[“John” was not John Smith, but John Rolfe, Pocahontas’s devoted husband.]
“There is someone here who wants to see you. . . . As John led her toward the great hall, she heard men’s voices, and then a familiar laugh, a deep, throaty chuckle, made her pull back.
So he had come at last.
“What is it?” Her husband was looking at her in total bewilderment.
“I don’t know,” she said. How could she explain to him that she did not want to be in the same room with him and the man she had loved since she was thirteen? Just hearing that laughter made her knees weak. What would she feel when she saw him? Was this some kind of game these Englishmen were playing with her, keeping her from seeing him for so long, and now, when I suited them, presenting her to him for their amusement?
“Then come on,” John said cheerfully. “The company is waiting.”
Her hands had grown suddenly ice-cold. If only I had a muff, she thought frantically,and then she remembered that muffs were only for outdoors, no matter how cold your hands were. Stupid, these English were, about some things. All stupid, except for John Smith. She lifted her chin, clutched her husband’s arm, and swept into the cavernous, tapestry-hung hall, her red velvet gown trailing behind her. Three men were standing with their backs to her, facing the warmth of the huge fireplace.
“Here she is,” Rolfe said proudly, and they all wheeled around. There was George Percy, much healthier looking than when he had been at Jamestown. There was Thomas Dale, without the Indian mistress he had yearned to bring back, looking vaguely discontented.
The third was John Smith.
--from JAMESTOWN: THE NOVEL, to be continued.