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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis

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THE VOYAGE DELAYED

IN this I was mistaken, for the wind was contrary to our purpose, and we lay in the Downs near six weeks, while Master Hunt, the preacher, who had joined the company that he might labor for the good of [24] our souls, lay so nigh unto death in the cabin of the Susan Constant, that I listened during all the waking hours of the night, fearing to hear the tolling of the ship's bell, which would tell that he had gone from among the living.

It was on the second night, after we were come to anchor in the Downs awaiting a favorable wind, that I, having fallen asleep while wishing Nathaniel Peacock might have been with us, was awakened by the pressure of a cold hand upon my cheek.

I was near to crying aloud with fear, for the first thought that came was that Master Hunt had gone from this world, and was summoning me; but before the cry could escape my lips, I heard the whispered words:

"It is me, Nate Peacock!"


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It can well be guessed that I was sitting bolt upright in the narrow bed, which sailors call a bunk, by the time this had been said, and in the gloom of the seamen's living place I saw a head close to mine.

[25] Not until I had passed my hands over the face could I believe it was indeed my comrade, and it goes without saying that straightway I insisted on knowing how he came there, when he should have been in London town.

I cannot set the story down as Nathaniel Peacock told it to me on that night, because his words were many; but the tale ran much like this:


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