We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. — George Orwell

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




An Attack by the Savages

Just after sunset, and before the darkness of night closed in, those who had been on shore came back very hurriedly and in disorder, bringing with them in the foremost boat, two wounded men.

"They have had a battle with some one, Master," I reported, before yet the boats were come alongside, and for the first time that day did Captain Smith appear to be deeply concerned. I heard him say as if to himself, not intending that the words should reach me:

"Lack of caution in dealing with the savages is like to cost us dearly."

Half an hour later I heard all the story from Nathaniel Peacock, who had believed himself fortunate when he was allowed to accompany the party on shore.

According to his account, the company from the fleet roamed over much of the land during the day, finding fair meadows and goodly trees, with streams of fresh water here and there bespeaking fish in abundance.

Nothing was seen or heard to disturb our people until the signal had been given for all to go on board the boats, that they might return to the ships, and then it was that a number of naked, brown men, creeping upon their hands and knees like animals, with bows and arrows held between their teeth, came out suddenly from amid the foliage to the number, as Nathaniel declared, of not less than an hundred.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

While the white men stood dismayed, awaiting some order from those who chose to call themselves leaders, the savages shot a multitude of arrows into the midst of the company, wounding Captain Gabriel Archer in both his hands, and dangerously hurting one of the seamen.

Captain Gosnold gave command for the firearms to be discharged, whereupon the savages disappeared suddenly, and without delay our people returned to the fleet.



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