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Robinson Crusoe

Written anew for children
By james Baldwin

Start of Story

Chapter 14 continued
I build me a castle

It was no easy thing to carry all my goods up the steep path to this level plain. I worked hard for many days; but, then, there was nothing else to do, and I must needs keep busy. [43] At one place on the side of the great rock there was a break, or opening, like the door to a cave. But there was no cave there. Just in front of this break I began to build my castle. First, I drew a half circle upon the ground, with the opening at the center. The space which it inclosed was about thirty feet across. In this half circle I set up two rows of strong stakes, driving them deep into the ground. The rows were not more than six inches apart. The stakes were about two inches apart and as high as my head.

Then between and around these stakes I laid the great ropes that I had brought from the ship. Among these I twined the slender branches of trees and long grapevines that I found in the woods. When all was finished I had a wall nearly six feet high. It was so strong that nothing could break through it. I made no door in the wall. The only way in which to get into the yard behind it was by going over the top. This was done by climbing a short ladder which I could lift up after me, and then let down again. [44] How safe I felt now, as I stood inside of my castle wall! Over this wall I next carried all my riches, food, my tools, my boxes of clothing. Then, right against the great rock, I made me a large tent to shelter me from the rain. Into this tent I brought everything that would be spoiled by getting wet.

In the middle of it I swung the hammock that I had brought from the ship. For you must remember that I was a sailor, and I could sleep better in a hammock than on a bed. The hollow place in the rock was just as I hoped. It was, indeed, a large cleft or crack, filled only with earth and small stones. With such tools as I had I began to dig the earth and stones away. I carried them out through my tent and piled them up along the inside of my wall. In a few days I had made quite a cave which would serve very well as a cellar to my castle. I called the cave my kitchen; but when I began my cooking I found it best to do most of that work outside. In bad weather, however, the kitchen was an excellent place to live in.

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