The production of a book which is adapted to the use of the

youngest readers needs but few words of excuse or apology. The

nature of the work seems to be sufficiently explained by the

title itself, and the author's task has been chiefly to reduce

the ordinary language into words of one syllable. But although,

as far as the subject matter is concerned, the book can lay no

claims to originality, it is believed that the idea and scope of

its construction are entirely novel, for the One Syllable

literature of the present day furnishes little more than a few

short, unconnected sentences, and those chiefly in spelling



The deep interest which De Foe's story has never failed to arouse

in the minds of the young, induces the author to hope that it may

be acceptable in its present form.


It should be stated that exceptions to the rule of using words of

one syllable exclusively have been made in the case of the proper

names of the boy Xury and of the man Friday, and in the titles of

the illustrations that accompany this work.










I was born at York on the first of March in the sixth year of the

reign of King Charles the First. From the time when I was quite a

young child, I had felt a great wish to spend my life at sea, and

as I grew, so did this taste grow more and more strong; till at

last I broke loose from my school and home, and found my way on

foot to Hull, where I soon got a place on board a ship.


When we had set sail but a few days, a squall of wind came on,

and on the fifth night we sprang a leak. All hands were sent to

the pumps, but we felt the ship groan in all her planks, and her

beams quake from stem to stern; so that it was soon quite clear

there was no hope for her, and that all we could do was to save

our lives.


The first thing was to fire off guns, to show that we were in

need of help, and at length a ship, which lay not far from us,

sent a boat to our aid. But the sea was too rough for it to lie

near our ship's side, so we threw out a rope, which the men in

the boat caught, and made fast, and by this means we all got in.

Still in so wild a sea it was in vain to try to get on board the

ship which had sent out the men, or to use our oars in the boat,

and all we could do was to let it drive to shore.


In the space of half an hour our own ship struck on a rock and

went down, and we saw her no more. We made but slow way to the

land, which we caught sight of now and then when the boat rose

to the top of some high wave, and there we saw men who ran in

crowds, to and fro, all bent on one thing, and that was to save



At last to our great joy we got on shore, where we had the luck

to meet with friends who gave us the means to get back to Hull;

and if I had now had the good sense to go home, it would have

been well for me.


The man whose ship had gone down said with a grave look, "Young

lad, you ought to go to sea no more, it is not the kind, of life

for you." "Why Sir, will you go to sea no more then?"  "That is

not the same kind of thing; I was bred to the sea, but you were

not, and came on board my ship just to find out what a life at

sea was like, and you may guess what you will come to if you do

not go back to your home. God will not bless you, and it may be

that you have brought all this woe on us."


I spoke not a word more to him; which way he went I knew not, nor

did I care to know, for I was hurt at this rude speech. Shall I

go home thought I, or shall I go to sea? Shame kept me from home,

and I could not make up my mind what course of life to take.


As it has been my fate through life to choose for the worst, so I

did now. I had gold in my purse, and good clothes on my back, and

to sea I went once more.


But I had worse luck this time than the last, for when we were

far out at sea, some Turks in a small ship came on our track in

full chase. We set as much sail as our yards would bear, so as to

get clear from them. But in spite of this, we saw our foes gain

on us, and we felt sure that they would come up with our ship in

a few hours' time.


At last they caught us, but we brought our guns to bear on them,

which made them shear off for a time, yet they kept up a fire at

us as long as they were in range. The next time the Turks came

up, some of their men got on board our ship, and set to work to

cut the sails, and do us all kinds of harm. So, as ten of our men

lay dead, and most of the rest had wounds, we gave in.


The chief of the Turks took me as his prize to a port which was

held by the Moors. He did not use me so ill as at first I thought

he would have done, but he set me to work with the rest of his

slaves. This was a change in my life which I did not think had

been in store for me. How my heart sank with grief at the thought

of those whom I had left at home, nay, to whom I had not had the

grace so much as to say "Good bye" when I went to sea, nor to

give a hint of what I meant to do!


Yet all that I went through at this time was but a taste of the

toils and cares which it has since been my lot to bear.


I thought at first that the Turk might take me with him when next

he went to sea, and so I should find some way to get free; but

the hope did not last long, for at such times he left me on shore

to see to his crops. This kind of life I led for two years, and

as the Turk knew and saw more of me, he made me more and more

free. He went out in his boat once or twice a week to catch a

kind of flat fish, and now and then he took me and a boy with

him, for we were quick at this kind of sport, and he grew quite

fond of me.


One day the Turk sent me in the boat to catch some fish, with no

one else but a man and a boy. While we were out so thick a fog

came on that though we were out not half a mile from the shore,

we quite lost sight of it for twelve hours; and when the sun rose

the next day, our boat was at least ten miles out at sea. The

wind blew fresh, and we were all much in want of food, but at

last, with the help of our oars and sail, we got back safe to



When the Turk heard how we had lost our way, he said that the

next time he went out, he would take a boat that would hold all

we could want if we were kept out at sea. So he had quite a state

room built in the long boat of his ship, as well as a room for us

slaves. One day he sent me to trim the boat, as he had two

friends who would go in it to fish with him. But when the time

came they did not go, so he sent me with the man and the

boy--whose name was Xury--to catch some fish for the guests that

were to sup with him.


Now the thought struck me all at once that this would be a good

chance to set off with the boat, and get free. So in the first

place, I took all the food that I could lay my hands on, and I

told the man that it would be too bold of us to eat of the bread

that had been put in the boat for the Turk. He said he thought so

too, and he brought down a small sack of rice and some rusks.


While the man was on shore I put up some wine, a large lump of

wax, a saw, an axe, a spade, some rope, and all sorts of things

that might be of use to us.  I knew where the Turk's case of wine

was, and I put that in the boat while the man was on shore. By

one more trick I got all that I had need of. I said to the boy,

"the Turk's guns are in the boat, but there is no shot. Do you

think you could get some? You know where it is kept, and we may

want to shoot a fowl or two."  So he brought a case and a pouch

which held all that we could want for the guns. These I put in

the boat, and then set sail out of the port to fish.


The wind blew, from the North, or North West, which was a bad

wind for me; for had it been South I could have made for the

coast of Spain. But, blow which way it might, my mind was made up

to get off, and to leave the rest to fate. I then let down my

lines to fish, but I took care to have bad sport; and when the

fish bit, I would not pull them up, for the Moor was not to see

them. I said to him, "This will not do, we shall catch no fish

here, we ought to sail on a bit." Well, the Moor thought there

was no harm in this. He set the sails, and, as the helm was in my

hands, I ran the boat out a mile or more, and then brought her

to, as if I meant to fish.


Now, thought I, the time has come for me to get free! I gave the

helm to the boy, and then took the Moor round the waist, and

threw him out of the boat.


Down he went! but soon rose up, for he swam like a duck. He said

he would go all round the world with me, if I would but take him



I had some fear lest he should climb up the boat's side, and

force his way back; so I brought my gun to point at him, and

said, "You can swim to land with ease if you choose, make haste

then to get there; but if you come near the boat you shall have a

shot through the head, for I mean to be a free man from this



He then swam for the shore, and no doubt got safe there, as the

sea was so calm.


At first I thought I would take the Moor with me, and let Xury

swim to land; but the Moor was not a man that I could trust. When

he was gone I said to Xury, "If you will swear to be true to me,

you shall be a great man in time; if not, I must throw you out of

the boat too."


The poor boy gave me such a sweet smile as he swore to be true to

me, that I could not find it in my heart to doubt him.


While the man was still in view (for he was on his way to the

land), we stood out to sea with the boat, so that he and those

that saw us from the shore might think we had gone to the

straits' mouth, for no one went to the South coast, as a tribe of

men dwelt there who were known to kill and eat their foes.


We then bent our course to the East, so as to keep in with the

shore; and as we had a fair wind and a smooth sea, by the next

day at noon, we were not less than 150 miles out of the reach of

the Turk.


I had still some fear lest I should be caught by the Moors, so I

would not go on shore in the day time. But when it grew dark we

made our way to the coast, and came to the mouth of a stream,

from which we thought we could swim to land, and then look round

us. But as soon as it was quite dark we heard strange sounds--

barks, roars, grunts, and howls. The poor lad said he could

not go on shore till dawn. "Well," said I, "then we must give

it up, but it may be that in the day time we shall be seen

by men, who for all we know would do us more harm than wild

beasts." "Then we give them the shoot gun," said Xury with a

laugh, "and make them run away." I was glad to see so much mirth

in the boy, and gave him some bread and rice.


We lay still at night, but did not sleep long, for in a few

hours' time some huge beasts came down to the sea to bathe. The

poor boy shook from head to foot at the sight. One of these

beasts came near our boat, and though it was too dark to see him

well, we heard him puff and blow, and knew that he must be a

large one by the noise he made. At last the brute came as near to

the boat as two oars' length, so I shot at him, and he swam to

the shore.


The roar and cries set up by beasts and birds at the noise of my

gun would seem to show that we had made a bad choice of a place

to land on; but be that as it would, to shore we had to go to

find some fresh spring, so that we might fill our casks. Xury

said if I would let him go with one of the jars, he would find

out if the springs were fit to drink; and, if they were sweet, he

would bring the jar back full. "Why should you go?" said I; "Why

should not I go, and you stay in the boat?" At this Xury said,

"if wild mans come they eat me, you go way." I could not but love

the lad for this kind speech. "Well," said I, "we will both go,

and if the wild men come we must kill them, they shall not eat

you or me."


I gave Xury some rum from the Turk's case to cheer him up, and we

went on shore. The boy went off with his gun, full a mile from

the spot where we stood, and came back with a hare that he had

shot, which we were glad to cook and eat; but the good news which

he brought was that he had found a spring, and had seen no wild



I made a guess that the Cape de Verd Isles were not far off, for

I saw the top of the Great Peak, which I knew was near them. My

one hope was that if I kept near the coast, I should find some

ship that would take us on board; and then, and not till then,

should I feel a free man. In a word, I put the whole of my fate

on this chance, that I must meet with some ship, or die.


On the coast we saw some men who stood to look at us. They were

black, and wore no clothes. I would have gone on shore to them,

but Xury--who knew best--said, "Not you go! Not you go!" So I

brought the boat as near the land as I could, that I might talk

to them, and they kept up with me a long way. I saw that one of

them had a lance in his hand.


I made signs that they should bring me some food, and they on

their part made signs for me to stop my boat. So I let down the

top of my sail, and lay by, while two of them ran off; and in

less than half an hour they came back with some dry meat and a

sort of corn which is grown in this part of the world. This we

should have been glad to get, but knew not how to do so; for we

durst not go on shore to them, nor did they dare to come to us.

At last they took a safe way for us all, for they brought the food

to the shore, where they set it, down, and then went a long way

off while we took it in. We made signs to show our thanks, for we

had not a thing that we could spare to give them.


But as good luck would have it, we were at  hand to take a great

prize for them; for two wild beasts, of the same kind as the

first I spoke of, came in, full chase from the hills down to the



They swam as if they had come for sport. The men flew from them

in fear, all but the one  who held the lance. One of these beasts

came near our boat; so I lay in wait for him with my gun; and as

soon as the brute was in range, I shot him through the head.

Twice he sank down in the sea, and twice he came up; and then

just swam to the land, where he fell down dead. The men were in

as much fear at the sound of my gun, as they had been at the

sight of the beasts. But when I made signs for them to come to

the shore, they took heart, and came.


They at once made for their prize; and by the help of a rope,

which they slung round him, they brought him safe on the beach.


We now left our wild men, and went on and on, for twelve days

more. The land in front of us ran out four or five miles, like a

bill; and we had to keep some way from the coast, to make this

point, so that we lost sight of the shore.


I gave the helm to Xury and sat down to think what would be my

best course to take: when all at once I heard the lad cry out "A

ship with a sail! A ship with a sail!" He did not show much joy

at the sight, for he thought that this ship had been sent out to

take him back: but I knew well, from the look of her, that she

was not one of the Turk's.


I made all the sail I could to come in the ship's way, and told

Xury to fire a gun, in the hope that if those on deck could not

hear the sound, they might see the smoke. This they did see, and

then let down their sails so that we might come up to them, and

in three hours time we were at the ship's side. The men spoke to

us in French, but I could not make out what they meant. At last a

Scot on board said in my own tongue, "Who are you? Whence do you

come?" I told him in a few words how I had got free from the



Then the man who had charge of the ship bade me come on board,

and took me in with Xury and all my goods. I told him that he

might take all I had, but he said "You shall have your goods back

when we come to land, for I have but done for you what you would

have done for me, had I been in the same plight."


