Desire was walking around the Mayflower, observing the mast, stern, and starboard. She was very proud that she knew the names of these things. As she aimlessly walked along, she bumped into someone. She scurried up to her feet and stole a look at whom she had collided with. It was a girl in a plain blue dress about her age sitting on the ground, with her coif laying limp on the floor next to her.
“Sorry,” Desire whispered.
Elisabeth hurriedly stood and, at lightning speed, retied her coif atop her head.
“Its alright,” Elisabeth said sheepishly. “Besides, I should be the one to apologize. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“Neither was I,” admitted Desire. “Were you on the Speedwell? I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”
“Yes, I was,” replied Elisabeth. “I was terror-stricken after it leaked the first time. Once it headed out again, I couldn’t concentrate on anything, because I was so panicky.”
“Well I better get going because Mr. Carver is looking for me,” remarked Desire.
“Okay, but tell me your name before you go. My name is Elisabeth Tilley.”
“My name is Desire Minter.”
“I’ll see you later Desire!” Elizabeth said with enthusiasm. “Goodbye!”
“Till we meet again!” laughed Desire.
After about two weeks of sailing Desire became seasick, and she wouldn’t leave from behind her sheet, which separated her sleeping space from the travelers adjacent to her.
“Elizabeth,” her Mother began, “Why don’t you walk around the ship. You need fresh air. And afterwards you may visit Desire.”
“Thank you Mother!” Elizabeth exclaimed.
Elizabeth escaped the stuffy room as quickly as her petticoats would allow. She climbed up the stairs and roamed around the deck of the ship slowly, taking in all the details. The saltiness on her tongue, the wind on her cheeks and the orders from the Master. The thrill of swaying back and forth in time with the waves. She loved the sea. After about fifteen minutes Elizabeth started back down into the belly of the ship to search for Desire. Once she found Desire, Elizabeth was certain her friend needed some care.
“Oh Elizabeth, you need to help me!” mumbled Desire.
“Did your Mother bring any herbs of some sort,” Elizabeth asked kindly.
“I don’t have any parents. They’re both dead. Mr. Carver, my guardian, is bringing me,” was the blunt answer.
Elizabeth silently breathed a prayer for her friend, and returned to her Mother for some herbs, which she hoped would assist Desire’s recovery. To cheer up her patient Elizabeth asked, “Didn’t Mr. Carver have enough sense about him to pack soap? He didn’t even bring a pot!”
“I told him he should have brought some type of pot or even a frying pan but he was convinced all he needed was a gridiron,” Desire said.
“My Mother is the opposite. In fact, she brought every single article of clothing we own and made my Father bring his armor.”
At that, the duo began laughing. Elizabeth looked relieved. She secretly harbored the thought her friend didn’t have the strength to recover because she had been pale and thin for as long as Elizabeth had known her.
Several days later the waves became choppy. Master Christopher Jones warned the seasick passengers to stay under the deck since a storm was under way. Unfortunately, it was during this time Mrs. Hopkins went into labor. All the mothers of the Mayflower acted as midwives for her. Mrs. Tilley took her daughter aside and ordered Elizabeth to tell her father to ask the sailors for water. Elizabeth hurried away, looking rather white and squeamish from the cries of pain, and her look attracted the attention of John Howland.
“Whatever is the matter?” he asked kindly.
“I’m fetching Father to ask him to retrieve water from-”
“Never mind,” Mr. Howland interrupted, “I’ll fetch it for you. Wait here.”
For, being a cocky young man he considered not the peril. Elizabeth obediently waited for him but once he was absent for several minutes, she rushed to Desire. Once Desire understood the situation she flew up the stairs. Elizabeth rebuked herself for her cowardice and darted after her friend.
“Why are you up here?” a surly sailor yelled,
“Mr. Howland is missing,” Desire replied.
The sailor hollered at his fellow seaman to check if Mr. Howland fell overboard as he pulled the girls back down the stairs. As they were taken below, they caught a glimpse of Mr. Howland being pulled up from the side of the Mayflower. Mr. Howland was successfully found and rescued, thanks to Elizabeth and Desire.
On November 9th, early in the morning, sailors chanted out the beloved words,
Desire rushed up to the top deck and saw in amazement the contrast of the luscious green trees against the pale morning sky.
“Mr. Carver, when do you think the Mayflower will be brought into the harbor?” Desire asked.
“I don’t believe we will land in Cape Cod for a couple of hours.”
Desire waited patiently, watching the landscape, until the ship landed. She pulled Elizabeth out of her hammock and onto the deck.
“We made it!!” They exclaimed simultaneously.
“Not quite,” remarked Mr. Carver “We’ve missed our destination, the Hudson River, by a couple hundred miles.”
“You don’t mean we have farther to travel, do you?” Desire questioned.
“Yes I do.”
At first the officers skillfully navigated the waters. But supplies began to dwindle, the ship fought headwinds, and they were in unknown seas. As a result the Master ordered the ship to be turned around. A few weeks was spent at Cape Cod, where the Mayflower compact was composed and signed. After the excitement and joy of the signing, they sailed from Cape Cod, and harbored in Plymouth.
Once the duo finally found each other on solid ground, they grasped each other and mixed tears. All the suffering, storms, and seasickness was worth it. A bright and prosperous future was ahead. And they were ready for it.