“Red” Locker never came back for Craft and Bidwell. After two weeks, they left the hideaway and melted into the countryside. Some said that they went to Scotland, others said that they died fighting as mercenaries in Denmark. The cause of the fire at the Franciscan Mission was never solved, but there was always a great deal of discussion and plenty of rumors about who had done this vile deed. The Franciscans moved to Ypres and did not have a presence in England for many years. The Courageous left for America on May 8, 1624 under the command of Captain Edwin Carr.
The ship was primarily one of emigration. The movement was growing, and passage to America was much more popular and marginally safer than it had ever been. Not that it was truly safe, but people had more faith in the voyages, and ships returning from America carried people with amazing stories of adventure, even wealth. The Courageous was headed for the Cape Ann settlement. Margaret was aboard the ship, amazed that her prayer had been answered in such a clear and dramatic manner. She was still grieving Jacob Carr’s death, but she found some comfort being in the presence of his brother. She talked with him at length about Jacob, and also about her new mission in life. At any rate, she would have that new life in a new world, and she was beyond excited to start it.
The Cape Ann settlement had experienced the usual problems of disease, storms, crop failures, and problems with native people. However, there seemed to be a sense of hope there. Shepherd and I had made some remarkable discoveries with native plants. The American Elm tree, we discovered, could produce a concoction from parts of the brewed inner bark that would help in soothing coughs and would help those who had bleeding disorders. This was most helpful for women who were bleeding after childbirth. This was a common complication of birth, but we had real success in reducing the rate of such deaths. The native people had showed us how to tap maple trees for their sap. Upon exposure to prolonged cooking to reduce it, the product was a wonderful syrup that had a delightful taste – sweeter than sugar produced from the canes in the West Indies. Sassafras trees had leaves and roots that had great medicinal effect in healing sores and also in numbing pain when used on the skin. Its natural oils were aromatic, and, brewed as a tea, were a fine calmative agent.
We began to harvest these herbs, roots, and medicinal products, and the Dorchester Company was happy to see that there was a market back in England for these as medicines. Shepherd was content in this pursuit. He had made a place for himself in the settlement, and he enjoyed teaching children and native people who came to appreciate his care for them. Not everyone, however, was able to communicate with the native people. Most of the settlement was interested in learning from the native people how to subdue the land. The native people just wanted to live in harmony with the land, but there was no profit in that. The Dorchester Company needed to make this settlement profitable.
Shepherd was an exception, and he was not always appreciated for his differing views. Some thought he was a fool, some others felt that he saw himself as better than others. Almost all saw that he was exceptional, but people are often intimidated by such people, so he lived in the odd tension of brilliant healer, man of wisdom, and isolated eccentric. The Courageous touched the shores near Cape Ann on July 4, 1624.
The weary crew and passengers had a reasonably safe and routine voyage, but no voyage across the sea to America was completely safe. They had lost three passengers to death. A woman who gave birth prematurely to a baby girl at about five months of gestation died after hemorrhaging that could not be stopped. The child perished after about one hour of life. Another of the passengers, after a night of drinking in the hold of the ship (unbeknownst to others on the ship), died when he went up to the top deck and fell into the ocean. One of the crew saw him fall, but the standard order was that ships did not turn around for such occurrences. People who could not follow the rules earned their fate. This man was no exception.
We met the Courageous as she anchored in the harbor. Men in the settlement worked alongside the crew to unload the precious cargo, which included tea, beer, salted cod, and ammunition for muskets. We also took possession of two cannon and powder and shot. While we had not encountered any hostile natives, we wanted the comfort of these weapons for our defense. We also never knew if the Dutch, the Spanish, or the French might develop a hunger for the land that we were painstakingly developing.
I saw Margaret disembark from the small boat sent out to meet the Courageous in harbor. I was stunned to see that she had made the journey, and I found myself quite excited to see her again. I had not thought that I would ever see her again. She had been there, along with Jacob Carr, to see Shepherd and me off for our journey. Shepherd had given his blessing to Margaret and Jacob to ensure that things went smoothly at the mission as he left. While it was the Franciscan mission, Shepherd and Carr had been very instrumental in transforming the place into an important hospital and care center for the poor of London. Shepherd’s vision and leadership and Carr’s money worked wonders in that regard.
