When the Robinson family is first shipwrecked, they set up a tent to sleep in and place moss on the ground to help keep them dry. However, as the mother explains, this proves to be an inadequate form of housing, a temporary solution to the pressing problem of living quarters....
When the Robinson family is first shipwrecked, they set up a tent to sleep in and place moss on the ground to help keep them dry. However, as the mother explains, this proves to be an inadequate form of housing, a temporary solution to the pressing problem of living quarters. Mrs. Robinson complains that sun beats down on them all day on the rock where they have pitched their tent, and that the tent itself provides little shelter from the heat. Mr. Robinson therefore decides
If we could but exchange this melancholy and unwholesome abode for a pleasant shady dwelling-place, we should all improve in health and spirits.
In the woods, he finds two trees about thirty feet apart and realizes they can build a treehouse between the trees. This will provide them a cooler dwelling place and one that is safer as well because it will be off the ground.
The family embarks on the project of building this new and better home. Mr. Robinson does careful measurements. They take the precaution of making sure they can haul up their rope ladder to the house. We learn that:
Our house was thus enclosed on three sides, for behind the great trunk protected us, while the front was left open to admit the fresh sea breeze which blew directly in.
While this home is a vast improvement, it becomes a problem in the rainy season, and Mr. Robinson decides they need to find a more secure shelter. They decide to move to a cave. However, they soon become aware of poisonous air in the caves. They take the precaution of using burning hay to purify the air before they enter a cave. Eventually, they find a large cavern:
We were in a grotto of diamonds—a vast cave of glittering crystal; the candles reflected on the walls a golden light, bright as the stars of Heaven, while great crystal pillars rose from the floor like mighty trees, mingling their branches high above us and drooping in hundreds of stalactites, which sparkled and glittered with all the colours of the rainbow.
Mr. Robinson realizes this will be their new home, as it will protect them from all "damp" and the storms of the rainy season. However, as an added precaution, they fire their guns to see if the roof will fall. It does not, and they are safe.