Robinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe
 

CHAPTER XVI - RESCUE OF PRISONERS FROM CANNIBALS


UPON the whole, I was by this time so fixed upon my design of going
over with him to the continent that I told him we would go and make
one as big as that, and he should go home in it. He answered not
one word, but looked very grave and sad. I asked him what was the
matter with him. He asked me again, "Why you angry mad with
Friday? - what me done?" I asked him what he meant. I told him I
was not angry with him at all. "No angry!" says he, repeating the
words several times; "why send Friday home away to my nation?"
"Why," says I, "Friday, did not you say you wished you were there?"
"Yes, yes," says he, "wish we both there; no wish Friday there, no
master there." In a word, he would not think of going there
without me. "I go there, Friday?" says I; "what shall I do there?"
He turned very quick upon me at this. "You do great deal much
good," says he; "you teach wild mans be good, sober, tame mans; you
tell them know God, pray God, and live new life." "Alas, Friday!"
says I, "thou knowest not what thou sayest; I am but an ignorant
man myself." "Yes, yes," says he, "you teachee me good, you
teachee them good." "No, no, Friday," says I, "you shall go
without me; leave me here to live by myself, as I did before." He
looked confused again at that word; and running to one of the
hatchets which he used to wear, he takes it up hastily, and gives
it to me. "What must I do with this?" says I to him. "You take
kill Friday," says he. "What must kill you for?" said I again. He
returns very quick - "What you send Friday away for? Take kill
Friday, no send Friday away." This he spoke so earnestly that I
saw tears stand in his eyes. In a word, I so plainly discovered
the utmost affection in him to me, and a firm resolution in him,
that I told him then and often after, that I would never send him
away from me if he was willing to stay with me.

Upon the whole, as I found by all his discourse a settled affection
to me, and that nothing could part him from me, so I found all the
foundation of his desire to go to his own country was laid in his
ardent affection to the people, and his hopes of my doing them
good; a thing which, as I had no notion of myself, so I had not the
least thought or intention, or desire of undertaking it. But still
I found a strong inclination to attempting my escape, founded on
the supposition gathered from the discourse, that there were
seventeen bearded men there; and therefore, without any more delay,
I went to work with Friday to find out a great tree proper to fell,
and make a large periagua, or canoe, to undertake the voyage.
There were trees enough in the island to have built a little fleet,
not of periaguas or canoes, but even of good, large vessels; but
the main thing I looked at was, to get one so near the water that
we might launch it when it was made, to avoid the mistake I
committed at first. At last Friday pitched upon a tree; for I
found he knew much better than I what kind of wood was fittest for
it; nor can I tell to this day what wood to call the tree we cut
down, except that it was very like the tree we call fustic, or
between that and the Nicaragua wood, for it was much of the same
colour and smell. Friday wished to burn the hollow or cavity of
this tree out, to make it for a boat, but I showed him how to cut
it with tools; which, after I had showed him how to use, he did
very handily; and in about a month's hard labour we finished it and
made it very handsome; especially when, with our axes, which I
showed him how to handle, we cut and hewed the outside into the
true shape of a boat. After this, however, it cost us near a
fortnight's time to get her along, as it were inch by inch, upon
great rollers into the water; but when she was in, she would have
carried twenty men with great ease.

When she was in the water, though she was so big, it amazed me to
see with what dexterity and how swift my man Friday could manage
her, turn her, and paddle her along. So I asked him if he would,
and if we might venture over in her. "Yes," he said, "we venture
over in her very well, though great blow wind." However I had a
further design that he knew nothing of, and that was, to make a
mast and a sail, and to fit her with an anchor and cable. As to a
mast, that was easy enough to get; so I pitched upon a straight
young cedar-tree, which I found near the place, and which there
were great plenty of in the island, and I set Friday to work to cut
it down, and gave him directions how to shape and order it. But as
to the sail, that was my particular care. I knew I had old sails,
or rather pieces of old sails, enough; but as I had had them now
six-and-twenty years by me, and had not been very careful to
preserve them, not imagining that I should ever have this kind of
use for them, I did not doubt but they were all rotten; and,
indeed, most of them were so. However, I found two pieces which
appeared pretty good, and with these I went to work; and with a
great deal of pains, and awkward stitching, you may be sure, for
want of needles, I at length made a three-cornered ugly thing, like
what we call in England a shoulder-of-mutton sail, to go with a
boom at bottom, and a little short sprit at the top, such as
usually our ships' long-boats sail with, and such as I best knew
how to manage, as it was such a one as I had to the boat in which I
made my escape from Barbary, as related in the first part of my
story.

