CHAPTER 24 – KNIFE
I told Friday about our cities, schools, ships and travelling around the world. I told him that education is important in Europe and that we study 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 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 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 these might be the sailors from the ship which came to my island some time ago. They probably saved themselves in a boat because I didn’t find anybody when I went on board to look for survivors.
I asked Friday to tell me more about them. He 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 them.
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.
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 two people. We should make a bigger canoe.”
Soon we started building the canoe we needed. We chose and cut a big tree and I showed him how to cut the inside to form a canoe. It took us a month to do this and two days more to drag 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 returned to look for 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. This made it easier to attack them and save the prisoners.
We approached them quietly through the forest. While we were walking, I was considering my right to kill them. Maybe I had no reason to shoot so many people who didn’t do any bad to me. After some thinking I decided only to watch and attack them only if it was necessary.
WORDS FROM CHAPTER 24