A PLYMOUTH-TO-PROVINCETOWN SKETCHBOOK
FRANCES LESTER WARNER
By E. SCOTT WHITE
The ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS
Copyright, 1921, by
The Atlantic Monthly Press
I Plymouth Towne
II Alden and Standish
III Winslow's "Great Lot"
IV The Cape
North Street, Plymouth
Site of First House, Leyden Street
Old Plymouth Doorway
John Alden's House, Duxbury (1653)
The Myles Standish Monument
The Standish House, Duxbury (1666)
The Winslow House, Marshfield (1699)
Old Fish Wharf, Cape Cod
The Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown
"There!" said the artist, "isn't that a nautical-looking house?"
When the artist says that a house is nautical, he means that it looks as if it had been built by seafaring men; not by wealthy ship-owners, but by generations of skippers and men before the mast. When you build a nautical house, you should begin more than a hundred years ago with a small cottage on the side-hill over the harbor, and add on a snug cabin now and then, tucking in a shipshape companionway here and there, and running a new section out along the slope. If you like to indulge your taste in roofs, you make a different kind for every addition. One section may be gable, another lean-to, and the one-story addition may run out as long as you please, shaped on top something like the roof of a barge. Simply fit your building to the ups and downs of the land and the ways of the wind. A bit of faded blue paint somewhere on the blinds or near the door, and all your roofing weathered by many hundred harbor gales, and your house is nautical.
There are not as many of these in Plymouth as in Gloucester, but there are a few. In fact, at Plymouth you may find almost any kind of building you look for, from Mansard roofs and bungalows, to the lobster-houses down by Eel River, the shooting-boxes out on the sand-spit, and the dark old structures beside Town Brook and around the region once known as Clamshell Alley.
We had left the car at the garage, and had walked along the upper streets over the hill. The artist was going sketching, his brother Alexander was meeting a business appointment, and Barbara and I had come to see Plymouth.
"I'm going in among those places on the other side of Town Brook," said the artist. "The only way to find something good is to go everywhere you're not supposed to."
"But you and Barbara," said Alexander, as he prepared to escort us out to the main street, "might as well go where you're supposed to."
He paused for a moment to let his words sink in.
"The best way," said Alexander, "is to follow your guide-book."
"The best way," said the artist over his shoulder, "is to explore."
Barbara receives advice from her two brothers with the air of a young empress listening to the remarks of two prime ministers, but makes her own decisions. I have acted as her confederate and chaperon on so many occasions that I know enough to be quiet until the prime ministers have gone.
"The best way," said Barbara when this had happened, "is to ask a little boy."
Doubtless any real expedition to Plymouth ought to begin with the Rock. We found our way down along the water-front, to the place where the Rock used to be, but it was nowhere in sight.
"When I was here before," said I, "the Rock was exactly here, under its canopy at the foot of Cole's Hill. You couldn't miss it."
Barbara looked out along the wharves. Some children were playing at the end of one of the piers.
"We'll ask a little boy," said Barbara, leading the way.
"They look like little foreigners," said I. "Do you think they would know?"
For answer, Barbara went out slowly to the edge of the pier, and stood watching the white seagulls flying over the harbor. The boys gave her a glance, made up their minds about her, and went on with their play.
"Where's the Rock?" said Barbara casually, over her shoulder.
"They're moving it," said one.
"It's all broke up," said another.
"Want us to show it to you?" said a third.
"Yes," said Barbara. "Where are they moving it to?"
"Down to the edge. When they get it there, we can swim right up to it," said our guide with unction. "But now it's all broke up."
He was leading us rapidly back to Water Street, to a great pile of masonry by the roadside. "That's the rock," said he. "Here's some, and here's