He gave me a good round sum for my boat, and said that I should

have the same sum for Xury, if I would part with him. But I told

him that as it was by the boy's help that I had got free, I was

loath to sell him. He said it was just and right in me to feel

thus, but at the same time, if I could make up my mind to part

with him, he should be set free in two years' time. So, as the

poor slave had a wish to go with him, I did not say "no." I got

to All Saints' Bay in three weeks, and was now a free man.


I had made a good sum by all my store, and with this I went on

land. But I did not at all know what to do next. At length I met

with a man whose case was much the same as my own, and we both

took some land to farm. My stock, like his, was low, but we made

our farms serve to keep us in food, though not more than that. We

both stood in need of help, and I saw now that I had done wrong

to part with my boy.


I did not at all like this kind of life. What! thought I, have I

come all this way to do that which I could have done as well at

home with my friends round me! And to add to my grief, the kind

friend, who had brought me here in his ship, now meant to leave

these shores.


On my first start to sea when a boy, I had put a small sum in the

hands of an aunt, and this my friend said I should do well to

spend on my farm. So when he got home he sent some of it in cash,

and laid out the rest in cloth, stuffs, baize, and such like

goods. My aunt had put a few pounds in my friend's hands as a

gift to him, to show her thanks for all that he had done for me,

and with this sum he was so kind as to buy me a slave. In the

mean time I had bought a slave, so now I had two, and all went on

well for the next year.


But soon my plans grew too large for my means. One day some men

came to ask me to take charge of a slave ship to be sent out by

them. They said they would give me a share in the slaves, and pay

the cost of the stock. This would have been a good thing for me

if I had not had farms and land; but it was wild and rash to

think of it now, for I had made a large sum, and ought to have

gone on in the same way for three or four years more. Well, I

told these men that I would go with all my heart, if they would

look to my farm in the mean time, which they said they would do.


So I made my will, and went on board this ship on the same day on

which, eight years since, I had left Hull. She had six guns,

twelve men, and a boy. We took with us saws, chains, toys, beads,

bits of glass, and such like ware, to suit the taste of those

with whom we had to trade.


We were not more than twelve days from the Line, when a high wind

took us off we knew not where. All at once there was a cry of

"Land!" and the ship struck on a bank of sand, in which she sank

so deep that we could not get her off. At last we found that we

must make up our minds to leave her, and get to shore as well as

we could. There had been a boat at her stern, but we found it

had been torn off by the force of the waves. One small boat was

still left on the ship's side, so we got in it.


There we were all of us on the wild sea. The heart of each now

grew faint, our cheeks were pale, and our eyes were dim, for

there was but one hope, and that was to find some bay, and so get

in the lee of the land. We now gave up our whole souls to God.


The sea grew more and more rough, and its white foam would curl

and boil. At last the waves, in their wild sport, burst on the

boat's side, and we were all thrown out.


I could swim well, but the force of the waves made me lose my

breath too much to do so. At length one large wave took me to the

shore, and left me high and dry, though half dead with fear. I

got on my feet and made the best of my way for the land; but just

then the curve of a huge wave rose up as high as a hill, and this

I had no strength to keep from, so it took me back to the sea. I

did my best to float on the top, and held my breath to do so. The

next wave was quite as high, and shut me up in its bulk. I held

my hands down tight to my side, and then my head shot out at the

top of the waves. This gave me heart and breath too, and soon my

feet felt the ground.


I stood quite still for a short time, to let the sea run back

from me, and then I set off with all my might to the shore, but

yet the waves caught me, and twice more did they take me back,

and twice more land me on the shore. I thought the last wave

would have been the death of me, for it drove me on a piece of

rock, and with such force, as to leave me in a kind of swoon,

which, thank God, did not last long. At length, to my great joy,

I got up to the cliffs close to the shore, where I found some

grass, out of the reach of the sea. There, I sat down, safe on

land at last.


I could but cry out in the words of the Psalm, "They that go down

to the sea in ships, these men see the works of the Lord in the

deep. For at His word the storms rise, the winds blow, and lift

up the waves; then do they mount to the sky, and from thence go

down to the deep. My soul faints, I reel to and fro, and am at my

wit's end: then the Lord brings me out of all my fears."


I felt so wrapt in joy, that all I could do was to walk up and

down the coast, now lift up my hands, now fold them on my breast,

and thank God for all that He had done for me, when the rest of

the men were lost. All lost but I, and I was safe! I now cast my

eyes round me, to find out what kind of a place it was that I had

been thus thrown in, like a bird in a storm. Then all the glee I

felt at first left me; for I was wet and cold, and had no dry

clothes to put on, no food to eat and not a friend to help me.


There were wild beasts here, but I had no gun to shoot them with,

or to keep me from their jaws. I had but a knife and a pipe. It

now grew dark; and where was I to go for the night? I thought the

top of some high tree would be a good place to keep me out of

harm's way; and that there I might sit and think of death, for,

as yet, I had no hopes of life. Well, I went to my tree, and made

a kind of nest to sleep in. Then I cut a stick to keep off the

beasts of prey, in case they should come, and fell to sleep just

as if the branch I lay on had been a bed of down.


When I woke up it was broad day; the sky too was clear and the

sea calm. But I saw from the top of the tree that in the night

the ship had left the bank of sand, and lay but a mile from me;

while the boat was on the beach, two miles on my right. I went

some way down by the shore, to get to the boat; but an arm of the

sea, half a mile broad, kept me from it. At noon, the tide went a

long way out, so that I could get near the ship; and here I found

that if we had but made up our minds to stay on board, we should

all have been safe.


I shed tears at the thought, for I could not help it; yet, as

there was no use in that, it struck me that the best thing for me

to do was to swim to the ship. I soon threw off my clothes, took

to the sea, and swam up to the wreck. But how was I to get on

deck? I had swam twice round the ship, when a piece of rope,

caught my eye, which hung down from her side so low, that at

first the waves hid it. By the help of this rope I got on board.

I found that there was a bulge in the ship, and that she had

sprung a leak. You may be sure that my first thought was to look

round for some food, and I soon made my way to the bin, where the

bread was kept, and ate some of it as I went to and fro, for

there was no time to lose. There was, too, some rum, of which I

took a good draught, and this gave me heart. What I stood most in

need of, was a boat to take the goods to shore. But it was vain

to wish for that which could not be had; and as there were some

spare yards in the ship, two or three large planks of wood, and a

spare mast or two, I fell to work with these, to make a raft.


I put four spars side by side, and laid short bits of plank on

them, cross ways, to make my raft strong. Though these planks

would bear my own weight, they were too slight to bear much of my

freight. So I took a saw which was on board, and cut a mast in

three lengths, and these gave great strength to the raft. I found

some bread and rice, a Dutch cheese, and some dry goat's flesh.

There had been some wheat, but the rats had got at it, and it was

all gone.


My next task was to screen my goods from the spray of the sea;

and it did not take me long to do this, for there were three

large chests on board which held all, and these I put on the

raft. When the high tide came up it took off my coat and shirt,

which I had left on the shore; but there were some fresh clothes

in the ship.


"See here is a prize!" said I, out loud, (though there were none

to hear me), "now I shall not starve." For I found four large

guns. But how was my raft to be got to land? I had no sail, no

oars; and a gust of wind would make all my store slide off. Yet

there were three things which I was glad of; a calm sea, a tide

which set in to the shore, and a slight breeze to blow me there.


I had the good luck to find some oars in a part of the ship, in

which I had made no search till now. With these I put to sea, and

for half a mile my raft went well; but soon I found it drove to

one side. At length I saw a creek, to which, with some toil, I

took my raft; and now the beach was so near, that I felt my oar

touch the ground.


Here I had well nigh lost my freight, for the shore lay on a

slope, so that there was no place to land on, save where one end

of the raft would lie so high, and one end so low, that all my

goods would fall off. To wait till the tide came up was all that

could be done. So when the sea was a foot deep, I thrust the raft

on a flat piece of ground, to moor her there, and stuck my two

oars in the sand, one on each side of the raft. Thus I let her

lie till the ebb of the tide, and when it went down, she was left

safe on land with all her freight.


I saw that there were birds on the isle, and I shot one of them.

Mine must have been the first gun that had been heard there since

the world was made; for at the sound of it, whole flocks of birds

flew up, with loud cries, from all parts of the wood. The shape

of the beak of the one I shot was like that of a hawk, but the

claws were not so large.


I now went back to my raft to land my stores, and this took up

the rest of the day. What to do at night I knew not, nor where to

find a safe place to land my stores on. I did not like to lie

down on the ground, for fear of beasts of prey, as well as

snakes, but there was no cause for these fears, as I have since

found. I put the chests and boards round me as well as I could,

and made a kind of hut for the night.


As there was still a great store of things left in the ship,

which would be of use to me, I thought that I ought to bring them

to land at once; for I knew that the first storm would break up

the ship. So I went on board, and took good care this time not to

load my raft too much.


The first thing, I sought for was the tool chest; and in it were

some bags of nails, spikes, saws, knives, and such things: but

best of all I found a stone to grind my tools on. There were two

or three flasks, some large bags of shot, and a roll of lead; but

this last I had not the strength to hoist up to the ship's side,

so as to get it on my raft. There were some spare sails too which

I brought to shore.


I had some fear lest my stores might be run off with by beasts of

prey, if not by men; but I found all safe and sound when I went

back, and no one had come there but a wild cat, which sat on one

of the chests. When I came up I held my gun at her, but as she

did not know what a gun was, this did not rouse her. She ate a

piece of dry goat's flesh, and then took her leave.


Now that I had two freights of goods at hand, I made a tent with

the ship's sails, to stow them in, and cut the poles for it from

the wood. I now took all the things out of the casks and chests,

and put the casks in piles round the tent, to give it strength;

and when this was done, I shut up the door with the boards,

spread one of the beds (which I had brought from the ship) on the

ground, laid two guns close to my head, and went to bed for the

first time. I slept all night, for I was much in need of rest.


The next day I was sad and sick at heart, for I felt how dull it

was to be thus cut off from all the rest of the world. I had no

great wish for work: but there was too much to be done for me to

dwell long on my sad lot. Each day as it came, I went off to the

wreck to fetch more things; and I brought back as much as the

raft would hold. One day I had put too great a load on the raft,

which made it sink down on one side, so that the goods were lost

in the sea; but at this I did not fret, as the chief part of the

freight was some rope, which would not have been of much use to



The twelve days that I had been in the isle were spent in this

way, and I had brought to land all that one pair of hands could

lift; though if the sea had been still calm, I might have brought

the whole ship, piece by piece.


The last time I swam to the wreck, the wind blew so hard, that I

made up my mind to go on board next time at low tide. I found

some tea and some gold coin; but as to the gold, it made me laugh

to look at it. "O drug!" said I, "Thou art of no use to me! I

care not to save thee. Stay where thou art, till the ship go

down, then go thou with it!"


Still, I thought I might as well just take it; so I put it in a

piece of the sail, and threw it on deck that I might place it on

the raft. Bye-and-bye, the wind blew from the shore, so I had to

swim back with all speed; for I knew that at the turn of the

tide, I should find it hard work to get to land at all. But in

spite of the high wind, I came to my home all safe. At dawn of

day I put my head out, and cast my eyes on the sea. When lo! no

ship was there!


This change in the face of things, and the loss of such a friend,

quite struck me down. Yet I was glad to think that I had brought

to shore all that could be of use to me. I had now to look out

for some spot where I could make my home. Half way up a hill

there was a small plain, four or five score feet long, and twice

as broad; and as it had a full view of the sea, I thought that

it would be a good place for my house.


I first dug a trench round a space which took in twelve yards;

and in this I drove two rows of stakes, till they stood firm like

piles, five and a half feet from the ground. I made the stakes

close and tight with bits of rope; and put small sticks on the

top of them in the shape of spikes. This made so strong a fence

that no man or beast could get in.


The door of my house was on the top, and I had to climb up to it

by steps, which I took in with me, so that no one else might come

up by the same way. Close to the back of the house stood a high

rock, in which I made a cave, and laid all the earth that I had

dug out of it round my house, to the height of a foot and a half.

I had to go out once a day in search of food. The first time, I

saw some goats, but they were too shy and swift of foot, to let

me get near them.


