robinson crusoe chapter 12


Friday and I lived happily together on the island for three years. The savage was now a good Christian, better indeed than I was myself. One day I showed him the wreck of the boat in which my companions and I had left our ship. Friday looked at it a long time then said, ‘Once a boat like that came to my nation.’

‘Were there any white men in the boat?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ said Friday, ‘there were seventeen’.

‘And what happened to them?’

‘They live in my nation,’ he said.

Perhaps these white men were from the ship that I had seen wrecked near my island, I thought.

‘But Friday,’ said I, ‘why do the people of your nation not kill and eat the white men?’

‘We only eat the flesh of prisoners we catch in battle,’ said he.

Sometime after this, when we were on the hilltop looking out to sea, we saw the coast of America. ‘Oh joy!’ cried Friday. ‘There is my country! There is my nation!’

His eyes shone and his face was eager. I began to worry. If Friday could return to his own nation, I thought, he would forget about me and his new religion. Perhaps he would even tell his people about me and return with hundreds of them to eat me.

I worried about this for several weeks. Then one day I asked him, ‘Friday, would you like to return to your own nation?’

‘Oh yes,’ said Friday, ‘that would make me very happy.’

‘What would you do there?’ I asked. ‘Would you eat men’s flesh and become a savage again?’

Friday shook his head and said, ‘No. I would teach them how to live well and how to pray to God. I would teach them to eat bread and the flesh of goats and never to eat men.’

‘But then,’ I said, ‘they would kill you.’

‘No. They would not kill me. They would be willing to learn.’

I told him that I would make a canoe for him to go back to his nation. Then Friday said that he would go if I would go with him.

‘I go!’ said I. ‘But they would eat me!’

‘No, no,’ he said. ‘I would tell them not to eat you. I would make them love you very much.’

I told him again that I would make him a canoe so that he could return to his nation. Friday looked very sad. ‘Why are you angry with me?’ he asked. I said I was not angry with him at all. ‘Then why do you want to send me away?’

‘But Friday,’ said I. ‘did you not say that you want to go home?’

‘Yes, yes,’ said Friday. ‘I wish we were both there. I do not wish to return alone.’

‘But what would I do there, Friday?’ I asked.

‘You could do a lot of good there. You could teach my people to be good. You could tell them about God.’

‘No, no, Friday,’ I said. ‘You go without me and leave me here to live alone, as I did before.’

He looked very distressed at my words, and taking up a hatchet, he gave it to me and said. ‘Kill me!’

‘Why must I kill you?’ I asked in amazement.

‘Why do you want to send me away? Do not send me away. It is better to kill me,’ He spoke very sincerely, and his eyes were full of tears.

I saw clearly that he loved me and would never leave me. I told him that I would never send him away from me, if he was willing to stay.

We started building a boat large enough for the two of us and all our goods. The rainy season came before we finished the boat. Therefore, we brought it into the river to keep it safe until the weather was calm.


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