Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. — Pericles

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Ducks and Oysters

I have heard Captain Smith say more than once, that he had seen flocks of ducks a full mile wide and five or six miles long, wherein canvasbacks, mallard, widgeon, redheads, dottrel, sheldrake, and teal swam wing to wing, actually crowding each other. When such flocks rose in the air, the noise made by their wings was like unto the roaring of a tempest at sea.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

Then there was bed after bed of oysters, many of which were uncovered at ebb tide, when a hungry man might stand and eat his fill of shellfish, never one of them less than six inches long, and many twice that size. It is little wonder that the gold crazed men refused to listen while my master warned them that the day might come when they would be hungry to the verge of starvation.

Now perhaps you will like to hear how we two lads, bred in London town, with never a care as to how our food had been cooked, so that we had enough with which to fill our stomachs, made shift to prepare meals that could be eaten by Captain Smith, for so we did after taking counsel with the girl Pocahontas from Powhatan's village.



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