Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pocahontas and John Smith: The Farewell, 1617

Their reunion at Syon House, continued:

         Pocahontas touched his cheek, letting her finger trace the line where his beard began. The skin that she remembered as tanned and ruddy, almost as tawny as her own, was pale now, and two deep lines had etched themselves on his forehead between his eyes. The thick sandy hair was thinner on top now, though still full at the back and sides, and there was no gray in it.
         “How old?” she said, smiling at him.
         “Thirty-seven this past January.”
         “And I am twenty-two.”
         “Ah, Pocahontas, dearest Pocahontas!” With forced cheerfulness, he held her at arm’s length, pretending to examine her. “You will be a good wife to John Rolfe.” Tenderly, he put his hand under her chin and lifted it. “You are better off where you are, and I, where I am, even if it’s where I don’t want to be. God knows what’s best for us on this earth. You know that, don’t you?”
         “I do not know much about your God,” she said slowly. “Indian gods want people to be happy. Yours seems to want them to be sad. But if that is what you want, then I will be sad.”
         He leaned over and kissed her forehead. “No, you’ll not be sad. Promise me—” There was a catch in his voice. “Promise me you’ll not be sad, but that you’ll think of me sometimes.”
         She rose to her feet, shivering slightly in the chill of the great hall. “Yes, she said softly, “Oh, yes, my John Smith, I’ll think of you. I’ll think of you as long as I live.”


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