At last I lay in wait for them close to their own haunts. If they

saw me in the vale, though they might be on high ground, they

would run off, wild with fear; but if they were in the vale, and

I on high ground, they took no heed of me. The first goat I shot

had a kid by her side, and when the old one fell, the kid stood

near her, till I took her off on my back, and then the young one

ran by my side. I put down the goat, and brought the kid home to

tame it; but as it was too young to feed, I had to kill it.


At first I thought that, for the lack of pen and ink, I should

lose all note of time; so I made a large post, in the shape of a

cross, on which I cut these words, "I came on these shores on the

8th day of June, in the year 1659" On the side of this post I

made a notch each day as it came, and this I kept up till the



I have not yet said a word of my four pets, which were two cats,

a dog, and a bird. You may guess how fond I was of them, for they

were all the friends left to me. I brought the dog and two cats

from the ship. The dog would fetch things for me at all times,

and by his bark, his whine, his growl, and his tricks, he would

all but talk to me; yet he could not give me thought for thought.


If I could but have had some one near me to find fault with, or

to find fault with me, what a treat it would have been! Now that

I had brought ink from the ship, I wrote down a sketch of each

day as it came; not so much to leave to those who might read it,

when I was dead and gone, as to get rid of my own thoughts, and

draw me from the fears which all day long dwelt on my mind, till

my head would ache with the weight of them.


I was a long way out of the course of ships: and oh, how dull it

was to be cast on this lone spot with no one to love, no one to

make me laugh, no one to make me weep, no one to make me think.

It was dull to roam, day by day, from the wood to the shore; and

from the shore back to the wood, and feed on my own thoughts all

the while.


So much for the sad view of my case; but like most things it had

a bright side as well as a dark one. For here was I safe on land,

while all the rest of the ship's crew were lost. Well, thought I,

God who shapes our ways, and led me by the hand then, can save me

from this state now, or send some one to be with me; true, I am

cast on a rough and rude part of the globe, but there are no

beasts of prey on it to kill or hurt me. God has sent the ship so

near to me, that I have got from it all things to meet my wants

for the rest of my days. Let life be what it may, there is sure

to be much to thank God for; and I soon gave up all dull

thoughts, and did not so much as look out for a sail.


My goods from the wreck had been in the cave for more than ten

months; and it was time now to put them right, as they took up

all the space, and left me no room to turn in: so I made my small

cave a large one, and dug it out a long way back in the sand

rock. Then I brought the mouth of it up to the fence, and so made

a back way to my house. This done, I put shelves on each side, to

hold my goods, which made my cave look like a shop full of

stores. To make these shelves I cut down a tree, and with the

help of a saw, an axe, a plane, and some more tools, I made



A chair, and a desk to write on, came next. I rose in good time,

and set to work till noon, then I ate my meal, then I went out

with my gun, and to work once more till the sun had set; and then

to bed. It took me more than a week to change the shape and size

of my cave, but I had made it far too large; for in course of

time the earth fell in from the roof; and had I been in it, when

this took place, I should have lost my life. I had now to set up

posts in my cave, with planks on the top of them, so as to make a

roof of wood.


One day, when out with my gun, I shot a wild cat, the skin of

which made me a cap; and I found some birds of the dove tribe,

which built their nests in the holes of rocks.


I had to go to bed at dusk, till I made a lamp of goat's fat,

which I put in a clay dish; and this, with a piece of hemp for a

wick, made a good light. As I had found a use for the bag which

had held the fowl's food on board ship, I shook out from it the

husks of corn. This was just at the time when the great rains

fell, and in the course of a month, blades of rice, corn, and

rye, sprang up. As time went by, and the grain was ripe, I kept

it, and took care to sow it each year; but I could not boast of a

crop of wheat, as will be shown bye-and-bye, for three years.


A thing now took place on the isle, which no one could have

dreamt of, and which struck me down with fear. It was this--the

ground shook with great force, which threw down earth from the

rock with a loud crash--once more there was a shock--and now the

earth fell from the roof of my cave. The sea did not look the

same as it had done, for the shocks were just as strong there as

on land. The sway of the earth made me feel sick; and there was a

noise and a roar all around me. The same kind of shock came a

third time; and when it had gone off, I sat quite still on the

ground, for I knew not what to do. Then the clouds grew dark, the

wind rose, trees were torn up by the roots, the sea was a mass of

foam and froth, and a great part of the isle was laid waste with

the storm. I thought that the world had come to an end. In three

hours' time all was calm; but rain fell all that night, and a

great part of the next day. Now, though quite worn out, I had to

move my goods which were in the cave, to some safe place.


I knew that tools would be my first want, and that I should have

to grind mine on the stone, as they were blunt and worn with use.

But as it took both hands to hold the tool, I could not turn the

stone; so I made a wheel by which I could move it with my foot.

This was no small task, but I took great pains with it, and at

length it was done.


The rain fell for some days and a cold chill came on me; in short

I was ill. I had pains in my head, and could get no sleep at

night, and my thoughts were wild and strange. At one time I shook

with cold, and then a hot fit came on, with faint sweats, which

would last six hours at a time. Ill as I was, I had to go out

with my gun to get food. I shot a goat, but it was a great toil

to bring it home, and still more to cook it.


I spent the next day in bed, and felt half dead from thirst, yet

too weak to stand up to get some drink. I lay and wept like a

child. "Lord look on me! Lord look on me!" would I cry for hours.


At last the fit left me, and I slept, and did not wake till dawn.

I dreamt that I lay on the ground, and saw a man come down from a

great black cloud in a flame of light. When he stood on the

earth, it shook as it had done a few days since; and all the

world to me was full of fire. He came up and said "As I see that

all these things have not brought thee to pray, now thou shalt

die." Then I woke, and found it was a dream. Weak and faint, I

was in dread all day lest my fit should come on.


Too ill to get out with my gun, I sat on the shore to think, and

thus ran my thoughts: "What is this sea which is all round me?

and whence is it? There can be no doubt that the hand that made

it, made the air, the earth, the sky. And who is that? It is God

who hath made all things. Well then, if God hath made all things,

it must be He who guides them; and if so, no one thing in the

whole range of His works can take place, and He not know it. Then

God must know how sick and sad I am, and He wills me to be here.

O, why hath God done this to me!"


Then some voice would seem to say, "Dost thou ask why God hath

done this to thee? Ask why thou wert not shot by the Moors, who

came on board the ship, and took the lives of thy mates. Ask why

thou wert not torn by the beasts of prey on the coasts. Ask why

thou didst not go down in the deep sea with the rest of the crew,

but didst come to this isle, and art safe."


A sound sleep then fell on me, and when I woke it must have been

three o'clock the next day, by the rays of the sun: nay, it may

have been more than that; for I think that this must have been

the day that I did not mark on my post, as I have since found

that there was one notch too few.


I now took from my store the Book of God's Word, which I had

brought from the wreck, not one page, of which I had yet read. My

eyes fell on five words, that would seem to have been put there

for my good at this time; so well did they cheer my faint hopes,

and touch the true source of my fears. They were these: "I will

not leave thee." And they have dwelt in my heart to this day. I

laid down the book, to pray. My cry was "O, Lord, help me to love

and learn thy ways."


This was the first time in all my life that I had felt a sense

that God was near, and heard me. As for my dull life here, it was

not worth a thought; for now a new strength had come to me; and

there was a change in my griefs, as well as in my joys.


I had now been in the isle twelve months, and I thought it was

time to go all round it, in search of its woods, springs, and

creeks. So I set off, and brought back with me limes and grapes

in their prime, large and ripe. I had hung the grapes in the sun

to dry, and in a few days' time went to fetch them, that I might

lay up a store. The vale, on the banks of which they grew, was

fresh and green, and a clear, bright stream ran through it, which

gave so great a charm to the spot, as to make me wish to live



But there was no view of the sea from this vale, while from my

house, no ships could come on my side of the isle, and not be

seen by me; yet the cool, soft banks were so sweet and new to me

that much of my time was spent there.


In the first of the three years in which I had grown corn, I had

sown it too late; in the next, it was spoilt by the drought; but

the third years' crop had sprung up well.


I found that the hares would lie in it night and day, for which

there was no cure but to plant a thick hedge all round it; and

this took me more than three weeks to do. I shot the hares in the

day time; and when it grew dark, I made fast the dog's chain to

the gate, and there he stood to bark all night.


In a short time the corn grew strong, and at last ripe but, just

as the hares had hurt it in the blade, so now the birds ate it in

the ear. At the noise of my gun, whole flocks of them would fly

up; and at this rate I saw that there would be no corn left; so I

made up my mind to keep a look out night and day. I hid by the

side of a hedge, and could see the birds sit on the trees and

watch, and then come down, one by one, at first. Now each grain

of wheat was, as it were, a small loaf of bread to me. So the

great thing was to get rid of these birds. My plan was this, I

shot three, and hung them up, like thieves, to scare all that

came to the corn; and from this time, as long as the dead ones

hung there, not a bird came near. When the corn was ripe, I made

a scythe out of the swords from the ship, and got in my crop.


Few of us think of the cost at which a loaf of bread is made. Of

course, there was no plough here to turn up the earth, and no

spade to dig it with, so I made one with wood; but this was soon

worn out, and for want of a rake, I made use of the bough of a

tree. When I had got the corn home, I had to thrash it, part the

grain from the chaff, and store it up. Then came the want of a

mill to grind it, of sieves to clean it, and of yeast to make

bread of it.


Still, my bread was made, though I had no tools; and no one could

say that I did not earn it, by the sweat of my brow. When the

rain kept me in doors, it was good fun to teach my pet bird Poll

to talk; but so mute were all things round me, that the sound of

my own voice made me start.


My chief wants now were jars, pots, cups, and plates, but I knew

not how I could make them. At last I went in search of some clay,

and found some a mile from my house; but it was quite a joke to

see the queer shapes and forms that I made out of it. For some of

my pots and jars were too weak to bear their own weight; and they

would fall out here, and in there, in all sorts of ways; while

some, when they were put in the sun to bake, would crack with the

heat of its rays. You may guess what my joy was when at last a

pot was made which would stand the heat of the fire, so that I

could boil the meat for broth.


The next thing to be made was a sieve, to part the grain from the

husks. Goat's hair was of no use to me, as I could not weave or

spin; so I made a shift for two years with a thin kind of stuff,

which I had brought from the ship. But to grind the corn with the

stones was the worst of all, such hard work did I find it. To

bake the bread I burnt some wood down to an ash, which I threw on

the hearth to heat it, and then set my loaves on the hearth, and

in this way my bread was made.


The next thing to turn my thoughts to was the ship's boat, which

lay on the high ridge of sand, where it had been thrust by the

storm which had cast me on these shores. But it lay with the keel

to the sky, so I had to dig the sand from it, and turn it up with

the help of a pole. When I had done this I found it was all in

vain, for I had not the strength to launch it. So all I could do

now, was to make a boat of less size out of a tree; and I found

one that was just fit for it, which grew not far from the shore,

but I could no more stir this than I could the ship's boat. What

was to be done? I first dug the ground flat and smooth all the

way from the boat to the sea, so as to let it slide down; but

this plan did not turn out well, so I thought I would try a new

way, which was to make a trench, so as to bring the sea up to the

boat, as the boat could not be brought to the sea. But to do

this, I must have dug down to a great depth, which would take one

man some years to do. And when too late, I found it was not wise

to work out a scheme, till I had first thought of the cost and



"Well," thought I, "I must give up the boat, and with it all my

hopes to leave the isle. But I have this to think of: I am lord

of the whole isle; in fact, a king. I have wood with which I

might build a fleet, and grapes, if not corn, to freight it with,

though all my wealth is but a few gold coins." For these I had no

sort of use, and could have found it in my heart to give them all

for a peck of peas and some ink, which last I stood much in need

of. But it was best to dwell more on what I had, than on what I

had not.


I now must needs try once more to build a boat, but this time it

was to have a mast, for which the ship's sails would be of great

use. I made a deck at each end, to keep out the spray of the sea,

a bin for my food, and a rest for my gun, with a flap to screen

it from the wet. More than all, the boat was one of such a size

that I could launch it.


My first cruise was up and down the creek, but soon I got bold,

and made the whole round of my isle. I took with me bread, cakes,

and a pot full of rice, some rum, half a goat, two great coats,

one of which was to lie on, and one to put on at night. I set

sail in the sixth year of my reign. On the East side of the isle,

there was a large ridge of rocks, which lay two miles from the

shore; and a shoal of sand lay for half a mile from the rocks to

the beach. To get round to this point, I had to sail a great way

out to sea; and here I all but lost my life.


