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I LEARN THAT I AM ON AN ISLAND
 THE sun was still two hours high. I was very tired after my
day's work, but I could not rest. I wanted to know what sort
of place I was in. I wondered whether I was on an island or
on a continent.
About half a mile from the shore there was a large hill. It
was steep and high and seemed to overlook all the country.
I thought that if I could get to the top of that hill I
might see what kind of country I was in.
So I put one of the pistols in my belt, and one of the guns
on my shoulder. I also hung the powder-horn from my neck and
put a handful of small shot in my pocket.
Thus armed, I set out for the big hill.
There were but a few shrubs or trees in my way,
 and the walking was easy. In less than a quarter of an hour
I was at my journey's end.
The sides of the hill were not rough, but they were quite
Soon I was at the very top. What a grand lookout it was!
North, south, east, west, the land and the sea were spread
out before me.
The sea did I say?
Yes, I was on an island, and the sea was
No other land was in sight except two small islands and some
great rocks that lifted themselves out of the water.
I saw that my island was not very large. Perhaps it was ten
miles broad; perhaps it was twenty. I had no good idea of
There was no house nor sign of life anywhere. There might be
wild beasts in the woods; but I was sure that no men lived
The thought of being alone on a desert island made me feel
I should have been glad at that moment to see even
the face of a savage.
But I dared not stay long on the hilltop. I
 hurried to get back to my raft before the sun should go
At the foot of the hill I saw a great bird sitting in a
tree. I thought it to be some kind of a hawk and shot it.
The sound of the gun echoed strangely among the rocks and
trees. Never before had such a sound been heard there.
I picked up the bird.
It was no hawk. It had no sharp claws
nor hooked beak. Its flesh was unfit to eat, and I threw it
The sun had set and it was almost dark when I got back to
the inlet where my raft was lying. I did not know where to
go for the night, nor where to find a resting place.
But the day being gone, there was no time for thinking.
I made a kind of hut with the chests and the loose boards
from the raft. Then I crept inside and lay down to rest.
For a little while I listened to every sound. At length I
fell asleep and knew nothing more until broad daylight the