cones, and placed point down-
wards; at the upper and broader end is built a little
platform to contain the eggs, on which the female bird
sits, with her long legs in the water on either side, until
the little birds are hatched and can take to the water.
For a fortnight we left the flax to steep, and then taking
it out and drying it thoroughly in the sun, stored it for
future use at Falconhurst.

Daily did we load our cart with provisions to be
brought to our winter-quarters : manioc, potatoes, cocoa-
nuts, sweet acorns, sugar-canes, were all collected and
stored in abundance—for grumbling thunder, lowering
skies, and sharp showers warned us that we had no time
to lose. Our corn was sowed, our animals housed, our
provisions stored, when down came the rain.

To continue in our nest we found impossible, and we

were obliged to retreat to the trunk, where we carried
such of our domestic furniture as might have been
injured by the damp. Our dwelling was indeed crowded :
the animals and provisions below, and our beds and
household goods around us, hemmed us in on every
Occupations during Winter. 255



side ; by degrees, by dint of patience and better pack-
ing, we obtained sufficient room to work and lie down
in; by degrees, too, we became accustomed to the con-
tinual noise of the animals and the smell of the stables.
The smoke from the fire, which we were occasionally
obliged to light, was not agreeable; but in time even
that seemed to become more bearable.

To make more space, we turned such animals as we
had captured, and who therefore might be imagined to
know how to shift for themselves, outside during the
daytime, bringing them under the arched roots only at
night. To perform this duty Fritz and I used to sally
forth every evening, and as regularly every evening did
we return soaked to the skin. To obviate this, the
mother, who feared these continual wettings might
injure our health, contrived waterproofs: she brushed
on several layers of caoutchouc over stout shirts, to
which she attached hoods; she then fixed to these duck
trousers, and thus prepared for each of us a complete
waterproof suit, clad in which we might brave the
severest rain, :

In spite of our endeavours to keep ourselves busy, the
time dragged heavily. Our mornings were occupied in
tending the animals; the boys amused themselves
with their pets, and assisted me in the manufacture of
carding-combs and a spindle for the mother. The
combs I made with nails, which I placed head down-
wards on a sheet of tin about an inch wide ; holding the
nails in their proper positions I poured solder round
256 The Swiss Family Robinson.



their heads to fix them to the tin, which I then folded
down on either side of them to keep them perfectly
firm. In the evening, when our room was illuminated
with wax candles, I wrote a journal of all the events
which had occurred since our arrival in this foreign
land; and, while the mother was busy with her needle
and Ernest making sketches of birds, beasts, and flowers
with which he had met during the past months, Fritz
and Jack taught little Franz to read.

Week after week rolled by. Week after week saw us
still close prisoners. Incessant rain battered down above
us, constant gloom hung over the desolate scene.
CHAPTER IX.

Spring again—We begin to hew a cave—Jack makes a discovery—We
drive the foul air from the cavern—The mother and her boys join us—
We explore the cave—Fit ‘it up as our -winter-quarters —The herring-
bank—We catch seals—Fishing on a grand scale—Isinglass and
caviare—We visit our plantations—An expedition to-establish a colony

- —The building of ‘‘ Woodlands” —Jack and Fritz return to Falconhurst
for provisions—Ernest and I explore—A ‘‘beast with a bill” —We build
a canoe—Franz undertakes the education of Grumble—We continue
our work at the cave—Carpet making—Thanksgiving-day—A startling
salute—Athletics and shooting—Prize giving—Manufacture of bird.
lime—Fritz and Jack ride off for caoutchouc—Shoot a crane and
badger—Find ‘‘ Woodlands” turned upside down by monkeys—
Discover gensing.

THE winds at length were lulled, the sun shot his
brilliant rays through the riven clouds, the rain ceased
to fall—spring had come. No prisoners set at liberty
could have felt more joy than we did as we stepped
forth from our winter abode, refreshed our eyes with the
pleasant verdure around us, and our ears with the merry
songs of a thousand happy birds, and drank in the pure
balmy air of spring.

Our plantations were thriving vigorously. The seed
we had sown was shooting through the moist earth.
All nature was refreshed.

Our nest was our first care; filled with leaves and

broken and torn by the wind, it looked indeed dilapi-
8
258 The Swiss Family Robinson.



dated. We worked hard, and in a few days it was
again habitable. My wife begged that I would now
start her with the flax, and as early as possible I
built a drying-oven, and then prepared it for her use;
I also, after some trouble, manufactured a beetle-reel
and spinning-wheel, and she and Franz were soon hard
at work, the little boy reeling off the thread his mother
spun.

I was anxious to visit Tentholm, for I feared that
-much of our precious stores might have suffered. Fritz

’ -and I made an excursion thither. The damage done to

‘Falconhurst was as nothing compared to the scene that
‘awaited us. The tent was blown to the ground, the
canvas torn to rags, the provisions soaked, and two
casks of powder utterly destroyed. We immediately
spread such things as we hoped yet to preserve in the
sun to dry. The pinnace was safe, but our faithful tub-
boat was dashed in pieces, and the irreparable damage
we had sustained made me resolve to contrive some
safer and.more stable winter-quarters before the arrival
of the next rainy season. Fritz proposed that we should
hollow out a cave in the rock, and though the difficulties
such an undertaking would present appeared almost
insurmountable, I yet determined to make the attempt ;
we might not, I thought, hew out a cavern of sufficient
size to serve as a room, but we might at least make.a
cellar for the more valuable and perishable of our stores.




etwards we left Falconhurst with the

cart laden wt a cargo of spades, hammers, chiseis,













A Cavern Discovered. 259



pickaxes and crowbars, and began our undertaking.
On the smooth face of the perpendicular rock I drew
out in chalk the size of the proposed entrance, and then,
with minds bent on success, we battered away. Six
days of hard and incessant toil made but little impres-
sion; I do not think that the hole would have been a
satisfactory shelter for even Master Knips; but we still
did not despair, and were presently rewarded by coming
to softer and more yielding substance ; our work pro-
gressed, and our minds were relieved.

On the tenth day, as our persevering blows were
falling heavily, Jack, who was working diligently with
a hammer and crowbar, shouted,—

“Gone, father! Fritz, my bar has gone through the
mountain !”

“Run round and get it,” laughed Fritz ; “perhaps it
has dropped into Europe—you must not*lose a good
crowbar.”

“ But, really, it is through ; it went right through the
rock; I heard it crash down inside. Oh, do'come and
see!” he shouted excitedly.

We sprang to his side, and I thrust the handle of my
hammer into the hole he spoke of; it met with no oppo-
sition, I could turn it in any direction I chose. Fritz
handed me a long pole; I tried the depth with that.
Nothing could I feel. A thin wall, then, was all that
intervened between us and a great cavern.

With a shout of joy, the boys battered vigorously at
the rock ; piece by piece fell, and soon the hole was large

S2
360 The Swiss Family Robinson.

enough for us to enter. I stepped near the aperture,
and was about to make a further examination, when a
sudden rush of poisonous air turned me giddy, and shout.
ing to my sons to stand off, I leaned against the rock.

When I came to myself I explained to them the
danger of approaching any cavern or other place where
the air has for a long time been stagnant. “ Unless
dir is incessantly renewed it becomes vitiated,” I said,
“and fatal to those who breathe it. The safest way of
restoring it to its original state is to subject it to the
action of fire, a few handfuls of blazing hay thrown into
this liole may, if the place be small, sufficiently purify
the air within to allow us to enter without danger.”
We tried the experiment. The flame was extinguished
the instant it entered. Though bundles of blazing grass
wete thrown in, no difference was made.
--J-saw: that we must apply some more efficacious
remedy, and sent the boys for a chest of signal-rockets
we had brought from the wreck. We let fly some dozens
of these fiery serpents, which went whizzing in, and dis-
appeared at apparently a vast distance from us. Some
flew like radiant meteors round, lighted up the mighty
circumference and displayed, as by a magician’s. wand,
a sparkling glittering roof. They looked like avenging
dragons driving a foul malignant fiend out of a beauteous
palace.

We waited for a little while after these experiments,
and I then again threw in lighted hay. It burned
clearly; the air was purified. - 2 isis
ike Gabe

ab

SIREN,

yr)
Fy

JACK RIDES POST-HASTE TO FALCONHURST.

AM
Wt
yn


262 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Fritz and I enlarged the opening, while Jack, spring-
ing on his buffalo, thundered away to Falconhurst to
bear the great and astonishing news to his mother.

Great must have been the effect of Jack’s eloquence
on those at home, for the timbers of the bridge were
soon again resounding under the swift but heavy tramp
of his steed ; and he was quickly followed by the rest of
our party in the cart.

All were in the highest state of excitement.. Jack
had stowed in the cart all the candles he could find, and
we now, lighting these, shouldered our arms and entered.
I led the way, sounding the ground as I advanced with
a long pole, that we might not fall unexpectedly into
any great hole or chasm. Silently we marched—the
mother, the boys, and even the dogs seeming overawed
with the grandeur and beauty of the scene. We were in
a grotto of diamonds—a vast cave of glittering crystal ;
the candles reflected on the walls a golden light, bright
as the stars of Heaven, while great crystal pillars rose
from the floor like mighty trees, mingling their branches

high above us and drooping in hundreds of stalactites, .
~ which sparkled and glittered with all the colours of the
rainbow. : .

The floor of this magnificent palace was formed of -
hard, dry sand, so dry that I saw at once that we might
‘safely take up our abode therein, without the slightest
fear of danger from damp.

From the appearance of the brilliant crystals round
about us, I suspected their nature,















































































































































The Cavern fitted-up. 263



I tasted a piece. This was a cavern of rock-salt.
There was no doubt about it—here was an unlimited
supply of the best and purest salt! But one thing
detracted from my entire satisfaction and delight—large
crystals lay scattered here and there, which, detached
from the roof, had fallen to the ground ; this, if apt te
recur, would keep us in constant peril. I examined
some of the masses and discovered that they had
been all recently separated, and therefore concluded
that the concussion of the air, occasioned by the’
rockets, had caused their fall. To satisfy ourselves,
however, that there were no more pieces tottering above
us, we discharged our guns from the entrance, and
watched the effect. Nothing more fell—our magnificent
abode was safe.

We returned to Falconhurst with minds full of wonder
at our new discovery, and plans for turning it to the best
possible advantage.

Nothing was now talked of but the new house, how it
should be arranged, how it should be fitted up. The
safety and comfort of Falconhurst, which had at first
seemed so great, now dwindled away in our opinion to
nothing ; it should be kept up we decided merely as a
summer residence, while our cave should be formed into
a winter house and impregnable castle. Our attention
was now fully occupied with this new house. Light and
air were to be admitted, so we hewed a row of windows
in the rock, where we fitted the window-cases we had
brought from the officers’ cabins. We brought the door,
26.4 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.





too, from Falconhurst, and fitted it in the aperture we
had made for the opening in the trunk of the tree, which
I determined to conceal with bark, as less likely to,
attract the notice of wild beasts or savages should they
approach during our absence. The cave itself we
divided into four parts: in front, a large compartment
into which the door opened, subdivided into our sitting,
eating, and sleeping apartments; the right-hand division,
containing our kitchen and workshop, and the left our
stables; behind all this, in the dark recess of the cave,
was our storehouse and powder-magazine. Having
already undergone one rainy season, we knew well its
discomforts, and thought of many useful arrangements
in the laying out of our dwelling. We did not intend to
be again smoke-dried ; we, therefore, contrived a properly
built fire-place and chimney; our stable arrangements,
too, were better, and plenty of space was left in our
workshop that we should not be hampered in even-the
most extensive operations.

Our frequent residence at Tentholm revealed to us
several important advantages which we had not foreseen.
Numbers of splendid turtles often came ashore to
deposit their eggs in the sand, and their delicious flesh
afforded us many a sumptuous meal. When more than
one of these creatures appeared at a time, we used to cut
off their retreat to the sea, and, turning them on their
backs, fasten them to a stake, driven in close by the
waters edge, by a cord passed through a hole in their
shell, We thus had fresh turtle continually within our
The Flerring-bank. 265

reach ; for the animals throve well thus secured, and
appeared in as good condition, after having been kept
thus for several weeks, as others when freshly caught.
Lobsters, crabs, and mussels also abounded on the
shore. But this was not all; an additionai surprise
awaited us.

As we were one morning approaching. Tentholm, we
were attracted by a most curious phenomenon. The
waters out to sea appeared agitated by some unseen
movement, and as they heaved and boiled, their surface,
struck by the beams of the morning sun, seemed illu-
minated by flashes of fire. Over the water where this
_ disturbance was taking place hovered hundreds of birds,
- screaming loudly, which ever and anon would dart
downwards, some plunging beneath the water, some
skimming the surface. Then again they would rise and
resume their harsh cries. The shining, sparkling mass
then rolled onwards, and approached in a direct line
our bay, followed by the feathered flock above. We
hurried down to the shore to further examine this
strange sight.

I was convinced as we approached that it was a shoal
or bank of herrings.

No sooner did I give utterance to my conjecture, than
I was assailed by a host of questions concerning this
herring-bank, what it was, and what occasioned it.

“ A herring-bank,” I said, “is composed of an im-
mense number of herrings swimming together. I can

scarcely express to you the huge size of this living bank,
















































































‘ ah G
BET CUA ANN MAO
SONAR NOC

G
INS

>
ih












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Seals discovered and caught 267

which extends over a great area many fathoms deep.
It is followed by numbers of great ravenous fish, who
devour quantities of the herrings, while above hover
birds, as you have just seen, ready to pounce down on
stragglers near the top. To escape these enemies, the
shoal makes for the nearest shore, and seeks safety in
those shallows where the large fish cannot follow. But
here it meets with a third great enemy. It may escape
from the fish, and elude the vigilance of sharp-sighted
birds, but from the ingenuity of man it can find no escape.
In one year millions of these fish are caught, and yet
the roes of only a small number would be sufficient to
supply as many fish again.

Soon our fishery was in operation. Jack and Fritz
stood in the water with baskets, and baled out the fish,
as one bales water with a bucket, throwing them to us
on the shore. As quickly as possible we cleaned them,
and placed them in casks with salt, first a layer of salt,
and then a layer of herrings, and so on, until we had
ready many casks of pickled fish.

As the barrels were filled, we closed them carefully,
and rolled them away to the coal vaults at the back of
our cave.

Our good fortune, however, was not to end here. A
day after the herring fishery was over, and the shoal had
left our bay, a great number of seals appeared, attracted
by the refuse of the herrings which we had thrown into
the sea. Though I feared they would not be suitable
for our table, we yet secured a score or two for the sake
268 The Swiss Family Robinson.



of their skins and fat. The skins we drew carefully off
for harness and clothing, and the fat we boiled down for
oil, which we put aside in casks for tanning, soap-
making, and burning in lamps. :

These occupations interfered for some time with our
work at Rock House; but as soon as possible we again
returned to our labour with renewed vigour.

I had noticed that the salt crystals had for their base
a species of gypsum, which I knew might be made
of great service to us in our building operations as
plaster.

As an experiment, I broke off some pieces, and, after
subjecting them to great heat, reduced them to powder.
The plaster this formed with water was smooth and
white, and as I had then no particular use to which I
might put it, I plastered over some of the herring casks,
that I might be perfectly certain that all air was ex-
cluded. The remainder of the casks I left as they were,
for I presently intended to preserve their contents by
smoking. To do this, the boys and I built a small hut
of reeds and branches, and then we strung our herrings
on lines across the roof. On the floor we lit a great fire
of brushwood and moss, which threw out a dense smoke,
curling in volumes round the fish, and they in a few
days seemed perfectly cured.

About a month after the appearance of the herrings
we were favoured by a visit from other shoals of fish.
Jack espied them first, and called to us that a lot of
young whales were off the coast. We ran down and













































































Huge Sturgeons captured, 369







discovered the bay apparently swarming with great
sturgeon, salmon, and trout, all making for the mouth
of Jackal River, that” they might ascend it and deposit
‘their spawn amongst the stones.

” Jack was delighted at his discovery. _

aa Here’ are proper fish |” he exclaimed ; “none of
your ‘paltry fry. How do you preserve hese sorts of
fish? Potted, salted, or smoked?”

% ‘Not so fast,” said I, “not so fast; tell me how they
are ‘to be caught, and I will tell you how they are to be
cooked.”

“Oh! T'll catch them fast enough, ” he ee and
darted off to Rock House.

While I was still puzzling my brains as to how I
should set to work, he returned with his fishing appa-
ratus in hand: a bow and arrow, and a ball of
twine,

“At the arrow-head he had fastened a barbed spike,
and had ‘secured the arrow to the end of the string.
Armed with this w eapon, he advanced to the river's
edge.

His arrow flew from the bow, and, to m y surprise,
struck one of the largest fish in the side.

“ Help, father, help!” he cried, as the great fish
darted off, carrying arrow and all with reac “help |! or
he will pull me into the water.”

I ran to his assistance, and together we struggled
with the: ‘finny monster. °He pulled tremendously, and
Tashed the water around him ; but we held the cord
270 The Swiss Family Robinson.



fast, and he had no chance of escape. Weaker and
weaker grew his struggles, and, at length, exhausted
by his exertions and loss of blood, he allowed us to
draw him ashore. |

He was a noble prize, and Fritz and Ernest, who
came up just as we completed his capture, were quite
envious of Jack’s success. Not to be behindhand, they
eagerly rushed off for weapons themselves.

We were soon all in the water, Fritz with a harpoon,
Ernest with a rod and line, and I myself, armed like
Neptune, with an iron trident, or more properly speak-
ing, perhaps, a pitchfork. Soon the shore was strewn
with a goodly number of the finest fish—monster after
monster we drew to land. At length Fritz, after
harpooning a great sturgeon full eight feet long, could
not get the beast ashore ; we all went to his assistance,
but our united efforts were unavailing.

‘The buffalo!” proposed my wife, and off went Jack
for Storm. Storm was harnessed to the harpoon rope,
and soon the monstrous fish Jay panting on the sand.

We at length, when we had captured as many fish as
‘we could possibly utilize, set about cleaning and pre-
paring their flesh. Some we salted, some we dried
like the herrings, some we treated like the tunny of the
Mediterranean—-we prepared them in oil. Of the roe
of the sturgeon I decided to form caviare, the great
Russian dish... I removed from it all the membranes
by which it is surrounded, washed it in vinegar, salted
it, pressed out all the moisture caused by the wets














































































STURGEON.
272 The Swiss Family Robinson.



absorbing properties of the salt, packed it in small
barrels and stowed it away in our storehouse.

I knew that of the sturgeon’s bladder the best isinglass
is made, so carefully collecting the air-bladders from all
those we had killed, I washed them and hung them up
to stiffen. The outer coat or membrane I then pealed
off, cutting the remainder into strips, technically called
staples. These staples I placed in an iron pot over the
fire, and when they had been reduced to a proper con-
sistency I strained off the glue through a clean cloth,
and spread it out on a slab of stone in thin layers,
letting them remain until they were dry, The sub-
stance I thus obtained was beautifully transparent, and
promised to serve as an excellent substitute for glass in
our window-frames.

Fortunately, in this beautiful climate little or no atten-
tion was necessary to the kitchen garden, the seeds
sprang up and flourished without apparently the slightest
regard for the time or season of the year. Peas, beans,
wheat, barley, rye and Indian corn, seemed constantly
ripe, while cucumbers, melons, and all sorts of other

vegetables grew luxuriantly. The success of cur garden
at Tentholm encouraged me to hope that my experi-
ment at Falconhurst had not failed, and one morning
we started to visit the spot.

As we passed by the field from which the potatoes
had been dug, we found it covered with barley, wheat,
rye and peas in profusion.

I turned to the mother in amazement.
Cotton Plants discovered. 273



“Where has this fine crop sprung from?” said I.

“From the earth,” she replied, laughing, “where Franz
and I sowed the seed I brought from the wreck. The
ground was ready tilled by you and the boys; all we
had to do was to scatter the seed.”

I was delighted at the sight, and it augured well, I
thought, for the success of my maize plantation. We
hurried to the field. The crop had indeed grown well,
and, what was more, appeared to be duly appreciated.
A tremendous flock of feathered thieves rose as we
approached. Amongst them Fritz espied a few ruffed
grouse, and, quick as thought, unhooding his eagle, he.
started him off in chase, then sprung on his onager and
followed at full gallop. His noble bird marked out the
finest grouse, and, soaring high above it, stooped and
bore his prey to the ground. Fritz was close at hand,
and springing through the bushes he saved the bird
from death, hooded the eagle’s eyes, and returned
triumphantly. Jack had not stood idle, for slipping his
pet Fangs, he had started him among some quails who
remained upon the field, and to my surprise the jackal
secured some dozen of the birds, bringing them faithfully
to his master’s feet.

We then turned our steps towards Falconhurst, where
we were refreshed by a most delicious drink the mother
prepared for us; the stems of the young Indian corn
crushed, strained, and mixed with water and the juice
of the sugar-cane.

We then made preparations for an excursion the
T
274 Lhe Swiss Lanaly Robinson.



following day, for I wished to establish a sort of semi.
civilized farm at some distance from Falconhurst, where
we might place some of our animals which kad become
too numerous with our limited means to supply them
with food. In the large cart, to which we harnessed the.
buffalo, cow, and ass, we placed a dozen fowls, four young
pigs, two couple of sheep, and as many goats, and:a pair
of hens and one cock grouse. Fritz led the way on his
onager, and by a new track we forced a passage through
the woods and tall grasses towards Cape Disappointment,

The difficult march was at length over, and we
emerged from the forest upon a large plain covered with
curious little bushes ; the branches of these little shrubs
and the ground about them were covered with pure
white flakes.

“Snow! snow!” exclaimed Franz. Oh, mother,
come down from the cart and play snowballs. This is
jolly ; much better than the ugly rain.”

I was not surprised at the boy’s mistake, for indeed
the flakes did look like snow; but before I could express
my opinion, Fritz declared that the plant must be a kind
of dwarf cotton-tree. We approached nearer and found
he was right—soft fine wool enclosed in pods, and still

hanging on the bushes or lying on the ground, abounded |

in every direction. We had indeed discovered this
valuable plant. The mother was charmed ; and gather-
ing a great quantity in three capacious. bags, we. re-
sumed our journey.

Crossing the cotton-field, we ascended a pretty wooded
A New Farm Established. 275



hill. The view from the summit was glorious : luxuriant
grass at our feet stretching down the hill-side, dotted
here and there with shady trees, among which gushed
down a sparkling brook, while below lay the rich green
forest, with the sea beyond. ;

What better situation could we hope to find for our
new farm? Pasture, water, shade, and shelter, all were
here.

We pitched our tent, built our fireplace, and, leaving
the mother to prepare our repast, Fritz and I selected a
spot for the erection of our shed. We soon found a
group of trees so situated that the trunks would serve as
posts for our intended building. Thither we carried all

"our tools, and then, as the day was far advanced, enjoyed
our supper, and lay down upon most comfortable beds
which the mother had prepared for us with the cotton. °

The group of trees wé had selected was exactly suited
to our purpose, for it formed a regular rectilinear figure,
the greatest side of which faced the sea. I cut deep
mortices in the trunks about ten feet from the ground,
and again ten feet higher up to form a second storey.
In these mortices I inserted beams, thus forming a
framework for my building, and then, making a roof of
jaths, I overlaid it with bark, which I stripped from a
neighbouring tree, and fixed with ‘acacia thorns, and
which would effectually shoot off any amount of rain, | -
*. While clearing up the scraps of bark. and other
rubbish for fuel for our fire, I noticed a peculiar smell;

“and stooping down I picked up pieces of the bark, some
T2
276 The Swiss Family Robinson.



of which, to my great surprise, I found was that of the
terebinth tree, and the rest that of the American fir,
The goats, too, made an important discovery amongst
the same heap, for we found them busily routing out
nieces of cinnamon, a most delicious and aromatic spice.

“From the fir,” said I to the boys, “we get turpentine
and tar, and thus it is that the fir tree becomes such a
valuable article of commerce. So we may look forwaré
to preparing pitch for our yacht with tar and oil, you
know, and cart-grease, too, with tar and fat. Ido not
know that you will equally appreciate the terebinth tree ;
a gum issues from incisions in the bark which hardens
in the sun, and becomes as transparent as amber ;
when burned it gives forth a most delicious perfume,
and when dissolved in spirits of wine, forms a beautiful
transparent varnish.”

The completion of our new farm-house occupied us
several days, we wove strong lianas and other creepers
together to form the walls to the height of about six
feet; the rest, up to the roof, we formed merely of a
lattice-work of laths to admit both air and light. With-
in we divided the house into three parts; one sub-
divided into stalls for the animals; a second fitted with
perches for the birds, and a third, simply furnished with
a rough table and benches, to serve as a sleeping-
apartment for ourselves, when we should find it neces-
sary to pay the place a visit. In a short time the
dwelling was most comfortably arranged, and as we
daily filled the feeding-troughs with the food the animals
Knips finds Ripe Strawberries. 277



THE BUILDING OF WOODLANDS,

best liked, they showed no inclination to desert the
spot we had chosen for them.
273 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



Yet, hard as we had worked, we found that the
provisions we had brought with us would be exhausted
before we could hope to be able to leave the farm.
I therefore despatched Jack and Fritz for fresh
supplies. 4

During their absence, Ernest and I made a short
excursion in the neighbourhood, that we might know
more exactly the character of the country near our farm.

Passing over a brook which flowed towards the wall
of rocks, we reached a large marsh, and as we walked
round it, I noticed with delight that it was covered with
the rice plant growing wild in the greatest profusion.
Here and there only were there any ripe plants, and
from these rose a number of ruffed grouse, at which both
Ernest and I let fly. Two fell, and Fangs, who was
with us, brought them to our feet. As we advanced,
Knips skipped from the back of his steed Juno and
began to regale himself on some fruit, at a short dis-
tance off; we followed the little animal and found him
devouring delicious strawberries. Having enjoyed the
fruit ourselves, we filled the hamper Knips always
carried, and secured the fruit from his pilfering paws
with leaves fixed firmly down. ;

I then took a sample of the rice seeds to show the
mother, and we continued our journey.

Presently we reached the borders of the pretty lake
which we had seen beyond the swamp. The nearer
aspect of its calm blue waters greatly charmed us, and
still more so, the sight ¢f numbers of black swans


BLACK SWANS
280 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



disporting themselves on the glassy surface, in which
their stately forms and graceful movements were re-
flected as in a mirror. It was delightful to watch these
splendid birds, old and young swimming together in the
peaceful enjoyment of life, seeking their food, and pur-
suing one another play fully in the water,

I could not think of breaking in upon their happy
beautiful existence by firing among them, but our dog
Juno was by no means so considerate; for all at once
I heard a plunge, and saw her drag out of the water
a most peculiar-looking creature, something like a small
otter, but not above twenty-two inches in length, which
she would have torn to pieces, had we not hurried up
and taken it from her.

‘This curious little animal was of a soft dark brown
colour, the fur being of a lighter shade under the body;
its feet were furnished with large claws, and also com-
pletely webbed, the head small, with deeply set eyes
and ears, and terminating in a broad flat bill like pase of
a duck. ‘

This singularity seemed to us so droll that we both
laughed heartily, feeiing at the same time much puzzled
to know what sort of animal it could possibly be. For
want of a better, we gave it the name of the “Beast with
a Bill,” and Ernest willingly undertook to carry it, that
it might be stuffed and kept as a curiosity.

After this we returned to the farm, thinking our
messengers might soon arrive, and sure enough, in about
a quarter of an hour, Fritz and Jack made their appear-












































DUCKBILL PLATYPUS.
282 The Swiss Family Robinson.



ance at a brisk trot, and gave a circumstantial account
of their mission.

I was pleased to see that they had fulfilled their orders
intelligently, carrying out my intentions in the spirit and
not blindly to the letter.

Next morning we quitted the farm (which we named
Woodlands), after providing amply for the wants of the
animals, sheep, goats, and poultry, which we left there.

Shortly afterwards, on entering a wood, we found it
tenanted by an enormous number of apes, who instantly
assailed us with showers of fir-cones, uttering hideous
and angry cries, and effectually checking our progress,
until we put them to flight by a couple of shots, which
not a little astonished their weak minds.

Fritz picked up some of their missiles, and, showing
them to me, I recognised the cone of the stone-pine.

“ By all means gather some of these cones, boys,” said
I; “you will find the kernel has a pleasant taste, like
almonds, and from it we can, by pressing, obtain an
excellent oil. Therefore I should like to carry some
home with us.”

A hill, which seemed to promise a good view from its
summit, next attracted my notice, and, on climbing it,
we were more than repaid for the exertion by the ex-
tensive and beautiful prospect which lay spread before
our eyes. The situation altogether was so agreeable,
that here also I resolved to make a settlement, to be
visited occasionally, and, after resting awhile and talking
the matter over, we set to work to build a cottage such








































































JUNO MAKES A DISCOVERY.
284 The Swiss Family Robinson.





as we had lately finished at Woodlands. Our experi.
ence there enabled us to proceed quickly with the work,
and in a few days the rustic abode was completed, and
received, by Ernest’s choice, the grand name of Prospect
Hill.

My chief object in undertaking this expedition had
been to discover some tree from whose bark I could
hope to make a useful light boat or canoe, Hitherto I
had met with none at all fit for my purpose, but, not
despairing of success, I began, when the cottage was
built, to examine carefully the surrounding woods, and,
after considerable trouble, came upon two magnificent
tall straight trees, the bark of which seemed something
like that of the birch. Selecting one whose trunk was,
to a great height, free from branches, we attached to
one of the lower of these boughs the rope ladder we had
with us, and, Fritz ascending it, cut the bark through in
a circle; I did the same at the foot of the tree, and
then, from between the circles, we took a narrow per-
pendicular slip of bark entirely out, so that we could
introduce the proper tools by which gradually to loosen
and raise the main part, so as finally to separate it from
. the tree uninjured and entire. This we found possible,
because the bark was moist and flexible. Great care
and exertion were necessary, as the bark became de-
tached, to support it, until the whole was ready to be
fet gently down upon the grass. This seemed a great
achievement ; but our work was by no means ended, nor
could we venture to desist from it, until, while the
We Fortify our Domain. ei 285



material was soft and pliable, we had formed it into the
shape we desired for the canoe.

In order to do this, I cut a long triangular piece out
of each end of the roll, and, placing the sloping parts
one over the other, I drew the ends into a pcinted form
and secured them with pegs and glue.

This successful proceeding had, however, widened the
boat, and made it too flat in the middle, so that it was
necessary to put ropes round it, and tighten them until
the proper shape was restored, before we could allow it
to dry in the sun.

This being all I could do without a greater variety of
tools, I determined to complete my work in a more con-
venient situation, and forthwith despatched Fritz and Jack
with orders to bring the sledge (which now ran on wheels
taken from gun-carriages) that the canoe might be trans-
ported direct to the vicinity of the harbour at Tentholm,

- During their absence I fortunately found some wood
naturally curved, just suited for ribs to support and
strengthen the sides of the boat.

When the two lads returned with the sledge, it was
time to rest for the night ; but with early dawn we were
again busily at work.

The sledge was loaded with the new boat, and every-
thing else we could pack into it, and we turned our steps
homewards, finding the greatest difficulty, however, in
getting our vehicle through the woods, We crossed the
bamboo swamp, where I cut a fine mast for my boat,
and came at length to a small opening or defile in the
286 The Swiss Family Robinson.



ridge. of rocks, where a little torrent rushed from. its
source down into the larger stream beyond; here we
determined to make a halt, in order to erect a great
earth wall across the narrow gorge, which, being thickly
planted with prickly pear, Indian-fig, and every thorny
bush we could find, would in time form an effectual
barrier against the intrusion of wild beasts, the cliffs
being, to the best of our belief, in every other part inz
accessible. For our own convenience we retained a
small winding-path through this barrier, concealing and
defending it with piles of branches and thorns, and also
we contrived a light drawbridge over the stream, so that
we rendered the pass altogether a very strong position,
should we ever have to act on the defensive. .

This work occupied two days, and continuing on our
way, we were glad to rest at Falconhurst before arriving
(quite tired and worn out) at Tentholm.

It took some time to recruit our strength after this
long and fatiguing expedition, and then we vigorously
resumed the task of finishing the canoe. The arrange-
ments, I flattered myself, were carried out ina manner
quite worthy of a ship-builder; a mast, sails, and
paddles were fitted, but my final touch, although oD
prized it highly and considered it a grand and original
idea, would no doubt have excited: only ridicule and
contempt had it been seen by a naval man. My con-
trivance was this: Ihad a couple of large air-tight
‘vags, made of the skins of the dog-fish, well tarred and
yitched, inflated, and made fast on each side of the boat,



Franz and his Butt-calf,. 287

—_

just above the level of the water. These floats, however
much she might be loaded, would effectually prevent
either the sinking or capsizing of my craft.

