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Robinson Crusoe for Children by  James Baldwin


 

 

I HAVE A STRANGE VISITOR

[36] THE next morning, when the tide was at its lowest I swam out to the ship again.


[Illustration]

There were still many things on board of it that might be useful to me in my island home. I wished to save all that I could.

I climbed up the ship's side just as I had done the day before.

Before looking for anything I made another raft, just like the first one, but smaller. It was not so easy to make, for I had used up all the best planks. It was neither so large nor so strong as the first raft.

In the carpenter's shop I found three bags of nails and a grindstone. I found also a box full of little hatchets and a small barrel of musket balls.

In the captain's room I found six or seven guns, which I had overlooked before, and another keg of powder.

[37] All these things I loaded with much care upon my raft.

Then I gathered up as many clothes as I could find; also a spare sail, a hammock, and some bedding.

The raft was now quite full. The things were not heavy, but they made a large pile.

When the tide turned for the shore, I cut loose and was soon floating homeward.

I had found a good oar in the ship. This I used as a paddle, and I had no trouble in guiding the raft to the right landing place.

I looked to see if the goods were safe which I brought over the day before.

There, on one of my chests, I saw a strange animal sitting. She looked like a wild cat.

As I went toward her, she jumped down and ran a little way. Then she stood still.

I followed. She stood very firm and looked in my face. She looked as though she had a mind to get acquainted.

I pointed my gun at her, and shouted. But she did not care for that.

I had a bit of biscuit in my pocket. This I now tossed toward her. "Take this and begone," I shouted.

[38] Biscuits were not so many that I could well spare any. But I spared the poor animal this little bit.

It rolled quite close to her nose. She smell of it and ate it. Then she looked up for more.

"Thank you, I have no more to give you," I said.

Whether she understood me, I do not know. But, with that, she turned and marched away.

I now set to work to get my second cargo on shore. It was no easy task, and I had to make many trips to and from the raft.

When everything was safely landed, I made me a little tent with the sail and some poles that I cut.

Then I put everything into the tent that needed to be kept dry. The empty boxes, I piled outside. They made a kind of wall around the tent, like the wall of a fort.

"This will keep the wild beasts out," I said.

By this time the day was nearly done. I spread one of the beds on the ground. I laid two loaded pistols near its head, and one of the guns by one side of it. Then I crept in and was soon fast asleep.


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