For some time Robinson did not trust Friday, and did not allow him to sleep in the same part of his castle with himself, but kept him at night in a little tent outside the fence.
Friday was quite faithful, never sulky nor lazy, but always merry, and ready to do anything that Robinson told him.
At first when they went out in the woods together, Friday was terrified each time that Robinson’s gun was fired. He had never seen anything like it, and it was more than he could understand how things could be killed merely by the noise and the flash of fire.
Friday told Robinson much about his country, and about his people, who he said were Caribs. And a great way “beyond the moon,” by which he meant to the west, he said that white men lived who had beards such as Robinson wore. These white men, he said, had killed very many natives, from which Robinson fancied that they must be Spaniards, who about that time were very cruel to the people whose countries they had taken.
Robinson asked if Friday could tell him how he might get over to where the white men lived, and Friday said it would be very easy, if they had a big canoe, and again Robinson began to make plans and to hope to escape from the island.
Some time after this Robinson and Friday chanced to be on the high hill at the east end of the island. The day was very clear. Friday gazed long over the sea, and then began to jump and dance, pointing to the dim blue coast. “There my country! See! There my people live!” he said, his eyes sparkling with joy, and an eager light on his face.
After this, for a time Robinson was not easy in his mind about Friday. He had little doubt that if he could get back to his tribe, he would soon forget all he had been taught, might even return with a hundred or two of his friends, and kill and eat his master. But in this Robinson was very unjust to Friday, who had no such thoughts in his mind as those of which he was suspected. And this Robinson soon found out. One day he asked Friday if he would not be glad to be once more in his own land.
“Yes” said Friday; “very glad.”
“Would you eat man’s flesh again?”
“No, never,” said Friday.
Then Robinson asked why he did not go back. Friday said he would go if Robinson came too.
Then Robinson, who thought if he could reach other white men, he would finally reach England, began to build a boat in which to leave the island. Together he and Friday went to work to fell a tree, and Friday soon showed that he knew far better than Robinson the kind of tree best suited for boat-making. Robinson showed him how to use tools, and in a little more than a month the boat was finished. After the boat was put into the water, Robinson was astonished at Friday’s skill in paddling so large a canoe.
“Will she do to go over in?” he asked, and Friday, grinning, said, “Yes, even if big wind blow.” But Robinson did not mean to depend on paddling, and fitted the boat with a mast, sails and rudder.