| Richard of Jamestown|
|by James Otis|
|Follow the fortunes of orphan Richard Mutton as he travels to the New World with Captain John Smith and takes up residence with him in the new colony of Jamestown. See the struggles they go through to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table while the majority of their fellow colonists shirk the work of establishing the colony for the pursuit of gold. Observe how their relationships with the native Americans change over time and how, when they are just on the point of abandoning the colony, a new contingent of colonists arrives to bring fresh hope to the Jamestown settlement. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-10 |
CAPTAIN SMITH had gone up the bay in the hope of soothing
the trouble among the savages, and, failing in this effort,
was returning, having got within four and twenty hours'
journey of Jamestown, when the pinnace was anchored for the night.
The boat's company lay down to sleep, and then came that
accident, if accident it may be called, the cause of which
no man has ever been able to explain to the satisfaction of
Master Hunt or myself.
Captain Smith was asleep, with his powder bag by his side,
when in some manner it was set on fire, and the powder,
exploding, tore the flesh from his body and thighs for the
space of nine or ten inches square, even down to the bones.
In his agony, and being thus horribly aroused from sleep,
hardly knowing what he did, he plunged overboard as the
quickest way to soothe the pain. There he was like to have
drowned but for Samuel White, who came near to losing his
own life in saving him.
 He was brought back to the town on the day before the ships
of the fleet, which had brought so many quarrelsome people,
were to sail for England. With no surgeon to dress his wounds,
what could he do but depart in one of these ships with the
poor hope of living in agony until he arrived on the other
side of the ocean.
Nathaniel and I would have gone with him, willing, because
of his friendship for us, to have served him so long as we
lived. He refused to listen to our prayers, insisting that
we were lads well fitted to live in a new land like Virginia,
and that if we would but remain with Master Hunt, working out
our time of apprenticeship, which would be but five years
longer, then might we
 find ourselves men of importance in
the colony. He doubted not, so he said, but that we would
continue, after he had gone, as we had while he was with us.
What could we lads do other than obey, when his commands
were laid upon us, even though our hearts were so sore that
it seemed as if it would no longer be possible to live when
he had departed?
Even amid his suffering, when one might well have believed
that he could give no heed to anything save his own plight,
he spoke to us of what we should do for the bettering of our
own condition. He promised that as soon as he was come to
London, and able to walk around, if so be God permitted him
to live, he would seek out Nathaniel's parents to tell them
that the lad who had run away from his home was rapidly making
a man of himself in Virginia, and would one day come back to
gladden their hearts.
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