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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis

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CAPTAIN SMITH A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL

IT was when Master Hunt ceased reading that I believed my master would be set free without delay, for of a verity he had the same right to take part in the deliberations as any other, since it was the will of the London Company that he should be one of the leaders; but much to my surprise nothing of the kind was done.

Captain Kendall, seeing the door of my master's room [48] slightly open, arose from the table and closed it, as if he were about to say something which should not be heard by Captain Smith.

I would have opened the door again, but that my master bade me leave it closed, and when an hour or more had passed, Master Hunt came in to us, stating that it had not yet been decided by the other members of the Council whether Captain Smith should be allowed to take part in the affairs, as the London Company had decided, or whether he should be sent home for judgment when the fleet returned. But meanwhile he was to have his liberty.

Then it was that Master Hunt, talking like the true man he ever showed himself to be, advised Captain Smith to do in all things, so far as the other members of the Council permitted, as if nothing had gone awry, claiming that before we had been many days in this land, those who had brought charges against him would fail of making them good.

Had I been the one thus so grievously injured, the whole company might have shipwrecked themselves before I would have raised a hand, all of which goes to show that I had not learned to rule my temper.

Captain Smith, however, agreed with all Master Hunt said, and then it was that I was sent forward once more. My master went on deck for the first time since we had left Martinique, walking to and fro [49] swiftly, as if it pleased him to have command of his legs once more.


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