Cautiously taking it up, I brought it out, followed by Jack, who, now very triumphant, wished to present it himself to his mother, after watching how I held it. But he had hardly got it into his hands, when it gave him such a violent blow on the cheek with its tail, that he let it fall, and began to cry again. I could not help laughing at him, and, in his rage, he seized a stone, and put an end to his adversary. I was grieved at this, and recommended him never to act in a moment of anger, showing him that he was unjust in being so revengeful; for, if he had been bitten by the lobster, it was plain he would have eaten his foe if he had conquered him.
Jack promised to be more discreet and merciful in future, and obtained leave to bear the prize to his mother. A lobster, Ernest! Where is Fritz! Take care it does not bite you, Francis! Besides, he only defended himself with his natural arms; but you had to take a great stone. You have no reason to be proud, Jack. Ernest wished to have the lobster added to the soup to improve it; but his mother, with a spirit of economy, reserved it for another day.
I then walked to the spot where Jack's lobster was caught, and, finding it favourable for my purpose, drew my two hogsheads on shore there, and secured them by turning them on end. On returning, I congratulated Jack on being the first who had been successful in foraging.
Ernest remarked, that he had seen some oysters attached to a rock, but could not get at them without wetting his feet, which he did not like. We must all unite in working for the public good, regardless of wet feet. The sun will soon dry us. Reasoner," replied I; "where else could it have come from?
But if you wish to escape insipid soup, be quick and procure some. He went, and returned with some salt, so mixed with sand and earth, that I should have thrown it away as useless; but my wife dissolved it in fresh water, and, filtering it through a piece of canvas, managed to flavour our soup with it. Jack asked why we could not have used sea-water; and I explained to him that the bitter and nauseous taste of sea-water would have spoiled our dinner. My wife stirred the soup with a little stick, and, tasting it, pronounced it very good, but added, "We must wait for Fritz.
And how shall we eat our soup without plates or spoons? We cannot possibly raise this large boiling pot to our heads, and drink out of it. It was too true. We gazed stupified at our pot, and, at last, all burst into laughter at our destitution, and our folly in forgetting such useful necessaries. We might as well wish for a dozen handsome silver spoons at once, if wishes were of any use. Off ran Jack, and was mid-leg in the water before Ernest got to him. He tore down the oysters, and threw them to his idle brother, who filled his handkerchief, taking care to put a large one into his pocket for his own use; and they returned with their spoil.
Fritz had not yet appeared, and his mother was becoming uneasy, when we heard him cheerfully hailing us at a distance. He soon came up, with a feigned air of disappointment, and his hands behind him; but Jack, who had glided round him, [pg ] cried out, "A sucking pig! All were anxious to know the particulars of the chase; but I seriously reproved my son for his little fiction, and warned him never to use the least deceit, even in jest.
I then inquired where he had met with the agouti. He told me he had been on the other side of the river, "a very different place to this," continued he. And to-morrow, father, we ought to make another trip to the vessel, to look after our cattle. We might, at least, bring away the cow. Our biscuit would not be so hard dipped in milk. Why should we remain in this barren wilderness? To-morrow, and the day after to-morrow will have their work. But first tell me, did you see anything of our shipmates?
If I had not been afraid it would escape me, I would have tried to take it alive, it seemed so very tame. As we were talking, Jack had been trying, with many grimaces, to force an oyster open with his knife. I laughed at his vain endeavours, and putting some on the fire, showed him them open of themselves. I had no taste for oysters myself; but as they are everywhere accounted a delicacy, I advised my sons to try them.
They all at first declined the unattractive repast, except Jack, who, with great courage, closed his eyes, and desperately swallowed one as if it had been medicine. The rest followed his example, and then all agreed with me that oysters were not good. The shells were soon plunged into the pot to bring out some of the good soup; but scalding their fingers, it was who could cry out the loudest.
Ernest took his large shell from his pocket, cautiously filled it with a good portion of soup, and set it down to cool, exulting in his own prudence. As a punishment for your egotism, that portion must be given to our faithful dogs. We can all dip our shells into the pot, the dogs cannot.
Therefore, they shall have your soup, and you must wait, and eat as we do. The boys all cried out; Fritz was in a fury, took his gun, struck the dogs, called them names, threw stones at them, and would have killed them if I had not held him. He had actually bent his gun with striking them. As soon as he would listen to me, I reproached him seriously for his violence, and represented to him how much he had distressed us, and terrified his mother; that he had spoiled his gun, which might have been so useful to us, and had almost killed the poor animals, who might be more so.
Remember Cain, who killed his brother in a fit of passion. Soon after our repast the sun set, and the fowls gathered round us, and picked up the scattered crumbs of biscuit. My wife then took out her mysterious bag, and drew from it some handfuls of grain to feed her flock. She showed me also many other seeds of useful vegetables. I praised her prudence, and begged her to be very economical, as these seeds were of great value, and we could bring from the vessel some spoiled biscuit for the fowls.
Our pigeons now flew among the rocks, the cocks and hens perched on the frame of the tent, and the geese and ducks chose to roost in a marsh, covered with bushes, near the sea. We prepared for our rest; we loaded all our arms, then offered up our prayers together, thanking [pg ] God for his signal mercy to us, and commending ourselves to his care. When the last ray of light departed, we closed our tent, and lay down on our beds, close together. The children had remarked how suddenly the darkness came on, from which I concluded we were not far from the equator; for I explained to them, the more perpendicularly the rays of the sun fall, the less their refraction; and consequently night comes on suddenly when the sun is below the horizon.
