| 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 |
A CRUDE KIND OF CHIMNEY
FIRST you must know, however, that when our houses of logs had
been built, we had nothing with which to
 make a chimney such as
one finds in London. We had no bricks, and although, mayhap,
flat rocks might have been found enough for two or three,
there was no mortar in the whole land of Virginia with which
to fasten them together.
Therefore it was we were forced to build a chimney of logs,
laying it up on the outside much as we had the house, but
plentifully besmearing it with mud on the inside, and chinking
the crevices with moss and clay.
When this had been done, a hole was cut for the smoke,
directly through the side of the house. The danger of
setting the building on fire was great; but we strove to
guard against it so much as possible by plastering a layer
of mud over the wood, and by keeping careful watch when we
had a roaring fire. Oftentimes were we forced to stop in the
task of cooking, take all the vessels from the coals, and
throw water upon the blazing logs.
The chimney was a rude affair, of course, and perhaps if we
had had women among us, they would have claimed that no
cooking could be done, when all the utensils were placed
directly on the burning wood, or hung above it with chains
fastened to the top of the fireplace; but when lads like
Nathaniel and me, who had never had any experience in cooking
with proper tools, set about the task, it did not seem
difficult, for we were accustomed to nothing else.
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