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CHAPTER 1 – FAMILY
I was born in England in 1632. My father was German and my mother was English. I had two brothers and one sister. We were a good family.
My father was a good businessman. We had a lot of money. I had good education. I had a good life. But I also had a dream. I wanted to travel by sea. I wanted to see the world.
My father was a good man. He wanted the best for me. But my dream wasn’t his dream. He wasn’t happy. The situation wasn’t easy.
I was 18 years old when my father called me to his room. He wanted to speak with me. When I came to his room, my father asked me some questions. My father wanted to know why I wanted to travel by sea. Then my father told me, “Travelling by sea is dangerous. It isn’t comfortable. You can die.” My father started to cry.
I thought about my father’s words. Travelling by sea was dangerous. It wasn’t comfortable. I could die. But it was also very exciting. I could see new countries. I could meet new people.
I thought about travelling by sea every day. It was difficult to be at home.
I tried to speak with my mother. I told her, “I would like to travel by sea very much. I want to see the world.”
I told her, “Please, help me speak with my father. Maybe with your help I could travel by sea.”
My mother loved me very much. But she thought the same as my father. She thought that travelling by sea was dangerous. She thought that the best was to stay at home. She thought that life in England was the best for me.
One year later I visited Hull, a town in England. It was the 1st of September. It was the year 1651.
I met my friend. His father had a ship. They travelled by sea very often. Their next journey was to London. My friend told me, “Go with us.”
I thought about it. I wasn’t prepared for this journey. But I could try if travelling by sea was for me. So I went to London.
I was very happy. It was my first journey by sea. It was very exciting. The first hour was great. But then we started to have problems. We saw a storm. It was closer and closer. The wind was stronger and stronger. The waves were bigger and bigger. The ship went up and down. I had fear. I thought about my home. I thought about my comfortable bed.
The storm was finished in the morning. The weather was nice the whole day. And the evening was beautiful. Everything was so quiet.
One man came to me. We talked. He made some jokes. They were funny. He asked me about the weather. I told him about my fear during the storm. “What storm?” he said, “The little wind?” he laughed.
He offered me a drink. I drank a lot. Soon I was drunk. I slept very well at night.
The next day, I forgot about my home. I forgot about my comfortable bed. I started to dream more about travelling by sea.
The next three days, the wind wasn’t good. We went very slowly. Then the wind was stronger. We went faster.
The next day, another storm came. The storm was bigger. I was really scared.
I saw that the other men were scared too.
CHAPTER 2 – STORM
I was so scared that I could only lie in my bed. When I looked outside the window, I saw the waves. They were very big. They were like mountains. I saw other ships. They were like toys. The waves played with the ships. I wanted to go home again.
The storm was really big. Everybody asked God for help.
Then, somebody saw a hole in the ship. A lot of water was inside. It was a terrible situation.
Many men went down. They pumped the water out. I was so scared. I couldn’t move. But then one man came to me. He told me, “Go down and help.” So I went down. We pumped the water out. Then I heard a gun. It was a signal from our captain. It was a signal that we had a big problem. I thought that we had no chance. Our ship was very broken. I thought that it was our last day.
We worked very hard. We tried to pump out the water. But the hole was very big. More and more water was inside the ship.
The weather was better. But the ship was full of water. We needed help. We saw another ship in front of us. They sent a small boat for us. The men on the boat risked their lives for us. We all went on the boat. It wasn’t possible to go back to their ship. It was already very far.
Fifteen minutes later, our big ship went under water. We were safe on the small boat. But I was still very scared. We saw a land. We tried to go to it. We were closer and closer. Soon we saw people on the beach. They were from a near village. They waited for us. They were really nice to us. They helped us.
They gave us some money. We could go to London or Hull. I went to London.
I travelled to London by land. When I was in London, I met a captain. He was very kind. He offered me to travel with him. The captain wanted to go to Africa. I thought that I could make some money there. The captain told me about the business in Africa. He told me what to buy in England. He told me what people in Africa needed. I bought things which were popular in Africa. They were cheap in England. But they were expensive in Africa. They were expensive because nobody made them in Africa. But people needed them there. Then we started the journey.
The journey to Africa was successful. I returned to England with some money. I was happy.
I wanted to travel more. I wanted to do more business. I also wanted to learn how to control the ship. The captain taught me the basic skills.I decided to go to Africe again. The journey started well. But soon we had big problems. A ship started to follow us. It was a pirate ship. It started in the morning. In the afternoon, the pirates
came very close to us.
They attacked us. They tried to connect our ships. We pushed them away. Then they attacked us again. This time, they were successful. Many men came on our ship during the second attack.
They started to break everything. Some of our men were killed. Some men were injured. We couldn’t win. We stopped the fight. We all became prisoners of the pirates.
CHAPTER 3 – WOMAN
I was young and strong. I became a slave to the captain of the pirates. I felt very sad. Slaves had a horrible life. They had to work hard.
I worked every day for many hours. I worked in the house or in the garden. The captain told me what to do.
I didn’t like the work. I wanted to change my situation. I wanted to be free again.
One day, I met a young woman in the house. She was so beautiful. She was also a slave. She cleaned the house.
I tried to speak to her. She didn’t speak my language. But I felt that she understood me.
I liked her very much. She was very attractive. When she saw me, she smiled at me.
Sometimes she touched me when she was close to me. But it was only a short moment. If the captain saw it, he could send her away.
I thought about her very often. I wanted to meet her every day. But she wasn’t in the house every day.
When I thought about her, I felt a nice feeling in my heart. I thought that I loved that woman. I felt that she was my girlfriend and I was her boyfriend. But our relationship was complicated. We couldn’t be officially together. Slaves couldn’t have relationships. It was so sad.
The captain sometimes took me with him when he wanted to catch some fish. A young boy and I helped him fish. We used a small boat. Sometimes we fished with somebody from his friends.
One day, fog was around our boat. We saw nothing. We were lost. We tried to get to land the whole day and night. We got to land the next morning.
When we were back home, the captain told us to use a bigger boat. The bigger boat was better for longer journeys.
One day, the captain gave me instructions, “Put more food and drinks on the boat. Bring some guns too.”
He waited for important guests. He wanted to catch fish with the guests. They also wanted to hunt animals after the fishing. But the guests never came. Then, the captain told me, “Prepare the boat for fishing for the next day.”
This was my opportunity to run away. A lot of guns and food were on the boat. I prepared the boat for fishing as usual. But I left the guns and food on the boat. The next day I could run away. This was my plan.
I thought about the young woman. I wanted to take her with me. But I didn’t know how to do it. It wasn’t possible to take her on the boat. I was sad. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to be free. But my heart wanted to be with her.
Then the morning came. I hoped that I could see the young woman in the house. Then I saw her. She was the most beautiful woman in my life.
When I looked at her, our eyes met. She knew that something was different. Maybe she understood that this was our last moment together. She looked deeply in my eyes. She touched my hand. I felt that she understood. Her face was sad. My face was sad too. She smiled at me a little. Then she went away. This was the last moment when I saw her.
One hour later, we were ready. I and the boy went to the boat. One of the captain’s friends went with us. He was our boss for that day.
CHAPTER 4 – LION
Soon, we were far from the land. I pretended that I couldn’t catch fish. Then we went further from the land. Our boss said that we could catch fish there.
At one moment our boss went to the front of the boat. I quickly pushed him into the sea. He tried to swim back. I took a gun. When he saw the gun, he swam away.
After he swam away, I turned to the boy. I wanted to know if he was on my side. I saw that he was on my side.
After two years I was finally free. We tried to go as fast as possible.
The wind was good. We were far from the pirate land the next day. But I was still scared of the pirates. I didn’t want to be caught again. I was so scared that I didn’t let the boy stop the boat for five days.
On the sixth day, I felt safer. We took the boat close to the land. We saw a little river.
I didn’t know where we were. We had to stop somewhere because we needed fresh water.
We waited for the dark. We wanted to go up the river where the water wasn’t mixed with the sea water. But we started to hear horrible noises. The boy didn’t want to continue. He was scared.
We stayed on the boat near the river. But we couldn’t sleep. Some animals came to wash in the water. They made horrible noises.
The boy was very scared. I was also scared. We heard that one animal started to swim to us. The boy asked me to go away. But I didn’t want to go. I took one gun. I shot at the animal. The animal turned. Then the animal swam to the land. The other animals heard the gun. They went away too. We stayed on the boat until the morning.
We ate bread in the morning. Then the boy said, “I would like to go to the beach.”
I decided to go with him. We had two big bottles for water. We took some fresh water from the river.
The boy wanted to go inside the land. I didn’t want to go very far. I still wanted to see the boat. So I stayed on the beach. The boy went inside the land alone.
He returned after some time. He had an animal in his hand. It looked like a chicken. He was very happy. I was happy too. We had good meat and fresh water.
I didn’t know where exactly we were. I only knew that we went around the coast of Africa. I hoped that we met an English ship when we went around the coast. I thought that we were in a land where nobody lived. We didn’t see any people on the land. We only heard wild animals sometimes.