Once more I looked out to see if all was quiet, then carefully closing the entrance, I lay down. Warm as the day had been, the night was so cold that we were obliged to crowd together for warmth. The children soon slept, and when I saw their mother in her first peaceful sleep, my own eyes closed, and our first night on the island passed comfortably. At break of day I was waked by the crowing of the cock. I summoned my wife to council, to consider on the business of the day. We agreed that our first duty was to seek for our shipmates, and to examine the country beyond the river before we came to any decisive resolution.
My wife saw we could not all go on this expedition, and courageously agreed to remain with her three youngest sons, while Fritz, as the eldest and boldest, should accompany me. I begged her to prepare breakfast immediately, which she warned me would be scanty, as no soup was provided. Whilst my wife made the fire, and put on the pot, I called the children, and asking Jack for the lobster, he brought it from a crevice in the rock, where he had hidden it from the dogs, he said, who did not despise anything eatable.
But I told them we could not all go. They must remain with their mother, with Flora for a protector. Fritz and I would take Turk; with him and a loaded gun I thought we should inspire respect. I then ordered Fritz to tie up Flora, and get the guns ready. Fritz blushed, and tried in vain to straighten his crooked gun. I let him go on for some time, and then allowed him to take another; for I saw he was penitent. The dogs, too, snarled, and would not let him approach them.
He wept, and begged some biscuit from his mother, declaring he would give up his own breakfast to make his peace with the dogs. He fed them, caressed them, and seemed to ask pardon. The dog is always grateful; Flora soon licked his hands; Turk was more unrelenting, appearing to distrust him. Think of an almond as big as my head, with a large cup full of rich milk. We began our preparation; we each took a game-bag and a hatchet.
I gave Fritz a pair of pistols in addition to his gun, equipped myself in the same way, and took care to carry biscuit and a flask of fresh water. The lobster proved so hard at breakfast, that the boys did not object to our carrying off the remainder; and, though the flesh is coarse, it is very nutritious. I proposed before we departed, to have prayers, and my thoughtless Jack began to imitate the sound of church-bells--"Ding, dong! Then, kneeling down, I prayed God's blessing on our undertaking, and his pardon for us all, especially for him who had now so grievously sinned.
Poor Jack came and kneeled by me, weeping and begging for forgiveness from me and from God. I embraced him, and enjoined him and his brothers to obey their mother. I then loaded the guns I left with them, and charged my wife to keep near the boat, their best refuge. We took leave of our friends with many tears, as we did not know what dangers might assail us in an unknown region. But the murmur of the river, which we were now approaching, drowned the sound of their sobs, and we bent our thoughts on our journey.
The bank of the river was so steep, that we could only reach the bed at one little opening, [pg ] near the sea, where we had procured our water; but here the opposite side was guarded by a ridge of lofty perpendicular rocks. We were obliged to ascend the river to a place where it fell over some rocks, some fragments of which having fallen, made a sort of stepping-stones, which enabled us to cross with some hazard. We made our way, with difficulty, through the high grass, withered by the sun, directing our course towards the sea, in hopes of discovering some traces of the boats, or the crew.
We had scarcely gone a hundred yards, when we heard a loud noise and rustling in the grass, which was as tall as we were. We imagined we were pursued by some wild beast, and I was gratified to observe the courage of Fritz, who, instead of running away, calmly turned round and presented his piece. What was our joy when we discovered that the formidable enemy was only our faithful Turk, whom we had forgotten in our distress, and our friends had doubtless dispatched him after us! I applauded my son's presence of mind; a rash act might have deprived us of this valuable friend.
We continued our way: the sea lay to our left; on our right, at a short distance, ran the chain of rocks, which were continued from our landing-place, in a line parallel to the sea; the summits clothed with verdure and various trees. Between the rocks and the sea, several little woods extended, even to the shore, to which we kept as close as possible, vainly looking out on land or sea for any trace of our crew. Fritz proposed to fire his gun, as a signal to them, if they should be near us; but I reminded him that this signal might bring the ravages round us, instead of our friends.
He then inquired why we should search after those persons at all, who so unfeelingly abandoned us on the wreck. Besides, they may assist us, or be in need of our assistance. Above all, remember, they could save nothing but themselves. We have got many useful things which they have as much right to as we. We proceeded, and entering a little wood that extended to the sea, we rested in the shade, near a clear stream, and took some refreshment. We were surrounded by unknown birds, more remarkable for brilliant plumage than for the charm of their voice.
Fritz thought he saw some monkeys among the leaves, and Turk began to be restless, smelling about, and barking very loud. Fritz was gazing up into the trees, when he fell over a large round substance, which he brought to me, observing that it might be a bird's nest.
I thought it more likely to be a cocoa-nut. The fibrous covering had reminded him of the description he had read of the nests of certain birds; but, on breaking the shell, we found it was indeed a cocoa-nut, but quite decayed and uneatable. I told him the milk was only in the half-ripe nuts; that it thickened and hardened as the [pg ] nut ripened, becoming a kernel.
This nut had perished from remaining above ground. If it had been in the earth, it would have vegetated, and burst the shell. I advised my son to try if he could not find a perfect nut. After some search, we found one, and sat down to eat it, keeping our own provision for dinner. The nut was somewhat rancid; but we enjoyed it, and then continued our journey. We were some time before we got through the wood, being frequently obliged to clear a road for ourselves, through the entangled brushwood, with our hatchets. At last we entered the open plain again, and had a clear view before us.
