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little, instead of applauding him for having done so much; and some even of the council undertook to say, that he ought to have followed up the Chickahominy river to its source.
Smith was not a man to submit tamely to reproach. He set off again, therefore, in the winter of 1607–8, taking with him a crew sufficient to manage a barge and a smaller boat proper for the navigation of the upper streams. He ascended the Chickahominy with the barge, as far as it could be forced up, by dint of great labor in cutting away trees and clearing a passage. Then leaving it in a broad bay or cove, out of reach of the savages on the banks, the captain, with two other whites and two friendly Indians, proceeded higher up in the smaller boat. Those who were left, meanwhile, in possession of the barge, were ordered on no account to go on shore until his return. The order was disobeyed, for he was scarcely out of sight and hearing, when the whole of the crew went ashore. They were very near forfeiting their lives for their rashness. The Indians, to the number of two or three hundred, lay wait for them among the woods on the bank of the river, under the direction of Opechancanough, Sachem of the Pamunkies, and reputed brother of Powhatan. One George Cassen was taken prisoner, and the savages soon compelled him to tell them which way Smith had gone. They then put him to death in a cruel manner, and continued the pursuit.
The captain, meanwhile, little dreaming of any accident, had gone twenty miles
the river, and was now among the marshes at its source. Here his pursuers came suddenly upon the two Englishmen, who had hauled up their boat and lain down to sleep by a tire on the dry land, (while Smith himself went out some distance to kill game with his musket for a supper.) The unfortunate wretches were shot full of arrows and despatched. The savages then pressed on after Smith, and at last overtook him. Finding himself beset by the multitude, he coolly bound to his arm, with his garters, the young Indian who had attended him as a guide, for a buckler, (what had · become of the other does not appear,) and received the enemy's onset so briskly with his fire-arms, that he soon laid three of them dead on the spot, and wounded and galled many others so effectually, that none appeared anxious to approach him. He was himself wounded slightly in the thigh, and had many arrows sticking in his clothes, but he still kept the enemy at bay. His next movement was to endeavor to sheer off to his boat; but taking more notice of his foe than his path as he went, he suddenly slipped up to his middle in an oozy creek. Hampered as he was in this awkward position, not an Indian dared venture near him, until, finding himself almost dead with cold, he threw away his arms and surrendered. Then drawing him out, they carried him to the fire where his men had been slain, carefully chafed his benumbed limbs, and finally restored him ta the use of them.
The incidents of the ensuing scene are a striking illustration both of the sagacity of the prisoner and the simplicity of his captors. He called for their chief-through the intervention of his Indian guide,
we suppose--and Opechancanough came forward. Smith presented him with a round ivory double compass-dial, which he carried at his side. The savages were confounded by the playing of the fly and needle, especially as the glass prevented them from touching what they could see so plainly. He then gave them a sort of astronomical lecture, demonstrating “by that Globe-like Jewell,” as he calls it, the roundness of the earth, the skies, the sphere of the sun, moon and stars; "and how the sunne did chase the night round about the world continually, the greatnesse of the land and sea, the diversitie of nations, varietie of complexions, and how we were to them antipodes, and many other such like matters," his tawny auditors standing all the while motionless and dumb with amazement.
But within about an hour they returned to their original purpose of killing him, as they had killed three of his comrades. He was tied to a tree, and the savages drew up in a circle to shoot him. The arrow was already laid upon a hundred bows. But at this moment Opechancanough held up the compass. This was a signal of delay, if not of mercy, and they threw by their arms at once. exultation and parade they then conducted the captive to Orapakes, a hunting-residence of Powhatan, lying on the north side of Chickahominy swamp, and much frequented by that sachem and his family on account of the abundance of game it afforded. The order of procession was a proper Indian file. Opechancanough, marching in the centre, had the English swords and muskets carried before him as a trophy. Next followed Smith, led by three stout savages who held him fast by the arm, while on either side six more marched in file, with their arrows notched, as flank-guards.
