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THE STARVATION TIME
IT was as if the ship Lyon, on whose return a few
weeks before we had counted so hopefully, was gone,
never to come back.
Even the children watched the direction of the
winds, saying on this day that it was a favoring one
if the Lyon were on her course for Boston, and on
 the morrow mourning because of the breeze being
Yet she came not, nor did we hear aught concerning
her, or any other from the world beyond us.
We were alone in what was much the same as a
wilderness, and all those around upon whom we had
counted to aid us in time of distress were in nearly the
same dismal straits as were we.
Even the Indians declared that they were hard
pressed for something to eat, and more than once did
they come in twos or in threes to beg from us who were
starving, something that could be eaten.
Susan and I, as we sat clasped in each other's arms
hungry, and pining for the home over-seas which we
had left, came to fancy that the famine which held
possession of the land was like unto some terrible
monster who hung above us as a cloud, settling slowly
but surely day after day, until the hour would come
when his terrible fangs would be securely fastened upon
During the month of January the deaths through
scurvy, if that indeed were the cause, grew less; but
all believed that in the stead of being removed by
disease, our people were slowly perishing from starvation.
All the food in Boston was brought together, and
portioned out, so that no one, whether he had of money,
 or was penniless, should suffer more than another.
And yet again and again in the night have I
been awakened by the gnawing of hunger in my
With the beginning of January, Governor Winthrop
appointed a day on which we should all fast and pray,
as if indeed we had been doing other than fasting
throughout the long, dreary winter. On this day
every man, woman, and child in Boston town was to
spend his or her time in praying to the Lord to deliver
us from our affliction.
We no longer hoped for the coming of the Lyon.
Surely she must have been destroyed by the tempest,
 otherwise had we seen her before this, for nearly five
months had gone by since she left Salem Harbor.