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Mayflower, Day by Day - Friday, 26 February [1620]/21

26 Feb 2021 2:55 AM | Soule (Administrator)

At anchorage

A fair day, but the northerly wind continued, which continued the frost.  This day after noon one of the Pilgrims was hidden in the reeds of a salt creek, “about a mile and a half from our plantation,” hunting ducks, when “there came by him twelve Indians marching towards our plantation, and in the woods he heard the noise of many more.  He lay close till they were passed, and then with what speed he could he went home and gave the alarm, so the people abroad in the woods returned and armed themselves, but saw none of them.”  Miles Standish and Francis Cook were at work in the woods when they heard the signal, and hurrying down the hill, they left their tools behind them.  The men armed themselves, but the Indians never appeared.  Later, when Standish and Cook returned to retrieve their tools, they discovered that they “were taken away by the savages. This coming of the savages gave us occasion to keep more strict watch, and to make our pieces and furniture ready, which by the moisture and rain were out of temper.”  That evening, a great fire was seen from the ship, about where the duck hunter had seen the Indians.

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