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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis


 

 

CAPTAIN SMITH A PRISONER

WHEN the voyage was begun, and the captain no longer had need of me, I was sent into the forward part of the ship to live, as has already been set down, and therefore it was I knew nothing of what was being done in the great cabin, where the leaders of the company were quartered, until after my master was made a prisoner.

Then it was told me by the seaman who had been called by Captain Kendall, as if it was feared my master, being such a great soldier, might strive to harm those who miscalled him a traitor to that which he had sworn.

It seems, so the seaman said, that Captain John Martin was the one who made the charges against my master, on the night after we set sail from Martinique, when all the chief men of the company were met in the great cabin, and he declared that, when it was possible to do so, meaning after we had come to the land of Virginia, witnesses should be brought from the other ships to prove the wicked intent.

Then it was that Captain George Kendall declared [32] my master must be kept a close prisoner until the matter could be disposed of, and all the others, save Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, agreeing, heavy irons were put upon him. He was shut up in his sleeping place, having made no outcry nor attempt to do any harm, save that he declared himself innocent of wrong doing.


[Illustration]

But for Captain Gosnold and Master Hunt, the preacher, I should not have been permitted to go in and learn if I might do anything for his comfort. The other leaders declared that my master was a dangerous man, who should not be allowed to have speech with any person save themselves, lest he send some message to those who were said to be concerned with him in the plot.


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