Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH COMES TO LONDON
THIS man was no other than Captain John Smith, who, although at
this time not above six and twenty years of age, had already
served in the French, in the Dutch, and in the Transylvanian
armies, where he had met and overcome many dangers.
He had been robbed and beaten and thrown into the sea
because of not believing in the religion of the men who
attacked him; he had been a slave among the Turks; he had
fought, one after another, three of the bravest in the
Turkish army, and had cut off the head of each in turn.
 Can it be wondered at that Nathaniel Peacock and I were
filled to overflowing with admiration for this wonderful
soldier, or that we desired above all things to see him?
We loitered about the streets of London town from daylight
until night had come again, hoping to feast our eyes upon
this same John Smith, who was to us one of the wonders of
the world, because in so short a time he had made his name
as a soldier famous in all countries, and yet we saw him not.
We had searched London town over and over for mayhap a full
month, doing nothing else save hunt for the man whose life
had been so filled with adventure, and each time we returned
home, Mistress Peacock reproached me with being an idle good
for nothing, and Nathaniel but little better.
I believe it was her harsh words which caused to spring up
in my heart a desire to venture into the new
 world, where
it was said gold could be found in abundance, and even the
smallest lad might pick up whatsoever of wealth he desired,
if so be his heart was strong enough to brave the journey
across the great ocean.
The more I thought of what could be found in that land,
which was called Virginia, the stronger grew my desire,
until the time came when it was a fixed purpose in my mind,
and not until then did I breathe to Nathaniel a word of that
which had been growing within me.
He took fire straightway I spoke of what it might be possible
for us lads to do, and declared that whether his mother were
willing or no, he would brave all the dangers of that terrible
journey overseas, if so be we found an opportunity.
To him it
seemed a simple matter that, having once found a ship which
was to sail for the far-off land, we might hide ourselves
within her, having gathered sufficient of food to keep us
alive during the journey. But how this last might be done,
his plans had not been made.