Crusoe gives help to Friday

In the month of December, in Crusoe's twenty-third year on the island, he was surprised to see a fire on the sands, and nine black men dancing round it. It was quite clear that they had come to the island in two boats. Another group, in three boats, came to the other side of Crusoe's island, and had a meal of the men they had put to death. When they had gone he came across a number of bones, the signs of their disgusting meal.

When Crusoe saw they had gone, he quickly put two guns over his arm and two hand-guns in his trouser band, and took a military blade. Then, without loss of time, he went to the slope where he had first seen the boats of the black men. There was no doubt that there had been three other boats at the place, and he saw them all on the sea together.

Again his peace of mind was gone, and he went about all the time in fear that he might come across them at a time when he was no ready for them. But it was more than fifteen months before any of the black men came to the island again.

In the middle of May in the year after, when the weather was very bad, the sound of guns from a ship in trouble came to Crusoe's ears.

He says in his day-book " "I got together all the dry wood which was near, and made a fire with it on the top of the slope. The wood was dry, and the flames went high, and though the wind was very strong, it went on burning very well. When the fire was started, there came to my ears the sound of another gun, and after that a number of others, all from the same direction. I kept my fire burning all through the night till the morning : and when it was daylight and the air had become clear, I saw something at a great distance out to sea, east of the island.

"I had a look at it frequently all that day, and in a short time saw that it was not moving, so I was of the opinion that it was probably a ship at rest. I took my gun in my hand, and went quickly in the direction of the south-east side of the island, to the stones. By the time I got up there, the weather was good, and to my great regret I clearly saw a damaged ship which had been forced in the night on to the masses of stone near the island, which were kept from view by the waves.

"I was not ever certain if there were any living men on that ship or not ; but I made the sad discovery, some days later, of the body of a boy which had come up on to the sands at the end of the island nearest the ship."

When the waves got less, and the sea was quiet, Crusoe went out in his boat and got to the damaged ship, which was fixed between two masses of stone. A poor dog, almost dead from need of food, came jumping out of the ship into Crusoe's boat ; but that seemed to be the only living thing on the broken ship. Crusoe put the dog and two chests from the ship, together with a powder-horn, some fire-irons, and some kettles, into his boat. He got back to his island at sun-down, tired with his hard work.

The chests were full of shirts, pocket linen, and neck cloths. The boxes in the great chests had in them bags of money and masses of gold. About these Crusoe says :

"It is true that I had more money than I had before, but I was no better off. I had no more use for it than the Indians of Peru had before the Spaniards went there."

About a year and a half went by, and ten, one morning, Crusoe was surprised to see five boats come to the island together. The black men came on land -- there were about thirty of them -- and in a short time were dancing round a fire which they had made. Then, two unhappy men were pulled out from the boats, and one of them was quickly put to death with a weighted stick.

The second got away as quickly as possible in the direction of Crusoe's house, with three men after him. He got across the inlet ; but only two of the other men went into the water after him, because it seemed that the third was not a swimmer.

Crusoe now came into view. He made a sign for the man who was running away to come to him, and slowly went in the direction of the other two men.

Crusoe saw that it would be best not to let off his gun, because the noise might make all the others come round him. So he went quickly to the first of the two men, and gave him a hard blow with the hand-part of his gun and sent him to the earth. It was not clear to the other what had taken place ; but he saw that he was in danger, and was about to send an arrow2 at Crusoe, when Crusoe let off his gun at him. The poor man who had been running away, slowly came near Crusoe, went down on his knees, and gave the earth at his feet a kiss. Then he put his head on the earth, and at the same time put Crusoe's foot on it.

When the man who had been made unconscious by the blow from Crusoe's gun made a move, Crusoe's new friend made signs to him to let him have his blade. Then he went quickly to the man, and took his head off. When Crusoe had put the two dead men in the sand, he took him to the hollow, where he have him food, and made him have some sleep.

"After he had been sleeping a little more than half an hour," says Crusoe, "he came awake, and came out to me, because I had been milking my goats in the field near by.

"When he saw me, he came running to me, and again went down on the earth, and made clear by every sort of sign how pleased he was t have been kept from death, and how ready he was to be my friend.

"At last he put his head flat on the earth, near my foot, and put my other foot on his head, as he had done before. After this he made signs of great respect, to let me see that he would be happy to become my servant for the rest of this existence.

"In a short time, I said some words to him, and made a start at teaching him my language. First I made it clear to him that his name would be Friday, which was the day I kept him from death, and I gave him his name in memory of the fact."