I may as well relate in this place what 1 omitted at
the time of its occurrence. During the rainy season
our cow presented us with a bull-calf, and that there
might never be any difficulty in managing him, I at a
very early age, pierced his nose and placed a short stick
in it, to be exchanged for a ring when he was old
enough. The question now came to be, who should be
his master, and to what should we train him ?

“ Why not teach him,” said Fritz, “to fight with wild
animals and defend us, like the fighting bulls of the
Hottentots? That would be really useful!”

“T am sure I should much prefer a gentle bull to a
fighting one!” exclaimed his mother ; “but do you mean
to say tame oxen can be taught to act rationally on the
defensive ?”

“T can but repeat what I have heard or read,” replied
I, “as regards the race of Hottentots who inhabit the
south of Africa, among all sorts of wild and ferocious
animals.

“The wealth of these people consists solely in their
flocks and herds, and for their protection, they train their
bulls to act as guards,

“These courageous animals keep the rest from stray~
ing away, and when danger threatens, they give instant
notice of it, drive the herd together in ‘a mass, the calves
and young cows being placed in the centre; around
288 The Swiss Family Robinson.



them the bulls and strong oxen make a formidable
circle with their horned heads. turned to the front,
offering determined resistance to the fiercest foe.

“These fighting bulls will even sometimes rush with
dreadful bellowing to meet the enemy ; and should it be
a mighty lion or other strong and daring monster,
sacrifice their own lives in defence of the herd.

’ “Tt is said that formerly, when Hottentot tribes made

war on one another, it was not unusual to place a troop ©
of these stout-hearted warriors in the van of the little
army, when their heroism led to decisive victory on one
side or the. other.

“But,” continued I, “although I can see you are all
delighted with my description of these fine warlike
animals, I think we had better train this youngster to
be a peaceable bull. Who is to have charge of him ?”

Ernest thought it would be more amusing to train his
monkey than a calf. Jack, with the buffalo and his
hunting jackal, had quite enough on his hands. Fritz
was content with the onager. Their mother was voted
mistress of the old grey donkey. And I myself being
superintendent-in-chief of the whole establishment of
animals, there remained only little Franz to whose
special care the calf could be committed.

“What say you, my boy,—will you undertake to look
after this little fellow?”

“Oh yes, father!” he replied. “Once you told me
about a strong man, I think his name was Milo, and he

. had a tiny calf, and he used to carry it about every-
Continue working at the Salt-cave. 289



where. It grew bigger and bigger, but still he carried it
often, till at last he grew so strong that when it was quite
a great big ox, he could lift it as easily as ever. And so
you see, if I take care of our wee calf and teach it to do
what I like, perhaps when it grows big I shall still be
able to manage it, and then—oh, papa—do you think I
might ride upon it?”

I smiled at the child’s simplicity, and his funny
application of the story of Milo of Crotona.

“The calf shall be yours, my boy. Make him as
tame as you can, and we will see about letting you
mount him some day; but remember he will be a
great bull long before you are nearly a man. Now
what will you call him ?”

“Shall I call him Grumble, father? Hear what a
low muttering noise he makes !”

“Grumble will do famously.”

“Grumble, Grumble. Oh, it beats your buffalo’s
name hollow, Jack!”

“Not a bit,” said he; “why, you can’t compare the
two names. Fancy mother saying, ‘Here comes Franz
on Grumble, but Jack riding on the Storm. Oh, it
sounds sublime!”

‘We named the two puppies Bruno and Fawn, and so
ended this important domestic business.

For two months we worked steadily at our salt-cave, in
order to complete the necessary arrangement of partition
walls, so as to put the rooms and stalls for the animals

in comfortable order for the next long rainy season,
Ula aan
290 The Swiss Family Robinson.



during which time, when other work would be at a
standstill, we could carry on many minor details for the
improvement of the abode.

We levelled the floors first with clay; then spread
gravel mixed with melted gypsum over that, producing
a smooth hard surface, which did very well for most of
the apartments ; but I was ambitious of having one of
two carpets, and set about making a kind of felt in the
following way :

I spread out a large piece of sailcloth, and covered it
equally all over with a strong liquid, made of glue and
isinglass, which saturated it thoroughly. On it we then
laid wool and hair from the sheep and goats, which had
been carefully cleaned and prepared, and rolled and
beat it until it adhered tolerably smoothly to the cloth.
Finally it became, when perfectly dry, a covering for
the floor of our sitting-room by no means to be
despised.

One morning, just after these labours at the salt-cave
were completed, happening to awake unusually early, 1
‘turned my thoughts, as I lay waiting for sunrise, to
considering what length of time we had now passed on
this coast, and discovered, to my surprise, that the very
next day would be the anniversary of our escape from
the wreck. My heart swelled with gratitude to the
gracious God, who had then granted us deliverance, and
ever since had loaded us with benefits ; and I resolved
to set to-morrow apart as a day of thanksgiving, in
joyful celebration of the occasion.
Anniversary of our Landing. 291



My mind was full of indefinite plans when I rose, and

the day’s work began as usual. I took care that every-
thing should be cleaned, cleared, and set in order both
outside and inside our dwelling: none, however, sus-
pecting that there was any particular object in view.
Other more private preparations I also made for the
next day. At supper I made the coming event known
to the assembled family.

“Good people! do you know that to-morrow is a
very great and important day? We shall have to keep
it in honour of our merciful escape to this land, and call
it Thanksgiving-Day.”

Everyone was surprised to hear that we had already
been twelve months in the country—indeed, my wile
believed I might be mistaken, until I showed her how
I had calculated regularly ever since the 3Ist of
January, on which day we were wrecked, by marking off
in my almanac the Sundays as they arrived for the
remaining eleven months of that year.

“Since then,” I added, “I have counted 31 days.
This is the 1st of February. We landed on the and ;
therefore to-morrow is the anniversary of the day of our
escape. As my bookseller has not sent me an almanac
for the present year, we must henceforth reckon for our-
selves.”

“Oh, that will be good fun for us,” said Ernest. “We
must have a long stick, like Robinson Crusoe, and cut a
notch in it every day, and count them up every now and

then, to see how the weeks and months and years go by.”
U2
292 The Swiss Family Robinson.’



“That is all very well, if you know for certain the
numberof days in each month, and in the year. What
do you say, Ernest ?”

“The year contains 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes
and 45 seconds,” returned he promptly.

“Perfectly correct!” said I, smiling; “but you would
get in a mess with those spare hours, minutes, oe
seconds in a year or two, wouldn’t you?”

“Not at all! Every four years I would add them
all together, make a ey, stick it into Re bniary, aad call
that year leap year.”

“Well done, Professor Ernest! We must elect you
astronomer royal in this our kingdom, and let you
superintend and regulate everything connected with the
lapse of time, clocks and watches included.”

Before they went to sleep, I could hear my boys
whispering among themselves, about “father’s mys-
terious allusions” to next day’s festival and rejoicings ;
but I offered no explanation, and went to sleep, little
guessing that the rogues had laid a counter-plot, far
more surprising than my simple plan for their diversion.

Nothing less than a roar of artillery startled me from
sleep at day-break next morning. I sprang up and
found my wife as much alarmed as I was by the noise,
otherwise I should have been inclined to believe it
fancy. lie

“Fritz! dress quickly and come with me!” cried I,
turning to his hammock. Lo, it was empty ! neither he
hor Jack were to be seen,
Thanksgiving-Day. 39 3



_ Altogether bewildered, I was hastily dressing, when.

‘their voices were heard, and they rushed in shouting :— .

“Hurrah! didn’t we rouse you with a right good
thundering salute?”

But perceiving at a glance that we had been seriously
alarmed, Fritz hastened to apologise for the thoughtless
way in which they had sought to do honour to the Day.
of. Thanksgiving, without considering that an unex-
pected cannon-shot would startle us unpleasantly from
our slumbers.

We readily forgave the authors of our alarm, in con-
sideration of the good intention which had prompted:
the deed, and, satisfied that the day had at least been
duly inaugurated, we all went quietly to breakfast

Afterwards we sat together for a long time, enjoying
the calm beauty of the morning, and talking of all that
had taken place on the memorable days of the storm a
year ago; for I desired that the awful events of that time
should live in the remembrance of my children with a
deepening sense of gratitude for our deliverance. There-
fore I read aloud passages from my journal, as well as
many beautiful verses from the Psalms, expressive of
joyful praise and thanksgiving, so that even the youngest
among us was impressed and solemnised at the recol
lections of escape from a terrible death, and also
led to bless and praise the name of the Lord our
Deliverer.

Dinner followed shortly after this happy service, and:
I. then. announced for the afternoon a “ Grand Display
204 - The Swiss Family Robinson.



of Athletic Sports,” in which I and my wife were to be
spectators and judges.

“Father, what a grand idea!” :

“Oh, how jolly! Are we to run races?”

“And prizes! Will there be prizes, father ?”

“The judges offer prizes for competition in every sort
of manly exercise,” replied I. “ Shooting, running,
riding, leaping, climbing, swimming, we will have an
exhibition of your skill in all. Now for it!”

“Trumpeters ! sound for the opening of the lists,”

Uttering these last words in a stentorian voice and
wildly waving my arms towards a shady spot, where the
ducks and geese were quietly resting, had the absurd
effect I intended.

Up they all started in a fright, gabbling and quacking
loudly, to the infinite amusement of the children, who
began to bustle about in eager preparations for the
contest, and begging to know with what they were to
begin.

“Let us have shooting first, and the rest when the
heat of the day declines. Here is a mark I have got °
ready for you,” said I, producing a board roughly shaped
like a kangaroo, and of about the size of one. This
target was admired, but Jack could not rest satisfied
till he had added ears, and a long leather strap for a tail.

It was then fixed in the attitude most characteristic
of the creature, and the distance for firing measured off.
Each of the three competitors was to fire twice, s

Fritz hit the kangaroo’s head each time ; Ernest
Athletic Sports. 295



hit the body once; and Jack, by a lucky chance,
shot the ears clean away from the head, which feat
raised a shout of laughter.

A second trial with pistols ensued, in which Fritz
again came off victor.

Then desiring the competitors to load with small
shot, I threw a little board as high as I possibly
could up in the air, each in turn aiming at and en-
deavouring to hit-it before it touched the ground.

In this I found to my surprise that the sedate Ernest
succeeded quite as well as his more impetuous brother
Fritz.

As for Jack, his flying board escaped wholly un-
injured.

After this followed archery, which I liked to en-
courage, foreseoing that a time might come when am-
munition would fail; and in this practice I saw with
pleasure that my elder sons were really skilful, while
even little Franz acquitted himself well.

A pause ensued, and then I started a running
match.

Fritz, Ernest, and Jack were to run to Falconhurst,
by the most direct path. The first to reach the tree
was to bring me, in proof of his success, a penknife I
had accidentally left on the tabletin my sleeping-room.

At a given signal, away went the racers in fine
style. Fritz and-Jack, putting forth all their powers,
took the lead at once, running in advance of Ernest,
who started at a good steady pace, which I predicted

a
296 The Swiss Family Robinson.



he would be better able to maintain than such a
furious rate as his brothers.

But long before we expected to see them back, 1
tremendous noise of galloping caused us to look with
surprise towards the bridge, and Jack made his ap
pearance, thundering along on his buffalo, with the
onager and the donkey tearing after him riderless,
and the whole party in the wildest spirits, .

“Hollo!” cried I, “what sort of.foot race do you: -
call this, Master Jack?”

He shouted merrily as he dashed up to us; then.
flinging himself off, and saluting us in a playful
way—

“T very soon saw,” said he, “that I hadn’t a chance ;
so renouncing all idea of the prize, I caught Storm, and
made him gallop home with me, to be in time to see
the others come puffing in. Lightfoot and old Grizzle
chose to join me,—I never invited them!”

By-and-by the other boys arrived, Ernest holding
up the knife in token of being the winner; and after
hearing all particulars about the running, and that he
had reached Falconhurst two minutes before Fritz, we
proceeded to test the climbing powers of the youthful
athletes.

In this exercise Jack performed wonders, He as-
cended with remarkable agility the highest palms
whose stems he could clasp. And-when he put on
the shark-skin buskins, which enabled him to take
firm hold of larger trees, he played antics like a
Atnietic Sports. 297



squirrel or a monkey: peeping and grinning at us, at
first on one side of the stem, and then on the other,
in a most diverting way.

Fritz and Ernest climbed well, but could not come
near the grace and skill of their active and lively young
brother.

Riding followed, and marvellous feats were per-
formed, Fritz and Jack proving themselves very equal
in their management of their different steeds.

I- thought the riding was over, when little Franz
appeared from the stable in the cave, leading young
Grumble the bull-calf, with a neat saddle of kangaroo
hide, and a bridle passed through his nose ring.

_ The child saluted us with a pretty little air of confi-
dence, exclaiming—

“ Now, most learned judges, prepare to see something
quite new and wonderful! The great bull-tamer, Milo
of Crotona, desires the honour of exhibiting before you.”

Then taking a whip, and holding the end of a long
cord he made the animal, at the word of command,
walk, trot, and gallop in a circle round him,

He afterwards mounted, and showed off Grumble’s
somewhat awkward paces.

The sports were concluded by swimming matches,
and the competitors found a plunge in salt water very
refreshing after their varied exertions, .

Fritz showed himself a master in the art. At home
in the element, no movement betokened either exertion
or weariness.
298 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Ernest exhibited too much anxiety and effort, while
Jack was far too violent and hasty, and soon became
exhausted.

Franz gave token of future skill.

By this time, as it was getting late, we returned to
our dwelling, the mother having preceded us in order
to make arrangements for the ceremony of prize-giving.

We found her seated in great state, with the prizes
set out by her side.

The boys marched in, pretending to play various
instruments in imitation of a band, and then all four,
bowing respectfully, stood before her, like the victors in
a tournament of old, awaiting the reward of valour from
the Queen of Beauty, which she bestowed with a few
words of praise and encouragement.

Fritz, to his immense delight, received as’ the prize
for shooting and swimming, a splendid double-barrelled
rifle, and a beautiful hunting-knife.

To Ernest, as winner of the running match, was given
a handsome gold watch.

For climbing and riding, Jack had a pair of silver
plated spurs, and a riding whip, both of which gave him
extraordinary pleasure.

Franz received a pair of stirrups, and a driving whip
made of rhinoceros hide, which we thought would be of
use to him in the character of bull-trainer.

When the ceremony was supposed to be over, I
advanced, and solemnly presented to my wife a lovely
work-box, filled with every imaginable requirement for
Manufacture of Bird-lime. 299



a lady’s work-table, which she accepted with equal
surprise and delight.

The whole entertainment afforded the boys such
intense pleasure, and their spirits rose to such a pitch,
that nothing would serve them but another salvo of
artillery in order to close with befitting dignity and
honour so great a day. They gave me no peace till
they had leave to squander some gunpowder, and then
at last their excited feelings seeming relieved, we were
able to sit down to supper ; shortly afterwards we joined
in family worship and retired to rest.

Soon after the great festival of our grand Thanks-
giving-Day I recollected that it was now the time
when, the figs at Falconhurst being ripe, immense
flocks of ortolans and wild pigeons were attracted
thither, and as we had found those preserved last year
of the greatest use among our stores of winter provi-
sions, I would not miss the opportunity of renewing our
stock ; and therefore, laying aside the building work,
we removed with all speed to our home in the tree,
where sure enough we found the first detachment of the
birds already busy with the fruit.

In order to spare ammunition, I resolved to concoct a
strong sort of bird-lime, of which I had read in some
account of the Palm Islanders, who make it of fresh
caoutchouc mixed with oil, and of so good a quality
that it has been known to catch even peacocks and
turkeys.

Fritz and Jack were therefore dispatched to collect
300 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



some fresh saguccnone from the trees, and as this ia-
volved a good gallop on Storm and Lightfoot, they
nothing loth set off.

They took a supply of calebashes in which to bring
the gum, and we found it high time to manufacture
a fresh stock of these useful vessels, I was beginning
to propose an expedition to the Gourd-tree wood,
regretting the time it would take to go such a distance,
when my wife reminded me of her plantation near the
potato-field. .
' There to our joy we found that all the Se were
flourishing, and crops of gourds and pumpkins, in all
stages of ripeness, covered the ground.

Selecting a great number suited to our purpose, we
hastened home, and began the manufacture of basins,
dishes, plates, flasks, and spoons of all sorts and sizes,
with even greater success than before,

When the riders returned with the caoutchouc, they
brought several novelties besides. .

A crane, for example, shot by Fritz, and an animal
which they called a marmot, but which to me seemed
much more like a badger. te

Aniseed, turpentine, and wax berries for candles, they
had also collected, and a curious root which they intro.
duced by the name of the monkey plant. 2

“ And pray wherefore ‘monkey plant,’ may Task?” |

“Well, for this reason, father,” answered Fritz; “we
came upon an open space in the forest near Woodlands,
and perceived a troop of monkeys, apparently engaged































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































302 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



as Jack said, in cultivating the soil! Being curious to
make out what they were at, we tied up the dogs, as
well as Storm and Lightfoot, and crept near enough to
see that the apes were most industriously grubbing up,
and eating roots. This they did in a way that nearly
choked us with laughter, for when the root was rather
hard to pull up, and the leaves were torn off, they seized
it firmly in their teeth, and flung themselves fairly heels-
over-head in the most ludicrous fashion you ever saw, ~
and up came the root unable to resist the leverage! Of
course we wanted to see what this dainty morsel was like,
so we loosed the dogs, and the apes cleared out double
quick, leaving plenty of the roots about. We tasted
them, and thought them very nice. Will you try one?”

The plant was quite new to me, but I imagined it
might be what is called in China « gensing,” and there
prized’ and valued beyond everything. The children
being curious to hear more about this gensing, I con:
tinued :—

“In China it is considered so strengthening and
wholesome, that it is used as a sort of universal medi-
cine, being supposed to prolong human life.

“The emperor alone has the right to permit it to be
gathered, and guards are placed round land where it
grows.

“Gensing is to be found in Tartary, and has lately
been discovered in Canada; it is cultivated in Pennsyl-
vania, because the Americans introduce it secretly into
China as smuggled merchandise,”
- Gensing. 303



Fritz then continued :—

“ After this we went on te Woodlands; but mercy on
us! what a confusion the place was in! Everything
smashed or torn, and covered with mud and dirt; the
fowls terrified, the sheep and goats scattered, the con-
tents of the rooms dashed about as if a whirlwind had
swept through the house.”















































MARMOT.

“What!” I exclaimed, while my wife looked horrified
at the news, conjuring up in her imagination hordes of
savages who would soon come and lay waste Falconhurst
and Tentholm as well as Woodlands. “ How can that
have happened? Did you discover the authors of all
this mischief?”

“Qh,” said Jack, “it was easy to see that those
dreadful monkeys had done it all. First they must have

b
304 The Swiss Family Robinson.

got into the yards and sheds, and hunted the fowls and
creatures about ; and then I daresay the cunning rascals
put a little monkey in at some small opening, and bid:
him unfasten the shutters—you know what nimble
fingers they have. Then of course the whole posse
ofthem swarmed into our nice tidy cottage and skylarked
with every single thing they could lay paws on, till per:
haps they got hungry all at once, and bethought them of
the ‘gensing, as you call it, out in the woods yonder,
where we found them so busy refreshing themselves,
the mischievous villains!

“While we were gazing at all this ruin in a sort of
bewilderment,” pursued Fritz, “we heard a sound of
rushing wings and strange ringing cries as of multitudes
of birds passing high above us, and looking up we
perceived them flying quickly in a wedge-shaped flock
at a great height in the air. They began gradually
to descend, taking the direction of the lake, and
scparated into a number of small detachments which
followed in a long straight line, and at a slower rate,
the movements of the leaders, who appeared to be
examining the neighbourhood. We could now see what
large birds they must be, but dared not show ourselves
or follow them, lest they should take alarm.

“ Presently, and with one accord, they quickened their
motion, just as if the band had begun. to play a quick
march after a slow one, and rapidly descended to: earth
in a variety of lively ways, and near enough for us to see
that thev must be cranes.


BADGER,
306 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.

= ei —



“Some alighted at once, while others hovered spor-
tively over them. Many darted to the ground, and,
just touching it, would soar again upward with a strong
but somewhat heavy flight.

“After gamboling in this way for a time, the whole
multitude, as though at the word of command, alighted
or. the rice-fields, and began to feast on the fresh grain.

“We thought now was our time to get a shot at the
cranes, and cautiously approached ; but they were too
cunning to let themselves be ‘surprised, and we came
unexpectedly upon their out-posts or sentinels, who
instantly sprang into the air uttering loud trumpet-like
cries, upon which the whole flock arose and followed
them with a rush like a sudden squall of wind. We
were quite startled, and it was useless to attempt a shot ;
but unwilling to miss the chance of securing at least
one of the birds, I hastily unhooded my eagle, and
threw him into the air. ,

“With a piercing cry he soared away high above
them, then shot downwards like an arrow, causing wild
confusion among the cranes. The one which the eagle
attacked, sought to defend itself; a struggle followed,
and they came together to the ground not far from
where we stood.

“ Hastening forward, to my grief I found the beautiful
crane already dead. The eagle, luckily unhurt, was
rewarded with a small pigeon from my game-bag. i

“After this we went back to Woodlands, got some
turpentine and a bag of rice—and set off for home.”
A Flock of Cranes. 307

Fritz’s interesting story being ended, and supper
ready, we made trial of the new roots, and found them
very palatable, either boiled or stewed; the monkey
plant, however, if it really proved to be the gensing of
the Chinese, would require to be used with caution,
being of an aromatic and heating nature.

We resolved to transplant a supply of both roots ta
our kitchen garden.
CHAPTER? xX.

Bird-lime—A midnight raid—The massacre at Woodlands—Capture oi
Molucca pigeons—A pigeon-house—Fritz and I prepare a conjuring
trick—Great success of our experiment—Lichen and nutmegs discovered

Jack’s adventure—The loom manufactured—Winter stores prepared

--The rainy season sets in—Interior of our house arranged-—-We study

languages—The return of spring—A stranded whale—An account of

coral—We go to work on the whale’s carcase—Remarks on the habits
of the whale.



ON the following morning we were early astir; and
as soon as breakfast was over, we went regularly ta
work with the bird-lime. The tough, adhesive mixture
of caoutchouc oil and turpentine turned out well.

The boys brought rods, which I smeared over, and
made them place among the upper branches, where the
fruit was plentiful, and the birds most congregated.

The prodigious number of the pigeons, far beyond
those of last year, reminded me that we had not then,
as now, witnessed their arrival at their feeding-places,
but had seen only the last body of the season, a mere
party of stragglers, compared to the masses which now
weighed down the branches of all the trees in the
neighbourhood.

The sweet acorns of the evergreen oaks were alsa


Wigs

—

UY

MY
























& RAID UPON THE PIGEONS,
310 The Swiss Family Robwnson.

—



patronized ; large flocks were there congregated ; and
from the state of the ground under the trees it was
evident that at night they roosted on the branches,
Seeing this, I determined to make a raid upon them
by torchlight, after the manner of the colonists, in Vir-
ginia.

Meantime, the bird-lime acted well: the pigeons ~
alighting, stuck fast. The more they fluttered and
struggled, the more completely were they bedaubed
with the tenacious mixture, and at length, with piteous
cries, fell to the ground, bearing the sticks with them.
The birds were then removed, fresh lime spread, and i
the snare set again.

The boys quickly became able to carry on the work
without my assistance ; so, leaving it to them, I went to
prepare torches, with pine-wood and turpentine, for the
night attack.

Jack presently brought a very pretty pigeon, unlike the
rest, to show me, as he felt unwilling to kill it; and see-
ing that it must be one of our own European breed, which
we wished to preserve until their numbers greatly in-
creased, I took the trembling captive, and gently cleaned
its feet and wings with oil and ashes from the stiff, sticky
mess with which it was bedaubed, placing it then in |
a wicker cage, and telling Jack to bring me any others —
like it which were caught. This he did; and we secured
several pairs, greatly to my satisfaction, as having neces-
sarily let them go free when we landed, they had become
quite wild, and we derived no advantage from them:
Numerous Pigeons Caught. Sin



whereas now we, would have a cot, and pigeon-pie
whenever we liked.

When evening drew on, we set out for the wood of
sweet acorns, provided merely with long bamboo canes,
torches, and canvas sacks.

These weapons appeared very curious, and insufficient
to the children; but their use was speedily apparent :
for darkness having come upon us almost before we
reached the wood, I lighted the torches, and perceived,
as I expected, that every branch was thickly laden with
ortolans and wild pigeons, who were roosting there in
amazing numbers.

Suddenly aroused by the glare of light, confusion
prevailed among the terrified birds, who fluttered help-
lessly through the branches, dazzled. and bewildered,
and many falling, even before we began to use the
sticks, were picked up, ard put in the bags.

_ . When we beat and struck the branches, it was as
much as my wife and Franz could do to gather up the
quantities of pigeons that soon lay on the ground. The
sacks were speedily quite full. We turned homewards,
and on reaching Falconhurst, put our booty in safety,
and gladly withdrew to rest.
The following day was wholly occupied in plucking,
boiling, roasting, and stewing, so that we could find
time for nothing else; but next morning a great expe
dition to Woodlands was arranged, that measures might
there be taken to prevent a repetition of the monkey

invasion.
B12 The Swiss Family Robinson.



I hoped, could I but catch the mischievous rascals af
their work of destruction, to inflict upon them such a
chastisement as would effectually make them shut the
neighbourhood of our farm for the future.

My wife provided us with a good store of provisions,
as we were likely to be absent several days, while she,
with Franz and Turk, remained at home.

I took with me abundance of specially prepared bird-
lime, far stronger than that which we used for the
pigeons ; a number of short posts, plenty of string, and
a supply of cocoa-nut shells and gourds.

The buffalo carried all these things, and one or two
of the boys besides, I myself bestrode the ass, and in
due time we arrived at a convenient spot in the forest,
near Woodlands, well concealed by thick bushes and
underwood, where we made a little encampment, pitch-
ing the small tent, and tethering the animals. The
dogs, too, were tied up, lest they should roam about,
and betray our presence.

We found the cottage quite quiet and deserted ; and >
I lost no time in preparing for the reception of visitors
hoping to be all ready for them, and out of sight before
they arrived.

We drove the stakes lightly into the ground, so as to
form an irregular paling round the house, winding string
in and out in all directions’ between them, thus making
a kind of labyrinth, through which it would be impossible
to pass without touching either the stakes or the cords.

Everything was plentifully besmeared with bird-lime ;
Preparations for catching Monkeys. 313

and basins of the mixture were set in all directions,
strewed with rice, maize, and other dainties for bait.

Night came without any interruption to our pro-
ceedings; and all being then accomplished, we retired
to rest beneath the shelter of our little tent.

Very early in the morning we heard a confused noise,
such as we knew betokened the approach of a large
number of apes. We armed ourselves with strong
tlubs and cudgels, and holding the dogs in leash, made
our way silently behind the thickets, till, ourselves un-
seen, we could command a view of all that went on;
and strange indeed was the scene which ensued !

The noise of rustling, crackling, and creaking among
the branches, with horrid cries, and shrieks, and chat-
tering, increased to a degree sufficient to make us
perfectly giddy ; and then out from the forest poured
the whole disorderly rabble of monkeys, scrambling,
springing, leaping from the trees, racing and tumbling
across the grassy space towards the house; when, at
once attracted by the novelties they saw, they made for
the jars and bowls.

They seemed innumerable ; but the confused, rapid
way in which they swarmed hither and thither, made it
difficult to judge accurately of their numbers. They
dashed fearlessly through and over the palings in all
directions, some rushing at the eatables, some scrambling
on to the roof, where they commenced tugging at the
wooden pegs, with a view to forcing an entrance.

Gradually, however, as they rambled over the place,
314 The Swiss Family Robinson.



all in turn became besmeared with our bird-lime on
head, paws, back, or breast. The wretched predicament
of the apes increased every instant.

Some sat down, and with the most ludicrous gestures,
tried to clean themselves. Others were hopelessly
entangled in stakes and cordage, which they trailed
about after them, looking the picture of bewildered
despair.

Others, again, endeavoured to help one another, and |
Stuck fast together: the more they pulled,.and tugged,
and kicked, the worse became their plight.

Many had the gourds and cocoa-nut shells lumbering
and clattering about with them, their paws having been
caught when they sought to obtain the rice or fruit we
had put for bait.

Most ridiculous of all was the condition of one old
fellow, who had found a calabash, containing palm wine,
and, eagerly drinking it, was immediately fitted with a
mask, for the shell stuck to his forehead and whiskers,
of course covering his eyes; and he blundered about,
cutting the wildest capers in his efforts to get rid of the
encumbrance.

Numbers took to flight ; but, as we had spread bird-
lime on several of the trees around, many apes found
themselves fixed to, or hanging from the branches,
where they remained in woful durance, struggling and
shrieking horribly.

The panic being now general, I loosed the three dogs,
whose impatience had been almost uncontrollable, and
Monkeys Captured... 315



who now rushed to the attack of the unfortunate
monkeys, as though. burning with zeal to execute justice
upon desperate criminals.

*:The place soon had the appearance of .a ghastly
battle-field ; for we were obliged to do our part with
the clubs and sticks, till the din of howling, yelling,
barking, in every conceivable tone of rage and pain,
gave place to an awful silence, and we looked with a
shudder on the shocking spectacle around us.

At least forty apes lay mangled and dead, and the
boys began to be quite sad and down-hearted, till J}
fully sharing their feelings, hastened to turn their
thoughts to active employment in removing and bury-
ing the slain, burning the stakes, cordage, bowls,
everything concerned in the execution of our deadly
stratagem.

After that we betook ourselves to the task of restoring
order to our dismantled cottage; and seeking for the
scattered flock of sheep, goats, and poultry, we gradually
collected them, hoping to settle them once more peace=
fully in their yards and sheds.

While thus engaged, we repeatedly heard a sound as
of something heavy falling from a tree. On going to
look, we found three splendid birds, caught on some of
the lined: sticks we had placed loose in the branches.

Two of these proved to be a variety of the Blue
Molucca pigeon ; the third I assumed to be the Nicobar
pigeon, having met with descriptions of its resplendent
green, bronze, and’ steely blue plumage ; and I was
316 | The Swiss Family Robinson.



pleased to think of domesticating them, and establishing
them as first tenants of a suitable dwelling near the
cave.

“First tenants, father!” said Fritz; “do you expect
to catch more like these ?”

“Not exactly ‘catch them; I mean to practise a
secret art. Much can be done by magic, Fritz!”

Further explanation I declined to give.

In a few days Woodlands was once more set in order,
and everything settled and comfortable, so that we re-
turned without further adventure to Falconhurst, where
we were joyfully welcomed.

Every one agreed that we must go at once to
Tentholm, to make the proposed pigeon-house in the
rock. Several other things there also requiring our
attention, we made arrangements for a prolonged
stay.

My plan for the pigeon-house was to hollow out an
ample space in the cliff, facing towards Jackal river, and
close to our rocky home, fitting that up with partitions,
perches, and nesting places ; while a large wooden front
was fitted on to the opening, with entrance-holes, slides,
or shutters, and a broad platform in front, where the
birds could rest, and walk about.

When, after the work of a few weeks, we thought
it was fit for habitation, I set the other children to
work at some distance from our cavern, and summoning
Fritz,—

“Now, my faithful assistant,” said I, “it is time to








NICOBAR PIGEON,
318 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



conjure the new colonists to their settlement here.
“Yes,” I continued, laughing at his puzzled look, TJ
mean to play a regular pigeon-dealer’s trick. You must
know such gentry are very ingenious, not only in keep-
ing their own pigeons safe, but in adding to their
numbers by attracting those of other people. All I
want is some soft clay, anise-seed and salt, of which I will
compound a mixture, which our birds will like very
much, and the smell of which will bring others to share
it with them.”

“TI can easily get you those things, father.”

“T shall want some oil of anise-seed besides,” said I, “to
put on the pigeon-holes, so that the birds’ feathers may
touch it as they pass in and out, and become scented
with what will attract the wild pigeons. This I can
obtain by pounding anise-seed ; therefore, bring me the
mortar and some oil.”

When this was strongly impregnated with the aromatic
oil from the seeds (for I did not purpose to distil it in
regular style), I strained it through a cloth, pressing
it strongly: the result answered my purpose, and the
scent would certainly remain for some days.

