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       An American Robinson Crusoe, p.1

           Daniel Defoe
 
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An American Robinson Crusoe


  Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Ted Garvin and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team

  AN AMERICANROBINSON CRUSOE

  FOR AMERICAN BOYSAND GIRLS

  THE ADAPTATION, WITH ADDITIONAL INCIDENTS

  BY

  SAMUEL B. ALLISON, Ph.D.

  CONTENTS

  I Robinson with His Parents II Robinson as an Apprentice III Robinson's Departure IV Robinson Far from Home V The Shipwreck VI Robinson Saved VII The First Night on Land VIII Robinson on an Island IX Robinson's Shelter X Robinson Makes a Hat XI Robinson's Calendar XII Robinson Makes a Hunting Bag XIII Robinson Explores the Island XIV Robinson as a Hunter XV Robinson's Shoes and Parasol XVI Getting Fire XVII Robinson Makes Some Furniture XVIII Robinson Becomes a Shepherd XIX Robinson Builds a Home for His Goats XX Robinson Gets Ready for Winter XXI How Robinson Lays up a Store of Food XXII Robinson's Diary XXIII Robinson is Sick XXIV Robinson's Bower XXV Robinson Again Explores His Island XXVI Robinson and His Birds XXVII Robinson Gets Fire XXVIII Robinson Makes Baskets XXIX Robinson Becomes a Farmer XXX Robinson as Potter XXXI Robinson as Baker XXXII Robinson as Fisherman XXXIII Robinson Builds a Boat XXXIV Robinson as a Sailor XXXV A Discovery XXXVI The Landing of the Savages XXXVII Robinson as TeacherXXXVIII Another Shipwreck XXXIX Saving Things from the Ship XL The Return of the Savages XLI Deliverance at Last XLII Robinson at Home

  PREFATORY NOTE

  "An American Robinson Crusoe" is the outcome of many years ofexperience with the story in the early grades of elementary schools.It was written to be used as a content in giving a knowledge of thebeginning and development of human progress. The aim is not just tofurnish an interesting narrative, but one that is true to the courseof human development and the scientific and geographical facts of theisland on which Robinson is supposed to have lived.

  The excuse for departing so widely from the original story is to befound in the use which was desired to be made of it. The story herepresented is simply the free adaptation of the original narrative tothe demand for a specific kind of content in a form which would beinteresting to the children.

  The teacher is and should be justified in using with entire freedomany material accessible for the ends of instruction.

  The text as here given has been published with an introduction andsuggestive treatments as a Teacher's Manual for Primary Grades--"TheTeacher's Robinson Crusoe." Explicit directions and ample suggestionsare made for the use of the story as material for instruction in allthe language arts, drawing, social history, and the manual arts.

  Published by the Educational Publishing Company.

  AN AMERICANROBINSON CRUSOE

  I

  ROBINSON WITH HIS PARENTS

  There once lived in the city of New York, a boy by the name ofRobinson Crusoe. He had a pleasant home. His father and mother werekind to him and sent him to school. They hoped that he would studyhard and grow up to be a wise and useful man, but he loved rather torun idle about the street than to go to school. He was fond of playingalong the River Hudson, for he there saw the great ships come and go.They were as big as houses. He watched them load and unload theircargoes and hundreds of people get off and on. His father had toldhim that the ships came from far distant lands, where lived many largeanimals and black men. His father told him too, that in these farawaycountries the nuts on the trees grew to be as large as one's head andthat the trees were as high as church steeples.

  When Robinson saw the ships put out to sea, he would watch them tillthey would disappear below the horizon far out in the ocean, andthink, "Oh, if I could only go with them far away to see those strangecountries!" Thus he would linger along the great river and wish hemight find an opportunity of making a voyage. Often it would be darkbefore he would get home. When he came into the house his mother wouldmeet him and say in a gentle voice, "Why, Robinson, how late you arein getting home! You have been to the river again."

  ROBINSON WATCHING THE SHIPS]

  Then Robinson would hang his head and feel deeply ashamed, and whenhis father, who was a merchant, came home from the store, his motherwould tell him that Robinson had again been truant.