The forest still extended about a stone's throw to our right, and Fritz, who was always on the look-out for discoveries, observed a remarkable tree, here and there, which he approached to examine; and he soon called me to see this wonderful tree, with wens growing on the trunk. On coming up, I was overjoyed to find this tree, of which there were a great number, was the gourd-tree, which bears fruit on the trunk. Fritz asked if these were sponges. I told him to bring me one, and I would explain the mystery. We call it the gourd-tree. Fritz leaped for joy. He immediately replied, that the smaller branches [pg ] would not bear the weight of the fruit.
He asked me if this fruit was eatable. Its great value to savage nations consists in the shell, which they use to contain their food, and drink, and even cook in it. I told him the shell was not placed on the fire; but, being filled with cold water, and the fish or meat placed in it, red-hot stones are, by degrees, introduced into the water, till it attains sufficient heat to cook the food, without injuring the vessel.
We then set about making our dishes and plates. I showed Fritz a better plan of dividing the gourd than with a knife. I tied a string tightly round the nut, struck it with the handle of my knife till an incision was made, then tightened it till the nut was separated into two equally-sized bowls. Fritz had spoiled his gourd by cutting it irregularly with his knife. I advised him to try and make spoons of it, as it would not do for basins now.
I told him I had learnt my plan from books of travels. It is the practice of the savages, who have no knives, to use a sort of string, made from the bark of trees, for this purpose. They then open the top, and extract the contents by putting in pebbles and shaking it. By this means they have a complete bottle. We worked on. Fritz completed a dish and some plates, to his great satisfaction, but we considered, [pg ] that being so frail, we could not carry them with us. We therefore filled them with sand, that the sun might not warp them, and left them to dry, till we returned.
As we went on, Fritz amused himself with cutting spoons from the rind of the gourd, and I tried to do the same with the fragments of the cocoa-nut; but I must confess my performances were inferior to those I had seen in the museum in London, the work of the South Sea islanders. We laughed at our spoons, which would have required mouths from ear to ear to eat with them. Fritz declared that the curve of the rind was the cause of that defect: if the spoons had been smaller, they would have been flat; and you might as well eat soup with an oyster-shell as with a shovel.
While we talked, we did not neglect looking about for our lost companions, but in vain. At last, we arrived at a place where a tongue of land ran to some distance into the sea, on which was an elevated spot, favourable for observation. We attained the summit with great labour, and saw before us a magnificent prospect of land and water; but with all the aid our excellent telescope gave us, we could in no direction discover any trace of man.
Nature only appeared in her greatest beauty. The shore enclosed a large bay, which terminated on the other side in a promontory. The gentle rippling of the waves, the varied verdure of the woods, and the multitude of novelties around us, would have filled us with delight, but for the painful recollection of those who, we now were compelled to believe, were buried beneath that glittering water. We did not feel less, however, the mercy of God, who had preserved us, and [pg ] given us a home, with a prospect of subsistence and safety.
We had not yet met with any dangerous animals, nor could we perceive any huts of savages. I remarked to my son that God seemed to have destined us to a solitary life in this rich country, unless some vessel should reach these shores. Now let us retire to that pretty wood to rest ourselves, and eat our dinner, before we return. We proceeded towards a pleasant wood of palm-trees; but before reaching it, had to pass through an immense number of reeds, which greatly obstructed our road. We were, moreover, fearful of treading on the deadly serpents who choose such retreats.
We made Turk walk before us to give notice, and I cut a long, thick cane as a weapon of defence. I was surprised to see a glutinous juice oozing from the end of the cut cane; I tasted it, and was convinced that we had met with a plantation of sugar-canes.
I sucked more of it, and found myself singularly refreshed. I said nothing to Fritz, that he might have the pleasure of making the discovery himself. He was walking a few paces before me, and I called to him to cut himself a cane like mine, which he did, and soon found out the riches it contained.
He cried out in ecstasy, "Oh, papa! How delighted will dear mamma, and my brothers be, when I carry some to them! He was then content to take some pieces to regale himself as he walked home, loading himself with a huge burden for his mother and brothers. We now [pg ] entered the wood of palms to eat our dinner, when suddenly a number of monkeys, alarmed by our approach, and the barking of the dog, fled like lightning to the tops of the trees; and then grinned frightfully at us, with loud cries of defiance.
As I saw the trees were cocoa-palms, I hoped to obtain, by means of the monkeys, a supply of the nuts in the half-ripe state, when filled with milk. I held Fritz's arm, who was preparing to shoot at them, to his great vexation, as he was irritated against the poor monkeys for their derisive gestures; but I told him, that though no patron of monkeys myself, I could not allow it. We had no right to kill any animal except in defence, or as a means of supporting life.
Besides, the monkeys would be of more use to us living than dead, as I would show him. I began to throw stones at the monkeys, not being able, of course, to reach the place of their retreat, and they, in their anger, and in the spirit of imitation, gathered the nuts and hurled them on us in such quantities, that we had some difficulty in escaping from them. We had soon a large stock of cocoa-nuts. Fritz enjoyed the success of the stratagem, and, when the shower subsided, he collected as many as he wished.
