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Robinson Crusoe

Written anew for children
By james Baldwin

Start of Story

Chapter 16
I keep myself busy

AMONG the things that I brought from the ship there were several which I have not told you about. I will name them now. First I got from the captain's desk some pens, ink, and paper. These were afterward a great comfort to me, as you shall learn. There were some charts and compasses, and three or four books on navigation. These I threw in a corner, for I did not think I should ever need them. Among my own things there were three very old Bibles, which I had bought in England and had packed with my clothing. And I must not forget the dog and two cats that came to shore with me. I carried both the cats on my raft with my first cargo. As for the dog, he jumped off the wreck and [48] swam to the shore. He was my best friend for a long time. He followed me everywhere. He would run and fetch things to me as I bade him. I wanted him to talk to me, but this he could not do.

As for my pens, ink, and paper, I took the greatest care of them. As long as my ink lasted, I wrote down everything that happened to me. But when that was gone, I could write no more for I did not know how to make ink. I soon found that I needed many things to make me comfortable. First, I wanted a chair and a table; for without them I must live like a savage. So I set to work. I had never handled a tool in my life. But I had a saw, an ax, and several, hatchets; and I soon learned to use them all. If I wanted a board, I had to chop down a tree. From the trunk of the tree I cut a log of the length that my board was to be. Then I split the log and hewed it flat till it was as thin as a board. All this took time and much hard work. But I had nothing else to do.

I made the table and chair out of short pieces of board I had brought from the ship. [49] Of the large boards which I hewed from trees, I made some wide shelves along the side of my cave or kitchen. On these shelves I laid my tools, nails, and other things. I had a place for everything, and kept everything in its place. My cave looked like some stores you have seen where a little of everything is kept for sale. From time to time I made many useful things. From a piece of hard wood that I cut in the forest I made a spade to dig with. The handle I shaped just like the handles you buy at the stores. But the shovel part was of wood and would not last long. While I was digging my cave, I found it very hard work to carry the earth and small stones away. I needed a wheelbarrow very much. I could make the frame part of this, but I did not know how to make the wheel. I worked four days at it, and then had to give it up. At last I made me a kind of hod, like that which masons use. It was better than a basket and almost as good as a wheelbarrow.

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chapter 17
Chapter 17
chapter 15
Chapter 15