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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Night in the Forest

By John Winthrop (1588–1649)

[Born in Suffolk, England, 1588. Died in Boston, Mass., 1649. The History of New England from 1630 to 1649.]

THE GOVERNOR, being at his farm house at Mistick, walked out after supper, and took a piece in his hand, supposing he might see a wolf (for they came daily about the house, and killed swine and calves, etc.); and, being about half a mile off, it grew suddenly dark, so as, in coming home, he mistook his path, and went till he came to a little house of Sagamore John, which stood empty. There he stayed, and having a piece of match in his pocket (for he always carried about him match and a compass, and in summer time snakeweed), he made a good fire near the house, and lay down upon some old mats, which he found there, and so spent the night, sometimes walking by the fire, sometimes singing psalms, and sometimes getting wood, but could not sleep. It was (through God’s mercy) a warm night; but a little before day it began to rain, and, having no cloak, he made shift by a long pole to climb up into the house. In the morning, there came thither an Indian squaw, but perceiving her before she had opened the door, he barred her out; yet she stayed there a great while essaying to get in, and at last she went away, and he returned safe home, his servants having been much perplexed for him, and having walked about, and shot off pieces, and hallooed in the night, but he heard them not.