Margaret saw me and immediately ran to me with tears in her eyes. She threw herself into my arms, something I was not expecting, but which was very welcome. “Luke,” she began, “I have so much to tell you, and so much heartache!”
At that moment I saw Henry Adams running up to another craft which held his cousin Albert. They too embraced and wept. Edwin Carr was with Albert, helping him to steady himself to become accustomed to land after the voyage. Albert was somewhat unsteady, and Carr was very helpful and solicitous of his wellbeing. Shepherd came up to Margaret and me and embraced the weeping Margaret. We went back to our quarters at the settlement. Spartan and small as they were, we were as comfortable as we could reasonably expect. Edwin Carr, Shepherd, Henry Adams, Albert Adams, Margaret, and I sat with flagons of ale, and we heard the story Margaret had to tell. Shepherd was visibly upset upon hearing of the death of Jacob Carr and the loss of the Franciscan mission.
She talked about Jacob’s bravery in saving people from the mission, including little Jacob, renamed after his rescuer. Friar Theodore had described the two men he met with that fateful evening of the fire, and some said it sounded like Oliver Craft. Craft had disappeared, and that added to the speculation. Further, Craft was a known associate of Andrew Kensington, as was “Red” Locker. The fact that Locker was now dead, found in an alley near Mother Rose’s dwelling, added to the speculation that there was a connection between Kensington, Locker, and Craft. Each of us was moved in different ways by this report. Edwin Carr stayed silent as Margaret talked about the demise of “Red” Locker and the disappearance of Craft and Bidwell.
I began to think about how close I had come to getting into business with Andrew Kensington, and about what wrath could come upon those who parted ways with him. Margaret was still grieving a lost love, and Shepherd was pained by the loss of a friend as well as the loss of a vision. Shepherd brought the discussion around to what would happen from here. We agreed that we were each in America for a different reason, but that this land offered something amazing and special. It offered a chance at a new start, a chance to form this place into a place where freedom of religion and freedom from royal oppression may be really possible; finally, it was a place where we had no past, and we were not judged by it. For Margaret this seemed especially pleasing, but it was good for me also. I might be able to determine why I was even alive, and that is something I had been avoiding by simply pursuing the next enticing thing I found. This could be a very special place for all of us.
Margaret was quite solicitous of little Jacob and loved the little boy – probably more because she could continue to say, “Jacob, I love you.” Little Jacob had a number of women who bustled about him. Children were in short supply at this settlement, and the chance to care for the child gave an outlet for care and nurture in an environment that challenged those virtues daily. Margaret Brennan (she received the name Brennan from her brief marriage to Ian Brennan, an Irish sailor she met when she was young), was a changed woman. She had been a prostitute, and had even propositioned me at the Boar’s Head Pub years before. While she had never been of the very rough sort of harlot I had encountered, she was worldly wise and cunning. Yet her transformation at the Franciscan mission with Carr and Shepherd had been complete. She had great compassion for people, and she had a disarming smile. While she was certainly physically attractive enough, it was her spirit that showed her real beauty.
I know that I had been attracted to her from the start. Joseph Shepherd had been communicating with the native people and was beginning to learn some of their strange language. He seemed more interested in learning their tongue than teaching them English. Part of our mission was to be able to communicate well with these people, begin some trade with them, and learn to exploit this wealth of natural resources all around us.
John Levine was always telling Shepherd to teach the “savages” English and not spend much time on the foolish gibberish they spoke. “Mr. Levine,” Shepherd would say, “how do you expect me to teach them English if I do not know their tongue? Besides, I think we can earn respect from them if we attempt to learn their ways, not just expect that our ways are superior on the face of it. There is much to be learned from these people, but also about them. For example, they have told me that they are known as Algonquin people, and their language is virtually the same name, Algonquian. There are numerous tribes of Algonquin, and not all are alike” “Yes, Mr. Shepherd, I see you want to be around those savages. Just do not turn into one of them someday. Remember who you are and what your mission is,” said Levine.