All my preparations being completed, the pigeons
were installed in their new residence, and the slides
closed. The European birds were by this time quite
friendly with the three beautiful strangers; and when
the other boys came home, and scrambled up the ladder
to peep in ata little pane of glass I had fixed in front,
The Strangers Return. 319

they saw them all contentedly picking up grain, and
pecking at the “magic food,” as Fritz called it, although
‘the did not betray my secret arts to his brothers.

Early on the third morning I aroused Fritz, and
directed him to ascend the rope ladder, and arrange a
cord on the sliding door of the dove-cot, by which it
could be opened or closed from below. Also he poured
fresh anise-seed oil all about the entrance, after which
we returned, and awoke the rest of the family, telling
them that if they liked to make haste, they might see
me let the pigeons fly.

Everybody came to the dove-cot, understanding that.
some ceremony was to attend the event, and I waved a
wand with mock solemnity, while I muttered a seeming,
incantation, and then gave Fritz a sign to draw up the!
sliding panel.

Presently out popped the pretty heads of the cap-;
tives, the soft eyes glanced about in all directions ; they
withdrew, they ventured forth again, they came timidly
out on “the verandah,” as little Franz expressed it;
then, as though suddenly startled, the whole party took
wing, with the shrill whizzing sound peculiar to the
flight of pigeons, and circling above us, they rose Heats
higher, finally darting quite out of sight.

While we were yet gazing after them, they reap-
-peared, and settled quietly on the dove-cot; but as we
congratulated ourselves on a returh which showed they
accepted this as a home, up sprang the three blue
pigeons, the noble foreigners, for whom chiefly I had
320 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



planned the house, and rising in circles high in air,
winged their rapid way direct towards Falconhurst.

Their departure had such air of determination and
resolve about it, that I feared them lost to us for ever, @

Endeavouring to console ourselves by petting cur
four remaining birds, we could not forget this disappoint- ©
ment, and all day long the dove-cot remained the centre
of attraction.

Nothing, however, was seen of the fugitives until
about the middle of next day; when most of us were
hard at work inside the cavern, Jack sprang in full of
excitement, exG@aiming,—

“He is there! He is come! he really is!”

“Who? Who is there? What do you mean?”

“The blue pigeon, to be sure! Hurrah! Hurrah!”

“Oh, nonsense!” said Ernest. “You want to play
us a trick.”

“Why should it be ‘nonsense’?” cried I. “T fully
believe we shall see them all soon!”

Out ran everybody to the dove-cot, and there, sure
enough, stood the pretty fellow, but not alone, for he
was billing and cooing to a mate, a stranger of his own
breed, apparently inviting her to enter his dwelling ; for
he popped in and out at the door, bowing, sidling, and
cooing, in a most irresistible manner, until the shy little
lady yielded to his blandishments, and tripped daintily
in. “Now, let’s shut the door.”

“Pull the cord and close the panel!” shouted the
boys, making a rush at the string.
“ Wr. and Mrs. Nicobar.” 321



“Stop!” cried I, “let the string alone! I won't have
you frighten the little darlings. Besides, the others will
be coming,—would you shut the door in their faces?”

“Here they come! here they come!” exclaimed ©
Fritz, whose keen eye marked the birds afar, and to our
delight the second blue pigeon arrived, likewise with a
mate, whom, after a pretty little flirtation scene of real
and assumed modesty on her part, he succeeded in lead-
ing home.

The third and handsomest of the new pigeons was
the last in making his appearance. Perhaps he had
greater difficulty than the others in fincing a mate as
distinguished in rank and beauty as himself.

However, we fully expected them, and the boys talked
of the arrival of “ Mr. and Mrs. Nicobar” as a matter of
course.

Late in the day Franz and his mother went out to
provide for supper, but the child. returned directly, ex-
claiming that we must hasten to the dove-cot to see
something beautiful.

Accordingly a general rush was made out of the cave,
and we saw with delight that the third stranger also had
returned with a lovely bride, and encouraged by the pre-
sence of the first arrivals, they soon made themselves at
home,

In a short time nest-building commenced, and among
the materials collected by the birds, I observed a long
grey moss or lichen, and thought it might very possibly
be the same which, in the West Indies, is gathered from

Â¥
302 The Swiss Family Robinson.



the bark of old trees, where it grows, and hangs in great
tuft-like beards, to be used instead of horse-hair for
stuffing mattresses.

My wife no sooner heard of it, than her active brain
devised fifty plans for making it of use. Would we but
collect enough, she would clean and sort it, and there
would be no end to the bolsters, pillows, saddles, and
cushions she would stuff with it.

‘For the discovery of nutmegs we had also to thank.
the pigeons, and they were carefully planted in our
orchard.

For some time no event of particular note occurred,
until at length Jack, as usual, got into a scrape, causing
thereby no little excitement at home.

He went off early on one of his own particular private
expeditions.

- He was in the habit of doing this that he might
surprise us with some new acquisition on his re-
turn.

This time, however, he came back in most wretched
plight, covered with mud and green slime; a great
bundle of Spanish canes was on his back, muddy and
green like himself; he had lost a shoe, and altogether
presented a ludicrous picture of misery, at which we could
have laughed, had he not seemed more ready to cry!

“My dear boy! what has happened to you?. Where
have you been?”

“Only in the swamp behind the powder magazine,
father,” replied he. “I went to get reeds for my wicker-

.
Jack in a Mess. 498



twvork, because I wanted to weave some baskets and hen-«
coops, and I saw such beauties a little way off in the
marsh, much finer than those close by the edge, that I
tried to get at them.

“J jumped from one firm spot to another, till at last I
slipped and sank over my ancles; I tried to get on
towards the reeds, which were close by, but in I went
deeper and deeper, till I was above the knees in thick
soft mud, and there I stuck! .

“TI screamed and shouted, but nobody came, and I
can tell you I was in a regular fright..

“At last who should appear but my faithful Fangs!
He knew my voice and came close up to me, right
over the swamp, but all the poor beast could do, was to
help me to make a row; £ wonder you did not hear us!
The very rocks rang, but nothing came of it, so despair
drove me to think of an expedient. I cut down all the
reeds I could reach round and round me, and bound
them together into this bundle, which made a firm place
on which to lean, while I worked and kicked about to
free my feet and legs, and after much struggling, I
managed to get astride on the reeds.

“There I sat, supported above the mud and slime,
while Fangs ran yelping backwards and forwards be-
tween me and the bank, seeming surprised I did not
follow. Suddenly I thought of catching hold of his tail.
He dragged and pulled, and I sprawled, and crawled,
and waded, sometimes on my reeds like a raft, some-

times lugging them along with me, till we luckily got
XY 2
324 The Swiss Family Robinson.



back to terra firma. But I had a near squeak for it, f
fan tell you.”

“ A fortunate escape indeed, my boy!” cried I, “and
Â¥ thank God for it. Fangs has really acted a heroic
part as your deliverer, and you have shown great
presence of mind. Now go with your mother, and get
rid of the slimy traces of your disaster! You have
brought me splendid canes, exactly what I want fora
new scheme of mine.”

The fact was, I meant to try to construct a loom for
my wife, for I knew she understood weaving, so I chose
two fine strong reeds, and splitting them carefully,
bound them together again, that when dry they might
be quite straight and equal, and fit for a frame. Smaller
reeds were cut into pieces and sharpened, for the teeth
of the comb. The boys did this for me without in
the least knowing their use, and great fun they made
of “father’s monster toothpicks.”

In time all the various parts of the loom were made
ready and put together, my wife knowing nothing of
it, while to the incessant questions of the children, I
replied mysteriously,

“Oh, it is an outlandish sort of musical instrument ;
mother will know how to play upon it.”

And when the time came for presenting it, her joy
was only equalled by the amusement and interest with
which the children watched her movements while
“playing the loom,” as they always said.

About this time, a beautiful little foal, a son of th.
L construct an Aqueduct. 325



pnager, was added to our stud, and as he promised to
grow up strong and tractable, we soon saw how useful
he would be. The name of Swift was given tc him, and
he was to be trained for my own riding.

The interior arrangements of the cavern being now
well forward, I applied myself to contriving an aqueduct,
that fresh water might be led close up to our cave, for
it was a long way to go to fetch it from Jackal River,
and especially inconvenient on washing days. As I
wanted to do this before the rainy season began, I sct
about it at once.

Pipes of hollow bamboo answered the purpose well,
and a large cask formed the reservoir. The supply was
good, and the comfort of having it close at hand so
great, that the mother declared she was as well pleased
with our engineering as if we had made her a fountain
and marble basin adorned with mermaids and dol-
phins. .

Anticipating the setting in of the rains, I pressed
forward all work connected with stores for the winter,
and great was the in-gathering of roots, fi 1its, and
grains, potatoes, rice, guavas, sweet acorns, pi le-cones ;
load after load arrived at the cavern, and the mother’s
active needle was in constant requisition, as the demand
for more sacks and bags was incessant.

Casks, and barrels of all sorts and sizes were pressed
into the service, until at last the raft was knocked to’
pieces, and its tubs made to do duty in the store-rooms,:

The weather became very unsettled and stormy.
326 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Heavy clouds gathered in the horizon, and passing
storms of wind, with thunder, lightning, and torrents
of rain swept over the face of nature from time to time.

The sea was in frequent commotion ; heavy ground-
swells drove masses of water hissing and foaming
against the cliffs. Everything heralded the approaching
rains. All nature joined in sounding forth the solemn
overture to the grandest work of the year.

It was now near the beginning of the month of June,
and we had twelve weeks of bad weather before us.

We established some of the animals with ourselves at
the salt-cave. The cow, the ass, Lightfoot, Storm, and
the dogs, were all necessary to us, while Knips, Fangs,
and the eagle were sure to be a great amusement in
the long evenings.

The boys would ride over to Falconhurst very often
to sec that all was in order there, and fetch anything
required.

Much remained to be done in order to give the cave
a comfortable appearance, which became more desirable
now that we had to live indoors,

The darkness of the inner regions annoyed me, and I
set myself to invent a remedy.

After some thought, I called in Jack’s assistance, and
we got a very tall, strong bamboo, which would reach
right up to the vaulted roof. This we planted in the
earthen floor, securing it well by driving wedges in
round it. Jack ascended this pole very cleverly, taking
with him a hammer and chisel to enlarge a crevice in
Our Abode at Rockburg. 32)



the roof so as to fix a pulley, by means of which, when
he descended, I drew up a large ship’s lantern, well
supplied with oil, and as there were four wicks, it
afforded a very fair amount of light.

Several days were spent in arranging the different
rooms.

Ernest and Franz undertook the library, fixing
shelves, and setting the books in order.

Jack and his mother took in hand the sitting-room
and kitchen, while Fritz and I, as better able for heavy
work, arranged the workshops. The carpenter’s bench,
the turning lathe, and a large chest of tools were set in
convenient places, and many tools and instruments hung
on the walls,

An adjoining chamber was ted up asa forge, with
fire-place, bellows, and anvil, complete, all which we
had found in the ship, packed together, and ready to
set up.

When the great affairs were settled, we still found in
all directions work to be done. Shelves, tables, benches,
movable steps, cupboards, pegs, door handles, and bolts
—there seemed no end to our requirements, and we often
thought of the enormous amount of work necessary to
maintain the comforts and conveniences of life which at
home we had received as matters of course.

But in reality, the more there was to do the better ;
and I never ceased contriving fresh improvements, being
fully aware of the importance of constant employment
as a means of strengthening and maintaining the health
328 The Swiss Family Robinson.

—



of mind and body. This, indeed, with a consciousness
pf continual progress towards a desirable end, is found
to constitute the main element of happiness,

Our rocky home was greatly improved by a spide
porch which I made along the whole front of our rooms
and entrances, by levelling the ground to form a terrace,
and sheltering it with a verandah of bamboo, supported
by pillars of the same.

Ernest and Franz were highly successful as libra-
rians.

The books, when unpacked and arranged, proved to
be a most valuable collection, capable of affording every
sort of educational advantage.

Besides a variety cf books of voyages, travels, divinity,
and natural history (several containing fine coloured illus-
trations), there were histories and scientific works, as weh
as standard fictions in several languages ; also a good
assortment of maps, charts, mathematical and astro.
nomical instruments, and an excellent pair of globes,

I foresaw much interesting study on discovering thas
we possessed the grammars and dictionaries of a great
many languages, a subject for which we all had a taste.
With French we were well acquainted. Fritz and Ernest
had begun to learn English at school, and made furthes
progress during a visit to England. The mother, who
had once been intimate with a Dutch family, could speak
that language pretty well.

After a great deal of discussion, we agreed to study
different languages, so that in the event of meeting with
We study Languages. 329
people of other nations, there should be at least one of
the family able to communicate with them.

All determined to improve our knowledge of German
and French. -:-

The two elder boys were to study English and Dutch _
with their mother.

Ernest, already possessing considerable knowledge of
Latin, wished to continue to study it, so as to be able to
make use of the many works on natural history and
medicine written in that language.

Jack announced that he meant to learn Spanish
“ because it sounded so grand and imposing.”

I myself was interested in the Malay language, know-
ing it to be so widely spoken in the islands of the
Eastern Seas, and thinking it as likely as any other to
be useful to us.

Our family circle by and by represented Babel in
miniature, for scraps and fragments of all these tongues
kept buzzing about our ears from morning to night, each
sporting his newly acquired word or sentence on every
possible occasion, propounding idioms and peculiar ex-
pressions like riddles, to puzzle the rest.

In this way, the labour of learning was very consider-
ably lightened, and every one came to know a few words
of each language.

Occasionally we amused ourselves by opening chests
and packages hitherto untouched, and brought unexs
pected treasures to light—mirrors, wardrobes, a pair of
console tables with polished marble tops, elegant writing
330 Lhe Swiss Family, Robinson.



tables and handsome chairs, clocks of various descrip-
tions, a musical-box, and a chronometer were found ;
and by degrees our abode was fitted up like a palace, so
that sometimes we wondered at ourselves, and felt as
though we were strutting about in borrowed plumes,

The children begged me to decide on a name for our
salt cave dwelling, and that of Rockburg was chosen
unanimously.

The weeks of imprisonment passed so rapidly, that -
no one found time hang heavy on his hands.

Books occupied me so much that but little carpen-
tering was done, yet I made a yoke for the oxen, a
pair of cotton wool carders, and a spinning wheel for
my wife.

As the rainy season drew to a close, the weather for a
while became wilder, and the storms fiercer than ever.
Thunder roared, lightning blazed, torrents rushed to-
wards the sea, which came in raging billows to meet.
them, lashed to fury by the tempests of wind which
swept the surface of the deep.

The uproar of the elements came to an end at last,

Nature resumed her attitude of repose, her smiling
aspect of peaceful beauty; and soon all traces of the
ravages of floods and storms would disappear beneath
the luxuriant vegetation of the tropics.

Gladly quitting the sheltering walls of Rockburg to
roam once more in the open air, we crossed Jackal
River, for a walk along the coast, and presently Fritz
with his sharp eyes observed something on the small
A Stranded Whale. 331



island near Flamingo Marsh, which was, he said, long
and rounded, resembling a boat bottom upwards.

Examining it with the telescope, I could form no
other conjecture, and we resolved to make it the object
of an excursion next day, being delighted to resume
our old habit of starting in pursuit of adventure.

The bodt was accordingly got in readiness ; it required
some repairs, and fresh pitching, and then we made for
the point of interest, indulging in a variety of surmises
as to what we should find.

It proved to be a huge stranded whale.

The island being steep and rocky, it was necessary to
be careful ; but we found a landing-place on the further
side. The boys hurried by the nearest way to the beach
where lay the monster of the deep, while I clambered to
the highest point of the islet, which commanded a view
of the mainland from Rockburg to Falconhurst.

On rejoining my sons, I found them only half way
to the great fish, and as I drew near they shouted in
high glee:

“Oh! father, just look at the glorious shells and coral
branches we are finding. How does it happen that
there are such quantities?”

“Only consider how the recent storms have stirred
the ocean to its depths! No doubt thousands of shell-
fish have been detached from their rocks and dashed in
all directions by the waves, which have thrown ashore
even so huge a creature as the whale yonder.”

_ “Yes; isn’t he a frightful great brute!” criea Fritz.
332 The Swiss Family Robinson.



* Ever so much larger than he seemed from a distance
The worst of it is, one does not well see what use to
make of the huge carcase.”

“Why, make train oil, to be sure,” said Ernest.
“TI can’t say he’s a beauty, though, and it is much



WHALE,

pleasanter to gather these lovely shells, than to cut up
blubber.”

“Well, let us amuse ourselves with them for the pre-
sent,’ said I, “but in the afternoon, when the sea is
calmer, we will return with the necessary implements, and
see if we can turn the stranded whale to good account.”

We were soon ready to return to the boat, but
Ernest had a fancy for remaining alone-on the island’
till we came back, and asked my permission to do so,
Al Lecture on Coral. 323





that he might experience, for an hour or two, the
“sensations of Robinson Crusoe.

‘To this, however, I would not consent, assuring him
that our fate, as a solitary family, gave him quite suffi-
cient idea of shipwreck on an uninhabited island, and
that his lively imagination must supply the rest.

_ The boys found it hard work to row back, and began
to beg of me to exert my wonderful inventive powers in
contriving some kind of rowing machine.

“You lazy fellows!” returned I; “give me the great
clockwork out of a church tower, perhaps I might be
able to relieve your labours.”

“Qh father!” cried Fritz; “don’t you know ee are
iron wheels in the clockwork of the large kitchen-jacks ?
I’m sure mother would give them up, and you could
make something out of them, could you not ?”

“By the time I have manufactured a rowing-machine
out of a roasting-jack, I think your arms will be pretty
well inured to the use of your oars! However, I am
far from despising the hint, my dear Fritz.”

“Ts coral of any use?” demanded Jack suddenly.

“In former times it was pounded and used by
chemists ; but it is now chiefly used for various orna-
ments, and made into beads for necklaces, &c. As
such, it is greatly prized by savages, and were we to
fall in with natives, we might very possibly find a store
of coral useful in bartering with them.

“For the present we will arrange these treasures of
the deep in our library, and make them ‘the beginning
334 The Swiss family Robinson.



of a Museum of Natural History, which will afford us
equal pleasure and instruction.” ;

“One might almost say that coral belongs at once to
the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms,” remarked
Fritz; “it is hard like stone, it has stems and branches
like a shrub, and I believe tiny insects inhabit the cells,
do they not, father?”

“You are right, Fritz ; coral consists of the calcareous
cells of minute animals, so built up as to form a tree.
like structure.

“The coral fishery gives employment to many men -
in the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and other
places. The instrument commonly used, consists of
two, heavy beams of wood, secured together at right
angles, and loaded with stones. Hemp and netting are
attached to the under side of the beams, to the middle
of which is fastened one end of a strong rope, by which
the apparatus is let down from a boat, and guided to
the spots where.the coral is most abundant.

“The branches of the coral become entangled in the
hemp and net work ; they are broken off frcm the rock,
and are drawn to the surface of the water.

“Left undisturbed these coral insects, labouring in-
cessantly, raise foundations, on which, in course of time,
fertile islands appear, clothed with verdure, and inhabited
by man.”

“Why father, nere we are at the landing place!” ex-
claimed Jack. “It has seemed quite easy to puli since
you began to tell us such interesting things,”
The Whale Examined. $35



“Very interesting indeed; but did you notice that
the wind had changed, Jack?” remarked Ernest as
he shipped his oar.

The animated recital of our adventures, the sight of
the lovely shells and corals, and the proposed work for
the afternoon, inspired the mother and Franz with a
great wish to accompany us.

To this I gladly consented, only stipulating that we
should go provided with food, water, and a compass!
“For,” said I, “the sea has only just ceased from its
raging, and being at the best of times of uncertain and
capricious nature, we may chance to be detained on the
island, or forced to land at’ a considerable distance from
home.”

Dinner was quickly dispatched, and preparations set
on foot.

The more oil we could obtain the better, for a great
deal was used in the large lantern which burnt day and
night in the recesses of the cave; therefore all available
casks and barrels were pressed into the service ; many,
of course, once full of pickled herrings, potted pigeons,
- and other winter stores, were now empty, and we took a
goodly fleet of these in tow.

Knives, hatchets, and the boy’s climbing buskins,
were put on board, and we set forth, the labour of the
oar being greater than ever, now that our freight was
so much increased.

The sea being calm, and the tide suiting better, we
found it easy to land close to the whale; my first care
336 The Swiss Family Robinson.



was to place the boat,as well as the casks, in perfect
security, after which we proceeded to a close inspection.
of our prize.

Its enormous size quite startled my wife, and her
little boy ; the length being from sixty to sixty-five feet,
and the girth between thirty and forty, while the weight
could not have been less than 50,000 lbs.

The colour was a uniform velvety black, and the
enormous head about one-third of the length of the
entire bulk, the eyes quite small, not much larger than
those of an ox, and the ears almost undiscernible.

The jaw opened very far back, and was nearly sixteen
feet in length, the most curious part of its structure
being the remarkable substance known as whalebone,
masses of which appeared all along the jaws, solid
at the base, and splitting into a sort of fringe at the
extremity. This arrangement is for the purpose of
aiding the whale in procuring its food, and separating it
from the water.

The tongue was remarkably large, soft and full of
oil; the opening o% the throat wonderfully small, scarcely
two inches in diameter.

“Why, what can the monster eat?” exclaimed Fritz ;
“he never can swallow a proper mouthful down this
little gullet !”

“The mode of feeding adopted by the whale is so
curious,” I replied, “that I must explain it to you before
we begin work.

“This animal (for I should tell you that a whale is
Cutting up the Whate. aa



not a fish, he possesses no gills, he breathes atmospheric
air, and would be drowned if too long detained below
the surface of the water); this animal then frequents
those parts of the ocean best supplied with the various
creatures on which he feeds. Shrimps, small fish,
lobsters, various molluscs and medusz form his diet.
Driving with open mouth through the congregated
shoals of these little creatures, the whale engulfs them
by millions in his enormous jaws, and continues his
destructive course until he has sufficiently charged his
mouth with prey. .

“Closing his jaws and forcing out through the inter-
stices of the whalebone, the water which he has taken
together with his prey, he retains the captured animals,
and swallows them at his leisure.

“The nostrils, or blow-holes, are placed, you see, on
the upper part of the head, in order that the whale may
rise to breathe, and repose on the surface of the sea,
showing very little of his huge carcase.

“The breathings are called ‘spoutings,’ because
a column of mixed vapour and water is thrown
from the blow-holes, sometimes to a height of twenty
feet.

“ And now, boys, fasten on your buskins, and let me
see if you can face the work of climbing this slippery
mountain of flesh, and cutting it up.”

Fritz and Jack stripped, and went to work directly,
scrambling over the back to the head, where they

assisted me to cut away the lips, so as to reach the
: Zz
338 _ Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



whalebone, a large quantity of which was detached and
carried to the boat.

Ernest laboured manfully at the creature’s side, cut-
ting out slabs of blubber, while his mother and Franz
helped as well as they could to put it in casks,

Presently we had a multitude of unbidden guests.

The air was filled by the shrill screams and hoarse
croaks and cries of numbers of birds of prey, they flew
around us in ever narrowing circles, and becoming
bolder as their voracity was excited by the near view of
the tempting prey, they alighted close to us, snatching
morsels greedily from under the very strokes of our
knives and hatchets.

Our work was seriously interrupted by these feathered

marauders, who, after all, were no greater robbers than

we ourselves. We kept them off as well as we could by
blows from our tools, and several were killed, my wife
taking possession of them immediately for the sake of
the feathers.

It was nearly time to leave the island, but first 1
stripped off a long piece of the skin, to be used for
traces, harness, and other leather-work. It was about
three-quarters of an inch thick, and very soft and oily—
but I knew it would shrink and be'tough and durable.

T also took a part of the gums in which the roots of
the baleen or whalebone was still imbedded, having read
that this is considered quite a delicacy, as well as the

a

skin, which, when properly dressed and cut in little’

cubes, slike black dice, has been compared by enthu-
An unpleasant Occupation. - 339



siastic and probably very hungry travellers, to cocoa-nut
and cream-cheese.

The boys thought the tongue might prove equally
palatable, but I valued it only on account of the large
quantity of oil it contained.

With a heavy freight. we put to sea, and made. what
haste we could to reach home, and cleanse our persons
from the unpleasant traces of the disgusting work in
which we had spent the day. .

Next morning we started at dawn.

My wife and Franz were left behind, for our proposed
work was even more horrible than that of the preceding
day; they could not assist, and had no inclination to
witness it.

It was my intention to open the carcase completely,
and, penetrating the interior, to obtain various portions
of the intestines, thinking that it would be possible to
convert the larger ones into vessels fit for holding the
oil. This time we laid aside our clothes and wore only
strong canvas trousers when we commenced operations,
which were vigorously carried on during the whole of
the day; then, satisfied that we could do so with a
clear conscience, we abandoned the remains to the bizcs
of prey, and, with a full cargo, set sail for land.

On the way, it appeared to strike the boys (who had
made not the slightest objection to the singularly un-
pleasant task I had set them,) as very strange that I
should wish to possess what they had been working so

hard to procure for me,
Z2
340 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“What can have made you wish to bring away that
brute’s entrails, father? Are they of any use?”

“There are countries,” I replied, “where no wood
grows of which to make barrels, and no hemp for thread,
string, and cordage. Necessity, the mother of all the
more valuable inventions, has taught the inhabitants of
those countries, Greenlanders, Esquimaux, and others,
to think of substitutes, and they use the intestines of the
whale for one purpose, the sinews and nerves for the
other.”

We were right glad to land, and get rid, for the pre.
sent, of our unpleasant materials, the further preparation
of which was work in store for the following day.

A refreshing bath, clean clothes, and supper, cheered
us all up, and we slept in peace.
CHAPTER XI.

The blubber of the whale boiled and stored—A unique machine—Expedi-
tion to Prospect Hill—Whale’s tongue is voted no delicacy—We land
on Whale Island—Jack discovers a strange skeleton—Turtle tu:ning—
Towed ashore—The loom completed—Return of the herring shoals—
Basket making—We manufacture a sedan chair—Ernest’s wild ride
therein—A boa constrictor appears—He retreat to the marsh—Sus-
pense—Poor Grizzle’s fate—An awful scene—Death of the monster—
An account of snakes—Remedies for poisoned bites—Ernest writes
Grizzle’s epitaph— The serpent stuffed and placed in the museum.

“Now for the finishing up of this dirty job,” cried I,
merrily, as we all woke up next morning at day-break.
And after the regular work was done, we commenced
operations by raising a stand or rough scaffold on
which the tubs full of blubber were placed and heavily
pressed, so that the purest and finest oil overflowed into
vessels underneath.

The blubber was afterwards boiled in a cauldron over
a fire kindled at some distance from our abode, and by
skimming and straining through a coarse cloth, we suc-
ceeded in obtaining a large supply of excellent train-oil,
which, in casks and bags made of the intestines, was
safely stowed away in the “cellar,” as the children
called our roughest storeroom. This day’s work was
242 The Swiss Family Robinson.



far from agreeable, and the dreadful smell oppressed us
all, more especially my poor wife, who, nevertheless,
endured it with her accustomed good temper. Although
she very urgently recommended that the new island
should be the headquarters for another colony, where,
said she, “any animals we leave would be safe from apes
and other plunderers, and where you would find it so
very convenient to boil whale-blubber, strain train-oil,
and the like.” :

This proposal met with hearty approval, especially
from the boys, who were always charmed with any new
plan; and they,were eager to act upon it at once, but
when I reminded them of the putrifying carcase which
lay there, they confessed it would be better to allow
wind and storms, birds and insects to do their work in
purging the atmosphere, and reducing the whale toa
skeleton before we revisited the island.

The idea of a rowing-machine kept recurring to my
brain. I determined to attempt to make one.

I took an iron bar, which when laid across the middle
of the boat projected about a foot each way. I pro-
vided this bar in the middle with ribbed machinery, and
at each end with a sort of nave, in which, asin a cart
wheel, four flat spokes, or paddles, were fixed obliquely.
These were intended to do the rowers’ part. -

Then the jack was arranged to act upon the machinery
in the middle of the iron cross-bar, in such a way that
one of its strong cogwheels bit firmly into the ribs, so
that when it was wound up, it caused the bar to revolve
A unique Machine. 343



rapidly, of course turning with it the paddles fixed at
either end, which consequently struck the water so as,to
propel the boat.

Although this contrivance left much to be desired in
the way of improvement, still when Fritz and I wound
up the machinery, and went off on a trial trip across the
bay, we splashed along at such a famous rate, that the
shores rang with the cheers and clapping of the whole
family, delighted to behold what they considered my
briliiant success.

Everyone wanted to go on board, and take a cruise,
but as it was getting late, I could not consent. A trip
next day, however, was promised to Cape Disappoint-
ment and the little settlement of Prospect Hill.

This proposal satisfied everybody. The evening was
spent in preparing the dresses, arms, and food which
would be required, and we retired early to rest.

Intending to be out all day, the house was left in
good order, and we departed on our expedition, pro-
vided, among other things, with spades and mattocks, for
I wished to get young cocoa-nut trees and shrubs of
different kinds, that, on our way back, we might land
on Whale Island, and begin our plantation there.

We directed our course towards the opposite side of
the bay. The sea was smooth, my rowing-machine
performed its work easily, and leaving Safety Bay and
Shark Island behind us, we enjoyed at our ease the
panorama of all the coast scenery.

Landing near Prospect Hill, we moored the boat, and
344 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



walked through the woods to our little farm, obtaining
some fresh cocoa-nuts, as well as young plants, on the
Way.

Before coming in sight of the cottage at the farm, we
heard the cocks crow, and I experienced a sudden rush
of emotion as the sound recalled in a degree painfully
vivid, the recollection of many a ride and walk at home,
when we would be greeted by just such familiar sounds
as we approached some kind friend’s house. Here, but
for the unconscious animals, utter solitude and silence
prevailed, and I with my dear family, whose visit would
have been hailed with delight in so many homes, ad-
vanced unnoticed to this lonely cottage. So long had
been our absence that our arrival created a perfect
panic. The original animals had forgotten us, and to
their progeny, lambs, kids, and chickens, who had never
seen the face of man, we seemed an army of fierce
foes. :

The boys found it impossible to ‘milk the goats, until,
by the use of the lasso, they captured them one after
the other, bound their legs, then giving them salt to lick;
they soon obtained a supply of excellent milk which was
poured from the cocoa-nut shells they used into cala-
bash flasks, so that we could take with us eee was not
required at dinner.

The fowls were enticed by handfuls of grain and
rice, and my wife caught as many as ske wished for,

We were by this time very ready for dinner, and the
cold provisions we had with us were set forth, the chief
Re-vistt Whale Istana. "0345

dish consisting of the piece of whale’s tongue, which, by
the boys’ desire, had been cooked with a special view to
this entertainment.

But woful was the disappointment when the tongue
was tasted! One after another, with dismal face, pro-
nounced it “horrid stuff,’ begged for some pickled
herring to take away the taste of train-oil, and willingly
bestowed on Fangs the cherished dainty.

Fortunately there was a sufficient supply of other
eatables, and the fresh delicious cocoa-nuts and goat’s
milk put every one in good humour again.

While the mother packed everything up, Fritz and I
got some sugar-cane shoots which I wished to plant,
and then we returned to the shore and again embarked.

Before returning to Whale Island, I felt a strong wish
to round Cape Disappointment and survey the coast
immediately. beyond, but the promontory maintained
the character of its name, and we found that a long
sandbank, as well as hidden reefs and rocks, ran outa
great way into the sea,

Fritz espying breakers ahead, we put about at once,
and aided by a light breeze, directed .our course towards
Whale Island.

On landing, I began at once to plant the saplings we
had brought. The boys assisted me for awhile, but
wearied somewhat of the occupation, and one after
another went off in search of shells and coral, leaving
their mother and me to finish the work.

Presently Jack came back, shouting loudly,
346 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Father! Mother! do come and look. There is ar
enormous skeleton lying here; the skeleton of some
fearful great beast—a mammoth, I should think.”

“Why Jack!” returned I laughing, “have you forgot
our old acquaintance, the whale? What else could it
be?” .

“Oh no, father, it is not the whale. This thing has
"not fish bones, but real good honest huge beast bones,
1 don’t know what can have become of the whale—
floated out to sea most likely. . This mammoth is evet
so much bigger. Come and see!”

