Robinson and Friday remained on shore to look after the prisoners, while the Captain and the mate and the passenger, with those of the crew who were trustworthy, having patched up the damaged boat, pulled off in her and in the other to the ship, which they reached about midnight. When they were a short distance off, the Captain made one of the crew hail the ship and say that they had brought off the boat and the men they had gone in search of. Then both boats ran alongside at once, one on each side of the vessel, and before the mutineers knew what was happening they were overpowered, one or two of them being killed. Only one of the Captain’s party was hurt, the mate, whose arm was broken by a musket-ball.
As soon as the ship was secured, the Captain ordered seven guns to be fired, that being the signal he had agreed to make to let Robinson know if he succeeded in taking the ship.
Robinson’s stay in the island had now come to an end, after more than twenty-eight years, for in a few days he and Friday sailed for England in the ship. Some of the mutineers were left on the island, and were afterwards joined by the Spaniard and his comrades, for whom Robinson left a letter.
Robinson did not forget, when he left, to take with him the money and gold bars he had got from the wreck of the Spanish ship, and he took also, as a memento, the goatskin coat and the great hairy hat. But the Captain was able before the ship sailed to give him proper clothing, the wearing of which at first put him to dreadful discomfort.
The voyage was a long one, but they sighted the English coast at last.
It was thirty-five years since Robinson had set foot in England. And that morning, when at last, after the weary years of exile, he again saw his native land, he laid his head down on his arms and cried like a child.
And, may be, you too some day may know the joy of coming home, out of the land of bondage.
By Geoffrey Chaucer
ADAPTED BY JANET HARVEY KELMAN
Once upon a time a young knight, whose name was Arviragus, dwelt in Brittany. In the same country lived a beautiful lady called Dorigen. And the knight loved the lady.
For years Arviragus did not know whether she loved him or not. She was a great lady and very fair, and he was afraid to ask her. But she knew that he loved her, for when he rode past her window on his way to the wars, she could see her colors streaming from his helmet. At first she did not think much of this, for many knights fought for love of her; but as she heard of new and greater deeds that this noble knight did year by year, she began to care for him a great deal. When she thought of his goodness and of the honor in which he held her, she knew that there was no one else that she could love as she loved Arviragus. And when Arviragus knew that she loved him and was willing to be his wife, his heart was full of joy. So greatly did he wish to make Dorigen happy with him, that he said to her that he would obey her and do what she wished as gladly all his life as he had done while he was trying to win her love. To this she replied: