Chapter 17


Some days I was very sad because I felt living on this island alone was meaningless. I would often walk along the beach regretting my choice to travel by sea. What was keeping me was the thought that I was saved in the great storm which killed my friends and I should be thankful for that. Then I would remind myself how lucky I had been to take all the tools, food, clothes and guns from the ship, for without them I would hardly have survived a week.

I decided to make a big cross and set it on the shore where I first set foot on this island. I wrote on it that I had arrived here on the 30th of September 1659. I wanted to keep track of time so I would make a small cut in the cross to mark every day. The seventh cut was longer to mark the end of the week. The beginning of each month was also a longer cut.

Later on while opening the chests and other boxes which I had brought from the ship I discovered pens, ink, paper, compasses, maps and books. I had also taken the two cats we had on board the ship with me. There was also a dog on our ship. It swam after me the very first day I went to the ship and followed me everywhere after that. I was very happy to have the animals as companions, but I only wished they would speak to me!

It took me a year to finish making my small fortification as it was very hard work. Meanwhile I was thinking a lot about my condition and to relieve my mind from all my dark thoughts I made a list of all good and bad things that had happened to me.

First of all, I was sorry for myself because I was all alone on this island and had little hope of ever going back to civilization. On the other hand, I was saved and did not die in the storm which killed my friends. I was alone on the island but I was not starving. I did not have any good clothes, but the weather was such that I hardly needed any. My only sorrow was having no one to talk to, but I was saved and could take care of myself.

This list helped me realize that all bad things come with something good in them.