As I was about to follow the boy, a voice from another
direction suddenly cried,

' “Father! father! a great enormous turtle! Please
make haste. It is waddling back to the sea as hard as
it can go, and we can’t stop it.”

This appeal being more pressing, as well as more im-
portant than Jack’s, I snatched up an oar and hastened
to their assistance.

Sure enough a large turtle was scrambling quickly
towards the water, and was within a few paces of it,
although Ernest was valiantly holding on by one of its
hind legs. |

I sprang down the bank, and making use of the oar
as a lever, we succeeded with some difficulty in turning

the creature on its back.

It was a huge specimen, fully eight feet long, and
being now quite helpless, we left it sprawling, and went
to inspect Jack’s mammoth skelton, which, of course,






















TURTLE TURNING,
348 The Swiss Family Robinson.



proved to be neither more nor less than that of the
whale. I convinced him of the fact by pointing out the
marks of our feet on the ground, and the broken jaws
where we had hacked out the whalebone.

“What can have made you take up that fancy about
a mammoth, my boy?”

“Ernest put it into my head, father. He said there
seemed to be the skeleton of an antediluvian monster
there, so I ran to look closer, and I never thought of the
whale, when I saw no fish bones. I suppose Ernest
was joking.”

“Whales are generally considered as fishes by those
little acquainted with the animal kingdom, but they
belong to the class of mammals, which comprises man,
the monkey tribes, the bats, the dogs and cats, all
hoofed animals, whales and their allies, with other
animals, the last on the list being the sloth.

“ The name by which they are distinguished is derived
from the Latin word ‘mamma,’ a breast, and is given ta
them because all the species belonging to this class are
furnished with a set of organs, called the mammarj
glands, secreting the liquid known as milk, by which tl
young are nourished.

“ The bones of the whale differ from those cy animals,
simply in being of a hollow construction, and filled with
air so as to render the carcase more buoyant. The
bones of birds are also hollow, for the same reason, and
in all this we see conspicuously the wisdom and good
ness of the great Creator.”
Towed by a Turtle. : 349

o



“ What a marvellous structure it is, father!” said
Fritz. “What a ponderous mass of bones! Can we
not make use of any of them ?”

“Nothing strikes me at this moment; we will! leave
them to bleach here yet awhile, and perhaps by sawing
them up afterwards, make a few chairs, or a reading
desk for the museum. But now it isl time to return
home. Bring the boat round to where the turtle awaits
his fate ; we must settle how to deal with him.”

It was soon decided that he must swim. I fastened
the empty water-cask to a long line, one end of which
was made fast to the bow of the boat, the other care-
fully passed round the neck and fore paws of the
creature, who was then lifted, so as to let him regain
his feet, when he instantly made for the water, plunged
in, the cask floated after him, and prevented his sinking.
We were all on board in a moment ; and the worthy
fellow, after vainly attempting to dive, set himself
diligently to swim right forwards, towing us comfort-
ably after him. I was ready to cut the line on the least
appearance of danger, and kept him on the course for
Safety Bay by striking the water with a boat-hook
right or left, according as the turtle was disposed to
turn too much one way or the other.

The boys were delighted with the fun, and compared
me to Neptune in his car, drawn by dolphins, and
accompanied by Amphitrite and attendant Tritons..

We landed safely at the usual place, near Rockburg,
and the turtle was condemned and executed soon after-

L
350 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



wards ; the shell, which was quite eight feet long, and
three broad, was, when cleaned and prepared, to form a
trough for the water supply at the cave, and the meat
was carefully salted, and stored up for many a good
and savoury meal.

It had been my intention to bring a piece of land
under cultivation before the next rainy season, to be
sown with different sorts of grain ; but many unforeseen .
circumstances had intervened to hinder this, and our:
animals, unaccustomed to the yoke, were not available
for the plough.

I therefore gave up the idea for the present, and
applied myself, with Ernest’s assistance, to completing.
the loom, which, although the workmanship was clumsy,
Isucceeded in making quite fit for use. I had for-
tunately in my younger days spent many hours in the
workshops of weavers, and other artizans, and therefore
I understood more than might have. been expected of
their various crafts.

Paste or size was required to smear over the threads ;
but we could not spare flour for such a purpose, and I
used isinglass, which kept the warp moist perfectly well,
and spared us the necessity of setting up the loom in a
damp uncomfortable place, which has often to be done
to prevent the overdrying of the web.

Of this isinglass I also made thin plates, to be used
as window-panes ; they were at least as transparent as
horn, and when fixed deep in the rock, and beyond the
reach of rain, did good service in admitting light.
Basket Making. 351



Success encouraging me to persevere, ] next began
hnarness-making; the spoils of the chase having fur.
nished us with plenty of leather, with which I covered
light frames of wood, using the hairy moss or lichen
for stuffing, and ere long the animals were equipped with
saddles, stirrups, bridles, yokes, and collars, to the very
great satisfaction of their youthful riders and drivers.

This occupation was followed by a great deal of work
connected with the annual return of the herring shoals
which now took place; to them succeeding, as on
former occasions, shoals of other fish, and many seals.
More than ever aware of the value of all of these, we
did not fail to make good use of our opportunities, and
captured large numbers.

The boys were getting anxious for another shooting
expedition; but before undertaking that, I wished to
do some basket-making, as sacks were beginning to fail
us, and there was constant demand for baskets in which
to carry and keep our roots and fruits. Our first
attempts were clumsy enough; but, as usual, perse-
verance was rewarded, and we produced a good supply
of all sorts and sizes. One very large basket I furnished
with openings through which to pass a strong stick, so
that it might, when heavily laden, be carried by two
persons.

No sooner did the children see the force of this idea,
than they got a bamboo, and popping little Franz into
the basket, carried him about in triumph.

‘This amusement suggested a fresh notion to Fritz
252 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Oh, father,” cried he, “don’t you think we might make
something like this for mother, and carry her much more
comfortably than jolting along in the cart ?”

The boys shouted with glee at the proposal, and
though their mother thought the plan feasible enough,
she confessed that she did not much like the thoughts
of sitting in the middle of a basket, and just looking
out now and then over the rim.

However, I assured her it should be a well-shaped
comfortable sedan-chair, or litter ; and the next question
was how it should be carried, since the boys could not
play the part of Indian palanquin-bearers, either with
safety to their mother, or with any pleasure to them-
selves. 1
“The bull and the buftato!” cried Jack. “Why not
use them for it? Let’s go and try them now!”

Off ran the boys, and in a short time the basket was
securely hung between Storm and Grumble. Fritz and
Jack sprang into their saddles, and. Ernest very gingerly
deposited himself in the “cradle,” as Franz called it;
they set forth at a most sober pace, the animals, who
were perfectly docile, appearing only a little surprised at
the new arrangement.

“Oh, it is so pleasant, mother, it is a delightful
motion,” cried Ernest, as they passed us; “it swings and.
rocks really soothingly. Quicker, Fritz! go quicker 1”
and the trot pleasing him equally well, the pace
gradually quickened, till the animals were going along
at a rate which shook and jolted the basket about
The Professor's unpleasant Ride. 353

most fearfully. Ernest called and screamed in vain for a
halt. His brothers thought it capital fun to “shake up”
the “professor,” and made the circuit of the level ground
near Rockburg, finally pulling up in front of us, like per-
formers stopping to receive the applause of spectators.

It was impossible to help laughing, the scene was so
vidiculous, but Ernest was very angry with his brothers,
his reproaches provoked high words in reply, and a
quarrel was imminent, but I interfered, and showed
them how easily a joke carried too far, would lead to
disputes and bad feeling, urging them to avoid on all
occasions any breach of the good-fellowship and bro-
therly love which was the mainstay of our strength and
happiness.

Good humour was soon restored, Ernest himself
helped to unharness the beasts, and got some handfuls
of salt and barley to reward their exertions, saying, that
they must have some more palanquin-practice another
day. :

I was seated with my wife and Fritz beneath the
shade of the verandah, engaged in wicker-work, and
chatting pleasantly, when suddenly Fritz got up, ad-
vanced a step or two, gazing fixedly along the avenue
which led from Jackal River, then he exclaimed—

“TI see something so strange in the distance, father!
What in the world can it be? first it seems to be drawn
in coils on the ground like a cable, then uprises as it
were a little mast, then that sinks, and the coils move
along again. It is coming towards the bridge.”

AA
354 The Swiss Fumily Robinson.



My wife took alarm at this description, and calling
the other boys, retreated into the cave, where I desired
them to close up the entrances, and keep watch with
firearms at the upper windows. These were openings
we had made in the rock at some elevation, reached
within by steps, and: a kind of gallery which passed
along the front of the rooms.

' Fritz remained by me while I examined the object
through my spy-glass.

“It is, as I feared, an enormous serpent!” cried I;
“it advances directly this way, and we shall be placed
in the greatest possible danger, for it will cross the
bridge to a certainty.”

“May we not attack it, father?” exclaimed the brave
boy. :

“Only with the greatest caution,” returned I; “it is
far too formidable, and too tenacious of life, for us
rashly to attempt its destruction. Thank God we are
at Rockburg, where we can keep in safe retreat,
while we watch for an opportunity to destroy this
frightful enemy. Go up to your mother now, and
assist in preparing the firearms ; I will join you
directly, but I must further observe the monster’s move-
ments.”

Fritz left me unwillingly, while I continued to watch
' the serpent, which was of gigantic size, and already
much too near the bridge to admit of the possibility of
removing that means of access to our dwelling. I recol-.
lected, too, how easily it would pass through the walls.

a,
An enormous Serpent appears. 355



The reptile advanced with writhing and undulatory
movements, from time to time rearing its head to the
height of fifteen or twenty feet, and slowly turning it
about, as though on the look-out for prey. ,

As it crossed the bridge, with a slow, suspicious
motion, I withdrew, and hastily rejoined my little party,
which was preparing to garrison our fortress in warlike
array, but with considerable trepidation, which my
presence served in a measure to allay.

We placed ourselves at the upper openings, aftet
strongly barricading everything below, and, ourselves
unseen, awaited with beating hearts the further advance
of the foe, which speedily became visible to us.

Its movements appeared to become uncertain, as
though puzzled by the trace of human habitation ; it
turned in different directions, coiling and uncoiling, and
frequently rearing its head, but keeping about the
middle of the space in front of the cave, when suddenly,
as though unable to resist doing so, one after another
the boys fired, and even their mother discharged her
gun. .The shots took not the slightest effect beyond
startling the monster, whose movements were accele-
rated. Fritz and I also fired with steadier aim, but with
the same want of success, for the monster passing on
with a gliding motion, entered the reedy marsh to the
left, and entirely disappeared.

A wonderful weight seemed lifted from our hearts,
while all eagerly discussed the vast length and awful

though magnificent appearance of the serpent. I ha}
AAZ
356 The Swiss Family Robinson.



recognized it as the boa constrictor It was a vast
specimen, upwards of thirty feet in length

I explained to the children that its name in South
America is Boaguacu; the first syllable of that word,
with the Latin addition, which indicates that it kills its
prey by pressure, or “constriction,” gives the name by
which it is commonly known.

The near neighbourhood of this terrific reptile oc
casioned me the utmost anxiety; and I desired that no
one should leave the house on any pretence whatever,
without my express permission.

During three whole days we were kept in suspense
and fear, not daring to stir above a few hundred steps
from the door, although during all that time the enemy
showed no sign of his presence. . |

In fact, we might have been induced to think the boa
had. passed across the swamp, and found his way by
some cleft or chasm through the wall of cliffs beyond,
had not the restless behaviour of our geese and ducks
given proof that he still lurked in the thicket of reeds
which they were accustomed to make their nightly
resting place.

They swam anxiously about, and with much clapping
of wings and disturbed cackling, showed their uneasi-
ness ; finally taking wing they crossed the harbour, and
took up their quarters on Shark’s Island.

My embarrassment increased, as time passed on. I
could not venture to attack with insufficient force a
monstrous and formidable serpent concealed in dense
Grizsle’s sad fate. 357



thickets amidst dangerous swamps; yet it was dreadful
to live in a state of blockade, cut off from all the im.
portant duties in which we were engaged, and shut up
with our animals in the unnatural light of the cave,
enduring constant anxiety and perturbation.

Out of this painful state we were at last delivered by
none other than our good old simple-hearted donkey ;
not, however, by the exercise of a praiseworthy quality,
such as the vigilance of the time-honoured geese of the
Capitol, but by sheer stupidity.

Our situation was rendered the more critical from
having no great stock of provisions, or fodder for the
animals ; and the hay failing us on the evening of the
third day, I determined to set them at liberty by
sending them, under the guidance of Fritz, across the
river at the ford.

He was to ride Lightfoot, and they were to be
fastened together until safely over.

Next morning we began to prepare for this by tying
them in a line, and while so engaged my wife opened
the door, when old Grizzle, who was fresh and frolicsome
after the long rest and regular feeding, suddenly broke
away from the halter, cut some awkward capers, then bolt-
ing out, careered at full gallop straight for the marsh.

In vain we called him by name. Fritz would even
have rushed after him, had not I held him back. In
another moment the ass was close to the thicket, and
with the cold shudder of horror, we beheld the snake
rear itself from its lair, the fiery eyes glanced around,
358 The Swiss Family Robinson.



the dark deadly jaws opened widely, the forked tongue
darted greedily forth—poor Grizzle’s fate was sealed.

Becoming aware on a sudden of his danger, he stopped
short, spread out all four legs, and set up the most
piteous and discordant bray that ever wrung echo from
rocks.

Swift and straight as a fencer’s thrust, the destroyer
was upon him, wound round him, entangled, enfolded,
compressed him, all the while cunningly avoiding the
convulsive kicks of the agonized animal.

A cry of horror arose from the spectators of this
miserable tragedy.

“Shoot him, father! oh, shoot him—do save poor
Grizzle!”

“My children, it is impossible!” cried I. “Our old
friend is lost to us for ever! I have hopes, however,
that when ‘gorged with his prey, we may be able to
attack the snake with some chance of success.”

“But the horrible wretch is never going to swallow
him all at once, father?” cried Jack. “That will be
too shocking !”

“Snakes have no grinders, but only fangs, therefore
they cannot chew their food, and must swallow it whole.
But although the idea is startling, it is not really more
shocking than the rending, tearing and shedding of blood
which occurs when lions and tigers seize their prey.”

“ But,” said Franz, “how can the snake separate the
flesh from the bones without teeth? And is this kind
of snake poisonous?”
We watch a fearful operation. 359





“No, dear child,” said I, “only fearfully strong and
ferocious. And it has no need to tear the flesh from
the bones. It swallows them, skin, hair, and all, and
digests everything in its stomach.”

“Tt seems utterly impossible that the broad ribs, the
strong legs, hoofs and all, should go down that throat,”
exclaimed Fritz.

“Only see,” I replied, “how the monster deals with
his victim ; closer and more tightly he curls his crushing
folds, the bones give way, he is kneading him into a
shapeless mass. He will soon begin to gorge his prey,
and slowly but surely it will disappear down ‘that
distended maw !”

The mother, with little Franz, found the scene all
too horrible, and hastened into the cave, trembling and
distressed.

To the rest of us there seemed a fearful fascination in
the dreadful sight, and we could not move from the spot.
I expected that the boa, before swallowing its prey,
would cover it with saliva, to aid in the operation,
although it struck me that its very slender forked tongue
was about the worst possible implement for such a
purpose.

It was evident to us, however, that this popular idea
was erroneous.

The act of lubricating the mass must have taken
place during the process of swallowing: certainly
nothing was applied beforehand.

This wonderful performance lasted from seven in the
360 The Swiss Family Robinson.





morning until noon. When the awkward morsel was
entirely swallowed, the serpent lay stiff, distorted, and
apparently insensible along the edge of the marsh.

T felt that now or never was the moment for at-
tack !

Calling on my sons to maintain their courage and
presence of mind, I left our retreat with a feeling of
joyous emotion quite new to me, and approached with
rapid steps and levelled gun, the out-stretched form of
the serpent. Fritz followed me closely.

Jack, somewhat timidly, came several paces behind ;
while Ernest, after a little hesitation, remained where
he was.

The monster’s body was stiff and motionless, which
made its rolling and fiery eyes, and the slow spasmodic
undulations of its tail more fearful by contrast.

We fired together, and both balls entered the skull:
the light of the eye was extinguished, and the only
movement was in the further extremity of the body,
which rolled, writhed, coiled, and lashed from side to
side.

Advancing closer, we fired our pistols directly into
its head, a convulsive quiver ran through the mighty
frame, and the boa constrictor lay dead.

As we raised a cry of victory, Jack, desirous of a
share in the glory of conquest, ran close to the creature,
firing his pistol into its side, when he was sent sprawling
over and over bya movement of its tail, excited to a last
galvanic effort by the shot,




The Boa killed. ; 351°





Being in no way hurt, he speedily recovered his feet,
and declared he had given it its quietus.

“T hope the terrific noise you made just now was the
signal of victory,” said my wife, drawing near, with the
utmost circumspection, and holding Franz tightly by
the hand. “I was half afraid to come, I assure you.”



BOA CONSTRICTOR,

“See this dreadful creature dead at our feet; and let
us thank God that we have been able to destroy such an

)

enemy.’
“What's to be done with him now?” asked Jack.
“Let us get him stuffed,” said Fritz, “and set him up
in the museum amongst our shells and corals.”
“Did anybody ever think of eating serpents ?” en-

quired Franz,
362 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Of course not!” said his mother. “Why, child,
serpents are poisonous—it would be very dangerous.”

“Excuse me, my dear wife,” said I. “ First of all, the
boa is not poisonous ; and then, besides that, the flesh
even of poisonous snakes can be eaten without danger;
as, for instance, the rattlesnake, from which can be
made a strong and nourishing soup, tasting very like.
good chicken broth—of course, the cook must be
told to throw away the head, containing the deadly
fangs.

“Tt is remarkable that pigs do not fear poisonous
snakes, but can kill and eat them without injury. An
instance of this occurs to my memory. on Lake Superior, in N. America, was wrecked on a
small island abounding in rattlesnakes, and for that
reason uninhabited.

“The vessel had a cargo of live pigs. The crew es-
caped to the mainland in a boat, but the pigs had to be
left for some time, till the owner could return to fetch
them, but with small hope of finding many left alive.

“ To his surprise, the animals were not only alive, but
remarkably fat and flourishing, while not a single rattle-
snake remained on the island. The pigs had clearly
eaten the serpents.”

“But might not some other cause have been assigned
for their disappearance?” asked Ernest. “ Suppose, for
example, that a great flight of secretary birds had
arrived, they might have cleared the island of the rattle-
snakes.”
Snakes and Secretary Birds. 363



“Oh, what is a secretary bird?” interrupted Franz.
“T thought a secretary meant a man who wrote letters?”

“ So it does, Franz, and the bird Ernest spoke of has
curious long feathers projecting from either side of its
head, something like pens stuck behind a man’s ear;
hence its name,






SS
SVs

SECRETARY BIRD,

“It is perfectly true that it lives on snakes, lizards,
toads, and-frogs, but, Ernest, I cannot give up my pigs ;
for, in the first place, the secretary bird is an inhabitant
of Southern Africa, and is never seen in North America,
neither does it ever fly in a flock; still, so ravenous is
its appetite, that, no doubt, even one or two, had they by
some miracle found themselves on Lake Superior, would
364 Tie Swiss Family Robinson.





have been able to give a very good account of the
deadly reptiles, and at least shared in the glory of their
extermination.”

My wife having gone to prepare dinner, we continued
talking as we rested in the shade of some:rocks, near
the serpent, for a considerable time. The open air was
welcome to us after our long imprisonment; and we
were, besides, desirous to drive off any birds of prey who
might be attracted to the carcase, which we wished to’
preserve entire.

My boys questioned me closely on the subject of
serpents in general; and I described to them the action
of the poison fangs; how they folded back on the sides
of the upper jaw; and how the poison-secreting glands
and reservoir are found at the back and sides of
the head, giving to the venomous serpents that pe-
culiar width of head which is so unfailing a charac-
teristic.

“The fangs are hollow,” said I, “and when the creature
bites, the pressure forces down a tiny drop of the liquid
poison which enters the wound, and, through the veins,
quickly spreads over the entire system. Sometimes, if
taken in time, cures are effected, but in most cases the
bite of a serpent is followed by speedy death.”

The children were much interested in my account of
the snake-charmers of India, how they fearlessly handle
the most deadly of the serpent tribe, the Cobra di Ca-
pello—or Hooded ‘Cobra—cause them to move in time
to musical sounds from a small pipe, twine the reptile
Rattlesnakes described. 265





about their arms and bare necks, and then, to prove that
the poison fangs have not been removed, make them bite
a fowl, which soon dies from the effects.

“How is it possible to extract the fangs, father ?”
asked Ernest.

“No instrument is required,” replied 1; “I have read
the account written by a gentleman in India, who saw a
snake-charmer catch a large Cobra in the jungle, and
for the purpose of removing the fangs, hold up a cloth
at which the irritated snake flew, and the fangs being
caught in it, the man seized the reptile by the throat,
extracted them, and then squeezed out the poison, a
clear oily substance, upon a leaf.”

“What does the rattle of the rattlesnake look like?
and how does it sound?”

“ At the tip of the tail are a number of curious loose,
horny structures formed of the same substance as the
scales. A very good idea of the structure of the rattle
may be formed by slipping a number of thimbles loosely
into each other.

“The rattlesnake lies coiled with its head flat, and the
tip of its tail elevated ; when alarmed or irritated it gives
a quivering movement to the tail which causes the
joints of the rattle to shake against each other with a
peculiar sound not easily described : all animals, even
horses newly brought from Europe, tremble at this noise,
and try to escape.”

“What is the best thing to be done for the bite of a
serpent?” enquired Fritz.
366 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“Remedies are very various, very uncertain, and differ
with the species inflicting the bite.

“ Suction, ammonia, oil, the use of the knife, application
of fresh mould, lunar caustic, leaves of certain plants, all
these and more are mentioned. There is a creeping
plant, called Aristolochia indica, the leaves of which
have, in repeated instances, done wonders for fearful
bites. It is found in many parts of the-world, but most
plentifully in the hotter regions.

“A mode of cure adopted by the natives of India,
Ceylon, and parts of Africa, is by the application of a
remarkable object called snake-stonhe. These are de-
scribed as flattish, something like half an almond with
squared ends, rather light, bearing a very high polish,
and of an intense jetty black.

“On being bitten by a cobra, the sufferer applies one
of these ‘stones’ to each puncture, where they adhere
strongly for a time, five or six minutes being about the
average. They seem to absorb the blood as it flows
from the wound, and at last fall off, when the danger is
considered to be over.

“But now we must leave this fertile subject of dis-
cussion, and I can only say I sincerely trust we
may never have cause to resume it from the appear-
ance of another. serpent here, of any sort, size, or
description.

“Come, Ernest, can you not give us an epitaph for
our unfortunate friend the donkey ?

“We must afford him more honourable sepulture than
Grizsle’s Epitaph: 367





he enjoys at present, when we proceed, as we speedily
must, to disembowel his murderer.”

Ernest took the matter quite seriously, and planting
his elbows on his knees, he bent his thoughtful brow in
his hands, and remained wrapt in poetic meditation for
about two minutes.

“J have it!” cried he, “but perhaps you will all
faugh at me?”

“No, no, don’t be shy, old fellow ; spit it out!” and
thus encouraged by his brother, Ernest, with the blush
ofa modest author, began—

§* Beneath this stone poor Grizzle’s bones are laid,
A faithful ass he was, and loved by all.
At length, his master’s voice he disobeyed,
And thereby came his melancholy fall.
A monstrous serpent, springing from the grass,
Seized, crushed, and swallowed him before our eyes,
But we, though yet we mourn our honest ass,
Are grateful ; for he thereby saved the lives

Of all the human beings on this shore—
A father, mother, and their children four.”

“Hurrah for the epitaph! Well done, Ernest !.” re-
sounded on all sides, and taking out a large red pencil
I used for marking wood, the lines were forthwith in-
scribed on a great flat stone, being, as I told the boy,
the very best poetry that had ever been written on our
coast,

_ We then had dinner, and afterwards went to work
with the serpent.

The first operation was to recover the’ mangled re-
mains of the ass, which being effected, he was buried in
358 The Swiss Family Robinson.

~ i er te



the soft marshy ground close by, and the hole filled up
with fragments of rock.

Then we yoked Storm and Grumble to ihe serpent,
and dragged it to a convenient distance from Rockburg,
where the process of skinning, stuffing, and sewing up
again afforded occupation of the deepest interest to the
boys for several days.

We took great pains to coil it round a pole in the
museum, arranging the head with the jaws wide open,
so as to look as alarming as possible, and contriving to
make eyes and tongue which were quite sufficient to
represent nature; in fact, our dogs never passed the
monster without growling, and must have wondered at
our taste in keeping such a pet.

Over the entrance leading to the museum and library
were inscribed these words :—

NO ADMITTANCE FOR ASSES,

The double meaning of this sentence pleased us al!
immensely.

eH
CHAPTER XII.

We examine the marsh—A cave discovered—We find the floor covered with
fuller’s earth—Discharge our pistols—Jack’s fright—Ernest captures
an eel—An expedition towards the Gap—Visit Falconhurst and Wood-
lands and examine the country round—Franz shoots a Capybara—
Ernest and Knips fight the rats—A lecture on musk—Cinnamon apples
—A peccary hunt—We prepare the peccary meat—Disasters at Prospect
Hill—An exploring expedition through the Gap—We find our barrier
broken down across the desert—Strange objects in the distance—An
account of ostriches—An ostrich slain—We discover the nest—A mud
tortoise—We encounter bears—A desperate fight—Back again to camp
—wWe skin the bears and smoke their flesh—Pepper found—Three of
the boys start on an expedition—I discover talc.

THE greatest danger to which we had yet been ex-
posed was now over, but there remained much anxiety
in my mind lest another serpent might, unseen by us,
have entered the swamp, or might appear, as this had
done, from the country beyond Falconhurst.

I projected then two excursions, the first to make
a thorough examination of the thicket and morass; the
next right away to the Gap, through which alone the
arch-enemy could have entered our territory.

On summoning my sons to accompany me to the |
marsh, I found neither Ernest nor Jack very eager to do
so, the latter vowing he had the cold shivers each time
he thought how his ribs might have been smashed by
the last flap of the snake’s tail; but I did not yield to

BB
370 | The Swiss Family Robinson.

their reluctance, and we finally set about crossing the
marsh by placing planks and wicker hurdles on the
ground, and changing their places as we advanced.

Nothing was discovered beyond tracks in the reeds
and the creature's lair; where the rushes, grass, and bog-
plants were beaten down.

Emerging beyond the thicket we found ourselves on
firm ground, near the precipitous wall of rock, and per-

ceived a clear sparkling brook flowing from an opening,

which proved to be a cave or grotto of considerable size.

The vaulted roof was covered with stalactites, while
many formed stately pillars, which seemed as though
supporting the roof. The floor was strewn with fine
snow-white earth, with a smooth soapy feeling, which I
felt convinced was fuller’s earth,

“Well, this is a pleasant discovery!” said I. “This is
as good as soap for washing, and will save me the trouble
of turning soap-boile:.”

Perceiving that the streamlet flowed from an opening
pf some width in the inner rock, Fritz passed through,
in order to trace it to its source, presently shouting to
me that the opening widened very much, and begging
me to follow him.

I did so, leaving the other boys in the outer cave, and
fired a pistol-shot—the reverberating echoes of which
testified to the great ex'tent of the place; and lighting
the bit of candle I always carried with me, we advanced,
the light burning clear and steadily, though shedding a
very feeble light in so vast a space.
i







ANOTHER GROT*O,
372 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Suddenly Fritz exclaimed,—

“TI verily believe this is a second cave of salt! See
how the walls glance! and how the light is reflected
from the roof!”

“These cannot be salt crystals,” said I; “the water
which flows over them leaves no track, and tastes quite
sweet. I am rather inclined to believe that we have
penctrated into a cave of rock crystal!”

“Oh, how splendid! Then we have discovered a.
great treasure!” .

“ Certainly, if we could make any use of it ; otherwise,
in our situation, it is about as valuable as the lump of
gold found by good old Robinson Crusoe.”

“ Anyhow, I will break off a piece for a specimen.
See, here is a fine bit, only rather dull, and not trans-
parent: what a pity! I must knock off another.”

“You must go more carefully to work, or it will look
as dull as the first. You destroyed its true form, which
is that of a pyramid, with six sides or faces,”

We remained some time in this interesting grotto, but
our light burnt low after we had examined it in different

. directions ; and Fritz having secured a large lump, which

exhibited several crystals in perfection, we quitted the
place, Fritz discharging a farewell shot for the sake of
hearing the grand echoes.

On reaching the open air we saw poor Jack sobbing
bitterly, but as soon as we appeared he ran. joyfully
towards us, and threw himself into my arms.

“My child, what is the matter?” I cried anxiously.
Jack's alarm. 372



“Oh, I thought you were lost! I heard a noise twice,
as ii the rocks had shattered down; and I thought you
and Fritz were crushed in the ruins! It was horrible!
How glad I am to see you!”

I comforted the child, and explained the noises he
had heard, inquiring why he was alone ?

“Ernest is over there among the reeds: I daresay he
did not hear the shots.”

I found Ernest busily engaged in weaving a basket
in which to catch fish: he had devised it ingeniously,
with a funnel-shaped entrance ; through which the fish
passing would not easily find their way out, but would
remain swimming about in the wide part of the ap-
paratus.

“TI shot a young serpent while you were away, father,”
said he. “It lies there covered with rushes ; it is nearly
four feet long, and as thick as my arm.”

“A serpent!” cried I, hurrying towards it in alarm,
and fearing there must be a brood of them in the swamp
after all.

“A fine large eel you mean, my boy. This will pro-
vide an excellent supper for us to-night. I am glad
you had the courage to kill it, instead of taking to your
heels and fleeing from the supposed serpent.”

“Well, I thought it would be so horrid to be pursued
and caught that I preferred facing it; my shot took
effect, but it was very difficult to kill the creature out-
right, it moved about although its head was smashed.”

“The tenacity of life possessed by eels is very re-
374 The Swiss Family Robinson.



markable,” I said. “I have heard that the best mode
of killing them is to grasp them”by the neck and slap
their tails smartly against a stone or post.”

We made our way back more easily by keeping close
to the cliffs, where the ground was firmer, and found the
mother washing clothes at the fountain. She rejoiced
greatly at our safe return, and was much pleased with
the supply of fuller’s earth, as she said there was now
very little soap left. The eel was cooked for supper,
and during the evening a full account was given of our
passage through the swamp, and discovery of the rock-
crystal cavern.

It was most important to ascertain whether any
serpent lurked among the woods of our little territory
between the cliffs and the sea. Preparations were set
on foot for the second and greater undertaking of a
search throughout the country beyond the river, as far
as the Gap. I wished all the family to go on the ex-
pedition, a decision which gave universal satisfaction.

Intending to be engaged in this search for several
weeks, we took the small tent and a store of all sorts of
necessary provisions, as well as firearms, tools, cooking
utensils, and torches.

All these things were packed on the cart, which was
drawn by Storm and Grumble. Jack and Franz mounted
them; and acted at once the part of riders and drivers.
My wife sat comfortably in the cart, Fritz rode in
advance, while Ernest and I walked ; we were protected
in flank by the dogs and Fangs, the tame jackal.
Exploring expedition. = 398



Directing our course towards Woodlands, we saw
‘many traces of the serpent’s approach to Rockburg. In
some places, where the soil was loose, the trail, like a
broad furrow, was very evident indeed.

- At Falconhurst we made a halt, and were, as usual, wel-
comed by the poultry, as well as by the sheep and goats.

We then passed on to Woodlands, where we arrived
at nightfall. Ali was peaceful and in good order; no
track of the boa in that direction ; no signs of visits from
mischievous apes; the little farm and its inhabitants
looked most flourishing.

Next day was passed in making a survey of the
immediate neighbourhood, at the same time collecting
a quantity of cotton, which was wanted for new pillows
and cushions. In the afternoon Tranz was my com-
panion, carrying a small gun, entrusted to him for the
first time.

We took Fan and Bruno with us, and went slowly
along the left bank of the lake, winding our way among
reedy thickets, which frequently turned us aside a con-
siderable distance from the water. The dogs hunted
about in all directions, and raised duck, snipe, and
heron. These usually flew directly across the lake, so
that Franz got no chance of a shot. He began to get
rather impatient, and proposed firing at the black swans
we saw sailing gracefully on the glassy surface of the
lake.

