CHAPTER 24 – KNIFE
I told Friday my personal story and I described England and Europe to him.
I told him about our cities, schools, ships and travelling around the world. I told him that education was important in Europe and that we studied from books. It was all new to him. Friday’s people didn’t need schools on the islands. They had all what they needed for their life.
When I felt that I could trust him enough, I showed him how gunpowder worked. I taught him how to use a gun. I gave him a knife and a belt. He was happy with my presents.
He said that he saw a similar knife before. I asked him to tell me more. He explained that his people saved white men from a small boat and that they still lived with them. He counted seventeen Europeans who lived with his people.
I thought that these men could be the sailors from the ship which came to my island some time ago. They probably saved themselves in a boat. I didn’t find anybody alive when I went on board.
Friday told me that they were OK. I was happy to hear that some Europeans lived not very far from my island. I started to plan how to meet the Europeans.
The next day, we went on a small trip around the island. First we went to the cross where I wanted to mark another day. “What is it?” asked Friday when we came to the cross. I explained that we have seven days in a week. These days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday are also called weekend.
When Friday heard the word Friday, he laughed. I explained to him that I saved him on Friday. That’s why I called him Friday. Now, he fully understood the meaning of his name.
During the walk Friday told me, “If we built a canoe and go to my island, I will tell my people how you saved my life.”
I took Friday to the other side of the island. I showed him my canoe there. But he said, “This canoe is too small for the two people. We have to make a bigger canoe.”
So, we started making a bigger canoe. We had to cut a big tree and I showed him how to cut the inside and form a canoe. It took us a month to do this and two days to move it to the beach. The canoe was ready and we were ready too.
The day before we wanted to go, Friday went to the beach. He came back very quickly. He looked very scared. Before I asked him what happened, he said that there were three canoes on the beach.
He was scared because he thought the cannibals came to find him. He said, “There is a war between two groups of local people. We are neighbours but we don’t like each other. We had many conflicts in the past. There was never peace. We kill each other whenever we can. When they see me, they will kill me.”
I told him, “Don’t worry. We are strong. And maybe they didn’t come for you today. We will see.”
We took 15 guns. We went on top of a hill. We saw 14 cannibals, 2 prisoners and 3 canoes on the beach. They stopped close to the place where the forest was near the beach. Thanks to this it was easier to attack the cannibals and save the prisoners.
We went to them quietly through the forest. I thought about my right to kill the cannibals. I had no reason to shoot so many people who did nothing wrong to me.
After some thinking I decided only to watch and attack the cannibals only if it was necessary.
WORDS FROM CHAPTER 24