When he went to the place where the black men had come on land, Crusoe saw a great number of men's bones, and all the signs of the disgusting meal they had taken after having got the best of some fight. Crusoe put sand over the bones and other signs of the meal, and then went back to his house with Friday.

Crusoe comes to his island

Crusoe's story of his journey and the destruction of his ship is so interesting that it will be best to give it in his words.

"Our ship," he says, "was of about one hundred and twenty tons. There were in the ship six guns, the chief, his boy, fourteen men, and myself. We had no goods with us other than play things which were needed for our trade with the black men, such as neck ornaments, bits of glass, and things of little value -- small looking-glasses, knives, scissors, wood-cutting instruments, and so on.

"I went on to the ship the day we went from harbor, going away to the north, and keeping near land.

"We went past the Line in about twelve days' time, and were not far north of it, when a violent wind took us quite out of our way, so that we were uncertain where we were.

"In addition to our fear of the violent wind we had other troubles. Death took the of our men who had been ill, and another man and the boy were washed by the waves into the sea. About the twelfth day, the weather got a little better, and with the help of his instruments the chief was able to see roughly where he was. He then came to me for my opinion about what direction it would be best to take, because the ship was very much damaged and water was coming into it, and he was going straight back to Brazil.

"Changing our direction and taking the ship north-west, we went in the direction of Barbados, so that we might get to some of our English islands, where I was hoping that we might be given help; but this was not to be.

"A second violent wind got up, which took us away to he west, and sent us in a direction where there were no white men. For this reason, even if we were not overcome by the sea, it seemed more probable that we would be taken for food by black men than that we would ever get back to our county.

"While we were in this unhappy condition, and the wind was still violent, one of our men, early in the morning, gave a cry of 'Land !' We quickly went out of the room to have a look, in the hope that we might see where we were, when the ship became fixed on the sand, and the sea came over her in such a way that it seemed certain to us that this would quickly be the end.

"Now, though it seemed to us that the wind became less violent, we were in a most unhappy condition because the ship had gone on the sand, and there was nothing to do but make an attempt to get ourselves away safely if possible.

"We had a boat at the back of our ship, before the strong wind came, but it was first broken by being smashed against the ship, and then it got loose, and went down or was taken out to sea, so there was no hope from it. We had another boat on the ship, but the question was how to get it off in to the sea. But there was no time for discussion, because it seemed to us that the ship might be broken to bits at any minute.

"In this unhappy condition one of the men in authority got a grip of the boat, and, with the help of the other men, put it over the ship's side. We then all got in -- there were eleven of us -- and, hoping for the best, let the boat go into the rough sea.

"And now all hope seemed to be at an end. We all saw clearly that the waves were so high that the boat would not be able to keep up, and that we would certainly all go down. As to putting up sails, there were no sails, and, even if there had been, we would have been unable to do anything with them. So, working with the boat-blades, we did our best to get to the land, though with sad hearts, because we were all certain that when the boat came nearer the land it would be smashed to a thousand bits by the rough waves.

"After we had gone about four miles, as it seemed, plowing our way through the sea, a violent wave, mountain-like, came rolling across the back of our boat, and made us see that death was very near. It came on us so violently that the boat was quickly overturned, and the minute after we were all in the sea.

"It is not possible to put into words the strange thoughts I had when I went under the water. Though I was a good swimmer, I was unable to get my head out of the water because I was taken by the wave a long way in the direction of the land, and not till it went back and I was half dead on the sand was I able to take breath again. I had still enough good sense and breath in my body to get on my feet, when I saw that I was nearer the land than it had seemed to me at first, and I made an attempt to get to land as quickly as possible, before another wave came and sent me back again.

"The wave which came on me again took me quickly twenty or thirty feet down into the water. I had the feeling that I was being taken quickly by a great force a very long way in the direction of the land, but I kept my breath, and still made an attempt to go forward with all my power.

"I was almost bursting for need of air, when my head and hands came suddenly out of the water. And though I was not able to keep myself in that position for more than two seconds, it was a great help, and gave me breath and new hope. I was covered again with water for a long time, but I would not give up hope.

"Seeing that the wave had now come to its end and was going back, I went forward against the current of the waves, till the sand was again under my feet. I kept quiet for a short time to take breath again and to let the water go off me, and then got up and went as quickly as possible inland. Two more times I was lifted up by the waves and taken forward as before, because the land was very flat.

"The last time was almost he cause of my destruction. The sea, having taken me forward as before, sent me up against a great bit of stone, with such force that it made me unconscious, and I was unable to do anything for myself ; because the blow which I got on my side and chest, took all the breath out of my body, and if the waves had come back again then I would certainly have been overcome by the water.

