I LAY down on my bed, with my money and other precious things close at hand.
All night long the wind blew and the rain poured.
Early in the morning I arose and looked out toward the sea.
The waves were rolling very high.
The ship was gone. The sea had swallowed it up.
As I could make no more visits to the ship, I now began to think of other things.
I was still afraid lest there were savage beasts on the island.
Savage men, too, might come that way.
If any of these should find me, how could I protect myself from them?
I must have a stronger house to live in. I must build me a little fort or castle.
The place I was in was flat and wet. My tent was on open ground and could be plainly seen from a distance. There was no fresh water near it.
I must find a better place than this for my castle.
A little way from the shore there was a rocky hill. I went to look at it.
Halfway up the hill there was a large level place, with a great rock rising behind it like the side of a house.
I climbed up to the level place. There was but one way to go, and that was by a steep and winding path.
I found the place much larger than I thought. It was more than a hundred yards long and almost half as broad.
It was, indeed, a green field, or plain, with steep cliff rising up behind it. You must think of it as a great shelf half way up the side of the hill.
"Here," I said to myself, "is the place for my castle."
It was no easy thing to carry all my goods up the steep path to this level plain. I worked hard for many days; but, then, there was nothing else to do, and I must needs keep busy.
At one place on the side of the great rock there was a break, or opening, like the door to a cave. But there was no cave there.
Just in front of this break I began to build my castle. First, I drew a half circle upon the ground, with the opening at the center. The space which it inclosed was about thirty feet across.
In this half circle I set up two rows of strong stakes, driving them deep into the ground.
The rows were not more than six inches apart. The stakes were about two inches apart and as high as my head.
Then between and around these stakes I laid the great ropes that I had brought from the ship. Among these I twined the slender branches of trees and long grapevines that I found in the woods.
When all was finished I had a wall nearly six feet high. It was so strong that nothing could break through it.
I made no door in the wall. The only way in which to get into the yard behind it was by going over the top. This was done by climbing a short ladder which I could lift up after me, and then let down again.
How safe I felt now, as I stood inside of my castle wall!
Over this wall I next carried all my riches, food, my tools, my boxes of clothing. Then, right against the great rock, I made me a large tent to shelter me from the rain.
Into this tent I brought everything that would be spoiled by getting wet. In the middle of it I swung the hammock that I had brought from the ship. For you must remember that I was a sailor, and I could sleep better in a hammock than on a bed.
The hollow place in the rock was just as I hoped. It was, indeed, a large cleft or crack, filled only with earth and small stones.
With such tools as I had I began to dig the earth and stones away. I carried them out through my tent and piled them up along the inside of my wall.
In a few days I had made quite a cave which would serve very well as a cellar to my castle.
I called the cave my kitchen; but when I began my cooking I found it best to do most of that work outside.
In bad weather, however, the kitchen was an excellent place to live in.