Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Roanoke Survivor Lost--and Found

In JAMESTOWN: THE NOVEL, Will Sterling, a friend, tells Meg Worley that he has met a man with an improbable story of a wandering Englishman, perhaps one from Roanoke.  
         “At first, years ago, there was such talk about hunting for the lost Roanoke people, and...\.? there were those stories the Indians told about English in clothes like ours, and George Percy’s tale of the blond-haired boy in the woods, and  Henry Spelman’s claims about Englishmen living at Ritanoe--you cannot help but wonder.”
         “I think I want to know,” Meg said slowly, “and then sometimes I think maybe I don’t. . , , You know--“ she caught herself. She had been about to tell Will about about the gold cross....

 [Will takes Meg to hear the man’s story of the body he came across in the woods.]         

         “No marks on him, just lying there under a big oak tree, dead as a fish out of water. . . I looked around to see if he had anything on him that would tell who he was, but all that was on him was a little bag around his neck with this in it.” Rummaging in a pouch at his waist, Parker drew forth a thin gold chain. Attached to it, dangling from his hand, was a small gold cross. “Pretty, ain’t it?”

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

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