First at low tide I cleared the bottom of this pool, and made it deeper. Then, having previously made a huge batch of mortar, I set to work and built a wall of rock across the cleft, until I had raised it six feet high, taking great care to make it perfectly water-tight. This I strengthened by laboriously placing blocks of stone on each side, so as to prevent the sea from toppling my mortar-built wall over. As a pond it was a perfect success, except in one particular, and that was that the water in time would evaporate, or become stale; so I put my wits together and constructed a curious kind of mill pump, which worked with four wooden buckets upon an endless rope. It was jerky, but effective; that is it was effective at high water, when the tide came up to my sea-wall. At this time the mill, being placed right for the wind, would commence to work, and the buckets to ascend and descend, and each shoot its gallon of water into the pond, till sometimes it was full to the brim, and even running over. Thus I could change the water at will. I was simply delighted, and fished from morning till night to stock my pool, and in a fortnight had specimens of all kinds, colours, and sizes. Eels, soles, whiting, dorey, pollock, long-nose, crabs, lobsters were all there, but to my mind the big blubber-lipped rock fish were the peacocks of my pool.
I was so fond of lingering by this pool to read, and smoke, and watch the fish, that I built myself a rock summer-house, and roofed it in with wood, upon which I placed a layer of mortar, and then thatched it with pine branches and braken. It was a picturesque little house, in a picturesque spot, and if I tell the truth, I believe I made a picturesque Crusoe.
My dress consisted, in summer, of white duck trousers, canvas shoes, coloured flannel shirt, a blue jean jacket, and broad-brimmed hat. Round my waist I always wore a long red sash; it was four yards long, consequently, would encircle my waist three times and still leave some of the two ends to hang down at my side. This sash I found very useful, for I used it as a wallet or hold-all. Nothing came amiss to it—tobacco, pipes, cartridges, biscuits, fruit, fishing tackle, all were tucked away in it at different or the same time, as they were so easy to get at, and left the hands free.
Now let us leave fish and fishing, and see in what other ways I enjoyed my solitary life.
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GULL—SURGICAL OPERATION—THE GULL
WHO REFUSED TO
DIE—TAXIDERMY EXTRAORDINARY—FEATHERED FRIENDS—SNAKES.