| 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 |
A WORTHLESS CARGO
 WHEN we should have been striving to build up the town once
more, we spent all our time loading the ship with this worthless
cargo, and indeed I felt the better in my mind when finally
Captain Newport set sail, the John and Francis loaded deeply
with sand, because of believing that we were come to an end
of hearing about treasure which lay at hand ready for
whosoever would carry it away.
In this, however, I was disappointed. Although there was no
longer any reason for our people to labor at what was called
the gold mine, since there was no ship at hand in which to put
the sand, they still talked, hour by hour, of the day when all
the men in Virginia would go back to England richer than kings.
Because of such thoughts was it well nigh impossible to force
them to labor once more. Yet Captain Smith and Master Hunt did
all they could, even going so far as to threaten bodily harm
if the people did not rebuild the storehouse, plant such seed
as had been saved from the flames, and replace those portions
of the palisade which had been burned.
It was while our people were thus working half-heartedly,
that Captain Nelson arrived in the ship Phoenix, having been
so long delayed on the voyage,
 because of tempests and contrary
winds, that his passengers and crew had eaten nearly all the
stores which the London Company sent over for our benefit, and
bringing seventy more mouths to be fed.
Save that she brought to us skilled workmen, the coming of
the Phoenix did not advantage us greatly, while there were
added to our number, seventy men, and of oat-meal, pickled beef
and pork, as much as would serve for, perhaps, three or four
Through her, however, as Master Hunt said in my hearing, came
some little good, for on seeing the yellow sand, Captain Nelson
declared without a question that it was worthless, and, being
accustomed to working in metal, speedily proved to our people
who were yet suffering with the gold fever, that there was
nothing whatsoever of value in it.
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