For long after this he was very uneasy, and made up his mind to shift his quarters as soon as he could find a better place for his tent. But the earthquake had one good result, for what remained of the wreck was again thrown up by the sea, and Robinson got more things out of it which were useful to him, and for days he worked hard at that. One day, too, when he was on his way to the remains of the ship, he came on a large turtle, which he killed, and this gave him plenty of good food, for besides the flesh, there were, inside the animal, many eggs, which she had come to the shore to lay in the sand, as is the habit of turtles, and which Robinson thought were even better than hen’s eggs.
Now a few days after he had got so wet in the heavy rain, though the weather was hot, Robinson felt very cold and shivery, and had pains all over his body, and at night he dreamed terrible dreams. The following day, and many days, he lay very ill with fever and ague, and hardly knew what he was doing. So weak was he, that he believed he was dying, and there was no one to give him water to quench his thirst, nor to help him in any way. His only medicine was rum, in which he had soaked tobacco. It was very nasty, and made him sick, but it also made him sleep for more than a whole day and a night, and he woke much better, and able to walk about a little, though for a fortnight he was too weak to work. From this illness he learned not to go out more than he could help during the rainy season.
When he was again quite strong, Robinson started to explore the island better than he had yet done, and he found many things growing, of which he made great use afterwards, tobacco, sugar-cane, and all manner of fruits, among them grapes, which he used to dry to raisins in the sun in great quantities.
Near the spot where the most fruit grew, he built a hut, and round it, for safety, he put a double fence made of stakes cut from some of the trees near at hand. During the next rainy season these stakes took root, and grew so fast that soon nothing of the hut could be seen from outside the hedge, and it made so good a hiding-place, that Robinson cut more stakes of the same kind, and planted them outside the fence around his first dwelling; and in a year or two that also was quite hidden from view. The twigs of this tree, too, were good for making baskets, of which he had been in great need.
When he had finished all this work, he started again to go over the rest of the island, and on his way across, from a hill, the day being very clear, he saw high land a great way off over the water, but whether it was another island, or the coast of America, he could not be sure.
When he reached the other side of his island Robinson found the beach covered with turtles in astonishing numbers, and he thought how much better off he would have been if he had been cast ashore here, for not only would the turtles have supplied him with plenty of food, but there were far more birds than on the part of the island where he had been living, and far more goats.