One morning, when we went for fresh water, we saw a lion on the beach. He was very big. He was only 20 metres from us. The boy was scared. When the lion saw us, he started to run to us. We didn’t have much time. I had to shoot at him. I had three guns. The first bullet hit its leg. The second bullet hit its head. He was seriously injured. The third bullet finished the animal.
We couldn’t eat the meat because it wasn’t good. But I wanted to take the skin. We put the skin on top of the boat. The skin was dry soon.
CHAPTER 5 – SHIP
For the next ten days, we continued our journey around the coast. We only stopped when we needed fresh water. Soon, we saw that people lived on the land.
One day, we saw a big group of people. They had a lot of children. They watched us from the beach. I wanted to stop. I wanted to go to the people. But the boy didn’t like this idea. He was scared.
The people on the beach wanted to give us some food. Two men ran to the forest. They returned with some dry meat. We didn’t want to go to the beach. But they didn’t want to swim to us. We didn’t know how to get the food. The people saw this. They put the food on the ground. Then they went back. When they were far from the food, we took the food. Then, we weren’t scared of the people. They came to us. We thanked them. But we had nothing for them.
At that moment, we saw two animals. They came from the forest. The animals started to run to the people. The people were scared. One animal attacked a young girl. I shot at the animal. I killed the animal. The second animal was scared. It ran away.
The people were shocked when they heard the gun. They were also shocked when they saw that the animal was dead. They were happy that the girl was alive.
They thanked us. They brought us more food and water. We had a lot of food and water on the boat. We didn’t stop for ten days. We saw some islands the next day. I thought that we could visit the islands. But at that moment the boy started to shout. He started to shout because he saw a ship.
The boy was really scared. He thought that it was a pirate ship. But I looked at the ship. I saw that it was Portuguese. But nobody on the ship saw us. So I fired a gun.
They heard the gun. They saw us. Soon we were on the Portuguese ship.
They spoke Portuguese, Spanish and French. But I didn’t understand them. Fortunately, there was a Scottish sailor on the ship. He came to me. I told him our story. Then the sailors started to be very nice to us. They agreed to take me and the boy on the ship. We were both very happy. We offered our things to the captain. But he didn’t want to take our things. He said, “I would like to pay for them.”
It was very nice of him. I told him that he could buy our boat. I gave him a good price. It was a half of usual price. He could take the rest for free. The captain agreed.
The captain also wanted to train the boy as a sailor. I didn’t like this idea. I thought that he was too young for this job. I thought that the boy also needed freedom. He didn’t need to start another service.
CHAPTER 6 – WIFE
The boy wanted to work for the captain. He wanted to be a sailor. So he started his training to become a sailor.
The ship was on the way to Brazil. We arrived there after twenty-two days. I said goodbye to the boy and the sailors.
Brazil was a new state in South America. Many people started a new life there. It was the same for me. I didn’t know anybody there.
Soon I met people who had sugar plantations. They became my friends. I liked Brazil very much. Soon I learnt the language. I had some money from the captain. I bought some small land in Brazil.
I started to produce sugar. I didn’t produce much for the first two years. But then my plantation grew fast. I was single but my life was good. I was independent.
My financial situation was better every month. We paid only small taxes in Brazil. The society was new. We didn’t have many rules from the government. Soon I had enough money. I could hire a lady for cleaning my house. I asked my friends if they knew about any good woman. One of my friends said, “I have a daughter who is eighteen years old. I think that she could work for you. She is also a very good cook.”
The next day his daughter came to my house. She was friendly but a little shy. She was also a very pretty girl. We talked shortly. I told her what I needed. The next day she came to my house. She cleaned the dirty floor and my furniture. She took out the rubbish. She came to my house every morning on Monday and on Thursday. She stayed in my house for 4 hours. She cleaned the house. She also cooked for me. She gave food to my cat too. I was always happy to see the girl. Sometimes we had breakfast or lunch together and we talked.
Then she was ill for one week. She couldn’t come to my house.
I felt a strange feeling when she wasn’t in my house. I really missed her. I thought, “Maybe, I love her.”
One week later she came to my house. I was really happy to see her. I saw that she was happy too. I hugged her. Then I kissed her. It was a long kiss.
Two weeks later I went to her father’s house. I asked him if I could marry his daughter. He was quiet. I waited for his reaction. Then he said, “I agree.”
I was the happiest man in the world. Two months later I married the daughter of my friend. We started to plan a family. This period of my life was great.
We had big plans for our family and our plantation. We needed a bigger house. We needed more money for a bigger house. I thought about the business in Africa. I could make a lot of money in Africa quickly. I spoke about Africa with my friends. Some of my friends liked this idea.
CHAPTER 7 – HURRICANE
One day, three of my friends came to our house.
They told me that they wanted to go to Africa. They asked me if I wanted to go with them. I said, “Yes, I want to go with you.” We started to prepare all the necessary things for the journey. Soon we were ready to go. I said goodbye to my wife. Then we started our journey. Our plan was to be back in two months.
We left Brazil on the first of September sixteen fifty-five. Our ship was very big. But we were only seventeen men. The ship was full of things for business. We had cups, glass, mirrors, knives and other products.
The weather was good but very hot at the beginning of our journey. A hurricane came one week later. The hurricane was extremely strong. Our ship was in danger.
When the hurricane was away, we saw that we were close to the northern part of South America. We were near the Orinoco River. This wasn’t part of our plan. The ship was broken. We couldn’t go to Africa. The captain wanted to go back and repair the ship. But I didn’t want to go back. We talked about it. We decided to go to Barbados. We wanted to repair the ship there.
Before we got to Barbados, a second hurricane came in the evening. The wind was very strong. The waves were big. Then one man shouted, “Land!”
When the man shouted “Land!”, the ship stopped. The sea wasn’t deep enough. It was bad for our broken ship. The ship could break every second. We had to go on a smaller boat. This was very dangerous. The boat was very small for 17 men. But we had to do it if we wanted to save our lives.
So we were on a small boat. The waves were very big. The wind was extremely strong. The wind pushed us to big rocks. We knew that the crash was close.
Suddenly, a big wave came. The wave overturned the boat. I was under water. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t see the other men. I didn’t see the boat.
Then my head was above water. It was only a short moment. But I could breathe. I saw a little beach between the rocks. A big wave pushed me to the beach. I was still in water. But I felt a land under my feet.
I knew that I had to stand up. I had to get out of the water before another wave came. But my body was weak. I couldn’t stand up fast. When another wave came, I was under the water again.
I couldn’t breathe for a while. But then another wave threw me back on the beach.
I tried to get up. I tried to go further from the sea. I was able to move ten metres up. I was safe. But my arms and legs were very weak. I collapsed. I didn’t move for some time.
After some time, I was able to get up. I looked for the others. I couldn’t find the other men.
CHAPTER 8 – ISLAND
I was probably the only person alive. All my friends were dead. I only found three hats and two shoes on the beach. It was horrible for me. The weather was still very bad. But the waves weren’t so big. I saw the ship. It was far from the land.
I looked around. I had almost nothing. I was wet. I had no other clothes. I had nothing to eat or drink. I had no good weapon. I had only a little knife which I found in my pocket. The situation was really bad. How could I survive with only a little knife?
First, I tried to find some fresh water. I found a small river. I drank the water.
I was scared of dangerous animals. I made a weapon from a piece of wood.
I spent the night in a large tree. When I woke up the next morning, the sea was calm. I could still see the ship. I needed to get some things from the ship.
I took off my clothes. I swam to the ship. I didn’t see a way inside the big ship. I swam around it twice. Then I saw a rope on one side of the ship. I used the rope to get up. The ship was empty. I tried to find some food.
I was lucky. Some food on the ship was dry. I also found a bottle of rum. I took the bottle with me.
Then I heard something. Somebody was on the ship. Who was it? Somebody from my friends? It wasn’t possible. My friends were all dead. I was a little scared.
I went to the place where I heard the noises. Then I saw who it was. It was a dog. It was a dog of our captain. Now, I had a friend. I wasn’t alone.
I had to carry the food, rum and the dog to the beach. But I didn’t have a small boat on the ship. I had to make a raft. I found some wood. I made a raft from the wood. I also needed some clothes. I started to look for the clothes. I found some.
When I looked for clothes, I found a box with some tools. I found a nice carpet next to the box. I also found four guns and dry gunpowder. I put everything on my raft. The sea was calm. The wind went to the land. This was all good.
Soon I was on the beach. I started to look for a place where I could stay.
I saw a hill. I thought that from the hill I could see where I was. I took a gun and I started to walk to the hill. I got to the top. I saw sea around the whole place. I was on an island.
I saw two small islands near. One was to the north. One was to the west. I also saw a big land to the south. It was about 100 kilometres far. I saw nothing to the east. I saw only the ocean.
I didn’t see any sign of people on the island. I saw only wild animals.
CHAPTER 9 – TENT
I saw many birds on the way back from the hill. But I didn’t know their names. I didn’t know if I could eat their meat. I killed one bird. But its meat wasn’t good.
I went back to the raft. I moved my things further inside the land. I wanted to go back to the ship again the next day. I wanted to move all the useful things to the island. The next storm could destroy the ship completely.
I made a small tent near the beach.