  This would grieve his father deeply and he would go to the boy'sbedside and talk earnestly with him. "Why do you do so?" he would say."How often have I told you to go to school every day?" This would fora time win Robinson back to school, but by the next week it had beenforgotten and he would again be loitering along the river in spiteof his father's remonstrances.

  II

  ROBINSON AS AN APPRENTICE

  In this way one year after another slipped by. Robinson was not morediligent. He was now almost sixteen years old and had not learnedanything. Then came his birthday. In the afternoon his father calledhim into his room. Robinson opened the door softly. There sat hisfather with a sad face. He looked up and said, "Well, Robinson, allyour schoolmates have long been busy trying to learn something, sothat they may be able to earn their own living. Paul will be a baker,Robert a butcher, Martin is learning to be a carpenter, Herman atailor, Otto a blacksmith, Fritz is going to high school, because heis going to be a teacher. Now, you are still doing nothing. This willnot do. From this time on I wish you to think of becoming a merchant.In the morning you will go with me to the store and begin work. Ifyou are attentive and skillful, when the time comes you can take upmy business and carry it on. But if you remain careless and continueto idle about, no one will ever want you and you must starve becauseyou will never be able to earn a living."

  So the next morning Robinson went to the store and began work. Hewrapped up sugar and coffee, he weighed out rice and beans. He soldmeal and salt, and when the dray wagon pulled up at the store, loadedwith new goods, he sprang out quickly and helped to unload it. Hecarried in sacks of flour and chests of tea, and rolled in barrelsof coffee and molasses. He also worked some at the desk. He lookedinto the account books and saw in neat writing, "Goods received" and"Goods sold." He noticed how his father wrote letters and reckonedup his accounts. He even took his pen in hand and put the addresseson the letters and packages as well as he could.

  But soon he was back in his careless habits. He was no longerattentive to business. He wrapped up salt instead of sugar. He putfalse weights on the scales. He gave some too much and others toolittle. His hands, only, were in the business, his mind was far awayon the ocean with the ships. When he helped unload the wagons, hewould often let the chests and casks drop, so that they were brokenand their contents would run out on the ground. For he was alwaysthinking, "Where have these casks come from and how beautiful it mustbe there!" And many times packages came back because Robinson hadwritten the name of the place or the country wrong. For when he waswriting the address, he was always thinking, "You will be laid upona wagon and will then go into the ship." One day he had to write aletter to a man far over the sea. He could stand it no longer. Hisfather had gone out. He threw down the pen, picked up his hat and ranout to the Hudson to see the ships, and from that time on he spentmore time loitering along the river than he did in the store.

  III

  ROBINSON'S DEPARTURE

  Robinson's father soon noticed that his son was no longer attendingto his work, and one morning sent for him to come to his office. WhenRobinson came in his father arose from his chair and looked him longand earnestly in the face. Then he said, "I am very sorry, Robinson,that you seem determined to continue your evil ways. If you do notdo better you will grow up to be a beggar or worse." Robinson casthis eyes down and said, "I do not want to be a merchant, I would rathersail in a ship around the world." His father answered, "If you do notknow anything you cannot be of
use on a ship, and no one will wantyou. In a strange land you cannot live without working. If you runaway from your parents you will come to be sorry for it." Robinsonwept, for he saw that his father was right, and he promised to obey.

  After two or three weeks, Robinson went to his mother and said,"Mother, won't you go to father and tell him that if he will only letme take one voyage and it proves to be unpleasant, I will come backto the store and work hard?" But the mother cried. With tears in hereyes, she said: "Robinson, your brothers are both dead. You are theonly child left to us and if you go away, we shall be entirely alone.How easy it would be to be drowned in the sea, or torn to pieces bywild animals away there in a foreign country. Both your father andmyself are getting along in years and who will take care of us whenwe are sick? Do not cause us the grief we must suffer if you go awayso far amid so many dangers. I cannot bear to have you speak of itagain."

