It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. — G. K. Chesterton

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




An Exciting Adventure

We waited to hear the tale until he had refreshed himself after the long journey, and then what Captain Smith told us was like unto this, as I remember it:

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

After leaving the village, he had sailed up the river until there was no longer water enough to float the barge, when, with two white men and the two Indians, he embarked in a canoe, continuing the voyage for a distance of twelve miles or more. There, in the wilderness, they made ready to spend the night, and with one of the savage guides my master went on shore on an island to shoot some wild fowls for supper. He had traveled a short distance from the boat, when he heard cries of the savages in the distance, and, looking back, saw that one of the men had been taken prisoner, while the other was fighting for his life.

At almost the very minute when he saw this terrible thing, he was suddenly beset by more than two hundred yelling, dancing savages, who were sweeping down upon him as if believing he was in their power beyond any chance. The Indian guide, who appeared to be terribly frightened, although it might have been that he was in the plot to murder my master, would have run away; but that Captain Smith held him fast while he fired one of his pistols to keep the enemy in check.

Understanding that he must do battle for his life, my master first took the precaution to bind the Indian guide to his left arm, by means of his belt, in such fashion that the fellow would serve as a shield against the shower of arrows the savages were sending through the air.

Protected in this manner, Captain Smith fought bravely, as he always does, and had succeeded in killing two of the Indians with his matchlock, when suddenly he sank knee deep into a mire. It seems that he had been retreating toward the canoe, hoping to get on board her where would be some chance for shelter, and was so engaged with the savages in front of him as to give little heed to his steps.

Once he was held prisoner by the mud, the enemy quickly surrounded him, and he could do no better than surrender. Instead of treating him cruelly, as might have been expected, these brown men carried him from village to village, as if exhibiting some strange animal.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Who I am
Left Alone in the World
An Idle Boy
Captain Smith Comes to London
Meeting Captain Smith
Captain Smith Speaks to Me
Plans of the London Company
The Vessels of the Fleet
How I Earned my Passage
When the Fleet Set Sail
The Voyage Delayed
Nathaniel's Story
We Make Sail Again
The First Island
Captain Smith Accused
Captain Smith a Prisoner
I Attend My Master
Several Islands Visited
A Variety of Wild Game
The Tempest
The New Country Sighted
The Leader Not Known
Arrival at Chesapeake Bay
An Attack by the Savages
Reading the Company's Orders
Captain Smith on the Council
Smith Remains Aboard
Exploring the Country
People Land from the Ships
Captain Smith Proven Innocent
We Who were Left Behind
Baking Bread without Ovens
Unequal Division of Labor
Building a Home of Logs
Keeping House
Lack of Cleanliness
Cave Homes
The Golden Fever
Ducks and Oysters
Roasting Oysters
Leaning to Cook
The Sweet Potato Root
A Touch of Homesickness
Master Hunt's Preaching
Neglecting the Future
Surprised by Savages
Strengthening the Fort
Sickness and Death
Smith Gains Authority
Disagreeable Discipline
Signs of Rebellion
Second Proclamation
Building a Fortified Village
Trapping Turkeys
A Crude Kind of Chimney
Cooking a Turkey
Candles or Rushlights
The Visit of Pocahontas
Captain Kendall's Plot
Death of Captain Kendall
Captain Smith's Expedition
An Exciting Adventure
Taken Before Powhatan
Pocahontas Begs for Smith
Captain Smith's Return
A New Church
Captain Newport's Return
Gold-Seekers
A Worthless Cargo
Condition of the Colony
Tobacco
Captain Newport's Return
Gazing at the Women
Hunt Brings Great News
Captain Newport's Instructions
The Story of Roanoke
The Crowning of Powhatan
Preparing for the Future
Stealing Company Goods
What the Thieving Led To
Fear of Famine
The Unhealthful Location
Gathering Oysters
Sturgeon for Food
Turpentine and Tar
Making Clapboards
Providing for Children
Dreams of the Future
A Plague of Rats
Treachery During Smith's Absence
Captain Smith's Speech
The New Laws
The Accident
Captain Smith's Departure
The "Starving Time"
Our Courage Gives Out
Abandoning Jamestown
Lord De la Warr's Arrival
The Young Planters