We Make Another Canoe - We Plan a Voyage to the Colonies of America Summary

Robinson was beginning what he called, "the pleasantest year of all the life I led in this place..." He had taught Friday enough English to make having a conversation possible. Robinson and Friday were learning about each other, Friday was learning about England and Robinson's devout belief in God, whereas Robinson learned Friday was from Caribs and about his belief in the god Benamuckee. Robinson decided to convert Friday to Christianity, by teaching him about God and the Devil. This was at times a bumpy road, because Friday asked questions which Robinson was not always qualified to answer. Friday, for instance, wanted to know why God did not kill the Devil. Robinson could not come up with a very good answer to that question, so in the end he said the Devil was a fallen angel.

One day while standing on a hill, Friday looked out to sea and spotted his home country. He was very excited to see his home so near to the island. But, Robinson was concerned about what would happen if Friday returned home. Would he come back to the island with his friends and kill Robinson? He soon discovered that Friday had no intention of returning home without Robinson. He wanted Robinson to teach the natives about God and the evils of eating human flesh. Friday had told Robinson about a lifeboat with white men, who had been saved by Friday's people. The men, because they were not a threat to the natives, were allowed to live peacefully with Friday's fellow people and he felt Robinson would be treated in the same manner.

Robinson was happy to hear this news and decided he and Friday should build another canoe for the trip to Friday's country. The two worked for months to build and prepare the canoe, but even though Robinson, who had been on the island for 27 years, was eager to start the trip, they knew they had to wait until the rainy season was over before they could begin the journey.

As the rainy season began to come to an end, Robinson began to gather provisions for the trip to the mainland. Friday, who had been sent to catch a turtle for the trip, returned frightened by the sight of three canoes with 21 savages on board, headed for the shore of the island. Robinson's first thought was to fight the savages and save the prisoners they had with them. But, upon reflection he came to the same decision as before, which was to leave them alone unless they threatened himself or Friday. He changed his mind after noticing that one of the prisoners was one of the white men Friday had told him about earlier.

He and Friday agreed to try and save the man, which they did by killing all, but four of the savages. The white man, who was from Spain, had enough energy left in him to kill three savages. Friday convinced Robinson to take one the canoes left behind and chase the remaining savages before they could return home and return with reinforcements. But instead, Friday found another prisoner in the canoe and rejoiced, because he was Friday's father. The men were given food and water, then Friday put them both into the canoe and paddled them to the creek near Robinson's home. There Robinson and Friday constructed a shelter for the two men.

Robinson had a small community made up of four men, who though they came from different cultures, were united in their desire to escape the island and go back to living their previous lives. Luckily for Robinson, the Spaniard spoke the same language as Friday and his father, he had learned enough of it when he lived in Friday's country to have his ideas understood. This was lucky for Robinson, because he spoke neither Spanish nor Friday's language well enough to express his own ideas. Friday's father felt the four savages who escaped would not bring back others to assault Robinson and the others, because either they perished in the storm, which sprang up after the gun fight or they thought of the guns as thunder and lightning, which to them meant the island was enchanted.

After a while, Robinson felt Friday's father had been correct in his assumptions, which put him at ease as he moved about the island. Robinson talked to the Spaniard and found out there were sixteen other men on the mainland who wanted to return to Spain and Portugal. The men had not tried to escape, because they had no means of escape at their disposal. Robinson offered to build a boat big enough to return the men to civilization. But first he wanted their word that they would not take him hostage or make him a prisoner of the Inquisition. The Spaniard reassured him this would not happen, because the men would be grateful to anyone who delivered them from living among the savages.

The Spaniard suggested he wait six months to return to his fellow shipmates, in order that Robinson and the others could grow enough food to feed all the men who would be on the ship, which would return them to America. The decision had been made that their destination should be America, because it would be the closest civilized country for them to reach. So the Spaniard set off in the canoe with Friday's father to gather the men, who were to pledge in writing their allegiance to Robinson. He would only take men who had put in writing their oath to follow his orders and stated they would not rebel against him.

Robinson and Friday bonded to form a congenial master and servant relationship. They later saved from savages a Spaniard and Friday's father. They also decided to save the other men who had been on the mainland with the Spaniard. The group of four men formed a community with Robinson as the leader.

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