Ah, please excuse my breeches dear friends. And my new friends, I'm Nathaniel Griffith. Please, come quickly into my house. Take my musket and this quiver of arrows. There's bows behind the door.
What is my concern? The Plymouth Colony in November sent a colonial militia against the Narragansett tribe. 'Tis a shame, I say. We, in Newport, have always found the Narragansett to be a friendly people. Nonetheless, it has happened.
In December, the colonial force found the Narragansett fort not far from here. With men from Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Connecticut (along with some Pequots and Mohicans), an attack was launched against the fort. Aye, it put all of us here in a fine mess. Many of the Narragansett people escaped, but face a winter with little food and shelter.
Which brings me to my breeches. I took supplies to those friends I'd made over the years. 'Twas midday, when I rode down a trail at a canter, my chestnut mare as anxious as I to get home. Hearing some noise behind me, I looked over my shoulder and the next thing I knew I sat upon the trail and not on me horse. It happened so quickly I had no time to know what hit me, but when I looked up I saw a rope strung across the trail at the height of a rider.
'Twas by the grace of God I escaped. My mare had stopped. No doubt, I'd yanked hard on her mouth when I'd been thrust from my seat. She stood looking at me, her head slightly tilted as though asking why I sat there and not on her back. I jumped to my feet and leapt upon her back then raced home.
As you saw when you joined me, I have just arrived home. No one pursued me, and I pray my goodwill toward the Indians will stay their anger against us. But I wish not to be caught unawares, nor do I wish to incite the militia against my friends. Many in Newport have taken in the wounded from that battle last month. Some of the wounded colonists from the north are heading home now. I fear, however, that this will not be the end of it.
What's this ye say? Ye must continue your journey? Have ye supplies? Aye, I thought not. I have a gelding who would make you a good pack animal. You may take him, and I will give you some of what we have, along with some arrows and two bows. I fear I have no ammunition to spare. I have not sufficient ammunition to protect ourselves through these months.
I wish you all Godspeed. Take care to stay out of the frozen swamp, for that is where many of the Narragansett warriors and their families fled.
Lynn Squire here,
When I was about eleven, I was up at our neighbor's farm playing cowboys and Indians. While galloping my sorrel mare away from said 'cowboys' (I was riding bareback and therefore an Indian) I looked over my shoulder and instantly found myself sitting on the ground. My horse had ridden under the clothesline, which hit me at chest level. When I landed on the ground I didn't know what had happened until (like Nathaniel) I looked up. Not until I had seen the line did I feel its sting.
At the time, I was rather embarrassed. What fool rides under a clothesline? But now I chuckle whenever I think of it. Unfortunately, my mare was not as nice as Nathaniel's. She ran home without me!