Robinson Crusoe HTML version

The Ship Recovered
WHILE we were thus preparing our designs, and had first, by main strength, heaved the
boat upon the beach, so high that the tide would not float her off at high-water mark, and
besides, had broke a hole in her bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and were set down
musing what we should do, we heard the ship fire a gun, and make a waft with her ensign
as a signal for the boat to come on board - but no boat stirred; and they fired several
times, making other signals for the boat. At last, when all their signals and firing proved
fruitless, and they found the boat did not stir, we saw them, by the help of my glasses,
hoist another boat out and row towards the shore; and we found, as they approached, that
there were no less than ten men in her, and that they had firearms with them.
As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, we had a full view of them as the
came, and a plain sight even of their faces; because the tide having set them a little to the
east of the other boat, they rowed up under shore, to come to the same place where the
other had landed, and where the boat lay; by this means, I say, we had a full view of
them, and the captain knew the persons and characters of all the men in the boat, of
whom, he said, there were three very honest fellows, who, he was sure, were led into this
conspiracy by the rest, being over-powered and frightened; but that as for the boatswain,
who it seems was the chief officer among them, and all the rest, they were as outrageous
as any of the ship's crew, and were no doubt made desperate in their new enterprise; and
terribly apprehensive he was that they would be too powerful for us. I smiled at him, and
told him that men in our circumstances were past the operation of fear; that seeing almost
every condition that could be was better than that which we were supposed to be in, we
ought to expect that the consequence, whether death or life, would be sure to be a
deliverance. I asked him what he thought of the circumstances of my life, and whether a
deliverance were not worth venturing for? "And where, sir," said I, "is your belief of my
being preserved here on purpose to save your life, which elevated you a little while ago?
For my part," said I, "there seems to be but one thing amiss in all the prospect of it."
"What is that?" say she. "Why," said I, "it is, that as you say there are three or four honest
fellows among them which should be spared, had they been all of the wicked part of the
crew I should have thought God's providence had singled them out to deliver them into
your hands; for depend upon it, every man that comes ashore is our own, and shall die or
live as they behave to us." As I spoke this with a raised voice and cheerful countenance, I
found it greatly encouraged him; so we set vigorously to our business.
We had, upon the first appearance of the boat's coming from the ship, considered of
separating our prisoners; and we had, indeed, secured them effectually. Two of them, of
whom the captain was less assured than ordinary, I sent with Friday, and one of the three
delivered men, to my cave, where they were remote enough, and out of danger of being
heard or discovered, or of finding their way out of the woods if they could have delivered
themselves. Here they left them bound, but gave them provisions; and promised them, if
they continued there quietly, to give them their liberty in a day or two; but that if they
attempted their escape they should be put to death without mercy. They promised