I brought all the things which could be destroyed by rain or sun inside the tent. The night was close. I put some clothes on the ground. I wanted to sleep on the clothes. I also put two guns next to my left shoulder. I also put two guns next to my right shoulder. I had many guns around me. Now, I felt safe. I was tired from all the work. I fell asleep very soon.
I swam back to the ship the next day. I made a second raft. I put many things on it. I was especially happy with seven new guns and some beds. I took all these things safely to the beach.
I went to the ship the next day again. I brought back many useful tools and other objects. For example, I found a lot of candles. I needed candles on the island. I also found two big boxes of tea. I made a lot of visits to the ship.
One day, I discovered a box which was closed. I found a key under the box. When I opened the box, I saw some coins from Europe and Brazil. Money wasn’t useful on the island. But I still took the money with me.
I also found playing cards with pictures. They were pictures of the king, the queen and other people. I could play some games. I could have some fun with the cards.
The next day, big dark clouds were in the sky. They were bigger and bigger. The wind was stronger and stronger. I visited the ship. But I didn’t make a raft on that day because a storm was close. A raft could break easily in a storm. I swam back to the beach. The wind was really strong that night. Fortunately, I was safe inside my little tent.
The ship was gone the next morning. I knew that I could stay on the island for a long time. I wanted to make a nice place for me to live. I also needed to be safe.
I could look for a cave. Or I could make a bigger tent. Maybe I could do both. I needed a place which was close to fresh water. The place had to be in the shadow. The place also needed to be easy to protect. I also needed a view of the sea. I wanted to be able to see ships.
I found a nice place next to a big hill. I decided to put my tent there. The hill protected me from one side. I built a fence on all the other sides.
There was no door in the fence. I used a ladder when I wanted to go over the fence.
I took all my things inside. I had more plans in my head.
I made two tents. One tent was big. The second tent was small. The smaller tent was inside the bigger tent.
CHAPTER 10 – CALENDAR
The bigger tent protected the gunpowder and the food from rains. I lived in the smaller tent.
When the tents were finished, I started to dig a cave at the bottom of the hill. I wanted to use the cave for food. I brought stones and earth from the cave to the fence. I made a terrace on the inside of the fence.
I still worked on the cave when a storm came one day. There was some lightning during the storm. I thought that the lightning could hit one of the big boxes with the gunpowder. The explosion could destroy everything. It could even kill me. I was scared. I needed to make a change as soon as possible.
After the storm was gone, I opened the boxes with the gunpowder. I put the gunpowder into smaller boxes and bags. I hid the boxes and bags in the rocks. I had a lot of gunpowder, so this took me three days.
I also hunted every day. It was a break from the hard work. And I also needed some meat. Thanks to this I also started to know the island and the animals more. I discovered some goats. I hunted the goats. Then I had enough meat.
I was sad sometimes. I thought about my wife. I missed her a lot. I thought about my friends in Brazil. I thought about my parents.
I thought that living on this island alone was without meaning. I knew that travelling by sea could change your life completely. It could be great but it could be horrible too. I knew that my friends from the ship were dead. I knew that I was the only person alive. I was lucky to be alive. I was also lucky because I had all the things like food, guns and clothes. I couldn’t survive without these things.
I decided to make a big cross. I put it on the beach. It was near the place of my arrival to the island.
I wrote on it the date of my arrival. It was the 30th of September, 1659. I wanted to keep information about time. The cross was my calendar. I made a small cut in the cross every day. The seventh cut was longer. It marked the end of the week. The beginning of each month was also a longer cut.
One day, I thought about my situation. I had negative thoughts. This wasn’t good. I decided to make a list of all the good and bad things in my life.
I was alone on this island. I had nobody for a conversation. I had only a little chance that I could see England again.
But I was alive. I was safe. I had my freedom. I had food to eat. This was all positive. I didn’t have any good clothes, but I didn’t need a lot of clothes on this island. I had a dog. He understood some words. He understood when I said, “Sit down. Come here. Bring it. Don’t do it. Don’t jump. Let’s do it. Let’s eat. Let’s run.”
This list showed me that my situation wasn’t perfect. But I had also some good things in my life.
I tried to concentrate on positive things only. I continued to make my place better and better. I made the cave bigger. More space in the cave helped me keep all my things organized.
CHAPTER 11 – BOOK
I started to make some furniture. I needed a chair and a table. I used the wood from my rafts and the ship. It took me five days to make a chair and a table. Next, I made shelves inside the cave. I put my tools on the shelves. I put my clothes and guns in the cave too. My guns were on the walls too.
I was very pleased when my work was finished. Everything was well organized. I could easily find what I needed.
I decided to write a book about my life on the island. I described my days in the book. I started with my first day on the island. I wrote everything what I remembered.
I also wrote what I thought. It was good for me when I put my thoughts on paper.
I wrote one page every day at the beginning. But when I got to the present, I wrote only one page every week. I wrote only important events.
After some time my days on the island started to be similar. But they were never boring. I had always something to do.
Every morning, I walked for a few hours. Then I worked until noon. I had lunch. Then I slept after lunch for two hours. Then I continued my work until the evening.
I made my cave bigger with the tools which I had. I wanted to have a big cave.
The cave was my kitchen, living room, cellar and sometimes a bedroom all in one.
When the cave was almost done, a lot of earth fell down from one side. I wasn’t in the cave when it happened. I was lucky. If a lot of earth fell on me, I could die.
First, I had to clean the cave. Then I decided to put long boards on the sides and also on the ceiling. I didn’t want the accident to happen again. This work took about one week.
In December I continued to work in my small camp. The weather wasn’t very good for twenty days. It rained day and night. But it was still warm. So I worked inside. It was never cold on the island. It was good for me.
At the end of December I killed a goat. I also hurt another goat. Its leg was broken. The goat couldn’t walk. I took the goat home. I looked after it. After two weeks the goat wasn’t scared. It could eat from my hand. I started to think about keeping animals. I could have food when my gunpowder was finished.
In January I traveled through the island. I found more goats in the centre of the island. The animals were very shy. It was difficult to get close to the goats.
I wanted to try to domesticate some goats. I only needed an opportunity to do it. I had a plan. I returned with my dog the next day. He was my hunting partner.
I told my dog, “Sit down. Wait. Don’t move.” Then I went around the goats but in a big distance.
CHAPTER 12 – CORN
When the goats were between me and my dog, I hid behind a tree. Then I shouted at my dog, “Come here.” He started to run to me and the goats too. I stayed in my position behind the tree. When one of the goats was close to me, I jumped and I caught its leg. But then the goat kicked me with its second leg in my nose.
It hurt a lot. I let the goat go and the goat was soon gone.
We weren’t successful. This wasn’t a good way to catch a goat. We had to do it differently. I told my dog, “Let’s go home. I need some rest.”
I worked on my fence from January to March. It took me a long time because I wanted to make it very strong. During this time, I found pigeons on the island.
Their homes weren’t in the trees. They lived in holes which were in the rocks. It was easy to catch them. Their meat was great. I could also cook and eat their eggs.
When I worked on my fence, I found a small bag. I remembered corn in the bag, but now there were only some leave and dust in the bag. I took the bag outside my camp. I emptied the bag because I needed it for the gunpowder. This happened shortly before the rains.
A month later, I found a few green leaves in that place. It was young corn.
Words couldn’t express how happy I was. I had corn on the island. It was fantastic. I could bake bread in the future.
Something happened on March 16th. I was inside my cave when pieces of earth started to fall from the ceiling. I was scared. I didn’t want my work to be destroyed. I ran outside the cave. I noticed that the ground started to shake everywhere.
It was an earthquake. I was shocked and scared. Some big stones fell from the hill. But I was lucky. They didn’t hit my tent. The earthquake was finished soon. But I was afraid to go inside. I sat on the ground in front of my tent.
I started to think, “Maybe, it was better not to sleep in the cave. It wasn’t very safe in case another earthquake came.”
But I didn’t want to sleep in the tent. So I decided to make a house instead of the tent. I wanted to use the cave only as a cellar.
The next day, I started to build the house. It was in April. It took me three months to build the house. But I was happy with my new home.
I was ill in the last week of July. I had a temperature. I couldn’t get out of the bed. I was very weak. I could do nothing in that state. I had crazy dreams. The dreams weren’t very logical. But for me they were real when I had these dreams.
CHAPTER 13 – DREAM
One of my dreams was really crazy. I was in a pub. The pub was on my island. I wanted to drink some rum. But the waitress was very lazy. She sat at the bar. She did nothing. I didn’t like it. I was angry but I waited.
Then my wife came to the pub. She gave me a piece of paper with some text. It was a message from her father. He wrote, “Come home. You have to work on the plantations.”
But I didn’t want to go home. I went to the kitchen in the pub. There was my mother in the kitchen. She prepared some steaks. She also cooked soup. I tasted the soup. It tasted fantastic.
Then two Englishmen came to the pub. They wanted to sell gunpowder. One man looked like a gentleman. But the second man was horrible.
I told the horrible man, “I’m sorry. I don’t need your gunpowder. I have a lot of gunpowder in my camp.”
“What did you say?” said the horrible man. “Our gunpowder isn’t good for you? This is the reason why we are here. We travelled from London. You have to buy our gunpowder.”
I said, “Thank you. I don’t want your gunpowder.”
