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I EXPLORE MY ISLAND
 IT rained all that night. But in the cave everything was warm
and dry, and little by little I lost my fear.
The earthquake and the hurricane had done great damage to my
castle. I had to work hard for many days to put things to
I had now been on the island about ten months. In all that
time I had seen only a small part of it .
One morning I set out with my gun on my shoulder for a long
I went up the little river where I had first landed with my
rafts. I found that it was a very short river. After about
two miles, the tide did not flow any higher; and above that,
the stream was only a little brook of fresh water.
 Along the brook there were pleasant meadows, covered with
In the dryer parts of these meadows I found
tobacco growing wild.
I looked for the roots of a plant which the Indians use
instead of bread, but could find none.
In one place, however, I saw many tall sugar canes and some
fair-looking plants of a kind that was strange to me.
As I went back to my castle I wondered how I could learn
something useful about the many objects I had seen. But I
had never taken much thought about such things, and now I
had but little chance to learn.
The next day I went up the same way, but much farther.
Beyond the meadows I came to some beautiful woods.
Here I found several different kinds of fruits. There were
grapevines covering the trees, and huge clusters of ripe
grapes were hanging from them.
I was very glad of this. I made up my mind to come another
day and gather some of this fruit. I would dry the grapes in
the sun, and have some raisins.
 Night came on while I was still in the woods, and I could
not do better than stay there till morning. So I climbed
into a tree and slept there quite well.
It was the first night that I had spent away from home.
The next day I went on through the woods for nearly four
At last I came to an open space where the land sloped to the
west. The country was so fresh and green that it looked like
a big garden.
I went down into a pleasant valley where there were many
beautiful trees. There I found oranges, lemons, limes, and
citrons, besides many grapes.
I loaded myself with fruit and started homeward. "I must
come again and bring a sack," I said.
It was three days before I reached my castle. By that time
the fruit had lost all its flavor.
The next day I went back to the same valley. I carried two
small sacks to bring home my harvest.
But I found many of the grapevines torn down. The fruit was
scattered on the ground. Some had been eaten. Some had been
trodden to pieces.
A wild animal had been there. Perhaps it was a goat, perhaps
it was a larger beast. Perhaps several animals had done the