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

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The Friendly Indians

With the coming of Samoset and Squanto, however, although the illness was not abated, and one after another of our company died, it seemed, perhaps only to us children, as if things were changed. These Indians were the only two persons in all the great land who were willing to take us by the hand and do whatsoever they might to cheer, and because of this show of kindness did we feel the happier.

Squanto, as father has said again and again, did very much to aid. First he showed our people how to fish, and this may seem strange to you, for the English had used hooks and lines many years before the New World was dreamed of; yet, it is true that the savages could succeed, even without proper tackle, better than did our people.

Squanto showed father how, by treading on the banks of the brooks, to force out the eels which had buried themselves in the mud during the cold weather, and then taught him how to catch them with his hands, so that many a day, when there was nothing whatsoever in our home to eat, we hunted for eels, boiling rather than frying them, because the little store of pork was no longer fit to cook with.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Another thing which Squanto did that was wondrously helpful, was to teach us how to grind this Indian corn, Guinny wheat, or Turkie wheat, which ever it should be called, for none of us seemed to know which was the right name for it. The wheat that we found among the Indian graves could be made ready for the table, as we believed, only by boiling it a full day, and then it was not pleasing to the taste. But when Squanto came, he explained that it should be pounded until it was like unto a coarse flour, when it might be made into a pudding that, eaten with salt, is almost delicious.