DIANTHA (looking upward as she stands). Why, even here the Spring is very fair! Do not the sunlight, the blue sky, and the budding trees make your heart sing with joy?
Sit, then, Diantha, and let us have a quiet hour.
DIANTHA (standing behind them, half-gay, half-mocking). A quiet hour—! Hither come Patience and Miriam and Ruth, the greatest clatter-tongues in Plymouth. See! They have been gathering wild plum blossoms!
[Enter Miriam, Patience, and Ruth from background. They hasten towards Diantha. The exquisite white of the blossoms they carry makes them look like heralds of the Spring.
MIRIAM (excitedly). Diantha, what dost think! Priscilla Mullins hath declared herself weary of spinning in her own door-yard, and since Squanto hath told us that we need not fear the Indians she hath besought Degory Martin and John Billington to bring hither her spinning-wheel.
PATIENCE (wide-eyed). Was ever the like known in Plymouth!
RUTH (as all look eagerly towards background). Hither she comes!
PRISCILLA (clearly in distance). Have a care, Degory.
Aye, Mistress Priscilla.
(as they emerge from background).
Stumble not, John Billington.
Not while I bear such a burden.
[They set down the spinning-wheel, center.
I thank you. Will you come for me when the shadows o’ the pines grow
long across my doorway?
[The Pilgrim lads nod, and exeunt, left background.
PRISCILLA (to Pilgrim maidens). Well, and have you no word of greeting? Why, they are dumb with astonishment! And is it so strange a thing to bring one’s wheel outdoors? ’Twas out of doors that this wood first grew! (Touches wheel.) All day I have longed to be out in these wide spaces—and yet there was work to do. But see—now I weld heart’s desire and work together!
[She begins to spin. Meantime Pilgrim maidens group about her. Tableau.
You are ever one to see the bright side of things, Priscilla,
and------Look, Priscilla--an Indian!
[At sound of that dread word all the maidens draw near to Priscilla. From the woods in right background appears Star-of-Spring, the little Indian maiden. She carries a basket of shell-fish on her head, steadying it with her hand. She is so intent on walking carefully that she does not see the group of Pilgrims until she is nearly upon them. There ensues a period of unflagging pantomime. Star-of-Spring, upon seeing the group of dark-clad maidens, starts back, half terrified. Priscilla rises, and as an overture of peace and good-will, takes a few steps towards her. Star-of-Spring retreats still further towards right. Priscilla returns to her wheel.
Star-of-Spring, emboldened, takes a step towards the Pilgrim maidens. Pilgrim maidens, quite as wary of Star-of-Spring as she is of them, retreat a little way to left. At this Star-of-Spring’s last fears vanish. She wishes to be friends. With pretty pleading she holds out to them her basket of shell-fish. Places it on the ground and then steps back, bowing, with arms wide and outstretched palms.