On arriving at Orapakes, a village consisting of some thirty to forty mat-houses, the women and children Pocked out to gaze at a being so different from any they had ever before seen. The warriors, on the other hand, immediately began a grand war-dance, the best description of which is in Smith's own language. "A good time they continued this exercise, and then cast themselues in a ring, dauncing in such severall postures, and singing and yelling out such hellish notes and screeches; being strangely paynted, every one his quiver of arrows, and at his backe a club; on his arme a fox or an otter's skinne, or some such matter for a vambrace; their heads and shoulders paynted red, with oyle and pocones* mingled together, which scarlet-like color made an exceeding handsome shew; his bow in his hand, and the skinne of a bird with her wings abroad dyed, tyed on his head; a peece of copper, a white shell, a long feather, with a small rattle growing at the tayls of their snaks tyed, or some such like toy." Thrice the performers stopped to take breath, and thrice they renewed the dance, Smith and the sachem meanwhile standing in the centre. The company then broke up, and the prisoner was conducted to a
* A small root which turned red by being dried and beat into powder, It was used also for swellings, aches, anointing the joints after fatigue and exposure, and painting garments. Beverly calls it puccoon.
long matted wigwam, where thirty or forty tall, stout savages remained about him as a guard. Ere long, more bread and venison was brought him than would have served twenty men. "I thinke,” says the captain himself, “my stomach at that time was not very good.” He ate something, however, and the remainder was put into baskets, and swung from the roof of the wigwam over his head.
About midnight these liberal provisioners set their fare before him again, never tasting a morsel themselves all the while. But in the morning, when they brought in a fresh reinforcement, they ate the fragments of former meals, and swung up the residue of the last one as before. So little reason had the captain to complain of famine, that he began seriously to believe they were fatting him for the slaughter. He suflered occasionally from the cold, and would have suffered more, but for an unexpecied relief. An Indian named Mocasseter brought him his goune, as Smith calls it-perhaps a fur mantle or a blanket—and gave it to him, professedly in requital of certain beads and toys which Smith had given him at Jamestown, immediately after his arrival in Virginia. *
Two days afterwards he was violently assaulted, and but for his guard would have been killed, by an old Indian whose son had been wounded in the skirmish which took place at his captured They conducted him to the death-bed of the poor wretch, where he was found breathing his last. Smith told them he had a kind of water at Jamestown which might affect a cure, but they would not permit him to go for it, and the subject was soon forgotten. Within a few days they began to make great preparations for assauliing the English colony by surprise. They craved Smith's advice and assistance in that proceeding, offering him not only life and liberty for his services, but as much land for a settlement, and as many women for wives, as he wanted,—such an opinion had they formed of his knowledge and prowess. He did every thing in his power to discourage their design, hy telling them of the mines, the cannon, and various other stratagems and engines of war used by the English. He could only succeed in prevailing upon several of them to carry a note for him to Jamestown, (under pretence of getting some toys,) in which he informed his countrymen of his own situation and the intention of the savages, and requested them to send himn without fail by the bearers certain articles which he named. These were to be deposited at a particular spot in the woods near Jamestown. . The messengers started off, we are told, in as severe weather as could be of frost and snow, and arrived at Jamestown. There, seeing men sally out from the town to meet them, as Smith had told them would be the case, they were frightened and ran ofi: But the note was leit behind, and so coming again in the evening, they found the articles at the appointed place, and then returned homeward in such haste as to reach Orapakes in three days after they had left ii.
* A fine illustration of that principle of gratitude which is as proverbially characteristic of the Indians as their revenge, and for similar reasons. No favor is wasted upon them, and no injury or insult is forgiven. The anecdote following this in the text is an instance in
All thoughts of an attack upon the colony being now extinguished in the astonishment and terror excited by the seats of Smith, they proceeded to lead him about the country in show and triumph. First they carried him to the tribe living on the Youghtanund, since called the Pamunkey river; then to the Mattaponies, the Piankatunks, the Nantaughtacunds on the Rappahannoc, and the Nominies on Potomac river. Having completed this route, they conducted him, through several other nations, to Opechancanough's own habitation at Pamunkey, where, with frightful howlings and many strange ceremonies, they “conjured” him three days in order to ascertain, as they told him, whether he intended them well or ill. An idea may be formed of these proceedings, which took place under Opechancanough's inspection, from the exercises for one day by the captive himself.