I was near two months performing this last work, viz. rigging and
fitting my masts and sails; for I finished them very complete,
making a small stay, and a sail, or foresail, to it, to assist if
we should turn to windward; and, what was more than all, I fixed a
rudder to the stern of her to steer with. I was but a bungling
shipwright, yet as I knew the usefulness and even necessity of such
a thing, I applied myself with so much pains to do it, that at last
I brought it to pass; though, considering the many dull
contrivances I had for it that failed, I think it cost me almost as
much labour as making the boat.

After all this was done, I had my man Friday to teach as to what
belonged to the navigation of my boat; though he knew very well how
to paddle a canoe, he knew nothing of what belonged to a sail and a
rudder; and was the most amazed when he saw me work the boat to and
again in the sea by the rudder, and how the sail jibed, and filled
this way or that way as the course we sailed changed; I say when he
saw this he stood like one astonished and amazed. However, with a
little use, I made all these things familiar to him, and he became
an expert sailor, except that of the compass I could make him
understand very little. On the other hand, as there was very
little cloudy weather, and seldom or never any fogs in those parts,
there was the less occasion for a compass, seeing the stars were
always to be seen by night, and the shore by day, except in the
rainy seasons, and then nobody cared to stir abroad either by land
or sea.

I was now entered on the seven-and-twentieth year of my captivity
in this place; though the three last years that I had this creature
with me ought rather to be left out of the account, my habitation
being quite of another kind than in all the rest of the time. I
kept the anniversary of my landing here with the same thankfulness
to God for His mercies as at first: and if I had such cause of
acknowledgment at first, I had much more so now, having such
additional testimonies of the care of Providence over me, and the
great hopes I had of being effectually and speedily delivered; for
I had an invincible impression upon my thoughts that my deliverance
was at hand, and that I should not be another year in this place.
I went on, however, with my husbandry; digging, planting, and
fencing as usual. I gathered and cured my grapes, and did every
necessary thing as before.

The rainy season was in the meantime upon me, when I kept more
within doors than at other times. We had stowed our new vessel as
secure as we could, bringing her up into the creek, where, as I
said in the beginning, I landed my rafts from the ship; and hauling
her up to the shore at high-water mark, I made my man Friday dig a
little dock, just big enough to hold her, and just deep enough to
give her water enough to float in; and then, when the tide was out,
we made a strong dam across the end of it, to keep the water out;
and so she lay, dry as to the tide from the sea: and to keep the
rain off we laid a great many boughs of trees, so thick that she
was as well thatched as a house; and thus we waited for the months
of November and December, in which I designed to make my adventure.

