HOW THE INDIANS LIVE
I would that I might describe to you the Indians
whom we found living near about the land which was
set apart for our city, in such manner that you would
be able to picture them to yourself, for they were much
like neighbors to us during the days when Philadelphia
was little more than a clearing in the wilderness.
As I have said, Jethro and I were often among them,
 and came to be acquainted with half a dozen or more
until they were to us really friends.
I have heard those who have traveled much in this
land of America describe the villages which the people
of Boston, or of Jamestown, saw when they first came
to this country, and therefore it is that I know our
Indians lived in a different manner from the savages
in those sections.
The villages near us were made of huts, hardly higher
than a man would stand, and built by setting poles
into the ground until a frame-work had been made
five or six feet wide, and from ten to twelve feet long.
This was covered with the bark of trees, or of mats
 woven from coarse dried grass, with a mat hanging at
one end to serve as door.
Inside these, in the winter, a fire is built, and the
smoke passes out through a hole left in the roof. As
for beds, they heap up reeds or grass, covering the
whole with skins of animals, and thus are as
comfortable while sleeping, as are we English people on
our beds of feathers.
When they are in their own village, it seems as if
the savages are continually burning that Indian weed
called tobacco, and how they contrive to get any
pleasure or profit from it passeth all understanding.
They make of a smooth red stone, or of common
clay, a small bowl which would contain, perhaps, a
robin's egg, and to this they attach a reed, or the
leg-bone of a turkey, which is hollow, in order to
suck the smoke into their mouths.
But that which displeases me more than anything
else, is that the Indians grease themselves with fat
from the bear, and on hot days this has a most
disagreeable odor. It may be that this helps to keep
them warm, for I have seen boys of my own age going
around on a winter's day almost naked, and yet they
made no complaint of being cold; but Jethro believes
that it is because of much bathing that they are able
to withstand the cold as they do, these same boys often
being seen to plunge into the water, seemingly simply
 for the sake of wetting their skins, even when there is
ice floating on the surface.
Neither the boys nor the men labor in the fields; but
the women and the girls make the gardens, gather
fuel, and look after all the work, leaving to their fathers
and brothers no task save that of hunting.
I have seen three or four girls struggling to drag
into the village a quantity of wood for the fires, while
twenty or more full grown men lay idly on the ground
watching them, but without offering to lend any aid,
and yet they are by no means selfish in their dealings
with us white people.
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