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James Otis

Captain Smith's Departure

It is not well for me to dwell upon our parting with the master whom we had served more than two years, and who had ever been the most friendly friend and the most manly man one could ask to meet.

Our hearts were sore, when, after having done what little we might toward carrying him on board the ship, we came back to his house, which he had said in the presence of witnesses should be ours, and there took up our lives with Master Hunt.


But for that good man's prayers, on this first night we would have abandoned ourselves entirely to grief; but he devoted his time to soothing us, showing why we had no right to do other than continue in the course on which we had been started by the man who was gone from us, until it was, to my mind at least, as if I should be doing some grievous wrong to my master, if I failed to carry on the work while he was away, as it would have been done had I known we were to see him again within the week.

With Captain Smith gone, perhaps to his death; with half a dozen men who claimed the right to stand at the head of the government until Lord De la Warr should come; and with the savages menacing us on every hand, sore indeed was our plight.

With so many in the town, for there were now four hundred and ninety persons, and while the savages, because of having been so sorely wronged, were in arms against us, it was no longer possible to go abroad for food, and as the winter came on we were put to it even in that land of plenty, for enough to keep ourselves alive.