Cate of the Lost Colony

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Book: Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lisa Klein
that survived the storm strike the mind with their strangeness, yet convey our common humanity. My favorite is the depiction of a dancing conjuror, who but for his nakedness resembles Dick Tarleton. When published, Harriot’s report and White’s drawings will induce more men to try their fortunes in that land of wonders.
    For true it is that the appetite for newness is never sated. Fashions change with the wind, and anything exotic is desired by all the moment it appears. Thus I may yet hope that my Virginia, a blushing maid dressed all in feathers and furs, will attract many suitors.
    Your brother, Walter
    …
    Memorandum
    Concerning Manteo. I did not expect to find such worthiness in one of the savages of Virginia, but Manteo daily surprises me with his excellent judgment and quick mind. His command of our tongue is better than a Frenchman’s, and happily he lacks their affectation of speaking through the nose.
    Concerning the Indians and the best means of governing them, he concedes they are divided by long-standing grudges and their alliances shift constantly.
    “Do they understand their prosperity depends on their submission to the English queen and her deputies?” I asked.
    Manteo hesitated. “We understand laws that are just. We understand the English are very powerful.”
    I said I was angry at Lane for the killing of Wingina and asked if he thought it had been justified.
    Manteo thought before replying, for it was his nature to be circumspect.
    “It is better to be feared than loved, so I have heard.”
    I was astonished to hear him quoting Machiavelli like a statesman. Harriot’s lessons have been wide-ranging indeed.
    The business of diplomacy had made me crave a pipe, so I asked Manteo if he had some of that uppowoc. Smiling, he produced two pipes and placed some shredded leaves into their bowls. We lit them and drank in the fragrant smoke. I could feel the ill humors being purged from my body. Assuredly my next voyage will meet with more success.
    A dream. I saw my Catherine with the stem of a pipe in her mouth. The pipe became my fingers touching her puckered lips as we breathed together the ambrosial smoke. Like the Indian women in John White’s drawings, she wore an apron of deerskin at her waist and nothing more. Her long black hair fell forward, hiding nature’s twin delights. I started up in my bed and the vision fled. Dismayed, I arose and wrote her a passionate letter, for I could not confine my thoughts within a verse.
    1 September 1586. Another plot to kill Elizabeth has been uncovered by Walsingham’s network of spies. The king of Spain and the Jesuits promoted it and Anthony Babington—a known papist—was to carry out the deed. Fourteen others stand accused of treason. An intercepted letter proves that Queen Mary endorsed the plot. At last she will be tried for her treason. As for Babington, he lies in the Tower awaiting his due: hanging and disembowelment.
    10 September 1586. Now some whisper the evidence against Mary was forged and Babington framed. Indeed, why would Babington turn traitor? He has too much to lose: lands, title, all his wealth—which the queen will now certainly give to Walsingham.
    15 September 1586
    To John White
    Painter-Stainers Guildhouse, London
    I request your attendance at Durham House to discuss your role in a proposed third voyage to Virginia. You know Grenville landed at Roanoke just after your departure in the hurricane and left fifteen men to defend the fort. Their numbers must be reinforced at the earliest opportunity.
    Thomas Harriot and the savage Manteo affirm you are a man more disposed to peaceful understanding of the natives than to violence against them. As well, they testify to your love for Virginia, which favorably distinguishes you from those malcontents who complain about the hardships there.
    The queen requires my service in her lawless counties of southern Ireland. Thus while my own ambitions tend toward Virginia, I must obey Her Majesty, on

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