When the settled season began to come in, as the thought of my
design returned with the fair weather, I was preparing daily for
the voyage. And the first thing I did was to lay by a certain
quantity of provisions, being the stores for our voyage; and
intended in a week or a fortnight's time to open the dock, and
launch out our boat. I was busy one morning upon something of this
kind, when I called to Friday, and bid him to go to the sea-shore
and see if he could find a turtle or a tortoise, a thing which we
generally got once a week, for the sake of the eggs as well as the
flesh. Friday had not been long gone when he came running back,
and flew over my outer wall or fence, like one that felt not the
ground or the steps he set his foot on; and before I had time to
speak to him he cries out to me, "O master! O master! O sorrow! O
bad!" - "What's the matter, Friday?" says I. "O yonder there,"
says he, "one, two, three canoes; one, two, three!" By this way of
speaking I concluded there were six; but on inquiry I found there
were but three. "Well, Friday," says I, "do not be frightened."
So I heartened him up as well as I could. However, I saw the poor
fellow was most terribly scared, for nothing ran in his head but
that they were come to look for him, and would cut him in pieces
and eat him; and the poor fellow trembled so that I scarcely knew
what to do with him. I comforted him as well as I could, and told
him I was in as much danger as he, and that they would eat me as
well as him. "But," says I, "Friday, we must resolve to fight
them. Can you fight, Friday?" "Me shoot," says he, "but there
come many great number." "No matter for that," said I again; "our
guns will fright them that we do not kill." So I asked him
whether, if I resolved to defend him, he would defend me, and stand
by me, and do just as I bid him. He said, "Me die when you bid
die, master." So I went and fetched a good dram of rum and gave
him; for I had been so good a husband of my rum that I had a great
deal left. When we had drunk it, I made him take the two fowling-
pieces, which we always carried, and loaded them with large swan-
shot, as big as small pistol-bullets. Then I took four muskets,
and loaded them with two slugs and five small bullets each; and my
two pistols I loaded with a brace of bullets each. I hung my great
sword, as usual, naked by my side, and gave Friday his hatchet.
When I had thus prepared myself, I took my perspective glass, and
went up to the side of the hill, to see what I could discover; and
I found quickly by my glass that there were one-and-twenty savages,
three prisoners, and three canoes; and that their whole business
seemed to be the triumphant banquet upon these three human bodies:
a barbarous feast, indeed! but nothing more than, as I had
observed, was usual with them. I observed also that they had
landed, not where they had done when Friday made his escape, but
nearer to my creek, where the shore was low, and where a thick wood
came almost close down to the sea. This, with the abhorrence of
the inhuman errand these wretches came about, filled me with such
indignation that I came down again to Friday, and told him I was
resolved to go down to them and kill them all; and asked him if he
would stand by me. He had now got over his fright, and his spirits
being a little raised with the dram I had given him, he was very
cheerful, and told me, as before, he would die when I bid die.

In this fit of fury I divided the arms which I had charged, as
before, between us; I gave Friday one pistol to stick in his
girdle, and three guns upon his shoulder, and I took one pistol and
the other three guns myself; and in this posture we marched out. I
took a small bottle of rum in my pocket, and gave Friday a large
bag with more powder and bullets; and as to orders, I charged him
to keep close behind me, and not to stir, or shoot, or do anything
till I bid him, and in the meantime not to speak a word. In this
posture I fetched a compass to my right hand of near a mile, as
well to get over the creek as to get into the wood, so that I could
come within shot of them before I should be discovered, which I had
seen by my glass it was easy to do.

While I was making this march, my former thoughts returning, I
began to abate my resolution: I do not mean that I entertained any
fear of their number, for as they were naked, unarmed wretches, it
is certain I was superior to them - nay, though I had been alone.
But it occurred to my thoughts, what call, what occasion, much less
what necessity I was in to go and dip my hands in blood, to attack
people who had neither done or intended me any wrong? who, as to
me, were innocent, and whose barbarous customs were their own
disaster, being in them a token, indeed, of God's having left them,
with the other nations of that part of the world, to such
stupidity, and to such inhuman courses, but did not call me to take
upon me to be a judge of their actions, much less an executioner of
His justice - that whenever He thought fit He would take the cause
into His own hands, and by national vengeance punish them as a
people for national crimes, but that, in the meantime, it was none
of my business - that it was true Friday might justify it, because
he was a declared enemy and in a state of war with those very
particular people, and it was lawful for him to attack them - but I
could not say the same with regard to myself. These things were so
warmly pressed upon my thoughts all the way as I went, that I
resolved I would only go and place myself near them that I might
observe their barbarous feast, and that I would act then as God
should direct; but that unless something offered that was more a
call to me than yet I knew of, I would not meddle with them.

With this resolution I entered the wood, and, with all possible
wariness and silence, Friday following close at my heels, I marched
till I came to the skirts of the wood on the side which was next to
them, only that one corner of the wood lay between me and them.
Here I called softly to Friday, and showing him a great tree which
was just at the corner of the wood, I bade him go to the tree, and
bring me word if he could see there plainly what they were doing.
He did so, and came immediately back to me, and told me they might
be plainly viewed there - that they were all about their fire,
eating the flesh of one of their prisoners, and that another lay
bound upon the sand a little from them, whom he said they would
kill next; and this fired the very soul within me. He told me it
was not one of their nation, but one of the bearded men he had told
me of, that came to their country in the boat. I was filled with
horror at the very naming of the white bearded man; and going to
the tree, I saw plainly by my glass a white man, who lay upon the
beach of the sea with his hands and his feet tied with flags, or
things like rushes, and that he was an European, and had clothes
on.

