A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings, and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson/12 The twelfth Remove
The twelfth Remove.
IT was upon a Sabbath day morning, that they prepared for their travel. This morning I asked my master whether he would sell me to my husband; he answered nux; which did much rejoice my spirit. My mistress, before we went, was gone to the burial of a Papoos, and returning she found me sitting, and reading in my Bible; she snatcht it hastily out of my hand and threw it out of doors; I ran out and catcht it up, and put it into my pocket, and never let her see it afterwards. Then they packed up their things to be gone, and gave me my load: I complained it was too heavy, whereupon she gave me a slap on the face, and bid me be gone. I lifted up my heart to God, hoping that redemption was not far off; and the rather because their insolence grew worse and worse.
But thoughts of my going homeward (for so we bent our course) much cheered my spirit, and made my burden seem light, and almost nothing at all. But (to my amazement and great perplexity) the scale was soon turned; for when we had got a little way, on a sudden my mistress gave out she would go no further, but turn back again, and said I must go back again with her, and she called her Sannup, and would have had him go back also, but he would not; but said he would go on, and come to us again in three days. My spirit was upon this (I confess) very impatient, and almost outrageous. I thought I could as well have died as went back. I cannot declare the trouble that I was in about it; back again I must go. As soon as I had an opportunity, I took my Bible to read, and that quieting scripture came to my hand, Psalm 46. 10. Be still and know that I am God. Which stilled my spirit for the present: but a sore time of trial I concluded I had to go through. My master being gone, who seemed to me the best friend I had of an Indian, both in cold and hunger, and quickly so it proved. Down I sat with my heart as full as it could hold, and yet so hungry, that I could not sit neither; but going out to see what I could find, and walking among the trees, I found six acorns and two chesnuts, which were some refreshment to me. Towards night I gathered me some sticks for my own comfort, that I might not lie a cold; but when we came to lie down, they bid me go out, and lie somewhere else, for they had company: (they said come in more than their own:) I told them I could not tell where to go, they bid me go look: I told them, if I went to another wigwam they would be angry, and send me home again. Then one of the company drew his sword, and told me he would run me through if I did not go presently. Then was I fain to stoop to this rude fellow, and go out in the night, I knew not whither. Mine eyes hath seen that fellow afterwards walking up and down in Boston, under the appearance of a friendly Indian, and several others of the like cut. I went to one wigwam, and they told me they had no room. Then I went to another, and they said the same. At last an old Indian bid me come to him, and his Squaw gave me some ground-nuts; she gave me also something to lay under my head, and a good fire we had. Through the good providence of God, I had a comfortable lodging that night. In the morning another Indian bid me come at night, and he would give me six ground-nuts, which I did. We were at this place and time about two miles from Connecticut River. We went in the morning (to gather ground-nuts) to the river, and went back again at night. I went with a great load at my back; (for they when they went, tho' but a little way, would carry all their trumpery with them;) I told them the skin was off my back, but I had no other comforting answer from them than this, that it would be no matter if my head was off too.