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it at a distance with a strong fence, being a double hedge, as high as 1 could reach, well staked, and filled between with brushwood. Here I lay very secure, sometimes two or three nights together; alwa}rs going over it with a ladder, as before; so that 1 fancied now I had my country and my sea-coast house. This work took me up till the beginning of August.
I had but newly-finished my fence, and began to enjoy my labor, when the rains came on, and made me stick close to my first habitation; for though I had made a tent, like the other, with a piece of sail, and spread it very well, yet I had not the shelter of a hill to keep me from storms, nor a leave behind me to retreat into when the rains were extraordinary.
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower, and began to enjoy myself. The 3d of August, I found the grapes 1 had hung up were perfectly dried, ana indeed were excellent good raisins of the sun: so I began to take them down from the trees; and it was very happy that I did so, as the rains which followed would have spoiled them, and 1 should have lost the best part of my winter food; for I had above two hundred large bunches of them. No sooner had I taken them all down, and carried most of them home to my cave, but it began to rain; and from hence, which was tha 14th of August, it rained, more or less, every day till the middle of October; and sometimes so violently, that I could not stir out of my cave for several days.
In this season, I was much surprised with the increase of my family. I had been concerned for the "loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had been dead; and I heard no more of her, till, to my astonishment, she came home with three kittens. This was the more strange to me, because, about the end of August, though I had killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was quite a different kind from our European cats: yet the youngj cats were the same kind of house breed as the old one; and both of my cats being females, I thought it very strange. But from these three, 1 afterwards came to be so pestered with cats, that 1 was forced to kill them like vermin or wild beasts, and to drive them from my house as much as possible.
From the 14th of August to the 26th, incessant rain; so that I could not stir, and was now very careful not to be much wet. In this confinement, I began to be straitened for food; but venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat, and the last day, which was the 26th, found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me. My food was now regulated thus: I ate a bunch of raisins for my breakfast; a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the turtle, broiled, for mj dinner (for, to my great misfortune, I had no vessel to boil or stew any thing), and two or three of the turtle's eggs for my supper.
During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked daily two or three hours at enlarging my cave, and by degrees worked it on towards one side, till I came to the outside of the hill, and made a door, or way out, which came beyond my fence or wall; and so I came in and out this way. But I was not perfectly easy at lying so open; for as 1 had managed myself before, I was in a perfect inclosure; whereas, now, I thought I lay exposed; and yet I could not perceive that there was any living thing to fear, the biggest creature that I had yet seen upon the island being a goat.
September 30. I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my landing. I cast up the notches on my post, and found I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five days. I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart for religious exercise, prostrating myself on the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to God, acknowledging his righteous judgments upon me, and praying to him to have mercy on me, through Jesus Christ; and having not tasted the least refreshment for twelve hours, even till the going down of the sun, I then ate a biscuit and a bunch of grapes, and went to bed, finishing the day as I began it. I had all this time observed no Sabbath-day; for, as at first I had no sense of religion upon my mind, I had, after some time, omitted to distinguish the weeks, by making a longer notch than ordinary, for the Sab bath-day, and so did not really know what any of the days were; but now, having cast up the days as above, I found 1 had been there a year; so I divided it into weeks, and set apart every seventh day for a Sabbath; though I found, at the end of my account, I had lost a day or two in my reckoning. A little after this, my ink beginning to fail me, I contented myself to use it more sparingly, and to write down only the most remarkable events of my life, without continuing a daily memorandum of other things.
The rainy season and the dry season began now to appear regular to me, and I learned to divide them so as to provide for them accordingly; but I bought all my experience before I had it; and what I am going to relate was one of the most discouraging experiments that I had made at all.
I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice which I had so surprisingly found sprung up, as 1 thought, of themselves. I believe tfiere were about thirty stalks of rice, and about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper time to sow it after the rains, the sun being in its southern position, going from me, Accordingly, I dug a piece of ground, as well as I could, with my wooden spade; and, di^ vidmg it into two parts, I sowed my grain; Dut, as I was'"* sowing, it casually occurred to my thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not know when was the proper time for it; so I sowed about two thirds of the seed, leaving about a handful of each; and it was a great comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for not one grain of what I sowed this time came to any thing; for the dry month following, and the earth having thus had no rain after the seed was sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth, and never came up at all till the wet season had come again, and then it ejrew as if it had been but newly sown. Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily imagined was from the drought, I sought for a m >ister piece of ground, to make another trial in; and I dug Id a piece of ground near my new bower, and sowed the rest of mv seed in February, a little before the vernal equinox,
This, having the rainy month of March and April to water it, sprung up very pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop; but having only part of the seed left, and not daring to sow all that I had, I got Dut a small quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting to above half a peck of each kind. But by this experiment I was made master of my business, and knew exactly when was the proper time to sow; and that I might expect two seed-times and two harvests every year.
While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery, which was of use to me afterwards. As soon as the rains were over, and the weather began to settle, which was about the month of November, I made a visit up the country to my bower; where, though I had not been some months, yet 1 found all things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that I had made was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which I had cut out of some trees that grew thereabouts were all shot out, and grown with long branches, as much as a willow-tree usually shoots the first year after lopping its head; but I could not tell what tree to call it that these stakes were cut from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased, to see the young trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them to grow as much alike as I could; and it is scarce credible how beautiful a figure they grew into in three years; so that, though the hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter? yet the trees—for such I might now call them—soon covered it; and it was a complete shade, sufficient to lodge under all the dry season. This made me resolve to cut some more stakes, and make me a hedge like this, in a semicircle round my Wall (I mean that of my first dwelling), which I did • and placing the trees or stakes in a double row, at about eight, yards' distance from my first fence, they grew presently, and were at first a fine cover to my habitation, and afterwards served for a defence also, as I shall observe in its order.
I found now that the seasons of the year might generally be divided, not into summer and winter, as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons, which were generally