A close family who has found themselves stranded on an
island after a shipwreck - By J. D. Wyss

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ft                  THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
at a distance. We rowed with all our strength to reach it, but at first the boat only turned round and round; at length I managed to steer so that it went in a straight line. As we started, the two dogs, after whining and running up and down the deck for a while, plunged into the sea and swam after us. They were too large for us to think of taking them in; but they did not try to climb up the sides of the boat, only rested their paws on the edges of the planks when they were tired.
Thus we proceeded slowly ; but the nearer we approached the land, the more gloomy and un­promising it appeared. The coast was nothing but barren rocks. However, the sea was calm, and we could see casks, bales, chests, and other vestiges of the shipwreck, floating round us. We managed to get hold of two of these, and towed them after us in the water. As we drew nearer to the land, Fritz, who had keen eyes, saw some trees, and exclaimed that they were palm-trees. Ernest ex­pressed his joy that he should now get much larger and better cocoa-nuts than those of Europe. Jack drew a small telescope from his pocket and handed it to me, so that by its aid I got a good idea of the shore, and saw a little opening between the rocks, near the mouth of a creek, towards which all our
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