Levine would usually just shake his head and puzzle over Shepherd’s way of seeing and treating people. Shepherd also started treating sick natives in our little hospital, incorporating both our practices, as well as some of the native medicine. Shepherd believed that this diversity of learning only enhanced medical practices in general, and he kept an open mind to some things that appeared to be foolishness to most of us. We also noticed that many of these native people, these Algonquins, were becoming sick since we arrived, with illnesses that they said they had never seen before we came. In fact, this was causing increasing tension in our connections with the natives.
Shepherd believed that we had brought with us some type of illnesses that we carried somehow but were not affected by for some reason. This gave credence to his theory, having seen how cowpox made people immune from smallpox, that exposure to some illnesses was then preventive of others. He had also read of how in some ancient battles invaders had tossed blankets that had been on people dying of the plague into the camp of the enemy. The enemy then succumbed to the plague. Clearly some unseen body, perhaps like we had seen through the glass from Janssen, was responsible for these illnesses.
We noted how he had often washed his hands after seeing each patient, and would wear a cloth over his nose and mouth that he had rinsed in vinegar when he was visiting the sickest people. The natives watched this in amusement, feeling this was an English practice – foolish to them just as some of their practices were to us. I watched him with an open mind. I had seen how effective his work was both on the Intrepid and throughout our travels. I was convinced that if Joseph Shepherd said something was a wise practice, I would likely never dispute him.
One day, Mr. Kelley was out with several other men hunting for game. It was now late August, and they had decided to go out early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day. It did not take long to spot a large white-tailed deer buck drinking at a stream. Mr. Kelley leveled his musket and fired at the deer. His shot sailed over the buck as the buck dipped down to drink. They quickly heard a scream from the brush just behind the deer. Just then, one of the Algonquin natives, hunting in the same area, staggered out to the stream, blood streaming from his thigh. Kelley ran to the wounded native, unsure how to proceed, but knowing he must help somehow. As Kelley proceeded toward the hunter, the other Algonquin hunters showed themselves from the surrounding bushes. Kelley froze, and then realized that they were going to come after him. Surrounded, and having no useable weapon other than a hunting knife, he threw his hands into the air in surrender.
The Algonquin hunters grabbed Kelley, and then turned to help their fallen brother. The wounded Algonquin quickly explained to his fellow hunters what had happened. The little group proceeded to take their wounded brother and Kelley back to their village. As they lay the wounded man they called Achak down, he was bleeding profusely. The other hunters had bound his leg at the site of the wound, but it appeared that Achak was losing his battle for life. He was pale, nearly gray, and losing consciousness. Kelley tried to gesture that he knew how to help Achak.
Kelley recalled that his fellow sailors aboard the Intrepid told him how Joseph Shepherd had bound a cord tightly above the site of his bleeding wound, and that it had stopped the bleeding immediately. Kelley had a leather strap around his shoulder holding his bag of lead shot for his musket. He grabbed the pouch and made a “cutting” gesture to explain that he wanted them to cut off the strap of the pouch.
One of the women standing by, whom they called Chepi, directed the men to cut the strap Kelley had offered. Kelley, grateful for her understanding, smiled at her and motioned that the strap should be tied around the upper thigh of Achak. He did this by demonstrating on his own leg. Chepi directed the men to do as Kelley had said. Kelley moved closer to Achak and began to work with the men helping Achak. He tightened the strap and Achak screamed out in pain. Kelley kept working, expecting that he would be stopped in his efforts to help Achak, but Chepi intervened and allowed Kelley to keep working on Achak.
The bleeding stopped, and Achak calmed a bit. He was near unconsciousness, but he asked for water. He drank the cool water offered to him just out of the nearby stream. As he drank more, he was revived just a bit and seemed somewhat more comfortable. Kelley was amazed that Chepi had allowed him to help. She had obvious power and influence in the camp, and, for some reason, knew to allow Kelley’s benevolent actions to take place. Chepi came over to Kelley and spoke some words of halting English to him. She said something that sounded like the words, “Joseph Shepherd, friend, children, learn.”
Women in the Algonquin culture seemed to have a great deal of influence – more so than our English women. Chepi seemed to be revered as a kind of mystic. She was a beautiful woman, with coal black hair, high cheekbones, and piercing eyes. Kelley began to see that Chepi was aware of children who were being taught by Joseph Shepherd. Chepi was also part of the group that met with Shepherd, and she had learned some English. More importantly, she had learned to have some trust in the English settlers. This willingness to trust may have been what saved Achak’s life, as well as Kelley’s.
