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us, so we were now come unto him; and in witness of the love and good-will the English bear unto him, the governor hath sent him a coat, desiring that the peace and amity that was between them and us might be continued; not that we feared them, but because we intended not to injure any, desiring to live peaceably, and as with all men, so especially with them our nearest neighbors. But whereas his people came very often, and very many together unto us, bringing for the most part their wives and children with them, they were welcome; yet we being but strangers as yet at Patuxet, alias New Plymouth, and not knowing how our corn might prosper, we could no longer give them such entertainment as we had done, and as we desired still to do. Yet if he would be pleased to come himself, or any special friend of his desired to see us, coming from him they should be welcome. And to the end we might know them from others, our governor had sent him a copper chain; desiring if any messenger should come from him to us, we might know him by bringing it with him, and hearken and give credit to his message accordingly; also requesting him that such as have skins should bring them to us, and that he would hinder the multitude from oppressing us with them. And whereas, at our first arrival at Paomet, called by us Cape Cod, we found there corn buried in the ground, and finding no inhabitants, but some graves of dead new buried, took the corn, resolving, if ever we could hear of any that had right thereunto, to make satisfaction to the full for it; yet since we understand the owners thereof were fled for fear of us, our desire was either to pay them with the like quantity of corn, English meal, or any other commodities we had, to pleasure them withal; requesting him that some of his men might signify so much unto them, and we would content him for his pains. And last of all, our governor requested one favor of him, which was that he would exchange some of their corn for seed with us, that we might make trial which best agreed with the soil where we live.
With these presents and message we set forward the 10th
June,* about nine o'clock in the morning, our guide resolving that night to rest at Namasket, a town under Massasoit, and conceived by us to be very near, because the inhabitants flocked so thick upon every slight occasion amongst us; but we found it to be some fifteen English miles. On the way we found some ten or twelve men, women, and children, which had pestered us till we were weary of them, perceiving that (as the manner of them all is) where victual is easilest to be got, there they live, especially in the summer; by reason whereof, our bay affording many lobsters, they resort every spring-tide thither; and now returned with us to Namasket. Thither we came about three o'clock after noon, the inhabitants entertaining us with joy, in the best manner they could, giving us a kind of bread called by them maizium, and the spawn of shads, which then they got in abundance, insomuch as they gave us spoons to eat them. With these they boiled musty acorns; but of the shads we eat heartily. After this they desired one of our men to shoot at a crow, complaining what damage they sustained in their corn by them; who shooting some fourscore off and killing, they much admired at it, as other shots on other occasions.
After this Tisquantum told us we should hardly in one day reach Pakanokit, moving us to go some eight miles further, where we should find more store and better victuals than there. Being willing to hasten our journey, we went and came thither at sunsetting, where we found many of the Namascheucks (they so called the men of Namasket) fishing upon a weir, which they had made on a river which belonged to them, where they caught abundance of bass. These welcomed us also, gave us of their fish, and we them of our victuals, not doubting but we should have enough wherever we came. There we lodged in the open fields, for houses they had none, though they spent the most of the summer there. The head of this river is reported to be not far from the place of our abode. Upon it are and have been many
* Morton in his Memorial says, July 2. See p. 48.
towns, it being a good length. The ground is very good on both sides, it being for the most part cleared. Thousands of men have lived there, which died in a great plague not long since; and pity it was and is to see so many goodly fields, and so well seated, without men to dress and manure the same. Upon this river dwelleth Massasoit. It cometh into the sea at the Narraganset Bay, where the Frenchmen so much use.
A ship may go many miles up it, as the savages report, and a shallop to the head of it; but so far as we saw, we are sure a shallop may. But to return to our journey.
The next morning we brake our fast, took our leave, and departed; being then accompanied with some six savages. Having gone about six miles by the river side, at a known shoal place, it being low-water, they spake to us to put off our breeches, for we must wade through. Here let me not forget the valor and courage of some of the savages on the opposite side of the river; for there were remaining alive only two men, both aged, especially the one, being above three
These two, espying a company of men entering the river, ran very swiftly, and low in the grass, to meet us at the bank; where with shrill voices and great courage, standing charged upon us with their bows, they demanded what we were, supposing us to be enemies, and thinking to take advantage on us in the water. But seeing we were friends, they welcomed us with such food as they had, and we bestowed a small bracelet of beads on them. Thus far we are sure the tide ebbs and flows.
