4) Sharrow's Return
That night I slept like a log, my body and soul drained by all the events that happened the day before. I woke up early to mend my wool shawl, which took a lot longer than I expected. Just as I finished I heard the sounds of the Marshal Redwick’s booming voice as well as chatters of other townsfolk. I opened my front door to see a crowd of people around the Marshal and Silas Sharrow. His brother was nowhere to be seen which made me frown as Alice, Verity and Pepper came running in through the gates. I caught up with them to listen to what Silas had to say.
“Henry was smoking and there was powder. When I woke there was a fire in the boat sir,” He paused to take a heavy sigh. “Henry was burning. There was gunpowder exploding around him. He fell into the water. There was no life left in him by then,” Verity and I glanced at each other, then Alice in shock. Henry was dead?!
“Was it Indians?” Marshal Redwick asked him.
“I-I don’t believe it was sir, it was an accident,” Silas replied.
“What were you doing so far upriver, Sharrow?” Redwick asked. Silas shifted his weight resting his hands on his waist.
“Henry wanted us to trade for corn,” Silas told him. The Marshal accepted it, probably because the Indians were good at growing corn.
“The Governor’s called an assembly. We’ll have your brother’s death recorded after that.” Marshal replied before leaving the crowd. Silas stepped closer to his distraught brother and Alice who looked extremely shocked.
“Where did Henry die, Silas?” James Read questioned with his arms crossed making Silas stop and turn around to face him.
“Near Westover. Further on the river.” He replied before attempting to walk away but the blacksmith wasn’t done yet.
“You went beyond Weyanoke, that’s, a long way to go for corn-”
“Let the man grieve, won’t you?!” Alice snapped defending the Sharrows. James stopped as she asked but he still had a faint frown on his face as Alice went over to Silas and Pepper who were trying to stay strong despite them just losing their brother. Alice was there to comfort the two of them while everyone looked at them whispering a few words. Silas put his arm around Pepper suddenly embracing him and kept it there as they walked towards the assembly hall with Alice behind them. Everyone else followed as the bell rang out. I stood near Jocelyn who looked truly elegant in her fine dress. She probably was the prettiest woman in Jamestown, maybe even Virginia.
“Good day to you Clara, how are you settling into your new home?” She greeting smiling at me.
“Good day m’lady, I am indeed. It is looking clean and lively again.” I replied smiling back at her.
“Imagine what you would have been able to do with land of your own as well,” She sighed lacing her hands together daintily in front of her.
“Ah I know more about the sea than the land,” I replied crossing my arms. Jocelyn hummed once in laughter making me frown.
“You are modest Clara, but we both know you would have done brilliantly. Women and men can both work their own land,” She replied as the Governor began to talk about a change in the law he was making. It was to do with land, and it was a law that disallowed the sale or transference of land given to ancients. That would mean all the farmers that worked to earn their land could keep it, including the Sharrows who Alice told me had got an offer from Secretary Farlow and the Marshal. They both looked at the Governor in shock and were probably horrified for themselves, but everyone else in the hall we chuffed. Master Massenger, however, strode out of the hall. Jocelyn and I smiled at Alice who looked like a huge weight had been taken off her shoulders. “Secretary,” I suddenly heard Jocelyn say as Secretary Farlow walked off the raised platform at the end of the who he and the other company men were. “I’m so very sorry if I misled you. I should have told you that evening on the ship I too was ruffled by drink,” She innocently explained to the Secretary. I frowned not know what she meant, but Secretary Farlow had his nose up in the air while she spoke and although he tried to hide it he had a look of fury in his eyes. “I do hope I’ve not caused you too much trouble.” She added then the Secretary left with a mood like a storm. I sniggered a little knowing that Jocelyn had outsmarted him in a canny way.
“Christ, I don’t know what you did Miss, but I do hope you know what y’doing,” I told her as she grinned at me sweetly but smugly too.
“I do believe you know your way with a needle and thread Clara,” She suddenly began as people were leaving the hall.
“Aye m’lady, that I do,” I replied as we also left the assembly hall.
“This afternoon is to be when Samuel and I shall wed, and the dress I want to wear requires repairs,” I stopped in surprise with my eyes going wide. “Will you repair my dress for me, Clara?” She asked and I nodded.
“Of course! I do need me things though m’lady,” I gushed most honoured and she nodded.
“We must go at once,” She said politely but with some urgency. I rushed to my home to get my sewing bag making sure my kit was there and went with Jocelyn to her home. Mercy was grinning with excitement and glee holding the stunning rich golden gown with some gold lace and a white corset. The sleeves of the gown needed some mending done on the stitching just so it would be perfect. Mercy helped her bathe in the other room while I worked away on the dress humming away to myself. I was feeling excitement for Jocelyn, and a bit of sadness when I thought about Alexander. We would not be doing this, but I would do with another man someday. The day was soon becoming afternoon. Jocelyn, now clean and probably smelling like fresh flowers put the dress on with Mercy’s help.
“How does it fit?” I asked her as she came back into the main room of the lovely house. The dress made her look like the perfect bride, and Mercy put some sweet little daisy in her blonde locks.
“Wonderfully,” She smiled then took my hands in hers. “How can ever repay you?” She asked making me chuckle.
“A plate o’food would be grand if you can spare it m’lady,” I suggested making her nod.
“You will have that and more dear Clara,” She said then hugged me. “And please, it is Jocelyn from now on,” she added making me smile. She seemed genuine, and I was glad that I wasn’t someone who had become her enemy. I was happy to see her get married in church to Samuel to become Mistress Castel and to celebrate their union with the rest of the townsfolk by drinking and dancing to joyful music until the night time came.