Just then a harsh booming sound struck our ears. 1
paused in wonder as to whence the noise proceeded,
376 The Swiss Family Robinson,



while Franz exclaimed, “ Oh, father! can that be Swift,
our young onager ?”

“It cannot possibly be Swift,” said I; adding, after
listening attentively a minute or two, “I am inclined to



BITTERN.

think it must be the cry of a bittern, a fine handsome
bird of the nature of a heron.”

“Oh! may I shoot it, father? But I wonder how a
bird can make that roaring noise! One would think it
was an ox, it is more like lowing than braying.”

“The noise creatures make depends more on the
construction of the windpipe, its relation to the lungs
and the strength of the muscles which force out the
franz shoots a strange beast. a7,





breath, than on their size. As for example, how loud is
the song of the nightingale and the little canary bird.
Some people say that the bittern booms with his long
bill partly thrust into the boggy ground, which increases
the hollow muffled sound of its very peculiar cry.”
Franz was very anxious that the first trophy of his
gun should be so rare a bird as the bittern ; the dogs
were sent into the wood, and we waited some distance
apart, in readiness to fire. ,



CAPYBARA.

All at once there was a great rustling in the thicket
Franz fired, and I heard his happy voice calling out :

“T’ve hit him! I’ve hit him!”

“What have you hit ?” shouted I in return.

“A wild pig,” said he; “ but bigger than Fritz’s.”

“Aha! I see you remember the agouti! Perhaps it
is not a hog at all, but one cf our little pigs from the
farm. What will the old sow say to you, Franz?”

I soon joined my boy, and found him in transports of
joy over an animal certainly very much like a pig,
although its snout was broad and blunt. It was covered
4
oO

iw

8 The Swiss Family toowmson.

with bristles, had no tail, and in colour was a yellowish
grey.

Examining it carefully and noticing its webbed feet,
and its curious teeth, I decided that it must be a
capybara, a water-loving animal of South America, and
_Franz was overjoyed to find that he had shot “a new
creature,” as he said. It was difficult to carry it.home,
but he very sensibly proposed that we should open and
clean the carcase, which would make it lighter—and
then putting it in a game-bag, he carried it till quite
tired out ; he asked if I thought Bruno would let him
strap it on his back. We found the dog willing to bear
the burden, and reached Woodlands soon afterwards.

There we were surprised to see Ernest surrounded by
a number of large rats which lay dead on the ground.

“Where can all these have come from?” exclaimed I.
“Have you and your mother been rat-hunting instead
of gathering rice as you intended?” .

“We came upon these creatures quite unexpectedly,”
he replied; “while in the rice swamp, Knips, who was
with us, sprang away to a kind of long-shaped mound
among the reeds, and pounced upon something, which
tried to escape into a hole. He chattered and gnashed
his teeth, and the creature hissed and squeaked, and
running up, I found he had got a big rat by the tail; he
would not let go, and the rat could not turn in the
narrow entrance to bite him, but I soon pulled it out
and killed it with my stick.

“The mound was a curious locking erection, so ]
*

A colony of Beaver Rais 379

oO



broke it open with some difficulty, and in doing this
dislodged quite a dozen of the creatures. Some I killed,
but many plunged into the water and escaped.

“On examining their dwelling I found it a vaulted
tunnel made of clay and mud, and thickly lined with
sedges, rushes, and water-lily leaves

















BEAVER RAT.

“There were other mounds or lodges close by, and
seeking an entrance to one I stretched my game-bag
across it, and then hammered on the roof till a whole
lot of rats sprang out, several right into the bag. I hit
away right and left, but began to repent of my audacity
when I found the whole community swarming about
in the wildest excitement, some escaping, but many
stopping in bewilderment, while others actually attacked
me.

“It was anvthing but pleasant, 1 assure you, and I
380 The Swiss Family Robinson



began to think of Bishop Hatto in the Mouse Tower on
the Rhine. Knips liked it as little as I did, and skipped
about desperately to get out of their way, though he
now and then seized a rat by the neck in his teeth.

“ Just as I began to shout for help, Juno came dashing
through the reeds:and water, and made quick work
with the enemy, all flying from her attack.

“My mother had great difficulty in forcing her way
through the marsh to the scene of action, but reached
me at last ; and we collected all the slain to show you,
and for the sake of their skins.”

This account excited my curiosity, and I went to
examine the place Ernest described: where I found, to
my surprise, an arrangement much like a beaver dam,
though on a small scale, and less complete.

“You have discovered a colony of Beaver Rats,” said
Ito Ernest, “so called from their resemblance in skill
and manner of life to that wonderful creature.

“Musk-rat, Musquash, and Oudatra are other names
given to them. They have, you see, webbed feet and
flattened tails, and we shall find that they carry two
small glands containing the scented substance called
musk. The sooner we strip off the skins the better,
they will be useful for making caps.”

We went back to the house, and met Fritz and Jack
just returned from their excursion, reporting that no
trace of serpents, great or small, had been met with.

Jack carried in his hat about a dozen eggs; and Fritz
had shot a couple of heath fowls, a cock and hen.
Musk producing antmats. 381



We sat down to supper, Franz eager to partake of his
capybara. Even he himself made a face at the peculiar
flavour of the meat.

“It is the musk which you taste,’ said I; and I
described to them the various animals in which this
strange liquid is found; the musk-deer, musk-ox, croco-
dile, musk-rat of India (also called soudeli, which taints
a corked bottle of wine, if it only runs across it,) con-

cluding. with an account of the civet, called also
civet-cat.



CIVET CAT.

“The civet,” said I, “is a handsome black and white
animal, and the perfume obtained from it was formerly
considered a valuable medicine; in the present day it
is used chiefly as a-scent. This odoriferous substance
is secreted, z.e. formed, in a double glandular pouch near
the tail, and the Dutch keep the creature in captivity, so
that it shall afford them a continual supply.

“The method of removing the civet perfume is in-
genious. The animal is very quick and elastic in its
movements, and having sharp teeth it is not pleasant to
handle. So it is put into a long narrow cage in which
it cannot turn round, a horn spoon is then introduced,
382 The Swiss Family Robinson.





and the perfume, a thick oily stuff something like
butter, is coolly scraped from the pouch, the plundered
civet being then released from strait durance, until the
supply is re-formed.”

Presently Jack ran for his game-bag, producing some
fruit which he had forgotten. Several pale green apples,
quite new to us, excited general attention.

“Why, what are those? Are they good?” I asked.

“T hope so, for we sadly want something to take
away the taste of Franz’s beast,” said Jack; “but Fritz
and I were afraid of eating some awful poison or other,
like the manchineel, so we brought them for the inspec.
tion of the learned master Knips.”

I took one and cut it in two, remarking that it con-
tained a circle of seeds or pips, instead of the stone of
the manchineel. At that moment Knips slyly came
bel:ind me, and snatching up one half, began to munch
it with the liveliest satisfaction, an example which the
boys were so eager to follow that a general scramble
ensued, and I had some trouble in securing a couple of
the apples for myself and their mother.

I imagined this to be the cinnamon apple of the
Antilles,

Everyone seeming wearied by the fatigues of the day,
our mattresses and pillows were arranged, and the
inmates of Woodlands betook themselves to repose.

With early light we commenced the next day’s
journey, directing our course to a point between the
sugar-brake and the Gap, where we had once made a
find a herd of Peccaries. 258
sort of arbour of the branches of trees ; as this remained
in pretty good condition, we spread a sail-cloth over the
top of it, instead of pitching the tent, and made it very
comfortable quarters for the short time I proposed to
stay there.

Our object being to search the neighbourhood for
traces of the boa constrictor, or any of his kindred, Fritz,
Jack, and Franz went with me to the sugar-cane brake,
and satisfied ourselves that our enemy had not been there.
It was long since we had enjoyed the fresh juice of these
canes, and we were refreshing ourselves therewith, when
a loud barking of dogs and loud rustling and rattling
through the thicket of canes disturbed our pleasant
occupation, and, as we could see nothing a yard off
where we stood, I hurried to the open ground, and with
guns in readiness we awaited what was coming.

In a few minutes a herd of creatures like little pigs
issued from the thicket, and made off in single file at a
brisk trot; they were of a uniform grey colour, and
showed short sharp tusks.

My trusty double-barrel speedily laid low two of the
fugitives ; the others continued to follow the leader in
line, scarcely turning aside to pass the dead bodies of
their comrades, and maintaining the same steady
pace, although Fritz and Jack also fired and killed
several.

I felt certain that these were peccaries, and recollected
that an odoriferous gland in the back must be removed .
immediately. otherwise the meat will become tainted, and

>
384 The Swiss Family Robinson.



quite unfit to eat. This operation, with the help of my
boys, I accordingly performed at once.

Presently hearing shots in the direction of the hut
where we had left Ernest and his mother, I sent Jack
to their assistance, desiring him to fetch the cart, that
the booty might be conveyed to our encampment,
employing the time of his absence in opening and clean-
inz the animals, thus reducing their weight.

Ernest came back with Jack and the cart, and told
us that the procession of peccaries had passed near
the hut, and that he, with Juno’s help, had secured three
of them.

I was glad to hear this, as I had determined to cure
a good supply of hams, and we made haste to load
the cart; the boys adorned it with flowers and green
boughs, and with songs of triumph which made the
woods ring they conveyed the valuable supply of game
tod the hut, where their mother anxiously waited for us.

After dinner we set to work upon our pigs, singe-
ing and scalding off the bristles; I cut out the hams,
civided the flitches, bestowed considerable portions
of the carcase on the dogs, and diligently cleansed
and salted the meat, while the boys prepared a shed,
where it was to be hung to be cured in the smoke of
fires of green wood.

This unexpected business of course detained us in
the place for some time. On the second day, when the
smoking shed was ready, the boys were anxious to cook
the smallest porker in the Otaheitian fashion, For this


ec

ES,

PECCARI
386 The Swiss Family Robinson



purpose they dug a hole, in which they burnt a quantity
of dry grass, sticks, and weeds, heating stones, which
were placed round the sides of the pit.

While the younger boys made ready the oven, Fritz
singed and washed his peccary, stuffing it with potatoes,
onions, and herbs, and a good sprinkling of salt and
pepper.

He then sewed up the opening, and enveloped the
pig in large leaves to guard it from the ashes and dust
of its cooking-place.

‘The fire no longer blazed, but the embers and stones
were glowing hot; the pig was carefully placed in the
hole, covered over with hot ashes, and the whole with
earth, so that it looked like a big mole heap.

Dinner was looked forward to with curiosity, as well
as appetite ; my wife, as usual, distrusting our experi-
ments, was not sanguine of success, and made ready
some plain food as a pis aller.

She was well pleased with the curing-hut, which was
roomy enough to hang all our hams and bacon. On
a wide hearth in the middle we kindled a large fire,
which was kept constantly smouldering by heaping it
with damp grass and green wood. The hut being closed
in above, the smoke filled it, and penetrated the meat
thoroughly: this process it had to undergo for several
days. —

In a few hours Fritz gave notice that he was going to
open his oven.

Great excitement prevailed as he removed the earth,
fritz bakes a Peccary. 387



turf, and stones, and a delicious appetising odour arose
from the opening. It was the smell of roast pork, cer-
tainly, but with a flavour of spices which surprised me,
until I thought of the leaves in which the food had been
wrapped up. .

The peccary was carefully raised, and when a few
cinders were picked off, it looked a remarkably well-
cooked dish. Fritz was highly complimented on ‘his
success, even by his mother.

The scented leaves were, I thought, those of a tree
which I knew to be found in Madagascar, called, by the
natives, Ravensara, or “good leaf.” It is said to com-
bine the scent of the nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon.
The fruit is a species of nut, possessing the scent of
the leaves in a more delicate degree, and from it an oil
or essence is distilled, which is highly valued in native
cookery.

During the process of curing our large supply of-hams ~
and bacon, which occupied several days, we roamed
about the neighbourhood in all directions, finding no
trace of the serpent, but making many valuable ac-
quisitions, among which were some gigantic bamboos
from fifty to sixty feet in length, and of proportionate
thickness. These, when cut across near the joints,
formed capital casks, tubs, and pots; while the long
sharp thorns, which begirt the stem at intervals, were
as strong and useful as iron nails.

Gne day we made an excursion to the farm at

Prospect Hill, and were grievously provoked to find
: 2c 2
388 The Swiss Fanuly Robinson.

$$ —____.



that the vagabond apes had been there, and wrought
terrible mischief, as before at Woodlands.

The animals and poultry were scattered, and every-
thing in the cottage so torn and dirtied, that it was
_ vain to think of setting things right that day. We
therefore very unwillingly left the disorder as we found
it, purposing to devote time to the work afterwards.

When all was in readiness for the prosecution of our
journey, we closed and barricaded the hut, in which, for
the present, we left the store of bacon; and arranging
our march in the usual patriarchal style, we took our
way to the Gap, the thorough defence of which defile
was the main object we had in view. .

Our last halting-place being much enclosed by shrubs,
bamboos, and brushwood, we had during our stay
opencd a path through the cane thicket in the direction
we were about to travel; this we now found of the
greatest assistance, and the loaded cart passed on with-
out impediment.

The ground was open and tolerably level beyond, so
that in a few hours we arrived at the extreme limit of
our coast territory.

We halted on the outskirts of a ‘little wood behind
which, to the right, rose the precipitous and frowning
cliffs of the mountain gorge, while to the left flowed the
torrent, leaving between it and the rocks the narrow pass
we called the Gap, and passing onward to-mingle its
waters with the sea.

The wood afforded us pleasant shelter. and standing

“
Explore beyond the Pass. 389



high, and within gunshot of the mouth of the rocky pass,
T resolved to make it our camping place. We therefore
unpacked the cart, and made our usual arrangements
for safety and comfort, not forgetting to examine the
wood itself, so as to ascertain whether it harboured any
dangerous animals.

Nothing worse than wild cats was discovered. We
disturbed several of these creatures in their pursuit of
birds and small game, but they fled at our approach.

By the time dinner was ready we felt much fatigued,
and some hours of unusually sultry and oppressive heat
compelled us to rest until towards evening, when return-
ing coolness revived our strength. We pitched the tent,
and then occupied ourselves with preparations for the
next day, when it was my intention to penetrate the
country beyond the defile, and make a longer excursion
across the Savannah, than had yet been undertaken.

All was ready for a start at an early hour; my brave
wife consented to remain in camp with Franz as her
companion, while the three elder boys, and all the dogs,
except Juno, went with me.

We expected to find it somewhat difficult to make
our way through the narrowest part of the pass, which
had been so strongly barricaded and planted with
thorny shrubs, but found on the contrary that the fences
and walls were broken down and disarranged. It was
thus very evident that the great snake, as well as the
herd of peccaries, had made an entrance here. .

This barricade was the first check that had been
390 The Swiss Family Robinson.



placed by hand of man upon the wild free will of nature
in this lonely place.

With one consent storms, floods, torrents, and the wild
beasts of the forest, had set themselves to destroy it.

We resolved to make the defences doubly strong, being
convinced that the position was capable of being barri-
caded and fortified so as to resist the invaders we dreaded.

The prospect which opened before us on emerging from
the rocky pass was wide, and varied. Swelling hills
and verdant wooded vales were seen on one hand, while
a great plain stretched before us, extending from the
banks of the river towards a chain of lofty mountains,
whose summits were rendered indistinct in the haze of
the distance. :

We crossed the stream, which we named East
River, filling our flasks with water, and it was well we
did so, for in continuing our journey, we found the soil
become more arid and parched than we had expected ;
in fact we soon appeared surrounded by a desert.

The boys were astonished at the altered appearance
of the country, part of which had been explored when
we met with the buffaloes. I reminded them of the
difference of the season; that the expedition had been
made directly after the rains, when vegetation had
clothed with transient beauty this region, which, pos-
sessing no source of moisture in itself, had become
scathed and bare during the blazing heat of summer.

Our march proceededyslowly, and many were the
uncomplimentary remarks made on the “ new country.”
Cross the Desert. 301



It was “Arabia Petrea,” groaned one. “Desert of
_ Sahara,” sighed another. “ Fit abode for demons,” mut-
tered a third. “Subterranean volcanic fires are raging
beneath our feet.”

“Patience, my good fellows!” cried I; “you are too
easily discouraged. Look beyond the toilsome way to
those grand mountains whose spurs are already stretch-
ing forward to meet us.’ Who knows what pleasant
surprises await us amid their steep declivities? I, for
my part, expect to find water, fresh grass, re and a
lovely resting-place.’

We were all glad to repose beneath the shade of the
first over-hanging rock we came to, although by pressing
further upwards, we might have attained to a pleasanter
Spot.

Looking back towards the Gap, we marked the
strange contrast of the smiling country bordering the
river, and the dreary, monotonous’ plain we had
traversed.

After gazing on the distant scene, we produced our
store of provisions, and were busily engaged, when
Knips (our constant companion,) suddenly began to
snuff and smell about in a very ridiculous way; finally,
with a shriek which we knew was expressive of pleasure,
he set off at full speed, followed by all the dogs, up a Sort

of glen behind us.

' We. left them to their own devices, Being far too
pleasantly engaged with our refreshments to care’ much
_ what fancy the little rogue had got in his head.
392 The Swiss Family Robinson.





When hunger was somewhat appeased, Fritz once
more cast his eyes over the expanse of plain before us,
and after looking fixedly for a moment, exclaimed—

“Ts it possible that I see a party of horsemen riding
at full gallop towards us! Can they be wild Arabs of
the desert?” Je

“Arabs, my boy! certainly not; but take the spy-
glass and make them out exactly. We shall have to be
on our guard, whatever they are !”

“T cannot see distinctly enough to be sure,” said he
presently, “and imagination supplies the deficiency of
sight in most strange fashion. I could fancy them wild
cattle, loaded carts, wandering hay-cocks, in fact almost
anything I like.”

The spy-glass passed from hand to hand; Jack .and
Ernest agreed in thinking the moving objects were
men on horseback; but when it came to my turn to
look, I at once pronounced them tobe very large
ostriches.

“This is fortunate indeed!” I exclaimed; “we must
try to secure one of these magnificent birds; the feathers
alone are worth having.”

“A live ostrich, father! that would be spiendid.
Why, we might ride upon him!” °

As-the ostriches approached, we began to consider in
what way we should attempt a capture. I sent Fritz
and Jack to recall the dogs, and placed myself with
Ernest behind. some shrubs which would conceal us
from the birds as they came onwards.
































































































































































































































































































































































































=———

f

Ng



A-PLEASANT REST.
304 The Swiss Family Robinson.



The boys did not rejoin us for some little time; they
found Knips and the dogs at a pool of water formed
by a small mountain stream, which the monkey’s
instinct had detected; his sudden departure was thus
accounted for, and they availed themselves right gladly
of his discovery, filling their flasks, and hastily bathing
before their return.

The ostriches continued to come in our direction,
varying their pace as though in sport, springing, trotting,
galloping, and chasing each other round and round, so
that their approach was by no means rapid.

I could now perceive that of the five birds one
only was a male, the white plumes of the wings and
tail contrasting finely with the deep glossy black of the
neck and body.

- The colour of the females being ashen brown, the
effect of their white plumes was not so handsome

“T do not believe we shall have a chance with these
birds,” said I, “except by sending Fritz’s eagle in
pursuit ; and for that we must bide our time, and let
them come as near as possible.’

“In what way, then, are ostriches caught by the
natives of the African deserts ?” enquired Fritz.

“Sometimes by chase on horseback ; but their speed
is so very great, that even that must be conducted by
stratagem.

“When these birds are pursued, they will run for
hours in a wide circle; the hunter gallops after them,
but describes a much smaller circle, and can therefore
“An Ostrich killed. » —~ 395

maintain the pace for a longer time, waiting to make
the attack until the bird is fatigued.

“ Among the Bushmen, the hunter sometimes envelopes
himself in the skin of an ostrich, his legs doing duty for
those of the bird, and his arm managing the head and
neck so as to imitate the movements of the bird when
feeding. The enterprising hunter is thus enabled to get
among ja flock of ostriches, and to shoot Enetae wich
arrows one after another.

“When aware of an enemy they defend themselves
desperately, using their powerful legs as weapons;
always kicking forwards, and inflicting dreadful injuries
on dogs, and even on men if attacked without due
precaution. But let us take up our positions, and KeeP
perfectly still, for the ostriches are at hand!”

We held the dogs concealed as much as possible; the
stately birds suddenly perceiving us, paused, hesitated
and appeared uneasy. Yet as no movement was made,
they drew a few steps nearer, with outstretched necks, ex-
amining curiously the unwonted spectacle before them. ~

The dogs became impatient, struggled from our grasp
and furiously rushed towards our astonished visitors.
In an instant they turned and fled with the speed of the
wind; their feet seemed not to touch the ground, their
wings aiding their marvellously rapid progress. ;

In a few moments they would have been beyond our
reach, but as. they turned to fly the eagle was unhooded.
Singling out the male bird the falcon made his fatal
swoop, and, piercing the skull, the magnificent creature
296 The Swiss Family Robinson.



was laid low. Before we could reach the spot the dogs
had joined the bird of prey, and were fiercely tearing
the flesh and bedabbling the splendid plumes with gore.

This sight grieved us.

“ What a pity we could not capture this glorious bird
alive!” exclaimed Fritz, as we took its beautiful feathers ;
“it must, I am sure, have stood more than six feet high,
and two of us might have mounted him at once!”

_ “Jn the vast sandy deserts where nothing grows,
what can flocks of these birds find to live upon?”
enquired Ernest.

“That would indeed be hard to say, if the deserts
were utterly barren and unfruitful,” returned I; “but
over these sandy wastes a beneficent Providence scatters
plants of wild melons, which absorb and retain every
drop of moisture, and which quench the thirst as well as
satisfy the hunger of the ostriches and other inhabitants
of the wilds. These melons, however, do not constitute
his entire diet; he feeds freely on grasses, dates, and
hard grain, when he can obtain them.”

“ Does the ostrich utter any cry ?”

“The voice of the ostrich is a deep hollow rumbling
sound, so much resembling the roar of the lion as to be
occasionally mistaken for it. But what does Jack mean
by waving his cap, and beckoning in that excited
fashion ? What has the boy found, I wonder!”

He ran a little way towards us, shouting :

“Eggs, father! Ostriches’ eggs! a huge nest-full—do
come quick |”
Ostriches eggs. 397

We all hastened to the spot, and in a slight hollow of

the ground, beheld more than twenty eggs, as large as
‘an infant’s head.

The idea of carrying more than two away with us
was preposterous, although the boys, forgetting what the
weight would be, seriously contemplated clearirig the nest.

They were satisfied when a kind of landmark had
been set up, so that if we returned we might easily find
the nest.

As each egg weighed about three pounds, the boys.
soon found the burden considerable, even when tied into
a handkerchief and carried like a basket. To relieve
them, I cut a strong elastic heath stick, and suspending
an cgg in its sling at each end, laid the bent stick over
Jack’s shoulder, and like a Dutch dairy-maid with her
milk-pails, he stepped merrily along without incon-
venience.

We presently reached a marshy place surrounding a
little pool evidently fed by the stream which Knips had
discovered. The soft ground was trodden and marked
by the footsteps of many different sorts of animals;
we saw tracks of buffaloes, antelopes, onagas ot quaggas,
but no trace whatever of any kind of serpent : hitherto
our journey in search of monster reptiles had been
signalized by very satisfactory failure.

By this brook we sat down to rest and take some
food; Fangs presently disappeared, and Jack calling ta
his pet discovered him gnawing at something which he
had dug from the marsh. Taking it for a root of some
398 The Swiss Family Robinson.

4

—_——-»



sort, Jack brought it for my inspection. I dipped it in
water to clear off the mud, and. to my surprise found a
queer little living creature, no bigger than half an tapple,

in my he It was a small tortoise.



















































































MUD TORTOISE,

“ A tortoise, I declare!” cried Fritz. “What a long
way from the sea. How came it here, I wonder?”

“Perhaps there has been a tortoise-shower,” remarked
Ernest. “One reads of frog-showers in the time of the
ancient Romans.”

“Hollo, Professor! you’re out for once,” said IL
“ This is nothing but a mud-tortoise, which lives in wet,
marshy ground and fresh water. They are useful in
gardens ; for although they like a few lettuce leaves
now and then, they will destroy numbers of snails,
grubs, and worms,”
Encounter a Bear. 399



Resuming our journey, we arrived at a charming
valley, verdant, fruitful, and shaded by clumps of
graceful trees. It afforded us the greatest delight and
refreshment to pass along this cool and lovely vale,
which we agreed to call Glen Verdant.

In the distance we could see herds of antelopes or
buffaloes feeding ; but as our dogs continually ranged a
long way ahead of us, they were quickly startled, and
vanished up one or other of the narrow gorges which
opened out of the valley.

Following the imperceptible windings of the vale, we
were surprised, on quitting it for the more open ground,
to find ourselves in country we were already acquainted
with, and not far from the Jackal Cave, as we called the
place where Fangs had been captured in cubhood.

On recognising the spot, Ernest, who was in advance
with one of the dogs, hastened towards it. We lost
sight of him for a few minutes, and then arose a cry of
terror, violent barking, and deep, surly growls.

As we rushed forward, Ernest met us, looking white
as ashes, and calling out,—

«A bear, a bear, father! He is coming after
me!”

The boy clung to me in mortal fear. I felt his whole
frame quivering.

“Courage, my son!” cried I, disengaging myself
from his grasp ; “ we must prepare for instant defence!”

The dogs dashed forward to join the fray, whatever it
was; and not long were we in doubt. To my no small


420 The Swiss Family Robinson.



A BEAR! A BEAR!

consternation, an enormous bear made his appearance,
quickly followed by anothex,
A fearful confiict. 4Ol



With levelled guns, my brave Fritz and I advanced
slowly: to meet them. Jack was also ready to fire, but
the shock had so unnerved Ernest that he fairly took
to his heels. We fired together, one at each bear;
but though hit, the monsters were unfortunately only
wounded. We found it most difficult to take aim, as
the dogs beset them on all sides. However, they were
much disabled, one having the lower jaw broken, and
the other, with a bullet in its shoulder, was effectually
lamed. The dogs, perceiving their advantage, pressed
more closely round their foes, who yet defended them-
selves furiously with frightful yells of pain and rage.
Such was the confusion and perpetual movement of the
struggle, that I dared not fire again, seeing that even
slightly wounding one of our gallant hounds would in-
stantly place him in the power of the raging bears.

Watching our opportunity, we suddenly advanced with
loaded pistols to within a very few paces of the animals,
and firing, both fell dead, one shct through the head, the
other, in the act of rearing to spring on Fritz, received.
his charge in its heart,

“Thank Heaven!” cried I, as with dull groans the
brutes sank to the ground. “We have escaped the
greatest peril we have yet encountered !”

- The dogs continued to tear and worry the fallen foe,
as though unwilling to trust the appearance of death,
With feelings somewhat akin, I drew my hunting-knife,
and made assurance doubly sure.

: Seeing all safe, Jack raised a shout of victory, that

nn
402 The Swiss Family Robinson.



poor Ernest might gain courage to approach the scene
of conflict, which at last he did, and joined us in ex-
amining the dangerous animals, as they lay motionless
before us. :

Every point was full of interest, their wounds, their
sharp teeth, their mighty claws, the extraordinary
strength of neck and shoulder, all were remarked and
commented on, and observing that the shaded brown
hair was tipped with glossy white, I thought that these
might be the silver bears mentioned in Captain Clarke’s
journey to the north-west coasts of America.

“Well, my lads,” said I, “if we have failed to catch
sight of serpents, we have at least made good riddance
of some other bad rubbish! These fellows would one
day have worked us woe, or I am much mistaken.
What’s to be done next ?”

' “Why, skin them, to be sure,” said Fritz. “We shall
have a couple of splendid bear-skin rugs.”

As this process would take time and evening drew
on wé dragged the huge carcases into their den, to await
our return, concealing them with boughs of trees and
fencing the entrance as well as we could. The ostrich
vggs we also left behind us, hidden in a sandy hole. — .

By sunset we reached the tent, and joyfully rejoined
the mother and Franz, right glad to’ find a hearty meal
prepared for us, as wellas a large heap of brushwood for
the watch-fire.

When a full account of our adventures had been given,
with. a minute and special description of the bear- fight,
a

se

if

oer Te
aul

se



A DESPERATE ENCOUNTER,
404. Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.

the mother related what she had done during our absence.
She and Franz had made their way through the wood
up to the rocks behind it, and discovered a bed of pure
white clay, which it seemed to her might be used for
making porcelain. Then she had contrived a drinking-
trough for the cattle out of a split bamboo.

She had arranged a hearth in a sheltered place by
building up large stones, cemented with the white clay;
and, finally, she had cut a quantity of canes and brought
them, on the cart, to be in readiness for the building we
had in hand.

I praised the thoughtful diligence which had effected
so much that was of real and definite use. In order to
try the clay I put some balls of it in the fire now kindled
to burn during the night, and we then betook ourselves
to rest under shelter of our tent.

Tawoke at dawn and aroused my little party. My
first idea was to examine the clay balls, which I found
baked hard and finels: glazed, but too much melted ©
down by the heat—a fault which, seeing the excellent
quality of the clay, 1 knew it would be well worth while
to remedy.

After breakfast, and our accustomed devotions, we
harnessed the cart, and took the way to the bear’s den.
Fritz headed the party, and, coming in sight of the
entrance to the cave, called out softly:

“Make haste and you will see a whole crowd of wild
turkeys, who seem to have come to attend the funeral
obseguies of their respected friend and neighbour, Bruin,
A Condor at the cave. 405

here. . But there appears to be a jealous watcher who is
unwilling to admit the visitors to the bed of state!”
The Watcher, as Fritz called him, was an immensely

large bird, with a sort of comb on his head, and -a loose



CONDOR.

fleshy skin hanging from beneath the beak. Part of the
neck was bare, wrinkled and purplish-red, while around it,
resting ort the shoulders, was a downy collar of soft white
feathers. The plumage was greyish-brown, marked here
and there with white patches; the feet appeared to be
armed with strong claws. This great bird guarded the
entrance to the cave, occasionally retiring into it himself
for a few minutes; but as soon as the other birds came
406 The Swiss Family Robinson,



pressing in after him, he hurried out again and they were
forced to retire.

We stopped to observe this curious scene, and were
startled suddenly by a mighty rush of wings in the air
above us. We looked up; at the same moment Fritz
fired, and an enormous bird fell heavily head foremost
on the rocks, by which its neck was broken, while blood
flowed from a wound in the breast.

We had been holding back the dogs, but they, with
Fritz, now rushed towards the cave, the birds rising
around them and departing-with heavy ungainly flight,
leaving only Fritz’s prize, and one of the other birds,
killed by the large one in its fall.

With the utmost caution I entered the cave, and
rejoiced to find that the tongue and eyes only of the
bears had been devoured: a little later and we should
have had the handsome skins pecked and torn to rags,
and all chance of steaks and bears’-paws gone.

On measuring the wings of the large bird from tip to
tip, I found the length exceeded eleven feet, and con-
cluded it to be a condor; it was evidently the mate of
the “ Watcher,” as Fritz called the first we saw.

To work we now went on the bears, and no slight
affair we found it to skin and cut them up, but by dint
of perseverance we at last succeeded in our object.

Determining to smoke the meat on the spot, we cut
magnificent hams, and took off the rest of the meat in
slices after the manner of the buccaneers in the West
Indies, preserving the paws entire to be cooked as a
Lhe Pepper plant. >> 4oy'

delicacy, and obtaining from the two bears together a
prodigious supply of lard, which my wife gladly under-
took to melt and prepare for keeping.

+ The bones and offal we drew to some distance with
the help of our cattle, and made the birds of the air most
welcome to feast: upon it. This, with the assistance ‘of
all sorts of insects, they did so effectually that before we
left the place the skulls were picked perfectly clean, the
sun had dried them, and they were ready for us to carry.
off to our museum.

The skins had to be very carefully scraped, washed,
salted, cleansed with ashes, and dried ; which occupied
fully two days.

I was lamenting our distance from the Raseusara
tree, the leaves of which had flavoured our roast peccary
so nicely, when I observed among the brushwood which
the boys had brought from the thickets around us, a
climbing plant, whose leaves had a very strong smell,
the ster resembled a vine, and the fruit grew in clusters
like currants. Some were red, and some of a green colour,
which I supposed to denote various degrees of ripeness.
They were hard, and the outer skin was quite thin.

I recognised in this the Pepper plant, a discovery
particularly agreeable at this moment.

