As the boat crept out from the headland of Fermain Bay my yellow sail began to draw, and very soon I left my pursuers behind. I had become so used to my queer yellow boat and its yellow sail and flag, that I had long ceased to see anything peculiar in it; but of course to other eyes my craft and its crew were a source of speculation and surprise. After this I never went near Guernsey again during the day-time.
I made a straight run for home now, but somehow felt rather melancholy, and could not get the young lady’s face out of my mind. I felt somewhat depressed to think I was fleeing from my fellow-men, as if I had committed some grave offence and could not face them; but when once my foot touched Jethou’s shore (about seven p.m.) my thoughts and melancholia vanished. There I was, home again, patting “Eddy’s” back, and pulling his long ears, and feeding the pig, and milking the goat, getting ready my tea, and finally stretching my weary legs to take out the kinks, which a couple of days in an open boat will put into any man’s limbs.
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HARVEST OPERATIONS—EXPLORE LA CREUX DERRIBLE, AND NEARLY LOSE MY LIFE—CRUSOE ON CRUTCHES—AN EXTRAORDINARY DISCOVERY—KILL A GRAMPUS—OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS—MAKE AN OVERFLOW PUMP.
After my boating adventures I began to think it was high time I should spend a week or two ashore, looking after my crops and the estate generally.
It was now September, and my apples and pears were ripe, and so were the lovely mulberries. The giant tree was a sight to behold, with its bushels of red, purple, and blackish-ruby fruit. I might have gathered enough fruit and vegetables to have supplied a small community throughout the season, so prolific is the soil, and encouraging to vegetation the air.
My potatoes turned out remarkably well—free from blemish, and of good flavour. I must have had two or three tons, and went through the labour of digging them and picking up all the tiny ones, as if I expected or feared a famine. The pig’s winter food was assured, at all events.
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Long previous to this I had cut and gathered my hay crop, which was to form the chief sustenance for “Eddy,” and the goat, “Corny,” for the next five or six months. This I made into a neat stack close to the house, and thatched thickly with brakes, beside which I covered it with tarpaulin, and girded it about with old chain-cable to prevent its being blown away: also I guarded the base with a surrounding of wire-netting to preserve it from the rabbits.
The crop I took most pleasure in was the barley, which I looked upon as my legitimate harvest; the other crops seeming to be more like gardening than real harvest work. I cut every handful with a reaping hook, which took a long time; but as I had not a scythe this was my only way of cutting it down. True, the Channel Islands mode of harvesting the barley is to pull it up by the roots, a handful at a time, knocking the soil off the roots upon the toe of the boot; but this seemed to me such an un-English method that I would have nothing to do with it.