The man was really angry. Our conversation wasn’t good. He said some horrible things about me. I said some horrible things about him.
The conversation got to a point when he wanted to kill me. He took his gun. I started to run away. He shot at me. Then I woke up.
One week later, I felt better. But I still needed to relax. I needed to sleep a lot.
In August I was OK again. I still felt a little weak. I knew that I needed to do some physical exercise. The next ten days I walked around the island. This exercise made me feel better.
When I felt strong again, I decided to explore the whole island. I found a new interesting part of the island. It was a valley with a lake. The valley was in the central part of the island.
I found melons and grapes there. The melons were very sweet. There were also apples, oranges and lemons in this valley.
I wanted to take some fruit home. But I needed a big bag. I didn’t have a big bag with me.
I collected some fruit. I put the fruit in one place. I returned to my cave. I took a big a bag for the fruit.
When I was back, I saw that my fruit was destroyed. Some fruit was eaten, some fruit was broken. I thought that some wild animals ate the fruit.
Still, I liked the fruit valley. The nature was beautiful there. I wanted to live there. I thought, “I can move here. But the beach is far from this place. I have to be close to the beach because I need to see a ship which can save me.”
CHAPTER 14 – HOUSE
I didn’t move to the fruit valley, but I decided to build another house there.
I started to visit the valley more often. Step by step I was building a house there. The house was small. There was a double fence around it. The house was protected like a castle.
Again, I used a ladder to go in and out. But I had also stairs on the inside of the fence. I used stairs on the inside and I used ladder on the outside.
This activity took me the whole of August and the beginning of September. But I enjoyed it a lot.
The fruit valley gave me so much energy. I felt so healthy and strong there.
Sometimes when I was in the valley at night, I watched the moon and the stars. I thought about my wife. I thought about my family in England. I knew that they could see the same moon. They could see the same stars. But we couldn’t be together. I thought about my family very often. I wished the best for them.
I also thought about all the people who could see the moon. I imagined the places where they lived. I felt connected with all the people. Sometimes I felt connected with the whole universe.
I also thought about God. I had some questions for God. I asked him, “Why am I on this island? What is the reason for it? Why am I still alive when my friends are dead?”
I didn’t have answers to many of these questions. But I trusted God. I believed that he knew what he was doing.
Then the rainy season started. The rainy season continued until the middle of October. This was my first year on the island. When the rains ended, I returned to my valley house. I saw that the fence was all green. New leaves were growing everywhere. This wasn’t only beautiful. It was also useful because my house was hidden. It was really hard to see the house.
The leaves created shadow. It was very nice to stay there. I decided to make a fence from the same wood around my first house too.
When the rainy season was finished, I put my corn seeds into the ground. I was afraid that something bad could happen. I only used a half of the seeds. This was a good idea because, unfortunately, none of these seeds grew up.
I put the second half of the seeds into the ground before the next rainy season. This time, they grew up alright. I could say that I had a little farm on the island.
I could see that the seasons on the island were different from England. There were no spring, summer, autumn and winter on the island. But there were two rainy and two dry seasons. With this information, I could now plan when to put seeds into the ground.
CHAPTER 15 – BASKET
I started to make longer and longer trips around the island. Soon, I realized that I needed a basket for these trips. With a basket I could carry more food when I made my trips around the island. I could also carry more fruit from the fruit valley.
I cut branches from the same tree which I used for my fences. I dried these branches. I used the branches to make the basket.
When I finished the basket, I decided to make a longer trip around the island. I went through the valley with my second house. After the valley I found some grass fields. They were very flat. They had a lot of flowers. They smelled so good.
A lot of insects were flying around these flowers. I saw some big butterflies. Their wings were ten centimetres wide.
There were small trees around these fields. I found nuts on these trees. These nuts were different from nuts in England. They had a different shape. They were also sweeter than nuts in England.
I also discovered some new animals on this side of the island. There were many parrots, rabbits and grey cats there.
I even caught one parrot. I took the parrot with me. There were many colours on his body. I saw red, green, purple, orange, blue, pink and yellow.
There were also a lot of turtles and other birds there. This part of the island was nicer. There was more food in this part. But I didn’t want to move.
My dog caught a young goat on the way back. I saved the goat. I took the goat with me. I wanted to keep goats. Now I had another chance.
I left the goat in my valley home. First I wanted to prepare some space for the goat in my first home.
I was so tired from the trip that I was relaxing the whole day.
I made a cage for the parrot. I brought home the goat. The goat started to calm down.
I made a map of the whole island. I put these newly discovered places on the map.
The time went very quickly. Soon it was September again. This was my second year on the island. I wasn’t as sad as in the beginning. I accepted my situation. I was happy with what I had.
My days were similar. I hunted in the morning. I cooked at noon. I was relaxing in the afternoon when the sun was the strongest. And I worked in the evening. This was my typical day. I also taught the parrot to say his name. His name was Poll.
My corn fields kept me busy in November and December. The wild goats and rabbits were eating the little plants. I didn’t want to lose my corn, so I quickly made a fence around the area with the seeds. I made a gate which I could open quickly in the fence. I put my dog inside the fence. He protected my corn at night.
Soon, the plants were tall, but another danger came. Birds started to eat the seeds. I shot some. And I was watching my corn until all the birds were gone.
CHAPTER 16 – BREAD
I had my first corn at the end of December. It wasn’t a lot of corn. I didn’t want to eat the corn. I decided to keep all the seeds. My goal was to put the seeds in the ground again and have more corn later.
I thought, “I will need some pots for the seeds. I will look for clay around the island.”
I found some clay. I tried to make a pot. I had no success at the beginning.
People in England made beautiful pots. But I didn’t know the whole process well enough to be able to make pots.
However, I tried again and again. It was a long process but after two months of experimenting and trying I made two large pots.
I put the pots into round baskets. I put dry grass between the baskets and the pots. The dry grass and the baskets protected the pots very well.
I continued to make small pots. Their quality improved. I also made long but not very high pots. I put sea water in these pots. When the water was gone, I had salt.
One day, I found a broken piece of one pot in the fire. The fire made the piece as hard as stone and it was very red too.
This gave me a good idea. I took one pot and made a fire around the pot. The pot was very hard after a few hours. I was happy with the result.
I thought, “I will also need a tool to make flour from seeds.” I took a big piece of hard wood for that. I made a hole in the wood. Then I took another piece of hard wood and I broke the seeds in this hole with the wood.
The flour stayed on the bottom of the hole.
I thought, “I will need something to bake bread.” I had an idea. I mixed the flour with water. Then I took two stones. I put the stones near the fire. When they were very hot, I put the bread between the stones. This was how I made my first bread on the island. It was during my third year on the island. The bread wasn’t perfect but I liked it a lot. It was my first bread after a long time.
I thought about travelling around the island by sea. I thought that it was possible to make a canoe from a big tree. I found one big tree. I cut the tree and I started to make a hole in it.
One day, when I was working on the canoe, I realized that I didn’t know how to move it from the forest to the beach. I tried everything to move the canoe.
I even thought about digging a channel, but it was all useless. There was a hill between the forest and the beach. I was really sad that I had to leave the canoe in the forest. Many days of work were lost. I didn’t believe that I could make such a mistake. I had to plan my work better next time.
CHAPTER 17 – CANOE
During my fourth year on the island my clothes were already very old. I started to use the skins of the animals. I made a cap and other clothes from the skins. They kept me cool in the strong sun. And they protected me from the heavy rain. But the clothes weren’t enough. I also needed an umbrella. It took me some time to make the umbrella but I was successful in the end.
I was quite happy with my life on the island. I had everything what I needed for my life on the island.
My life on the island continued for the next 5 years. During this time I decided to make a new canoe. The canoe was smaller and it was easier to move. I wanted to travel around the island in it. When the canoe was finished, I put food, water and tools in it. I was ready for the trip. I wanted to test if I could go around the island in my canoe.
The trip started during my 6th year on the island on the 6th of June. The beginning of my trip wasn’t easy for me. I was in danger when my journey started. I had to go around some rocks in the sea.
When I wanted to go back to the coast, I realized that there was a strong current. The current was taking me away from the island. The situation was horrible. I was scared. I thought, “I will die in the open sea.” I didn’t have enough food and water for a long journey.
I fought very hard against the current for two hours. Finally I managed to get close to my island. I could continue my trip around the island. Now I knew that I was stronger than the currents around the island. It made me feel good.
Soon, I found a small river which went further inside the island. But I got nowhere because soon the river was very narrow. Stones blocked the way. I couldn’t continue. I got off my canoe. I went to explore this part of the island. It wasn’t far from the part of the island which I knew. I even found the way to my house in the valley. I was so tired from the trip that I fell asleep. I was woken up by a voice. The voice was saying my name, “Robinson, where are you? Robinson, where are you?”
First I was scared, but then I saw my parrot Poll on top of the fence. He knew this sentence from me. And he was saying it with the same intonation as me. I was surprised to see him here. I thought, “Why wasn’t he at home?” Still, I was happy to hear somebody talk to me. I left the canoe where it was and I returned home with the parrot.
I didn’t make another such trip for a year. I stayed in my house most of the time. I kept making tools and pots. I was better at making baskets.