Early in the morning, a great fire was made in a long house, and mats spread upon each side of it, on one of which the prisoner was seated. His body-guard then left the house," and presently came skipping in a great grim fellow, all paynted over with coale, mingled with oyle; and many snakes and wesels skinnes stuffed with moose, and all their tayles tyed together, so as they met on the croune of his head in a tasseil; and round about the tassell was a coronet of feathers, the skinnes hanging round about his head, backe and shoulders, and in a manner covered his face—with a hellish voyce and a rattle in his hand.” This personage commenced his invocation with a great variety of gestures, postures, grimaces and exclamations; and concluded with drawing a circle of meal round the fire. Then rushed in three more performers of the same description, their bodies painted half red and half black, their eyes white and their faces streaked with red patches, apparently in imitation of English whiskers. These three having danced about for a considerable time, made way for three more, with red eyes, and white streaks upon black faces. At length all seated themselves opposite to the prisoner, three on the right hand of the first named functionary (who appeared to be the chief priest, and ringleader) and three on the left. Then a song was commenced, accompanied with a violent use of the rattles; upon which the chief priest laid down five wheat-corns, and began an oration, straining his arms and hands so that he perspired freely, and his veins swelled. At the conclusion, all gave a groan of assent, laid down three grains more, and renewed the song. This went on until the fire was twice encircled. Other ceremonies of the same character ensued, and last of all was brought on, towards evening, a plentiful feast of the best provisions they could furnish. The circle of meal was said to signify their country, the circles of corn the bourds of the sea, and so on. The world, according to their theory, was round and flat, like a trencher, and themselves located precisely in the midst.
After this, they showed Smith a bag of gunpowder, which had probably been taken from the boat, and which they were carefully preserving till the next spring, to plant with their corn—" because they would be acquainted with the nature of that seede.” Opitchipan, another brother of Powhatan-of whom we have here the first mention, invited him to his house, and treated him sumptuously; but no Indian, on this or any other occasion, would eat with him. The fragments were put up in baskets; and upon his return to Opechancanough's wigwam, the sachem's wives and their children flocked about him for their portions, “as a due by custom, to be merry with such fragments.”
At last they carried him to Werowocomoco, where was Powhatan himself. This residence of his lay on the north side of York river, in Gloster county, nearly opposite the mouth of Green's creek, and about twenty-five miles below the mouth of the river. It was at this time his favorite village, though afterwards not coveting the near neighborhood of the English, he retired to Orapakes. Powhatan, which gave him his name, was sold to the English in 1609.
On his arrival in the village, Smith was detained until the emperor (as we shall call him, for convenience,) and his train could prepare themselves to receive their illustrious captive in proper state; and meanwhile more than two hundred of these grim courtiers gathered about him to satisfy their curiosity with gazing. He was then introduced to the royal presence, the multitude hailing him with a tremendous shout, as he walked in. Powhatan—a majestic and finely formed savage, with a marked countenance, and an air of haughtiness sobered down into gravity by a life of sixty years—was seated before a fire, upon a seat something like a bedstead, and clothed in an ample robe of Rarowcun* skins, with all the tails hanging over him. On each side sat a young wench of sixteen or eighteen years old; and along each wall of the house, two rows of women in the rear and two rows of men in front. All had their heads and shoulders painted red. Many had their hair decked with the white down of birds. Some wore a great chain of white beads about their necks; but no one was without ornament of some kind.
Soon alier Smith's entrance, a female of rank, said to be the queen of Appamattuck, was directed to bring him water to wash his hands; and another brought a bunch of feathers, to answer the purpose of a towel. Having then feasted him (as he acknowledges) in the best barbarous manner they could, a long and solemn consultation was held to determine his fate. The decision was against him. The conclave resumed their silent gravity; two great stones were brought in before Powhatan, and Smith was dragged before them, and his head laid upon them, as a preparation for beating out his brains with clubs. The fatal weapons were already raised, and the savage multitude stood silently awaiting the prisoner's last moment. But Smith was not destined thus to perish. Pocahontas, the beloved daughter of Powha. tan, rushed forward, and earnestly entreated with tears that the victim might yet be spared. The royal savage rejected her request, and the executioners stood ready for the signal of death. She knelt down,
* A variation of Racoon, perbape.