Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Decorating the Inside of the House

You must know that our house is not now as rough on the inside as it would appear from what I first wrote. Father has saved the skins of all the animals he has caught, and prepared them in the same way as do the Indians, which makes the fleshy side look like fine leather. These we have hung on the walls, and they not only serve to keep out the wind, but are really beautiful. With the rough logs and the chinking of clay hidden from view, it is easy to fancy that ours is a real house, such as would be found in England.

We have many fox skins, for father has shot large numbers of foxes, and in what seems to me a curious fashion. He saves all the fishes' heads that can be come at, and on moonlight nights throws them among the trees, where the foxes, getting the scent, give him a fair opportunity for shooting.

Once he killed four in less than two hours, and we have hung them in that corner of the kitchen which we call mother's. Thus it is that she can it leaning her shoulders against the warm fur, through which the wind cannot come.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

There is no need for me to tell you that we have more wolf skins than any other kind, for our people find it necessary to kill such animals in order to save their own lives. One night before all the snow had melted from the ground, Degory Priest was coming through the forest after attending to his traps, and was followed by five hungry wolves, who kept close at his heels, and would

have eaten the poor man but for his industry in swinging a long pole that he carried to help himself across the streams.

Fortunately for Degory Priest, Captain Standish heard his outcries while he was yet a long distance from the village, and went out with three armed men to give him aid.


Front Matter

Why This Story was Written
The Leaking Speedwell
Searching for a Home
After the Storm
Wash Day
Finding the Corn
Attacked by the Savages
Building Houses
Miles Standish
The Sick People
The New Home
Master White and the Wolf
Inside of the House
A Chimney Without Bricks
Building the Fire
Master Bradford's Chimney
Scarcity of Food
A Timely Gift
The First Savage Visitor
Squanto's Story
Living in the Wilderness
The Friendly Indians
Grinding the Corn
A Visit From Massasoit
Massasoit's Promise
Massasoit's Visit Returned
The Big House Burned
The Mayflower Leaves Port
Setting the Table
What and How we Eat
Table Rules
A Pilgrim Goes Abroad
Making a Dugout
Governor Carver's Death
Bradford Chosen Governor
Farming in Plymouth
Cooking Indian Corn
The Wedding
Making Maple Syrup
Decorating the House
Trapping Wolves and Pigeons
Elder Brewster
The Visit to Massasoit
Keeping the Sabbath Holy
Making Clapboards
Cooking Pumpkins
A New Oven
Making Spoons and Dishes
The Fort and Meeting-House
The Harvest Festival
How to Play Stoolball
On Christmas Day
When the Fortune Arrived
Possibility of Another Famine
On Short Allowance
A Threatening Message
Pine Knots and Candles
Tallow From Bushes
Wicks for the Candle
Dipping the Candles
When James Runs Away
Evil-Minded Indians
Long Hours of Preaching
John Alden's Tubs
English Visitors
Visiting the Neighbors
Why More Fish are not Taken
How Wampum is Made
Ministering to Massasoit
The Plot Thwarted
The Captain's Indian
Ballots of Corn
Arrival of the Ann
Little James Comes to Port
The New Meeting-House
The Church Service
The Tithingmen
Master Winslow Brings Cows
A Real Oven
Butter and Cheese
Settlement at Wessagussett
The Village at Merrymount
The First School
Too Much Smoke
Schools Comforts
How Children Were Punished
New Villages
Making Ready for a Journey
Clothing for Salem
Food for the Journey
Before Sailing for Salem
Beginning the Journey
The Arrival at Salem
Sight-Seeking in Salem
Back to Plymouth