We then sat down, and tasted some of the milk through the three small holes, which we opened with our knives. We then divided some with our hatchets, and quenched our thirst with the liquor, which has not, however, a very agreeable flavour. We liked best a sort of thick cream which adheres to the shells, from which we scraped it with our spoons, and mixing it with the juice of the sugar-cane, we produced a delicious dish.
Turk had the rest of the lobster, which we now despised, with some biscuit. We then got up, I tied some nuts together by their stems, and threw them over my shoulder. Fritz took his bundle of canes, and we set out homewards. Fritz groaned heavily under the weight of his canes as we travelled on, and pitied the poor negroes, who had to carry such heavy burdens of them.
He then, in imitation of me, tried to refresh himself by sucking a sugar-cane, but was surprised to find he failed in extracting any of the juice. At last, after some reflection, he said, "Ah! I remember, if there is no opening made for the air, I can get nothing out. If I draw in my breath in sucking, and thus make a vacuum in my mouth, the outer air then forces itself through the hole I have made to fill this vacuum, and carries the juice along with it; and when this division of the cane is emptied, I can proceed to pierce above the next knot.
I am only afraid that going on this way we shall have nothing but empty canes to carry to our friends. I told him I feared another disappointment; for the milk of the cocoa-nut, removed from the shell, spoiled sooner than the sugar-cane juice. I warned him that the milk, exposed to the sun in his tin flask, was probably become vinegar. He instantly took the bottle from his shoulder and uncorked it; when the liquor flew out with a report, foaming like champaign.
This will be the best treat, if it remains in this state. When this is over, and the liquor is cleared, it is a sort of wine, or fermented liquor, more or less agreeable, according to the material used. By applying heat, a second, and slower fermentation succeeds, and the liquor becomes vinegar. Then comes on a third stage, which deprives it of its strength, and spoils it. I fear, in this burning climate, you will carry home only vinegar, or something still more offensive.
But let us drink each other's health now, but prudently, or we shall soon feel the effects of this potent beverage. We found them quite dry, and hard as bone; we had no difficulty in carrying them in our game-bags. We had scarcely got through the little wood where we had breakfasted, when Turk darted furiously on a troop of monkeys, who were sporting about, and had not perceived him. He immediately seized a female, holding a [pg ] young one in her arms, which impeded her flight, and had killed and devoured the poor mother before we could reach him.
The young one had hidden itself among the long grass, when Fritz arrived; he had run with all his might, losing his hat, bottle, and canes, but could not prevent the murder of the poor mother. The little monkey no sooner saw him than it leaped upon his shoulders, fastening its paws in his curls, and neither cries, threats, nor shaking could rid him of it. I ran up to him laughing, for I saw the little creature could not hurt him, and tried in vain to disengage it.
I told him he must carry it thus. It was evident the sagacious little creature, having lost its mother, had adopted him for a father. I succeeded, at last, in quietly releasing him, and took the little orphan, which was no bigger than a cat, in my arms, pitying its helplessness. The mother appeared as tall as Fritz. I was reluctant to add another mouth to the number we had to feed; but Fritz earnestly begged to keep it, offering to divide his share of cocoa-nut milk with it till we had our cows.
I consented, on condition that he took care of it, and taught it to be obedient to him. Turk, in the mean time, was feasting on the remains of the unfortunate mother. Fritz would have driven him off, but I saw we had not food sufficient to satisfy this voracious animal, and we might ourselves be in danger from his appetite. We left him, therefore, with his prey, the little orphan sitting on the shoulder of his protector, while I carried the canes. Turk soon overtook us, and was received very coldly; we reproached [pg ] him with his cruelty, but he was quite unconcerned, and continued to walk after Fritz.
The little monkey seemed uneasy at the sight of him, and crept into Fritz's bosom, much to his inconvenience. But a thought struck him; he tied the monkey with a cord to Turk's back, leading the dog by another cord, as he was very rebellious at first; but our threats and caresses at last induced him to submit to his burden. We proceeded slowly, and I could not help anticipating the mirth of my little ones, when they saw us approach like a pair of show-men. I advised Fritz not to correct the dogs for attacking and killing unknown animals. Heaven bestows the dog on man, as well as the horse, for a friend and protector.
Fritz thought we were very fortunate, then, in having two such faithful dogs; he only regretted that our horses had died on the passage, and only left us the ass. In such conversations, we arrived at the banks of our river before we were aware. Flora barked to announce our approach, and Turk answered so loudly, that the terrified little monkey leaped from his back to the shoulder of its protector, and would not come down. Turk ran off to meet his companion, and our dear family soon appeared on the opposite shore, shouting with joy at our happy return.
We crossed at the same place as we had done in the morning, and embraced each other. Then began such a noise of exclamations. How glad we are! How did you catch him? At length, when we got a little peace, I told them that, though I had brought them all sorts of good things, I had, unfortunately, not met with any of our companions.
This day has seemed an age. But put down your loads, and let us hear your adventures; we have not been idle, but we are less fatigued than you. Boys, assist your father and brother. Jack took my gun, Ernest the cocoa-nuts, Francis the gourd-rinds, and my wife the game-bag. Fritz distributed his sugar-canes, and placed the monkey on Turk's back, to the amusement of the children. He begged Ernest to carry his gun, but he complained of being overloaded with the great bowls. His indulgent mother took them from him, and we proceeded to the tent.
