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

Miles Standish

You must know that Captain Standish is not of the same faith as are we. He calls himself a "soldier of fortune," which means that he is ready to do battle wherever it seems as if he could strike a blow for the right. He, and his wife Rose, became friendly with us while we were at Leyden, for he was, although an Englishman, a captain in one of the Holland regiments, having enlisted in order to help the Dutch in their wars.

Because of liking a life of adventure, and also owing to the fact that he and his wife had become warm friends with Elder Brewster and my parents, Captain Standish declared that he would be our soldier, standing ever ready to guard us against the wild beasts, or the savages, if any should come to do us harm. Right gallantly has he kept his promise, and unless he had been with us this village of ours might have been destroyed more than once, and, perhaps, those of our people whose lives God had spared would have gone back to Holland or England, ceasing to strive for a foothold in this new world which is so desolate when covered with snow and ice.

A most kindly-hearted man is Captain Standish, and yet there are times when he has but slight control over his temper. Like a flash of powder when a spark falls upon it, he flares up with many a harsh word, and woe betide those against whom he has just cause for anger.

After coming to know him for one who strove not to control his tongue in moments of wrath, the Indians gave him the name of "Little pot that soon boils over," which means that his anger can be aroused quickly. He is not small, neither is he as tall as my father or Elder Brewster; but the savages spoke of him as "little," measuring him, I suppose, with many others of our people.

We had not been long in Plymouth, however, before the Indians understood what a valiant soldier he is, and then they began to call him "Strong Sword."