Alexander Selkirk's Rescue
by Capt. Woodes Rogers
from A Cruzing Voyage Round the World (1712)
"He had with him his clothes and bedding, with a firelock, some powder, bullets and tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, a Bible, some practical pieces, and his mathematical instruments and books. He diverted and provided for himself as well as he could, but for the first eight months had to bear up against melancholy, and the terror of being left alone in such a desolate place. He built two huts with pimento trees, covered them with long grass, and lined them with the skins of goats, which he killed with his own gun as he wanted, so long as the powder lasted, which was but a pound; and that being almost spent he got fire by rubbing two sticks of pimento wood together upon his knee...

"After he had conquered his melancholy, he diverted himself sometimes with cutting his name on trees, and of the time of his being left, and continuance there. He was at first much pestered with cats and rats that bred in great numbers from some of each species which had got ashore from ships that put in there for wood and water. The rats gnawed his feet and clothes whilst asleep, which obliged him to cherish the cats with his goats' flesh, by which so many of them became so tame, that they would lie about in hundreds, and soon delivered him from the rats. He likewise tamed some kids; to divert himself, would now and then sing and dance with them and his cats; so that by the favor of providence, and the vigor of his youth, being now but thirty years old, he came, at last, to conquer all the inconveniences of his solitude, and to be very easy.

"When his clothes were worn out he made himself a coat and a cap of goat skins, which he stitched together with little thongs of the same, that he cut with his knife. He had no other needle but a nail; and when his knife was worn to the back he made others, as well as he could, of some iron hoops that were left ashore, which he beat thin and ground upon stones. Having some linen cloth by him, he sewed him some shirts with a nail and, stitched them with the worsted of his old stockings, which he pulled out on purpose. He had his last shirt on when we found him on the island."

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