CHAPTER 18 – FOOT
It was eleven years sincemy first moment on the island. One day, I noticedthat I didn’t have much gunpowder. It started to worryme. I needed gunpowder to kill animals.
My first goat was very old. It was too late to try to find a male for her. I wanted meat but I didn’t have the heart to kill her. One day, she died a naturaldeath.
I thought, “With lessand less gunpowder I will have to find another way to get meat. I will make some trap. Tomorrow, I will start to make the trap.”
I wasn’t successful at the beginning. But then I caught three young goats. They were one maleand two females. I took the goats home with me.
I kept the goats inside a small area with a fence around it. But it was too small for three goats. I made a fence for them around a big area. It took me three months to build this fence, but the area was very nice. There was a lot of grass and water for them.
After some time, the young goats were very calm. Soon, they ate out of my hand. In two years, I had twelve goats inside my fence. And in three years I had more than twenty goats.
I had a lot of milk and meat thanks to this. I experimenteda fewtimes, and I was able to make cheese and butter. My table was full now and I had a lot of animals around me. I had my old dog, goats and Poll, my parrot. The only thing which I still missed was somebody for a conversation.
One day, I went to the part of the sea where the strong current was. On the way there, I thought about how strangeI looked. I had a big hat, a short jacket and short trousers. They were all made from animal skin. I didn’t have socks or shoes but I put some goat skins around my feet. I had two belts. One belt was for the gun and knife, and one belt for the gunpowder. I also carried a basket on my back and an umbrella above my head. My beard was very long. I realized that life on the island made me a different person.
One day, I was walking on the beach. I was going to check my canoe. Then I saw something surprising. I saw a mark of a human foot on the sand. I looked around but I didn’t see anybody. I was scared. I ran back to my house. I was so scared that it was difficult to sleep at night. I started to think, “Maybe it was all just my imagination.
Or maybe it was the mark of my own foot and it was stupid to be scared.” This thought made me feel better. I left my house and I went to see the mark in the sand again.
CHAPTER 19 – CANNIBALS
When I came to the mark of the foot, I saw that it was much bigger than the size of my foot. It was impossible that it was my foot.
I was scared again. I started to panic. I thought, “I will destroy my corn fields and my valley house. I have to hide my activity on the island.”
I was so afraid that I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I finally slept a little in the morning.
My head was clear when I woke up. Now, it wasn’t so strange that people lived on the islands around. I thought, “Maybe it was their first visit here. Maybe they won’t come again.”
I felt better after these thoughts. But still, I wanted to be safe.
During the following month I made another fence around my house and I made holes in the fence through which I could easily fire guns if I was attacked. Now I had a house which was very well protected. Nobody could come easily near me.
I also worried about my goats. I divided the animals into two groups. I built a smaller fence in another part of the island. I put one group of the goats there. It took me a lot of time, but my animals were safe.
It was the sixteenth year of my life on the island when something very sad happened. My dog died. I was crying for three days. I went to my goats and I told them how sad I was. They didn’t understand my words but I felt that they understood me. They felt my emotions. They were unusually calm and quiet.
It was now two years after the foot in the sand on the beach. One day, when I was walking on the beach, I thought that I saw a canoe far in the sea. I wasn’t sure, so I just continued my walk.
Then I saw a thing which shocked me. The beach was full of parts of human bodies. Heads, hands, feet, fingers and teeth were everywhere. There was a black place after a fire.
I was angry and scared at the same time. “They were here again,” I thought.
I couldn’t look at this horrible scene for a long time. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach. I went back home and I thought about what to do.
I decided not to go out to sea with my canoe because I had no chance against a group of cannibals in the open sea. I also decided not to use guns because the sound of a gun was very loud. But I always had guns with me for protection.
I started to think that maybe in the future I could kill some of the cannibals and save their prisoners. I started to look for a place near the beach where I could hide and prepare for the attack.
Then I changed my opinion. I thought that it wasn’t reasonable to fight the cannibals. I didn’t know these people. They didn’t attack me. Maybe, it wasn’t good to attack them.
Finally, I stopped the preparations and I decided to act only if they attacked me first.
CHAPTER 20 – CAVE
I was hiding my activity on the island as much as possible. I was very careful. I tried not to be loud. I was worried when I made a fire. But I needed fire because I needed to cook. So when I made a fire, I tried to make as little smoke as possible. Smoke could go very high and it could be seen from a distance.
Once I discovered a small cave in the forest near the beach. I went inside, but when my eyes were OK with the dark, I saw two eyes which were looking at me. I jumped outside. I was scared to death. I waited but nothing happened. I went slowly to the beginning of the cave and I listened. I heard something. It sounded as if there was somebody injured inside. I took my gun and I entered the cave slowly.
When my eyes could see again, I discovered an old goat. It was dying in the cave.
I returned to the cave the next day. I found that the goat was dead. I looked around the place and I saw that it was very safe. I thought, “It will be a good place near the beach where I could hide.” So I brought some of my guns and some gunpowder there.
It was twenty-three years since my first moment on this island. I was living comfortably now and I had many animals around me. Poll was repeating my name and some other words very nicely. I had two more parrots and I taught the parrots to say my name. I had more than thirty goats.
It was the last month of my twenty-third year on the island. I was walking to my fields early one morning when I saw fire on the beach.
I immediately returned to my house and I prepared all my guns. I took my telescope and I went close to the beach. I hid myself and I watched what was happening on the beach.
I saw nine naked people. They had two canoes. It looked like that they were waiting for the high tide.
When they left, I went to the beach. The beach was full of blood and bones again. This made me angry. “I will kill as many of the cannibals as possible next time when I see them,” I thought. But they didn’t return for a long time.
One day in the evening after a big storm,something happened which disturbed me. I heard the sound of a gun at sea. I got out of my house and I saw a light which was coming from the sea. A second shot followed. I thought that it was coming from a ship in danger which was asking for help. I took a lot of dry wood and I ran to the beach where I made a big fire. They probably saw the fire because they fired again. I thought, “I will speak to somebody tonight. This is great.”
I kept the fire until midnight but nobody came to my beach. It was strange. It was something what I couldn’t understand. “Maybe in the morning I will know more,” I thought.
CHAPTER 21 – VISITORS
The next day in the morning, I saw the ship. The ship stopped far from the beach. The ship looked empty. I didn’t understand it. I expected the people who fired the gun yesterday. I really wanted to communicate to somebody. I missed communication with real people very much.
I took my canoe and I decided to go to the ship. I wanted to see if somebody survived. The ship looked Spanish, and it was completely destroyed. When I got closer, I saw a dog. He was very happy to see me. I gave him bread and I gave him water. He was hungry and extremely thirsty. I found nobody on the ship. “What happened to the men from the ship?” I thought. It was very strange. I didn’t have an answer to this question. It was a mystery.
There were many boxes with different things on the ship. Some boxes were small, some boxes were big. Many big boxes were full of bottles with alcohol. But these boxes were too heavy. I couldn’t take the boxes on the canoe. I found guns and gunpowder. I took them to the canoe. I also found some other useful things.
I returned to the island in the evening with several small boxes on my canoe. I had some new shirts and also gold, silver and a lot of gunpowder.
The gunpowder was important for me. On the island, gunpowder was more useful than money or gold.
There was something else which I needed very much. I needed shoes. I found two pairs of shoes on board the ship. I took the shoes with me.
I put all my new things in the cave. I made five trips to the ship. I took everything useful for me. Then I hid the canoe. Everything went back to normal.
Time went quickly. I often thought about the men from the ship and the cannibals on the beach.
It was one night in March when I dreamed that 2 canoes with cannibals landed on the beach. One of their prisoners ran away. He came to my house. I saved him. Then he became my friend. He helped me go through the dangerous waters around the island.
I woke up, but the dream stayed in my mind. I realized that with someone’s help, it could be possible to escape from the island. Maybe I could save one of the prisoners of the cannibals.
I decided to watch the beach more. I went every day around the beach for the next two years. I hoped to see the canoes.
My wish became reality one afternoon. I saw 5 canoes with more than thirty men on the beach. I couldn’t attack so many men. I had to wait. I watched the visitors with my telescope.
The visitors made a fire and they started to dance around it. I also saw two other men. They were tied. They were prisoners.
The two tied men were taken to the fire after a while. One was beaten and killed. The cannibals painted their bodies with his blood. It was like a theatre. But this wasn’t a theatre. It was real. It was horrible. But I couldn’t do anything. There were too many cannibals.
The second man waited on the side. When the cannibals didn’t look, the second man jumped up and he started to run away. He was running in my direction. I ran to the beach and I hid behind a tree.
I saw that he was followed only by two cannibals. This was the right moment to save the prisoner.
The man ran as fast as possible but the cannibals were closer and closer to him. Their speed was faster than his.
CHAPTER 22 – FRIDAY
I prepared two guns and I waited behind the tree. The prisoner ran directly to my tree. But he didn’t see me. I didn’t move.
Then he ran around me. I was still hidden behind the tree.
When the first cannibal ran close to me, I jumped from behind the tree. He was shocked. I shot him. The second cannibal saw this. He tried to shoot an arrow at me. I had to shoot him too.
The prisoner stopped when he heard the shots and he turned. He was scared.