Having here again refreshed ourselves, we proceeded in our journey, the weather being very hot for travel; yet the country so well watered, that a man could scarce be dry, but he should have a spring at hand to cool his thirst, besides small rivers in abundance. But the savages will not willingly drink but at a spring head. When we came to any small brook, where no bridge was, two of them desired to carry us through of their own accords; also, fearing we were or would be weary, offered to carry our pieces; also, if we would lay off any of our clothes, we should have them carried; and as the one of them had found more special kind
ness from one of the messengers, and the other savage from the other, so they showed their thankfulness accordingly in affording us all help and furtherance in the journey.
As we passed along, we observed that there were few places by the river but had been inhabited; by reason whereof much ground was clear, save of weeds, which grew higher than our heads. There is much good timber, both oak, walnut tree, fir, beech, and exceeding great chestnut trees. The country, in respect of the lying of it, is both champaign and hilly, like many places in England. In some places it is very rocky, both above-ground and in it; and though the country be wild and overgrown with woods, yet the trees stand not thick, but a man may well ride a horse amongst them.
Passing on at length, one of the company, an Indian, espied a man and told the rest of it. We asked them if they feared any. They told us that if they were Narraganset men they would not trust them. Whereat we called for our pieces, and bid them not to fear; for though they were twenty, we two alone would not care for them. But they hailing him, he proved a friend, and had only two women with him. Their baskets were empty; but they fetched water in their bottles, so that we drank with them and departed. After we met another man, with other two women, which had been at rendezvous by the salt water; and their baskets were full of roasted crab fishes and other dried shell fish, of which they gave us; and we eat and drank with them, and gave each of the women a string of beads and departed.
After we came to a town of Massasoit's, where we eat oysters and other fish. From thence we went to Pakanokit;* but Massasoit was not at home. There we stayed, he being sent for. When news was brought of his coming, our guide Tisquantum requested that at our meeting we would discharge our pieces. But one of us going about to charge his piece, the women and children, through fear to see him take
* Morton says, p. 48, that “they found his (Massasoit's) place to be about forty miles from New Plymouth.”
up his piece, ran away, and could not be pacified till he laid it down again; who afterward were better informed by our interpreter. Massasoit being come, we discharged our pieces and saluted him ; who, after their manner, kindly welcomed us, and took us into his house, and set us down by him; where, having delivered our foresaid message and presents, and having put the coat on his back and the chain about his neck, he was not a little proud to behold himself, and his men also to see their king so bravely attired.
For answer to our message, he told us we were welcome, and he would gladly continue that peace and friendship which was between him and us; and, for his men, they should no more pester us as they had done; also, that he would send to Paomet, and would help us with corn for seed, according to our request.
This being done, his men gathered near to him, to whom he turned himself and made a great speech; they sometimes interposing, and, as it were, confirming and applauding him in that he said. The meaning whereof was, as far as we could learn, thus: Was not he, Massasoit, commander of the country about them? Was not such a town his, and the people of it? And should they not bring their skins unto us? To which they answered, they were his, and would be at peace with us, and bring their skins to us. After this manner he named at least thirty places, and their answer was as aforesaid to every one; so that as it was delightful, it was tedious unto us.
This being ended, he lighted tobacco for us, and fell to discoursing of England and of the King's Majesty, marvelling that he would live without a wife. Also he talked of the Frenchmen, bidding us not to suffer them to come to Narraganset, for it was King James's country, and he also was King James's man. Late it grew, but victuals he offered none; for indeed he had not any, being he came so newly home. So we desired to go to rest. He laid us on the bed with himself and his wife, they at the one end and we at the other, it being only planks laid a foot from the ground, and a thin mat them. Two more of his chief men, for want