| 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 |
THE EFFECT OF CAPTAIN SMITH'S RETURN
 IT was well for us of Jamestown that my master returned just
when he did, for already had our gentlemen, believing him dead,
refused longer to work, and even neglected the hunting, when
game of all kinds was so plentiful. They had spent the time
roaming around searching for gold, until we were once more in
need of food.
The sickness had come among us again, and of all our company,
which numbered an hundred when Captain Newport sailed for
England, only thirty-eight remained alive.
Within four and twenty hours after Captain Smith came back,
matters had so far mended that every man who could move about
at will, was working for the common good, although from that
time, until Captain Newport came again, we had much of suffering.
With the coming of winter Nathaniel and I were put to it to
do our work in anything like a seemly manner. What with the
making of candles, or of rushlights; tanning deer hides in
such fashion as Captain Smith had taught us; mending his
doublets of leather, as well as our own; keeping the house
and ground around it fairly clean, in addition to cooking
meals which might
 tempt the appetite of our master, we were
busy from sunrise to sunset.
Nor were we without our reward. On rare occasions Captain
Smith would commend us for attending to our duties in better
fashion than he had fancied lads would ever be able to do, and
very often did Master Hunt whisper words of praise in our ears,
saying again and again that he would there were in his house two
boys like us.
This you may be sure was more of payment than we had a
reasonable right to expect, for certain it is that even
at our best the work was but fairly done, as it ever must
be when there are house-boys instead of housewives at home.
Master Hunt had a serving man, William Rods, and he was not
one well fitted to do a woman's work, for in addition to being
clumsy, even at the expense of breaking now and then a wooden
trencher bowl, he had no thought that cleanliness was, as the
preacher often told us, next to godliness.
 It was he, and such as he, that caused Captain Smith and those
others of the Council who were minded to work for the common
good, very much of trouble.
The rule, as laid down by my master, was that those living in
a dwelling should keep cleanly the land roundabout the outside
for a space of five yards, and yet again and again have I seen
William Rods throw the refuse from the table just outside the
door, meaning to take it away at a future time, and always
forgetting so to do until reminded by some one in authority.
However, it is not for me to speak of such trifling things as
these, although had you heard Captain Smith and Master Hunt in
conversation, you would not have set them down as being of little
importance. Those two claimed that only by strict regard to
cleanliness, both of person and house, would it be possible for
us, when another summer came, to ward off that sickness which
had already carried away so many of our company.
After Captain Smith had brought matters to rights in the village,
setting this company of men to building more houses, and that
company to hewing down trees for firewood, which would be
needed when the winter had come, Master Hunt made mention of
a matter which I knew must have been very near his heart many
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