Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin

I Am Shipwrecked

At length all things were ready for the voyage, and I went on board the ship.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

It was just eight years to the day since I had left my father and mother and my pleasant home in good old York.

I felt that I was doing a foolish thing; but I did not dare to say so.

The wind was fair. The sails were spread. Soon we were out to sea.

For several days the weather was fine. The ship sped swiftly on her way, and every one was happy and hopeful.

Then a great storm came up from the southeast. I had seen many a fierce storm, but never one so terrible as this.

We could do nothing but let the ship drive before the wind. Day after day we were tossed by the waves; and day after day we expected the ship to go down.

The storm grew fiercer and fiercer. The men gave themselves up as lost.

But on the twelfth day the wind went down. The waves were not so strong. We began to hope for our lives.

Early the next morning a sailor cried out, "Land! land!"

I ran out of the cabin to look. But at that very moment the ship struck upon a great bank of sand over which the fierce sea was rolling.

She stopped short. She could not move. The great waves dashed over her deck. All of us would have been washed overboard if we had not hurried back to the cabin.

"What shall we do?" cried the men.

"We can do nothing," said the captain. "Our voyage is at an end, and there is no longer any hope for our lives. We can only wait for the ship to break in pieces."

"Yes, there is one chance for our lives." cried the mate "Follow me!"

In the lull of the storm we rushed again to the deck. One of our boats was still there.

We slung her over the ship's side. We jumped aboard of her. We cut her loose, and floated away upon the wild sea.

No boat could live in such a sea as that. But we saw land ahead of us; and perhaps some of us might be cast alive upon the beach.

This was our only hope.

The raging waves carried us nearer and nearer to the shore.

We could see the breakers dashing upon the great rocks. The land looked more frightful than the sea.

Then all at once, a huge wave overset the boat. We had no time to speak or think. We were thrown out into the raging sea. We were swallowed up by the waves.