Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/414

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washed ashore with him, no provisions, no timbers with which to build a boat. In short, Peter Serrano had absolutely none of the resources of the shipwrecks of fiction.

When the huge sea turtles crawled up on the sand he threw them over upon their backs and cut their throats with his sheath-knife. The blood he drank, and the flesh was eaten raw or dried in the blazing sun. Other distressed mariners have thanked God for this same food, and it may explain to the landsman why a ship is said to "turn turtle" when she capsizes. Peter Serrano, who was cast ashore with only his ready wits and his sheath-knife, scraped out the shells of these great turtles and used them to catch water when the heavy rains fell. He was therefore provided with food and drink, and shelter was the next essential.

There were fragments of plank from ships which had been lost among these shoals, but they were small and rotten and good for nothing but firewood. Peter made himself a little roof of turtle-shells large enough to crawl under, but the heat of the sun so tormented him that he had to take a cool dip in the salt water several times a day. However, he had organized himself for the struggle for existence and was now determined to find some method of making fire. How he succeeded was described