But I got back to my home at last. On my way there, quite worn

out with the toils of the boat, I lay down in the shade to rest

my limbs, and slept. But judge, if you can, what a start I gave,

when a voice woke me out of my sleep, and spoke my name three

times! A voice in this wild place! To call me by name, too! Then

the voice said, "Where are you? Where have you been? How came you

here?" But now I saw it all; for at the top of the hedge sat

Poll, who did but say the words she had been taught by me.


I now went in search of some goats, and laid snares for them,

with rice for a bait I had set the traps in the night, and found

they had all stood, though the bait was gone. So I thought of a

new way to take them, which was to make a pit and lay sticks and

grass on it, so as to hide it; and in this way I caught an old

goat and some kids. But the old goat was much too fierce for me,

so I let him go. I brought all the young ones home, and let them

fast a long time, till at last they fed from my hand, and were

quite tame. I kept them in a kind of park, in which there were

trees to screen them from the sun. At first my park was three

miles round; but it struck me that, in so great a space, the kids

would soon get as wild as if they had the range of the whole

vale, and that it would be as well to give them less room; so I

had to make a hedge which took me three months to plant. My park

held a flock of twelve goats, and in two years more there were

more than two score.


My dog sat at meals with me, and one cat on each side of me, on

stools, and we had Poll to talk to us. Now for a word or two as

to the dress in which I made a tour round the isle. I could but

think how droll it would look in the streets of the town in which

I was born. I wore a high cap of goat's skin, with a flap that

hung, down, to keep the sun and rain from my neck, a coat made

from the skin of a goat too, the skirts of which came down to my

hips, and the same on my legs, with no shoes, but flaps of the

fur round my shins. I had a broad belt of the same round my

waist, which drew on with two thongs; and from it, on my right

side, hung a saw and an axe; and on my left side a pouch for the

shot. My beard had not been cut since I came here. But no more

need be said of my looks, for there were few to see me. A strange

sight was now in store for me, which was to change the whole

course of my life in the isle.


One day at noon, while on a stroll down to a part of the shore

that was new to me, what should I see on the sand but the print

of a man's foot! I felt as if I was bound by a spell, and could

not stir from, the spot.


Bye-and-bye, I stole a look round me, but no one was in sight,

What could this mean? I went three or four times to look at it.

There it was--the print of a man's foot; toes, heel, and all the

parts of a foot. How could it have come there?


My head swam with fear; and as I left the spot, I made two or

three steps, and then took a look round me; then two steps more,

and did the same thing. I took fright at the stump of an old

tree, and ran to my house, as if for my life. How could aught in

the shape of a man come to that shore, and I not know it? Where

was the ship that brought him? Then a vague dread took hold of my

mind, that some man, or set of men, had found me out; and it

might be, that they meant to kill me, or rob me of all I had.


How strange a thing is the life of man! One day we love that

which the next day we hate. One day we seek what the next day we

shun. One day we long for the thing which the next day we fear;

and so we go on. Now, from the time that I was cast on this isle,

my great source of grief was that I should be thus cut off from

the rest of my race. Why, then, should the thought that a man

might be near give me all this pain? Nay, why should the mere

sight of the print of a man's foot, make me quake with fear? It

seems most strange; yet not more strange than true.


Once it struck me that it might be the print of my own foot, when

first the storm cast me on these shores. Could I have come this

way from the boat? Should it in truth turn out to be the print of

my own foot, I should be like a boy who tells of a ghost, and

feels more fright at his own tale, than those do whom he meant to



Fear kept me in-doors for three days, till the want of food drove

me out. At last I was so bold as to go down to the coast to look

once more at the print of the foot, to see if it was the same

shape as my own. I found it was not so large by a great deal; so

it was clear there were men in the isle. Just at this time my

good watch dog fell down dead at my feet. He was old and worn

out, and in him I lost my best guard and friend.


One day as I went from the hill to the coast, a scene lay in

front of me which made me sick at heart. The spot was spread with

the bones of men. There was a round place dug in the earth, where

a fire had been made, and here some men had come to feast. Now

that I had seen this sight, I knew not how to act; I kept close

to my home, and would scarce stir from it, save to milk my flock

of goats.


To feel safe was now more to me than to be well fed; and I did

not care to drive a nail, or chop a stick of wood, lest the sound

of it should be heard, much less would I fire a gun. As to my

bread and meat, I had to bake it at night when the smoke could

not be seen. But I soon found the way to burn wood with turf at

the top of it, which made it like chark, or dry coal; and this I

could use by day, as it had no smoke.


I found in the wood where I went to get the sticks for my fire, a

cave so large that I could stand in it; but I made more haste to

get out, than in; for two large eyes, as bright as stars, shone

out from it with a fierce glare. I took a torch, and went to see

what they could be, and found that there was no cause for fear;

for the eyes were those of an old gray goat, which had gone there

to die of old age. I gave him a push, to try to get him out of

the cave, but he could not rise from the ground where he lay; so

I left him there to die, as I could not save his life.


I found the width of the cave was twelve feet; but part of it,

near the end, was so low that I had to creep on my hands and feet

to go in. What the length of it was I could not tell, for my

light went out, and I had to give up my search. The next day, I

went to the cave with large lights made of goat's fat; and when I

got to the end, I found that the roof rose to two score feet or



As my lights shone on the walls and roof of the cave, a sight

burst on my view, the charms of which no tongue could tell; for

the walls shone like stars. What was in the rock to cause this it

was hard to say; they might be gems, or bright stones, or gold.

But let them be what they may, this cave was a mine of wealth to

me; for at such time as I felt dull or sad, the bright scene

would flash on my mind's eye, and fill it with joy.


A score of years had gone by, with no new sight to rest my eyes

on, till this scene burst on them. I felt as if I should like to

spend the rest of my life here; and at its close, lie down to die

in this cave, like the old goat.


As I went home I was struck by the sight of some smoke, which

came from a fire no more than two miles off. From this time I

lost all my peace of mind. Day and night a dread would haunt me,

that the men who had made this fire would find me out. I went

home and drew up my steps, but first I made all things round me

look wild and rude. To load my gun was the next thing to do, and

I thought it would be best to stay at home and hide.


But this was not to be borne long. I had no spy to send out and

all I could do was to get to the top of the hill, and keep a good

look out. At last, through my glass, I could see a group of wild

men join in a dance round their fire. As soon a they had left, I

took two guns, and slung a sword on my side; then with all speed,

I set off to the top of the hill, once more to have a good view.


This time I made up my mind to go up to the men, but not with a

view to kill them, for I felt that it would be wrong to do so.

With such a load of arms, it took me two hours to reach the spot

where the fire was; and by the time I got there, the men had all

gone; but I saw them in four boats out at sea.


Down on the shore, there was a proof of what the work of these

men had been. The signs of their feast made me sick at heart, and

I shut my eyes. I durst not fire my gun when I went out for food

on that side the isle, lest there should be some of the men left,

who might hear it, and so find me out. This state of things went

on for a year and three months, and for all that time I saw no

more men.


On the twelfth of May, a great storm of wind blew all day and

night. As it was dark, I sat in my house; and in the midst of the

gale, I heard a gun fire! My guess was that it must have been

from some ship cast on shore by the storm. So I set a light to

some wood on top of the hill, that those in the ship, if ship it

should be, might know that some one was there to aid them. I then

heard two more guns fire. When it was light, I went to the South

side of the isle, and there lay the wreck of a ship, cast on the

rocks in the night by the storm. She was too far off for me to

see if there were men on board.


Words could not tell how much I did long to bring but one of the

ship's crew to the shore! So strong was my wish to save the life

of those on board, that I could have laid down my own life to do

so. There are some springs in the heart which, when hope stirs

them, drive the soul on with such a force, that to lose all

chance of the thing one hopes for, would seem to make one mad;

and thus was it with me.


Now, I thought, was the time to use my boat; so I set to work at

once to fit it out. I took on board some rum (of which I still

had a good deal left), some dry grapes, a bag of rice, some

goat's milk, and cheese, and then put out to sea. A dread came on

me at the thought of the risk I had run on the same rocks; but my

heart did not quite fail me, though I knew that, as my boat was

small, if a gale of wind should spring up, all would be lost.

Then I found that I must go back to the shore till the tide

should turn, and the ebb come on.


I made up my mind to go out the next day with the high tide, so I

slept that night in my boat. At dawn I set out to sea, and in

less than two hours I came up to the wreck. What a scene was

there! The ship had struck on two rocks. The stern was torn by

the force of the waves, the masts were swept off, ropes and

chains lay strewn on the deck, and all was wrapt in gloom. As I

came up to the wreck, a dog swam to me with a yelp and a whine.

I took him on board my boat, and when I gave him some bread he

ate it like a wolf, and as to drink, he would have burst, if I

had let him take his fill of it.


I went to the cook's room, where I found two men, but they were

both dead. The tongue was mute, the ear was deaf, the eye was

shut, and the lip was stiff; still the sad tale was told, for

each had his arm round his friend's neck, and so they must have

sat to wait for death. What a change had come on the scene, once

so wild with the lash of the waves and the roar of the wind! All

was calm now--death had done its work, and all had felt its

stroke, save the dog, and he was the one thing that still had



I thought the ship must have come from Spain, and there was much

gold on board. I took some of the chests and put them in my boat,

but did not wait to see what they held, and with this spoil, and

three casks of rum, I came back.


I found all things at home just as I had left them, my goats, my

cats, and my bird. The scene in the cook's room was in my mind

day and night, and to cheer me up I drank some of the rum. I then

set to work to bring my freight from the shore, where I had left

it. In the chests were two great bags of gold, and some bars of

the same, and near these lay three small flasks and three bags of

shot which were a great prize.


From this time, all went well with me for two years; but it was

not to last. One day, as I stood on the hill, I saw six boats on

the shore! What could this mean?


Where were the men who had brought them? And what had they come

for? I saw through my glass that there were a score and a half,

at least, on the east side of the isle. They had meat on the

fire, round which I could see them dance. They then took a man

from one of the boats, who was bound hand and foot; but when they

came to loose his bonds, he set off as fast as his feet would

take him, and in a straight line to my house.


To tell the truth, when I saw all the rest of the men run to

catch him, my hair stood on end with fright. In the creek, he

swam like a fish, and the plunge which he took brought him

through it in a few strokes. All the men now gave up the chase

but two, and they swam through the creek, but by no means so fast

as the slave had done. Now, I thought, was the time for me to

help the poor man, and my heart told me it would be right to do

so. I ran down my steps with my two guns, and went with all speed

up the hill, and then down by a short cut to meet them.


I gave a sign to the poor slave to come to me, and at the same

time went up to meet the two men, who were in chase of him. I

made a rush at the first of these, to knock him down with the

stock of my gun, and he fell. I saw the one who was left, aim at

me with his bow, so, to save my life, I shot him dead.


The smoke and noise from my gun, gave the poor slave who had been

bound, such a shock, that he stood still on the spot, as if he

had been in a trance. I gave a loud shout for him to come to me,

and I took care to show him that I was a friend, and made all the

signs I could think of to coax him up to me. At length he came,

knelt down to kiss the ground, and then took hold of my foot, and

set it on his head. All this meant that he was my slave; and I

bade him rise, and made much of him.


But there was more work to be done yet; for the man who had had

the blow from my gun was not dead. I made a sign for my slave (as

I shall now call him) to look at him. At this he spoke to me, and

though I could not make out what he said, yet it gave me a shock

of joy; for it was the first sound of a man's voice that I had

heard, for all the years I had been on the isle.


The man whom I had struck with the stock of my gun, sat up; and

my slave, who was in great fear of him, made signs for me to lend

him my sword, which hung in a belt at my side. With this he ran

up to the man, and with one stroke cut off his head. When he had

done this, he brought me back my sword with a laugh, and put it

down in front of me. I did not like to see the glee with which he

did it, and I did not feel that my own life was quite safe with

such a man.


He, in his turn, could but lift up his large brown hands with

awe, to think that I had put his foe to death, while I stood so

far from him. But as to the sword, he and the rest of his tribe

made use of swords of wood, and this was why he knew so well how

to wield mine. He made signs to me to let him go and see the man

who had been shot; and he gave him a turn round, first on this

side, then on that; and when he saw the wound made in his breast

by the shot, he stood quite, still once more, as if he had lost

his wits. I made signs for him to come back, for my fears told me

that the rest of the men might come in search of their friends.


