THE SUPPLY OF FOOD
THE season had come when, if we had been in England, the
people would have been gathering the harvest;
but here we had none, having come so late in the year
that there was no time to plant, and, consequently, we
had no crops.
I had never before realized how necessary it is for
people that the earth shall yield in abundance; but I
came to know it now right well through hearing father,
as he talked with mother regarding the fears which the
chief men of the colony had concerning the supply of
Of course, girls such as Susan and I would not have
been likely to learn anything of the kind, save that
matters had come to such a pass as made the situation
serious, in which case it was no more than natural we
should hear our parents talking about it.
It seems, from what I learned, that a portion of the
provisions brought from England were spoiled during
the voyage, and also, that many of our people had
taken with them no more than enough to sustain life
for a month or two, believing that in this New World
food of all kinds would be found in abundance.
 Then again, many had bartered provisions, which
they should have kept for the winter use, with the
Indians in exchange for beaver skins, thinking thereby to
make much money. So general had this traffic
become, that early in September the Governor gave strict
orders against it, and it was also ordered that no
person in the town be allowed to carry out therefrom
But yet the store of food grew smaller and smaller,
for there were many mouths to feed, and it seemed as
if we children were more often hungry because of
knowing that there was little to be had.
Susan reminded me of what she was pleased to call
the "omen," when it was as if the first of our duties in
the New World had been to bury two members of the
company, and as the days wore on I began really to
believe it a sin to harbor such thoughts.
As it had been in Charlestown, so did it come to be
here in Boston, when the rains of autumn set in.
Many of the dwellings had not been built with due
regard to sheltering those who were to live therein, and
because of the dampness—although mother says it
was owing quite as well to the homesickness and gloom
which came upon us when the leaves in the forest
turned brown, and yellow, and golden in token of the
dying year—the people sickened.
However it was, much of sickness prevailed among
 us in Boston, until the tithe came when my father and
mother, to both of whom God had allowed good health,
were absent from
home day after
day, nursing those
of our neighbors
who were unable
to aid themselves.