Front Matter Why This Story was Written The Leaking Speedwell Searching for a Home After the Storm Wash Day Finding the Corn Attacked by the Savages Building Houses Miles Standish The Sick People The New Home Master White and the Wolf Inside of the House A Chimney Without Bricks Building the Fire Master Bradford's Chimney Scarcity of Food A Timely Gift The First Savage Visitor Squanto's Story Living in the Wilderness The Friendly Indians Grinding the Corn A Visit From Massasoit Massasoit's Promise Massasoit's Visit Returned The Big House Burned The Mayflower Leaves Port Setting the Table What and How we Eat Table Rules A Pilgrim Goes Abroad Making a Dugout Governor Carver's Death Bradford Chosen Governor Farming in Plymouth Cooking Indian Corn The Wedding Making Maple Syrup Decorating the House Trapping Wolves and Pigeons Elder Brewster The Visit to Massasoit Keeping the Sabbath Holy Making Clapboards Cooking Pumpkins A New Oven Making Spoons and Dishes The Fort and Meeting-House The Harvest Festival How to Play Stoolball On Christmas Day When the Fortune Arrived Possibility of Another Famine On Short Allowance A Threatening Message Pine Knots and Candles Tallow From Bushes Wicks for the Candle Dipping the Candles When James Runs Away Evil-Minded Indians Long Hours of Preaching John Alden's Tubs English Visitors Visiting the Neighbors Why More Fish are not Taken How Wampum is Made Ministering to Massasoit The Plot Thwarted The Captain's Indian Ballots of Corn Arrival of the Ann Little James Comes to Port The New Meeting-House The Church Service The Tithingmen Master Winslow Brings Cows A Real Oven Butter and Cheese Settlement at Wessagussett The Village at Merrymount The First School Too Much Smoke Schools Comforts How Children Were Punished New Villages Making Ready for a Journey Clothing for Salem Food for the Journey Before Sailing for Salem Beginning the Journey The Arrival at Salem Sight-Seeking in Salem Back to Plymouth

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The Inside of the House

We have a partition inside our house, thus dividing the lower part into two rooms. It is made of clay, with which has been mixed beach grass. Mother and I made a white liquid of powdered clam shells and water, with which we painted it until one would think it the same kind of wall you have in Scrooby. With pieces of logs we children helped to pound the earth inside until the floor was smooth and firm; but father promised that at some later time we should have a floor of puncheons, as indeed we have now, and very nice and comfortable it is.

I wish you might see it after mother and I have covered it well with clean white sand from the sea shore, and marked it in pretty patterns of vines and leaves: but this last we do only when making the house ready for meeting, or for some great feast.

At the windows are shutters made of puncheons, as is also the door, and both are hung with straps of leather in the stead of real hinges.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Perhaps you may think that with only a puncheon shutter at the window, we must perforce sit in darkness when it storms, or in cold weather admit too much frost in order to have light. But let me tell you that our windows are closed quite as well as yours, though not so nicely. We brought from home some stout paper, and this, plentifully oiled, we nailed across the window space. Of course we cannot look out to see anything; but the light finds its way through readily.