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[245] him, as he had been a monster, till Powhatan and his train had put themselves in their greatest braveries.1 Before a fire, upon a seat like a bedstead, he sat, covered with a great robe made of raccoon-skins, and all the tails hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of sixteen or eighteen years, and along on each side the house two rows of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads and shoulders painted red, many of their heads bedecked with the white down of birds; but every one with something; and a great chain of white beads about their necks. At his entrance before the king, all the people gave a great shout. The Queen of Appamatuck2 was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands; and another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel, to dry them. Having feasted him after the best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held; but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan. Then as many as could laid hands on him,3 dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head; and being ready with their clubs to beat out his brains, Pocahontas, the king's dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevail, got his head in her arms, and laid her own upon his, to save him from death.4 Whereat

1 Showy garments.

2 Appomattox.

3 Smith.

4 Captain Smith, in another narrative relating to this same period, describes Pocahontas as ‘a child of ten years old, which, not only for feature, countenance, and proportion, much exceedeth any of the rest of his people, but for wit and spirit the only nonpareil of his country.’ Nonpareil means unequalled. But Strachey, the secretary of the colony, gives a less poetical description of Pocahontas, describing her as a wild and ungoverned child, playing rather rudely about the fort with other children. See an article called ‘The True Pocahontas,’ in Scribner's Monthly for May, 1876.

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