There was another tree and a little thicket beyond it, about fifty
yards nearer to them than the place where I was, which, by going a
little way about, I saw I might come at undiscovered, and that then
I should be within half a shot of them; so I withheld my passion,
though I was indeed enraged to the highest degree; and going back
about twenty paces, I got behind some bushes, which held all the
way till I came to the other tree, and then came to a little rising
ground, which gave me a full view of them at the distance of about
eighty yards.

I had now not a moment to lose, for nineteen of the dreadful
wretches sat upon the ground, all close huddled together, and had
just sent the other two to butcher the poor Christian, and bring
him perhaps limb by limb to their fire, and they were stooping down
to untie the bands at his feet. I turned to Friday. "Now,
Friday," said I, "do as I bid thee." Friday said he would. "Then,
Friday," says I, "do exactly as you see me do; fail in nothing."
So I set down one of the muskets and the fowling-piece upon the
ground, and Friday did the like by his, and with the other musket I
took my aim at the savages, bidding him to do the like; then asking
him if he was ready, he said, "Yes." "Then fire at them," said I;
and at the same moment I fired also.

Friday took his aim so much better than I, that on the side that he
shot he killed two of them, and wounded three more; and on my side
I killed one, and wounded two. They were, you may be sure, in a
dreadful consternation: and all of them that were not hurt jumped
upon their feet, but did not immediately know which way to run, or
which way to look, for they knew not from whence their destruction
came. Friday kept his eyes close upon me, that, as I had bid him,
he might observe what I did; so, as soon as the first shot was
made, I threw down the piece, and took up the fowling-piece, and
Friday did the like; he saw me cock and present; he did the same
again. "Are you ready, Friday?" said I. "Yes," says he. "Let
fly, then," says I, "in the name of God!" and with that I fired
again among the amazed wretches, and so did Friday; and as our
pieces were now loaded with what I call swan-shot, or small pistol-
bullets, we found only two drop; but so many were wounded that they
ran about yelling and screaming like mad creatures, all bloody, and
most of them miserably wounded; whereof three more fell quickly
after, though not quite dead.

"Now, Friday," says I, laying down the discharged pieces, and
taking up the musket which was yet loaded, "follow me," which he
did with a great deal of courage; upon which I rushed out of the
wood and showed myself, and Friday close at my foot. As soon as I
perceived they saw me, I shouted as loud as I could, and bade
Friday do so too, and running as fast as I could, which, by the
way, was not very fast, being loaded with arms as I was, I made
directly towards the poor victim, who was, as I said, lying upon
the beach or shore, between the place where they sat and the sea.
The two butchers who were just going to work with him had left him
at the surprise of our first fire, and fled in a terrible fright to
the seaside, and had jumped into a canoe, and three more of the
rest made the same way. I turned to Friday, and bade him step
forwards and fire at them; he understood me immediately, and
running about forty yards, to be nearer them, he shot at them; and
I thought he had killed them all, for I saw them all fall of a heap
into the boat, though I saw two of them up again quickly; however,
he killed two of them, and wounded the third, so that he lay down
in the bottom of the boat as if he had been dead.

While my man Friday fired at them, I pulled out my knife and cut
the flags that bound the poor victim; and loosing his hands and
feet, I lifted him up, and asked him in the Portuguese tongue what
he was. He answered in Latin, Christianus; but was so weak and
faint that he could scarce stand or speak. I took my bottle out of
my pocket and gave it him, making signs that he should drink, which
he did; and I gave him a piece of bread, which he ate. Then I
asked him what countryman he was: and he said, Espagniole; and
being a little recovered, let me know, by all the signs he could
possibly make, how much he was in my debt for his deliverance.
"Seignior," said I, with as much Spanish as I could make up, "we
will talk afterwards, but we must fight now: if you have any
strength left, take this pistol and sword, and lay about you." He
took them very thankfully; and no sooner had he the arms in his
hands, but, as if they had put new vigour into him, he flew upon
his murderers like a fury, and had cut two of them in pieces in an
instant; for the truth is, as the whole was a surprise to them, so
the poor creatures were so much frightened with the noise of our
pieces that they fell down for mere amazement and fear, and had no
more power to attempt their own escape than their flesh had to
resist our shot; and that was the case of those five that Friday
shot at in the boat; for as three of them fell with the hurt they
received, so the other two fell with the fright.

