Mary of Plymouth - James Otis
The day had not fully dawned when we marched down to the shore where the shallop lay at anchor; but early though the hour was, we found there assembled nearly all the townspeople, come to bid us Godspeed on the dangerous journey. One would have thought we were counting to travel as far as England, to judge from the looks of sorrow on the faces of our friends, and we did not go aboard the small vessel until Elder Brewster had prayed once more for our safe return from the place where temptation in so many forms awaited us.
However much time I might spend over the task, it would be impossible for me to describe, in such a manner that you could understand it, the pleasure which Sarah and I had during the journey. It was our first voyaging in so small a vessel, but we could not well have been alarmed, for the sea was as smooth as velvet, save where it was ruffled here and there by the gentle breeze which filled the sail of the shallop.
Both my father and Captain Standish fretted because there was not wind enough to send us along at a smarter pace; but we girls were well content with the slow progress, since it would be but prolonging our pleasure.
As the day grew older, we partook of food, and each one, save him who was at the helm, chose such position as was best suited to comfort. Father pointed out to us certain landmarks on the coast, which he said had been set down by Captain John Smith of Virginia when he journeyed in this region, and John Alden told of settlers who had begun to make plantations on the shores of Massachusetts Bay.
At noon father read from the Book, while John Alden steered, and after a season of prayer mother spoke with Captain Standish concerning friends in Holland.
It was as if this carried the captain's mind back to the time when he had been an officer in the Dutch army, for straightway he began telling stories of adventure and of thrilling escapes from death, until Sarah and I were at the same time entranced and alarmed. Even though I burned to have him continue, it was a relief when he changed the subject to speculate upon what the future might hold for us of Plymouth.
When night came, we were yet at sea, and mother, Sarah, and I lay down on the dry beach grass in the bottom of the boat, after father had once more prayed that the Lord would hold us, as He does the sea, in the hollow of His hand. We slept as sweetly as if in our own beds at Plymouth, never once awakening until Captain Standish cried out that we should open our eyes to the glory of the sunrise.