Fritz thought Ernest would not have relinquished the bowls, if he had known what they contained, and called out to tell him they were cocoa-nuts. My wife, who had a proper respect for sugar in her housekeeping, was much pleased with this discovery, and the history of all our acquisitions, which I displayed to her. Nothing gave her so much pleasure as our plates and dishes, which were actual necessaries. We went to our kitchen, and were gratified to see preparations going on for a good supper.
My wife had planted a forked stick on each side the hearth; on these rested a long thin wand, on which all sorts of fish were roasting, Francis being intrusted to turn the spit. On the other side was impaled a goose on another spit, and a row of oyster-shells formed the dripping-pan: besides this, the iron pot was on the fire, from which arose the savoury odour of a good soup.
Behind the hearth stood one of the hogsheads, opened, and containing the finest Dutch cheeses, enclosed in cases of lead. All this was very tempting to hungry travellers, and very unlike a supper on a desert island.
I could not think my family had been idle, when I saw such a result of their labours; I was only sorry they had killed the goose, as I wished to be economical with our poultry. It is web-footed, has a long narrow beak, a little curved downwards. I have preserved the head and neck for you to examine; it exactly resembles the penguin of my book of natural history.
I pointed out to him the advantages of study, and was making more inquiries about the form and habits of the bird, when my wife requested me to defer my catechism of natural history. What more would you have? Let the poor child have the pleasure of examining and tasting the cocoa-nuts. I told them he had not yet learnt to eat, and we must feed him with cocoa-nut milk till we could get something better.
Jack generously offered all his share, but Ernest and Francis were anxious to taste the milk themselves. We sat down on the ground, and the supper was served on our gourd-rind service, which answered the purpose admirably. My impatient boys had broken the nuts, which they found excellent, and they made themselves spoons of the shell. Jack [pg ] had taken care the monkey had his share; they dipped the corner of their handkerchiefs in the milk, and let him suck them. They were going to break up some more nuts, after emptying them through the natural holes, but I stopped them, and called for a saw.
I carefully divided the nuts with this instrument, and soon provided us each with a neat basin for our soup, to the great comfort of my dear wife, who was gratified by seeing us able to eat like civilized beings. Fritz begged now to enliven the repast by introducing his champaign. I consented; requesting him, however, to taste it himself before he served it. What was his mortification to find it vinegar!
But we consoled ourselves by using it as sauce to our goose; a great improvement also to the fish.
We had now to hear the history of our supper. Jack and Francis had caught the fish at the edge of the sea. My active wife had performed the most laborious duty, in rolling the hogshead to the place and breaking open the head. The sun was going down as we finished supper, and, recollecting how rapidly night succeeded, we hastened to our tent, where we found our beds much more comfortable, from the kind attention of the good mother, who had collected a large addition of dried grass.
After prayers, we all lay down; the monkey between Jack and Fritz, carefully covered with moss to keep him warm. The fowls went to their roost, as on the previous night, and, after our fatigue, we were all soon in a profound sleep. We had not slept long, when a great commotion among the dogs and fowls announced the [pg ] presence of an enemy. My wife, Fritz, and I, each seizing a gun, rushed out. By the light of the moon, we saw a terrible battle going on: our brave dogs were surrounded by a dozen jackals, three or four were extended dead, but our faithful animals were nearly overpowered by numbers when we arrived.
I was glad to find nothing worse than jackals; Fritz and I fired on them; two fell dead, and the others fled slowly, evidently wounded. Turk and Flora pursued and completed the business, and then, like true dogs, devoured their fallen foes, regardless of the bonds of relationship. All being quiet again, we retired to our beds; Fritz obtaining leave to drag the jackal he had killed towards the tent, to save it from the dogs, and to show to his brothers next morning. This he accomplished with difficulty, for it was as big as a large dog.
We all slept peacefully the remainder of the night, till the crowing of the cock awoke my wife and myself to a consultation on the business of the day.
A voyage to the vessel is indispensable, if we wish to save our cattle, and many other things that may be useful to us; on the other hand, I should [pg ] like to have a more secure shelter for ourselves and our property than this tent. Let it be done to-day; and have no care for the morrow: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, as our blessed Lord has said.
It was then agreed that the three youngest children should remain with my wife; and Fritz, the strongest and most active, should accompany me. I then arose, and woke my children for the important duties of the day. Fritz jumped up the first, and ran for his jackal, which had stiffened in the cold of the night. He placed it on its four legs, at the entrance of the tent, to surprise his brothers; but no sooner did the dogs see it erect, than they flew at it, and would have torn it to pieces, if he had not soothed them and called them off. However, their barking effectually roused the boys, who rushed out to see the cause.
Jack issued first with the monkey on his shoulder; but no sooner did the little creature see the jackal, than he sprang into the tent, and hid himself among the moss, till only the tip of his nose was visible. All were astonished to see this large yellow animal standing; Francis thought it was a wolf; Jack said it was only a dead dog, and Ernest, in a pompous tone, pronounced it to be a golden fox. Fritz laughed at the learned professor, who knew the agouti immediately, and now called a jackal a golden fox!
I reproved Fritz for his ridicule of his brother, and Ernest for so easily taking offence; and, to reconcile all, I told them that the jackal partook of the nature of the wolf, the fox, and the dog. This discussion terminated, I summoned them to prayers, after which we thought of breakfast. We had nothing but biscuit, which was certainly dry and hard. Fritz begged for a little cheese with it; and Ernest, who was never satisfied like other people, took a survey of the unopened hogshead. He soon returned, crying "If we only had a little butter with our biscuit, it would be so good, papa!