  Robinson did not speak of it again, but he did not forget it. He wasnineteen years old. It was one day in August that Robinson stood atthe wharf looking longingly after the departing ships. As he stoodthere, someone touched him on the shoulder. It was a ship captain'sson. He pointed to a long ship and said, "My father sails to-day inthat ship for Africa and takes me with him."

  "Oh, if I could only go with you!" cried Robinson.

  "Do come along," cried his comrade.

  "But I have no money," said Robinson.

  "That doesn't make any difference," returned the captain's son. "Wewill take you anyway."

  Robinson, without thinking for a moment, gave his friend his hand andpromised to go with him.

  So without saying "Good-bye" to his parents, Robinson went immediatelyon board the ship with his friend. This happened on the 10th ofAugust.

  ROBINSON AND THE CAPTAIN'S SON]

  IV

  ROBINSON FAR FROM HOME

  ROBINSON'S VOYAGE

  Once on board, Robinson watched the preparations for departure. Atcommand the sailors clambered up into the rigging and loosened thesails. Then the captain from his bridge called out, "Hoist theanchor!" Then the great iron hooks that held the ship fast were liftedup, a cannon sounded a final farewell. Robinson stood on the deck.He saw the great city shimmer in the sunshine before him. Very fastnow the land was being left behind. It was not long until all thatcould be seen of his native city was the tops of the highest towers.Then all faded from sight. Behind, in front, right and left, he sawnothing but waters.

  He became a little afraid. At noon there arose a strong wind and theship rocked to and fro. He became dizzy and had to hold fast tosomething. The masts and rigging began to dance. It seemed to him asif all was turning around. Suddenly he fell full length on the deckand it was impossible for him to get up. He was seasick. He wailedand cried, but no one heard him, no one helped him. Then he thoughtof his home, his parents whom he had so ungratefully left.

  He had been on the water about two weeks when one day as he lay inhis room, Robinson heard people over his head running about and crying,"A storm is coming!" The ship's sides trembled and creaked. The shipwas tossed like a nutshell. Now it rolled to the right, now to theleft. And Robinson was thrown from one side to the other. Every momenthe expected the ship to sink. He turned pale and trembled with fear."Ah, if I were only at home with my parents, safe on the land," hesaid. "If I ever get safe out of this, I will go home as quickly asI can and stay with my dear parents!" The storm raged the whole dayand the whole night. But on the next morning the wind went down andthe sea was calm. By evening the sky was clear and Robinson was againcheerful. He ran about the ship. He looked at the glittering starsand was contented and happy.

  V

  THE SHIPWRECK

  Several weeks went by. Robinson had long ago forgotten his resolutionsto return home. It was very hot. The glowing sun beat down upon theship. The wide surface of the sea glistened. No breeze stirred. Thesails hung loose on the top of the mast. But far away on the shorecould be seen a black bank of clouds.

  All at once the ship was thrown violently to one side by a fierce gustof wind. Robinson threw himself on the deck. The sea began to riseand fall. The waves were as high as mountains. Now the ship was bornealoft to the skies, and now it would seem that it must be overwhelmedin the sea. When it sank down between the great waves of water,Robinson thought it would never again rise. The waves beat violentlyon the ship's side. Robinson went down the steps into his little room,but he came back full of anxiety. He believed every minute he wouldmeet death in the waves. The night at last came on. The lightningflashed. The storm howled. The ship trembled. The water roared. Sothe night wore on. The storm raged for six days. Then on the seventhday it was somewhat abated. But the hope was soon dashed. The stormhad abated but to get new strength. Suddenly it bore down with frightfulpower on the doomed vessel, struck it, and shot it like an arrowthrough the water. Then Robinson felt a fearful crash. The shipgroaned as if it would fall into a thousand pieces. It had struck arock and there held fast. At the same moment the sailors raised thecry, "The ship has sprung a leak!" The water surged into the ship.All called for help. Each one thought only of himself. There was onlyone boat. The others had all been torn away. It was soon let down intothe sea. All sprang in. For a moment the sailors forgot the waves,but all at once a wave, mountains high, struck the boat and swallowedit up. Robinson shut his eyes. The water roared in his ears. He sankinto the sea.

