Saving Things From The Ship
After Robinson had looked through the ship he began to plan the way to get the tools and things he most wanted on shore. He and Friday first carried everything together that he wanted to take on shore. When they had done this, he found he had the following things. Robinson stood everything together that he needed most.
1. A case of nails and screws.
2. Two iron axes and several hatchets.
3. A saw.
4. A small case of planes, tongs, augers, files, chisels, etc.
5. A third case with iron brackets, hooks, hinges, etc.
6. A case of matches.
7. A barrel of gunpowder.
8. Two muskets and a pistol.
9. Several swords.
10. A bag of cartridges.
11. A large sail cloth and some rope.
12. A telescope.
By means of the ship's ropes, Robinson let everything down into his boat. He himself took the Bible and then they rowed to the shore, and unloaded the boat. Everything was put into the bower where rain could not harm it. By the time they had this done, night was coming on and they decided to do no more that day, but wait until the next day.
"We must work fast," said Robinson. "The first storm is likely to break the ship in pieces and destroy everything in it."
The next morning early they ate a hastily prepared breakfast and were off to the boat. Neither Robinson nor Friday stopped for their noonday lunch. "A storm is brewing," said Robinson, "the air is calm, the sky is overcast with clouds, the heat is oppressive. We must hurry." With the utmost diligence they rowed back and forth all day. They made nine trips. They had now on shore a surprising quantity of all kinds of tools, goods and weapons. They had all kinds of ware to use in the kitchen, clothes, and food. Robinson prized a little four-wheeled wagon and a whetstone.
But in looking over his stores, Robinson suddenly discovered that he had no needles or thread. They went at once to procure these important articles. In looking for needles and thread, Robinson found a small trunk full of money and valuable stones. There were diamonds, rubies, pearls, and much gold. Robinson pushed it to one side. "What can I do with riches on this island? I would give them all for some needles and thread," he said to Friday. But on second thought he took the trunk and its contents along with him to his cave. For in the trunk were also letters and writings. "Perhaps," he said, "these tell to whom the valuables belong and I can return them some time."
Robinson at last found a case containing everything one could need with which to cut and sew cloth. There were scissors, thread, needles, thimbles, tapes, and buttons. But now the wind was rising and they must hurry. They were nearly ready for departure. They were passing through a part of the ship not before visited. They were surprised to hear a sound coming from a room whose door was kept shut by a heap of stuff that had been thrown against it by the violent pitching of the ship in the storm. Robinson and Friday cleared away the rubbish and were surprised to find a dog almost drowned. He was so weak from want of food that his cries could be heard a short distance only. Robinson took him tenderly in his arms and carried him to the boat, while Friday carried the sewing case and the trunk.
The wind was now blowing a gale. A few yards from the ship they were in great danger. Robinson grasped the rudder and made Friday stand ready to cut away the mast in case they found the wind too strong. With the greatest difficulty they finally made the little cove at the mouth of the creek and were soon landed with their precious cargo. The next morning they eagerly searched the waters for the ship. Not even their field glasses could reveal anything of it. Some planks, a mast, and parts of a small boat were blown on shore. All else had disappeared.
Robinson set to work at once to make a door for his bower out of the pine wood cast up by the waves. How easy the work proceeded with saws, hammers, augers, squares, planes, nails, hinges, and screws! With the wagon too, Friday could now gather his corn quickly and easily, or haul in a great quantity of grapes to dry for raisins.
Friday had never seen a gun. He did not know the use of firearms. The muskets that Robinson had brought from the ship were a great mystery to him. Robinson showed him their use. He showed how they could defend themselves. He told Friday that these weapons would kill at a distance. He took some powder and touched a match to it. Friday was greatly frightened.
ROBINSON SHOWING FRIDAY HOW TO SHOOT
Robinson then proceeded to load the gun. He put in some powder, a ball of lead or bullet. Then at the hammer he placed a little cap which gave a flash when struck. This ignited the powder. When all was in readiness Robinson bade Friday follow him. They went slowly out into the forest along the stream. Soon Robinson espied a rabbit sitting under a clump of grass. Robinson raised his gun, took careful aim, pressed the trigger. There was a flash and loud report and there lay the rabbit dead. But Friday, too, was lying on the ground. He had fainted from astonishment and fright. Robinson dropped his gun and raised the poor fellow up to a sitting position. He quickly recovered. He ran to get the rabbit. He examined it carefully. Robinson at last pointed out the hole the bullet had made and the mystery of the way the rabbit was killed was solved.
Robinson had lived alone so long that he had learned to love every living creature on the island. He never harmed anything except when he needed food. He had lived so quietly that the birds and animals did not fear him. They lived near his shelter and seemed to know him.
Robinson was delighted with his new tools and weapons. But they reminded him of home. Nothing that he had seen in all the time he had been on the island so turned his thoughts toward home and friends. Robinson would sit for hours thinking of the past and making plans for the future. He was homesick.