Kelley repeated the words Chepi had used and said, “Your children learn from our friend Joseph Shepherd.” Chepi smiled broadly when she heard this. She had made language contact and was understood by Kelley! They continued this halting conversation with some English words and mostly with gestures and smiles. Chepi told the others to prepare food for Kelley and to treat him as a friend. Many of the Algonquin, however, were angry over this intrusion. Here was an English settler who had shot their brother while he was poaching on their sacred hunting ground, and they fed him!
Word spread through the camp about what was happening, and the elders decided to meet to discuss it. There was division about what to do with Kelley. On the one hand, he was stealing their food by hunting their traditional land. Further, he had harmed a brother in the process. On the other hand, they feared starting trouble with the English. They saw that the English had powerful weapons, including large guns on wheels that had just come off an arriving ship. Further, Kelley had tried to help Achak, and indeed, Achak was still alive, but was also in danger of dying. Kelley had explained to Chepi that Joseph Shepherd and I were doctors (healers and elders in her understanding) who had powerful medicine. We had saved his life when he had been severely wounded, and his doctor friends could help Achak.
Chepi entered into the elders’ meeting boldly and explained what Kelley told her. She was strangely powerful and persuasive, and they seemed to be willing to listen as she pleaded her case. “The English can help Achak, and we must allow them to do this.” Chepi, Kelley, and three members of the Algonquin tribe went to the English settlement. Upon arrival, Mr. Kelley explained what had happened, and talked of the urgency to help Achak. Shepherd and I asked if we could go to the Algonquin camp, but Levine was skeptical. “We cannot get involved in this native business!” Levine said. “Mr. Levine,” I said, “we are already quite involved in this! Mr. Kelley has wounded that man, and we are bound to help him. If we do not, he may die, and so may our mission here!”
Shepherd was not interested in waiting for Levine’s response. “We are going to the Algonquin camp,” he said. He went out to gather medical supplies as he grabbed my arm, ensuring that I would follow him. Levine went pale with rage, but said nothing. He then made a point of authorizing our trip to the camp with a direct order to have two others accompany Shepherd and me to the camp.
Upon our arrival at the Algonquin camp, we saw Achak. Clearly in pain, and his lower leg white and cold with the cord firmly cutting off blood flow, we saw that we needed to remove the lead ball, if it were still present, and close the wound as quickly as possible.
It was now late afternoon, so poor Achak had been suffering for the better part of the day. When we saw what Kelley had done to save his life, we were overcome with gratitude for Kelley’s courage and quick thinking. The way had been smoothed for us by Chepi to have essentially free reign in treating Achak. Once again, Shepherd took the lead in calming the patient, giving him some rum and speaking in a very calm, soothing voice. I was again amazed that language seemed to not be a barrier, and I heard some words that I did not understand, which I assumed to be Algonquin.
Achak relaxed deeply, and I began to probe the wound with my fingers to see if I could feel the lead ball I presumed to be there. I could not determine from this cursory examination the presence of the ball, so I told Shepherd I needed to probe with the knife. I hated the thought of this, but it needed to be done. Shepherd gave me the nod to proceed. I pulled out the scalpel and cut away some muscle as Shepherd soothed Achak. Soon I came upon the ball and grabbed it out with forceps. I saw the artery that had been ruptured by the projectile, and I sewed it back together with catgut. As I had seen Shepherd do, I washed the surgery field with rum, and Achak winced briefly.
I sewed his leg back together with a few stitches, and we released the leather cord that Kelley had affixed earlier. Within a few seconds the lower leg got a return of color and warmth. Achak was breathing more calmly and deeply, and he drifted off to sleep. It looked like we were successful in helping Achak. The elders nodded to us and pointed to some tea made from the root of the sassafras tree. We sat with them and enjoyed the tea as they showed us gratitude and friendliness for helping Achak. Chepi especially seemed to favor Mr. Kelley, whom she viewed evidently as the hero of the day – ironic since it was his error that caused the entire problem.
