Chapter 54

 

Meanwhile I had sent Friday to secure the boat on the beach by removing the oars. We left the three bound men there. Some of the others who had gone to rest in the forest had heard the shouts of their fellows and were now emerging back from the shades. Faced with the change in circumstances, they also accepted the captain’s authority.

All this accomplished, the captain and I finally had time to talk to each other. I told him my story and he remained speechless. He was amazed by my survival on the island and was very grateful for my help.

He and his two friends needed refreshments so we went to my fortification, where I showed them the facilities I had built for myself during my stay on the island. They were amazed by my thoughtfulness and resourcefulness.

However, we did not have much time to explore my inventions for we had to plan how to get the ship back. There were twenty-six people on board and we were only five. In addition, the sailors on the ship would be very difficult to conquer, because they knew they were facing punishment for their betrayal as soon as the ship reached England.

We had to surprise those who were still on the ship and we had to act quickly. First we decided to take everything out of the boat. I was particularly glad to discover a lump of sugar and a bottle of brandy, two things I haven’t had for years. We also removed all sailing equipment – mast, sails, oars and rudder.

Then we damaged the boat so much that it became useless. We did that so that the sailors from the ship could not use it in case they attacked us. Then we dragged it as far away from the water as we could.

While we were busy doing all this, we heard the ship fire a gun as a signal for the boat to return. After a while, the ship fired a few times more and again there was no response. Then we noticed that the sailors were launching another boat and were heading to us. Through my telescope I could see ten men rowing and they were all armed.