Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




The Voyage Delayed

In this I was mistaken, for the wind was contrary to our purpose, and we lay in the Downs near six weeks, while Master Hunt, the preacher, who had joined the company that he might labor for the good of our souls; lay so nigh unto death in the cabin of the Susan Constant, that I listened during all the waking hours of the night, fearing to hear the tolling of the ship's bell, which would tell that he had gone from among the living.

It was on the second night, after we were come to anchor in the Downs awaiting a favorable wind, that I, having fallen asleep while wishing Nathaniel Peacock might have been with us, was awakened by the pressure of a cold hand upon my cheek.

I was near to crying aloud with fear, for the first thought that came was that Master Hunt had gone from this world, and was summoning me; but before the cry could escape my lips, I heard the whispered words:

"It is me, Nate Peacock!"

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

It can well be guessed that I was sitting bolt upright in the narrow bed, which sailors call a bunk, by the time this had been said, and in the gloom of the seamen's living place I saw a head close to mine.

Not until I had passed my hands over the face could I believe it was indeed my comrade, and it goes without saying that straightway I insisted on knowing how he came there, when he should have been in London town.

I cannot set the story down as Nathaniel Peacock told it to me on that night, because his words were many; but the tale ran much like this:



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