I HAVE AN ANXIOUS DAY
 WHILE we were talking we had slowly withdrawn among the trees
where we were sheltered from sight.
The captain promised me that if we should succeed in getting
control of the ship, he would do anything that I wished.
He would carry me to England or to any other part of the
world. He would live and die with me.
"Well, then," said I, "if you will all obey my commands, we
will see what can be done."
I gave each one of them a musket, with powder and shot. I
told them to kill as few of the ruffians as they could, and
to make prisoners of them all if possible.
 Just then we heard some of them awake. In a moment thee men
came out of the grove and started down to the shore.
"Are these the ringleaders?" I asked.
"No," answered the captain.
"Well, then, let them go," I said; "but if the rest escape,
it will be your fault."
With a musket in his hand and a pistol in his belt, the
captain started forward. I was close at his side, while
Friday and the other two men went a
little ahead of us.
The mate in his eagerness chanced to step on some dry sticks
which broke with a sharp noise beneath his feet. One of the
seamen, hearing this, looked out and saw us.
He gave the alarm. The sleeping wretches awoke and sprang to
But it was too late. Our guns were already upon them.
I need not tell you of the fight. It was sharp and short.
At its close the two ruffians who had caused all this
trouble were lying dead upon the ground. The three other
men, who were but slightly hurt, were our prisoners. As for
my little army of five, not one was so much as scratched.
 While the captain and I were binding the prisoners, Friday
and the mate ran to the boat and brought away the oars and
Soon the three men who had gone down the shore came hurrying
back to see what was the matter.
When they saw how matters stood, they at once gave
themselves up and were bound with the rest. So our victory
We now retired to the castle.
The prisoners were led into the back part of the cave that I
had first dug, and were left there with Friday as their
With the captain, the mate, and the passenger, I went into my
best room, where we all refreshed ourselves with such food
as I had at hand.
We had now time to talk over the past and
make plans for the future.
I told the captain my whole history just as I have told it
to you. He, in his turn, related to me the story of his
voyage from England to the West
Indies, and how his crew, wishing to become pirates, had
seized upon the ship and made him their prisoner.
"There are still twenty-six men on board," he
 said. "They are no doubt wondering what has become of their
fellows. After a while some of them will be likely to come
on shore to find out what is the matter."
"Let them come," I said. "We will be ready for them."
We therefore went down to the shore where the boat was still
We found in it some rum, a few biscuits, a horn of powder,
and five or six pounds of sugar. This last was very welcome
to me, for I had not tasted sugar for several years.
All these things we carried on shore. Then we knocked a big
hole in the bottom of the boat.
To tell the truth, I had but little hope that we would ever
recover the ship.
But I thought that after she had sailed
away we might repair the boat. Then we could no doubt make
our way to the Spanish settlements on the mainland.
About an hour before sunset, we heard a gun fired from the
"It is as I told you," said the captain.
We saw a signal waving from the mast. Then several other
shots were fired.
At last, when there was no answer either to the
 signals or to the guns there was a great stir on board, and
the other boat was launched.
I watched them with my spyglass.
As the boat neared the shore, we saw that there were ten men
in her and that they were all armed with muskets.
The sun shone in their faces and we had a good sight of them
as they came.
The captain knew them all. He said that there were three
very honest fellows among them who had gone into this
business against their will. All the rest, however, were bad
men who were ready to do any wicked deed.
We now set free two of our prisoners, for they seemed to be
trustworthy men and glad that matters had turned in the
"Can we trust them, Captain?" I asked.
"I will stand good for them," said the captain.
I gave them each a gun. We had now seven armed men to meet
the ten who were coming to the shore.
But we kept ourselves hidden and waited to see what they
As soon as they reached the shore they ran to see the other
boat. What was their surprise to
 find her stripped of everything and a hole in her bottom.
They shouted, but no one answered.
They fired off their muskets, making the woods ring with
their echoes. But still there was no answer.
Then they launched their boat again, and all started to the
But on the way they changed their minds. It would never do,
they thought, to leave their friends on the island without
so much as hunting for them.
They therefore rowed back to the shore. Three men were left
with the boat as guards, and the rest started out into the
country to seek their lost companions.
We should have been glad if they had come our way, so that
we might have fired on them; but this they failed to do.
Night was fast coming on, and they did not dare to go far
from the shore.
By and by they came back to the boat again.
We feared that they had given up the search and would now
return to the ship.
The sun was setting, and darkness would soon cover both land