Voyage One takes place in 1583, when Pentaquod leaves the Susquehannock tribe. He has come to feel that the constant warfare they pursue against others was "a meaningless war" and determines to make a new life for himself in a new location. In his stolen canoe, he follows the Susquehanna River south to Chesapeake Bay, far enough from his home village to feel secure that he would not be found. Calling on memories of being told, as a child, that "along the eastern shore of the bay lived other tribes of lesser breed who accomplished nothing in arms," Pentaquod decides these are the type of people he wants to live with, and he paddles his canoe into a river mouth on the eastern side of the bay.
Voyage Two tells the story of Edmund Steed serving as recorder of the explorations and adventures of Captain John Smith, Steed, and the others who sailed from London in 1608 to begin the settling of an English colony in Virginia. Steed comes to understand that Captain Smith "lived intimately with possibilities that other men could not even imagine, and in his dreaming he forced them to become reality." In spite of the ways in which Captain Smith altered Steed's commentaries to enhance his role, Steed came to respect Smith's organization, discipline, and bravery in dealing with unknown situations. During their explorations, the group also sees
a most beautiful low island with fair meadows and goodly tall trees. We saw fresh waters running through the woods and all men were ravished at the sight thereof. It minded us of the fair lands of Devon and Captain Smith named the island in their honor.
Steed resolves to return to Devon Island to establish his home someday.
Voyage Three records the 1636 conviction and sentencing to indentured servitude for seven years of Timothy Turlock, lifelong thief in London. He is transported to Jamestown and he is sold to Simon Janney for "half the stack of tobacco leaves." Turlock works incredibly hard for almost two years before running away in a boat he stole from Janney, hiding from those searching for him, and eventually finding his way to the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, and then up the Choptank River to "a low marshland covering many acres, backed up by what was obviously fast (dry) land." There Timothy Turlock determines to attempt to survive on his own, with the help of the friendly Indians who discover him there.