Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
I KEEP MYSELF BUSY
 AMONG the things that I brought from the ship there were
several which I have not told you about. I will name them now.
First I got from the captain's desk some pens, ink, and
paper. These were afterward a great comfort to me, as you
There were some charts and compasses, and three or four
books on navigation. These I threw in a corner, for I did not think
I should ever need them.
Among my own things there were three very old Bibles, which
I had bought in England and had packed with my clothing.
And I must not forget the dog and two cats that came to
shore with me. I carried both the cats on my raft with my
As for the dog, he jumped off the wreck and
 swam to the shore. He was my best friend for a long time. He
followed me everywhere. He would run and fetch things to me
as I bade him.
I wanted him to talk to me, but this he could not do.
As for my pens, ink, and paper, I took the greatest care of
them. As long as my ink lasted, I wrote down everything that
happened to me.
But when that was gone, I could write no
more for I did not know how to make ink.
I soon found that I needed many things to make me
First, I wanted a chair and a table; for without them I
must live like a savage.
So I set to work. I had never handled a tool in my life. But
I had a saw, an ax, and several, hatchets; and I soon
learned to use them all.
If I wanted a board, I had to chop down a tree. From the
trunk of the tree I cut a log of the length that my board
was to be. Then I split the log and hewed it flat till it
was as thin as a board.
All this took time and much hard work. But I had nothing
else to do.
I made the table and chair out of short pieces of board I
had brought from the ship.
 Of the large boards which I hewed from trees, I made some
wide shelves along the side of my cave or kitchen.
On these shelves I laid my tools, nails, and other things.
I had a place for everything, and kept everything in its
My cave looked like some stores you have seen where a little
of everything is kept for sale.
From time to time I made many useful things.
From a piece of hard wood that I cut in the forest I made a
spade to dig with. The handle I shaped just like the handles
you buy at the stores. But the shovel part was of wood and
would not last long.
While I was digging my cave, I found it very hard work to
carry the earth and small stones away. I needed a
wheelbarrow very much.
I could make the frame part of this, but I did not know how
to make the wheel. I worked four days at it, and then had to
give it up.
At last I made me a kind of hod, like that which masons use.
It was better than a basket and almost as good as a