Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Miles Standish

You must know that Captain Standish is not of the same faith as are we. He calls himself a "soldier of fortune," which means that he is ready to do battle wherever it seems as if he could strike a blow for the right. He, and his wife Rose, became friendly with us while we were at Leyden, for he was, although an Englishman, a captain in one of the Holland regiments, having enlisted in order to help the Dutch in their wars.

Because of liking a life of adventure, and also owing to the fact that he and his wife had become warm friends with Elder Brewster and my parents, Captain Standish declared that he would be our soldier, standing ever ready to guard us against the wild beasts, or the savages, if any should come to do us harm. Right gallantly has he kept his promise, and unless he had been with us this village of ours might have been destroyed more than once, and, perhaps, those of our people whose lives God had spared would have gone back to Holland or England, ceasing to strive for a foothold in this new world which is so desolate when covered with snow and ice.

A most kindly-hearted man is Captain Standish, and yet there are times when he has but slight control over his temper. Like a flash of powder when a spark falls upon it, he flares up with many a harsh word, and woe betide those against whom he has just cause for anger.

After coming to know him for one who strove not to control his tongue in moments of wrath, the Indians gave him the name of "Little pot that soon boils over," which means that his anger can be aroused quickly. He is not small, neither is he as tall as my father or Elder Brewster; but the savages spoke of him as "little," measuring him, I suppose, with many others of our people.

We had not been long in Plymouth, however, before the Indians understood what a valiant soldier he is, and then they began to call him "Strong Sword."


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