By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. — Confucius

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis




A Timely Gift

It was fortunate indeed for us that Captain Standish was among those able to labor for others, else had we come much nearer dying by starvation. A famous hunter is the captain, and one day, when I was searching for leaves of the checkerberry plant under the snow, mother having said the chewing of them might save me from feeling so hungry, Captain Standish dropped a huge wild turkey in front of me.

It seemed like a gift from God, and although it was very heavy, I dragged it home, forgetting everything except that at last we should have something to eat.

Many days afterward I heard that the captain went supperless to bed that day, and when I charged him with having given to me what he needed for himself, he laughed heartily, as if it were a rare joke, saying that old soldiers like himself had long since learned how to buckle their belts more tightly, thus causing it to seem as if their stomachs were full.

A firm friend is Captain Standish, and God was good in that he was sent with us on the Mayflower.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

It was when our troubles were heaviest, that Sarah came to my home because her mother was taken sick, and Mistress Bradford, who went there to do what she might as nurse, told Sarah to stay in some other house for a time.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

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