| 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 |
WHEN Captain John Smith had promised on Cheapside that I should
be one of the company of adventurers, because of such labor as
it might be possible for me to perform, and had refused to listen
to my comrade, Nathaniel, without acquainting me with the fact,
had made up his mind that he also would go into the new world of
Fearing lest I would believe it my duty to tell Captain Smith of
his purpose, he kept far from me, doing whatsoever he might in
London town to earn as much as would provide him with food
during a certain time.
In this he succeeded so far as then seemed necessary, and when
it was known that the fleet was nearly ready to make sail, he
came to Blackwall with all his belongings tied in his doublet.
To get on board the Susan Constant without
attract-  ing much
attention while she was being visited by so many curious people,
was not a hard task for Nathaniel Peacock, and three days before
the fleet was got under way, my comrade had hidden himself in
the very foremost part of the ship, where were stored the ropes
There he had remained until thirst, or hunger, drove him out,
on this night of which I am telling you, and he begged that I
go on deck, where were the scuttle butts, to get him a pannikin
For those of you who may not know what a scuttle butt is, I
will explain that it is a large cask in which fresh water is
kept on shipboard.
When Nathaniel's burning thirst had been
soothed, he began to fear that I might give information to
Captain John Smith concerning him; but after all that had been
done in the way of hiding himself, and remembering his
suffering, I had not the heart so to do.
During four days more he spent all the hours of sunshine, and
the greater portion of the night, in my bed, closely covered
so that the sailors might not see him, and then came the
discovery, when he was dragged
 out with many a blow and
harsh word to give an account of himself. I fear it would
have gone harder still with Nathaniel, if I had not happened
to be there at that very moment.
As it was, I went directly to Captain John Smith, my master,
telling him all Nathaniel's story, and asking if the lad had
not shown himself made of the proper stuff to be counted on as
one of the adventurers.
Although hoping to succeed in my pleading, I was surprised when
the captain gave a quick consent to number the lad among those
who were to go into the new land of Virginia, and was even
astonished when his name was written down among others as if
he had been pledged to the voyage in due form.
But for the sickness of Master Hunt, and the fear we had lest
he should die, Nathaniel and I might have made exceeding merry
while we lay at anchor in the Downs, for food was plentiful;
there was little of work to be done, and we lads could have
passed the time skylarking with such of the sailors as were
disposed to sport, except orders had been given that no undue
noise be made on deck.
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