One big fellow nearly two feet long I threw into the sea, thinking to rid the island of at least one snake; but to my surprise he swam ashore on the surface of the water as quickly as he could have progressed on dry land. He was a veritable sea-serpent, although a small specimen.
There were also two kinds of lizards of which I do not know the name, but they were only small fellows, and may be what are called “efts.” They would sun themselves on the warm rocks, and on being disturbed dart into some cranny till danger was past. They ran up and down rocks which were nearly perpendicular, and were very amusing in their rapid movements.
I often thought as I lay in my hammock how I should have liked a squirrel or two to be climbing about the branches above me; but one is never contented with what is allotted them. Probably had I possessed a squirrel or two, I should have longed for a few monkeys, and having them, should have wished for something else.
Altogether I was perfectly contented with my lot, especially after the melancholy of the first week had worn off, except just now and again a particularly dismal feeling would assert itself, which I could not shake off; but I simply attributed this to dull weather or over exertion. It was nothing worth mentioning.
My spirits are like a barometer; when the sun shines and the weather is warm I am up; when it is wet and dull I am down, and I think this is the case with many persons; in fact, I believe weather has a greater influence on our lives than we are aware of. Statistics go to prove this; for instance, more marriages take place during the five months, June to September, than in the other seven colder months. From gaiety to despair,—more suicides take place at the fall of the year than at any other period. Rodent slaughter commenced this chapter and suicide ends it; this puts me in mind of the Marriage Service, which commences “Dearly” and ends with “amazement.”
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I BUILD A CURIOUS “BOX”
BOAT—AN UNPLEASANT NIGHT AT SEA—MY
SERVICE—THE POEM, “ALEXANDER SELKIRK”—ITS APPLICABILITY TO MY
During the summer my roving propensities began to assert themselves, and I longed to go farther afield over the sea. I bethought me how I might contrive myself a boat in which to venture into the offing with, as my canoe was too frail to go far from shore.
I looked around to see what I could utilize, and found I had a few inch boards and plenty of rivets, nails, and screws; but after overhauling my stock I came to the conclusion that my materials would not warrant my commencing a craft of any size, so for several days I gave up the project, till one day visiting the boathouse I cast my eyes on the large tin-lined packing cases in which my goods had been packed. Why not utilize these? There were four of them. Three were of the same dimensions, namely, four feet long, three feet wide, and two and a half feet deep; while the fourth was three feet and a half long, two feet wide, and two and a half feet deep.