The boys soon gathered a large supply; the red
berries were soaked in salt and water for several days,
then washed and rubbed, and finally, becoming perfectly
white, were dried in the sun, The treatment of the
green berries was simple ; they were merely exposed to
408 the Swes family Robinson.



the sun’s heat for a day or two, and then stored: in
this way we obtained enough, both of black and white
pepper, to last us a very long.time.

I took also a number of young plants, that we might
have pepper growing at Rockburg and our various
settlements. Some roots of another plant were also
taken, which, from the pods, appeated to be a kind
of bean.

We were glad of this occupation during the tedious
business of smoking the bear’s meat, and availed our-
selves of the leisure time by also preparing for stuffing
the condor and the turkey buzzard, urubu or black
vulture —for I could not determine to which species the
smaller bird belonged.

The four boys at length became so weary of inaction,
that I determined to let them make an excursion alone
on the Savannah. Three of them received this permis-
sion with eager delight, but Ernest said he would prefer
to remain with us; to which, as the expedition was to
be entirely one of pleasure, I could make no objection.

Little Franz, on the other hand, whom I would will.
ingly have kept with us, was wild to go with his brothers,
and I was obliged to consent, as I had made the proposal
open to all, and could not draw back.

In the highest spirits they ran to bring their steeds
(as we were fain to call the cattle they rode) from their
pasturage at a short distance. Speedily were they
saddled, bridled, and mounted—the three lads were
ready to be off.
The Boys expedition. 409





Tt was my wish that our sons should cultivate a habit
pf bold independence, for well I knew that it might be
the will of God to deprive them easily of their parents , .
when, without an enterprising spirit of self-reliance, their
position would be truly miserable.

My gallant Fritz possessed this desirable quality in
no small degree, and to him I committed the care of his
young brothers, charging them to look up to and obey
him as their leader
' They were well armed, well mounted, had a couple of

good dogs; and, with a hearty “ God speed and bless
you, my boys!” I let them depart.

We, who remained behind, passed the day ina ee
of useful occupations

The bears’ meat, which was being cured in a smoking
shed such as that we set up for the peccary hams,
required a good deal of attention from my wife. Ernest
had a fancy for making ornamental cups from the ostrich
eggs, while I investigated the interior of the cave.

I found the inner wall to consist of a kind of talc,
‘mingled with threads of asbestos, and also indications of
mica. Examining further, I detached a large block, and
found to my joy that I could split it into clear trans-
parent sheets, which would serve admirably for windy
panes.

My wife saw this substitute for glass with unfeigned
satisfaction, declaring, that although she would not com
plain, yet the want of glass for windows had been a
downright trouble to her. .
CHAPTER XIII.

The boys return and give an account of their adventures—How they cap-
tured the antelopes—How Fritz caught the rabbits and Jack rode down
the gazelles—How they followed the honey bird and Jack tried to rol?
the bees’ byke—We sup on the bears’-paws—Across the desert again
—Sight three ostriches—The male bird captured—We secure him
between Storm and Grumble—The mother’s astonishment at our new
pet—Return to Woodlands—Home again—We establish colonies on
Shark and Whale Islands—Turn our attention to agriculture—The
difficulties of ostrich training—My patent saddle and bridle—I exercise
my ingenuity in various trades.

AS evening approached, the bears’-paws, which were
stewing for supper, sent forth savoury odours ; and we
sat talking round the fire, while listening anxiously for
sounds heralding the return of our young explorers,

At last the tramp and-beat of hoofs struck our ears ;
the little troop appeared, crossing the open ground
before us at a sharp trot, and a shrill ringing cheer
greeted us as we rose and went to mect them.

They sprang from their saddles, the animals were set
at liberty to refresh themselves, and the riders eagerly
came to exhibit their acquisitions and give an account
of themselves. .

Funny figures they cut! Franz and Jack had each a
young kid slung on his back, so that the four legs, tied
together, stuck out under their chins.
4Il

The Boys return.
Fritz’s game-bag looked remarkably queer—round
lumps, sharp points, and an occasional movement seemed



to indicate a living creature or creatures within.
“ Hurrah, for the chase, father!” cried Jack. “ Nothing
And just to see how Storm

like real hunting after all.
and Grumble go along over a grassy plain! It is per-

BENQ BN
SS i's
Wi?

=
o




ANTELOPE,
We soon tired out the little antelopes,

feetly splendid !
and were able to catch them.”
“Yes, father,” said Franz; “and Fritz has two Angora
rabbits in his bag, and we wanted to bring you some
honey. Only think! such a clever bird—a cuckoo,

>?”

showed us where it was
4lzZ The Swiss Family Robinson.
-.“My- brothers forget the chief ‘thing,’ said. Fritz,
#We have driven a little herd of antelopes right through
the Gap into our territory; and there they are, all ready
for us to hunt when we like—or to catch and tame!”
. 2 -©Well done!” cried 1; “here is indeed a list of
achievements. - But to your mother and me, the chief
thing of all, is God’s goodness in bringing you safe back
to us. Now, let us hear the whole story that we may
have a definite idea of your performances.”

“We had a splendid ride,” said Fritz, “down Glen
Verdant, and away to the defile through our Rocky
Barrier, and the morning was so cool and fresh that our
steeds galloped along, nearly the whole way, at the top
of their speed. When we had passed through the Gap
we moderated our furious pace and kept our eyes open
on the look-out for game ; we then trotted slowly to the
top of a grassy hili, from whose summit we saw two
herds of animals, whether antelopes, goats, or gazelles,
we did not know, grazing by the side of the stream
below us. We were about to gallop down and try ta
get a shot at them, when it struck me that it would be
wiser to try and drive the whole herd through the Gap
into our own domain, where they would be shut up, as



it were, in a park, free and yet within reach. Down the
hill we rode as hard as we could go, formed in a semi-
circle behind the larger herd—magnificent antelopes—
and; aided by the dogs, with shouts and cries drove
them along the stream towards the Gap; as wwe came’
near the opening they appeared inclined to halt and
A herd of Antelopes caught. A413,



turn like sheep about to be driven into the butcher's
yard ; and it was all we could do to prevent them from
balting past us; but, at length, one made a rush at the
opening and, the rest following, they were soon all on
the other side of the frontier and inhabitants of New
Switzerland.”

“Capital,” I said, “capital, my boy! But I don’t see
what is to make them remain inhabitants of our domain,
or to prevent them from -returning through the Gap
whenever they feel inclined.”

“Stop, father,” he replied, “you interrupted me too
soon; we thought of that possibility too, and provided
against it. We stretched a long line right across the
defile and strung on it feathers and rags and all sorts of
other things, which danced and fluttered in the wind,
and looked so strange that I am perfectly certain that
the herd will never attempt to pass it; in fact, Levaillant,
from whom I learnt the trick, says in his ‘ Voyage au
Cap de Bonne Espérance, that the Hottentots make
use of the method for penning in the antelopes they
have caught in the chase.”
. “Well done,” said I, “I am glad to see that you
remember what you have read. The antelopes are
welcome to New Switzerland, but, my boy,” I added, “ £
cannot say the same for the rabbits you have there; they
‘increase so rapidly that if you establish a colony:of the
little wretches your next difficulty will be to get ridiof
them.” : ae, Ree a oA ea
-« True,” he replied, “but my idea was to place them
414 The Swiss Family Robinson.



upon Whale Island, where they would find abundant
food, and at the same time in no way trouble us, May
I not establish a warren there? It would be so useful,
Do you know my eagle caught these pretty little fellows
forme? I saw a number of them running about and so
unhooded him, and in a few minutes he brought me



GAZELLE.

three—one dead, with whose body I rewarded him, and
these two here, unhurt.”

~ “Now, father,” said Jack, interrupting him, “do listen
to me and hear my story, or else Fritz will begin upon
my adventures and tire you out with his rigmarole
descriptions.”

“Certainly, Jack,” I said,“I am quite ready to listen
to you. First and foremostly, how did you bring down
those beautiful little animals you have there ?”

“Oh, we galloped them down. The dogs sniffed about

_— om
The HHoney-bird. 415

————



in the grass while Fritz was away after the rabbits,
out popped these little fawns and away they went
bounding and skipping, at the rate of thirty miles an
hour, with Storm, Grumble, and the dogs at their heels.
In about a quarter of an hour we had left the dogs
behind and were close upon our prey. Down went the
little creatures in the grass, and, overcome with terror
and fatigue, were at our mercy. So we shouted to Fritz,

J

and



“My dear boy,” said I, “according to your statement,
Fritz must have been seven miles and a half off.”

“Oh, well, father, perhaps we did not ride for quite a
quarter of an hour, and, of course, I can’t say exactly
how fast we were going; and then, you see, the fawns
did not run in a straight line; at any rate Fritz heard us,
and he and Franz and I leashed the legs of the pretty
creatures, and then we mounted again, and presently
saw a wretch of a cuckoo, who led us ever so far out
of our course by cuckooing and making faces at us and
then hopping away. Franz declared it must be an en-
chanted princess, and so I thought I would rid it of its
spell ; but Fritz stopped me shooting it, and said it was a
‘Honey Indicator,’ and that it was leading us probably
to a bees’ byke, so we spared its life, and presently, sure
enough, it stopped close by a bees’ nest in a hollow tree.

p This was capital, we thought, and, as we were in a great
hurry ‘to taste the honey, I threw in a lot of lighted
. lucifer matches, but somehow it did not kill the bees at
all, but only made them awfully angry, and they flew
4iS The Swiss Family Robinson.



a ~



out in a body and stung meall over. I rushed to Storm
and sprang on his back, but, though I galloped away
for bare life, it was an age before I got rid of the little
wretches, and now my face is ina perfect fever. I think
I will get mother to bathe it for me ;” and off rushed the
noisy boy, leaving Fritz and me to see to the fawns and
examine the rabbits. With these latter I determined
to do as Fritz proposed, namely, to colonise Whale
Island with them. I was all the more willing to do
this because I had been considering the advisability of
establishing on that island a fortress to which we might
retreat in any extreme danger, and where we should be
very thankful, in case of such a retreat, to possess means
of obtaining a constant supply of animal food.

Having ministered to the wants of the antelopes, I
tried to interest the boys in my discovery of tne block
of talc, but just then their mother summoned us to:
dinner. 7

The principal dish in this meal consisted of the bears’
paws—most savoury smelling delicacies, so tempting that-
their close resemblance to human hands, and even the
roguish “Fee-fo-fum” from Jack, did not prevent a
single member of the family from enjoying them most:
heartily

Supper over, we lit our watch-fire, retired to our tent:
and slept soundly. ee

We had been working very diligently; the bears”
meat was smoked, the fat melted down and stored, and
a large supply of bamboos collected. But I wished to:
Gun collected. A417

erect te a

make yet another excursion, and at early dawn I aroused
the boys.

Fritz mounted the mule, I rode Lightfoot, Jack and
Franz took their usual steeds and, with the two dogs,
we galloped off—first to visit the euphorbia to collect
the gum, and then to discover whether the ostrich had
deserted her eggs in the sand.

Ernest watched us depart without the slightest look
or sigh of regret, and returned to the tent to assist his
mother and study his. books.

Our steeds carried us down the Green Valley at a
rapid rate, and we followed the direction we had pur-
sued on our former expedition. Wesoon reached Turtle
Marsh, and then, filling our water-flasks, we arrived at
the rising ground where Fritz discovered the mounted
Arabs,

As Jack and Franz wanted a gallop, I allowed them
to press forward, while Fritz and I visited the euphorbia
trees. A quantity of the red gum had exuded from the
incisions I had made, and as this had coagulated in the
sun, I rolled it into little balls and stored it in a bamboo
jar I had brought with me for the purpose.

As we rode after the boys, who were some way ahead,
Fritz remarked :—

“Did you not tell me that the juice of that tree
was poisonous, father; why have you collected such a
quantity ?”

“TJ did indeed say so,” I replied ; “it is a most deadly

,poison: The inhabitants of the Cape of Good Hope
a ot
418 The Swiss Family Robinson.





use it to poison the springs where wild animals assemble
to quench their thirst; and they thus slaughter an
immense number of the creatures for the sake of their
hides. ~ I intend, however, to use it to destroy the apes
should they again commit depredations, and also in
preparing the skins of animals to protect them from the
attacks of insects.”

The two boys were still at some distance from us,
when suddenly four magnificent ostriches rose from the
sand where they had been sitting.

Jack and Franz perceived them, and with a great
shout, drove them towards us. In front ran a splendid
male bird, his feathers of shining black, and his great
tail plume waving behind. Three females of an ashen
grey colour followed him. They approached us with
incredible swiftness, and were within gun-shot before

_ they. perceived us, Fritz had had the forethought to
bind up the beak of his eagle so that, should he bring
down an ostrich, he might be unable to injure it.

He now threw up the falcon which, towering upwards,
swooped down upon the head of the foremost bird, and
so confused and alarmed him, that he could not defend
himself nor continue his flight. So greatly was’ his
speed checked that Jack overtook him, and hurling his
lasso, enfolded his wings and legs in its deadly coils and
brought him to the ground. The other ostriches were
almost out of sight, so leaving them to their own devices,
we leaped from our steeds and attempted to approach
the captured bird. He struggled fearfully, and kicked
An Ostrich captured. AI9



with such violence right and left, that I almost despaired
of getting him home alive.

It occurred to me, however, that if we could cover his
eyes, his fury might be subdued. I instantly acted
upon this idea, and flung over his head my coat and
hunting-bag, which effectually shut out the light.

No sooner had I done this than his struggles ceased
and we were able to approach. We first secured round
his body a broad strip of sealskin, on each side of which
I fastened a stout piece of cord, that I might be able to
lead him easily. Then, fastening another cord in a loop
round his legs that he might be prevented from breaking
into a gallop, we released him from the coils of the lasso.
said I to the boys, “ how the natives

’

“Do you know,’
of India secure a newly-captured elephant ?”

“Oh, yes!” ‘said Fritz; “they fasten him between
two tame elephants. We'll do that to this fine fellow,
and tame him double quick.”

“The only difficulty will be,” remarked Jack, “that
we have no tame ostriches. However, I daresay Storm
and Grumble will have no objection to perform their
part, and it will puzzle even this great monster to run
away with them.” ,

So we at once began operations, Storm ani Grumble
were led up on either side of the recumbent ostrich, and
the cords secured to their girths. Jack and Franz, each
armed with a stout whip, mounted their respective
steeds, the wrappers were removed from the bird’s eyes,

and we stood by te watch what would next occur.
EE2
420 The Swiss Family Robinson.



For some moments after the return of his sight he lay
perfectly still, then he arose with a bound and, not
aware of the cords which hampered him, attempted to
dash forwards. The thongs were stout, and he was
brought to his knees. A fruitless struggle ensued, and
then at length seeming to accommodate himself to circum-
stances, he set off at a sharp trot, his guards making the
air re-echo with their merry shouts. These cries stimu-
lated the ostrich. to yet further exertions, but he was at
length brought to a stand by the determined refusal of
nis four-footed companions to continue such a race
across loose sand.

The boys having enjoyed the long run, I told them to
walk with the prisoner slowly home, while Fritz and I
returned to examine the ostrich’s nest. The eggs were
quite warm, and I was certain that the mother had quite
recently left the nest ; leaving about half, I packed the
rest of the eggs in a large bag I had brought for the
purpose, and slung it carefully on the saddle before me.
We soon caught up our advance guard, and without
other notable incident reached our tent.

Astonishment and dismay were depicted on the face
of the mother as we approached.

“My dear husband,” she exclaimed, “do ycu think
our provisions so abundant that you must scour the
deserts to find some great beast to assist us to devour
them. ‘You must discover an iron mine next, for iron is
what ostriches chiefly live on, is it not? Oh! I do
wish you would be content with the menagerie you have
Jack claims the Ostrich. 421



already collected, instead of bringing in a specimen of
every beast you come across. And this is such a useless
monster !”

“Useless: mother,” exclaimed Jack, “you would not
say so had you seen him run; why he will be the fleetest
courser in our stables. I am going to make a saddle
and bridle for him, and in future he shall be my only
steed. Then as for his appetite, father declares it is
most delicate, he only wants a little fruit and grass, and
a few stones and tenpenny nails to help his digestion.”

The way in which Jack assumed the proprietorship of
our new prize seemed to strike his brothers as rather
cool, and there was instantly a cry raised on the subject.

“Very well,” said Jack, “let us.each take possession
of the part of the ostrich we captured. Your bird, Fritz,
seized the head; keep that; father shall have the body,
I'll have the legs, and Franz a couple of feathers from
the tail.”

“Come, come,” said I, “I think that Jack has a very
good right to the ostrich, seeing that he brought it to
the ground, and if he succeeds in taming it and convert-
ing it into a saddle-horse it shall be his. From this
time, therefore, he is responsible for its training.”

The day was now too far advanced to allow us to
think of setting out for Rockburg, so we fastened up the
ostrich between two trees, and devoted the remainder of
the evening to making preparations for our departure.

At early dawn our picturesque caravan was moving
homewards. The ostrich continued so refractory that
422 T) he Swiss Family Robinson





we were obliged to make him again march between
Storm and Grumble, and as these gallant steeds were
thus employed, the cow was harnessed to the cart, laden
with our treasures. Room was left in the cart for the
mother, Jack and Franz mounted Storm and Grumble,
I rode Lightfoot, and Fritz brought up the rear on Swift.

At the mouth of the Gap we called a halt, and re-
placed the cord the boys had strung with ostrich feathers
by a stout palisade of bamboos. I also took the oppor-
tunity of collecting a store of pipe-clay, as I intended
during the winter months, which were close at hand, to
try my hand at china making.

When we reached the sugar-cane grove, we again
stopped to collect the peccary hams we had left to
be smoked ; and my wife begged me to gather some
seeds of an aromatic plant which grew in the neigh-
bourhood, and which had the scent of vanilla. I ob-
tained a good supply, and we moved forward towards
Woodlands, where we intended to rest for the night,
after our long and fatiguing march.

Our tent was pitched, and on our beds of cotton we
slept soundly.

Next morning early we examined our farmyard,
which appeared in a most prosperous and flourishing
condition. The sight of all these domestic animals
made us long even more than ever for our home at
Rockburg, and we determined to hasten thither with
all possible speed. .

The number of our pigs, goats, and poultry had
Return to Rockburg. 423



greatly increased since we had last visited our colony ;
and some of these, two fine broods of chickens especi-
ally, my wife wished to take back with her.

We found that the herd of antelopes which Fritz and
Jack had driven through the Gap, had taken up their
abode in the neighbourhood, and several times we saw
the beautiful animals browsing amongst the trees.

While at the farm, we repaired both the animals’
stalls, and our dwelling room, that the former might
be more secure against the attacks of wild beasts, and
the latter fitted for our accommodation when we should
visit the spot.

Everything at length being satisfactorily arranged, we
again retired to rest, and early next morning completed
our journey to Rockburg.

By mid-day we were once more settled at home.
Windows and doors were thrown open to admit fresh
air; the animals established in their stalls; and the
cart’s. miscellaneous cargo discharged and arranged.

As much time as I could spare, I devoted to the
ostrich, whom we fastened, for the present, between
two bamboo posts in front of our dwelling.

I then turned my attention to the eggs we had
brought, and which I determined to hatch, if possible
by artificial heat. For this purpose I arranged a stove,
which I maintained at an uniform temperature, and on
it I placed the eggs carefully wrapped in cotton wool.

Next morning Fritz and I went off in the boat first
to Whale Island, there to establish our colonists, the
424 The Swiss Family Robinson.
Angora rabbits, and then to Shark Island, where we
placed the dainty little Antelopes. Having made
them happy with their liberty and abundance of food,
we returned as. quickly as possible to cure the bears’-
skins, and add the provisions we had brought to the
stores lying in our cellar.

As we returned, we caught up Jack, making his way
in great glee towards Rockburg. He was carrying, in
a basket, an.immense eel, which he and Fynest had
secured.

Ernest. had set, on the previous night, a couple of
lines ; one had been dragged away, but on the other
they found this splendid fellow. .

It proved delicious. Half was prepared for dinner,
and the other half salted and stowed away.

We now, for a short time, again turned our attention
to our duties about the house.

Thinking that the verandah would be greatly im-
proved by some creepers, I sowed round the foot of
each bamboo pillar, vanilla, and pepper-seed, as well
as that of other creeping plants, which would not only
give the house a pleasanter aspect, but also afford us
shade during the summer months.

I constructed a couple of hen-coops too, for the hens
and their little chicks which we had brought from Wood-
lands, for I knew that if I left them unprotected, the in-
quisitive dispositions of Knip and Fangs might induce
them to make anatomical experiments which would be
detrimental to the welfare of the youngsters.
Agricultural operations. 425



roa pee

Ernest’s rat-skins were voted a nuisance within
doors, and were tied together and hung up outside;
so powerful was the odour they emitted, that even
then Jack would pretend to faint every time he passed
near them.

The museum received its additions: the condor atid
vulture were placed there, to be stuffed when we should
find time during the rainy season. The mica and asbes-
tos, too, were brought in for the present, not to lie there
idle, but to wait until I could use them as I intended, for
china and lamp-wicks.

Having occupied two days in this way, we turned our
attention to other duties: the cultivation of a wheat,
barley, and maize field, the management of the ostrich’s
eggs, and the taming of the captives.

As agriculture was, though the least to our taste, the
most important of these several duties, we set about it
first. The animals drew the plough, but the digging
and hoeing taxed our powers of endurance to the utmost.

We worked two hours in the morning and two in the
evening. Fully did we realize the words of Scripture:
“Tn the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”

In the interval we devoted our attention to the ostrich.
But our efforts on behalf of his education seemed all in
vain. He appeared as untameable as ever. I deter-
mined, therefore, to adopt the plan which had subdued
the refractory eagle.

The effect of the tobacco fumes almost alarmed me.
The ostrich sank to the ground and lay motionless,
426 The Swiss Family Robinson.

Slowly, at length, he arose, and paced up and down
between the bamboo posts.

He was subdued, but to my dismay resolutely refused
all food. I feared he would die ; for three days he pined,
growing weaker and weaker each day.

“Food he must have!” said I to my wife ; “food he
must have!” The mother determined to attempt an
experiment. She prepared balls of maize flour, mixed
with butter. One of these she placed within the bird's
beak. He swallowed it, and stretched out his long neck,
looking inquiringly for a second mouthful.
third, and fourth ball followed the first. His appetite
returned, and his strength came again.

All the wild nature of the bird had gone, and I saw
with delight that we might begin his education as soon
as we chose. Rice, guavas, maize, and corn he ate
readily—WASHING IT DOWN, as Jack expressed it, with
small pebbles, to the great surprise of Franz, to whom I
explained that the ostrich was merely following the
instinct common to all birds; that he required these
pebbles to digest his food, just as smaller birds require
gravel.

After a month of careful training, our captive would
trot, gallop, obey the sound of our voice, feed from our
hand ; and, in fact, showed himself perfectly docile.
Now our ingenuity was taxed to the utmost. How
were we to. saddle and bridle a bird? First, for a bit
for his beak. Vague ideas passed through my mind,
but every one I was obliged to reject. A plan at length
The Ostrich saddled, 427



occurred tome. I recollected the effect of light and its
absence upon the ostrich, how his movements were
checked by.sudden darkness, and how, with the light,
power returned to his limbs.

I immediately constructed a leathern hood, to reach
from the neck to the beak, cutting holes in it for the
eyes and ears. Over the eye-holes I contrived square
flaps or blinkers, which were so arranged with whale-
bone springs that they closed tightly of themselves,
The reins were connected with these blinkers, so that
the flaps might be raised or allowed to close at the
rider’s pleasure.

When both blinkers were open, the ostrich would
gallop straight ahead ; close his right eye and he turned
to the left, close his left and he turned to the right, shut
both and he stood stock still.

I was justly proud of my contrivance, but, before I
could really test its utility, I was obliged to make a
saddle. After several failures, I succeeded in manufac-
turing one to my liking and in properly securing it ; it
was something like an old-fashioned trooper’s saddle,
peaked before and behind—for my great fear was lest
the boys should fall. This curious-looking contrivance
I placed upon the shoulders as near the neck as possible,
and secured it with strong girths round the wings and
across the breast, to avoid all possibility of the saddle
slipping down the bird’s sloping back.

T soon saw that my plan would succeed, though skill

and considerable practice was necessary in the use of
428 The Swiss Family Robtnson.

my patent bridle. It was difficult to remember that to
check the courser’s speed it was necessary to slacken
rein, and that the tighter the reins were drawn, the
faster he would fly. We at length, however, all learned
to manage Master Hurricane, and the distance between
Rockburg and Falconhurst was traversed in an almost
incredibly short space of time. The marvellous speed
of the bird again revived the dispute as to the owner-
ship, and I was obliged to interfere.

“Jack shall retain the ostrich,’ said I, “for it is
most suited to him; he is a lighter weight than either
of you his elder brothers, and Franz is not yet strong
enough to manage such a fleet courser. But he is so far _
to be considered common property, that all may prac-
tise on him occasionally; and, in a case of necessity,
any one may mount him.”

Our field work was by this time over. The land had
been ploughed and sown with wheat, barley, and maize.
On the other side of Jackal River we had planted
potatoes and cassava roots, and all sorts of other seeds
had been carefully sown.

We had not neglected the ostrich’s eggs, and one day |
Fritz introduced me with great glee to three little
ostriches. But alas, the little creatures were not destined
o enjoy life for long. One died almost as soon as it was
hatched, and the others, after tottering about on their
stilt-like legs for a few days, followed its example.

I now found time to turn my attention to the bears’

skins, which required preparation before they would be


A NQVEL STEED
430 The Swiss Family Robinson.



fit for use as leather. They had been salted and dried,
and now required tanning. I had no tan, however.
This was unfortunate ; but not to be deterred from my
purpose, I determined to use a mixture of honey and
water in its place.

The experiment proved successful. When the skins
were dried they remained flexible and free from smell,
while the fur was soft and glossy.

This was not the only result of the experiment, for
the honey-water which I boiled appeared so clear and
- tempting, that it struck me that I might prepare from
it an excellent drink. I put by some of the liquid
before making use of it as tan, and reboiled it with nut-
meg and cinnamon. The preparation, which much -re-
sembled English mead, was pronounced delicious, and
the mother begged me to brew a large supply. As our
cellar was now well stocked with provisions for the winter,
_and our other preparations were completed, I was able to
turn my attention to details of lesser importance. The
boys had been clamouring for hats, and as my success in
so many trades had surprised me, I agreed to turn hatter
for the nonce. With the rat-skins and a solution of
india-rubber, I produced a kind of felt, which I dyed a
brilliant red with cochineal, and stretching this on a
wooden block I had prepared, I passed over it a hot
iron, to smooth the nap, and by next morning had the
satisfaction of presenting to my wife a neat little red
Swiss cap, to be lined and finished by her for one
of the boys. The mother admired the production im-






WRANZ’S NEW HAT.
432 The Swiss Family Robinson.

mensely, and lining it with silk, added yet more to its
gay appearance, by adorning it with ribbons and ostrich
feathers, and finally placed it upon the head cf little
Franz.

So delighted was everyone with the hat, that all were
eager to be similarly provided, and begged me to manu-
facture nore. I readily agreed to do so, as soon as they
should furnish me with the necessary materials, and
advised them to make half-a-dozen rat traps, that they -
might secure the water rats with which the stream
abounded, and whose rich glossy fur would serve ad-
mirably for felt.

Every fifth animal that they brought me I told them
should be mine, that I might obtain material for a hat
for myself and their mother.

The boys at once agreed to this arrangement, and
began the manufacture of the traps, which were all so
made that they should kill the rats at once, for I could
not bear the idea of animals being tortured or im-
prisoned.

While they were thus engaged I applied myself to the
manufacture of porcelain. I first cleaned the pipeclay
and talc from all foreign substances, and made them
_ ready to be beaten down with water into a soft mass, and
then prepared my moulds of gypsum plaster. These
preparations were at length made, and the moulds
received a thin layer of the porcelain material. When
this was partly baked, I. sprinkled over it a powder of
eoloured glass beads which I had crushed, and which
A Tea-set completed. 433

—





looked very pretty in patterns upon the transparent
porcelain.

Some of my china vessels cracked with the heat ot
the stove, some were very ill-shaped ; but, after many
failures, I succeeded in producing a set of white cups
and saucers, a cream-jug, a sugar-basin, and half-a-
dozen small plates.

I must allow that my china was far from perfect ; the
shape of some of the vessels was faulty, and none were
really transparent ; nevertheless, the general appearance
gave great satisfaction, and when the plates were filled
with rosy and golden fruit resting on green leaves, and
fragrant tea filled the cups, it greatly added to the ap-<
pearance of the table.
CHAPTER XIV.

The rainy season again—The building of the cajack—The mother invents
a swimming dress—A visit to our colonies—Mysterious seaweed—The
mother’s surprise—A visit to Whale Island—Mischievous pigs—The
three boys return from a day’s hunting—They display their treasures —
A new skinning apparatus—We make a crushing machine~An early
harvest—We prepare a threshing floor—Reaping in Italian fashion —
Threshing also in Italian fashion—Return of the herring shoals.

SCARCELY had I completed my pottery, when great
black clouds and terrific storms heralded the approach
of another winter. The rainy season having set in, we
were compelled to give up our daily excursions.

Even in the spacious house which we now occupied,
and with our varied and interesting employments, we yet
found the time dragging heavily. The spirits of all
were depressed, and even occasional rapid rides, during
a partial cessation of the rain, failed permanently to
‘arouse them. Fritz, as well as I, had perceived this,
and he said to me, —

“Why, father, should we not make a canoe something
swifter and more manageable than those vessels we as
yet possess? I often long for a light skiff, in which I
might skim over the surface of the water.”

The idea delighted all hands, but the mother, whe

wv
We butld a Canoe. 435



was never happy when we were on the sea, declared
that our chances of drowning were, with the pinnace
and canoe, already sufficiently great, and that there was
not the slightest necessity for our adding to these chances
by constructing another craft which would tempt us out
upon the ‘terfidious element. My wife’s fears were,
however, speedily allayed, for I assured her that the
boat I intended to construct should be no flimsy cockle-
_ shell, but as safe and stout a craft as ever floated upon
the sea. The Greenlander’s cajack I intended to be my
_ model, and I resolved not only to occupy the children,
but also to produce a strong and serviceable canoe—a
masterpiece of art.

The boys were interested, and the boat-building was
soon in operation. We constructed the skeleton of
whalebone, using split bamboo canes to strengthen the
sides and also to form the deck, which extended the
whole length of the boat, leaving merely a square hole
in which the occupant of the canoe might sit.

The work engrossed our attention most entirely,
and by the time it was complete the rain had passed
away and the glorious sun again shone brightly
forth.

Our front door was just wide enough to admit of the
egress of our boat, and we completed her construction
in the open air. We quickly cased the sides and deck
with seal-skin, making all the seams thoroughly water-
tight with caoutchouc.

The cajack was indeed a curious looking craft, yet so
FF 2
436 The Swiss Famiiy Robinson.

light that she might be lifted easily with one hand, and
when at length we launched her she bounded upon the
water liké an india-rubber ball. Fritz was unanimously
voted her rightful owner, but before his mother would
hear of his entering the frail-looking skiff she declared
that she must contrive a swimming dress, that “should
his boat receive a puncture from a sharp rock or the
dorsal fin of a fish and collapse, he might yet have a
chance of saving his life.”

Though I did not consider the cajack quite the soap
bubble the mother imagined it, I yet willingly agreed to .
assist her in the construction of the dress.

The garment we produced was most curious in appear
ance, and I must own that I doubted its efficiency. It
was like a double waistcoat, made of linen prepared with
a solution of indiarubber, the seams being likewise coated
with caoutchouc, and the whole rendered perfectly air-
tight. We so arranged it that one little hole was left, by
means of which air could be forced int6’the space between
the outer covering and the lining, and the dress inflated.

Meanwhile I perceived with pleasure the rapid vege-
tation the climate was producing. The seeds we had
scattered had germinated, and were now promising mag-
nificent crops. The verandah, too, was looking pleasant
with its gay and sweet-scented creepers, which were
already aspiring to the summit of the pillars. The air
was full of birds, the earth seemed teeming with
life.

The dress was at length completed, and Fritz one fine
Fritz proves the Swwnming-dress. 437

_—.



afternoon offered publicly to prove it. We all assembled
on the beach, the boy gravely donned and inflated the
garment, and amidst roars of laughter from his brothers,
entered the water. Quickly and easily he paddled him-
self across the bay towards Shark Island, whither we
followed in one of our boats.

The experiment was most successful, and Ernest,
Jack, and Franz, in spite of their laughter at their
brother’s garment, begged their mother to make for
each of them a similar dress.

