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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis


 

 

CAPTAIN NEWPORT'S RETURN

WHEN Captain Newport came back to Virginia, at about the time we were gathering our scanty harvest, his dreams of sudden wealth, through the digging of gold in Virginia, had burst as does a bubble when one pricks it.

He had not been more than four and twenty hours in England before learning that his ship was laden only with valueless sand, and, mayhap, if the London Company had not demanded that he return to Virginia at once, with certain orders concerning us at Jamestown, he might have been too much ashamed to show his face among us again.

My master had come in long since from trading with the Indians, having had fairly good success at times, and again failing utterly to gather food. The king Powhatan [125] was grown so lofty in his bearing, because of the honor some of our foolish people had shown him, that it was well nigh impossible to pay the price he asked, even in trinkets, for so small an amount as a single peck of corn.

However, that which Powhatan did or did not do, concerned me very little when Captain Newport had arrived, for he brought with him such tidings as made my heart rejoice, and caused Master Hunt to say that now indeed would our village of Jamestown grow as it should have grown had our leaders shown themselves of half as much spirit as had my master.

But for the greater things which followed Captain Newport's arrival in September of the year 1608, I would have set it down as of the utmost importance to us in Jamestown, that he brought with him the first two women, other than the girl Pocahontas, who had ever come into our town.

These were Mistress Forest, and her maid, Anne Burras, and if the king himself had so far done us the honor as to come, his arrival would have caused no greater excitement.


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