Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




The Second Proclamation

It seemed to me as if no more than half an hour had passed before Nicholas Skot was making another proclamation, and this time to the effect that whosoever, after that moment, was heard uttering profane words, should have a can full of cold water poured down his sleeve.

On hearing this, the unruly ones laughed in derision and straightway began to shout forth such a volley of oaths as I had never heard during a drunken brawl in the streets of London.

It was not long, however, that they were thus allowed to shame decent people. Down from the fort came Captain Smith, with six stout men behind him, and in a twinkling there was as hot a fight within twenty paces of Master Ratcliffe's tent, as could be well imagined.

And the result of it all was, much to the satisfaction of Nathaniel and myself, that every one of these men who had amused themselves by uttering the vilest of oaths, had a full can of the coldest water that could be procured, poured down the sleeve of his doublet.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

The method of doing it was comical, if one could forget how serious was the situation. Two of my master's followers would pounce upon the fellow who was making the air blue with oaths, and, throwing him to the ground, hold him there firmly while the third raised his arm and carefully poured the water down the sleeve.

Now you may fancy that this was not very harsh treatment; but I afterward heard those who had been thus punished, say that they would choose five or six stout lashes on their backs, rather than take again such a dose as was dealt out on that day after John Smith was made captain and commander, or whatsoever you choose to call his office, in the village of Jamestown.



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