I smiled at him. I showed him that it was OK to come closer. He came to me. He went down to his knees. He put his head on the ground. Then he took my foot. He put my foot on his head. I showed him to stand up.
He stood up. He looked at the dead cannibals. He went to their bodies. He looked at the holes in their bodies. He probably couldn’t understand what happened to the cannibals. It was unbelievableto him.
He took the arrows from the dead men. We took the bodies of the cannibals. We hid the bodies in the forest near. Then we went into the deeperforest.
I took the man to my cave. The cave was my secret. Nobody could find us there. I gave him bread, meat and some water. He was so tired that he fell asleep almost immediately.
I had an opportunity to look at him. I saw that he was young, slim but very strong. I thought that he was about 25 years old. He had long black hair, dark skin and a pleasant face.
I let him sleep and I went outside. I stayed near the cave and I watched for the cannibals. But they didn’t look for us.
Three hours later, the man came out of the cave. He showed me how happy he was that he was alive and safe.
I started speaking to him. I named him Friday. It was Friday when I saved his life. I told him my name and I taughthim “yes” and “no”.
We stayed in the cave that night. The next day, we went on top of the hill. I saw through my telescope that the canoes were gone. We were alone on the island.
We went carefully to the beach. First we went to the place where we hid the bodies of the dead cannibals.
When we found the bodies, Friday wanted to eat the cannibals. I was angry. I showed to Friday that it wasn’t good to eat them. Here I understood that Friday was also a cannibal.
We buried the cannibals. Then we walked to the beach. What we saw was horrible. There were human bones all around. The sand was red with blood.
I asked Friday to collect all the body parts. I prepared a big fire. I decided to burn the body parts in the fire.
We went to my house. I made a little tent for Friday between the two fences which were around my house.
I took all his weapons away. I wanted to feel safe. After a while, I realizedthat I didn’t have to do it. Friday was a very good and honestman. He was like a child to me. I was like a father to him. In many situations later he showed me that he was willing to give his life for me.
I was very happy to have Friday on the island. I began teaching him everything what he needed to know about life like a European.
First I taught him some new words. I started with hi, hello, bye, thank you. It wasn’t easy at the beginning. But I was patient because I was happy that I could speak to somebody.
CHAPTER 23 – CONVERSATION
Two days later, I shot a young goat. Friday was scared of the gun. He didn’t understand how such a small thing could kill a goat. He didn’t want to touch the gun.
Later I saw how he talked to the gun. He probably asked the gun not to kill him.
We took the goat. We made a nice soup. Before the soup was finished, Friday went to the forest and he brought some herbs. He put the herbs into the soup. The herbs were similar to pepper. The soup smelled fantastic and it tasted fantastic too.
We cooked some of the goat meat the next day with sauce. Again, Friday brought some herbs and also plants. The herbs made the sauce taste great. They made a big difference. And we made a nice salad from the plants.
I taught Friday how to prepare corn and bake bread. He could do it as well as me a few days later.
Then we started expanding my garden to have more corn. In all activities, Friday helped me a lot. He was also very good at catching fish.
Our cooperation was simplygreat. We were a good team.
I wanted to teach Friday to speak English very well. I wanted to teach him English as fast as possible. I wanted to be a good teacher. I took my role very seriously. I thought about the best method to teach him English. When I spoke to him fast and when I used all the words and grammar, he didn’t understand me. So I tried to speak mainly in the present. And I used simple words. I also said only short sentences. This way, Friday understood more. We spoke about many topics.
When Friday didn’t understand something I pointed at it. Or I tried to explain the word to him. If it didn’t help, I made a picture of the thing in the sand.
Soon Friday started to understand many of my sentences in the present. He also started to use some words. His pronunciation was very bad at the beginning. But it wasn’t important for me. I understood him. And I was very happy that somebody spoke to me.
Friday was a good student. He was clever and he was improvingquickly. Soon he could say some words like an Englishman. Of course not all the words. But the words which he said correctlymade me very happy.
I saw that Friday very often repeated aloudwhat I said. I think that it also helped him to learn so fast. I thought, “Learning a language is quite easy. You only need to copy what you hear and if you don’t understand something, you need a picture of it. Then you need a lot of practice. This is the best system.”
Friday’s progresswas fast. He was able to talk more and more every day. In a couple of months we could have a basicsimple conversation.
Friday liked my tools. They were very interesting for him. He especially liked the telescope. He borrowedthe telescope very often. He went to one of the hills. And he watched everything around.
Once, I asked him about his people and how he became a prisoner. He told me that they ate human meat like their opponents. In fact, in the past he did a ritual on the other side of my island. He was probably one of the cannibals who I saw a long time ago.
He told me about the sea and the currents in the sea. Thanksto Friday, I learned about the history, culture and traditions of his people.
CHAPTER 24 – KNIFE
I told Friday my personal story and I described England and Europe to him.
I told him about our cities, schools, ships and travelling around the world. I told him that education was important in Europe and that we studied from books. It was all new to him. Friday’s people didn’t need schools on the islands. They had all what they needed for their life.
When I felt that I could trust him enough, I showed him how gunpowder worked. I taught him how to use a gun. I gave him a knife and a belt. He was happy with my presents.
He said that he saw a similar knife before. I asked him to tell me more. He explained that his people saved white men from a small boat and that they still lived with them. He counted seventeen Europeans who lived with his people.
I thought that these men could be the sailors from the ship which came to my island some time ago. They probably saved themselves in a boat. I didn’t find anybody alive when I went on board.
Friday told me that they were OK. I was happy to hear that some Europeans lived not very far from my island. I started to plan how to meet the Europeans.
The next day, we went on a small trip around the island. First we went to the cross where I wanted to mark another day. “What is it?” asked Friday when we came to the cross. I explained that we have seven days in a week. These days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday are also called weekend.
When Friday heard the word Friday, he laughed. I explained to him that I saved him on Friday. That’s why I called him Friday. Now, he fully understood the meaning of his name.
During the walk Friday told me, “If we built a canoe and go to my island, I will tell my people how you saved my life.”
I took Friday to the other side of the island. I showed him my canoe there. But he said, “This canoe is too small for the two people. We have to make a bigger canoe.”
So, we started making a bigger canoe. We had to cut a big tree and I showed him how to cut the inside and form a canoe. It took us a month to do this and two days to move it to the beach. The canoe was ready and we were ready too.
The day before we wanted to go, Friday went to the beach. He came back very quickly. He looked very scared. Before I asked him what happened, he said that there were three canoes on the beach.
He was scared because he thought the cannibals came to find him. He said, “There is a war between two groups of local people. We are neighbours but we don’t like each other. We had many conflicts in the past. There was never peace. We kill each other whenever we can. When they see me, they will kill me.”
I told him, “Don’t worry. We are strong. And maybe they didn’t come for you today. We will see.”
We took 15 guns. We went on top of a hill. We saw 14 cannibals, 2 prisoners and 3 canoes on the beach. They stopped close to the place where the forest was near the beach. Thanks to this it was easier to attack the cannibals and save the prisoners.
We went to them quietly through the forest. I thought about my right to kill the cannibals. I had no reason to shoot so many people who did nothing wrong to me.
After some thinking I decided only to watch and attack the cannibals only if it was necessary.
CHAPTER 25 – FATHER
When we were very close to the beach, we saw that the cannibals were around the fire. They started eating eat the first of their prisoners. The second prisoner was still alive. He wasn’t one of Friday’s people. He was European. The cannibals wanted to eat him too. I decided to save him if it was possible.
We moved closer to the cannibals but we were still hidden behind the trees.
Twelve cannibals were still around the fire, but two cannibals went for the white man. When I saw this, I prepared the guns and I asked Friday to do the same. Then we fired quickly at the cannibals from six guns. We killed 3 and seriously injured 2 of the cannibals. The rest jumped up. But they didn’t know where to run. They didn’t know from which direction the danger came. Some men ran to their canoes. Some cannibals stayed on the beach.
We continued to shoot and we shot three other cannibals. After that we took our guns and we ran to the beach. We shouted very loud. I ran to the prisoner and Friday shot the nearest cannibal. I freed the European. He said something in Spanish to me. I gave him a gun. He was weak but he could shoot from a gun if some cannibal attacked him.
The cannibals were shocked by our sudden attack. Our unusual guns scared them a lot. Only two cannibals tried to fight us. We shot them with our guns.
Friday fought very well. He quickly killed one cannibal who was injured. The second injured cannibal ran into the forest. Friday ran after him and he killed him with his knife.
Only three cannibals were able to run away. They jumped into their canoe and they started to leave. Friday shot at the cannibals, but he didn’t hit them. It was dangerous to let them go because they could tell their people about us.
We wanted to jump into one canoe and follow the cannibals. But to our surprise, we found another man on the bottom of the canoe. He was scared. He didn’t see the fight. He only heard it. Ropes around his neck were very tight. He was in great pain and it was difficult for him to breathe.
I quickly cut the ropes. When Friday saw him, he started crying. Then he laughed and he hugged the man. Then he jumped and began dancing around him. Then he cried and laughed at the same time.
When the strongest emotions were gone, Friday told me that the prisoner was his father.
