Early Winter 1657: London, England
I write this by the nice, warm fire. It is chilly here in London, and the rain pattered on the roof, making soft, comfortable thumps against the wooden roof. Mother sits behind me, knitting a quilt she is preparing for us. Winter was coming on, and the peoples at the market rumored that it would be one of the worst ones yet. My hands feel frozen, so I must pause writing to warm them.
My name is Elizabeth Moore, though most wouldn't know that. I am normally seen cowering in the shadows of others. Talking is not my specialty. I have close to none friends- just my loyal friend Bridget Ward. I do enjoy being alone, which is easy for me since my mother is always cleaning, Pa is always working, and I am the only offspring of my family.
My Pa worked at the Meeting House- a man of government, he was. Mother always admired that about him, for he would always take on a man of politics in times of need. Her dashing blue eyes would sparkle at the sight of his concentration, matching her curly orange hair. 'Tis how they met- debating and all of that. I think it is a bunch of balderdash. Mother gave up the politics, for she wasn't allowed to pursue in a career. She learned how to clean, cook, and knit. Mother was well acquainted with herbs too, yet all she was able to do was clean, cook, and knit, clean, cook, and knit. I wish Mother would get the opportunity to follow her dream, but it is just impossible. The thought of the burly men who run the country allowing my mother to work was preposterous! Those men have no hearts, and were prejudice on any women rights. Thus, we are stuck doing chores around the house, under their watch.
I hate those reproach men. They think that not only could they run our actions, but they could control our thoughts. That was one thing I would not give to them. I am forced against my will to follow their commands (religion, career, etc.) but they will not control my thoughts. I refuse to respect them when I'm not around them. If anybody were to find my journal, I would be hanged, or burned right at the steak.
January 19, 1658: London, England
The thoughts of my journal had escaped my mind until this very day, in which I write to you. The new year has begun, and I feel that it will be a successful year. Winter still drags along, and it is bone-chilling in my house at the moment. As I scratch down these thoughts, I sit beneath a blanket. Not very mature, and I'm sure many housewives in London would disapprove of. They can't see me, so they cannot judge me. I make sure I have manners in front of everyone, so that they won't snoop around looking for something to gossip about.
The evening is drawing upon me, as Mother prepares dinner. The wonderful smell of fresh bread is flooding the house, suffocating me in delicious fragrants.
In that moment, the door bursts open, and Pa steps in. He is back from his duty at the Meeting House. Pa removes his hat before stepping into the household, like a real gentlemen should. He takes off his jacket, and lets out a long moan.
"It smells delicious in here, Dolores. I see you got bread from the market?" Pa compliments, inhaling the scents.
"You bet I did, seven pence for one loaf," Mother says proudly, holding her chin up high.
"Wow!" Pa exclaims, impressed. "How did you get a deal as such?"
"Mr.Brown, the man who sold this to me, said that he was in a good mood- apparently his wife had just gotten over a cold, so he gave it to me on discount!" Mother cries happily.
Mother bought contaminated bread, I thought, though I daresay it aloud.
"What a bribe! Will it be ready soon?"
"Oh, give it four minutes. I've prepared it with fresh fruit from Sally's farm," Mother informs. We have fruit a lot in this family, for my aunt Sally owns a farm. The diet consisted of a variety of fruit, and other delicious foods too.
"That sounds great, dear," Pa says, kissing my Mother on the top of her head. "Hello, Elizabeth."
"Good evening, Pa!" I exclaim, jumping out of my seat to engulf him in a hug. His muscular arms wrap around my torso, hugging me tight.
"What are you working on, there?" Pa asks, gesturing to my journal, which was still in my grip.
"Oh, um...nothing," I stammered, quickly stowing it away under my petticoat.
"Alright, then." Pa chuckles.
Mother finishes cooking, and she places the food on the table. I rush to the table, hunger chewing on my insides.
"It looks delicious, Mother!" I say, admiring the warm bread, garnished with fruit.
"It tastes delicious, too!" says Pa, a mouth full of bread. I giggle at his immaturity, only present when around us. Mother laughs as she pulls out her chair, tearing off a piece to eat. My portions are quickly devoured, due to my demanding hunger.
"That really was delicious, Mother!" I compliment, patting on my full stomach.
"Now Elizabeth, where did your manners go?" Mother scolds. I sit back up in my chair from my slumping position and let out a sigh.
"Why must I use manners when I am only around my kin?" I complain.
"It is good practice." Mother replies, quelling the conversation. "Now would you care to tidy up this kitchen? You do know it won't do it itself."
"Yes mother," I answer in a monotone. I push back from the table, chair creaking against the stone flooring. Presenting a quick curtsy, I snatch up my plate and Mother's, for she was finished, and dash out of the dining room.
As I make my way back into the kitchen, I halt as I hear faint murmuring- the sound of hushed voices.
"How did it go?" the voice of Mother asks.
"It passed," Pa sighs, with a clinking of a utensil against the plate.
"It get's worse," Pa announced.
Mother's voice sounded aghast. "How so?"
"Wystan Newman wants me- us- to accompany him."
The silence that follows was deadly. You can hear a crumb drop from the edge of the plate, rattling your eardrums. The seconds- no milliseconds- dragged on, in suspenseful anticipation.
"What did you say?" breaths Mother.
"What could I say?"
"Oh, Walton, dear." gasps Mother. "When... when do we leave?"
This conversation was getting more and more confusing by the moment, yet unfortunately it was becoming clearer of what they were talking about.
The new colony.
But.... but how? Why would Mr. Newman want us to accompany him? Would that mean I would have to spend months on a detestable ship filled with utter strangers? Did that mean that I would have to say goodbye to Bridget?
"Soon. Newman said it would be best to leave sometime around the summer, so we can spend less time in the cold when we're on the ship. I just don't know how it will all work if we would arrive there around winter." Pa says.
I began to panic silently. I did not want to freeze to death, or catch an illness on the ship while I am surrounded by hundreds of people. I didn't want to go to America!
"Have you been given any word on who else is accompanying us?"
"All I am aware of is that Hunter Ward and his family are going too."
Ward. Relief flooded in me, knowing that I will be going to on this daunting trip alone.
"Well that is good news for Elizabeth." Mother points out. "But how will we tell her?"
"You don't have to,"I blurt, emerging from the kitchen.
"Elizabeth Genette Moore!" Mother cries, springing from her chair. 'Do not dare eavesdrop on your father and I's conversation! You have no manners!"
"I apologize, Mother," I say with greatest manner. "Truly, I do. But I must be informed when you want to tell me that we are going to the New World!"
The New World. Even the name brought chills to my bare arms, and made the hair on the back of my neck stick straight up. Who knows what lay in the barbarous lands of the New World?