A little pool surrounded by juniper trees attracted the eyes of the women, and on that foggy morning of the 23d of November witnessed them going ashore in a small boat with bundles and kettles, the first time they had set foot on the soil of their new country,—and Monday wash-day was established.
One more storm and struggle for the Mayflower
— one more disappointing return to the harbor which she desired to leave, then a calm day's sail into a quiet harbor, for they had touched a rock, for them a steppingstone,—they saw it not as a gateway of a mighty nation.
Her work nobly performed, her name immortal, she had reached the goal.
The women had more to do, however, than look towards the shore and long for land, for their life on ship was not an idle one for any of them, while strength lasted.
As one by one illness attacked them, those remaining well had added cares, assisting Dr. Fuller
, attending to the wants of the families of those whose mothers were ill, preparing food for the sick and for the men who went daily ashore to work, keeping the children safe and amused, and, above all, keeping their own faith and hope alive; and it went on as unending as the swell of the sea beneath them.
But the time came for going ashore with costumes so similar it is hard to distinguish where each woman is placed.
The children are held from crowding forward as they near the shore.
An instant of excitement!
The sailors make ready to fasten the boat!
It touches the rock!
The woman who stood foremost on the way over has sprung from the boat, catching at the hand of the nearest man to steady her on the slippery rock.
The keen wind and spray have dashed color to her cheeks, the brilliancy of the sun on the snow is reflected in her eyes.
A flashing triumph at being th efirst
!—it is Mary Chilton
I like to think of her as Dr. Gordon
expressed it, ‘a real sport,’ not perhaps like the sports of today, but a strong humorous girl, full of real happiness.