While on the island we paid a visit to the colonists
whom we had established there the previous autumn.
All were well ; we could perceive by the foot-prints that
the antelopes had discovered and made use of the
shelter we had erected for them, and feeling that we
could do nothing more we scattered handfuls of maize
and salt, and strolled across to the other side of the
island. The shore was covered with lovely shells, many
of which, with beautiful pieces of delicate coral, the boys
collected for their museum ; strewn by the edge of the:
water too lay a great quantity of sea-weed of various
colours, and as the mother declared that much of it was
of use, the boys assisted her to collect it and store it in
the boat. Aswe pulled back to the land I was surprised
to see that my wife chose from among the sea-weed a
number of curious leaves with edges notched like a saw.
When we reached home she carefully washed these and
dried them in the oven. There was evidently something
mysterious about this preparation, and my curiosity at
438 The Swiss Family Robinsoz.



leagth prompted me to make an attempt to discover the.
secret.

“ Are these leaves to form a substitute for tobacco ?”

‘said I; “do you so long for its refreshing smell ?”

My wife smiled, for her dislike to tobacco was well
known, and she answered:in the same jocular tone,—

“Do you not think that a mattress stuffed with these
leaves would be very cool in summer ?”

The twinkle in her eyes showed me that my curiosity
must still remain unsatisfied, but it nevertheless became
greater than ever.

The boys and I had one day made a long and
fatiguing expedition, and, tired out, we flung ourselves
down in the verandah. .As we lay there resting, we
heard the mother’s voice.

“Could any of you enjoy a little jelly?”

She presently appeared, bearing a porcelain dish
laden with most lovely transparent jelly. Cut with a
spoon and laid before us it quivered and glittered in the
light.

“ Ambrosia!” exclaimed Fritz, tasting it. It was indeed
delicious, and, still marvelling from whence the mother
could have obtained a dish so rare, we disposed of all
that she had set before us.

“ Aha,” laughed the mother, “is not this an excellent
substitute for tobacco, far more refreshing than the nasty
weed itself. Behold the produce of my mysterious sea-
weed.”

“My dear wife,” exclaimed I, “this dish is indeed a
Flourishing state of Shark Island. 439



masterpiece of culinary art, but where had you met with
it? What put it into your head?”

“While staying with my Dutch friends at the Cape,”
replied she, “I often saw it, and at once recognized the
leaves on Shark Island. Once knowing the secret, the
preparation of the dish is extremely simple: the leaves
are soaked in water, fresh every day, for a week, and
then boiled for a few hours with orange juice, citron, and
sugar,”

We were all delighted with the delicacy, and thanked
the mother for it most heartily, the boys deciaring that
they must at once go off again to the island to collect
as many of the leaves as they could find. I agreed to
accompany them, for I wished to examine the planta-
tions we had made there.

All were flourishing, the palms and mangroves had
shot up in a most marvellous manner, and many of the
seeds which I had cast at random amongst the cliffs in
the rocks had germinated, and promised to clothe the
nakedness of the frowning boulders.

Away up among the rocks too we discovered a bright
sparkling spring of delicious water, at which, from the
footprints around, we saw that the antelopes must have
refreshed themselves.

Finding everything so satisfactory, we were naturally
anxious to discover how our colony and plantations on
Whale Island had fared. It was evident at a glance
that the rabbits had increased, the young and tender
shoots of the trees bore the marks of many greedy
440 , The Swiss Family Robinson,



——,

mischievous little teeth. The cocoanut palms alone had
they spared.

Such depredations as these could not be allowed, and
with the help of the boys I erected round each stem a
hedge of prickly thorn, and then prepared again to
embark ; before we did so, however, I noticed that some
of the seaweed had also been gnawed by the rabbits,
and wondering what it could have been to tempt them,
I collected some of it to examine more fully at
home.

The skeleton of the whale, too, attracted our attention,
for picked clean by the birds and bleached by sun and
rain the bones had been purified to a most perfect
whiteness. Thinking that the joints of the vertebre
might be made of use, I separated some ten or twelve,
and rolled them down to the boat, and then returned to
the shore, towing them after us.

A scheme now occupied my mind for the construction
of a crushing machine which would prove of the greatest
service tous. I knew that to make such a machine of
stone was far beyond my power, but it had struck
me that the vertebre of the whale might serve my
purpose. ;

I determined next morning to look out a tree from
which I might cut the blocks of wood that I should
require to raise my crushers

My expedition was destined to be a solitary one, for
when I went to the stables for a horse, I discovered that
the boys had gone off by themselves with their guns and
Mischievous Pigs. . 441





traps, and had left to me a choice between the bull and
buffalo.

With Storm, therefore, I was fain to be content. I
crossed the bridge, but as I reached the cassava field I
noticed to my great annoyance that it had been over-
run and laid waste by some mischievous animals. I
examined the footprints, and seeing that they greatly
resembled those of pigs, determined to follow the trail,
and see who these invaders of our territory would prove
to be. The track led me on for some way until I
almost lost sight of it near our old potato field. For
some time I hunted backwards and forwards without
seeing a sign of the animals; at length a loud barking
from Floss and Bruno, who were with me, announced
that they had been discovered. . :

The whole family of our old sow, and she herself,
avere standing at bay, showing their teeth and grunt-
ing so savagely, that the dogs feared to approach
them.

I raised my gun and fired twice amongst the herd :
two of the pigs fell, and the rest fled, followed by the
dogs. I picked up the pigs, and calling back the
pursuers, continued my way through the forest.

A tree suited to my purpose was soon found; I
marked it, and returned home.

Ernest, who had remained at home, assisted me to
flay the young porkers, and I handed them over to the
mother to prepare for supper; by which time I hoped
the other lads would have returned.
442 The Swiss Family Robinson.

Late in the evening we heard the sounds of trampling
hoofs, and presently Jack appeared, thundering along
upon his two-legged steed, followed in the distance by
Fritz and Franz. These latter carried upon their
cruppers game bags, the contents of which were
speedily displayed: four birds, a kangaroo, twenty
musk rats, a monkey, two hares, and half-a-dozen
beaver rats, were laid before me. Besides these,
Fritz threw down, without a word of explanation, a
bundle of thistles.

The boys seemed almost wild with excitement at
the success of their expedition, and presently Jack
exclaimed,—

“Oh, father, you can’t think what grand fun hunt-
ing on an ostrich is; we flew along like the wind ;
sometimes I could scarcely breathe, we were going
at such a rate, and was obliged to shut my eyes be-
cause of the terrific rush of air; really, father, you
must make me a mask with glass eyes to ride with,
or I shall be blinded one of these fine days.”

“Indeed!” replied I, “1 must do no such thing.”

“Why not?” asked he, with a look cf amazement
upon his face.

“For two reasons: firstly, because I do not consider
-that I must do anything that you demand; and,
secondly, because I think that you are very capable
of doing it yourself’ However, I must congratulate
you upon your abundant supply of game; you must
have indeed worked hard. Yet I wish that you would
Produce of the Chase. 443



tet me know when you intend starting on such a long
expedition as this; you forget that though you your-
selves know that you are quite sate, and that all is
going on well, yet that we at home are kept in a con-
stant state of anxiety. Now, off with you, and look
to your animals, and then you may find supper
ready.”

Presently the boys returned, and we prepared for
a most appetizing meal which the mother set before
us.

While we were discussing the roast pig, and washing
it down with fragrant mead, Fritz described the day’s
expedition.

They had set their traps near Woodlands, and had
there captured the musk rats, attracting them with
small carrots, while with other traps, baited with fish
and earthworms, they had caught several beaver rats,
and a duck-billed platypus. Hunting and fishing had
occupied the rest of the day, and it was with immense
pride that Jack displayed the kangaroo which he had
run down with his swift courser. Contributions to the
garden had not been forgotten, and Fritz handed over
to his mother several cuttings from cinnamon and
sweet-apple trees. Finally, when all the other treasures
had been displayed, Fritz begged me to examine his
thistles which he had gathered, thinking, he said, that
it was a plant used in the manufacture of wool. He
was perfectly right, for I recognized it at once as the
“fuller’s teazle,” a plant whose sharp little thorns,
444 The Swiss Family Robinson.





which cover the stem and leaves, are used to raise the
nap of cloth.

We resolved to be up betimes the following morn-
ing, that we might attend to the preparation of the
booty, and as I now noticed that the boys were al’
becoming extremely drowsy, I closed the day with
evening. devotions.

The number of the creatures we killed rendered the
removal of their skins a matter of no little time and
trouble. It was not an agreeable task at any time,
and when I saw the array of animals the boys had
brought me to flay, I determined to construct a
machine which would considerably lessen the labour.
Amongst the ship’s stores, in the surgeon’s chest, I
discovered a large syringe. This, with a few altera-
tions, would serve my purpose admirably. Within the
tube I first fitted a couple of valves, and then, per-
forating the stopper, I had in my possession a powerful
air pump.

The boys starea at me in blank amazment when,
armed with this instrument, I took up the kangaroo,
and declared myself ready to commence operations.

“Skin a kangaroo with a squirt?” said they, and a
roar of laughter followed the remark.

I made no reply to the jests which followed, but
silently hung the kangaroo by its hind legs to the
branch of a tree. I then made a small incision in the
skin, and inserting the mouth of the syringe forced air
with all my might between the skin and the body of the
Scientific way of skinning Animals. 445



animal. By degrees the hide of the kangaroo distended,
alterite the shape of the creature entirely.

Still I worked on, forcing in yet more air until it had
become a mere shapeless mass, and I soon found that
the skin was almost entirely separated from the carcase.
A bold cut down the belly, and a few touches here and
there where the ligatures still bound the hide to the
body, and the animal was flayed.

“What a splendid plan!” cried the boys; “but why
should it do it?”

“For a most simple and natural reason,” I replied ;
“do you not know that the skin of an animal is attached
to its flesh merely by slender and delicate fibres, and
that between these exist thousands of little bladders or
air chambers; by forcing air into these bladders the fibreg
are stretched, and at length, elastic as they are, cracked.
The skin has now nothing to unite it to the body, and,
consequently, may be drawn off with perfect ease. This
scientific fact has been known for many years; the
Greenlanders make constant use of ‘it; when they have
killed a seal or walrus they distend the skin that they
may tow the animal more easily ashore, and then re-
move its hide at a moment’s notice.”

The remaining animals were subjected to the same
treatment, and, to my great joy, in a couple of days the
skins were all off, and being prepared for use.

I now summoned the boys to assist me in procuring
blocks of wood for my crushing machine, and the following
day we set forth with saws, ropes, axes, and other tools,
446 The Swiss Family Robinson.





We soon reached the tree I had‘selected for my purpose,
and I began by sending Fritz and Jack up into the tree
with axes to cut off the larger of the high branches that,
when the tree fell, it might not injure its neighbours,

They then descended, and Fritz and attacked the stem. |

As the easiest and most speedy method we used a saw,
such an one as is employed by sawyers in a saw-pit, and
Fritz taking one end and I the other the tree was soon
cut half through. We then adjusted ropes that we
might guide its fall, and again began to cut. It was
laborious work, but when I considered that the cut was
sufficiently deep we took the ropes and pulled with our
united strength. The trunk cracked, swayed, tottered,
and fell with a crash.

The boughs were speedily lopped off, and the trunk
sawed into blocks four feet long.

To cut down and divide this tree had taken us a
couple of days, and on the third we carted home four large
and two small blocks, and with the vertebre joints of the
whale I, in a very short time, completed my machine.

While engaged on this undertaking I had paid little
attention to our fields. of grain, and, accordingly, great
was my surprise when one evening the fowls returned,
showing most evident indifference to their evening meal,

and with their crops perfectly full. It suddenly struck |

me that these birds had come from the direction of our
cornfield. I hurried off to see what damage they had
done, and then found to my great joy that the grain
was pertectly ripe.
Gathering in our Harvest. 447



The amount of work before us startled my wife.
This unexpected harvest, which added reaping and
threshing to the fishing, salting, and pickling already on
hand, quite troubled her.

“Only think,” said she, “of my beloved potatoes and
manioc roots! What is to become of them, I should
like to know? It is time to take them up, and how to
manage it with all this press of work, I can’t see.”

“Don’t be down-hearted, wife,” said I; “there is
no immediate hurry about the manioc, and digging
potatoes in this fine light soil is easy work compared to
what it is in Switzerland, while as to planting more, that
will not be necessary if we leave the younger plants in
the ground. The harvest we must conduct after the
Italian fashion, which, although anything but economical,
will save time and trouble, and as we are to have two
crops in the year, we need not be too particular.”

Without further delay, I commenced levelling a large
space of firm clayey ground to act as a threshing floor;
it was well sprinkled with water, rolled, beaten, and
stamped ; as the sun dried the moisture it was watered
anew, and the treatment continued until it became as
flat, hard, and smooth, as threshing-floor need be.

Our largest wicker basket was then slung between
Storm and Grumble; we armed ourselves with reaping-
hooks, and went forth to gather in the corn in the simplest
and most expeditious manner imaginable.

I told my reapers not to concern themselves about
the length of the straw, but to grasp the corn where it
448 The Swiss Family Robinson.

~ e nat



was convenient to them, without stooping; each was to
wind a stalk round his own handful, and throw it into
the basket; in this way great labour was saved. ‘The
plan pleased the boys immensely, and in a short time
the basket had been filled many times, and the field
displayed a quantity of tall headless stubble, which
perfectly horrified the mother, so extravagant and
untidy did she consider our work.

“This is dreadful!” cried she ; “youhave left numbers -
of ears growing on short stalks, and look at that splendid
straw completely wasted! ff don’t approve of your
Italian fashion at all.”

“Tt is not a bad plan, I can assure you, wife, and the
Italians do not waste the straw by not cutting it with
the grain; having more arable than pasture land, they
use this high stubble for their cattle, letting them feed
in it, and eat what grain is left ; afterwards, allowing the
grass to grow up amongst it, they mow all together for
winter fodder. And now for threshing, also in Italian
fashion. We shall find it spare our arms and backs as
much in that as in reaping.”

The little sheaves were laid in a large circle on the
floor, the boys mounted Storm, Grumble, Lightfoot, and
Hurry, starting off at a brisk trot, with many a merry
jest, and round they went, trampling and stamping out
the grain, while dust and chaff flew in clouds about
them.

My wife and I were incessantly occupied with hays
forks, by means of which we shook up and moved the


THRESHING IN ITALIAN FASHION,

GG
450 The Swiss Family Robinson.



sheaves over which the threshers rode, so as to throw
them in the track.

From time to time the animals took mouthfuls of the
tempting food they were beating out; we thought they
well deserved it, and called to mind the command given
to the Jews, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth
out the corn.”

After threshing, we proceeded to winnowing: by
simply throwing the threshed corn with shovels high in
the air when the land or sea-breeze blew strong, the
chaff and refuse was carried away by the wind and the
grain fell to the ground.

During these operations our poultry paid the threshing-
floor many visits, testifying a lively interest in the success
of our labours, and gobbling up the grain at.such a rate
that my wife was obliged to keep them at a reasonable
distance ; but I would not have them altogether stinted
in the midst of our plenty. I said, “Let them enjoy
- themselves; what we lose in grain, we gain in flesh. I
anticipate delicious chicken-pie, roast goose, and boiled
turkey !”

When our harvest stores were housed, we found that
we had reaped sixty, eighty, even a hundred fold what
had been sown. Our garner was truly filled with all
manner of store.

I:xpecting a second harvest, we were constrained to
prepare the field for sowing again, and immediately
therefore commenced mowing down the stubble. While
engaged in this, flocks of quails and -partridges came to
The Harvest gathered in. A451

slean among the scattered ears. We did not secure
any great number, but resolved to be prepared for them
next season, and by spreading nets, to catch them in
large quantities.

My wife was satisfied when she saw the straw carried
aome and stacked ; our crop of maize, which of course
had not been threshed like the other corn, afforded soft
leaves which were used for stuffing mattresses, while
the stalks, when burnt, left ashes so rich in alkali as to
be especially useful.

I changed the crops sown on the ground to rye,
barley, and oats, and hoped they would ripen before the
rainy season.

The shoals of herring made their appearance just as
we finished our agricultural operations. This year we
pickled only two barrels of them ; but we were not so
merciful towards the seals, which arrived on the coast
directly afterwards. We hunted them vigorously,
requiring their skins for many purposes, more especially
for the completion of the cajack. On the little deck
of that tiny vessel I had made a kind of magazine, in
which to store pistols, ammunition, water, and provisions,
and this I meant to cover with seal-skin, so as to be
quite water-tight. A couple of harpoons furnished with
seal bladders were to be suspended alongside.

GG2
CHAPTER XV.

Trial of the Cajack—Fritz kills a walrus—We carry home its head—The
storm—Where is Fritz ?—Safe at last—The fishing season—An expe-
dition proposed—Three of the boys start for Woodlands—Pigeon post —
~—Encounter with a hyena—Wood Lake explored—A tapir—Prospect
Hill pillaged—A tragedy—The boys in danger—-We join them—We
build a summer house—Discover the cacao plant—Fritz ascends the
stream—He sees elephants and hippopotami—Jack’s “moist secret ”
—-We return to Rockburg—Grace and Beauty—Shark Island is
fortified.

AT last came the day when Fritz was to make his
trial trip with the cajack. Completely equipped in
swimming costume—trousers, jacket, and cap—it was
most ludicrous to see him cower down in the canoe
and puff and blow till he began to swell like the frog’
in the fable.

All trace of his original figure was speedily lost, and
shouts of laughter greeted his comical appearance.
Even his mother could not resist a smile, although
the dress was her own invention.

I got the other boat out, that my wife might see we
were ready to go to his assistance the moment it became
necessary. .

The cajack was launched from a convenient shelving
point, and floated lightly on the sea-green ocean mirror
Trial trip of the Cajack. 433



Fritz with his paddles then began to practise all manner
of evolutions: darting along with arrowy swiftness,
wheeling to the right, then to the left; and at last,
flinging himself quite on his side, while his mother
uttered a shriek of terror, he showed that the tiny craft
would neither capsize nor sink. Then, recovering his
balance, he sped securely on his further way.

Encouraged by our shouts of approbation, he now
boldly ventured into the strong current of Jackal
River, and was rapidly carried out to sea.

This being more than I had bargained for, I lost no
time in giving chase in the boat, with Ernest and Jack;
my wife, urging us to greater speed, and declaring that
some accident could not fail to happen to “that horrid
soap-bubble.”

We soon arrived outside the bay, at the rocks where
formerly lay the wreck, and gazed in all directi s»ns for
signs of the runaway.

After a time we saw, at a considerable distance, a
faint puff of smoke, followed by the crack of a pistol.
Upon this we fired a signal shot, which was presently
answered by another, and, steering in the direction of
the sound, we soon heard the boy’s cheery halloo; the
cajack darted from behind a point of land, and we
quickly joined company.

“Come to this rocky beach,” cried Fritz, “I have
something to show you.”

With. blank amazement we beheld a fine well-grown
young walrus, harpooned and quite dead.
454° The Swiss Family Robinson.

“Did you kill this creature, my dear Fritz?” I ex-
claimed, looking round in some anxiety, and half ex-



pecting to see a naked savage come to claim the
prize.

“To be sure, father! don’t you see my harpoon?
Why do you doubt it ?”

“Well, I scarcely know,” replied I, laughing ; “but
success so speedy, so unexpected, and so appropriate
to an amateur Greenlander, took me by surprise. I
congratulate you, my boy! But I must tell you that
you have alarmed us by making this long trip. You
should not have gone out of the bay. I left your
mother in grievous trouble.”

“Indeed, father, I had no idea of passing out of sight,
but once in the current, I was carried along, and could
not help myself. Then I came on a herd of walruses,
and I did so long to make a prize of one that I forgot
everything else, and made chase after them when beyond
the influence of the current, until I got near enough to
harpoon this fine fellow. He swam more slowly, and 1
struck him a second time; then he sought refuge
among these rocks, and expired. I landed, and
scrambled tc where he lay; but I took care to give
him the contents of my pistol before going close ur.
having a salutary recollection of the big serpent’s part-
ing fling at you, Jack.” .

“You ran a very great risk,” said I. “The walrus
is an inoffensive creature; but when attacked anc

wounded, it often becomes furious, and, turning upon
fritz kills a Walrus. 454



its pursuer, can destroy, with its long tusks, a strongly-
built whale boat. However, thank God for your
safety! I value that above a thousand such creatures,
Now what's to be done with him? He must be quite
fourteen feet long, although not full grown.”

“Tam very glad you followed me, father,” said Fritz ;
“but our united strength will not move this prodigious
weight from among these rocks; only do let me carry



WALRUS.

away the head, with these grand snow-white tusks! I
should so like to fasten it on the prow of the cajack,
and name it the Sea-horse.
“We must certainly carry away. the beautiful ivory
tusks,” said I; “ but make haste! the air feels so exces-
_ sively close and sultry, I think a storm is brewing.”
“But the head! the head! we must have the whole
head,” cried Jack ; “just think how splendid it will look
on the cajack!”
456 The Swiss Family Robinson.



“ And how splendid it will smell too, when it begins
to putrify,” added Ernest ; “what a treat for the steers-
man!”

“ Oh, we will prepare for that,” said Fritz; “it shall be
soaked, and cleaned, and dried till it is as hard as a
wooden model ; it shall not offend your delicate nose in
the least, Ernest !”

“T supposed the walrus to be an animal peculiar to
the Arctic regions,” remarked Ernest.

“And so it is,’ I replied; “though they may occa-
sionally be seen elsewhere; these may have wandered
from the Antarctic seas. I know that on the eastern
coast of Africa is found a smaller species of walrus
called the Dugong: it has long incisor teeth, but not
tusxs; and certainly resembles a seal rather than a
walrus.” .

While thus speaking, we were actively engaged in the
decapitation of the walrus, and in cutting off long strips
of its skin. This took some time, as we had not the
proper implements, and Fritz remarked, that in future
the cajack must be provided with a hunting-knife and
a hatchet ; adding that he should like to have a small
compass in a box, with a glass-top, fixed in front of the
hole where the steersman sits. I saw the necessity of
this, and I promised it should be done.

Our work being accomplished, we were ready to go,
and I proposed to take Fritz and the canoe on board
our boat, so that we might all arrive together; but
I yielded to his earnest wish to return alone as he came;
A Storm at Sea. 457

he longed to act as our avant-courier, and announce our
approach to his mother; so he was soon skimming away
over the surface of the water, while we followed at a
slower rate.

Black clouds meanwhile gathered thick and fast
around us, and a tremendous storm came on. Fritz
was out of sight, and beyond our reach.

We buckled on the swimming belts, and firmly :ashed
ourselves to the boat, so that we might not be washed
overboard by the towering seas which broke over it.

The horizon was shrouded in darkness, fearful, gusts
of wind lashed the ocean into foam, rain descended
in torrents, while livid lightning glared athwart the
gloom. Both my boys faced the danger nobly; and
my feelings of alarm were mingled with hope on finding
how well the boat behaved

The tempest swept on its way, and the sky began to
clear as suddenly as it had been over-cast; yet the
stormy waves continued for a long time to threaten our
frail bark with destruction, in spite of its buoyancy and
steadiness.

Yet I never lost hope for ourselves—all my fears were
for Fritz; in fact I gave him up for lost, and my whole
agonized heart arose in prayer for strength to say, “ Thy
will be done!”

At last we rounded the point, and once more entering
Safety Bay, quickly drew near the little harbour.

What was our surprise—our overwhelming delight—
when there we saw the mother with Fritz, as well as her
458 The Swiss Family Robinson.



little boy, on their knees in prayer so earnest for our
deliverance, that our approach was unperceived, until
with cries of joy we attracted their notice. Then indeed
ensued a happy meeting, and we gave thanks together
for the mercy which had spared our lives.

Returning joyfully to Rockburg, we changed our
drenched garments for warm dry clothes ; and, seated at
a comfortable meal, considered and described at our
ease the perils of the storm.

Afterwards, the head of the walrus was conveyed to
our workshop ; where it underwent such a skilful and
thorough process of cleaning, embalming and drying,
that ere long it was actually fixed on the prow of the
cajack, and a most imposing appearance it presented !

The strips of hide, when well-tanned and prepared,
made valuable leather.

Much damage had been done by the late storm. The
heavy rain had flooded all the streams, and injured
crops which should have been housed and safe before the
regular rainy season.

The ‘bridge over Jackal River was partly broken
down, and the water tanks and pipes all needed repair.
So that our time was much occupied in-restoring things
to order.

On going to work one day near the cascade, we found
a great number of dark red berries, scattered on the
ground ; they were about the size of ordinary hazel-nuts,
with small leafy coronets at the tip.

The boys thought them so inviting, that they tasted












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































a STORM.
460 The Swiss family Robinson.



them at once, but angry exclamations and much spitting
and spluttering followed the experiment ; even Knips
rejected them, and they would have been cast aside with
contempt, had not the smell induced me to examine
them. I decided that this was the fruit of the clove.

Some plants were immediately set in the nursery
garden, and my wife was pleased to have this excellent
spice wherewith to flavour her boiled rice and other
dishes, in lieu of pepper—a very welcome variety to
every one.

Having a good supply of clay, brought from the bed
near Falconhurst, I proposed to use it for making aque-
ducts; and, observing how much the recent rain had
promoted the growth of our young corn, I determined
to irrigate the fields with the drainage from our crushing
mill.

The fishing season was again successful. Large takes
of salmon, sturgeon, and herring rewarded our annual
exertions, and our store-room again assumed a well-
stocked appearance. Much as I wished that we could
obtain a constant supply of these fish fresh, I was obliged
to reject the naive proposal from Jack, that we should
tether a shoal of salmon by the gills to the bottom of
the bay as we had secured the turtles.

Many quiet uneventful days passed by, and I per-
ceived that the boys, wearied by the routine of farm
work at Rockburg, were longing for a cruise in the
yacht or an expedition into the woods, which would
refresh both mind and body,
The Boys’ expedition. 461



“ Father,” said Fritz at length, “we want a quantity
of hurdles, and have scarcely any more bamboos of which
to make them.. Had we not better get a supply from
Woodlands? And you said, too, the other day, that
you wished you had some more of the fine clay: we
might visit the Gap at the same time.”

I had really no objection to propose; and it was
shortly afterwards settled that Fritz, Jack, and Franz
should start together; and that Ernest, who had no
great desire to accompany his brothers, should remain
with his mother and me, and assist in the construction
of a sugar-mill, the erection of which I had long
contemplated.

Before they started, Fritz begged some bear’s meat
from the mother, to make pemmican.

“ And what may pemmican be ?” she asked.

“Tt is food carried by the fur-traders of North Ame-
rica on their long journeys through the wild country
they traverse; and consists of bear or deer’s flesh, first
cooked and then pounded or ground to powder. It is
very portable, and nourishing.”

His mother consented “to humour him,” as she said,
although without much faith in the value of the prepara-
tion ; and in the course of two days a stock of pemmican,
sufficient for a Polar expedition, was fabricated by our
enthusiastic son.

They were ready to start, when I observed Jack
quietly slip a basket, containing several pigeons, under

the packages in the cart.
462 The ue Franiuly Bers

“Oh, oh!” thought I, “the little fellow has his doubts
about that pemmican, and thinks a tough old pigeon
would be preferable.”

The weather was exquisite ; and, with exhortations to
prudence and caution from both me and their mother,
the three lads started in the very highest spirits. Storm
and Grumble, as usual, drew the cart, and were ridden
by Fritz and Franz; while Hurry carried Jack swiftly
across the bridge in advance of them; followed by Floss
and Bruno, barking at his heels.

' The sugar-mill occupied us for several days, and was °
made so much like our other mills that I need not now
describe it.

On the evening of the first day, as we sat resting in
the porch at Rockburg, we naturally talked of the
absentees, wondering and guessing what they might
be about.

Ernest looked rather mysterious, and hinted that he
might have news of them next morning.

Just then a bird alighted on the dovecot, and entered.
I could not see, in the failing light, whether it was one of
our own pigeons or an intruder. Ernest started up, and
said he would see that all was right. ,

In a few minutes he returned with‘a scrap of paper in
his hand.

“News, father! The very latest news by pigeon-post,
mother!”

“Well done, boys! what a capital idea!” said I, and

taking the note I read;
Lhe Pigeon Post.’ 463





“DEAREST PARENTS AND ERNEST,—~

“A brute of a hyzena has killed a ram and two
lambs.. The dogs seized it. Franz shot it. It is dead
and skinned. The pemmican isn’t worth much, but

we are all right. Love to all.
“FRITZ.”
‘© WooDLANDS, 15th instant.”

“A true hunter’s letter!” laughed I; “but what ex-
citing news. When does the next post come in,
Ernest ?”

“To-night, I hope,” said he, while his mother sighed,
and doubted the value of such glimpses into the scenes
of danger through which her sons were passing, deciar-
ing she would much rather wait and hear all about it
when she had them safe home again.

Thus the winged letter-carriers kept us informed from
day to day of the outline of adventures which were
afterwards more fully described.

On approaching the farm at Woodlands, the boys
were startled by hearing, as they thought, human

laughter, repeated again and again; while, to their
astonishment, the oxen testified the greatest uneasiness,
the dogs growled and drew close to their masters, and
the ostrich fairly bolted with Jack into the rice swamp.

The laughter continued, and the beasts became un-
manageable.

“Something is very far wrong!” cried Fritz. “I
cannot leave the animals ; but while I unharness them,
464 The Swiss Family Robinson.

do you, Franz, take the dogs, and advance cautiously to
see what is the matter.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Franz made his way
among the bushes with his gun, and closely followed by
the dogs; until, through an opening in the thicket, he
could see, at the distance of about forty paces, an
enormous hyena, in the most wonderful state of excite.



HY ZENA.

ment; dancing round a lamb just killed, and uttering,
from time to time, the ghastly hysterical laughter
which had pealed through the forest.

The beast kept running backwards and forwards,
rising on its hind legs, and then rapidly whirling round
and round, nodding its head, and going through most
frantic and ludicrous antics.

Franz kept his presence of mind very well; for he
watched till, calming down, the hyena began with

horrid growls to tear its prey; and then, firing steadily
A laughing Hyena killed. 463



both barrels, he broke its foreleg, and wounded it in the
breast.

Meanwhile Fritz, having unyoked the oxen and
secured them to trees, hurried to his brother’s assist-
ance, The dogs and the dying hyena were by this
time engaged in mortal strife; but the latter, although
it severely wounded both Floss and Bruno, speedily
succumbed, and was dead when the boys reached the
spot. They raised a shout of triumph, which guided
Jack to the scene of action; and their first care was for
the dogs, whose wounds they dressed before minutely
examining the hyzena. It was as large.as a wild boar ;
long stiff bristles formed a mane on its neck, its colour
was grey marked with black, the teeth and jaws were of
extraordinary strength, the thighs muscular and sinewy,
the claws remarkably strong and sharn altogether. But
for his wounds, he would certainly have been more than
a match for the dogs.

After unloading the cart at the farm, the boys re-
turned for the carcase of the tiger-wolf, as it is some-
times called, and occupied themselves in skinning it
during the remainder of the day, when, after despatching
the carrier-pigeon to Rockburg, they retired to rest on
their bearskin rugs, to dream of adventures past and
future.

The following day they devised no less a scheme than
to survey the shores of Wood Lake, and place marks
wherever the surrounding marsh was practicable, and

might be crossed either to reach the water or leave it.
HU
266 The Swiss Family Rootuson.,

Fritz in the cajack, and the boys on shore, carefully
examined the ground together; and when they found
firm footing to the water's edge, the spot was indi-
cated by planting a tall bamboo, bearing on high 4
bundle of reeds and branches,

They succeeded in capturing three young black swans,
after considerable resistance from the old ones, They:
were afterwards brought to Rockburg, and detained as.
ornaments to Safety Bay.

Presently a beautiful heron thrust his long neck from
among the reeds, to ascertain what all the noise on the
lake was about. Before he could satisfy his curiosity,
Fritz unhooded his eagle, and though vainly he flapped
and struggled, his legs and wings were gently but firmly
bound, and he had to own: himself vanquished, and
submit to the inspection of his delighted captors.

It was their turn to be alarmed next, for a large
powerful animal came puffing with a curious whistling
sound through the dense thicket of reeds, passing close
by and sorely discomposing them by its sudden appear-
ance. It was out of sight immediately, before they
could summon the dogs, and from their description it
must have been a tapir, the colour dark brown, and
in form resembling a young rhinoceros, but with ne
horn on the nose, and the upper lip prolonged into a
trunk something like that of an elephant ona smaller
scale. It is a gentle creature, but when attacked
becomes a fierce opponent, and can wound dogs danger-
ously with its powerful teeth,


















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































POUNCE BRINGS DOWN 6 HERON,

HH&
468 The Swiss Family Robinson.