  VI

  ROBINSON SAVED

  Robinson was borne down far, far into the ocean. He attempted to workhimself up, so that he could see light and breathe the air. But againand again the waves carried him down. Finally a wave threw him up andhe saw, for a moment, the light of day and got a breath of air, butthe next instant he was deep under the water. Then another wave borehim on its crest. He breathed a deep breath and at the same time sawland not far away. He bent all his strength toward reaching the land.He got almost to it, when a wave caught him and hurled him on ajutting rock. With all his strength he seized the rock with both handsand held on.

  Presently he worked himself up a little and at last got a foothold.But, scarcely had he done so, when his strength left him and he fellon the ground as one dead. But he soon revived. He opened his eyesand looked around. He saw above him the blue sky, and under him thesolid brown earth, and before him the gray angry sea. He felt to seeif he still breathed. The storm had destroyed the ship. The waves hadoverwhelmed the boat. The water wished to draw him into the deep. Therocks seemed to want to hurl him back, but storm and wave and rockhad accomplished nothing. There was One who was stronger than they.

  Then Robinson sank on his knees and folded his hands. Tears came tohis eyes. He breathed hard. At last he said, "Dear Father in Heaven,I live. Thou hast saved me. I thank Thee."

  VII

  THE FIRST NIGHT ON LAND

  "Where are my companions?" That was his first thought. He began tocall and halloo: "Where are you?" "Come here!" But no one answered.Then he wished to see if anyone lived on the land, and he cried, "Isthere no one here? Hello!" but all remained still.

  All at once he drew himself together and shrank back. He heard a bushrustle and the thought came like a flash, "That is a wild animal thatwill pounce upon me and tear my flesh with his teeth and claws. Howshall I save myself? Where shall I fly for safety? Where shall I turn?I have nothing but my clothes and my life saved from the water. Allthat I had the waves have swallowed up."

  And then hunger and thirst began to trouble him. He had eaten nothingthe whole day and the salt water had made him sick.

  In the meantime the night had come on. Robinson was very tired.Everything was new and strange. He did not know which way to move.He was in the greatest terror.

  He expected to hear the roar of wild beasts from every secluded spot.Lions and tigers and dreadful serpents filled his thoughts. He mustfind shelter from them. But where should he pass the night? Not ahouse, a hut or a cave was to be seen. He stood a long time hesitatingand did not know what to do. Finally he thought, "I will do as thebirds do a
nd get into a tree." He very soon found a tree which hadsuch thick branches that it would hold him up.

  Robinson climbed up into the tree, made himself as comfortable aspossible, said his prayers, and as he was thoroughly exhausted, hesoon fell asleep. When he awoke the sun was high in the sky. At firsthe could not remember where he was. Then the truth burst upon him.He tried to move. He was stiff and sore. His flesh was bruised frombeing thrown against the rocks and beaten by the waves.

  He was dreadfully thirsty. His mouth and throat were dry and parchedfrom the salt water. His tongue was thick and swollen. He said, "Imust find some water to drink or I shall die!"

  It was hard work to get down from the tree. His limbs and back achedfrom sitting in the tree all night At last he slipped down and fellon the ground. He clasped his hands in prayer and thanked God for keepinghim through the night.

  Then he got up and tried to walk. He was so weak he could not stand.

  He threw himself down on the ground and began to sob and cry, "O Lord,do not let me die! Do not let me die!" As he lay there he heard aqueer sound. He listened. It sounded like water running over rocks.He tried to get to the place from which the sound came. He tried towalk. When he fell he crawled on his hands and knees. At last the soundwas close by. He dragged himself up on the rocks. Yes, there was aspring of clear, cool, sparkling water bubbling up and trickling overthe stones. Robinson was so thirsty he put his face into the waterand drank and drank.

  Then he sat down, and after a while he drank again and again.

 
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