| Stories of the Pilgrims|
|by Margaret B. Pumphrey|
|Beginning with Queen Anne's visit to Scrooby inn, tells in story form of the everyday life of the Pilgrims in England and Holland, of their voyage on the Mayflower and their adventures in the New World. The Brewster children and other Pilgrim boys and girls are the center of interest. A wonderful book to read aloud in the weeks before Thanksgiving. Ages 6-10 |
FRIENDS OR FOES?
NE day late in November, Governor Bradford and his friend Edward Winslow
walked along the top of the hill toward
Plymouth. They carried guns on their shoulders
and their game bags were heavy with the wild ducks they were
"They turned and saw an Indian
running toward them"
 Suddenly they heard a light, quick step on the dry leaves
behind them. They turned and saw an Indian running toward
them. He pointed to the sea and tried to tell them
something, but the Englishmen could not understand his
The three men hurried to the village, and Squanto was called
to the common-house. To him the Indian told his message.
"He says a great ship is coming," said Squanto. "It is not
far away. He thinks it is a French ship."
Governor Bradford looked sorely troubled.
The French were not friendly with the English. If their ship
came to Plymouth it would try to capture the town. The
governor thanked the Indian for coming to warn him of the
danger, and gave him presents and food.
Soon every one in the town knew the word which the Indian
had brought. Governor Bradford ordered a cannon to be fired
to call home any who were away hunting or fishing.
Nearly every one came down to the shore to watch for the
ship. They had not waited long when a sail appeared around
the point. Yes, it was coming straight toward Plymouth
Captain Miles Standish and some of the other men hurried to
the cannon on the hill. They carefully aimed them at the
"If it is the ship of an enemy, we will be ready
 for it," said the captain. Every man, and every boy who was
big enough, carried a gun.
As the boat drew nearer, the people became more and more
excited. Hardly a word was spoken, but their white faces
showed how anxious they were.
They shaded their eyes with their hands and
tried to see what flag floated from its mast. In every
heart was a prayer that it might be that of old England.
"All eyes were fixed upon the masthead"
Nearer and nearer came the ship. All eyes were fixed upon
the masthead. Now a flash of white could be seen, but what
were the darker
 colors? Breathless they waited. As the flag again fluttered
in the breeze, a bright red cross flashed into sight.
"The flag of old England!" "It is an English ship!" "An
English ship!" The hills rang with their joyful shouts.
From the cannon on the fort a roar of welcome boomed across
the water, and a minute later came an answer from the cannon
on the ship.
Priscilla darted away up the hill to the elder's cottage,
where Mistress Brewster, too weak to leave the house, sat
waiting at the window. One glance at Priscilla's sunny face
told her the ship was from England.
"Oh, mother dear, it is an English ship. Perhaps Patience
and Fear, or Jonathan is upon it," cried Priscilla. "Sit
close to the window, and I will run home and tell you when I
see them." Leaving Mistress Brewster with her face buried
in her trembling hands, the girl hurried back to the shore.
There the children who had been silent with fright now
shouted and ran up and down the beach. They could hardly
wait for the ship to land.
"I hope my brother Jonathan is on that boat," said Love
Brewster, hopping first on one foot and then on the other.
"So do I," cried one of the others. "Let us play this is
a fairy ship, and will bring each of us
 one wish. You are the littlest, Samuel, so you may wish
"I wish it would bring some more little children to
play with. You big boys never let me play with you."
"That is because you can't run fast enough, Samuel. You
would get lost. What do you wish for, Francis Billington?"
"I wish it would bring me a soldier suit and a sword like
the captain's 'Gideon,' " said Francis. This was a wild wish
indeed. Who ever heard of a little boy having a soldier
suit and a sword!
Giles Hopkins would not waste his wish on anything which he
knew could not come true.
"I wish it would bring the cow we left in England. I am so
hungry for some milk, and butter, and cheese. I am just
tired of beans, and bread with no butter."
"Be glad you have the beans and bread, Giles," said
Priscilla, coming up behind them. "Elder Brewster says there
is hardly enough corn to last through the winter, and the
other grain is nearly gone. We had better wish the fairy
ship would bring us more meal."
Just then a small boat was lowered from the side of the
ship. All watched to see the men climb down the rope ladder
into it, though they could not see who they were at this
Some of the Pilgrims were expecting brothers,
 some were looking for sons or daughters, others
for friends. It seemed to those on shore
that the men rowed very slowly.
But at last the little boat touched the stone which we
call Plymouth Rock. Almost the first to leap ashore was
Elder Brewster's oldest son. Little Love had his "wish."
There were other dear old friends who had been left in
England or Holland, and there were some people whom the
Pilgrims did not know, about thirty-five in all. How glad
the Pilgrims were to see them!
When the captain of the vessel came ashore, he brought a
large bag of mail. It was now just a year since the
"Mayflower" had brought the little band of Pilgrims to this
new land. In all this time they had not heard one word from
the friends at home. Now there were letters for all.
The candles burned late in Plymouth that night. In Elder
Brewster's home the last candle had flickered and gone out,
but still the family sat about the blazing fire and listened
while Jonathan told them of Fear and Patience, and of many
old friends in Holland.
The ship had not brought the provisions which the Pilgrims
so much needed. It had not even brought food for its
passengers. There had been hardly enough for the voyage,
and the Pilgrims must give the sailors food for the trip
back to England.
 After that, they would have barely corn enough for
themselves during the long winter; yet here were thirty-five
more hungry mouths to be fed. What had been a bountiful
supply of food for fifty was a very small amount for
But the corn, and the barley, and the dried fruits, and
smoked fish were equally divided among them. They must all
have been hungry many times, but none died for want of food.
The Pilgrims tried to buy corn from the Indians who lived
near by, but they had none to spare. The snow was so deep
and the ice so thick that hunting and fishing were almost
Winter dragged slowly. The food was nearly gone. Something
must be done very soon. So Governor Bradford and a few
others rowed away to buy food from a tribe of Indians who
lived a long way from Plymouth. They were gone many days,
but when they returned their boat was well loaded with
baskets of corn.
At last spring came. The streams were full of fish. Deer,
wild turkeys, and other game could be found in the forest,
and there was food enough for all.
It was not long before many new cabins were built along
Leiden Street, and other streets were being made. Scores of
new farms were cleared that summer, and soon the sunny
hillsides rocked with the waving grain.
 During the spring and summer several other ships came,
bringing hundreds of passengers. These people did not all
settle at Plymouth. They made homes for themselves and
formed new towns, or settlements, a few miles away.
At last the smoke went curling up from many chimneys in New
England, as this part of our country is still called. One of
these towns was Boston, another was Salem, and there were
many others. They were all very friendly with one
another, and the people were never again so sad or lonely
as the Pilgrims had been.
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