Within a few months, most of the convicts from the Lady Marie (and later the Closter) saw this place as a possible new Eden. They found that this island was not only uninhabited but also quite livable -- with adequate fresh water, timber for shelter and an agreeable climate.
Many meetings were held that seemed to go on forever. Captain Hayes realized that none of the guards, crew nor he could "command" 700 pissed-off women--women who had largely been abused or otherwise caught up in a harsh legal system designed by and for the men of England! Hayes intuitively felt that Cecelia could be a leader, and declared that she be in charge.
In the weeks following the first shipwreck, spring had arrived, and the wildflowers, green grass, and warming weather enlivened some spirits, but there was a much resentment between nearly all the women toward their erstwhile keepers. And the the guards and sailors began to seethe against Capt. Hayes, Cecelia and a few of the other "enlightened ones". Several of the older women had brought memories and skills of ancient Gaelic and Celtic spiritual traditions, healing methods, and ways of living together that far preceded the Judeo-Christian England of that time. During the long voyage, Cecelia encouraged these gals to share their 'secret' stories of work and play common in Europe 5,000 years ago! When Cecelia asked these women to address a general meeting of all the women, the 'healers' were jeered by the world-weary streetwise crowd: Renounce Christianity? Bring back witchcraft? And when the men heard of these ideas, The captain had all he could do to keep order!
But then there was a shift--it came slowly as the wheels began to turn in many minds.
Next: the Old Way and the Otter
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