Sir Walter had seen the Indians smoking the leaves of the to-bac-co plant. He thought that he would do the same, and he carried some of the leaves to England. Englishmen had never used tobacco before that time; and all who saw Sir Walter puff-ing away at a roll of leaves thought that it was a strange sight.
One day as he was sitting in his chair and smoking, his servant came into the room. The man saw the smoke curling over his master’s head, and he thought that he was on fire.
He ran out for some water. He found a pail that was quite full. He hurried back, and threw the water into Sir Walter’s face. Of course the fire was all put out.
After that a great many men learned to smoke. And now tobacco is used in all countries of the world. It would have been well if Sir Walter Raleigh had let it alone.
There was once a very brave man whose name was John Smith. He came to this country many years ago, when there were great woods everywhere, and many wild beasts and Indians. Many tales are told of his ad-ven-tures, some of them true and some of them untrue. The most famous of all these is the fol-low-ing:—
One day when Smith was in the woods, some Indians came upon him, and made him their pris-on-er. They led him to their king, and in a short time they made ready to put him to death.
A large stone was brought in, and Smith was made to lie down with his head on it. Then two tall Indians with big clubs in their hands came forward. The king and all his great men stood around to see. The Indians raised their clubs. In another moment they would fall on Smith’s head.
But just then a little Indian girl rushed in. She was the daugh-ter of the king, and her name was Po-ca-hon’tas. She ran and threw herself between Smith and the up-lift-ed clubs. She clasped Smith’s head with her arms. She laid her own head upon his.
“O father!” she cried, “spare this man’s life. I am sure he has done you no harm, and we ought to be his friends.”
The men with the clubs could not strike, for they did not want to hurt the child. The king at first did not know what to do. Then he spoke to some of his war-riors, and they lifted Smith from the ground. They untied the cords from his wrists and feet, and set him free.
The next day the king sent Smith home; and several Indians went with him to protect him from harm.
After that, as long as she lived, Po-ca-hon-tas was the friend of the white men, and she did a great many things to help them.
When George Wash-ing-ton was quite a little boy, his father gave him a hatchet. It was bright and new, and George took great delight in going about and chopping things with it.
He ran into the garden, and there he saw a tree which seemed to say to him, “Come and cut me down!”