We began to consider how we should come at the contents of the hogshead, without exposing the perishable matter to the heat of the sun. Finally, I pierced a hole in the lower part of the cask, large enough for us to draw out the butter as we wanted it, by means of a little wooden shovel, which I soon made. We then sat down [pg ] to breakfast with a cocoa-nut basin filled with good salt Dutch butter. We toasted our biscuit, buttered it hot, and agreed that it was excellent. Our dogs were sleeping by us as we breakfasted; and I remarked that they had bloody marks of the last night's fray, in some deep and dangerous wounds, especially about the neck; my wife instantly dressed the wounds with butter, well washed in cold water; and the poor animals seemed grateful for the ease it gave them.
Ernest judiciously remarked, that they ought to have spiked collars, to defend them from any wild beasts they might encounter. I was glad to employ his inventive powers; and, ordering my children, not to leave their mother, during our absence, but to pray to God to bless our undertaking, we began our preparations for the voyage. While Fritz made ready the boat, I erected a signal-post, with a piece of sailcloth for a flag, to float as long as all was going on well; but if we were wanted, they were to lower the flag, and fire a gun three times, when we would immediately return; for I had informed my dear wife it might be necessary for us to remain on board all night; and she consented to the plan, on my promising to pass the night in our tubs, instead of the vessel.
We took nothing but our guns and ammunition; relying on the ship's provisions. Fritz would, however, take the monkey, that he might give it some milk from the cow. We took a tender leave of each other, and embarked. When we had rowed into the middle of [pg ] the bay, I perceived a strong current formed by the water of the river which issued at a little distance, which I was glad to take advantage of, to spare our labour.
It carried us three parts of our voyage, and we rowed the remainder; and entering the opening in the vessel, we secured our boat firmly, and went on board. The first care of Fritz was to feed the animals, who were on deck, and who all saluted us after their fashion, rejoiced to see their friends again, as well as to have their wants supplied. We put the young monkey to a goat, which he sucked with extraordinary grimaces, to our infinite amusement. We then took some refreshment ourselves, and Fritz, to my great surprise, proposed that we should begin by adding a sail to our boat.
He said the current which helped us to the vessel, could not carry us back, but the wind which blew so strongly against us, and made our rowing so fatiguing, would be of great service, if we had a sail. I thanked my counsellor for his good advice, and we immediately set to the task. I selected a strong pole for a mast, and a triangular sail, which was fixed to a yard. We made a hole in a plank, to receive the mast, secured the plank on our fourth tub, forming a deck, and then, by aid of a block used to hoist and lower the sails, raised our mast.
Finally, two ropes fastened by one end to the yard, and by the other to each extremity of the boat, enabled us to direct the sail at pleasure. Fritz next ornamented the top of the mast with a little red streamer. He then gave our boat the name of the Deliverance , and requested it might henceforward [pg ] be called the little vessel. To complete its equipment, I contrived a rudder, so that I could direct the boat from either end. After signalling to our friends that we should not return that night, we spent the rest of the day in emptying the tubs of the stones we had used for ballast, and replacing them with useful things.
Powder and shot, nails and tools of all kinds, pieces of cloth; above all, we did not forget knives, forks, spoons, and kitchen utensils, including a roasting-jack. In the captain's cabin we found some services of silver, pewter plates and dishes, and a small chest filled with bottles of choice wines. We collected all the implements of husbandry we could spare room for, and, at the request of Fritz, some hammocks and blankets; two or three handsome guns, and an armful of sabres, swords, and hunting-knives.
Lastly, I embarked a barrel of sulphur, all the cord and string I could lay my hands on, and a large roll of sailcloth. The sulphur was intended to produce matches with. Our tubs were loaded to the edge; there was barely room left for us to sit, and it would have been dangerous to attempt our return if the sea had not been so calm. Night arrived, we exchanged signals, to announce security on sea and land, and, after prayers for the dear islanders, we sought our tubs, not the most luxurious of dormitories, but safer than the ship.
Fritz slept soundly; but I could not [pg ] close my eyes, thinking of the jackals.
I was, however, thankful for the protection they had in the dogs. As soon as day broke, I mounted on deck, to look through the telescope. I saw my wife looking towards us; and the flag, which denoted their safety, floating in the breeze. Satisfied on this important point, we enjoyed our breakfast of biscuit, ham, and wine, and then turned our thoughts to the means of saving our cattle.
Even if we could contrive a raft, we could never get all the animals to remain still on it. We might venture the huge sow in the water, but the rest of the animals we found would not be able to swim to shore. At last Fritz suggested the swimming apparatus. We passed two hours in constructing them. For the cow and ass it was necessary to have an empty cask on each side, well bound in strong sailcloth, fastened by leather thongs over the back and under each animal.
For the rest, we merely tied a piece of cork under their bodies; the sow only being unruly, and giving us much trouble. We then fastened a cord to the horns or neck of each animal, with a slip of wood at the end, for a convenient handle. Luckily, the waves had broken away part of the ship, and left the opening wide enough for the passage of our troop. We first launched the ass into the water, by a sudden [pg ] push; he swam away, after the first plunge, very gracefully. The cow, sheep, and goats, followed quietly after.
The sow was furious, and soon broke loose from us all, but fortunately reached the shore long before the rest. We now embarked, fastening all the slips of wood to the stern of the boat, thus drawing our train after us; and the wind filling our sail, carried us smoothly towards the shore. Fritz exulted in his plan, as we certainly could never have rowed our boat, loaded as we were.
