The winter of 1620-1621 was a very disturbing time for the Pilgrims at Plymouth. It can be said that nothing sustained the Pilgrims during this time because a majority of them died from illness during what has been dubbed the "starving time." Pilgrims that survived this winter did so by chance and through their powerful faith in their destiny and their God. In the spring, the natives in the area made contact with the Pilgrims. Having been decimated by a deadly plague themselves, the Native Americans came in peace. One of them, the last surviving member of the Patuxet, was extremely helpful to the survival of the Plymouth Colony. Having been abducted and brought to Spain, Squanto escaped and was hired by an English company, where he learned to speak the language. He returned to the area of New England in 1618. After meeting the Pilgrims, he taught them how to sustain themselves with agriculture (corn) and fishing. He showed them the lay of the land and acted as a mediator between the Europeans and the Indians. Had it not been for the help of Squanto, it is unlikely that the Pilgrims would have survived.