I kept my piece in my hand still without firing, being willing to
keep my charge ready, because I had given the Spaniard my pistol
and sword: so I called to Friday, and bade him run up to the tree
from whence we first fired, and fetch the arms which lay there that
had been discharged, which he did with great swiftness; and then
giving him my musket, I sat down myself to load all the rest again,
and bade them come to me when they wanted. While I was loading
these pieces, there happened a fierce engagement between the
Spaniard and one of the savages, who made at him with one of their
great wooden swords, the weapon that was to have killed him before,
if I had not prevented it. The Spaniard, who was as bold and brave
as could be imagined, though weak, had fought the Indian a good
while, and had cut two great wounds on his head; but the savage
being a stout, lusty fellow, closing in with him, had thrown him
down, being faint, and was wringing my sword out of his hand; when
the Spaniard, though undermost, wisely quitting the sword, drew the
pistol from his girdle, shot the savage through the body, and
killed him upon the spot, before I, who was running to help him,
could come near him.

Friday, being now left to his liberty, pursued the flying wretches,
with no weapon in his hand but his hatchet: and with that he
despatched those three who as I said before, were wounded at first,
and fallen, and all the rest he could come up with: and the
Spaniard coming to me for a gun, I gave him one of the fowling-
pieces, with which he pursued two of the savages, and wounded them
both; but as he was not able to run, they both got from him into
the wood, where Friday pursued them, and killed one of them, but
the other was too nimble for him; and though he was wounded, yet
had plunged himself into the sea, and swam with all his might off
to those two who were left in the canoe; which three in the canoe,
with one wounded, that we knew not whether he died or no, were all
that escaped our hands of one-and-twenty. The account of the whole
is as follows: Three killed at our first shot from the tree; two
killed at the next shot; two killed by Friday in the boat; two
killed by Friday of those at first wounded; one killed by Friday in
the wood; three killed by the Spaniard; four killed, being found
dropped here and there, of the wounds, or killed by Friday in his
chase of them; four escaped in the boat, whereof one wounded, if
not dead - twenty-one in all.

Those that were in the canoe worked hard to get out of gun-shot,
and though Friday made two or three shots at them, I did not find
that he hit any of them. Friday would fain have had me take one of
their canoes, and pursue them; and indeed I was very anxious about
their escape, lest, carrying the news home to their people, they
should come back perhaps with two or three hundred of the canoes
and devour us by mere multitude; so I consented to pursue them by
sea, and running to one of their canoes, I jumped in and bade
Friday follow me: but when I was in the canoe I was surprised to
find another poor creature lie there, bound hand and foot, as the
Spaniard was, for the slaughter, and almost dead with fear, not
knowing what was the matter; for he had not been able to look up
over the side of the boat, he was tied so hard neck and heels, and
had been tied so long that he had really but little life in him.

I immediately cut the twisted flags or rushes which they had bound
him with, and would have helped him up; but he could not stand or
speak, but groaned most piteously, believing, it seems, still, that
he was only unbound in order to be killed. When Friday came to him
I bade him speak to him, and tell him of his deliverance; and
pulling out my bottle, made him give the poor wretch a dram, which,
with the news of his being delivered, revived him, and he sat up in
the boat. But when Friday came to hear him speak, and look in his
face, it would have moved any one to tears to have seen how Friday
kissed him, embraced him, hugged him, cried, laughed, hallooed,
jumped about, danced, sang; then cried again, wrung his hands, beat
his own face and head; and then sang and jumped about again like a
distracted creature. It was a good while before I could make him
speak to me or tell me what was the matter; but when he came a
little to himself he told me that it was his father.

