WITH very great care I steered my canoe out to sea. I kept just within the edge of the current on my right hand. It carried me along at a great rate, but I did not lose control of the canoe.
In about two hours I came up to the wreck. It was a sad sight to look at.
The ship lay partly on her side, and was jammed fast between two great rocks.
She looked like a Spanish ship. She had been badly broken by the waves, and everything on her decks had been swept away.
As I came close to her, a dog looked over her side and barked at me. When I called him he jumped into the sea and swam out to the canoe.
I lifted him on board, and found that he was almost dead with hunger and thirst.
I gave him a barley cake, and he devoured it like a half-starved wolf. I then gave him a little water, but not too much lest he should harm himself. He drank, and then looked up as if asking for more.
After this I went on board. A sad sight met my eyes. For in the cookroom I saw two sailors who had been drowned, with their arms fast around each other.
I suppose that when the ship struck the waves dashed all over her and the men had no way of escape. Those who were not swept overboard were drowned between decks.
Besides the dog there was no other live thing on board.
I found some chests that had belonged to the sailors. With much labor I got two of them into the canoe without stopping to look inside of them.
Besides these chests, I took a fire shovel and tongs, which I needed very much. I found, also, two little brass kettles, a gridiron, and a large copper pot.
The tide was now setting in toward the island again. So, with the few goods I had found and the poor dog, I started for home.
By keeping on the outside of the eddying current I had no trouble in bringing the canoe safe to land. The sun was almost down when I anchored her in a little inlet just off the point of rocks.
I was so tired that I could do nothing more that day. So, after eating my supper, of which I gave the dog a good share, I lay down in the canoe and went to sleep.
I slept very soundly, and did not wake until morning.
In looking over my goods, I made up my mind to store them in my new cave in the woods. For that was much nearer than my home castle.
When I opened the chests I found several things that I was very glad to get.
In one I found two jars of very good sweetmeats. They were so well corked that the salt water had not harmed them. There were two other jars of the same kind; but they were open at the top, and the water had spoiled the sweetmeats.
In the other chest there were some good shirts, which I needed very much. There were also about a dozen and a half of white linen handkerchiefs. I was very glad to find these, for they would be pleasant to wipe my face with on a hot day.
In a secret drawer of the first chest I found three bags of Spanish money. I counted eleven hundred pieces of silver.
At the bottom of one of the bags there were six Spanish gold pieces, each worth about fifteen dollars. These were wrapped up in a piece of paper.
At the bottom of the other bag there were some small bars of gold. I suppose there was at least a pound of these yellow pieces.
After all, I got very little by this voyage. I had no use for the money. It was worth no more to me than the dust under my feet. I would have given it all for a pair of good shoes or some stockings for my feet.
After I had carried everything to my cave I took the canoe back to her old harbor on the farther side of the island. Then I returned to my castle, where I found everything in good order.
And now I began to live easily again. I was as watchful as before, and never went from my castle without looking carefully around.
I seldom went to the other side of the island. When I visited my cave in the woods, or went to see my goats, I took good care to be well armed.