"I got a little better before the waves came back, and , seeing that I would be covered again with the water, I made a decision to get a tight grip of the stone, and to keep my breath, if possible, till the wave went back.

" Now, because the waves were not so high as at first, and I saw that I was near land, I kept my grip till the wave went back, and then after another run I got so near the land that another wave, though it went over me, did not take me with it.

After he got a little better, Crusoe took a walk on the sands, giving the strangest signs of pleasure, because he was so pleased that he had been kept from destruction in the sea. He did not ever see his friends again, and the only signs of them were four of their hats and two shoes which came up onto the sands.

After comforting himself for some time with the thought of how he had been kept from death, he then a had a look round him to see to what sort of place he had come. Then there came a change in his feelings and he had the thought that even death would have been better than being placed in the position in which he was now. He was wet, he had no clothing but what he had on, and he had no food or drink.

He was unable to see any other future for himself but death from need of food or destruction by animals. His position was made even worse by the fact that he had no sort of arms with which he might get animals for food, or keep himself safe from their attack.

Poor Crusoe ! All he had was a knife, a pipe, and a little tobacco. He came to a river of clean water, and had a drink from it; put a little tobacco in his mouth, to keep off the desire for food; took a short, strong stick, with which to keep himself safe from attack; got up a tree to have a rest; and, being very tired, had a good sleep among the branches till late in the morning.

When he was awake, he was surprised to see that the ship had been lifted and sent near a mass of stone, where it was in an almost upright position within a mile of the land. A short time after the middle of the day, when the sea had gone out so that the ship was only a quarter of a mile from the land, Crusoe went swimming out to it, and got into it. He put some hard flat cakes in his pockets, and had a meal of them while he went through the ship from end to end.

Then he put a number of bits of wood into the sea, and got them fixed together with cord so as to make a sort of flat boat. He let down three of the sailors' sea-chests on to it. After he had done this, he put food in one chest, arms, powder, and lead in another, and in addition, he got the wood-working instruments. With these things he came to land safely.

It was then necessary to get some knowledge of the place to which he had come; so, taking arms with him, he went up a slope, and saw that he was on an island where there seemed to be no animals and no men.

He went back to his boat, and got his things on land. Then he made a rough sort of house with the chests and some boards which he had got from the ship, and went to sleep.

The day after he went out to the ship again; made a second flat boat; and, having put on to it arms, powder, balls of lead, clothing, and bedding, he came back to the land safely. Then he made a canvas house with a sail and some long bits of wood, and put in it any things which might be damaged by the sun or rain. Then, shutting up the doorway of his canvas house, Crusoe went to bed for the first time on the island.

After this he went to the ship every day, and took away, as he says in his story, "everything which two hands were able to take." But one night a strong wind got up; and, in the morning, when he had a look, no ship was to be seen.

Later, Crusoe came across a flat bit of land on the side of the slope which went sharply down to the sea, and made a safe place for himself there by putting up two lines of sharp-pointed sticks, forming a sort of wall so strong that no man or animal was able to go through or over it. The way in to this place was not by a door, but by some steps, which he was able to take up after him; and here he kept all his stores.

While doing this Crusoe made time to go out every day with his gun. This gave him amusement, and in addition, a knowledge of the animals and plants of the island.

The first time he went out be saw that there were goats on the island. He put to death one of these and took it back for food. A young one, which was with the old goat, came after Crusoe to his house, but high hopes of training it came to nothing. The animal was unhappy in these unnatural conditions, and at last Crusoe put it to death and took its meat. These two animals gave him meat for a long time.

He then made a canvas house of sail-cloth with two walls, one inside the other; and he made a hole in the earth at the back of it for use as a store-place.

Crusoe had come to his island on the last day of September, and, after he had been there for ten or twelve days, it came into his head that all idea of time would go out of his mind if be did not keep some sort of record of the days and months. So that he might keep clear about the time he put one board across another, cutting into it the words:


Then he put this up on the sands at the point where he had first come to land.

On the sides of the board he made a cut every day with his knife, every seventh cut being twice as long as the rest, and every first day of the month twice as long as that long one. In this way he was able to keep a record of days, weeks, months, and years.

We have said nothing so far of the fact that Crusoe took off from the damaged ship two cats; and that the dog which was on the ship came with him on his first journey back to land, and became his good friend for a number of years.

Having put all his stores in order, be got to work to make some necessary things, and was able to make a table and a seat with the short bits of board which he had got from the ship. In addition, he put up shelves and hooks in his store-place for his guns, instruments and arms.

He had taken pens, ink, and paper from the ship, and he kept a day-book, in which he gave a detailed account of all his doings for as long as he had ink.