The tapir can swim and dive with perfect ease, and
abounds in the densely wooded swamps and rivers of
tropical America.

Fritz in his cajack followed for a time the direction
in which the tapir proceeded, but saw no more of it.



DEMOISELLE CRANE.

Meanwhile the other two boys returned to the farm
by the rice-fields, and there fell in with a flock of cranes,
five or six of which they caught alive, among them two
demoiselles or Numidian cranes. These birds they shot
at with arrows arranged in a skilful and original way,
with loops of cord dipped in birdlime attached to them,
so that it often happened that the bird aimed at, was
entangled and brought down uninjured.























A7O Lhe Swiss Family Robimson.



The young hunters seemed to have lived very comfort-
ably on peccary ham, cassava bread and fruit, and
plenty of baked potatoes and milk.

One trial of the pemmican was sufficient, and it was
handed over to the dogs. Fritz, however, determined
again to attempt the manufacture, knowing its value
when properly prepared. ,

After collecting a supply of rice and cotton, they took
their way to Prospect Hill; “and,” said Fritz, as he
afterwards vividly described the dreadful scene there
enacted, “when we entered the pine wood, we found
it in possession of troops of monkeys, who resolved to
make our passage through it as disagreeable as possible,
for they howled and chattered at us like demons, pelting
us as hard as they could with pine cones.

“They became so unbearable, that at last we fired a
few shots right and left among them; several bit the
dust, the rest fled, and we continued our way in peace -
to Prospect Hill, but only to discover the havoc the
wretches had made there.

“Would you believe it, father? The pleasant cottage
had been over-run and ruined by apes just as Wood-
lands last summer! The most dreadful dirt and dis-
order met our eyes wherever we turned, and we had
hard work to make the place fit for human habi-
tation; and even then we preferred the tent. I felt
quite at a loss how to guard the farm for the future;
but seeing a bottle of the poisonous gum of the
Euphorbia in the tool chest, I devised a plan for the
Fearful nocturnal Sounds. A7t



destruction of the apes which succeeded beyond my
expectations.

“T mixed poison with milk, bruised millet, and any-
thing I thought the monkeys would eat, and put it
in cocoa-nut shells, which I hung about in the trees,
high enough to be out of reach of our own animals.
The evening was calm and lovely; the sea murmured
in the distance, and the rising moon shed a beauty ovet
the landscape which we seemed never before to have sa
admired and enjoyed. The summer night closed around
us in all its solemn stillness, and our deepest feelings
were touched ; when suddenly the spell was broken by
an outburst of the most hideous and discordant noises.
As by one consent, every beast of the forest seemed
to arise from its den, and utter its wild nocturnal cry.
Snorting, snarling, and shrieking filled the woods be-
neath us.

“From the hills echoed the mournful howl of jackals,
answered by Fangs in the yard, who was backed up by
the barking and yelping of his friends Floss and Bruno.
Far away beyond the rocky fastnesses. of the Gap,
sounded unearthly hollow snortings and neighings,
reminding one of the strange cry of the hippopotamus ;
above these, occasional deep majestic roarings made
our hearts quail with the conviction that we heard the
voices of lions and elephants.

“Overawed and silent, we retired to rest, hoping to
forget in sleep the terrors of the midnight forest ; but
ere long the most fearful cries in the adjoining woods
472 The Swiss Family Robinson.



gave notice that the apes were beginning ‘to suffer from
the poisoned repast prepared for them.

“As our dogs could not remain silent amid the uproar
and din, we had not a wink of sleep until the morning.
It was late, therefore, when we rose, and looked on the
awful spectacle presented by the multitude of dead
monkeys and baboons thickly strewn under the trees
round the farm. I shall not tell you how many there
were. I can only say I wished I had not found the
poison, and we made all haste to clear away the dead
bodies and the dangerous food, burying some deep in
the earth, and, carrying the rest to the shore, we pitched
them over the rocks into the sea. That day we travelled
on to the Gap.”

The same evening that the boys reached the rocky
pass, a messenger pigeon arrived at Rockburg, bearing a
note which concluded in the following words :—

“The barricade at the Gap is broken down. Every-
thing laid waste as far as the sugar brake, where the
hut is knocked to pieces, and the fields trampled over
by huge foot-marks. Come to us, father—we are safe,
but feel we are no match for this unknown danger.”

I lost not an instant, but saddled Swift, late as it was,
in order to ride to the assistance of our boys, desiring
Ernest to prepare the small cart, and follow me with
his mother at daybreak, bringing everything we should
require for camping out for some days.

The bright moonlight favoured my journey, and my
arrival at the Gap surprised and delighted the boys
Plantations ravaged. 473



who did not expect me till next day. Early on the
following -morning I inspected the foot-prints and
ravages of the great unknown. The cane brake had,
without doubt, been visited by an elephant. That great
animal alone could have left such traces and committed
such fearful ravages. Thick posts in the barricade were



ELEPHANT.

‘snapped across like reeds; the trees in the vicinity,
where we planned to-build a cool summer-house, were
stripped of leaves and branches to a great height, but
the worst mischief was done among the young sugar-
cane plants, which were all either devoured or trampled
down and destroyed.

_ It seemed to me that not one elephant, but a troop
must have invaded our grounds. The tracks were very
A474 che Swiss Fanily Robinson.



numerous, and the foot-prints of various sizes ; but, to
my satisfaction, I saw that they could be traced not
only from the Gap, but back to it in evidently equal
numbers.

We did not, therefore, suppose that the mighty animals
remained hidden in the woods of our territory; but con-
cluded that, after this freebooting incursion, they had
withdrawn to their native wilds, where, by greatly in-
creasing the strength of our ramparts, we hoped hence-
forth to.oblige them to remain.

In what manner to effect this we laid many plans,
during the night of my arrival, when, sitting by an
enormous watch-fire, I chatted with my boys, and heard
details of their numerous adventures, so interesting for
them to relate, and for me to hear, that every one was
more disposed to act sentinel than retire to sleep.

The mother and Ernest arrived next day, and she
rejoiced to find all well, making light of trodden fields
and trampled sugar-canes, since her sons were sound in
life and limb

A systematic scheme of defence was now elaborated,
and the erection of the barricade occupied us for at least
a month, as it was to bea firm and durable building,
proof against all invasion. As our little tent was un-
suited to a long residence of this sort, I adopted Fritz’s
idea of a Kamschatchan dwelling, and, to his great
delight, forthwith carried it out.

Instead of planting four posts, on which to place a
platform, we chose four trees of equal size, which.in a
A new Dwelling erected. 475

rery suitable place, grew exactly in a square, twelve or
fourteen feet apart. Between these, at about twenty
feet from the ground, we laid a flooring of beams and
bamboo, smoothly and strongly planked. From this
rose, on all four sides, walls of cane; the frame of the
roof was covered so effectually by large pieces of bark
that no rain could penetrate.

The staircase to this tree-cottage was simply a broad
plank with bars nailed across it for steps. The flooring
projected like a balcony in front of the entrance door,
and underneath, on the ground, we fitted up sheds for
cattle and fowls.

Various ornaments in Chinese or Japanese style were
added to the roof and eaves, and a most convenient,
cool, and picturesque cottage, overhung and adorned by
the graceful foliage of the trees, was the result of our
ingenuity.

I was pleased to find that the various birds taken
by the boys during this excursion seemed likely to
thrive ; they were the first inmates of the new sheds,

and even the black swans and cranes soon became tame ~

and sociable.

Constantly roaming through the woods, the children
often made new discoveries.

Fritz brought one day, after an excursion to the
opposite side of the stream beyond the Gap, a cluster
of bananas, and also of cacao-beans, from which choco
late is made.

The banana, although valuable and nourishing food
476 The Swiss Family Robtnson.

for the natives of the tropical countries where it grows,
is not generally liked by Europeans, and probably this
variety was even inferior to many others, for we found
the fruit much like rotten pears, and almost uneatable.

The cacao seeds tasted exceedingly bitter, and it
seemed wonderful that by preparation they should pro-
duce anything so delicious as chocolate.

My wife, who now fancied no manufacture beyond
my skill, begged for plants, seeds, or cuttings to propa-
gate in her nursery garden, already fancying herself in
the enjoyment of chocolate for breakfast, and I pro-
mised to make a cacao plantation near home.

“Tet me have bananas also,” said she, “for we may
acquire a taste for that celebrated fruit, and, at all
events, I am sure I can make it into an excellent
preserve.”

The day before our return to Rockburg, Fritz went
again to the inland region beyond the river to obtain
a large supply of young banana plants, and the cacao
fruit. He took the cajack, and a bundle of reeds to
float behind him as a raft to carry the fruit, plants,
and anything else he might wish to bring back.

In the evening he made his appearance, coming
swiftly down stream. His brothers rushed to meet
him, each eager to see and help to land his cargo.

Ernest and Fritz were quickly running up the bank,
with arms full of plants, branches, and fruit, when Fritz
handed to Jack a dripping wet bag which he had
brought along partly under water. A curious patter-
Fritz exhibits his Prizes. 477
ing noise proceeded from this bag, but they kept the
contents a secret for the present, Jack running with
it behind a bush before peeping in, and I could just
hear him exclaim,—

“Hollo! I say, what monsters they are! It’s enough
to make a fellow’s flesh creep to look at them!”

With that he hastily shut up the bag, and put it away
safely out of sight in water.

Securing the cajack, Fritz sprang towards us, his
handsome face radiant with pleasure, as he exhibited
a beautiful water-fowl.

Its plumage was rich purple, changing on the back to
dark green; the legs, feet, and a mark above the bill,
bright red. This lovely bird I concluded to be the
Sultan cock ‘described by Buffon, and as it was gentle,
we gladly received it among our domestic pets.

Fritz gave a stirring account of his exploring trip,
having made his way far up the river, between fertile
plains and majestic forests of lofty trees, where the
cries of vast numbers of birds, parrots, peacocks, guinea
fowls, and hundreds unknown to him, quite bewildered,
and made him feel giddy.

“Tt was in the Buffalo Swamp,” continued he, “that I
saw the splendid birds you call Sultan cocks, and I set
my heart on catching one alive, which, as they seemed
to have little fear of my approach, I managed by means
of a wire snare. Farther on I saw a grove of mimosa
trees, among which huge dark masses were moving in a~

deliberate way. Guess what they. were!”
478 The Swiss Family Robinson.

“ Savages ?” asked Franz timidly.

“Black bears, I bet!” cried Jack.

“Your words suggest to my mind the manner and
appearance of elephants,” said Ernest.

“Right you are, Professor!” exclaimed Fritz gaily,
the words producing quite a sensation on the whole
attentive family. “From fifteen to twenty elephants
were feeding peacefully on the leafy boughs, tearing
down branches with their trunks and shoving them into
their mouths with one jerk, or bathing in the deep waters
of the marsh for refreshment in the great heat. You can-
not imagine the wild grandeur of the scene! The river
being very broad, I felt safe from wild animals, and
more than once saw splendid jaguars crouched on the
banks, their glossy skin glancing in the sunlight.

“ While considering if it would be simply fool-hardy
to try a shot at one of these creatures, I was suddenly
convinced that discretion is the better part of valour,
and urging my canoe into the centre current, made a
rapid retreat down the river. For just before me, in the
calm deep water of a sheltered bay where I was quietly
floating, there arose a violent boiling, bubbling com-
motion, and for an instant I thought a hot spring was
going to burst forth-—instead of that, uprose the hideous
head and gaping jaws of a hippopotamus, who, with a
hoarse terrific snort, seemed about to attack me: I can
tell you I did not wait to see the rest of him! a glimpse
of his enormous mouth and its array of white gleaming
tusks was quite enough. ‘Right about face!’ said I to




HIPPOPOTAMI AT HOME.
480 The Swiss Family Robinson.



myself, and shot down the stream like an arrow, never
pausing till a bend in the river brought me within sight
of the Gap, where I once more felt safe, and joyfully
made my way back to you all.”

This narrative was of thrilling interest to us, proving
the existence of tribes of the most formidable animals
beyond the rocky barrier which defended, in so provi-
dential a manner, the small and fertile territory on which
our lot was cast.

During the absence of the adventurer we had been
busily engaged in making preparations for our departure
—and everything was packed up and ready by the
morning after his return.

After some hesitation I yielded to his great wish,
which was to return by sea in his cajack round Cape
Disappointment, and so meet us at Rockburg.

He was much interested in examining the outlines of
the coast, and the rugged precipices of the Cape. These
were tenanted by vast flocks of sea-fowl and birds of
prey ; while many varieties of shrubs and plants, hitherto
unknown to us, grew in the clefts and crevices of the
rocks, some of them diffusing a strong aromatic odour.
Among the specimens he brought I recognised the
caper plant, and, with still greater pleasure, a shrub
which was, I felt sure, the tea-plant of China—it bore
very pretty white flowers, and the leaves resembled
nyrtle.

Our land-journey was effected without accident or
adventure of any kind.


















































































































































































































































AN ALARMING ACQUAINTANCE.

Us


482 The Swiss Family Robinson.



Jack, mounted as usual on Hurry, the ostrich, carried
the mysterious wet bag very carefully slung at his side,
and when near home started off at a prodigious rate in
advance of us.

He let fall the drawbridge, and we saw no more of
him until, on reaching Rockburg, he appeared leisurely
returning from the swamp, where apparently he had
gone to deposit his “moist secret,” as Franz called it.

We were all glad to take up our quarters once more
in our large and convenient dwelling, and my first
business was to provide for the great number of birds
we now had on our hands, by establishing them in
suitable localities, it being impossible to maintain them
all in the poultry-yard. Some were, therefore, taken to
the islands ; and the black swans, the heron, the graceful
demoiselle cranes, and our latest acquisition, the splendid
sultan-cock, soon became perfectly at home in the Swamp,
greatly adding to the interest of the neighbourhood of
Safety Bay.

The old bustards were the tamest of all our feathered
pets, and never more so than at meal-times. They were
unfailing in their attendance when we dined or supped
in the open air.

Towards evening, as we sat in the verandah listening
to Fritz’s account of his trip round the Cape, an extra-
ordinary hollow roaring noise sounded from the swamp,
not unlike the angry bellowing of a bull.

The dogs barked, and the family rose in excitement ;
but I remarked a look of quiet humour in Fritz’s eye, as
zis























































































































































































































































































































































































































































BULL FROG,
484 The Swiss Family Robinson.



he stood leaning against one of the verandah pillars,
watching Jack, who, in some confusion, started oft
towards the marsh.

“ Come back, you silly boy!” cried his mother; “the
child has not so much as a bistol, and is rushing off
alone to face he knows not what!” |

“ Perhaps,” said I, looking at Fritz, “this is not a case
requiring the use of fire-arms. It may be only the
booming of a bittern which we hear.”

“Vou need not be uneasy, mother,” said Fritz ; “Jack
knows what he is about, only this charming serenade
took him by surprise, and I fancy he will have to exhibit
his treasures before they reach perfection. Yes, here he
comes!”

Lugging his “moist secret” along with him, Jack,
flushed and breathless, came up to us, exclaiming :—

“ They were to grow as big as rabbits before you saw
them! Such a shame! I never thought they would kick
up a row like that. Now for it!”—and he turned out
the bag. “This is ‘Grace, and this is ‘ Beauty.’”

Two immense frogs rolled clumsily on the ground,
and recovering their feet, sat squat before us, swelling
and puffing with a ludicrous air of insulted dignity,
while peals of laughter greeted them on all sides,

“ Ladies and Gentlemen, these are two very handsome
young specimens of the famous African bull-frog,” said
Jack, pretending to be offended at the mingled disgust
and amusement occasioned by their appearance ; “they
are but: half-grown, and I hoped to maintain them in
Jack exhibrts his Pets. 485



seclusion, until they reached full size, when I would have
introduced them with proper at. But since their talent
for music has brought them precociously into public
notice, I must beg for your kind and indulgent patron:
age, and—leave to take them back to the swamp!”

Great clapping of hands followed Jack’s speech.

“Grace” and “Beauty” were examined, and -com-
mented on with much interest, and voted decidedly
handsome “ in their way.”

Their general colour was greenish brown, mottled
and spotted with reddish brown, and yellow; the sides
green and black; the under part yellow mottled with
orange. The eyes were positively beautiful, of a rich
chestnut hue, covered with golden white dots, which
shone with a metallic lustre. The skin of the body was
puckered into longitudinal folds.

By general consent they were remanded to the
swamp.

Shortly after our return to Rockburg, my wife drew
my attention to the somewhat neglected state of our .
dear old summer residence at Falconhurst, begging me
to devote some time to its restoration and embellish-
ment,

This I most willingly undertook, and we removed
thither, as soon as the boys had completed the arrange-
ment of the artificial saltlick to their satisfaction.

At Falconhurst things were quickly in good order, and
we made a great improvement by completing the broad
terrace supported on the arching roots of the trees,—it was
486 The Swiss Family Robinson.





better floored,—and rustic pillars and trellis-work sus-
tained a bark roof which afforded a pleasant shade.

After this was done, I was compelled to consent to a
plan long cherished by Fritz, who wished to construct a
watch-tower and mount a gun on Shark Island. After
great exertion, both mental and bodily, this piece of
military engineering was completed; and a flagstaff
erected, on which the guard at this outpost *could run
up a white flag to signal the approach of anything harm.
less from the sea, while a red flag would be shown on
the least appearance of danger.

To celebrate the completion of this great work, which
occupied us during two months, we hoisted the white
flag, and fired a salute of six guns,
CHAPTER XVI.

Ten years afterwards—Our farms and farmyards—Fritz makes a voyage of
discovery—Cape Minster and the swallows’ nests—Pearl oysters—A
magnificent bay—The strange message—An excursion to Pearl Bay—
Fritz proposes to search for the stranger, and prepares his canoe for
her reception—The pearl fishery—An encounter with a wild boar—
Jack’s accident—Truffles—A midnight alarm—The lion and his mate
——Our enemies overcome—Juno’s death—We set sail for Rockburg—
Fritz leaves us.

“WE spend our years as a tale that is told,” said King
David.

These words recurred to me again and again as I
reviewed ten years, of which the story lay chronicled in
the pages of my journal.

Year followed year; chapter succeeded chapter;
steadily, imperceptibly, time was passing away.

The shade of sadness cast on my mind by retrospect
of this kind, was dispelled by thoughts full of gratitude
to God, for the welfare and happiness of my beloved
family during so long a period. I had cause espe-
cially to rejoice in seeing our sons advance to manhood,
strengthened by early training for lives of usefulness and
activity wherever their lot might fall.

And my great wish is, that young people who read
488 The Swiss Family Robinson.



this record of our lives and adventures, should learn
from it how admirably suited is the peaceful, industrious
and pious life of a cheerful and united family, to the
formation of strong, pure, and manly character.

None take a better place in the great national family,
none are happier or more beloved than those who go
forth from such homes to fuifil new duties, and to gather
fresh interests around them.

Having given a detailed account of several years’ resi-
dence in New Switzerland, as we liked to call our
dominion, it is needless for me to continue what would
exhaust the patience of the most long-suffering, by
repeating monotonous narratives of exploring parties
and hunting expeditions, wearisome descriptions of awk-
ward inventions and ‘clumsy machines, with an endless
record of discoveries, more fit for the pages of an
encyclopeedia, than a book of family history

Yet before winding up with the concluding events, I
may mention some interesting, facts illustrative of our
exact position at the time these took place.

Rockburg and Falconhurst continued to be our winter
and summer head-quarters, and improvements were
added which made them more and more convenient as
well .as attractive in appearance.

The fountains, trellised verandahs, and plantations
round Rockburg, completely changed the character ot
the residence which on account of the heat and want ot
vegetation had in former days been so distasteful to my
wife. Flowering creepers overhung the balconies and
Increased beauty of our Domain. | 48%

>



pillars; while shrubs and trees, both native and Euro-
pean, grew luxuriantly in groves of our planting.

In the distance, Shark Island, now clothed with
graceful palms, guarded the entrance to Safety Bay, the
battery and flag-staff prominently visible on its crested
rock.

The swamp, cleared and drained, was now a consider-
able lake, with just marsh and reeds enough beyond it
to form good cover for the waterfowl whose favourite
retreat it was.

On its blue waters sailed stately black swans, snow-
white geese, and richly-coloured ducks; while out and
in among the water-plants and rushes would appear at
intervals glimpses of the brilliant sultan, marsh-fowl,
crimson flamingos, soft blue-grey demoiselle cranes, and
crested heron, all associating in harmony, and with no
fear of us, their masters.

The giant frogs, Grace and Beauty, delighted Jack by
actually attaining in time to the size of small rabbits ;
and, perfectly knowing their very appropriate names,
would waddle out of the marsh at his call, to eat a grass-
hopper or dainty fly. :

Beneath the spreading trees, and through the aro-
matic shrubberies, old Hurry, the ostrich, was usually
to be seen marching about, with grave and dignified
pace, as though monarch of all he surveyed. Every
variety of beautiful pigeon nested in the rocks and dove-
cots, their soft cooing and glossy plumage making them |
favourite household pets.
490 The Swiss Family Robinson.



By the bridge alone could Rockburg be approached ;
for higher up the river, where, near the cascade, it was
fordable, a dense and impenetrable thicket of orange
and lemon trees, Indian figs, prickly pears, and all
manner of thorn-bearing shrubs, planted by us, now
formed a complete barrier.

The rabbit-warren on Shark Island kept us well sup-
plied with food, as well as soft and useful fur ; and, as the
antelopes did not thrive on Whale Isle, they also were
placed among the shady groves with the rabbits, and
their own island devoted to such work as candlemaking,
tanning, wool-cleaning, and any other needful but offen-
sive operations.

The farm at Woodlands flourished, and our flocks and
herds supplied us with mutton, beef and veal, while my
wife’s dairy was almost more than she could manage.

My boys retained their old love for giving names to
the animals. They had a beautiful creamy-white cow,
called Blanche, and a bull with such a tremendous voice,
that he received the name of Stentor. Two fleet young
onagers were named Arrow and Dart; and Jack had a
descendant of his old favourite Fangs, the jackal, which
he chose to call Coco, asserting that no ‘word could be
distinguished at a distance without “o” in it, giving illus-
trations of his theory till our ears were almost deafened.

Excellent health had been enjoyed by us all during
these ten years, though my wife occasionally suffered
from slight attacks of fever, and the boys sometimes met
with little accidents:
My Sons described. AQI



They were all fine handsome fellows: Fritz, now
twenty-four, was of moderate height, uncommonly
strong, active, muscular, and high-spirited.

Ernest, two years younger, was tall and slight; in dis-
position, mild, calm, and studious; his early faults of
indolence and selfishness were almost entirely overcome.
He possessed refined tastes and great intellectual
power. - ;

Jack, at twenty, strongly resembled Fritz, being about
his height, though more lightly built, and remarkable
rather for active grace and agility than for muscular
strength.

Franz, a lively youth of seventeen, had some of the
qualities of each of his brothers; he possessed wit and
‘shrewdness, but not the arch drollery of Jack. -

All were honourable, God-fearing young men, dutiful
and affectionate to their mother and myself, and warmly
attached to each other.

Although so many years had elapsed in total seclu-
sion, it continued to be my strong impression, that we
should one day be restored to the society of our fellow-
men.

But Time, which was bringing our sons to manhood,
was also carrying their parents onwards to old age;
and anxious, gloomy thoughts relating to their future,
should they be left indeed alone, sometimes oppressed
my heart.

- On such occasions I would not communicate the
sense of depression to my family, but turning in prayet
492 The Swiss Family Robinson.

to the Almighty Father, laid my trouble before Him,
with never-failing renewal of strength and hope. .

My elder sons often made expeditions of which we
knew nothing until their return after many hours ;
when any uneasiness I might have felt was dissipated
by their joyous appearance, and reproof always died
away on my lips.

Fritz had been absent one whole day from Rock-
burg, and not until evening did we remark that his
cajack was gone, and that he must be out at sea. :

‘Anxious to see him return before nightfall, I went off
to Shark Island with Ernest and Jack, in order to
look out for him from the watch-tower there, at the
same time hoisting our signal flag, and loading the
gun.

Long we gazed across the expanse of ocean glittering
in the level. beams of the setting sun, and finally dis-
cerned a small black speck in the distance which, by
the telescope, was proved to be the returning wanderer.

I remarked that his skiff sailed at a slower rate than
usual towards the shore. The cannon was ‘fired to let
him know that his approach was observed, and then we
joyfully hurried back to receive him at the harbour. ~

It was easy to see, as he drew near, what had delayed
his progress, The cajack towed a large sack, besides
being heavily laden. ag

“Welcome, Fritz!” Icried. “Welcome back, where=
ever you come from, and whatever you bring. You
seem to have quite a cargo there!” :
fritz describes his. Voyage. | 493





.Yes,.and my trip has led to discoveries as well. as
booty,” answered he; “interesting discoveries -which:
will:tempt.us again in the same direction. Come, boys,
let’s carry up the things, and while I rest I will relate:
my adventures,”

Ass soon as possible all assembled round him.

“I think my absence without leave deserves reproach
instead of this warm reception,. father, and I. must:
apologise for. it,” he began. “But ever since I pos-
sessed the cajack it has been my ambition to make:
a voyage of discovery along the coast, which we have
never explored beyond the point at which I killed the
walrus,

“In order to be ready to start without delay when
a convenient opportunity offered, I made preparations
beforehand, such as provisioning my skiff, fixing the
compass in front of my seat, arranging conveniently
rifle, harpoon, axe, boat-hook, and fishing-net. I also
resolved to take with me Pounce, my eagle, and this
{ always will do in future.

“This morning dawned magnificently ; the calm sea,’
the gentle breeze, all drew me irresistibly to the fulfil-
ment of my purpose.

“TI left the. harbour unperceived, the current quickly’
bore me out to sea, and I rounded the point to the left,
passing just over the spot where, beneath the waves, fe
the. guns, cannon balls, ironwork, and all that was inde-
structible about our good old wreck. And would you
believe it? Through the glassy clear water, undisturbed -
494. The Swiss Family Robinson



by a ripple, I actually saw many such things strewn ot
the flat rocky bottom. ; :
“Pursuing my way, I passed among rugged cliffs and
rocks which jutted out from the shore, or rose in rugged
masses from the water. Myriads of sea-fowl inhabited,
the most inaccessible of these, while on the lower
ridges, seals, sea-bears, and walruses, were to. be seen,
some basking lazily in the sun, some plunging into the.
water, or emerging awkwardly from it, hoisting their
unwieldy bodies up the rocks by means of their tusks.
“T must confess to feeling anything but comfortable
while going through the places held in possession by
these monsters of the deep, and used every effort to
pass quickly and unnoticed. Yet it was more than an
hour and a half before I got clear of the rocks, cliffs,.
and shoals to which they resorted, and neared a high
and precipitous cape, running far out to sea. Right
opposite to me, in the side of this rocky wall, was. a
magnificent archway, forming, as it first appeared to me,
a lofty entrance to an immense. vaulted cavern, 1
passed beneath this noble portal and examined the
interior. It was tenanted by numbers of a small species
of swallow, scarcely larger than a wren, and the walls
were covered by thousands of their nests. They were
rudely built, and their peculiarity was that each rested
onakind of platform, something like a spoon without.
the handle. I detached a number, and found that they
had a curious appearance, seemingly made of something
fibrous and gelatinous, and more like a set of sponges,
Liitle Birds -nests, 495



corals, or fungi, than nests of birds, I have brought
them home in my fishing net.”

“If we had commercial dealings with the Chinese,”
said I, “your discovery would be of value; these are
doubtless edible birds’-nests. The bird is called the escu-
lent swallow, and the trade in this strange article of diet



ESCULENT SWALLOW.

is a very large one. The nests are of different value,
but those which are quite new, and nearly white, are
held in such esteem that they are worth their weight in
silver.

“There are tremendous caverns in Java and other
places where, at great risk, these nests are procured ; the
annual weight obtained being upwards of fifty thousand
pounds, and the value more than 4. 200,000,
400. The Swiss Le: wechensote



-- When. aan in water and well soaked, ae, soften.
and swell, and are made into soup of very strengthening.
and restorative quality.

“TJ think you might try your hand on these, motte.
just for curiosity’s sake.”

“T can’t say I fancy the look of the queer things,”
said she, “but I don’t mind trying if they will turn to
jelly ; though boiling birds’-nests is cookery quite out of
my line.”

“Oh do, mother, let us taste birds’-nests as soon as
you can, though the idea makes me fancy my mouth
full of feathers!” laughed Jack.

“Tt is really a most curious formation,” said Fritz.
“From whence are the swallows supposed to get this
kind of gelatine?” .

“Tt has never been exactiy ascertained,” I replied,
“whether the birds discover or produce this curious
substance. But whatever may be its basis, it is clear
that a very large portion of it is furnished by certain
glands, which pour out a viscid secretion.”

“ After laying in my store of nests,” continued Fritz,
“J. pursued my way through this vaulted cave or cor-
ridor; which, presently turning, opened into a very
lonely bay, so calm and lake-like, that, although of
considerable size, I concluded at once it must be nearly
land locked. Its shores, beyond the rocky boundaty
through which I penetrated, extended in a fertile
plain towards what seemed the mouth of a river,
beyond which lay rough, and probably marshy, ground, .
Pearl Oysters. 497



and a dense forest of cedars, which closed the
view.

“The water beneath me was clear as crystal; and,
gazing into its depths and shallows, I perceived beds
of shell-fish, like large oysters, attached to the rocks
and to each other by tufts of hairy filaments.

“Tf these are oysters,’ thought I, ‘they must be
better worth eating, as far as size goes, than our little
friends in Safety Bay, and thereupon I hooked up
several clusters with my boat-hook, and landing soon
after on the beach, I flung them on the sand, resolving
to fetch another load, and then tow them after me in
the fishing-net,

“The hot sun disagreed with their constitution, I
suppose; for when I came back the shells were all
gaping wide open ; so I began to examine them, think-
ing that after all they were probably much less delicate
than the small oysters we have learnt to like so much.

“Somehow, when a thing is to be ‘examined,’ one
generally needs a knife. The blade met with resistance
here and there in the creature’s body ; and still closer
‘examination’ produced from it several pearly balls,
like peas, of different sizes. Do you think they can be
pearls? I have a number here in a box.”

“Oh, show them to us, Fritz!” cried the boys. “ What
pretty shining things! and how delicately rounded!
and how softly they gleam !”

“You have discovered treasure, indeed!” I exclaimed :

“why these are most beautiful pearls! Valueless, cer-
K E
498 The Swiss Family Robinson.

tainly, under present circumstances; but they may
prove a source of wealth, should we ever again come
into contact with the civilized world. We must visit
your pearl-oyster beds at the earliest opportunity.”

“ After resting for some time, and refreshing myself
with food,”. pursued Fritz, “I resumed my survey of the
coast, my’ progress somewhat impeded. by the bag of
shell-fish, which I drew after me ; but I proceeded with-
out accident past the mouth of the stream to the further
side of the bay, which was there enclosed by a point
corresponding to that through which I had entered;
and between these headlands I found a line of reefs
and sand-banks, with but a single channel leading out
to. the open sea; from which, therefore, Pearl Bay, as I
named it, lies completely sheltered.

“The tide was setting strongly in shore, so that I
could not then attempt a passage through it, but
examined the crags of the headland, thinking I-might
perchance discover a sécond vaulted archway. I saw
nothing remarkable, however, but thousands of sea fowi
of every sort and kind, from the gull and ‘sea-swallow
to the mighty albatross.

“My approach was evidently regarded as an invasion
and trespass ; for they regularly beset me, screaming-and
wheeling over my head, till, out of all patience, I stood
up, and hit furiously about me with the boat-hook;
when, rather to my surprise, one blow‘struck an ‘alba-
tross with such force, that he fell stiinned into’ ‘the
water. ,
uy













































































































































































PEARL OYSTERS...
500 Lhe Swiss Family Robinson.



“T now once more attempted to cross the reef by the
narrow channel, and happily succeeding, found myself
in the open sea, and speeding homewards, joyfully saw
our flag flying, and heard the welcome salute you
fired.”

Here ended the narrative ; but next morning Fritz
drew me aside, and confided to me a most remarkable
sequel, in these words—

“There was something very extraordinary about that
albatross, father. I allowed you to suppose that I left
it as it fell, but in reality I raised it to the deck of the
canoe, and then perceived a piece of rag wound round
one of its legs, This I remov