Chapter 33

 

Soon I started thinking how I could kill some of the cannibals and save their victims if I could. If that was not possible, at least I could frighten them so they would never come nearby again. I began looking at that side of the island where I had first seen the human footprint. I wanted to find a hiding place for myself and prepare it for the attack.

Then I changed my mind and thought it was unreasonable to fight them since they had not done any harm to me. Eventually I gave up the preparations altogether and decided to act only if they attacked me first.

For a whole year I was hiding my traces as well as I could. I put away my boat and removed every sail and other equipment from it. I kept myself occupied with my animals and crops, but I was very careful. I was afraid to make loud noises and I was very anxious every time I made a fire in case the smoke could be seen from a distance.

Once when I was cutting some branches I discovered a hollow place which on further inspection appeared to be a small cave. I went inside it but as soon as my eyes grew comfortable with the darkness I noticed two bright eyes looking at me. I jumped outside, scared to death. In bright daylight I gathered courage and went in again but then a loud sigh scared me out again. It sounded as if there was someone injured inside. The third time I lit a torch and went in to discover an old goat dying in the cave.

I returned to the cave the next day to find that the goat had died. I explored the place and found it very safe. It would make a convenient hiding place near the beach. That is why I brought some of my guns and some powder there.