The Algonquin camp was not all in agreement with the friendly attitude toward the English. At the time, we were not aware of the French agents who had been meeting with native people all the way from Lake Champlain to points south and east. There was a growing tension both in Europe and now in America between France and England. There were rich resources to be exploited, and the nation that did that best stood to gain handsomely in trade. Spain already was draining loads of gold and silver from America in the south and from the Caribbean area. The Portuguese were exploiting South America, and the Dutch were beginning to see trade in the area just south of Cape Ann. There was a much larger picture than we had the ability to see, but we would be in the middle of the contest nonetheless.
I had been spending more time with Margaret and little Jacob. I saw Margaret’s attention and caring for little Jacob, and I was drawn to that compassion and selfless giving that is intrinsic in parental love. Indeed, she was the mother to this child, even though she had not given him birth. She had given him life.
Albert Adams seemed to draw new life also in America. He was now living again with his cousin Henry and Henry’s family, but he seemed better able to care for himself, and he could do some work in the settlement community. Captain Braden, now somewhat stricken with ailments such as rheumatism and a slight palsy, came to enjoy the company that Albert gave to him. They were becoming friends who increasingly counted on one another. Braden’s sailing days were over it seemed, and he contented himself with advising on the defense of the settlement. He advised on the building of walls and positioning of the cannon. He, with the experience of having fought in England’s wars with Spain, was respected for his military insight.
Tension had grown between the Algonquin people and Mr. Levine. Levine was convinced that the French were going to use the Algonquin to ally with them and squeeze out our little foothold in America. There had been raids in other parts of America on English settlements, often by native people who were aroused against the English. Levine was sure that such an ambush would eventually happen to us.
Levine’s response was to build up defenses and make our settlement a costly target if attacked. This also led to increasing tension between Shepherd and Levine. Shepherd’s conciliatory approach to the Algonquin seemed to offend Levine. “Show them our strength,” he would often say. “They see our kindness as weakness. They will only respect us if we are strong and defiant.”
Levine saw the Algonquin people as childlike and naïve. Indeed, the general feeling of the French, Dutch, and especially the Spanish, was that the civilized Europeans were here to educate these native savages into the modern world, and to Christianize them away from their primitive religious practices. Levine would want to accomplish this by brute force. Shepherd wanted to show them God’s love by ministering to them and by understanding them. Ironically, in this stance, Shepherd was the one misunderstood, I felt.
Trouble began the day Achak died. In the first week after our surgery, Achak improved well. He began to get up and walk, albeit with a noticeable limp. But it looked like he was on his way to a nearly full recovery. One day in the second week of his recovery, he complained of difficulty breathing.
He began to cough and wheeze and soon was coughing up blood. Later that evening, he died. Several of the elders were incensed that this had happened with no apparent cause other than the strange treatment that the English doctors had given to him. Some felt that the wood spirits were angry that the hunting ground had been violated by intruders, and that Achak’s death was their revenge. All agreed that Achak would still be alive if the English were not on their tribal lands.
The French trappers who had befriended the tribe for a few years fueled the fire of English intrusion as the cause of trouble in the land. The French trappers reminded the Algonquin that they too cherished the land, and were not building settlements. The English, they said, did not respect the tribal lands and were out to destroy the life that they knew. As tensions grew, the French decided to make them worse.
One night several French traders and trappers dressed in Algonquin garb, painted their faces and arms, and snuck into our settlement. They let out whoops and cries, set fire to our drying crops in the field, and killed two horses. They were seen (and I am sure that they wanted to be seen) running away into the night. Several of our men on guard chased after them, but they did not seem too interested in following them far into the woods. They did not want a full-scale confrontation with the whole Algonquin camp.
Levine was livid, but he saw this as an opportunity to move against the Algonquin in force. He planned to bide his time, gather support from other English settlements, and make a full assault on the Algonquin.
Joseph Shepherd was distraught. He was making progress, he believed, in making a real connection with this native people. He had been teaching them English using the King James Bible. Just yesterday he had read to them Psalm 19 with the help of Chepi, who was learning English remarkably well with the help of Mr. Kelley, who seemed to love to spend time with her. He liked this Psalm because he felt that it helped transcend language. God showed Himself to people all over the world through His creation. He said that language is not a barrier when using the language of creation and beauty.
The “language of nature” appealed to the Algonquin, and they seemed to appreciate that there were some common bonds between the English and themselves as odd, but as basic, as that they were all under God’s creative hand. The God they understood was possibly the same one Shepherd discussed.
