13) White Bird
That next day I woke early but not everything was normal. Me thoughts instead of being filled with morning chores, or me friends and neighbours, it went to what happened yesterday with the Indian. With Chacrow. They were distracting me greatly as I got ready for the day, I could not force meself to stop. I had to stop them though, they were corrupting me, and they were wicked. After I was ready I went to church. Ignoring the glare from the Reverend I received going in, I sat down on the bench closest to the cross and looked up at is seeing the rising sunshine upon it. Then I began to pray to the Lord. I prayed for him to send me a man that would make a wonderful husband, for him to force these dark thoughts from me mind, to send that Indian back to his people and to never set foot in Jamestown again! I never asked for this! I never prayed for this! Ever since I got here I thought and prayed to be happily married with a family in the new world! Not any of this! And whilst I prayed with me thoughts crowding my head that interrupted them, I began to cry.
“What do I have to?” I sobbed softly to meself while I stared.
“Clara?!” I heard the concerned voice of Alice call me making me turn me head to see her out of the corner of me eye. I sniffed then quickly wiped me eyes before she could see.
“Oh, good morning t’you Alice,” I greeted with a wee smile.
“I didn’t expect you to be here, you are usually at home sewing or cleaning at home,” She said walking down the aisle towards me as I stood up.
“Me mind was jumbled, I thought some prayer and peace may help me,” I told her cupping me hands in front of me to try and stop them from shaking.
“You were thinking about that natural weren’t you?” She asked me and felt me hands shake more and a blush creep up me face.
“I am afraid Alice, it is wrong, it is dangerous,” I said then glanced over to look towards the door in case anyone was there to hear me. “And I cannot stop even with prayer to God,” I whispered.
“You are right there Clara, but I sadly need to ask you for some help, that does involve going near him once more,” She began and I looked at her outraged. “I need to find out who took that weapon so Silas will be freed,” she explained not giving me chance to refuse or even storm off. Even though I knew I should I could not, she was me friend, and she did say go near, not see or speak to. God forbid that and allow me to help me friend in need. “Please,” She begged.
“I will not be goin’ too near him, and I will not be lookin’ nor speakin’ to him, even if y’ask me to!” I stated pointing a finger at her whilst I kept me voice down as we were in the Lord’s house. She smiled then pulled me into a warm hug.
“A man has come forward claiming he saw Silas take the musket, but I learn from master Read that Massinger blamed and buried someone else. We have to find him,” She told me as we walked out of the church.
“I take it y’want to talk to Silas about it?” I asked and she nodded.
“We can get in with less suspicion by taking him some food,” she told me.
“And I do have a few scraps I don’t want going to waste, c’mon let’s go get them,” I said as we approached our home opening the door to let us both in. “I don’t think the Indian will want any of this food, or even take interest in it,” I said getting some vegetables a wee bit of bread while Alice got a plate from one of the cupboards.
“God knows what the natives eat, or where they get it from,” She stated as I piled the bits of food onto the plate she held.
“It may not be that bad t’try,” I shrugged.
“Clara Jones! Watch what you say!” Alice warned me.
“Sayin’ that ‘havin’ a bit of his people’s food won’t encourage him,” I scoffed to her as we left me home. We walked to the Garrison, Alice leading the way wanting to see her love. I opened the door, avoiding the disgusted glares from a few women that saw us.
“Alice!” Silas stood up as soon as he saw his love reaching his hands out to her. She was at his side swiftly, their eyes not looking at anything other than each other.
“Nice t’see you, Master Sharrow,” I chuckled, determined to keep me gaze away from the Indian.
“Clara had some scraps to eat,” Alice told him holding the plate in front of him so he could see it. He soon started gorging himself on it, must be starving the poor lad. He wasn’t the only one it seemed. The Indian stared at the food like a predator stalking prey. He then spoke to Silas in his language, Silas replying with food in his gob. He understood him though and when Silas swallowed his bit of bread he spoke to me and Alice, saying the same thing he said yesterday while I mended his loincloth.
“He wants to know what the food is, and if he could have some,” Silas said. Alice looked at me skittishly and as if she were regretting bringing me. I cleared me throat but looked down.
“W-well, it-” I was cut off by the door opening by one of the militiamen to allow Recorder Castel, his wife Jocelyn and Doctor Priestley to enter.
“Silas,” Recorder Castel greeted.
“Ma’am,” I greeted Jocelyn with a smile. She smiled back daintily.
“I didn’t steal Master Massinger’s musket sir,” Silas stated still maintaining his innocence even though he was behind bars.
“Massinger will have to provide evidence that you took the weapon, Silas,” Recorder Castel told him, which was somewhat reassuring. I was expecting Jocelyn to give Alice some reassuring words, but instead, she was staring at the Indian who had moved closer to the bars, fascinated by her. He did not notice me raise me head to look at him.
