The story begins on Roanoke Island in America in 1588.
Agnes Wood explains how she came to be here, burying bodies so far from her home...
Agnes tells us how in London she joined a ship bound for Roanoke in the New World - part of an attempt during Elizabethan times to estabish a colony in America.
The ship stops briefly in the Caribbean to resupply, then sails up the American coast to anchor at Roanoke Island.
The ship's captain, John White, has decided to put in at Roanoke to see if they can find out what has happened to a previous group of settlers who landed at Roanoke a year before. They find the original settlers' stockade...but there is no sign of life.
Agnes and the others rebuild the stockade and make it their base. However, on a trip to gather crabs one of the party is attacked and killed by a group of Native Americans. Many of the settlers are determined on revenge but their attack on the natives is unsuccessful.
The colonists are running out of food and slowly dying of disease. As the story ends they are burying their dead...wondering if they will shortly be attacked by the local people. The ending is unresolved; to this day no-one knows for sure what happened to the settlers of the second Roanoke colony.
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