It is not easy for me to express how it moved me to see what
ecstasy and filial affection had worked in this poor savage at the
sight of his father, and of his being delivered from death; nor
indeed can I describe half the extravagances of his affection after
this: for he went into the boat and out of the boat a great many
times: when he went in to him he would sit down by him, open his
breast, and hold his father's head close to his bosom for many
minutes together, to nourish it; then he took his arms and ankles,
which were numbed and stiff with the binding, and chafed and rubbed
them with his hands; and I, perceiving what the case was, gave him
some rum out of my bottle to rub them with, which did them a great
deal of good.

This affair put an end to our pursuit of the canoe with the other
savages, who were now almost out of sight; and it was happy for us
that we did not, for it blew so hard within two hours after, and
before they could be got a quarter of their way, and continued
blowing so hard all night, and that from the north-west, which was
against them, that I could not suppose their boat could live, or
that they ever reached their own coast.

But to return to Friday; he was so busy about his father that I
could not find in my heart to take him off for some time; but after
I thought he could leave him a little, I called him to me, and he
came jumping and laughing, and pleased to the highest extreme: then
I asked him if he had given his father any bread. He shook his
head, and said, "None; ugly dog eat all up self." I then gave him
a cake of bread out of a little pouch I carried on purpose; I also
gave him a dram for himself; but he would not taste it, but carried
it to his father. I had in my pocket two or three bunches of
raisins, so I gave him a handful of them for his father. He had no
sooner given his father these raisins but I saw him come out of the
boat, and run away as if he had been bewitched, for he was the
swiftest fellow on his feet that ever I saw: I say, he ran at such
a rate that he was out of sight, as it were, in an instant; and
though I called, and hallooed out too after him, it was all one -
away he went; and in a quarter of an hour I saw him come back
again, though not so fast as he went; and as he came nearer I found
his pace slacker, because he had something in his hand. When he
came up to me I found he had been quite home for an earthen jug or
pot, to bring his father some fresh water, and that he had got two
more cakes or loaves of bread: the bread he gave me, but the water
he carried to his father; however, as I was very thirsty too, I
took a little of it. The water revived his father more than all
the rum or spirits I had given him, for he was fainting with
thirst.

When his father had drunk, I called to him to know if there was any
water left. He said, "Yes"; and I bade him give it to the poor
Spaniard, who was in as much want of it as his father; and I sent
one of the cakes that Friday brought to the Spaniard too, who was
indeed very weak, and was reposing himself upon a green place under
the shade of a tree; and whose limbs were also very stiff, and very
much swelled with the rude bandage he had been tied with. When I
saw that upon Friday's coming to him with the water he sat up and
drank, and took the bread and began to eat, I went to him and gave
him a handful of raisins. He looked up in my face with all the
tokens of gratitude and thankfulness that could appear in any
countenance; but was so weak, notwithstanding he had so exerted
himself in the fight, that he could not stand up upon his feet - he
tried to do it two or three times, but was really not able, his
ankles were so swelled and so painful to him; so I bade him sit
still, and caused Friday to rub his ankles, and bathe them with
rum, as he had done his father's.

I observed the poor affectionate creature, every two minutes, or
perhaps less, all the while he was here, turn his head about to see
if his father was in the same place and posture as he left him
sitting; and at last he found he was not to be seen; at which he
started up, and, without speaking a word, flew with that swiftness
to him that one could scarce perceive his feet to touch the ground
as he went; but when he came, he only found he had laid himself
down to ease his limbs, so Friday came back to me presently; and
then I spoke to the Spaniard to let Friday help him up if he could,
and lead him to the boat, and then he should carry him to our
dwelling, where I would take care of him. But Friday, a lusty,
strong fellow, took the Spaniard upon his back, and carried him
away to the boat, and set him down softly upon the side or gunnel
of the canoe, with his feet in the inside of it; and then lifting
him quite in, he set him close to his father; and presently
stepping out again, launched the boat off, and paddled it along the
shore faster than I could walk, though the wind blew pretty hard
too; so he brought them both safe into our creek, and leaving them
in the boat, ran away to fetch the other canoe. As he passed me I
spoke to him, and asked him whither he went. He told me, "Go fetch
more boat;" so away he went like the wind, for sure never man or
horse ran like him; and he had the other canoe in the creek almost
as soon as I got to it by land; so he wafted me over, and then went
to help our new guests out of the boat, which he did; but they were
neither of them able to walk; so that poor Friday knew not what to
do.