“To come into the settlement he must know he may be caught and killed, why would he do such a thing?” Jocelyn asked Silas still keeping an eye on him. Silas translated her words into his language. They never broke their gaze until Chacrow gasped as if he were a wee bit offended by Mistress Castel’s words, then he replied keeping his stare on the now wide-eyed lady.
“It is not reckless to seek honour, to outwit these men,” Silas translated but I paid no attention to what they were saying as I felt shock fill me when Chacrow moved even close to the bars, almost pressing his face against the metal. The thing that made me feel hurt was that she had a smile on her face.
“This man, my husband, this is the man who has arranged to have you taken home,” Jocelyn said referring to her husband while she put a hand on his arm.
“Jocelyn, what are you doing?” Her husband questioned.
“Ma’am I cannot tell him that,” Silas warned. The Indian didn’t look too pleased either.
“Tell him,” Jocelyn said not heeding his warning. Silas then did so and Chacrow’s face changed to one of anger towards Recorder Castel. “Samuel so modest, how will he advance unless I promote his endeavours?” Jocelyn said proudly to Doctor Priestley. She did not see the glare she was getting from the Indian. He looked as if he had been insulted. I no longer felt hurt, but instead was worried. The three of them left, probably to talk to the Governor about setting sail upriver.
“Silas, James Read told me of a man Massinger blamed for stealing the musket and told me he saw him bury the man after killing him,” Alice began still holding the plate for him.
“Donovan Hamble? That will be difficult, the body may be anywhere,” Silas replied fear in his voice as he reached for Alice’s hand. “It is dangerous to provoke a man like Massinger,” He warned, but I knew the lass wouldn’t listen.
“I will dig through all of Virginia if I have to! I will not let you be found guilty of a crime you did not commit Silas!” She exclaimed. Silas sighed heavily in defeat. “Where might I start?” She asked.
“The edge of his land?” Silas suggested and she smiled.
“I will go get shovels, and would appreciate help from you Clara,” She asked me and I nodded knowing I would be far away from the Garrison.
“Aye,” I nodded taking me plate back from her. She then rushed out eager to get them shovels. “She’s not wasting any time that girl,” I chuckled then strode over to Silas letting him reach for the last bits of food. Silas chuckled chewing on a carrot. I heard the sound of his neighbour stand and walk to the edge of his cell. He gripped two of the bars with his large hands suddenly making me jump like a wee rabbit and look at him with eyes like a startled doe. He then spoke in demanding way to me but kept his voice low.
“Chacrow would like some,” Silas told me. Me heart felt like it was thumping out me chest.
“I don’t like that idea,” I stuttered shaking me head.
“Why? It’s just food,” Silas shrugged.
“I’ve mended his clothes, now I’m feedin’ him. What does that make me sound like t’him?!” I exclaimed stepping back with the plate holding the last bit of carrot on it.
“The Lord does tell us to be charitable, and if he starves that will be terrible,” Silas pointed out. The Indian grunted with a nod to the plate. I picked up the carrot and contemplated eating it meself then storming out, but then I would look mad to those outside. I would not be holding a plate for him to take from like a slave.
“Chacrow,” I called then chucked him the carrot. He stuck a hand out to catch it. He eyed it up before bringing it close to him. He then took a bite out of the side holding it with both hands, and as he chewed it his face did not look pleased. He pulled a face that looked like one a child would pull when they first try vegetables, and it did make me bust out laughing. He did not spit it out though, he ate it and nodded humming as if he was thankful. “It’s not a worry if y’don’t enjoy it,” I said and Silas translated for me. Chacrow then spoke once more, saying the same thing he said yesterday once again which made me frown as he took another bite of the carrot, his gaze staying on me quite happy with himself. I found meself smiling too, me mind replay the words he said in his language to me. I found meself wondering what they meant and turned to the one who could tell me.
“Silas, the Indian keeps sayin’ somethin’ t’me in his language. What does it mean?” I asked and he went pale.
“It may shock you, Clara, it is the type of thing that could get an Indian hanged for saying it to an English woman,” He warned.
“Tell me please,” I asked him again making him let out a heavy sigh.
“He’s calling you white bird,” My eyes went wide. A name like that may sound innocent enough at first, but rumour could twist the meaning and bring both shame and trouble to me! It was not my love or sweetheart, but some lovers give each other strange names. Silas Sharrow was right, it was shocking! Chacrow had made his feelings and intentions known, and although it was not stealing me away in the night and making me his by force. It did make my heart beat even faster but I felt fear fill me also. I backed up from the bars, then turned and rushed out before any of them could talk again. Thankfully the only one I ran into was a very concerned Alice carrying two shovels.
“Are you alright?” She asked me.
“Oh, err, aye. I just wanted t’get out before than Indian tried anything. Shall we go then?” I asked her and she nodded handing me a shovel. “We’ll have to pop to me home and leave this plate there. Don’t think I can dig much with it,” I said getting a smile from Alice as we strode away from the Garrison.