I felt tears in my eyes when I saw the son’s love for his father.
This happy incident delayed us and the cannibals were already gone.
Friday massaged his father’s hands and feet to bring more blood to them. Soon his father felt much better.
When they talked, Friday suddenly jumped up and ran to the forest as fast as he could.
When he came back, he had a bottle full of fresh water. He gave the water to his father who was extremely thirsty. After he drank, I asked Friday to give the rest of the water to the Spanish. He needed water very much too.
The Spanish thanked me a lot. He couldn’t walk. He was very weak. I asked Friday to massage his feet too. It helped him.
Then I asked the Spanish to go with Friday’s help to the canoe. We wanted to take them to our house. However, Friday was young and strong. He had a lot of power. He just took the Spanish on his back and carried him to the canoe. Then he carefully put him inside the canoe.
CHAPTER 26 – DINNER
When the Spanish was inside the canoe, Friday jumped out of the canoe and he pushed it along the beach.
We soon reached the place where I saved Friday. Friday helped our new guests out of the canoe. But they weren’t able to walk. We had to carry our guests to our home.
We had another problem when we reached our house. Friday’s father and the Spanish couldn’t go over the fence. I thought about the solution. I wanted to pullthem over the fence. But then I realizedthat the cannibals were already gone. We could stay outside the fence.
We made a tent for our guests outside the fence. We prepared soft beds for them too.
When we finished this, I started cooking dinner. Friday brought some fish and we cooked the fish quickly. We had dinner together in the tent. Friday translated for me because the Spanish could speak Friday’s language.
I asked Friday to go back to the beach after the dinner. He brought back the weapons which we left in a hurry. I also asked him to bury the bodies of the killed cannibals the next day. He did as I said.
I spoke with Friday’s father the next morning. I wanted to know what he thought about the cannibals. I asked, “Will they return? Will they attack us?”
He said, “They will probably never attack us. The guns created a great shock. They couldn’t understand how we won. I heard them shout that you and Friday were spiritssent from heaven.”
I still worried that the cannibals could return. But it never happened.
When our guests were strong enough, I began to think about the journey by sea again. I asked the Spanish about his arrival on these islands. He said that he was on a ship which went to Havana. There were sixteen Europeans on Friday’s island.
They were Spanish and Portuguese. He told me that the storm brokethe ship near my island. They saved themselves in a boat. Now they lived with Friday’s people.
I asked the Spanish if they tried to make another sea journey. Of course, they wanted to go home, but they had no tools to build a ship. I showed the Spanish the tools which I had from the ship. He said that with my tools it was possible to build a ship.
I thought that the Spanish and Friday’s father could return to their island. They could tell other Europeans about the possibility to build a ship. Together we could go to Brazil or Havana or maybe Europe.
However, the Spanish wanted something else. He said, “It will be better if we wait for half a year. There isn’t enough food for sixteen other men on the island.
We won’thave enough food to eat when we build the ship.” I agreed with him.
He and Friday’s father helped us expand the fences and fields.
We caught more goats. We increasedthe number of goats to 50 animals. We collected a lot of fruit. Then we dried the fruit.
We also started preparing the materials for the ship. We chose a few trees. I showed the others how to cut the trees. Then we formed them into long and thin pieces.
In half a year, we had a lot of food. We had a lot of corn. We needed more baskets and pots for the corn. We saw that the Spanish was very good at making baskets. He had a great talent. His baskets were excellent. He also used a special techniqueto make baskets. The technique was fast and effective. He made the baskets three times faster than me. I asked him to teach me his skill. I wasn’t as fast as him. But I was faster than before.
CHAPTER 27 – ENGLISHMEN
We put all the food in my cave. It was safe there. Then the Spanish and Friday’s father could go back. They could bring the other men here.
We gave them food and four guns in case they were attacked again. Then they took the canoe and they went away.
Two days passed since they left when something unexpected happened.
I was woken up by Friday at about 6 o’clock in the morning. “Are they here?” I asked Friday. He said, “Not yet. But somebody else is here. I saw a boat.”
I went to the top of the nearest hill. I saw the boat. It was clear that these people weren’t the friends who we expected. The boat came from a completely different direction. I could also see a ship. I knew this shape. The ship was English.
I was confused. It was true that I was happy to see Englishmen after twenty-seven years on the island. But I was also worried. The island wasn’t near ways of English ships. Also, there were no storms recently. So why were they here? Maybe the men were pirates. Maybe they wanted to hide something on the island.
I decided to be very careful. Friday and I stayed hidden and we watched the visitors for a while. The boat came to the beach and I counted eleven men. Soon I saw that they were all Englishmen.
Three of the men had hands tied together. The eight other men took them to the beach. Two prisoners were calm, but the third prisoner tried to say something. He looked very scared. He asked the men in the boat for something.
When Friday saw this, he turned to me and told me that Englishmen also ate people.
I told him that they definitely didn’t plan to eat the prisoners. I thought that they wanted to shoot them.
After a while I noticed that this wasn’t their plan. The men from the boat started to explore the island. The three tied prisoners sat on the beach with two men as guards. The prisoners looked hopeless. I remembered my arrival on the island. I also felt lost first, exactly like those prisoners.
Low tide came soon. The level of the sea was low. Their boat was on the sand. They couldn’t move the boat. I heard them shout to each other, “We will leave with the next high tide.” This gave us some hours.
Friday and I stayed hidden until dark. Then I noticed that the men who stood the guard started to sleep. The three prisoners sat under a tree quite close to us. It looked like they were also quite far from the other sailors. We could come closer to them.
When we were very close to the prisoners, I spoke quietly to them. We were still hidden behind the trees and they couldn’t see us. When they heard my voice, they couldn’t believe that somebody spoke English to them from the dark forest.
“What was that?” asked one of the men.
“I heard something. I heard a tree speak,” answered the other. “But it’s impossible. A tree can’t speak English.”
“Yes, you heard something but it’s not a tree,” I said quietly. “My name is Robinson Crusoe. I’m an Englishman. I live on this island. I will help you if you tell me who you are.”
After the first shocking moment, one man answered my question. He was the captain of the ship, but some of the sailors criticized him and they started a rebellion. He, his assistant and one passenger became prisoners. The other sailors wanted to leave them here to die.
The captain said, “The truth is that there are only two dangerous sailors who control the others in the group. Eighty percent of them are still loyal to me. If the leaders are caught, the rest will return under my control.”
CHAPTER 28 – CONTROL
I said, “I’m willing to help you but I have one condition. I want full control over the ship if we manage to get it back.”
The captain and the other two prisoners agreed and they gave me full control over the ship and over their lives.
We freed the prisoners. Then we went back to the forest. I gave them guns and we started planning the attack. In the middle of our conversation, we noticed that the sailors who stood guard were woken up. They stood up. They shouted to three other men who were near to them. At that moment, we shot the guards. Then the captain spoke to the three other men. He told the men to be loyal to him and help him get back to the ship. They agreed and we tied them and left them on the beach.
The other three men who heard the shots came back. They saw that the situation changed. We were five. We had a lot of guns. The situation was bad for them.
They also agreed to be loyal to the captain. We tied these men too.
We hid our six prisoners in the forest. Then I and the captain had finally time to talk to each other. I told him my story and he was shocked. He also thanked me a lot for my help.
He and his two friends were hungry, so we went to my house. I showed them what I built during my years on the island. They were surprisedby all things which I had.
However, we didn’t have much time to explore my home. We had to plan how to get back the ship. There were sixteen people on board and we were only five.
First, we decided to take everything out of the boat. We thought that the sailors could send another boat to the island if the men from the first boat didn’t come back with the next high tide.
In the morning we heard the ship fire a gun as a signal for the boat to return. After a while, the ship fired a few times again. There was no response. Then we noticed that the sailors took another boat and went to the beach.
We saw eight men and they all had guns. The captain told me that six of the men were still loyal to him, but there was also the man who started the rebellion. The captain thought that it was difficult to beat them. But I told him that we had a good chance to win. But we had to act quickly.
The captain trusted two of our prisoners. They promisedto fight on our side. We gave them weapons. We were prepared with seven men ready to fight. We waited for the arrival of the boat.
When the boat reached the beach, the men jumped out of the boat. They pulled the boat on the beach. Then they ran to the other boat. They were surprised when they saw the boat empty. They tried to call their friends. They shouted.
Then they shot in the air but it was all useless. Nobody shouted back. The sailors were confused. They didn’t understand the situation. They started putting the boat into the water again.
It looked like they wanted to go back to the ship to inform the others that there was a problem.
When the captain saw this, he was afraid that they could go back to the ship and leave the island forever. Fortunately, in a few seconds the sailors changed their plan. Now, they left three men in the boat. The other five men went to the forest to look for their friends.
CHAPTER 29 – PLAN
We continued watching all the actions of both groups. The five men in the forest sat down under a tree. They discussed what to do. They even argued a little.
After a long conversation under the tree, they got up. Then they walked to the beach. They probably gave up looking for their friends.
We had to do some action quickly. It was important to do something before they reached their boat.
I had a plan. I told the assistant to go with Friday more to the centre of the island and shout at the sailors. When the sailors heard this, they shouted back. Then they started going in the direction of the voice.