To remedy this, I went to work in my thought, and calling to Friday
to bid them sit down on the bank while he came to me, I soon made a
kind of hand-barrow to lay them on, and Friday and I carried them
both up together upon it between us.

But when we got them to the outside of our wall, or fortification,
we were at a worse loss than before, for it was impossible to get
them over, and I was resolved not to break it down; so I set to
work again, and Friday and I, in about two hours' time, made a very
handsome tent, covered with old sails, and above that with boughs
of trees, being in the space without our outward fence and between
that and the grove of young wood which I had planted; and here we
made them two beds of such things as I had - viz. of good rice-
straw, with blankets laid upon it to lie on, and another to cover
them, on each bed.

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich in
subjects; and it was a merry reflection, which I frequently made,
how like a king I looked. First of all, the whole country was my
own property, so that I had an undoubted right of dominion.
Secondly, my people were perfectly subjected - I was absolutely
lord and lawgiver - they all owed their lives to me, and were ready
to lay down their lives, if there had been occasion for it, for me.
It was remarkable, too, I had but three subjects, and they were of
three different religions - my man Friday was a Protestant, his
father was a Pagan and a cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist.
However, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my dominions.
But this is by the way.

As soon as I had secured my two weak, rescued prisoners, and given
them shelter, and a place to rest them upon, I began to think of
making some provision for them; and the first thing I did, I
ordered Friday to take a yearling goat, betwixt a kid and a goat,
out of my particular flock, to be killed; when I cut off the
hinder-quarter, and chopping it into small pieces, I set Friday to
work to boiling and stewing, and made them a very good dish, I
assure you, of flesh and broth; and as I cooked it without doors,
for I made no fire within my inner wall, so I carried it all into
the new tent, and having set a table there for them, I sat down,
and ate my own dinner also with them, and, as well as I could,
cheered them and encouraged them. Friday was my interpreter,
especially to his father, and, indeed, to the Spaniard too; for the
Spaniard spoke the language of the savages pretty well.

After we had dined, or rather supped, I ordered Friday to take one
of the canoes, and go and fetch our muskets and other firearms,
which, for want of time, we had left upon the place of battle; and
the next day I ordered him to go and bury the dead bodies of the
savages, which lay open to the sun, and would presently be
offensive. I also ordered him to bury the horrid remains of their
barbarous feast, which I could not think of doing myself; nay, I
could not bear to see them if I went that way; all which he
punctually performed, and effaced the very appearance of the
savages being there; so that when I went again, I could scarce know
where it was, otherwise than by the corner of the wood pointing to
the place.

I then began to enter into a little conversation with my two new
subjects; and, first, I set Friday to inquire of his father what he
thought of the escape of the savages in that canoe, and whether we
might expect a return of them, with a power too great for us to
resist. His first opinion was, that the savages in the boat never
could live out the storm which blew that night they went off, but
must of necessity be drowned, or driven south to those other
shores, where they were as sure to be devoured as they were to be
drowned if they were cast away; but, as to what they would do if
they came safe on shore, he said he knew not; but it was his
opinion that they were so dreadfully frightened with the manner of
their being attacked, the noise, and the fire, that he believed
they would tell the people they were all killed by thunder and
lightning, not by the hand of man; and that the two which appeared
- viz. Friday and I - were two heavenly spirits, or furies, come
down to destroy them, and not men with weapons. This, he said, he
knew; because he heard them all cry out so, in their language, one
to another; for it was impossible for them to conceive that a man
could dart fire, and speak thunder, and kill at a distance, without
lifting up the hand, as was done now: and this old savage was in
the right; for, as I understood since, by other hands, the savages
never attempted to go over to the island afterwards, they were so
terrified with the accounts given by those four men (for it seems
they did escape the sea), that they believed whoever went to that
enchanted island would be destroyed with fire from the gods. This,
however, I knew not; and therefore was under continual
apprehensions for a good while, and kept always upon my guard, with
all my army: for, as there were now four of us, I would have
ventured upon a hundred of them, fairly in the open field, at any
time.


Click here to return to the
"Robinson Crusoe" Table of Contents

Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page