Saturday, August 22, 2015

Roanoke: What Might Have Happened

In JAMESTOWN: THE NOVEL, Meg Worley, who came to Virginia in 1609 to seek her fiancé, one of the lost colonists of Roanoke, hears rumors in 1619 that Englishmen may be living at Ritanoe, a remote Indian village.

         It had been twenty-three years since Anthony Gage had kissed her good-bye on the heights of Plymouth Hoe, and it was folly to think she would ever see him again. . . .

         [At Jamestown, Meg has a conversation with Captain George Yardley.]

         “Ritanoe is a long way off,”         
         “Not when you’ve come three thousand miles.”        
         “But I know of no plan to search for any English.”
         “Not yet. . . . Maybe in the spring. . . who knows? I can wait. I have waited twenty years and more.”
         George was touched. “I leave tomorrow to take command of the new Fort Charles . . . If there is any way I can spare some men, I shall send them to Ritanoe as soon as warm weather comes.”. . .
         As George turned to go, Meg unfastened the gold chain around her neck. She dropped it and the small cross in the palm of one hand and touched them lovingly. Then she closed her fingers over them and held out her fist. “Here. Take this with you. Send it with your men to Ritanoe. It will be a message from me to Anthony.”

--Virginia Bernhard, JAMESTOWN: THE NOVEL A Story of America’s Beginnings (2014)

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