I once more took out my telescope, and was remarking that our party on shore seemed making ready for some excursion, when a loud cry from Fritz filled me with terror. It immediately made its escape, leaving a long red track to prove that it was severely wounded. Being freed from our enemy, I now resumed the rudder, and we lowered the sail and rowed to shore. The animals, as soon as the water became low enough, walked out at their own discretion, after we had relieved them from their swimming girdles. We then secured our boat as before, and landed ourselves, anxiously looking round for our friends.
We had not long to wait, they came joyfully to greet us; and, after our first burst of pleasure, we sat down to tell our adventures in a regular form. My wife was overjoyed to see herself surrounded by these valuable animals; and especially pleased [pg ] that her son Fritz had suggested so many useful plans.
We next proceeded to disembark all our treasures. I noticed that Jack wore a belt of yellow skin, in which were placed a pair of pistols, and inquired where he had got his brigand costume. Look at the dogs! The dogs wore each a collar of the same skin as his belt, bristling with long nails, the points outwards--a formidable defence. There is still more to come from it, only say what you want. Fritz evidently felt a little vexation at his brother's unceremonious appropriation of the skin of the jackal, which displayed itself in the tone in which he exclaimed, holding his nose, "Keep at a distance, Mr.
Skinner, you carry an intolerable smell about with you. I gave him a gentle hint of his duty in the position of eldest son, and he soon recovered his good humour. However, as the body as well as the skin of the jackal was becoming offensive, they united in dragging it down to the sea, while Jack placed his belt in the sun to dry. As I saw no preparation for supper, I told Fritz to bring the ham; and, to the astonishment and joy of all, he returned with a fine Westphalian ham, which we had cut into in the morning.
They are white balls, the skin of which resembles moistened parchment. My wife promised to relate the history of the discovery after supper, and set about preparing her ham and omelet, while Fritz and I proceeded in unloading our cargo, assisted by the useful ass.
Supper was now ready. A tablecloth was laid over the butter-cask, and spread with the plates and spoons from the ship. The ham was in the middle, and the omelet and cheese at each end; and we made a good meal, surrounded by our subjects,--the dogs, the fowls, the pigeons, the sheep, and the goats, waiting for our notice. The geese and ducks were more independent, remaining in their marsh, where they lived in plenty on the small crabs which abounded there. After supper, I sent Fritz for a bottle of the captain's Canary wine, and then requested my wife to give us her recital.
Then I began to consider on the necessity of searching for a more comfortable spot for our residence; and determined, after a slight repast, to set out with my children across the river, on a journey of discovery. The day before, Jack had busied himself in skinning the jackal with his knife, sharpened on the rock; Ernest declining to assist him in his dirty work, for which I reproved him, sorry that any fastidiousness should deter him from a labour of benefit to society.
The boys carried provisions, and I had a large flask of water. I took a small hatchet, and gave Ernest a carbine, which might be loaded with ball; keeping his light gun for myself. I carefully secured the opening of the tent with the hooks. Turk went before, evidently considering himself our guide; and we crossed the river with some difficulty. I had remarked a beautiful wood, to which I determined to make our way, for a little shade, and a most painful progress it was, through grass that was higher than the children's heads. As we were struggling through it, we heard a strange rustling sound among the grass, and at the same moment a bird of prodigious size rose, and flew away, before the poor boys could get their guns ready.
They were much mortified, and I recommended them always to have their guns in readiness, for the birds would not be likely to wait till they loaded them. Francis thought the bird was so large, it must be an eagle; but Ernest ridiculed the idea, and added that he thought it must be of the bustard tribe.
We went forward to the spot from which it had arisen, when suddenly another bird of the same kind, though still larger, sprung up, close to our feet, and was soon soaring above our heads. I could not help laughing to see the look of astonishment and confusion with which the boys looked upwards after it. At last Jack took off his hat, and, making a low bow, said, 'Pray, Mr. Bird, be kind enough to pay us another visit, you will find us very good children! Neither do their young run as soon as they are hatched. Jack climbed one of the arches, and measured the trunk of the tree with a piece of packthread.
He found it to be thirty-four feet. I made thirty-two steps round the roots. Between the roots and the lowest branches, it seemed about forty or fifty feet. The branches are thick and strong, and the leaves are of a moderate size, and resemble our walnut-tree. A thick, short, smooth turf clothed the ground beneath and around the detached roots of the trees, and everything combined to render this one of the most delicious spots the mind could conceive.
Our dogs soon joined us; but I was astonished to find they did not crave for food, but laid down to sleep at our feet. For myself, so safe and happy did I feel, that I could not but think that if we could contrive a dwelling on the branches of one of these trees, we should be in perfect peace and safety.
We set out on our return, taking the road by the sea-shore, in case the waves had cast up anything from the wreck of the vessel. We found a quantity of timber, chests, and casks; but all too heavy to bring. We succeeded in dragging them, as well as we could, out of the reach of the tide; our dogs, in the mean time, fishing for crabs, with which they regaled themselves, much to their own satisfaction and to mine, as I now saw they would be able to provide their own food.
As we rested from our rough labour, I saw Flora scratching in the sand, and swallowing something with great relish. Ernest watched, and then said, very quietly, 'They are turtles' eggs. Ernest was certain it was papa and Fritz, and though Francis was in dread that it should be the savages who visited Robinson Crusoe's island, coming to eat us up, we were soon enabled to calm his fears. We crossed the river by leaping from stone to stone, and, hastening to the landing-place, [pg ] arrived to greet you on your happy return.
