Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12).

Soon after this Robinson had a long talk with the Spaniard, who told him how he and his comrades had been wrecked four years since, on that part of the coast where Friday’s tribe lived.  He said that they were well treated by the natives, but that they were put to very great straits now for want of clothes, that their powder was finished, and that they had lost all hope of ever getting back to their own country.  He himself, he said, had been captured in one of the many small wars that are always taking place among the various tribes.

It struck Robinson that it might be possible for him to get these men over to his island, provided that he could be sure of their good faith, and that when they came, they did not take the island from him by treachery.  It was a risk, he thought, but then, if he got so many men, it would not be difficult to build a small ship that could carry them all to England.

So he asked the Spaniard if he would promise, and if he thought he could get his comrades to take an oath that, if Robinson helped them, they would look on him as their captain, and would swear to obey him in all things.  The Spaniard readily promised for himself, and said that he was sure his comrades would keep faith.

It was arranged, therefore, that in about six months, when the next harvest was reaped, and there would be plenty of food for so many extra men, the Spaniard and Friday’s father should go over to the mainland in one of the canoes which had been taken from the savages.

Meantime, all hands set about the curing of very large quantities of raisins, and much other work was done to be in readiness for the coming of these men.

When the harvest was reaped, Robinson gave the Spaniard and Friday’s father each a musket and a supply of powder and bullets, and loaded the canoe with food, enough to last them and the others about a fortnight, and the two men set off for the mainland in fine weather, and with a fair wind.

It was about eight days after this, and when Robinson had begun to look out for their return, that one morning very early, when Robinson was asleep, Friday came running in, shouting, “Master!  Master!  They come.”  Up jumped Robinson, and hurrying on his clothes, ran out.

Looking towards the sea, he soon made out a sailing-boat making for the shore, coming from the south end of the island, but still some miles away.  This was not the direction from which the Spaniard and his comrades would come, nor were they likely to be in a sailing-boat.  So Robinson took his telescope, and went to the top of the hill to see if he could make out who were on board, before they landed.

Hardly had he got on to the hill when he noticed a ship at anchor some distance from the shore.  She looked like an English vessel, he thought, and the boat like an English long-boat.

This was a wonderful sight to Robinson, but yet he was not easy in his mind.  It was not a part of the world where an English ship was likely to come, because in those days they were nearly all Spanish vessels that traded in these seas, and the English and Spaniards were bitter enemies.  What could an English ship be doing here?  There had been no storm to drive her out of her course.

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Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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