Friday and the assistant continued shouting back. They started to take the sailors to the opposite side of the island. This strategy worked as I planned. The five men were soon very far from the beach.
This was very good for us. We went to the three men in the boat. We explained the situation to them. They decided not to fight us. They became our prisoners too.
After some time, Friday and the assistant returned. They went with the sailors very far from the beach. The sailors couldn’t return sooner than in two hours.
We hid and we waited for them. They were very tired when they returned. First they went to the boat. They were surprised when they didn’t find the three sailors.
They started calling their friends. But nobody answered. The leader and two other men started to walk to the forest where we hid.
The captain and Friday attacked them when they were close to us. The leader was killed immediately. The second man was injured. The third man ran back to the boat.
Then we all went out of the forest. We ran to the boat. The captain spoke to sailors. He asked them to give up. When the sailors understood the situation, they dropped their weapons quickly.
We decided to tie the prisoners. But we didn’t tie all of them. The captain trusted three of the men. We didn’t tie these three men.
Now, we were ten men. We started to plan how to get the ship. After some discussion we knew what to do.
Friday and I stayed on the island. We had to watch the prisoners.
The captain, his assistant and the passenger took the clothes of some of the prisoners. They wanted to look like them. Then the captain and his sailors took the boat. They went to the ship.
When they were near the ship, they spoke to the men on the ship. They told them that it wasn’t possible to find the other men.
When all of the men from the boat were on the ship, the captain showed himself and the attack began.
Some sailors were injured in the battle. Only one person was shot. It was the second leader of the rebellion.
When the captain had his ship again, we heard seven shots. It was the signal that the ship is in captain’s hands again. I was happy when I heard the shots.
Soon the captain went back to the island.
We hugged each other. He told me that the ship was now under my control. I was so happy. I started crying so much that I wasn’t able to speak.
It took me some time before I could stop crying. Then I was able to speak again. I spoke to the captain. I told him how happy I was.
The captain ordered his men to bring a lot of food from the ship.
We had a nice meal. We celebrated our victory and my departure from the island.
We drank expensive wine. We ate pork, beef and vegetable. We ate biscuits for dessert. I was very happy when I tasted this food again.
The captain gave me clean clothes. I didn’t wear clothes for a long time. The clothes were very light. They were a little uncomfortable first. But it was soon fine.
When the party finished, we discussed what to do with the five prisoners who the captain didn’t trust. The men were really horrible. The captain didn’t want to take the men on board the ship as prisoners. They were too dangerous.
I told him to discuss the situation with them. Maybe they wanted to stay on the island. It was better for them because their rebellion meant death in England. We went to the men and we explained the situation. They had to choose between a death in England and a life on the island. I thought that it was fair to let them decide. They decided to stay on the island.
We put them in the cave. The cave was now the prison. I told them to wait for more orders.
CHAPTER 30 – SON
I needed some time to prepare for the journey. I had to think about what to take with me. In fact I didn’t need to take many things.
I decided to take my dog, my parrot, my book and some other small things. I also took the money, gold and silver which I found in the ships. They were finally useful to me.
I met with the prisoners again. I showed them my corn and my animals and I told them about the island. Then I went on board the ship.
We left the island on the 19th of December, 1686. It was twenty-seven years, two months and nineteen days since I first stood on the island.
First we went to the island where Friday’s people lived. The Spanish and Portuguese sailors were very happy when they saw us. They were happy that we had a ship. Now we didn’t have to build a new ship. We could go to Europe.
My dog was very happy too. When he saw one of the Spanish sailors, he ran to him very quickly. He jumped on him. He was extremely happy.
The Spanish sailor was his owner. He was very happy too. He started to cry when he saw his dog. It was a very emotional meeting.
The sailors started to prepare for our journey across the ocean. Friday had to make a decision. He could stay with his people. Or he could go to Europe with me. He needed some time to think about it. We stayed on the island one night.
In the morning I asked Friday if he made a decision. He told me that he wanted to go with me to Europe. He prepared everything for the journey. We were ready to go. We started our journey.
Two months later, after a safe journey across the ocean, we arrived to London. London was the capital of England. For me it was after thirty-five years. It looked like the whole world changed in that time. London was a different city.
There were some new houses, streets, roads, shops, parks and big bridge across the river. But it wasn’t all. People also changed. They had different clothes. Women had different hair style. Men had different hats and new types of guns.
People used new tools which I didn’t see before. They had new names for these tools. It was all very interesting. The style of music in the pubs was also different. I heard new songs. I liked this new style. I wanted to sing these new songs.
From London I returned to my town, York. My parents were both dead. I found some relatives. My sister, my uncle and my aunt were still alive. They were happy to see me. But they thought that I was long dead. So I had no rights to family’s money or land. But I could stay and live in their house.
England was a big shock to Friday. Everything was so new for him. He saw so many things for the first time in his life. It was all very interesting for him. He liked this new experience.
What he didn’t like was the cold weather in winter. It was February. Snow, ice, freezing weren’t good for him. It wasn’t logical to him why we lived in such conditions. I told him that in summer the weather is much better.
I sent a letter to Brazil. I still knew the address very well. I wanted to contact people in Brazil. I wanted to know if my wife was still alive. I wanted to know if my plantation still existed. But I didn’t know what to expect. The connection was broken many years ago.
In May, I got a letter and some packets from my wife. She wrote that she was waiting for 10 years. Then she stopped believing that I was alive. She married again and she had a family. But her new husband died two years ago.
I also got a letter from my wife’s father. He took care of my plantation. In his letter he wrote detailed calculations of the expenses and profit from the plantation during all these years.
They both sent me many nice presents. They sent some nice skins and a little box full of gold. They also sent me some boxes of sugar to sell.
My wife had also a big surprise for me. She wrote that I had a son. It was great news. He was born eight months after I left Brazil. He was now a big man and he wanted to meet me.
So many things happened to me in a short time. It was shocking. I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to laugh. All the emotions were too much for me. I wasn’t able to be calm. I stood up. I sat down. I stood up again. I walked around the room. I laughed. Then I cried again.
When I was calm a little, I started to think about what to do.
CHAPTER 31– BRAZIL
I thought about moving back to Brazil. I wanted to see my son, my wife and my plantation. After some longer thinking, I decided to go to Brazil but only for a visit. I wanted to see if I could live there again. I wrote to my wife. I asked her if it was OK to visit them for some days. With the letter, I sent nice presents to her and her father’s family.
Then I got a letter from my wife. She wrote that I was welcome to visit them. Her invitation made me happy. I started to plan another journey by sea. I bought nice presents for them. Two weeks later I was ready to go.
When we arrived to Brazil, I met with my wife and my son. She changed a lot. But she was still very beautiful. My son was a big man now. He was very intelligent. He had his own family too. He had also big responsibility. He managed plantations of all the family. He was responsible for a big land.
My son spoke only Portuguese and a little Spanish. My Portuguese wasn’t very good after so many years. I forgot many words. I remembered only some basic phrases. But with practice I started to remember the words fast.
After two weeks I could have a basic conversation on many topics. And one month later I was able to speak fluently and automatically. I was very happy that I could speak with my wife and my son. We had so many things for a conversation.
Soon after I arrived to Brazil, we had a big party. It was a celebration of my son’s birthday and also my arrival to Brazil.
Brazil also changed a lot. Many things were different from what was in my memory. Plantations were much bigger. Many people worked on the plantations.
I was with my family for three months. I knew that I wasn’t very far from my island. I started thinking about visiting the island again. I wanted to see the island for some days. Friday also wanted to see the island again.
My son also wanted to go. I thought that it wasn’t a good idea. I knew how dangerous the sea could be. But he wanted to see the place which he knew only from my stories.
We planned our journey. Two weeks later we left Brazil. We went on a ship which went to Havana. We had an agreement with the captain to stop at my island on the way there.
When I arrived at my island, we met with Friday’s people. They now lived on the island.
I asked them, “What happened to the prisoners? Did you eat them?”
They told me that they didn’t eat Europeans. They ate only their enemies from other islands. They told me that when they came to the island, the prisoners were dead. They probably killed each other.
I wanted to stay on the island and my son too. I asked the captain if he could pick us up on the way back. He agreed.
I saw many children who ran around. It was interesting to see many people on the island where I lived alone for so many years.
I saw that the people on the island were very happy. Friday was happy there too. He met a woman who he liked very much.
Friday asked me what I thought about his staying on the island. He knew that I saved his life in the past. He didn’t want to leave me without asking me.
I agreed. I saved him but he didn’t have to stay with me all his life. It was time for Friday to start his own family. I was happy that he found a good woman. I was happy when I saw that they were in love. I respected Friday’s decision to stay on the island with his woman.
I walked around the island a lot. I wanted to visit all the places which I knew from my life on the island. I had some favourite places, for example the fruit valley. I spent a lot of time there. I liked this place very much. My son liked the island too. He often walked around the island with me. I told him many other stories about my life here.
We stayed on the island for twenty days. Then the ship from Havana came. It was time to leave. We said goodbye to Friday and his people.
When we left the island, I had a strange feeling. I also felt tears in my eyes. I liked this place very much. It was my home for a long time. I thought, “I will never see this place again.”
— THE END –
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