I did not like to take my slave to my house, nor to my cave; so I

threw down some straw from the rice plant for him to sleep on,

and gave him some bread and a bunch of dry grapes to eat. He was

a fine man, with straight strong limbs, tall, and young. His hair

was thick, like wool, and black. His head was large and high; and

he had bright black eyes. He was of a dark brown hue; his face

was round, and his nose small, but not flat; he had a good mouth

with thin lips, with which he could give a soft smile; and his

teeth were as white as snow.


I had been to milk my goats in the field close by, and when he

saw me, he ran to me, and lay down on the ground to show me his

thanks. He then put his head on the ground, and set my foot on

his head, as he had done at first. He took all the means he could

think of, to let me know that he would serve me all his life; and

I gave a sign to show that I thought well of him. The next thing

was to think of some name to call him by. I chose that of the

sixth day of the week (Friday), as he came to me on that day. I

took care not to lose sight of him all that night, and when the

sun rose, I made signs for him to come to me, that I might give

him some clothes, for he wore none. We then went up to the top of

the hill, to look out for the men; but as we could not see them,

or their boats, it was clear that they had left the isle.


My slave has since told me that they had had a great fight with

the tribe that dwelt next to them; and that all those men whom

each side took in war were their own by right. My slave's foes

had four who fell to their share, of whom he was one.


I now set to work to make my man a cap of hare's skin, and gave

him a goat's skin to wear round his waist. It was a great source

of pride to him, to find that his clothes were as good as my own.


At night, I kept my guns, sword, and bow close to my side; but

there was no need for this, as my slave was, in sooth, most true

to me. He did all that he was set to do, with his whole heart in

the work; and I knew that he would lay down his life to save

mine. What could a man do more than that? And oh, the joy to have

him here to cheer me in this lone isle!


I did my best to teach him, so like a child as he was, to do and

feel all that was right, I found him apt, and full of fun; and he

took great pains to learn all that I could tell him. Our lives

ran on in a calm, smooth way; and, but for the vile feasts which

were held on the shores, I felt no wish to leave the isle.


As my slave had by no means lost his zest for these meals, it

struck me that the best way to cure him, was to let him taste the

flesh of beasts; so I took him with me one day to the wood for

some sport. I saw a she-goat, in the shade, with her two kids. I

caught Friday by the arm, and made signs to him not to stir, and

then shot one of the kids; but the noise of the gun gave the poor

man a great shock. He did not see the kid, nor did he know that

it was dead. He tore his dress off his breast to feel if there

was a wound there; then he knelt down to me, and took hold of my

knees to pray of me not to kill him.


To show poor Friday that his life was quite safe, I led him by

the hand, and told him to fetch the kid. By and by, I saw a hawk

in a tree, so I bade him look at the gun, the hawk, and the

ground; and then I shot the bird. But my poor slave gave still

more signs of fear this time, than he did at first: for he shook

from head to foot. He must have thought that some fiend of death

dwelt in the gun, and I think that he would have knelt down to

it, as well as to me; but he would not so much as touch the gun

for some time, though he would speak to it when he thought I was

not near. Once he told me that what he said to it was to ask it

not to kill him.


I brought home the bird, and made broth of it. Friday was much

struck to see me eat salt with it, and made a wry face; but I, in

my turn, took some that had no salt with it, and I made a wry

face at that. The next day I gave him a piece of kid's flesh,

which I had hung by a string in front of the fire to roast. My

plan was to put two poles, one on each side of the fire, and a

stick, on the top of them to hold the string. When my slave came

to taste the flesh, he took the best means to let me know how

good he thought it.


The next day I set him to beat out and sift some corn. I let him

see me make the bread, and he soon did all the work. I felt quite

a love for his true, warm heart, and he soon learnt to talk to

me. One day I said, "Do the men of your tribe win in fight?" He

told me, with a smile, that they did. "Well, then," said I, "How

came they to let their foes take you?"


"They run one, two, three, and make go in the boat that time."


"Well, and what do the men do with those they take?"


"Eat them all up."


This was not good news for me, but I went on, and said, "Where do

they take them?"


"Go to next place where they think."


"Do they come here?"


"Yes, yes, they come here, come else place too."


"Have you been here with them twice?"


"Yes, come there."


He meant the North West side of the isle, so to this spot I took

him the next day. He knew the place, and told me he was there

once with a score of men. To let me know this, he put a score of

stones all of a row, and made me count them.


"Are not the boats lost on your shore now and then?" He said that

there was no fear, and that no boats were lost. He told me that

up a great way by the moon--that is where the moon then came

up--there dwelt a tribe of white men like me, with beards. I felt

sure that they must have come from Spain, to work the gold mines.

I put this to him: "Could I go from this isle and join those



"Yes, yes, you may go in two boats."


It was hard to see how one man could go in two boats, but what he

meant was, a boat twice as large as my own.


One day I said to my slave, "Do you know who made you?"


But he could not tell at all what these words meant. So I said,

"Do you know who made the sea, the ground we tread on, the hills,

and woods?" He said it was Beek, whose home was a great way off,

and that he was so old that the sea and the land were not so old

as he.


"If this old man has made all things, why do not all things bow

down to him?"


My slave gave a grave look, and said, "All things say 'O' to



"Where do the men in your land go when they die?"


"All go to Beek."


I then held my hand up to the sky to point to it, and said, "God

dwells there. He made the world, and all things in it. The moon

and the stars are the work of his hand. God sends the wind and

the rain on the earth, and the streams that flow: He hides the

face of the sky with clouds, makes the grass to grow for the

beasts of the field, and herbs for the use of man. God's love

knows no end. When we pray, He draws near to us and hears us."


It was a real joy to my poor slave to hear me talk of these

things. He sat still for a long time, then gave a sigh, and told

me that he would say "O" to Beek no more, for he was but a short

way off, and yet could not hear, till men went up the hill to

speak to him.


"Did you go up the hill to speak to him?" said I.


"No, Okes go up to Beek, not young mans."


"What do Okes say to him?"


"They say 'O.'"


Now that I brought my man Friday to know that Beek was not the

true God, such was the sense he had of my worth, that I had fears

lest I should stand in the place of Beek. I did my best to call

forth his faith in Christ, and make it strong and clear, till at

last--thanks be to the Lord--I brought him to the love of Him,

with the whole grasp of his soul.


To please my poor slave, I gave him a sketch of my whole life; I

told him where I was born, and where I spent my days when a

child. He was glad to hear tales of the land of my birth, and of

the trade which we keep up, in ships, with all parts of the known

world. I gave him a knife and a belt, which made him dance with



One day as we stood on the top of the hill at the east side of

the isle, I saw him fix his eyes on the main land, and stand for

a long time to, gaze at it; then jump and sing, and call out to



"What do you see?" said I.


"Oh joy!" said he, with a fierce glee in his eyes, "Oh glad! There

see my land!"


Why did he strain his eyes to stare at this land, as if he had a

wish to be there? It put fears in my mind which made me feel far,

less at my ease with him. Thought I, if he should go back to his

home, he will think no more of what I have taught him, and done

for him. He will be sure to tell the rest of his tribe all my

ways, and come back with, it may be, scores of them, and kill me,

and then dance round me, as they did round the men, the last time

they came on my isle.


But these were all false fears, though they found a place in my

mind a long while; and I was not so kind to him now as I had

been. From this time I made it a rule, day by day, to find out if

there were grounds for my fears or not. I said, "Do you not wish

to be once more in your own land?"


"Yes! I be much O glad to be at my own land."


"What would you do there? Would you turn wild, and be as you



"No, no, I would tell them to be good, tell them eat bread, corn,

milk, no eat man more!"


"Why, they would kill you!"


"No, no, they no kill; they love learn."


He then told me that some white men, who had come on their shores

in a boat, had taught them a great deal.


"Then will you go back to your land with me?"


He said he could not swim so far, so I told him he should help me

to build a boat to go in. Then he said, "If you go, I go."


"I go? why they would eat me!"


"No, me make them much love you."


Then he told me as well as he could, how kind they had been to

some white men. I brought out the large boat to hear what he

thought of it, but he said it was too small. We then went to look

at the old ship's boat, which, as it had been in the sun for

years, was not at all in a sound state. The poor man made sure

that it would do. But how were we to know this? I told him we

should build a boat as large as that, and that he should go home

in it. He spoke not a word, but was grave and sad.


"What ails you?" said I.


"Why, you grieve mad with your man?"


"What do you mean? I am not cross with you."


"No cross? no cross with me? Why send your man home to his own

land, then?"


"Did you not tell me you would like to go back?"


"Yes, yes, we both there; no wish self there, if you not there!"


"And what should I do there?"


"You do great deal much good! you teach wild men be good men; you

tell them know God, pray God, and lead new life."


We soon set to work to make a boat that would take us both. The

first thing was to look out for some large trees that grew near

the shore, so that we could launch our boat when it was made. My

slave's plan was to burn the wood to make it the right shape; but

as mine was to hew it, I set him to work with my tools; and in

two months' time we had made a good strong boat; but it took a

long while to get her down to the shore.


Friday had the whole charge of her; and, large as she was, he

made her move with ease, and said, "he thought she go there well,

though great blow wind!" He did not know that I meant to make a

mast and sail. I cut down a young fir tree for the mast, and then

I set to work at the sail. It made me laugh to see my man stand

and stare, when he came to watch me sail the boat. But he soon

gave a jump, a laugh, and a clap of the hands when he saw the

sail jibe and fall, first on this side, then on that.


The next thing to do was to stow our boat up in the creek, where

we dug a small dock; and when the tide was low, we made a dam, to

keep out the sea. The time of year had now come for us to set

sail, so we got out all our stores, to put them in the boat.


One day I sent Friday to the shore, to get a sort of herb that

grew there. I soon heard him cry out to me, "O grief! O bad! O

bad! O out there boats, one, two, three!" "Keep a stout heart,"

said I, to cheer him. The poor man shook with fear; for he

thought that the men who brought him here, had now come back to

kill him.


"Can you fight?" said I.


"Me shoot; but me saw three boats; one, two, three!"


"Have no fear; those that we do not kill, will be sure to take

fright at the sound of our guns. Now will you stand by me, and do

just as you are bid?"


"Me die when you bid die."


I gave him a good draught of rum; and when he had drunk this, he

took up an axe and two guns, each of which had a charge of swan

shot. I took two guns as well, and put large shot in them, and

then hung my great sword by my side. From the top of the bill, I

saw with the help of my glass, that the boats had each brought

eight men, and one slave. They had come on shore near the creek,

where a grove of young trees grew close down to the sea.


They had with them three slaves, bound hand and foot, and you who

read this, may guess what they were brought here for. I felt that

I must try and save them from so hard a fate, and that to do

this, I should have to put some of their foes to death. So we set

forth on our way. I gave Friday strict charge to keep close to

me, and not to fire till I told him to do so.


We went full a mile out of our way, that we might get round to

the wood to bide there. But we had not gone far, when my old

qualms came back to me, and I thought, "Is it for me to dip my

hands in man's blood? Why should I kill those who have done me no

harm, and mean not to hurt me? Nay, who do not so much as know

that they are in the wrong, when they hold these feasts. Are not

their ways a sign that God has left them (with the rest of their

tribe) to their own dull hearts? God did not call me to be a

judge for Him. He who said, 'Thou shalt not kill,' said it for

me, as well as the rest of the world."


A throng of thoughts like these would rush on my mind, as if to

warn me to pause, till I felt sure that there was more to call me

to the work than I then knew of. I took my stand in the wood, to

watch the men at their feast, and then crept on, with Friday

close at my heels. Thus we went till we came to the skirts of

the wood. Then I said to. Friday, "Go up to the top of that tree,

and bring me word if you can see the men."


He went, and quick as thought, came back to say that they were

all round the fire, and that the man who was bound on the sand

would be the next they would kill. But when he told me that it

was a white man, one of my own race, I felt the blood boil in my

veins. Two of the gang had gone to loose the white man from his

bonds; so now was the time to fire.


At the sound of our guns, we saw all the men jump up from the

ground where they sat. It must have been the first gun the I had

heard in their lives. They knew not which way to look. I now

threw down my piece, and took up a small gun; Friday did the

same; and I gave him the word to fire! The men ran right and

left, with yells and screams.


