A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings, and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson/09 The ninth Remove
The ninth Remove.
BUT instead of either going to Albany or home-ward, we must go five miles up the river and then go over it. Here we abode a while. Here lived a sorry Indian, who spake to me to make him a shirt; when I had done it, he would pay me nothing for it. But he living by the river side, where I often went to fetch water, I would often be putting him in mind, and calling for my pay; at last he told me if I would make another shirt for a Papoos of his, he would give me a knife, which he did, when I had done it. I carried the knife in, and my master asked me to give it him, and I was not a little glad that I had anything that they would accept of and be pleased with. When we were at this place, my master's maid came home; she had been gone three weeks into the Narragansett country to fetch corn, where they had stored up some in the ground: She brought home about a peck and a half of corn. This was about the time that their great Captain (Naonanto) was killed in the Narragansett country.
My son being now about a mile from me, I asked liberty to go and see him, they bid me go, and away I went; but quickly lost myself, travelling over hills and through swamps, and could not find the way to him. And I cannot but admire at the wonderful power and goodness of God to me, in that though I was gone from home and met with all sorts of Indians, and those I had no knowledge of, and there being no christian soul near me, yet not one of them offered the least imaginable miscarriage to me. I turned homeward again, and met with my master, and he showed me the way to my son. When I came to him, I found him not well; and withal he had a boil on his side, which much troubled him. We bemoaned one another a while, as the Lord helped us, and then I returned again. When I was returned, I found myself as unsatisfied as I was before, I went up and down mourning and lamenting, and my spirit was ready to sink, with the thoughts of my poor children. My son was ill, and I could not but think of his mournful looks, having no christian friend near him, to do any office of love to him, either for soul or body. And my poor girl, I knew not where she was, nor whether she was sick or well, alive or dead. I repaired under these thoughts to my Bible, (my great comforter in that time,) and that scripture came to my hand, Cast thy burthen upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. Psalm 55. 22.
But I was fain to go look after something to satisfy my hunger; and going among the wigwams, I went into one, and there found a Squaw who shewed herself very kind to me, and gave me a piece of bear. I put it into my pocket, and came home; but could not find an opportunity to broil it, for fear they should get it from me; and there it lay all the day and night in my stinking pocket. In the morning I went again to the same Squaw, who had a kettle of ground-nuts boiling: I asked her to let me boil my piece of bear in the kettle, which she did, and gave me some ground-nuts to eat with it, and I cannot but think how pleasant it was to me. I have sometimes seen bear baked handsomely amongst the English, and some liked it, but the thoughts that it was bear, made me tremble: But now that was savory to me that one would think was enough to turn the stomach of a brute creature.
One bitter cold day, I could find no room to sit down before the fire: I went out, and could not tell what to do, but I went into another wigwam, where they were also sitting round the fire; but the Squaw laid a skin for me, and bid me sit down, and gave me some ground-nuts, and bid me come again; and told me they would buy me if they were able; and yet these were strangers to me that I never knew before.