Classical Childrens Books

Lion To Guard Us Chapter Summary

Summary of the action for each chapter of Clyde Bulla's historical fiction novel: A Lion to Guard Us

Lion To Guard Us Chapter Summary

Chapter One

The setting is 1609 in London. The story opens with an unnamed sailor finding his way to a large home in London. He goes to the back door and delivers a message to a girl, Amanda Freebold - our main character. He tells her he saw her father in Jamestown, and her father sends the message that he is praying the whole family will be together in Jamestown by the end of the year. The sailor leaves.

We are also introduced to two other servants in the house: We learn Amanda also has a younger brother named Jemmy.

Chapter Two

Amanda visits her mother in the sickroom of the big house where they live. Several weeks before her mother fell down the stairs and has been unconscious since. When the maid Ellie offers to sit with the mother, Amanda leaves to tuck her brother Jemmy and little sister Meg in for the night. Since their mother's fall, they stay in a small room on a pallet on the floor. As a bedtime story, Amanda tells them the story of their family. Their father is a carpenter and they used to live in a house in London that he built. He went to Jamestown as a carpenter, but at first it was too wild for women and children. Amanda and her mother and siblings moved into Mrs. Trippet's house where her mother worked.

Jemmy gets out a brass knocker shaped like a lion's head that was on the door of their former home. Their father said the lion would guard the family until they could all be together again.

Chapter Three

We briefly meet two other characters at the beginning of this chapter: Mistress Trippet who owns the large house and employs Cook, Ellie, and Amanda. We also meet Dr. Crider, an older, kind gentleman who came to the house to treat their mother. At the end of the chapter Dr. Crider tells Amanda that their mother has died.

Chapter Four

Amanda became overwhelmed taking care of her family and became impatient with her younger brother. To apologize to them, she told them another story about a brother and two sisters who took a trip from London to Virginia where their father was. She promised them she would find a way to Virginia. But Cook refused to let her go outside the house so Amanda could talk to the people at the Virginia Company. But when Cook sent her outside with the pail to collect water, Amanda hid the pail and ran down the alley.

Chapter Five

Amanda went by herself to the Virginia Company. A man there noted that her father, James Freebold, had gone on one of their ships. He stated that they had a ship going to America next month. But children were not allowed on the ship without a parent.

When Cook found out Amanda had gone to the Virginia Company, she threatened to tell Mistress Trippet. But Amanda declared she was going to inform the mistress herself. She marched up to her room. Mrs. Trippet, however, was angry. She stated that their father did not care about them, and she had done more for them than he ever had.

Chapter Six

Amanda bravely goes to Mrs. Trippet again and asks for the money she was keeping for them. The money was from the sale of their house before their father sailed to America. It was worn by their mother in a purse around her neck. When she fell, Mrs. Trippet took it.

When asked for the money, Mrs. Trippet starts screaming. She yelled that she had paid for the doctor and had clothed, fed, and housed the children. When Amanda replied that they had worked for their food and lodging, Mrs. Trippet threw a book at her and fainted. Her son, Randolph, yelled at the children to get out of the house. They fled out of the house at night.

Chapter Seven

The children wander alone at night on the streets of London, scared and hungry. They have no money and no place to go. They see fires with homeless. They are approached by an old woman who is confused. Amanda fears she may be put into jail if Mistress Trippet dies and then the younger children will be put in the poor house. Finally, she decides they will spend the night in Mistress Trippet's backyard. When they return, they see Dr. Crider leaving the house.

Chapter Eight

Dr. Crider takes them to his house for the night. He has a comfortable home, neither rich nor poor. He tells them Mistress Trippett only fainted in a temper. Amanda tells him that Mistress Trippett has their money and they want to go to America to join their father. Dr. Crider gives them their own room for the night, and they sleep in a real bed.

Chapter Nine

When Amanda and the children wake up the next morning, Dr. Crider is gone. He comes back with big news. He has been to the Virginia Company on Philpot and they want him to go to Jamestown because a doctor is needed there. He and the children will sail to the New World in a few months when nine ships are leaving.

Chapter Ten

Dr. Crider and the children get on board the Sea Adventure. It is the biggest ship in the fleet of nine ships sent by the Virigina Company to Jamestown. The admiral of all the ships, George Somers, is also on the Sea Adventure.

