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He remained several days in a state of extreme melancholy; but this gradually wore away, and he began to build himself a hut. He cut down several trees, the trunks of which he set upright in the ground, and thus formed a circular wall for his building. He then procured some long grass, of which he made a tight roof. The inside of the hut he lined with goat skins.
He was occupied a considerable time in constructing this little house ; but at length it was finished, and he found himself very comfortable in it. While he had been building it, his melancholy gradually diminished, and his sense of solitude wore away by degrees. He found no difficulty in procuring an abundant supply of food, and he obtained a plenty of clear fresh water from the springs. He had no bread, and no salt; and these things he missed very much. But he was soon accustomed to his condition, and at length he became quite contented and happy.
Selkirk's Story continued. Our adventurer had been so much amused with the building of his hut, that he determined to construct another. This was made nearly in the same fashion as the first. When the new hut was finished, he used it for cooking his victuals in, and some other purposes. In the other he slept; and as he had a bible and some other books, he spent a good deal of his time in reading. He also frequently fell upon his knees, and prayed to that Being who was now his only friend and protector.
But at length, a new and serious difficulty presented itself. His stock of powder was entirely exhausted. His gun, therefore, became useless, and he could no longer rely upon it for killing the goats, which constituted his chief food. What was he to do in this emergency ? He knew of no other resource than to attempt to catch the goats by chasing them. But these little creatures are exceedingly fleet of foot; among the rocks and mountains they will easily escape from the swiftest dog. How then could our sailor hope to succeed, in an attempt to catch them by running after them.
But he thought of no other plan, and so he went forth in pursuit of the goats. He soon came in sight of some of them on the hills, but they skipped from rock to rock, and easily kept out of his way. After a long and fruitless chase he returned to his hut, weary and disappointed. The next day he made another effort, but with no better success. For several days all his attempts failed. The nimble goats seemed rather to fly than run.
Often he came very near to them, but as he reached forth his hand to seize them, they bounded beyond his reach.
But, at length, grown skilful, and alert by practice, he succeeded in taking one of these animals; and from that time, he had no great
difficulty in running down as many of them as he needed for subsistence.
Although Selkirk was now tolerably comfortable, yet his heart yearned for society. He wanted some one to speak to, some one to share in his amusements and his labors; but he had no such friend. He, however, did the best he could. He found some cats, which were very numerous on the island, several of which he caught and tamed. These were very useful to him, for the rats had found out his hut and they troubled him very much. The cats soon made all these mischievous creatures quit the place.
Selkirk also caught some kids, which are young goats. These he tamed, and, after awhile, his little huts were surrounded with cats and tame kids. These kids soon grew to be goats; and sometimes our hero would amuse himself in playing with them. They were quite frisky and sociable. The cats, too, seemed disposed to join in the sport; and Sel