I now made a rush out of the wood, that they might see me, with

my man Friday at my heels, of course. We gave a loud shout, and

ran up to the white man as fast as we could. There he lay on the

hot sand. I cut the flag, or rush, by which he was bound, but he

was too weak to stand or speak, so I gave him some rum. He let me

know by all the signs that he could think of, how much he stood

in my debt for all that I had done for him.


I said, "We will talk of that bye and bye; but now we must do

what we can to save our lives." Friday, who was free to go where

he chose, flew here and there, and put all the men to the rout.

They fled in full haste to their boats, and were soon out at sea;

and so we got rid of our foes at last.


The man whom we had found on the sand told us that his name was

Carl, and that he came from Spain. But there was one more man to

claim our care; for the black men had left a small boat on the

sands, and in this I saw a poor wretch who lay half dead. He

could not so much as look up, so tight was he bound, neck and

heels. When I cut the bonds from him he gave a deep groan, for he

thought that all this was but to lead him out to die.


Friday then came up, and I bade him speak to the old man in his

own tongue, and tell him that he was free. This good news gave

him strength, and he sat up in the boat. But when Friday came to

hear him talk, and to look him in the face, it brought the tears

to my eyes to see him kiss and hug the poor old man, and dance

round him with joy, then weep, wring his hands, and beat his own

face and head, and then laugh once more, sing, and leap. For a

long time he could not speak to me, so as to, let me know what

all this meant. But at length he told me that he was the son of

this poor old man, and that his name was Jaf.


It would be a hard task for me to tell of all the quaint, signs

Friday made to show his joy. He went in and out of the boat five

or six times, sat down by old Jaf, and held the poor old man's

head close to his breast to warm it; then he set to work to rub

his arms and feet, which were cold and stiff from the bonds. I

told Friday to give him some rum and bread; but he said, "None!

Bad dog eat all up self." He then ran off straight to the house,

and took no heed of my calls, but went as swift as a deer.


In an hour's time, he came back with a jug in his hand. The good

soul had gone all the way to the house, that Jaf might have a

fresh draught from my well; and with it he brought two cakes,

one of which I bade him take to Carl, who lay in the shade of a

tree. His limbs were stiff and cold, and he was too weak to say a



I set my man to rub his feet with rum, and while he did so, I saw

Friday turn his head round from time to time, to steal a look at

the old man. Then we brought Carl and Jaf home from the boat on

our backs, as they could not walk. The door of my house was at

the top, and the poor sick men could not climb the steps by which

I got in, so we made for them a tent of old sails.


I was now a king of these three men, as well as Lord of the isle;

and I felt proud to say, "They all owe their lives to their king,

and would lay them down for him if he bade them do so." But I did

not think that my reign was so soon to come to an end. The next

thing for us to do was to give Carl and Jaf some food, and to

kill and roast a kid, to which we all four sat down, and I did my

best to cheer them.


Carl in a few days grew quite strong, and I set him to work to

dig some land for seed; for it was clear we should want more corn

now that we had two more mouths to fill. So we put in the ground

all the stock of grain I had, and thus we all four had as much

work as we could do for some time. When the crop grew, and was

ripe, we found we had a good store of grain.


We made a plan that Carl and Jaf should go back to the main land,

to try if they could get some of the white men who had been cast

on shore there, to come and live with us; so they got out the

boat, and took with them two guns and food for eight days. They

were to come back in a week's time, and I bade them hang out a

sign when they came in sight, so that we might know who they



One day, Friday ran up to me in great glee, and said, "They are

back!  They are back!" A mile from shore, there was a boat with a

sail, which stood in for the land; but I knew it could not be the

one which our two friends had gone out in, for it was on the

wrong side of the isle for that. I saw too, through my glass, a

ship out at sea. There were twelve men in the boat, three of whom

were bound in chains, and four had fire arms.


Bye and bye, I saw one of the men raise his sword to those who

were in chains, and I felt sure that all was not right. Then I

saw that the three men who had been bound were set free; and when

they had come on shore they lay on the ground, in the shade of a

tree. I was soon at their side, for their looks, so sad and worn,

brought to my mind the first few hours I had spent in this wild

spot, where all to me was wrapt in gloom.


I went up to these men, and said:


"Who are you, Sirs?"


They gave a start at my voice and at my strange dress, and made a

move as if they would fly from me. I said, "Do not fear me, for

it may be that you have a friend at hand, though you do not think

it." "He must be sent from the sky then," said one of them with a

grave look; and he took off his hat to me at the same time. "All

help is from thence, Sir," I said; "but what can I do to aid you?

You look as if you had some load of grief on your breast. I saw

one of the men lift his sword as if to kill you."


The tears ran down the poor man's face, as he said,


"Is this a god, or is it but a man?" "Have no doubt on that

score, Sir," said I, "for a god would not have come with a dress

like this. No, do not fear--nor raise your hopes too high; for

you see but a man, yet one who will do all he can to help you.

Your speech shows me that you come from the same land as I do. I

will do all I can to serve you. Tell me your case." "Our case,

Sir, is too long to you while they who would kill us are so near.

My name is Paul. To be short, Sir, my crew have thrust me out of

my ship, which you see out there, and have left me here to die.

It was as much as I could do to make them sheath their swords,

which you saw were drawn to slay me. They have set me down in

this isle with these two men, my friend here, and the ship's



"Where have they gone?" said I.


"There, in the wood, close by. I fear they may have seen and

heard us. If they have, they will be sure to kill us all."


"Have they fire-arms?"


"They have four guns, one of which is in the boat."


"Well then, leave all to me!"


"There are two of the men," said he, "who are worse than the

rest. All but these I feel sure would go back to work the ship."


I thought it was best to speak out to Paul at once, and I said,

"Now if I save your life, there are two things which you must

do." But he read my thoughts, and said, "If you save my life, you

shall do as you like with me and my ship, and take her where you



I saw that the two men, in whose charge the boat had been left,

had come on shore; so the first thing I did was to send Friday to

fetch from it the oars, the sail, and the gun. And now the ship

might be said to be in our hands. When the time came for the men

to go back to the ship, they were in a great rage; for, as the

boat had now no sail nor oars, they knew not how to get out to

their ship.


We heard them say that it was a strange sort of isle, for that

sprites had come to the boat, to take off the sails and oars. We

could see them run to and fro, with great rage; then go and sit

in the boat to rest, and then come on shore once more. When they

drew near to us, Paul and Friday would fain have had me fall on

them at once. But my wish was to spare them, and kill as few as I

could. I told two of my men to creep on their hands and feet

close to the ground, so that they might not be seen, and when

they got up to the men, not to fire till I gave the word.


They had not stood thus long, when three of the crew came up to

us. Till now, we had but heard their voice, but when they came so

near as to be seen, Paul and Friday stood up and shot at them.

Two of the men fell dead, and they were the worst of the crew,

and the third ran off. At the sound of the guns I came up, but it

was so dark that the men could not tell if there were three of us

or three score.


It fell out just as I could wish, for I heard the men ask, "To

whom must we yield, and where are they?" Friday told them that

Paul was there with the king of the isle, who had brought with

him a crowd of men! At this one of the crew said, "If Paul will

spare our lives, we will yield."  "Then," said Friday, "you shall

know the king's will." Then Paul said to them, "You know my

voice; if you lay down your arms the king will spare your lives!"


They fell on their knees to beg the same of me. I took good care

that they did not see me, but I gave them my word that they

should all live, that I should take four of them to work the

ship, and that the rest would be bound hand and foot, for the

good faith of the four. This was to show them what a stern king I



Of course I soon set them free, and I put them in a way to take

my place on the isle. I told them of all my ways, taught them how

to mind the goats, how to work the farm, and make the bread. I

gave them a house to live in, fire arms, tools, and my two tame

cats, in fact, all but Poll and my gold.


As I sat on the top of the hill, Paul came up to me. He held out

his hand to point to the ship, and with much warmth took me to

his arms, and said, "My dear friend, there is your ship! For she

is all yours, and so are we, and all that is in her."


I cast my eyes to the ship, which rode half a mile off the shore,

at the mouth of the creek, and near the place where I had brought

my rafts to the land. Yes, there she stood, the ship that was to

set me free, and to take me where I might choose to go. She set

her sails to the wind, and her flags threw out their gay stripes

in the breeze. Such a sight was too much for me, and I fell down

faint with joy. Paul then took out a flask which he had brought

for me, and gave me a dram, which I drank, but for a good while I

could not speak to him.


Friday and Paul then went on board the ship, and Paul took charge

of her once more. We did not start that night, but at noon the

next day I left the isle!


That lone isle, where I had spent so great a part of my life--not

much less than thrice ten long years.


When I came back to the dear land of my birth, all was strange

and new to me. I went to my old home at York, but none of my

friends were there, and to my great grief I saw, on the stone at

their grave, the sad tale of their death.


As they had thought, of course, that I was dead, they had not

left me their wealth and lands, so that I stood much in want of

means, for it was but a small sum that I had brought with me from

the isle. But in this time of need, I had the luck to find my

good friend who once took me up at sea. He was now grown too old

for work, and had put his son in the ship in his place. He did

not know me at first, but I was soon brought to his mind when I

told him who I was. I found from him that the land which I had

bought on my way to the isle was now worth much.


As it was a long way off, I felt no wish to go and live there so

I made up my mind to sell it, and in the course of a few months,

I got for it a sum so large as to make me a rich man all at once.


Weeks, months, and years went by; I had a farm, a wife, and two

sons, and was by no means young; but still I could not get rid of

a strong wish which dwelt in my thoughts by day and my dreams by

night, and that was to set foot once more in my old isle.


I had now no need to work for food, or for means of life; all I

had to do was to teach my boys to be wise and good, to live at my

ease, and see my wealth grow day by day. Yet the wish to go back

to my wild haunts clung round me like a cloud, and I could in no

way drive it from me, so true is it that "what is bred in the

bone will not come out of the flesh."


At length I lost my wife, which was a great blow to me, and my

home was now so sad, that I made up my mind to launch out once

more on the broad sea, and go with my man Friday to that lone

isle where dwelt all my hopes.


I took with me as large a store of tools, clothes, and such like

goods as I had room for, and men of skill in all kinds of trades,

to live in the isle. When we set sail, we had a fair wind for

some time, but one night the mate, who was at the watch, told me

he saw a flash of fire, and heard a gun go off. At this we all

ran on deck, from whence we saw a great light, and as there was

no land that way, we knew that it must be some ship on fire at

sea, which could not be far off, for we heard the sound of the



The wind was still fair, so we made our way for the point where

we saw the light, and in half an hour, it was but too plain that

a large ship was on fire in the midst of the broad sea. I gave

the word to fire off five guns, and we then lay by, to wait till

break of day. But in the dead of the night, the ship blew up in

the air, the flames shot forth, and what there was left of the

ship sank. We hung out lights, and our guns kept up a fire all

night long, to let the crew know that there was help at hand.


At eight o'clock the next day we found, by the aid of the glass,

that two of the ship's boats were out at sea, quite full of men.

They had seen us, and had done their best to make us see them,

and in half an hour we came up with them.


It would be a hard task for me to set forth in words the scene

which took place in my ship, when the poor French folk (for such

they were) came on board. As to grief and fear, these are soon

told--sighs, tears, and groans make up the sum of them--but such

a cause of joy as this was, in sooth, too much for them to bear,

weak and all but dead as they were.


Some would send up shouts of joy that rent the sky; some would

cry and wring their hands as if in the depths of grief; some

would dance, laugh, and sing; not a few were dumb, sick, faint,

in a swoon, or half mad; and two or three were seen to give

thanks to God.


In this strange group, there was a young French priest who did

his best to soothe those round him, and I saw him go up to some

of the crew, and say to them, "Why do you scream, and tear your

hair, and wring your hands, my men? Let your joy be free and

full, give it full range and scope, but leave off this trick of

the hands, and lift them up in praise; let your voice swell out,

not in screams, but in hymns of thanks to God, who has brought

you out of so great a strait, for this will add peace to your



The next day, they were all in a right frame of mind, so I gave

them what stores I could spare, and put them on board a ship that

we met with on her way to France, all save five who, with the

priest, had a wish to join me.


But we had not set sail long, when we fell in with a ship that

had been blown out to sea by a storm, and had lost her masts;

and, worse than all, her crew had not had an ounce of meat or

bread for ten days. I gave them all some food, which they ate

like wolves in the snow, but I thought it best to check them, as

I had fears that so much all at once would cause the death of

some of them.