Chapter Eleven

Life on board the ship is a bit crowded. They sleep in a big room in the dark, foul-smelling hold of the ship. But Dr. Crider loves it. He wished he had been a sailor. His days were happy, treating sick people in the hold and, when he got the chance, standing on deck watching the sea. We meet three important (and historical) characters: the governor, captain, and admiral. Jemmy is brave enough to greet Admiral Somers by name.

Chapter Twelve

Chapter 12 introduces us to a few other passengers on board: John Rolfe, Chris Carter, Robert Waters, and the Hopkins family. The Hopkins children aren't particularly friendly, and criticize Dr. Crider for standing on deck so often. At the end of the chapter Dr. Crider is missing. It appears he was swept overboard and is gone.

Chapter Thirteen

Amanda grieves the loss of Dr. Crider and again has to bear the burden of caring her younger siblings. She tries to make toys for them but they don't turn out right. Jemmy wants to hold the lion-head knocker. He shows it to the Hopkins children.

Chapter Fourteen

John Rolfe tells Amanda that there is a rumor that the knocker is made out of gold. He advises her not to show it as there are some who might wish to steal it. It turns out that Jemmy bragged to the Hopkins children that it was gold.

Chapter Fifteen

A terrible storm comes up. All the adults - sailors and passengers - worked all day to pump water out of the hold. At the end of the chapter someone spots land. The children hear a thundering crash beneath them.

Chapter Sixteen

The ship crashed between on the reefs and was held fast. A boat carried the passengers to land. They were on Bermuda - sometimes called Devil's Island.

Chapter Seventeen

All the people on The Sea Adventure made it safely ashore to Bermuda Island. There they found plenty of food: fish, birds, eggs. But Amanda took her siblings away from the fire as the wealthy ladies and gentleman had priority over the poor.

Chapter Eighteen

The shipwrecked people build a village of houses. Amanda, Jemmy, and Meg were assigned to live with the Hopkins family. But since they were not welcomed by Mrs. Hopkins, they made a tiny little house themselves where they could stay together. The men built a deck on one of the small boats and it set sail for Jamestown, Virginia - hoping the colonists would send a bigger ship to rescue the rest of them.

Chapter Nineteen

Robert Walters and Chris Carter stop at Amanda's hut and ask about the knocker which Jemmy is polishing. Mr. Waters came back and told them where they could get some berries. The three children went looking for the betties but could not find them. When they returned home, the knocker was gone. At the end of the chapter, the admiral announces that the ship they sent to Jamestown should have made it back by now and he thinks it won't be returning.

Chapter Twenty

The men in the village begin building two new ships to take them all to Virginia. But there is a quarrel and some men want to quit working and just live on Bermuda Island for good. Carter and Walters move to the other side of the island with a few other men. After they have left the village, Anne Hopkins tells Jemmy she saw Mr. Waters take Jemmy's knocker.

Chapter Twenty-One

The new ships are built and ready to sail on May 10. But two days before they leave, Jemmy turns up missing. They search all day, but no one can find him. Amanda tells Meg they will not leave the island without him. If he isn't there the next morning, she plans to hide and stay for Jemmy. It's a dark night and Amanda lights their little candle. Then they see Jemmy at the door. He announces he has the knocker.

Chapter Twenty-Two

While on-board one of the two new ships heading from Bermuda to Jamestown, Jemmy tells his story. He went to the other side of the island to get his knocker. While Chris Carter and Robert Walters were arguing, he grabbed the knocker and ran and hid from them. He got lost making his way back to their village. It was Amanda's candle that guided him back in the dark. Their ship sails on to Virginia and to Point Comfort, the fort protecting Jamestown. The guard is ecstatic to see the crew and passengers of the Sea Adventure whom they assumed had all died at sea. It turns out that all the other ships in their fleet except one had made it to Jamestown and then returned to England. Jamestown, itself, however, is in trouble. Since the ships had left the settlers had a conflict with the natives and ran out of food. Starvation and illness have claimed most of the lives of all but a few settlers. Those who are left are in need of help. Admiral Somers orders their ship to sail immediately to Jamestown.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Only a handful of men are in the walled town of Jamestown, and their father is not among them. One by one Amanda searches the empty houses and finds a sick, starving man lying on a mat. It's her father! But he doesn't recognize them. But when Jemmy shows the lion knocker he calls their name. Reunited, Amanda promises food is coming and they will take care of him.

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Clyde Bulla's Historical Fiction of the Sea Venture

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