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Robinson Crusoe for Children by  James Baldwin

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I CARRY SOME THINGS ASHORE

[30] IT was now past noon, and the tide was coming in. I could not stop to rest.

"I have food, I have clothing, I have tools," I said to myself. "What do I need next?"


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Then I thought of the wild animals and wild men that I might meet on the shore. "How shall I protect myself from them?" I said.

In the captain's room I found two good guns with a bag of shot and a powderhorn. There were also two old swords, very rusty and dull, and a pair of big pistols.

By looking around, I found also three small kegs of powder. Two of these were dry, but the other was wet and good for nothing.

It took more than an hour to get all these safely [31] placed on my raft. I now had quite a heavy load, and I began to wonder how I should take it to the shore.

I had no oars nor any sail for my raft. But the water was smooth, the tide was flowing in, and a gentle wind was blowing toward the land.

I loosed the rope that held the raft to the ship, and soon began my little voyage.

The tide was now so high that the dry land was much farther away than when I came out. But the raft floated smoothly along, and drew nearer and nearer to the shore.

Just as I thought myself safe, I found that I was entering a strong current which carried me into a narrow bay far from my first landing place.

There the raft stuck fast on an ugly sand bar, and was like to be tipped over. It was all I could do to keep the heavy boxes from slipping off into the water.

But the tide was still rising. Soon the raft floated free and glided slowly along again with the current.

In a short time I found that I was being carried up into a little river with high banks on each side.

With a piece of plank for an oar I pushed the [32] raft toward the shore on my right. The water was now so shallow that I could reach the bottom.

The raft floated slowly onward until it reached a little cove into which I pushed it. The water there was quite still.

I looked around for a place to land. But the banks were steep, and if I ran one end of my raft upon the shore, the other end might sink so low as to slide all my goods into the water.

The best I could do was to wait till the tide was at its highest. Then I might push a little farther inland where the bank was somewhat lower.

This I did.

The tide rose higher and higher. At last, to my joy, the water reached the top of the bank. It covered a level spot of ground beyond.

I waited a little longer. The water on the level space was a foot deep. The tide was beginning to flow out.

With all my might I pushed the raft into this shallow place. The tide ebbed fast. Soon the raft was left high and dry on the land.

It was easy now to unload the goods and carry them to a safe place.


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