He therefore makes to her a little sign with the head.
Marimonda replies by winks of the eye and motions of the shoulders, which Selkirk thinks not wholly destitute of grace.
He rises and approaches her, saluting her with an amicable gesture.
She awaits him, chattering with her teeth and lips with an expression of joy.
Selkirk gently passes his hand over her forehead and neck, calling her by name; then he starts for his habitation, and Marimonda follows him. The man and the monkey have just been reconciled. Both were tired of their isolation.
A Tete-a-tete.—The Monkey’s Goblet.—The Palace.—A Removal.—Winter under the Tropics—Plans for the Future.—Property.—A burst of Laughter.—Misfortune not far off.
Tranquility of mind has returned to our solitary; now, his reveries are more pleasant and less prolonged; his walks through the woods, his moments of repose during the heat of the day seem more endurable since something, besides his shadow, keeps him company; he has resumed his taste for labor since there is somebody to look at him; speech has returned to him since somebody replies to his voice. This somebody, this something, is Marimonda.
Marimonda is now the companion of Selkirk, his friend, his slave; she seems to comprehend his slightest gestures and even his ennui. To amuse him, she resorts to a thousand expedients, a thousand tricks of the agility peculiar to her race; she goes, she comes, she runs, she leaps, she bounds, she chatters at his side; she tries to people his solitude, to make a rustling around him; she brings him his pipes, rocks him in his hammock, and, for all these cares, all this attention, demands only a caress, which is no longer refused.
She is often a spectator of her master’s repasts; sometimes even shares them. This was at first a favor, afterwards a habit, as in the case of honest countrymen, who, secluded from the world, by degrees admit their servants into their intimacy. Selkirk had not to fear the importunate, unexpected visit of a neighbor or a curious stranger.
So it is in the open air, on the latticed table, in the shade of his great mimosa, that these repasts in common take place; the master occupies the bench, the servant humbly seats herself on the stool, ready, at the first signal, to leave her place and assist in serving. Have we not seen in India, ourang-outangs trained to perform the office of domestics? and Marimonda was in nothing inferior in intelligence and activity.
She is now fond of the flesh of the goat, of that of the coatis and agoutis, for monkeys easily become carnivorous; but the table is also sometimes covered with the products of her hunting. If the dessert fails, she hastily interrupts her repast, leaves the master to continue his alone, buries herself in the surrounding woods, reaches in three bounds the tops of the trees, and quickly returns with a supply of fruits which he can fearlessly taste, for she knows them.