There were a youth and a young girl in the ship who the mate said

he thought must be dead, but he had not had the heart to go near

them, for the food was all gone. I found that they were faint for

the want of it, and as it were in the jaws of death; but in a

short time they both got well, and as they had no wish to go back

to their ship, I took them with me. So now I had eight more on

board my ship, than I had when I first set out.


In three months from the time when I left home, I came in sight

of my isle, and I brought the ship safe up, by the side of the

creek, which was near my old house.


I went up to Friday, to ask if he knew where he was. He took a

look round him, and soon, with a clap of the hands, said "O yes!

O there! O yes! O there!" Bye and bye, he set up a dance with

such wild glee, that it was as much as I could do to keep him on

deck. "Well, what think you, Friday?" said I; "shall we find

those whom we left still here?--Shall we see poor old Jaf?" He

stood quite mute for a while, but when I spoke of old Jaf (whose

son Friday was), the tears ran down his face, and the poor soul

was as sad as could be. "No, no," said he, "no more, no, no



As we caught sight of some men at the top of the hill, I gave

word to fire three guns, to show that we were friends, and soon

we saw smoke rise from the side of the creek. I then went on

shore in a boat, with the priest and Friday, and hung out a white

flag of peace. The first man I cast my eyes on at the creek, was

my old friend Carl, who, when I was last on the isle, had been

brought here in bonds.


I gave strict charge to the men in the boat not to go on shore,

but Friday could not be kept back, for with his quick eye he had

caught sight of old Jaf. It brought the tears to our eyes to see

his joy when he met the old man. He gave him a kiss, took him up

in his arms, set him down in the shade, then stood a short way

off to look at him, as one would look at a work of art, then felt

him with his hand, and all this time he was in full talk, and

told him, one by one, all the strange tales of what he had seen

since they had last met.


As to my friend Carl, he came up to me, and with much warmth

shook my hands, and then took me to my old house, which he now

gave up to me. I could no more have found the place, than if I

had not been there at all. The rows of trees stood so thick and

close, that the house could not be got at, save by such blind

ways as none but those who made them could find out. "Why have

you built all these forts?" said I. Carl told me that he felt

sure I should say there was much need of them, when I heard how

they had spent their time since they had come to the isle.


He brought twelve men to the spot where I stood, and said, "Sir,

all these men owe their lives to you." Then, one by one, they

came up to me, not as if they had been the mere crew of a ship,

but like men of rank who had come to kiss the hand of their king.


The first thing was to bear all that had been done in the isle

since I had left it. But I must first state that, when we were on

the point to set sail from the isle, a feud sprang up on board

our ship, which we could not put down, till we had laid two of

the men in chains. The next day, these two men stole each of them

a gun and some small arms, and took the ship's boat, and ran off

with it to join the three bad men on shore.


As soon as I found this out, I sent the long-boat on shore, with

twelve men and the mate, and off they went to seek the two who

had left the ship. But their search was in vain, nor could they

find one of the rest, for they had all fled to the woods when

they saw the boat. We had now lost five of the crew, but the

three first were so much worse than the last two, that in a few

days they sent them out of doors, and would have no more to do

with them, nor would they for a long while give them food to eat.


So the two poor men had to live as well as they could by hard

work, and they set up their tents on the north shore of the isle,

to be out of the way of the wild men, who were wont to land on

the east side. Here they built them two huts, one to lodge in,

and one to lay up their stores in; and the men from Spain gave

them some corn for seed, as well as some peas which I had left

them. They soon learned to dig, and plant, and hedge in their

land, in the mode which I had set for them, and in short, to lead

good lives, so that I shall now call them the "two good men."


But when the three bad men saw, this, they were full of spite,

and came one day to tease and vex them. They told them that the

isle was their own, and that no one else had a right to build on

it, if they did not pay rent. The two good men thought at first

that they were in jest, and told them to come and sit down, and

see what fine homes they had built, and say what rent they would



But one of the three said they should soon see that they were not

in jest, and took a torch in his hand, and put it to the roof of

the but, and would have set it on fire, had not one of the two

good men trod the fire out with his feet. The bad man was in such

a rage at this, that he ran at him with a pole he had in his

hand, and this brought on a fight, the end of which was that the

three men had to stand off. But in a short time they came back,

and trod down the corn, and shot the goats and young kids, which

the poor men had got to bring up tame for their store.


One day when the two men were out, they came to their home, and

said, "Ha! there's the nest, but the birds are flown." They then

set to work to pull down both the huts, and left not a stick, nor

scarce a sign on the ground to show where the tents had stood.

They tore up, too, all the goods and stock that they could find,

and when they had done this, they told it all to the men of

Spain, and said, "You, sirs, shall have the same sauce, if you do

not mend your ways."


They then fell to blows and hard words, but Carl had them bound

in cords, and took their arms from them. The men of Spain then

said they would do them no harm, and if they would live at peace

they would help them, and that they should live with them as they

had done till that time, but they could not give them back their

arms for three or four months.


One night Carl--whom I shall call "the chief," as he took the

lead of all the rest--felt a great weight on his mind, and could

get no sleep, though he was quite well in health. He lay still

for some time, but as he, did not feel at case, he got up, and

took a look out. But as it was too dark to see far, and he heard

no noise, he went back to his bed. Still it was all one, he could

not sleep; and though he knew not why, his thoughts would give

him no rest.


He then woke up one of his friends, and told him how it had been

with him. "Say you so?" said he "What if there should be some bad

plot at work near us!" They then set off to the top of the hill,

where I was wont to go, and from thence they saw the light of a

fire, quite a short way from them, and heard the sounds of men,

not of one or two, but of a great crowd. We need not doubt that

the chief and the man with him now ran back at once, to tell all

the rest what they had seen; and when they heard the news, they

could not be kept close where they were, but must all run out to

see how things stood.


At last they thought that the best thing to do would be, while it

was dark, to send old Jaf out as a spy, to learn who they were,

and what they meant to do. When the old man had been gone an hour

or two, he brought word back that he had been in the midst of the

foes, though they had not seen him, and that they were in two

sets or tribes who were at war, and had come there to fight. And

so it was, for in a short time they heard the noise of the fight,

which went on for two hours, and at the end, with three loud

shouts or screams, they left the isle in their boats. Thus my

friends were set free from all their fears, and saw no more of

their wild foes for some time.


One day a whim took the three bad men that they would go to the

main land, from whence the wild men came, and try if they could

not seize some of them, and bring them home as slaves, so as to

make them do the hard part of their work for them. The chief gave

them all the arms and stores that they could want, and a large

boat to go in, but when they bade them "God speed," no one

thought that they would find their way back to the isle. But lo!

in three weeks and a day, they did in truth come back. One of the

two good men was the first to catch sight of them, and tell the

news to his friends.


The men said that they had found the land in two days, and that

the wild men gave them roots and fish to eat, and were so kind as

to bring down eight slaves to take back with them, three of whom

were men and five were girls. So they gave their good hosts an

axe, an old key, and a knife, and brought off the slaves in their

boat to the isle. As the chief and his friends did not care to

wed the young girls, the five men who had been the crew of Paul's

ship drew lots for choice, so that each had a wife, and the three

men slaves were set to work for the two good men, though there

was not much for them to do.


But one of them ran off to the woods, and they could not hear of

him more. They had good cause to think that he found his way

home, as in three or four weeks some wild men came to the isle,

and when they had had their feast and dance, they went off in two

days' time. So my friends might well fear that if this slave got

safe home, he would be sure to tell the wild men that they were

in the isle, and in what part of it they might be found. And so

it came to pass, for in less than two months, six boats of wild

men, with eight or ten men in each boat, came to the north side

of the isle, where they had not been known to come up to that



The foe had brought their boats to land, not more than a mile

from the tent of the two good men, and it was there that the

slave who had run off had been kept. These men had the good luck

to see the boats when they were a long way off, so that it took

them quite an hour from that time to reach the shore.


My friends now had to think how that hour was to be spent. The

first thing they did was to bind the two slaves that were left,

and to take their wives, and as much of their stores as they

could, to some dark place in the woods. They then sent a third

slave to the chief and his men, to tell them the news, and to ask

for help.


They had not gone far in the woods, when they saw, to their great

grief and rage, that their huts were in flames, and that the wild

men ran to and fro, like beasts in search of prey. But still our

men went on, and did not halt, till they came to a thick part of

the wood, where the large trunk of an old tree stood, and in this

tree they both took their post. But they had not been there long,

when two of the wild men ran that way, and they saw three more,

and then five more, who all ran the same way, as if they knew

where they were.


Our two poor men made up their minds to let the first two pass,

and then take the three and the five in line, as they came up,

but to fire at one at a time, as the first shot might chance to

hit all three.


So the man who was to fire put three or four balls in his gun,

and from a hole in the tree, took a sure aim, and stood still

till the three wild men came so near that he could not miss them.

They soon saw that one of these three was the slave that had fled

from them, as they both knew him well, and they made up their

minds that they would kill him, though they should both fire.


At the first shot two of the wild men fell dead, and the third

had a graze on his arm, and though not much hurt, sat down on the

ground with loud screams and yells. When the five men who came

next, heard the sound of the gun and the slave's cries, they

stood still at first, as if they were struck dumb with fright. So

our two men both shot off their guns in the midst of them, and

then ran up and bound them safe with cords.


They then went to the thick part of the wood, where they had put

their wives and slaves, to see if all were safe there, and to

their joy they found that though the wild men had been quite near

them, they had not found them out. While they were here, the

chief and his men came up, and told them that the rest had gone

to take care of my old house and grove, in case the troop of wild

men should spread so far that way.


They then went back to the burnt huts, and when they came in

sight of the shore, they found that their foes had all gone out

to sea. So they set to work to build up their huts, and as all

the men in the isle lent them their aid, they were soon in a way

to thrive once more. For five or six months they saw no more of

the wild men. But one day a large fleet of more than a score of

boats came in sight, full of men who had bows, darts, clubs,

swords, and such like arms of war, and our friends were all in

great fear.


As they came at dusk, and at the East side of the isle, our men

had the whole night to think of what they should do. And as they

knew that the most safe way was to hide and lie in wait, they

first of all took down the huts which were built for the two good

men, and drove their goats to the cave, for they thought the wild

men would go straight there as soon as it was day, and play the

old game.


The next day they took up their post with all their force at the

wood, near the home of the two men, to wait for the foe. They

gave no guns to the slaves, but each of them had a long staff

with a spike at the end of it, and by his side an axe. There were

two of the wives who could not be kept back, but would go out and

fight with bows and darts.


The wild men came on with a bold and fierce mien, not in a line,

but all in crowds here and there, to the point were our men lay

in wait for them. When they were so near as to be in range of the

guns, our men shot at them right and left with five or six balls

in each charge. As the foe came up in close crowds, they fell

dead on all sides, and most of those that they did not kill were

much hurt, so that great fear and dread came on them all.


Our men then fell on them from three points with the butt end of

their guns, swords, and staves, and did their work so well that

the wild men set up a loud shriek, and flew for their lives to

the woods and hills, with all the speed that fear and swift feet

could help them to do. As our men did not care to chase them,

they got to the shore where they had come to land and where the

boats lay.


But their rout was not yet at an end, for it blew a great storm

that day from the sea, so that they could not put off. And as the

storm went on all that night, when the tide came up, the surge of

the sea drove most of their boats so high on the shore, that they

could not be got off save with great toil, and the force of the

waves on the beach broke some of them to bits.


At break of day, our men went forth to find them, and when they

saw the state of things, they got some dry wood from a dead tree,

and set their boats on fire. When the foe saw this, they ran all

through the isle with loud cries, as if they were mad, so that

our men did not know at first what to do with them, for they trod

all the corn down with their feet, and tore up the vines just as

the grapes were ripe, and did a great deal of harm.


At last they brought old Jaf to them, to tell them how kind they

would be to them, that they would save their lives, and give them

part of the isle to live in, if they would keep in their own

bounds, and that they should have corn to plant, and should make

it grow for their bread. They were but too glad to have such good

terms of peace, and they soon learnt to make all kinds of work

with canes, wood, and sticks, such as chairs, stools, and beds,

and this they did with great skill when they were once taught.


From this time till I came back to the isle my friends saw no

more wild men. I now told the chief that I had not come to take

off his men, but to bring more, and to give them all such things

as they would want to guard their homes from foes, and cheer up

their hearts.


