Moll Flanders HTML version

Chapter 21
Here, being detained by bad weather for some time, the captain, who continued the
same kind, good-humoured man as at first, took us two on shore with him again. He did
it now in kindness to my husband indeed, who bore the sea very ill, and was very sick,
especially when it blew so hard. Here we bought in again a store of fresh provisions,
especially beef, pork, mutton, and fowls, and the captain stayed to pickle up five or six
barrels of beef to lengthen out the ship's store. We were here not above five days, when
the weather turning mild, and a fair wind, we set sail again, and in two-and-forty days
came safe to the coast of Virginia.
When we drew near to the shore, the captain called me to him, and told me that he
found by my discourse I had some relations in the place, and that I had been there
before, and so he supposed I understood the custom in their disposing the convict
prisoners when they arrived. I told him I did not, and that as to what relations I had in
the place, he might be sure I would make myself known to none of them while I was in
the circumstances of a prisoner, and that as to the rest, we left ourselves entirely to him
to assist us, as he was pleased to promise us he would do. He told me I must get
somebody in the place to come and buy us as servants, and who must answer for us to
the governor of the country, if he demanded us. I told him we should do as he should
direct; so he brought a planter to treat with him, as it were, for the purchase of these two
servants, my husband and me, and there we were formally sold to him, and went
ashore with him. The captain went with us, and carried us to a certain house, whether it
was to be called a tavern or not I know not, but we had a bowl of punch there made of
rum, etc., and were very merry. After some time the planter gave us a certificate of
discharge, and an acknowledgment of having served him faithfully, and we were free
from him the next morning, to go wither we would.
For this piece of service the captain demanded of us six thousand weight of tabacco,
which he said he was accountable for to his freighter, and which we immediately bought
for him, and made him a present of twenty guineas besides, with which he was
abundantly satisfied.
It is not proper to enter here into the particulars of what part of the colony of Virginia we
settled in, for divers reasons; it may suffice to mention that we went into the great river
Potomac, the ship being bound thither; and there we intended to have settled first,
though afterwards we altered our minds.
The first thing I did of moment after having gotten all our goods on shore, and placed
them in a storehouse, or warehouse, which, with a lodging, we hired at the small place
or village where we landed--I say, the first thing was to inquire after my mother, and
after my brother (that fatal person whom I married as a husband, as I have related at
large). A little inquiry furnished me with information that Mrs. ----, that is, my mother,
was dead; that my brother (or husband) was alive, which I confess I was not very glad