The boy, who was one of the non-Puritan seamen on the voyage, for some reason cursed and taunted the sick Puritans on the voyage, saying that he would throw half of their bodies overboard when they died. For this, says Bradford with a hint of satisfaction, the young man paid with his life:
But it pleased God before they came half seas over, to smite this young man with a grievous disease, of which he died in a desperate manner, and so was himself the first that was thrown overboard...Thus did his curses light on his own head.
Bradford, the Puritans, and even the other seamen on the ship interpreted this event as a sign of God's vengeance. It is one example of what is the prevalent theme of the account: Bradford and the Puritans consider themselves to be the beneficiaries and instruments of God's divine Providence.