Psalm19:1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.152 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
As Shepherd thought about the possible slaughter that might be about to take place, he determined to do what he could do to stop it. Typical of Shepherd, he went directly to the person with whom he had disagreement. He went to see Mr. Levine. “Mr. Levine, a word with you?” he asked politely. “Yes, Shepherd, what is it?” asked Levine. “We hear plans of attack on the Algonquin people. Is that true?” Shepherd asked. “I have been talking with other settlement leaders about our defense, yes. It is my responsibility to provide for our security!” Levine said smugly.
“I agree with that, Mr. Levine, and I truly am thankful for your attention in caring for us,” said Shepherd. “However, I do not believe that provoking a battle with the Algonquin will provide the security you desire,” he said simply. “I also do not believe that the Algonquin are our enemies. I believe that we all know that the attack last week was not the Algonquin hunters.”
This was becoming common wisdom among many settlers, but Levine had dismissed that talk as simply a way to cover the cowardice of those who did not want conflict. “I understand that you want no part of battle, Dr. Shepherd, and I do not require that you participate. You are of much more value as a physician to help those who may be wounded – and I do not mean aiding the enemy,” he said coldly. This was, of course, a reminder to Shepherd that he had acted against Levine’s wishes in helping Achak. “In fact,” Levine added, “your so-called help of Achak may have caused this problem. Those natives think you killed him with your odd medicine. You and Greene…”
Shepherd interrupted Levine, “Mr. Levine, Dr. Greene and I saved Achak’s life. His later death was something no one could have prevented. I do not believe that the Algonquin blame us for his death. I do believe that there are people who want war and people who want peace,” he said. “We will not agree on this, Dr. Shepherd,” Levine concluded, and he dismissed Shepherd from his quarters. Shepherd came to me and told me of the meeting with Levine. “Good Dr. Shepherd,” I said, “you are such an honest and direct man, and I admire you for it. However, in dealing with men like Levine you must fight the way he fights. I have been thinking about this as well. I think we should visit Captain Braden.”
Shepherd and I went to Braden’s quarters, where we found Captain Braden and Albert Adams laughing over an incident that had happened days ago with little Jacob Carr. “Yes, the women were actually arguing over who should give the child a bath!” Albert said laughing. “Aye, the women in camp need someone to mother,” said Braden, “and soon it will probably be you and me!” he laughed.
“Good afternoon, gentlemen. May we intrude?” I said warmly. Indeed, I loved my visits to Albert Adams and James Braden, two men who had broken bodies, who had learned to accept their limitations, and indeed even joke about them. “Come in!” hailed Braden. “Join us for some tea.” “Thank you,” I said. “Dr. Shepherd and I have something to discuss with you.”
My tone was now more somber, and Braden picked up on that. “Trouble, my boy?” he asked. “Yes, I am afraid so,” I said. “Shepherd and I are concerned about the plans to fight with the Algonquin.” Braden seemed a little surprised. “I was not aware of a planned attack,” said Braden. “I have talked to Mr. Levine about our defenses here and what we need to do to improve them since the attack, but I was not aware that he was really planning an attack.” “We assumed that you were part of his ‘war council,’” I said.
“I know he has spoken to other settlement leaders, but he has not asked me to participate in that,” said Braden with some hurt in his voice. “As I suspected,” said Shepherd, “Levine goes off on his own to plan for the community. We may as well be back in England if we want one man making all of our decisions for us.” “Captain Braden,” I said, “people here love and respect you as a commander, captain, and military man. You are trusted. I think you need to talk with Mr. Levine about this idea of an attack on the Algonquin. It will not only cost lives, it may jeopardize our whole settlement.”
Braden was buoyed by this sentiment. He sometimes wondered if he were simply not considered to be a doddering old man. Even he had been shaken about his own ability to lead after the disaster on the Intrepid. “Please speak to Levine,” I urged. “We will help with some of the other details.” Shepherd looked at me but said nothing. He did not know what I meant, but I would fill him in later on what I intended. “Albert, we need your help also,” I said. Albert looked up, surprised. “My help?” he asked. “What could I possibly offer?” “You shall see,” I said.