Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin

I Have a Great Fright

The very next day after my cave was finished a frightful thing happened. I came near losing everything and my own life as well.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

I will tell you about it.

I was busy behind my tent when I heard a fearful noise above my head. Before I could look up, a great load of earth and stones came tumbling down.

It was a wonder that I was not buried alive. I was scared, for I thought the whole top of the cave was falling in.

I ran out and climbed over my wall. The great rock behind my castle seemed to be shaking. Stones and earth were rolling down its side.

"An earthquake! an earthquake!" I cried.

The ground shook. A tall rock that stood between me and the seashore toppled over and fell. The noise was the most frightful I ever heard.

There were three shocks about eight minutes apart. The strongest building you ever saw would have been overturned.

I was so frightened that I did not know what to do. I sat on the ground and could not move. I could only cry, over and over again, "Lord, have mercy on me!"

After the third shock was over I began to grow braver. But still I sat on the ground, wondering what would come next.

All at once the sky was overcast. Dark clouds rolled over the sea. The wind began to blow. A dreadful hurricane was at hand.

The sea was covered with foam. The waves were mountain high. On the shore, trees were torn up by the roots. If my tent had not been well sheltered behind the great rock, it would have been carried away.

The hurricane lasted fully three hours. Then the rain began to pour down.

All this time I sat on the ground outside, too much frightened to go back into my castle.

Toward night the rain slackened, and I ventured over my wall. The tent was half beaten down. So I crept through into the cave. I was half afraid that even it would tumble down on my head.