Important Facts about Cannibals

Important Facts about Cannibals

My feelings of loneliness began to grow. More than ever before, I longed to have someone to talk to. A few months passed after my frightening experience. Then one day the sight of a ship on the rocks raised my hopes of a rescue. But when I rowed out to the ship, I found that it was wrecked and all its crew dead and drowned. Apart from a dog, there were no survivors.

Along with the dog, I took all that I thought useful and returned to my home. Most welcome of all were the clothes and the gunpowder that I found. As for the bags of gold coins, that I carried away, they were entirely useless to me. I would cheerfully have given them all away in return for a companion I could talk to.

My feelings of loneliness began to grow. More than ever before, I longed to have someone to talk to. A few months passed after my frightening experience.

My mind turned continually to thoughts of escape from the island. I saw the same dream. Night after night, day after day, I saw that savages had come to my island with a prisoner. They were going to kill and cut him when he suddenly ran away. He came towards me and begged me to save him. I showed him my ladder and took him inside my home. Soon he became my faithful servant and companion.

This thought kept on running through my head; If I can catch an Indian perhaps one of the prisoners brought to the island for food help me escape to the mainland. For a long time, I had no idea how to put my plan into action without attacking and killing a large number of Indians. I kept my eyes and ears open, but for a year and a half, no boats appeared.

At last five boats arrived on my side of the island. I was terrified and lay still in my castle. There were always five or six in each boat, and I did not want to attack twenty or thirty men alone. However, after a while with all my guns loaded, I got tired of waiting, and climbed my hill to look around me. I saw thirty of them. They were cooking meat on a fire and were all dancing a wild dance around it. While all this was going on, I saw two poor men being taken out of the boats to be killed, I supposed.

One of them fell down at once, killed by a blow w from a heavy wooden club. The other was left standing on the shore until the Indians were ready for him.

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At that moment he looked around, saw his chance and ran very fast directly towards me, although of course, he could not see me. I was very afraid, for I expected all the others to follow, and find me too. My dream was coming true in a most unpleasant way. I stayed where I was, and felt less anxious when I saw only three Indians chasing the escaper. I pointed to him, and the escaper then spoke the first words I had heard from any human mouth since I arrived there.

Although I could not understand them, they were pleasant to hear. But there was no time for such thoughts now. The Indian I had knocked out was sitting up, and my Indian became afraid. He made signs of wishing to borrow my sword. He ran with it to his enemy, and at one blow cut off his head cleanly. I then realized that although Indians knew nothing about metal swords, they were no doubt used to their own wooden swords.

My Indian looked very pleased with that and he made signals that he wanted to bury the dead bodies in the sand; so the others don’t find them. At my approval, he dug a hole big enough for two bodies and buried them in it. Then I took him to my cave on the other side of the island.

Here I gave him bread and dried grapes, and a drink of water. He was a fine, well-made man of about twenty-five, with straight, strong arms and legs. He was tall and well-built, with a very good, kind face, especially when he smiled. His hair was long, straight, and black, his forehead was wide and high, and he had sharp, intelligent eyes. His skin was pleasant, warm brown.

I began to teach him to speak. First I told him his name was Friday, for that was the day I had saved his life. Then I taught him to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ and their meanings. I taught him to eat bread and drink goat’s milk, but to my utter disgust, he tried to dig the Indian graves and eat them. I looked angrily at him and said, ‘No! No!’ several times; but he came back again.

Later we went to the spot where the Indians had landed and found piles of half-eaten human flesh and bones. I made Friday gather up all the bones and other parts of the bodies. Then we made a big fire on top of them and burnt everything. Friday still wanted to eat the meat of humans but I showed him how horrible this was to me, and he did as I asked.

Friday wore no clothes, so I gave him a pair of goatskin pants, a shirt, and a cap, like the one I wore. In a short time, he began to feel quite comfortable in his new clothes.

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