The next day I made a grand feast for them all, and the ship's

cook and mate came on shore to dress it. We brought out our

rounds of salt beef and pork, a bowl of punch, some beer, and

French wines; and Carl gave the cooks five whole kids to roast,

three of which were sent to the crew on board ship, that they, on

their part, might feast on fresh meat from shore.


I gave each of the men a shirt, a coat, a hat, and a pair of

shoes, and I need not say how glad they were to meet with gifts

so new to them. Then I brought out the tools, of which each man

had a spade, a rake, an axe, a crow, a saw, a knife and such like

things as well as arms, and all that they could want for the use

of them.


As I saw there was a kind will on all sides, I now took on shore

the youth and the maid whom we had brought from the ship that we

met on her way to France. The girl had been well brought up, and

all the crew had a good word for her. As they both had a wish to

be left on the isle, I gave them each a plot of ground, on which

they had tents and barns built.


I had brought out with me five men to live here, one of whom

could turn his hand to all sorts of things, so I gave him the

name of "Jack of all Trades."


One day the French priest came to ask if I would leave my man

Friday here, for through him, he said, he could talk to the black

men in their own tongue, and teach them the things of God. "Need

I add," said he, "that it was for this cause that I came here?" I

felt that I could not part with my man Friday for the whole

world, so I told the priest that if I could have made up my mind

to leave him here, I was quite sure that Friday would not part

from me.


When I had seen that all things were in a good state on the isle,

I set to work to put my ship to rights, to go home once more. One

day, as I was on my way to it, the youth whom I had brought from

the ship that was burnt, came up to me, and said, "Sir, you have

brought a priest with you, and while you are here, we want him to

wed two of us."


I made a guess that one of these must be the maid that I had

brought to the isle, and that it was the wish of the young man to

make her his wife. I spoke to him with some warmth in my tone,

and bade him turn it well in his mind first, as the girl was not

in the same rank of life as he had been brought up in. But he

said, with a smile, that I had made a wrong guess, for it was

"Jack of all Trades" that he had come to plead for. It gave me

great joy to hear this, as the maid was as good a girl as could

be, and I thought well of Jack; so on that day I gave her to him.

They were to have a large piece of ground to grow their crops on,

with a house to live in, and sheds for their goats.


The isle was now set out in this way: all the west end was left

waste, so that if the wild men should land on it, they might come

and go, and hurt no one.  My old house I gave to the chief, with

all its woods, which now spread out as far as the creek, and the

south end was for the white men and their wives.


It struck me that there was one gift which I had not thought of,

and that was the book of God's Word, which I knew would give to

those who could feel the words in it, fresh strength for their

work, and grace to bear the ills of life.


Now that I had been in the isle quite a month, I once more set

sail on the fifth day of May; and all my friends told me that

they should stay there till I came to fetch them.


When we had been out three days, though the sea was smooth and

calm, we saw that it was quite black on the land side;  and as we

knew not what to make of it, I sent the chief mate up the main

mast to find out with his glass what it could be. He said it was

a fleet of scores and scores of small boats, full of wild men who

came fast at us with fierce looks.


As soon as we got near them, I gave word to furl all sails and

stop the ship, and as there was nought to fear from them but

fire, to get the boats out and man them both well, and so wait

for them to come up.


In this way we lay by for them, and in a short time they came up

with us; but as I thought they would try to row round and so

close us in, I told the men in the boats not to let them come too

near. This, though we did not mean it, brought us to a fight with

them, and they shot a cloud of darts at our boats. We did not

fire at them, yet in half an hour they went back out to sea, and

then came straight to us, till we were so near that they could

hear us speak.


I bade my men keep close, so as to be safe from their darts if

they should shoot, and get out the guns. I then sent Friday on

deck, to call out to them in their own tongue and ask what they

meant. It may be that they did not know what he said, but as soon

as he spoke to them I heard him cry out that they would shoot.

This was too true, for they let fly a thick cloud of darts, and

to my great grief poor Friday fell dead, for there was no one

else in their sight. He was shot with three darts, and three more

fell quite near him, so good was their aim.


I was so mad with rage at the loss of my dear Friday, that I bade

the men load five guns with small shot, and four with large, and

we gave them such a fierce fire that in all their lives they

could not have seen one like it. Then a rare scene met our eyes:

dread and fear came on them all, for their boats, which were

small, were split and sunk--three or four by one shot. The men

who were not dead had to swim, and those who had wounds were left

to sink, for all the rest got off as fast as they could. Our boat

took up one poor man who had to swim for his life, when the rest

had fled for the space of half an hour. In three hours' time, we

could not see more than three or four of their boats, and as a

breeze sprang up we set sail.


At first the man whom we took on board would not eat or speak,

and we all had fears lest he should pine to death. But when we

had taught him to say a few words, he told us that his friends--

the wild men-had come out with their kin to have a great fight,

and that all they meant was to make us look at the grand sight.

So it was for this that poor Friday fell! He who had been as

good and true to me as man could be! And now in deep grief I

must take my leave of him.


We went on with a fair wind to All Saints' Bay, and here I found

a sloop that I had brought with me from home, that I might send

men and stores for the use of my friends in the isle. I taught

the mate how to find the place, and when he came back, I found

that he had done so with ease.


One of our crew had a great wish to go with the sloop, and live

on the isle, if the chief would give him land to plant. So I told

him he should go by all means, and gave him the wild man for his

slave. I found, too, that a man who had come with his wife and

child and three slaves, to hide from the king of Spain, would

like to go, if he could have some land there, though he had but a

small stock to take with him; so I put them all on board the

sloop, and saw them safe out of the bay, on their way to the

isle. With them I sent three milch cows, five calves, a horse and

 a colt, all of which, as I heard, went safe and sound.


I have now no more to say of my isle, as I had left it for the

last time, but my life in lands no less far from home was not yet

at an end. From the Bay of All Saints we went straight to the

Cape of Good Hope. Here I made up my mind to part from the ship

in which I had come from the Isle, and with two of the crew to

stay on land, and leave the rest to go on their way. I soon made

friends with some men from France, as well as from my own land,

and two Jews, who had come out to the Cape to trade.


As I found that some goods which I had brought with me from home

were worth a great deal, I made a large sum by the sale of them.

When we had been at the Cape of Good Hope for nine months, we

thought that the best thing we could do would be to hire a ship,

and sail to the Spice Isles, to buy cloves, so we got a ship, and

men to work her, and set out. When we had bought and sold our

goods in the course of trade, we came back, and then set out once

more; so that, in short, as we went from port to port, to and

fro, I spent, from first to last, six years in this part of the



At length we thought we would go and seek new scenes where we

could get fresh gains. And a strange set of men we at last fell

in with, as you who read this tale will say when you look at the

print in front of this page.


When we had put on shore, we made friends with a man who got us a

large house, built with canes, and a small kind of hut of the

same near it. It had a high fence of canes round it to keep out

thieves, of whom, it seems, there are not a few in that land. The

name of the town was Ching, and we found that the fair or mart

which was kept there would not be held for three or four months.

So we sent our ship back to the Cape, as we meant to stay in this

part of the world for some time, and go from place to place to

see what sort of a land it was, and then come back to the fair at



We first went to a town which it was well worth our while to see,

and which must have been, as near as I can guess, quite in the

heart of this land. It was built with straight streets which ran

in cross lines.


But I must own, when I came home to the place of my birth, I was

much struck to hear my friends say such fine things of the wealth

and trade of these parts of the world, for I saw and knew that

the men were a mere herd or crowd of mean slaves. What is their

trade to ours, or to that of France and Spain? What are their

ports, with a few junks and barks, to our grand fleets? One of

our large ships of war would sink all their ships, one line of

French troops would beat all their horse, and the same may be

said of their ports, which would not stand for one month such a

siege as we could bring to bear on them.


In three weeks more we came to their chief town. When we had laid

in a large stock of tea, shawls, fans, raw silks, and such like

goods, we set out for the north. As we knew we should run all

kinds of risks on our way, we took with us a strong force to act

as a guard, and to keep us from the wild hordes who rove from

place to place all through the land. Some of our men were Scots,

who had come out to trade here, and had great wealth, and I was

glad to join them, as it was by no means the first time that they

had been here.


We took five guides with us, and we all put our coin in one

purse, to buy food on the way, and to pay the men who took charge

of us. One of us we chose out for our chief, to take the lead in

case we should have to fight for our lives; and when the time

came, we had no small need of him. On the sides of all the roads,

we saw men who made pots, cups, pans, and such like ware, out of

a kind of earth, which is, in fact, the chief trade in this part

of the world.


One thing, the guide said he would show me, that was not to be

seen in all the world else (and this, in good sooth, I could not

sneer at, as I had done at most of the things I had seen here),

and this was a house that was built of a kind of ware, such as

most plates and cups are made of. "How big is it?" said I,  "can

we take it on the back of a horse?" "On a horse!" said the guide,

"why, two score of men live in it." He then took us to it, and I

found that it was in truth a large house, built with lath and the

best ware that can be made out of earth. The sun shone hot on the

walls, which were quite white, hard, and smooth as glass, with

forms on them in blue paint. On the walls of the rooms were small

square tiles of the best ware, with red, blue, and green paint of

all shades and hues, in rare forms, done in good taste; and as

they use the same kind of earth to join the tiles with, you could

not see where the tiles met. The floors of the rooms were made of

the same ware, and as strong as those we have at home; and the

same may be said of the roofs, but they were of a dark shade. If

we had had more time to spare, I should have been glad to have

seen more of this house, for there were the ponds for the fish,

the walks, the yards, and courts, which were all made in the same

way. This odd sight kept me from my friends for two hours, and

when I had come up to them, I had to pay a fine to our chief, as

they had to wait so long.


In two days more we came to the Great Wall, which was made as a

fort to keep the whole land safe,--and a great work it is. It

goes in a long track for miles and miles, where the rocks are so

high and steep that no foe could climb them; or, if they did, no

wall could stop them. The Great Wall is as thick as it is high,

and it turns and winds in all sorts of ways.


We now saw, for the first time, some troops of the hordes I spoke

of, who rove from place to place, to rob and kill all whom they

meet with. They know no real mode of war, or skill in fight. Each

has a poor lean horse, which is not fit to do good work. Our

chief gave some of us leave to go out and hunt as they call it,

and what was it but to hunt sheep! These sheep are wild and swift

of foot, but they will not run far, and you are sure of sport

when you start in the chase. They go in flocks of a score, or

two, and like true sheep, keep close when they fly. In this sort

of chase it was our hap to meet with some two score of the wild

hordes, but what sort of prey they had come to hunt I know not.

As soon as they saw us, one of them blew some loud notes on a

kind of horn, with a sound that was quite new to me. We all

thought this was to call their friends round them, and so it was,

for in a short time a fresh troop of the same size came to join

them; and they were all, as far as we could judge, a mile off.

One of the Scots was with us, and as soon as he heard the horn,

he told us that we must lose no time, but draw up in line, and

charge them at once. We told him we would, if he would take the



They stood still, and cast a wild gaze at us, like a mere crowd,

drawn up in no line; but as soon as they saw us come at them,

they let fly their darts, which did not hit us, for though their

aim was true, they fell short of us. We now came to a halt to

fire at them, and then went at full speed to fall on them sword

in hand, for so the bold Scot that led us, told us to do.


As soon as we came up to them, they fled right and left. The sole

stand made was by three of them, who had a kind of short sword in

their hands, and bows on their backs, and who did all they could

to call all the rest back to them. The brave Scot rode close up

to them, and with his gun threw one off his horse, shot the next,

and the third ran off, and this was the end of our fight. All the

bad luck we met with, was that the sheep that we had in chase got

off. We had not a man hurt, but as for the foe, five of them were

dead, and not a few had wounds, while the rest fled at the mere

noise of our guns.


Thus we went on our way from town to town, and now and then met

some of these wild hordes, whom we had to fight and I need not

add that each time we had the best of the fray. At last we made

our way to the chief town of the North Seas at the end of a year,

five months and three days, from the time when we left Ching.

When I had been there six weeks, and had bought some more goods;

I took ship and set sail for the land of my birth, which I had

left, this time, for ten years, nine months and three days.


And now I must bring this tale of my life to a close, while at

the age of three score years and twelve, I feel that the day is

at hand, when I shall go forth on that sea of peace and love,

which has no waves or shores but those of bliss that knows no