But how are we to get up? We used to ascend to it by a wooden staircase. Could you not contrive something of the sort in one of these gigantic trees, where we might sleep in peace, fearing neither jackals nor any other terrible nocturnal enemy. I promised to consider this plan, hoping at least that we might make a commodious and shady dwelling among the roots. To-morrow we were to examine it. We then performed our evening devotions, and retired to rest. First, it seems wise to remain on the spot where Providence has cast us, where we can have at once means of support drawn from the ship, and security from all attacks, protected by the rock, the river, and the sea on all sides.
My wife distrusted the river, which could not [pg ] protect us from the jackals, and complained of the intolerable heat of this sandy desert, of her distaste for such food as oysters and wild geese; and, lastly, of her agony of mind, when we ventured to the wreck; willingly renouncing all its treasures, and begging we might rest content with the blessings we already had.
I hope, by blowing off some pieces of the rock with powder, to be able to fortify the part next the river, leaving a secret passage known only to ourselves. This would make it impregnable. But before we proceed, we must have a bridge to convey our baggage across the river.
Why cannot we ford it as usual? The cow and ass could carry our stores. I explained to her how necessary it was for our ammunition and provision to be conveyed over without risk of wetting, and begged her to manufacture some bags and baskets, and leave the bridge to me and my boys. If we succeeded, it would always be useful; as for fear of danger from lightning or accident, I intended to make a powder-magazine among the rocks.
The important question was now decided. I called up my sons, and communicated our plans to them. They were greatly delighted, though somewhat alarmed, at the formidable project of the bridge; besides, the delay was vexatious; [pg ] they were all anxious for a removal into the Land of Promise , as they chose to call it. We read prayers, and then thought of breakfast. The monkey sucked one of the goats, as if it had been its mother. My wife milked the cow, and gave us boiled milk with biscuit for our breakfast; part of which she put in a flask, for us to take on our expedition.
We then prepared our boat for a voyage to the vessel, to procure planks and timber for our bridge. I took both Ernest and Fritz, as I foresaw our cargo would be weighty, and require all our hands to bring it to shore. We rowed vigorously till we got into the current, which soon carried us beyond the bay.
We had scarcely reached a little isle at the entrance, when we saw a vast number of gulls and other sea-birds, fluttering with discordant cries over it. I hoisted the sail, and we approached rapidly; and, when near enough, we stepped on shore, and saw that the birds were feasting so eagerly on the remains of a huge fish, that they did not even notice our approach. He rows to a neighboring island and finds evidence that humans once lived there. The star of " The Boys " has a great Watchlist that she can't stop re-watching.
Watch now. Title: The Swiss Family Robinson —. When the Robinsons plan to go to start a new life in Australia , they run into a storm that turns their lives completely. Richard Thomas stars in this amazing tale of a family looking for adventure only to find themselves marooned on a deserted island.
Having no means of provision or shelter they struggled to Marsha Robinson, host of a TV cooking show, takes her family on a working vacation to a South Seas Island, but their yacht is hijacked by pirates, and then shipwrecked, and the Robinsons The Wilderness Family now face terrifying times in fierce winter storms, an avalanche, and being attacked by a ferocious pack of hungry wolves.
Watch as America's favorite family stands After fleeing into the mountains after he is wrongly accused of murder, woodsman "Grizzly Adams" discovers an uncanny bond to the indigenous wildlife of the region after rescuing an orphaned grizzly bear cub whom he adopts and calls "Ben". The family who went "back to nature" by homesteading in the Colorado Rockies is threatened by possible federal opposition to their mining claims on the land they moved to.
A family flees the city for the wilderness. They learn to live with nature and more importantly, that when one has family, one has everything. Karl Robinson, his wife, two sons and an orphaned girl wash up on a volcanic island after a shipwreck. Also on the island is Jeremiah Worth, who was marooned there seven years earlier. Follows the adventures of a Swiss family shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island in It is loosely based on the classic novel by Johann Wyss.
I remember this show used to play on CTV re-runs? We had two channels in non-cable Saskatchewan in the 70's , of which this was one of the highlights. It was an enjoyable family show where typically one or more of the family were menaced by storms, sickness or some sort of wild cat. Too bad it only lasted one season. There is not too much else I can say about the show as most of the story lines have faded from memory.
I still remember Chris Wiggins as a standout and its always enjoyable to see him especially today.
They won't pass the gap. Was this review helpful to you? While prepping for the pirate attack, Fritz and Ernst vie for the affections of Roberta. Fritz saw after the ammunition, and Jack and Ernest ran down to the beach to capture the geese and ducks. All the animals used in the movie were kept in an enclosure next to the studio.
Its too bad there is not more programming like this for young kids. Also it seems like there were more than 10 episodes? The creator and cast shared their feelings on the big night and the power of love. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.
Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites. Company Credits. Technical Specs. Episode List. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide.
External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews.
Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos.
The Swiss Family Robinson (German: Der Schweizerische Robinson) is a novel by Johann David Wyss, first published in , about a Swiss family. Swiss Family Robinson is a American adventure film starring John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Tommy Kirk and Kevin.
Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Episode Guide. Top-Rated Episodes S1. Error: please try again. Movie Collection.