After having enjoyed for a few moments the surprise and transports of his companion, Selkirk takes his Bible and his pipe, and, placing the book on the table, bends over it, preparing to read and to meditate. But, whether in consequence of her joyous excitement, or whether she is emboldened by the species of fraternity which costume establishes between them, Marimonda, without hesitation, directs herself to the little shelf, chooses from it a pipe in her turn, places it gravely between her lips, astonished at not seeing the smoke issue from it in a spiral column; and, with an important air, still imitating her master, comes to sit opposite him, with her brow inclined, and her elbow resting on the table.
Willingly humoring her whim, Selkirk takes the pipe from her hands, fills it with his most spicy tobacco, lights it, and restores it to her.
Hardly has Marimonda respired the first breath, when suddenly letting fall the pipe, overturning the table, emitting the smoke through her mouth and nostrils, she disappears, uttering plaintive cries, as if she had just tasted burning lava.
At sight of the poor monkey, thus thrown into confusion, Selkirk, for the first time since his residence in the island, laughs so loudly, that the echo follows the fugitive to the grotto, where she had taken refuge, and is prolonged from the grotto to the Oasis, from the Oasis to the summit of the Discovery.
The exile has at last laughed, laughed aloud, and, at the same moment, a terrible disaster is taking place without his knowledge; a new war is preparing for him, in which his arms will be useless.
A New Invasion.—Selkirk joyfully meets an ancient Enemy.—Combat on a Red Cedar.—A Mother and her Little Ones.—The Flock.—Fete in the Island; Pacific Combats, Diversions and Swings.—A Sail.—The Burning Wood.—Presentiments of Marimonda.
The next morning the sun has scarcely touched the horizon, Selkirk is still asleep, when he is awakened by a sort of tickling at his feet. Thinking it some caress or trick of Marimonda, risen earlier than usual, he half opens his eyes, sees nothing, and places himself again in a posture to continue his nap. The same tickling is renewed, but with more perseverance, and very soon something sharp and keen penetrates to the quick the hard envelope of his heel. The tickling has become a bite.
This time wide awake, he raises his head. His cabin is full of rats!
Near him, a company of them are tranquilly engaged in breakfasting on his coverings and the rushes of his couch; they are on his table, his seats, along his pillow and his walls; they are playing before his door, running hither and thither through the crevices of his roof, multiplying themselves on his rack and shelf; all biting, gnawing, nibbling—some his seal-skin hat, his tobacco-pouch, the bark ornaments of his furniture; others the handles of his tools, his pipes, his Bible, and even his powder-horn.